The arrival of spring in Southern California brings warmer weather along with a great calendar of “cons” to fill our nerdy weekends (That’s comic conventions “to the uninitiated, but we are the initiated, aren’t we Bruce?”) With cosplayers offering us a great display of their costuming skills and collectors tactically perusing the aisles looking for that next great find for their collection, determining which shows to attend can be a daunting task. We thought we would input the data into the bat computer and ponder a countdown to the top three Southern California cons for 2016. Some criteria taken into consideration when making the selections were panels, guest autographs, the size of the venue, parking and of course the ease of purchase for single or multi day admission. For the following conventions there is no super secret password or anxious waiting in a virtual room to buy tickets. You simply jump online and make your purchase when tickets go on sale. Also parking is pretty easy and is a breeze to navigate even if your Millennium Falcon isn’t equipped with a “navi-computer”.
3. Anime Expo in Los Angeles has become wildly popular among cosplayers who have filled the halls of the Los Angeles convention center for the past several years. This year the expo runs from July 1st-July 4th 2016. The convention focuses on Manga, Anime and features prominent artists and guests to this annual event. This expo is very popular among the teen/ late teen crowds which is why it’s advantageously held during the summer. With the distribution by the Walt Disney Company of movies such as “Ponyo” and “Spirited Away” in the United States, Japanese Anime has found a younger audience which makes the Anime expo that much more popular. One can expect large crowds and plenty of cosplay at this event.
2. Stan Lee’s Comizake (Also at the Los Angeles convention center) has been billed as a pop culture con which aims to encompass all things “Geek” related. Comikaze is scheduled for October 28th- October 30th 2016. It has been crowned “Con of the Year” for 2104 and 2015 by conhq.com and has rapidly grown from its small band of “Rebel Resistance” organizers into a full scale con. Everything from comics to cosplay is here for your choosing with a sprinkle of pop culture celebrities mixed in to provide autograph seekers with their favorite John Hancock. Last year’s event saw a significant increase in attendance by con goers along with guest panels that were fan friendly for those who were present. The line- up/ panel info will be available this summer along with ticket sales.
1. Wonder Con has become thee con to attend in Southern California with more attendees than Ewocks living on Endor since its move to Anaheim in 2012. In 2016 it temporarily moved to the Los Angeles Convention Center for one year and will return to the Anaheim Convention center March 31–April 2 2017. Wonder Con boasts a large artist’s alley along with a massive show floor to help quench your super collectibles thirst. It also has the wonderful flair of comic vendors selling those hard to find back issues and graphic novels. Cosplayers have an added love for this event due to the masquerade ball that occurs after the show room closes on Saturday night during the run of the con. Movie and television studios are a large part of Wonder con and usually gives those in attendance a first look at some of the most anticipated upcoming movies and TV programming in development for fans. Wonder con is the sister con to San Diego and is a great alternative if you’re not able to make the drive south to San Diego.
This is just a small sample of the many conventions that occur in Southern California. When attending any con, planning ahead is the key to a successful day unless you want to be stuck in line elbow to furry elbow with a sweaty dude in a Wookie costume. Let us know what you think and tell us about your favorite conventions you like to attend. By the way we’ll see you at Nuke the Fridge Con 2016!
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