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    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2011
    I'm curious about what conventions you all attend, whether it's your standard comic con to a specialty convention based entirely on typography, reptile shows, music showcase fests, whatever. There are billions of conventions going on per year and I just realized that there might be some really awesome ones that I've never even heard of in specialty fields that I didn't even think of.

    I'm a professional artist, so I mostly attend ones that I can promote myself at (and write off for taxes).

    Conventions I've attended/will probably go to again:
    New York Comic Con - comic convention in NYC
    MoCCA Festival - another comic convention in NYC, with a lot more indie artists than NYCC
    KingCon - yet another comic convention in NYC, very small as it's only in its 2nd or 3rd year
    Small Press Expo (SPX) - comic convention in Bethesda, Maryland which is geared specifically to indie comic artists, illustrators and recently starting to accept animators for viewing.
    Intervention Con - internet-themed con that runs the gamut from comics to bloggers, also very small as it just started in 2010
    GenCon - (THE) gaming convention for RPG/collectable card games/etc in Indianapolis

    I know there are a ton more than that list, but I just wanted to start this off with ones I've actually had the pleasure of attending. There are a few printmaking conventions that I've got my eye on attending since I've begun my love affair with screenprinting and yes, there really is a typography convention that sounds rad if you're a font-loving nerd like me.
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2011 edited
    I'm not a pro, and I do this mainly to get my stuff out there, maybe make a bit of pocket money if I can. I'm based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. My regular haunts are:

    The Black Market (Facebook Link) - a monthly arts market in Belfast. There are people selling art prints, greetings cards, jewellery, clothes, soft toys and all sorts of hand-made creative stuff. And cakes. Myself and a friend have a regular stall selling a selection of small press comics by ourselves and other artists from all over Ireland, indulging our fantasies of being the next Paul Gravett. We're expanding to a second monthly market, The Red Barn Market (another Facebook link), this month, see how that goes.

    The 2D Comics Festival, in Derry every June. It's free (tables as well as entrance), not brilliant for sales but a great social and creative event. I've heard pros say that, unsually for a comics show, it doesn't feel like work. Lots of kids, great relaxed atmosphere, very funny panels in the pub in the evenings.

    Summer Edition, a comics, zines and book arts fair in Dublin in July. Run by Paddy Lynch and Phil Barrett, both excellent cartoonists, and Katie Blackwood, who makes very idiosyncratic handmade books that aren't exactly comics but aren't exactly not either. Great variety of work on show.

    Independents Day, a zine fair in Dublin in November. More political, and more crusty, than Summer Edition. Run by Anto Dillon, who's been making a punk/DIY/cycling zine called Loserdom since the dinosaurs were lads.

    Those are the regulars. There have been occasional one-off shows in Ireland, things like QCon (a role-playing convention that I wasn't sure I'd fit into, but was very friendly and enthusiastic), and further afield I've done the UK Web & Mini-Comix Thing in London (now defect), the Small Press Expo in Bristol, and, in a previous life, a couple of UKCACs and a Caption. The most specialised thing I've done was the Third International Conference on the Ulster Cycle, an academic weekend at the University of Ulster in Coleraine in 2009, devoted to the branch of ancient Irish literature I base my comics on. Pleased to discover that (a) academics are as big nerds as comics fans, and (b) very little of it went over my head, despite my limited further education. There'll probably be another one next year in Belfast, which I should be able to get to.
  1.  (9651.3)
    I live in the Chicago area and generally stick to shows around here. I'm not the kind of A-list pro who gets invited to SDCC or NYCC, after all.

    So, I'll be setting up at four shows this year:
    *Anime Central, the Midwest's largest anime/manga show. It's in May in Rosemont, Ill. And yes, I don't work in anime or manga, but they invited me to be a guest in 2007 and keep inviting me back, so I must be doing something right.
    *Anime-Zing!, in Davenport, Iowa. It's a new show for me this year. I have friends who live out there and were invited to be guests, and they passed my name along to the organizers. As I said, I have success at anime/manga shows, so I'm going to give it a whirl.
    *Wizard World Chicago, in Rosemont, Ill.

    I'd love to go to SDCC eventually, but I haven't had the scratch the past few years.
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2011
    I don't have a car and no affordable access to the conventions outside of my own city, but I usually go to the Toronto FanExpo every year and I think I'm going to make my trip to NYCC an annual thing, as I love seeing friends there when I'm not at the convention. Other than that...I go to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.
  2.  (9651.5)
    Given events/conventions tend to include:

    -Visioncon (Springfield, MO - Usually over 500 people, I think they've pushed between 800-1000 on a couple occasions.)
    -Confla___ (left intentionally vague, it's an over 21 'relax-a-con')
    -GenCon (I'm 'paid' staff (Ops) for this one, have gone as an industry artist with companies in the past. 30k unique attendees last year.)
    -DragonCon ( Atlanta, GA - bodyguard work here w/media guests, but would go for the party if I weren't. Actual numbers- 60k+ by Saturday afternoon- are much higher than official numbers- 35k for the fire marshals. If you have issues with crowds, this may well be a bit overwhelming.)
    -Archon (Collinsville, IL - DJ'd this one for 15ish years now... 1500-3000 attendees... probably my favorite for socializing)

    Others that I occasionally hit include:

    -Planet Comicon (Kansas City, MO - More of a trade show than a con. Probably won't make it this year.)
    -Ragnarokon (Columbia, MO - Starter gaming con in it's 2nd year which a friend runs. Conflicted with another con I go to this year)
    -Steamposium (St. Louis, MO - Steampunk enthusiast convention that I'm on the board for the presenting entity for.)
    -Greater St. Louis PirateFest (Wentzville, MO - I usually make it out at least one day a year to visit friends.)
    -Kansas City Renaissance Festival (Bonner Springs, KS - I show up maybe once every 2-3 years, usually only when there's a special event going on involving friends.)

    Just got up. Too lazy to link right now. Might add more and flesh details out a bit more at a later point.
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2011
    I've been to SDCC once, and am going to Dragon Con this year.
  3.  (9651.7)
    I volunteer at Sydney Supanova each year. It's fun! Last time while minding an autograph queue I saw Batman pause his intense conversation with Snow White to talk to a tiny Hit Girl who'd tugged on his cape asking for hugs.

    I meant to go to Armaggeddon this year but it clashed with all the things :( I may still end up going to the Discworld convention though! I haven't been to that since the first one, when I was in high school, and it was rather disastrous for me what with the start of my long tradition of catching the flu right before every time I go to Melbourne and staying with my unfriendly relatives.
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    Every year I hit up:
    Anime Detour - Minneapolis/St Paul anime convention. Around 4500 people. I work as tech staff here.
    Convergence - Minneapolis/St Paul SciFi con. I haven't been there in a few years, but it was a blast last time.
    PAX Prime - Seattle area gaming con. I think it runs about 75,000 people. This is my fun con.

    My Convention Bucket List: GenCon, SDCC, Emerald City Comic Con, Defcon, and Burning Man.
    • CommentAuthorHelljin
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    ECCC - Emerald City Comic Con
    PAX - Seattle

    I would like to attend SDCC and GENCON at least once.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    Been to the MCM in London a couple of times, but really need to start going to smaller and more diverse ones. Missed out on a small press one in London last week cause I was sick. Bah.

    If they do bring PAX to Europe I'd probably go to that, because all the normal games industry ones (even ones 'for the fans' rather then industry stuff) in Europe either feel a bit soulless (Eurogamer EXPO) or are utterly rammed and, well, in Liepzig (no offence to Liepzig of course, but it's a bit of a trek)
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    Burning Man is definitely in my list of "Things I Really Want to Do Eventually". I was told that I can camp with the folks in my studio, who go every year, but the ticket cost to just get IN is a bit prohibitive. That, and personally I'm afraid I'll get super homesick after just a couple of days, because I'm such a fucking shut-in.

    SXSW Interactive, which just ended, is another one on my wish list - I ended up being too busy this year to make it out, but as I said last year, NEXT YEAR will be the ticket. I'm really interested in going to more tech conferences, especially geared at startups/entrepreneurial things. SXSWi seems like just the right mixture of art & tech.

    I would also love to go to a Discworld convention, just because that sounds so awesome.
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    The last few year's I've shared a table with a friend at A-kon in Dallas, and Anime Fest also in Dallas. I attended a little convention in Killeen the two years they had it, and plan to attend ÆtherFest in San Antonio. Oh and I had a table at Wizard World Texas one year, years ago. Mostly I seem to go to Anime themed conventions, but it's nice to see nonanime styled comics are welcome.
  4.  (9651.13)
    We don't get a whole lot of cons here at the arse end of the world but I make a point of going to the Perth Supanova whenever they've got guests from BSG or Firefly. I keep meaning to check out what (if anything) is happening with that Australian version of GenCon I heard about a while back, and I've promised myself that one day I'll make it to UnConvention in the UK.

    (OK, last year's Australian GenCon was cancelled, and it doesn't look good for this year either. I love this country.)
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    I've meant to go to Thought Bubble for the past 2 years. Both years I had hotel, travel, tickets and all bought but the 1st year I ended up with the flu, the 2nd year I was in hospital! I *will* be going this year.

    There's also a Glasgow Con this summer that I'll probably go to.
  5.  (9651.15)
    Starting this year E3 is going to be my annual thing.

    I have a friend who goes to the Long Beach Comic Con every year, so I might check that out, too.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    Maker Faire, every other year. The one in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.

    I just got back from a model rocketry convention . . . my first since 1991! Very low key.

    Stumptown Comics festival every spring. It's close, inexpensive, lively and funky.
  6.  (9651.17)
    I'd like to go to a NAMM show with a deep seated love for all things musical. I've been to a few Macworld conventions and how I'd LOVE to go to an E3 expo!

    I'm in the cycling industry, so my primary conventions are Interbike and the North American Handmade Bike Show. The latter is actually more a consumer event, allowing builders to showcase what they can do for the customer. The bicycles you see at that show are just plain brilliant. Plenty of pics in the linky, if you're interested...
  7.  (9651.18)
    I've hit the Mid-Ohio Con the past two years and it's been a blast. There is a pretty decent little indie comic scene here in Columbus, and I get in for free on press pass, so it's hard to say no to going. It doesn't hurt that they usually have some decent guests. Picked up an Arsenic Lullabies hoodie last year. Why am I still awake?

    And mini MegaCon in Orlando a couple of years ago was fun, and I am going to the full-sized version next weekend with the magazine. We'll have a booth set up, sell some comics (we publish comics as well as the mag) and drink lots of vodka. Probably have drunken hotel brawls. Its kind of tradition. I've been awake for thirty three hours. I am going to bed now before I write some drunken, lurching beast of a story about MegaCons of yesteryear.
  8.  (9651.19)
    I've been going to the Toronto Fan Expo since 2003 IIRC. I only missed one year.
    Fan Expo also has these free 2-3 day fan appreciation shows in the spring, I've been going to them for the past few years as well.
    I was going to the Paradise Comics Toronto Comic Con, they've been bought by Wizard Word and I'm not going this year.
    I've been to every TCAF.
    I've been to San Deigo since 2008, this will be my 4th year. I can never say I'm going to go for sure but I do try. Last year I got lucky and a friend had a spot for me in his hotel room.
    I've gone to a Monteal show once for 1 day.
    I went to C2E2 last year, liked the con but I'm doing NYCC later this year instead.

    There are regular comics and card shows in Ottawa I go to as well, but as a helper of a friend/dealer. Those are roughly every 3-6 weeks. They are small 1 day shows.

    I eventually want to hit the "smaller" shows. ECCC, Wonder Con, Dragon Con, Heroes,etc.. Mid-Ohio if Wizard doesn't ruin it. I'd like to meet Tony Isabella in person one day.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2011
    Anyone going to E3 that hasn't been before, don't be expecting it to be a 'fan friendly con'. It's first and foremost for the press to see new games and for games companies to schmooze and do deals.

    It's loud, crowded, and generally not much fun.

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