The arrival of Wizard World’s Chicago Comic Con in August has everyone here excited about the latest convention to grace the Windy City. Running this year from August 9-12, Wizard World is a great con for both comic lovers and art geeks alike. But what if comics aren’t quite your cup of tea, or you’re on vacation with your family? This post will give you some of the best cons both in Chicago and across the country. Okay, so maybe New York and San Diego are a little out of the way but with a little saving and planning, perhaps one day you can go to those too.
The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, or C2E2 for short, is a convention spanning the latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga, and video games. Usually held in April, the con takes place in the heart of downtown Chicago in the West Building at McCormick Place. In the past, the con has hosted special guests like Shia LaBouf, Chad Michael Murray, Art Baltazar (a former LitWorks author), Bill Willingham, and many more. C2E2 will be next held on April 26-28, 2013.
Acen, or Anime Central, is Chicago’s and the Midwest’s largest anime, manga and Japanese popular culture convention. Running for 16 years this May, it’s the con for fans of anime and manga in the Midwest. Usually held in the spring, Acen takes place in Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Acen usually draws big name guests from both the US and Japan including animators, artists, and voice actors. Acen will be held on May 17-19, 2013.
PAX Prime & Pax East
PAX, which stands for Penny Arcade Expo, is a three day convention solely devoted to gaming in all of its forms. From PC to handheld and tabletop to console, PAX is a literal gamer’s paradise. PAX is held twice each year with PAX Prime (the original con started in 2004) being held in Seattle in the fall and PAX East (the second con started in 2010) being held in Boston in the Spring. Past live performances have included shows by Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, the Protomen, and many more. PAX Prime will be held this August 31-September 2, 2012. PAX East dates have not yet been announced but will held sometime in April of 2013.
New York Comic Con
New York Comic Con (NYCC) is the biggest pop culture convention on the East coast. The 2011 convention had over 100,000 attendees! NYCC covers the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television held in the heart of the New York City. This year, guests will include Mike Mignola, Sean Astin, Lou Ferrigno, and Anne Rice. New York Comic Con will be held this October 12-14, 2012.
Comic-Con International: San Diego
Last, but certainly not least is Comic-Con International: San Diego, more affectionately called San Diego Comic Con, or SDCC. San Diego Comic Con is the largest comic convention in the United States and quite possibly the world with well over 130,000 attendees each year. SDCC always has a star-studded lineup of guests including the casts from most hit TV shows (Doctor Who, TrueBlood, Supernatural, etc.) and Hollywood stars both young and old (Jackie Chan, Jodie Foster, Matt Damon, Colin Farrell, Robert Pattinson, and Kristen Stewart to name just a few). San Diego Comic Con will be next held July 18-21, 2013.
This post covers just a few of the hundreds of convention across the country and the world. Leave a comment below about any other great conventions you’ve been to or even a fun con story!