• Summer comic cons thrive outside of San Diego


    Though San Diego Comic-Con, arguably the most well-known pop culture gathering in the country, has ended, the convention season holds plenty of United States travel opportunities for comics fans. Whether you were left out by the convention's notoriously complex process for buying quick-selling tickets or just couldn't make it to San Diego, some of the biggest competitors for Comic-Con still lay ahead on the East Coast.

    New York
    According to its organizers, New York Comic Con is both the second-largest comic convention in the U.S. and the second-largest event overall in New York City. Held this year from October 9 to 12, the event draws a crowd of over 133,000. Guests at the convention include cast members from Game of Thrones, but comic book creators are the real draw. One of the biggest guests at this year's show is Brian K. Vaughn, who won the 2014 Will Eisner award for his writing on "Saga," which also won best continuing series. The comic's illustrator, Fiona Staples, was honored at the show as well.

    This year's Boston Comic Con, running August 8 to 10, will feature a wealth of guests, both from the comics industry and other realms of pop culture, according to its website. Like most comic conventions, the event has grown to encompass everything from books to film and television. Drawing on the loyalty - or geekiness, as some would say - of their attendees, most comic conventions invite guests from any realm of entertainment, as long as they have an appreciation for the science fiction and fantasy genres that dominate comics. Brian Posehn, a stand-up comedian and writer of the series "Deadpool" will hold nightly comedy shows after the convention, while a film festival will screen classic horror films along with new features and shorts.

    For those in the Midwest, Chicago Comic Con, from August 21 to 24, offers the chance to engage with geek culture without heading to the coast. The event's guest list has a much larger representation of television and film stars than the East Coast shows, making it a destination for family travel as well as pop culture pilgrimages. Cast members from several iterations of "Star Trek" will be in attendance, as well as B-movie icon Bruce Campbell and legendary horror director John Carpenter, according to Wizard World. Comic creators will also be present in full force, represented by Will Eisner Hall of Fame members such as Neal Adams and the comic industry's unofficial spokesman, Stan Lee.

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