The 5 W's of Comic Con
Are you a huge fan of X-Men? Do you love watching or reading anime? Or do you just want to learn more about comics and anime? Comic Con is surely an event to check out while you are in the United States. It is widely known as one of the largest popular culture events, highlighting popular comics, manga, anime, games, and shows. Here are the 5 W's (who, what, where, why, when) of Comic Con!
Comedians, actors, writers, and publishers of your favorite movies and comics make guest appearances at comic conventions throughout the United States. Hundreds of thousands of attendees from all over the world come to these conventions to dress up as their favorite characters and meet these guests to learn more about these popular culture hits. The two largest conventions in the country are Comic-Con International in San Diego and New York Comic Con. Special guests attending the San Diego convention included Sergio Aragones (cartoonist for Groo and MAD), Brian Michael Bendis (writer for Ultimate Spider-Man, All New X-Men), Charlotte Fullerton (Writer for Ben 10: Omniverse, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Dan Parent (Writer/artist for Archie Comics), John Romita Jr. (Artist for Captain America, Kick-Ass, Hit Girl). Special guests attending the New York convention included actor Sylvester Stallone, Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit Girl), legendary chairman of Marvel Comics Stan Lee, and comedians Janeane Garafalo and Myq Kaplan. Gillian Anderson from The X-Files and actors James Cosmo and Jerome Flynn from the popular HBO Series Game of Thrones have also made appearances.
Comic book enthusiasts attend these conventions to meet artists, writers, and actors who are involved in the production of their favorite shows. It's a great way to meet them in-person and ask them questions. Attendees love to dress up as their favorite characters and show off their costumes to other attendees and special guests. Activities include art shows, autograph areas, art shows, children's film festivals, pre-screenings, games, masquerades, panel discussions, costume contests and other events featuring comics, TV shows, movies, toys, anime and manga.
There are currently about 29 comic book conventions taking place throughout the United States in states such as Maryland, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida. However, the two largest comic conventions held annually are in New York City and San Diego, California.
Comic-Con International was held in San Diego on July 18-21, 2013 at the San Diego Convention Center. Comic-Con International San Diego was first held in 1970, and was known as a "minicon" that was organized by a group of science fiction, comic, and movie fanatics. The success of this one-day event, which had 100 attendees, led to the traditional 3-day convention, which now draws in about 130,000 attendees. The next convention will be on July 24-27, 2014. Badge prices for the event will be posted in early 2014.
New York Comic Con is acclaimed as the biggest and most exciting popular culture convention on the east coast, easily attracting more than 116,000 attendees. Crain's New York Business ranked this special convention as the second largest event in New York City. This year's convention will take place on October 10-13, 2013 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Single day ticket prices can range from $30-$40 depending on the day, and 4-day tickets cost about $85. Next year's New York Comic Con event is to be determined, but is likely to take place October 9-12, 2014.
For First Timers
If you are attending an event at Comic-Con, be sure to get there early enough to grab a seat. Seats are always on a first-come, first-served basis. There are multiple screenings, contests, and panel discussions held throughout the day at different sections of the convention centers, so be sure to review the itinerary prior to attending. Guests may or may not sign autographs and take photographs with attendees. It is up to the guests' discretion.
If it will be your first Comic-Con event, be sure to check out a blog entitled Comic-Con Dos and Don'ts For the First-Time Con-Goer. Don'ts include taunting others and forgetting your camera. Dos include making friends, bringing water, bringing hand sanitizer, and having fun!
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Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.