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Comic Convention 101: Intro to a Growing Phenomenon

Chris Wai

Comic Convention 101: Intro to a Growing Phenomenon by Chris Wai on September 11th, 2017


We all have that one event that we look forward to every year. For me, that’s Comic Con a.k.a. Fan Expo in Toronto. If you’ve never been to one of these conventions, you might be surprised at what actually occurs. Is it just a gathering of people who never leave their parent’s basement? Is it just a glorified flea market of pop culture goods? Is it just another trade show?

The truth is, a comic con is a celebration of fandom. They exist to bring like-minded people together and socialize in a way that is fun and unique.

With growing worldwide attendance every year at major conventions, here are the top reasons why you should check one out.

1, Geeks are cool – Get to know one!

You know that phone you’re using to read this right now? A geek engineered it. You know that favourite movie you saw this summer? A geek wrote it.

Let’s face it. Nerds are in. They’re fun and cool. Comic cons are a great way to interact with many people who consider themselves geeks! They are often people with regular jobs and a regular life. The modern nerd is the new norm. It’s important to look past stereotypes and at events like Toronto’s Fan Expo, the inclusive culture really shines through.

2, There is something to see for everyone

A common misconception is that comic conventions are just about comic books. While comic culture is certainly the underlying spirit of these shows, there is so much more to see at these events. Exclusive collectible merchandise from top toy, entertainment, tech and apparel companies always draw a lot of attention.

Want to meet a celebrity from your favourite TV show or film? Panels and photo ops with top stars literally puts the fandom into your Instagram.

Want to try out the latest tech products and gadgets? Comic Conventions are a huge draw for many top tech companies as a way to showcase their offerings and create some buzz. There is literally something for everyone.

3, Cosplay is art.

The real stars for any Fan Expo, are the cosplayers who show up in homemade costumes of their favourite heroes and villains. For many, this is a hobby and a chance to showcase months of hard work all in one big spotlight. To see a kid run up to a cosplayer dressed up as Spider-Man is amazing. To see a whole group of Star Wars cosplayers banding together and raise money for charity is always special. To dress up as your favourite character and become that character just for a day, really brings joy to many people! Cosplay is art that anyone can appreciate.

4, Comic Cons make for big business

Conventions are big marketing tools for many companies who want to showcase and sell their products to select audiences. They function as a driver of sales for many small businesses and local artists who purchase booths and sell their own goods. Fans shell out hundreds of dollars on merchandise and to get a photo or autograph of their favourite celebrities. Cons also have a tremendous economic impact for their host cities. At Fan Expo Canada for instance, this year’s show is expected to generate more than $30 million in economic activity for the City of Toronto. Definitely nothing to sneeze about.

So what are you waiting for? Check out a comic con near you and get in the spirit of FAN-dom!


*Special thanks to ChizComm for sponsoring my ticket this year*