‘Tis the season to get geeky! We’re not even half way through 2015 and we’ve still got some of the biggest geek conventions of the year ahead of us. Sure, there have been lots of shows around the world so far this year that we’ve loved, including CES, Long Beach Comic Expo, WonderCon, Emerald City Comic-Con, C2E2 in Chicago, Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, and countless others, but it’s no surprise that summertime brings the fans to the heart of comic-con and pop culture convention culture – Southern California! The weather is perfectly moderate enough to wear that Wookiee costume anywhere you want: on the convention show floor, out to dinner, even at the club after hours, dancing the night away wearing nothing but your fur and a bandolier strap, bowcaster in hand.
But this year’s convention season is unlike any other for those with an addiction to the con circuit (or a member of the media like myself). With some schedule shifts pushing many of the most popular shows dangerously close to one other, the fear of becoming physically and financially destroyed by one’s own geekdom is a real concern for many (okay, just me).
Here’s just FIVE of the conventions we’ll be visiting over the next few months, acting as your stand-in if you’re not able to head to the home of the most diverse and densely populated conventions in the world.
E3 Expo 2015 – June 16-18
As of today, we’re already neck deep in the biggest video game convention in the world – for industry and media (sorry). No, this show isn’t open to the public like PAX in the Northwest and Northeast or Gamescom over in Germany, but it is the most prestigous, packed with first looks at the hottest new games to arrive in the coming years. There’s even a chance that we’ll play games that might never actually get released. We’ve already got our eye on Star Wars Battlefront, Fallout 4, Tom Clancy’s the Division, and countless more games that we’ll fall in love with the moment we get our hands on the controllers this week. We’ve already got videos from all of the major publishers’ press conferences so far. Watch for more images and coverage as the week progresses!
Amazing Las Vegas Comic-Con 2015 – June 19-21 (immediately after E3!)
Okay, maybe not all of the conventions we’re heading to are in moderately temperate Southern California. Sometimes you have to head to the desert for some good old fashioned comic-con goodness. This show is put on by the same people that host Amazing Arizona Comic-Con, as well as Amazing Houston and Amazing Hawaii (sense a trend here?). If you’re one of the many who couldn’t get into San Diego Comic-Con (and there are many of you), maybe a trip to Sin City is worth checking out. They’ve got John Barrowman from Arrow, Doctor Who, and Torchwood, as well as a who’s-who of the comic industry’s top talent, including John Romita Jr (Superman, Thor, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Kick-Ass), Steven McNiven (Marvel’s Civil War), George Perez (creator of the Teen Titans), Jim Shooter (Secret Wars), Mark Bagley (Ultimate Spider-Man, nearly every other Marvel comic), Greg Capullo (Batman), and Kevin Eastman (co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). This is one show where I would only wear the Wookiee costume in the comfort of the air conditioned convention center at South Point Casino & Spa. It’s going to be 110+ degrees outside that weekend.
Anime Expo 2015 – July 2-5 (less than a week after Amazing Las Vegas con!)
I’ve gone to Anime Expo every year since 2009 and it somehow finds a way to get bigger and wilder every year. Other than Dragon Con in Atlanta, I have never seen more cosplay in one place than I have at LA’s Anime Expo, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. But the show isn’t just about cosplay. There are hundreds of talented artists packed into Artists’ Alley alongside hardcore gamers and, of course, lovers of all types of anime and manga from the top studios and publishers in the business. When you’re not screening the latest anime imported direct from Japan or taking part in a panel that teaches you how to create the perfect giant weapon possible for your cosplay, there’s also lots of live music (and magic)!
On Friday night, we’ll be checking out Myth: Legends of Burlesque and Magic. And that’s exactly what you think it is: Provocatively dressed (or somewhat undressed) women dance while an ensemble of skilled magicians work their magic on the crowd (18+ only. sorry, kids!). Try to come up with something sexier/freakier to do than magical burlesque on a Friday night, even in LA!
On Saturday, the Cool Japan Festival will showcase some of the top acts from Japan, including Vocaloid sensation IA and the incomparable WagakkiBand, an act that mixes hard rock with traditional Japanese instruments to create a unique sound that is blowing away music fans across the Pacific. I’m looking forward to experiencing a little foreign culture and music unlike anything we currently have here in the states.
When it comes to Anime Expo, I always say that you need to bring two things: a camera and an open mind. It’s an event unlike any other.
San Diego Comic-Con 2015 – July 8-12 (including Preview Night, that’s only 3 days after Anime Expo!)
What city holds the biggest and most influential comic-con in the world? You know it’s San Diego. Assuming I survive Anime Expo, San Diego Comic-Con will be like coming home. With the eyes of the world on it every July, SDCC is the place where fans get their first look at the biggest trends in film, television, and of course, comics. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t about comics anymore. SDCC hosts more comic creators than any other show in the US, many who don’t bother to visit any other show throughout the year. And while Marvel Studios won’t be showing off anything in Hall H this year, expect Warner Bros/DC Entertainment to pick up the slack by showing off their Batman V Superman lineup and first footage (don’t let us down DC!). If there is something in the realms of geekdom that you want to find or experience with 130,000 other geeks, this is the place to be this summer (and every summer… if you can get a ticket). But even if you don’t have a ticket and you’re in the area, it’s worthwhile taking the trolley downtown to gawk at the crowds and the many events taking place outside the core convention that doesn’t require a SDCC badge to enter.
D23 Expo 2015 – August 14-16 (whew! a month’s break between conventions!)
Hopefully a month will be enough to recover from almost 3 straight weeks of conventions, but that’s unlikely. Either way, I’ll have to buckle down to take on the official Disney convention held in Anaheim (where else?), the mecca for all hardcore Disney fans around the globe. This year promises to be bigger than ever, with not only collectibles galore, sneak peeks at what’s to come in the Disney parks, but also previews of what we can expect from Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel Studios (the stuff they aren’t bringing to San Diego Comic-Con), and Star Wars: the Force Awakens. Space and time have shattered. I can already hear the cheers and the roar of the crowds witnessing the future of many fandoms all in one weekend. If you’re a Disney fanatic, there is nowhere else to be in August before everyone heads back to school.
Can you picture a more epic geek summer than 2015?
Will you be making your way to one or more of these massive events? If so, we hope to see you there. If not, stick with ForeverGeek.com all summer to live vicariously through us.