If there’s one thing that the explosion of Comic Conventions all over the world has proved, it’s that any industry with an active and engaged audience of fans is a great candidate for large scale events, festivals, and conventions. Comic conventions have grown from a little niche of the events world into one of the drivers of the events space, and convention centers all over the United States and Canada are full of the nerdily-inclined meeting up and celebrating their own little corner of the entertainment world. While all such gatherings are on pause for the time being, and as screening tools help industries slowly reopen, we may take some time to look back on the greatest hits. Here are our 10 best comic con in North America.
Here’s Our List of The Best Comic Con in North America
Perhaps the most well-known comic convention in the world, San Diego Comic Con is a milestone annual event that brings together the interconnected world of comic books, video games, movies, cosplay, and draws mainstream attention from all over the nation. Founded all the way back in 1970, the event now sprawls out from the San Diego Convention Center to an ecosystem of events all around San Diego, and every year promises major announcements, sneak previews of films and games, panels with luminary figures and blockbuster actors. In fact, San Diego Comic Con is so big, that the city of San Diego signed a contract to expand its convention center just to accommodate the almost 200,000 people that flood into the SoCal city every July.
Another classic Californian enterprise, WonderCon, which was based in the Bay Area before heading down south to Anaheim (although a splinter-con named WonderCon Silicon Valley keep the faith up north), WonderCon is all about comics. Throughout its 30 year existence, the heart and soul of WonderCon has been the trading of rare and back issue comics, but over the past decade, WonderCon has grown into a major event of its own. WonderCon was actually rolled into the San Diego Comic Con family in 2001, and since then it has been one of the fastest growing conventions in the country, and now welcomes up to 60,000 eager comic book aficionados every year. . It has become a favored event for announcing and releasing movies based on comic books, and
Some people really love The Walking Dead. No, we mean, like really. Walker Stalker Con—a roving series of events that has trekked from Tulsa to London to Australia—is all about zombies, in particular those found walking scenes in the beloved AMC TV show The Walking Dead. Appearances by cast members are a regular occurrence, and thousands of zombified fans show up in their most morbid regalia and live out their undead fantasies. There’s even a Walker Stalker Cruise! Upcoming editions include Atlanta, New Jersey, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
You can’t talk comic conventions without talking Comicpalooza. The Houston event is the biggest comic-centric convention in the Southern United States, and brings together the worlds of comics, gaming, anime, sports, and movies. This year’s guests included Chuck Norris, Robert Englund (perhaps better known as Freddie Kruger), and the cast of Power Rangers old and new. With a film festival, gaming tournaments (both tabletop and electronic), and a huge mall of comics, merch, gear, and swag, Comicpalooza flies the nerd flag in Texas loud and proud.
A bi-annual event, the Salt Lake Comic Con is one of the heaviest hitting fandom gatherings in the world. It draws big names like Val Kilmer (Batman) and Christoper Lloyd (Back to the Future), and stars from pretty much every fantasy or science fiction movie you’ve heard of. A stacked calendar of workshops, exclusive screenings, photo opps, panels and parties with authors, artists, animators should keep you busy, but if not, there’s always the sci-fi speed dating!
Now in its 12th year, BlizzCon is an annual video game convention held by Blizzard entertainment, where the culture of classic Blizzard Entertainment franchises like Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and Overatch are celebrated for two days in the California autumn by 25,000 attendees. The convention has historically been the site of major announcements in the gaming industry and beta releases of upcoming releases, and offers fans or orcs and zergs alike a chance to bask in their gaming for a whole weekend. The closing night has even featured concerts by everyone from Metallica to Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, and Linkin Park. Tickets for this year’s edition are sold out, but you can still buy a ‘Virtual Ticket’ and watch right from your home—perhaps while gaming?
A haven for gamers of all ilks, Twitch has become one the biggest meetingplaces for video game culture in the world, and TwitchCon is its blockbuster convention that brings together every niche of gaming, comics, and entertainment for a three day spectacular with major gaming tournaments, panels on everything from streaming to music production, charity gaming marathons, dance parties, and serves as the nexus of game streaming culture around the country. And yes, as you’d expect, the whole thing is streamed live. The producers of TwitchCon, ReedPop, are convention experts and hold comic cons all over the world, from San Diego to India.
Up in the Great White North, the Emily Expo series of events stretches from Calgary to Saskatoon with four events a year that celebrate science fiction and entertainment, and draws some of the biggest names in the game. This year’s Calgary event hosted Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian from Star Wars), Kristian Nairn (Hodor from Game of Thrones), actor John Cusack, and comic legend Stan Lee for a series of Q+A’s, meet-n-greets, photo opportunities with major stars.
This Labor Day Weekend, over 75,000 superfans of every niche genre and subculture of comic culture will descend on Atlanta for DragonCon, which launched in 1987 and has become a major nodal point in the alt-con circuit. DragonCon It styles itself as the meetingplace of fantasy, from comics to cosplay to wrestling and puppetry and its annual parade–with fans decked out in the most imaginative and inventive attire imaginable–is one of the most surreal sights you may ever see at any sort of convention.