Monday 24 February 2014

Comiccons: April's Short List

by April Laramey

Top 5 North American Cons to Hit, According to Geek Girl April

There are so many great comic conventions (aka ‘comic-cons’) out there that it’s hard to go wrong when planning your convention season. But here’s our pick of top 5 from geek girl April, as well as the Editor’s Choice for top #1.

    Editor’s Pick: Ottawa Comiccon 

     Running for a couple years now, Ottawa's Comiccon is a BIG event for a smallish city like O-town. The great guests bring people in; the wide array of vendors keep people happy; the artist's alley give people brushes with fame; and the workshops give people new info. It's a non-stop geek fest, so be sure to save up your pennies because between photo ops and geek paraphernalia, you'll need 'em.) -Jordan

            San Diego Comic-con 

Almost everyone is familiar with the mother of all conventions, San Diego Comic-Con.  Founded in 1970, this con regularly attracts roughly 130,000 attendees. Aimed at comics, anime, film, games, sci-fi and fantasy authors & more, this #1 con in the world hosts roughly 600 events.   

One of the many events is the San Diego International Children’s Film Festival [link:]. With a partnership of seven years, the festival usually takes place on the Sunday of the Con, and includes panels, screenings and an awards ceremony, making San Diego Comic-con a truly family affair.

NYCC is the East coast’s answer to the San Diego con and boasts itself as being the “only one that takes place in the comic book, publishing, media and licensing capital of the world — Gotham City.”  Stated as being New York City’s second largest event and drawing over 130,000 visitors, it was first held in 2006. 

Despite some growth problems due to inexperience, it has become the second most popular Con and at one time was host to the New York Anime Festival.  That festival has since been absorbed into the Con but NYCC continues to expand its repertoire.

Finally something closer to home!  Fan Expo presumes to appeal to fans of Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, Gaming & Sports, 2014 will represent the 20th anniversary of this con.

But the best part is, they host a speed-dating event!  Fan Expo Speed Dating is hosted by [link:] In fact in 2012 Toronto Fan Expo hosted their first wedding [link:]  Go big or go home? This is our closest home in the top five.

 DragonCon (Atlanta, GA)

DragonCon was founded in 1987 by 6 men.  Like all other cons it has grown over the years to greet Ann McCaffrey, Gary Gygax, and has brought in the Atlantic Comics Expo, and has won the bid to host the North American Science Fiction Convention. Not to mention, who can resist the DragonCon parade? Confetti! 

Celebrating 25 years as of 2011, Atlanta welcomed all visitors to DragonCon with welcome banners.  They added puppetry and gaming streams. Maybe not brilliant, but A for effort.

Okay, Geekgirlcon isn’t truly in the top 5 (yet), but for the purposes of this blog it is definitely high on the list.  How can we resist a convention that celebrates the female geek?

“The first inkling of GeekGirlCon took form at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010. Mixed into days of programming focused on superheroes, blockbuster films, and popular television celebrities was a panel called “Geek Girls Exist.” Despite this panel being scheduled at the same time as the popular Scott Pilgrim panel, the room was packed. This panel dedicated to female geeks and nerds motivated a huge audience to come together and celebrate geek girls. Harnessing the momentum, these women and their supporters connected via social media and started tossing ideas around. They began to coalesce into an organization and a purpose.”

And here we are in Ottawa trying to continue harnessing that momentum with Capital Geek Girls. We hope that with time, we’ll get to know which cons are the most girl-friendly, too. (Over time, we hope they all will be equally so.)

Share your favourite cons below!

Despite her day job as a bureaucrat, April Laramey is a writer, dabbles in photography, spends too much time on the internet, and occasionally gets some exercise. Her favourite colour is green, she wants to work in a bookstore when she grows up, and when she dies she wants her tombstone to read "To Be Continued..." You can find out more about her and her writing at her webpagefacebook or twitter.

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