Super fans unite! If you have never ventured out to a comic con then you are truly missing out. The preconceived notion that comic cons are just for comic book lovers is no longer accurate. Comic cons have become much more mainstream than in years past, catering to TV show and movie lovers, along with comic fans. The growing popularity in attending comic cons may come as dismay to some comic book die-hards who believe it takes away from the original focus which started the cons. But if you are a fan of something, shouldn't we all have the opportunity to enjoy our passions and share it among people with similar interests? Let's all just get along!
For the past five years I have attended Wizard World Comic Con's stop in Philadelphia and each year it has been getting bigger and bigger. There is also smaller cons that celebrate certain genres or fandoms. For example, I attended a Walker Stalker Con last year, which you can read about here. They also created a sister con called Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, inviting some of the best characters in TV and movies. Based on my experiences, here are my five reasons you need to attend a comic con:
1. People Watching
There are many different comic cons across the country and even across the world. Some are obviously larger than others such as San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, and Wondercon. If you do a little digging, I am sure you can find a con in close proximity to where you live. One of my favorite things to do when I attend a con is the the people watching. So many attendees use these events for cosplay, and they can be very creative. I just love to see what people dress up as because some costumes are so elaborate and realistic. This guy I saw last year definitely wins best dressed with his Jaws inspiration.
2. The Friendly Attendees
If you plan on going to a con to meet a celebrity, you might spend some of your time in a long line. At my very first comic con, I decided to do a photo op with Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. I have never met someone that famous before and I was pretty nervous in a giddy fangirl sort of way. The group in front of me was very nice and we got to talking about all the cons they have been to and just casually chatting seemed to calm me down. They also gave me important advice what to do when you meet someone like that and it resulted in me being brave enough to get two handshakes from Thor!
I have had several experiences like that walking around the convention floors and talking to people at booths and exhibits. All the attendees are there for similar reasons and it is a fun way to meet new people and be among fellow fans.
3. Celebrity Appearances
Celebrity appearances have been a major pull in terms of attendance. The big cons are usually overflowing with A-listers but the smaller cons have been attracting some big guests as well. The con for Philly just announced that most of the cast of Captain America will be attending this year including Chris Evans, Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci and many other big stars. And let's not forget Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Norman Reedus, David Duchovny and the big three from Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson.
This is the biggest guest list I have seen since I have been attending and the con is still months away so I expect it to continue growing. Giving fans the chance to meet their favorite characters from beloved movies and TV shows is something special. I have memories I will never forget involving meeting some of my favorite celebs. There are opportunities for meets and greets, photo ops, and autographs and you will be surprised how friendly and down to earth most of the celebrities are. They enjoy attending cons and meeting everyone just as much as we all do.
4. Exclusive Panels
The cool thing about celebrities attending means they will most likely be doing panels to discuss their hit shows or movies. Most of the panels are free with attendance and can give you a chance to hear exclusive discussions regarding your favorite movies and shows. There is also panels featuring comics, video games, specific genres, cosplay, and endless other awesome geekdom topics!
5. The Convention Floor
If meeting celebrities or attending panels isn't your thing, then walking around the convention floor and checking out all of the merchandise might be the way to go. To actually see every booth would most likely take up your whole day because there is so much to see and buy if you have the money. Aside from the booths selling comic books and classic toys, you can find an exuberant amount of t-shirts, prop replicas, collectibles, rare items, costumes, jewelry, house goods, and any poster you could possibly want. One of my favorite things about Wizard World Comic Cons is that they feature an Artists' Alley, a good portion of the floor for people to feature and sell their art.
You can buy exclusive pieces or prints at a reasonable price. I enjoy supporting local artists and collecting a few prints each year I go. There are so many forms of art and I love to see how the artists incorporate their unique styles into creating one of a kind pieces.
Comic cons truly have something for everyone and if these reasons don't convince you then I don't know what will. I look forward to attending each year and I hope to start traveling to bigger ones in the near future. San Diego Comic Con is definitely the hardest to get passes to but it is definitely on my bucket list. Maybe someday I can find myself on a press list for access to SDCC so I can finally experience one of the biggest pop culture events of the year. Hey a girl can dream...
Sources: Wizardworld.com, SDCC
Photo sources: Wizard World, my own