10 Great Alternatives to San Diego Comic Con
Silicon Valley Comic Con - San Jose - March 18-20
This is a new one to the circuit, but it's shaping up to become an instant hit. Created by Apple's Steve Wozniak, Silicon Valley Comic Con is all about pop culture meeting tech and science, which is right up our alley here at Outer Places. Featuring some stellar panel line-ups with talent including The Martian's Andy Weir, NASA scientists and even a Back to the Future reunion, this might be the geekiest geek event this year.
Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Experience - Salt Lake City - March 24-26 2016
Salt Lake Comic Con blew onto the con circuit in a big way back in 2013, boasting the biggest ever visitor numbers for a first year comic con. It's since attracted over 120,000 visitors across a single weekend, which is pretty impressive for a newcomer. If you want the excitement of spending the weekend with tens of thousands of your fellow fans, but don't want to break the bank, this could be the event for you. A weekend pass that gets you access to all three days will only set you back $60.
*Thanks to those who pointed out the discrepancy in Salt Lake Comic Con's debut date. That's now been fixed!
Wonder Con - Los Angeles - March 25-27 2016
Run by the same group as San Diego Comic Con, Wonder Con is like SDCC's younger, cooler brother. For years, Wonder Con was based in the Bay Area, with long stints in both Oakland and San Francisco. It then spent a few years at Anaheim's convention center before it was announced that 2016's Wonder Con would take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown LA. While nothing can rival San Diego for huge Hollywood presentations, Wonder Con has been picking up some solid programming in recent years, and the exhibitor's hall is always top notch. With average attendance normally hitting around 60,000, it strikes a far better crowd-to-excitement ratio than some of the bigger cons.
If you make it this year, be sure to come check out our Star Wars: The Science Awakens panel. More details to come soon on that one.
Emerald City Comic Con - Seattle - April 7-10 2016
Seattle's local comic con has been growing in stature since it was founded in 2003. After moving to the Washington State Convention Center in 2008, it soon expanded to become a three day event. ECCC proudly maintains it's focus on comic books, but that doesn't mean they don't attract big name entertainment guest as well. This year, Entertainment talent includes Norman Reedus, Nathan Fillion, and Melissa Benoist. 2016 will be the first year that ECCC is run by Reed Pop, which is the same group responsible for New York Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration.
This year will also see ECCC host 'Image Expo' a special all-day event from Image Comics in which the studio will bring together some of its top talent to make a series of announcements and reveals.
Megacon - Orlando - May 26-29
Run by the folks behind Fan Expo Canada (see below) Orlando's MegaCon is great for talent spotting. Past events have featured everything from Star Trek: The Next Generation cast reunions and stars from The Walking Dead, and Battlestar Galactica, so you know this year's event will feature a healthy amount of geek icons. MegaCon is also great if you're looking for a more interactive Con experience, with LARP events, Table-top gaming, and a Cosplay Masquerade layered in with all the panels and showfloor fun.
Wizard World Philly - Philadelphia- June 2-5 2016
Wizard World events are great if you're not able to travel great distances for your con experience. With over 30 events dotted around the US, there's a good chance that there'll be one coming to a town near you. Wizard World's Philadelphia event is normally the jewel in their crown, though. With four days dedicated to everything from comic books to movies to fantasy, there's a great selection on display. Add to that the likes of David Duchovny, and the cast of Back to the Future attending this year's event, there's plenty of A-list talent on display too.
Star Wars Celebration - London, UK, - July 15-17 2016
Star Wars Celebration has been around for a number of years now, but last year's event in Anaheim was by far its biggest. With new movies, comics, and books being churned out by Sci-Fi's biggest franchise, Star Wars Celebration has rapidly become a must-see event for fans. This year, they're taking the party to London where we're guessing there will be some big reveals about Rogue One and maybe even Episode VIII. LucasFim do a fantastic job at getting top talent to these events, and there's nothing quite like being surrounded by thousands of fellow Star Wars fans for a whole weekend.
Fan Expo Canada - Toronto - September 1-4 2016
Our brothers and sisters up North are also huge geeks, a fact that is reflected in Fan Expo Canada being one of the biggest Cons in North America. Though there are other Fan Expo events, it's the September event at the Metro Toronto Convention Center that is the big draw. With a huge artists alley and a gargantuan show floor, Fan Expo Canada has more than enough to keep you occupied for its entire 4 day span. Cosplay is a big feature, too, and with this being Canada's biggest pop culture expo, it's also able to attract some of the biggest names in all of geekdom. Just this week, Marvel legend Stan Lee announced he would be making his last ever Canadian con experience at the 2016 Fan Expo in Toronto, which is reason enough in itself to get yourself North of the border.
DragonCon - Atlanta - September 2-5 2016
If cons are all about the socializing, DragonCon is the event for you. Unlike traditional arena-based events, DragonCon is set across a number of Downtown Atlanta hotels and has a heavy emphasis on social activities and cosplay. Because of this, many in the industry have dubbed DragonCon the 'Party Con'. If you're looking for something a bit more 'chill', there's ample space for table top gaming, screenings and video gaming.
New York Comic Con - NYC - October 6-9 2016
New York Comic Con is HUGE. Boasting well over 150,000 visitors, it eclipses San Diego Comic Con's numbers, and it's even starting to catch up with it's West Coast rival in terms of programming. Marvel always bring their A-game to NYCC, and last year was no exception with a surprise screening of the first episode of Jessica Jones'. Thanks to New York's masses of creatives, NYCC is also one of the best events in the country for cosplay, with hundreds upon hundreds of top quality costumes normally gathering in the Javits' courtyard for mass photos.
Tickets for NYCC don't sell out quite as quickly as they do for San Diego, but weekend tickets do sell very, very quickly, so it pays to be prepared.