6 Great Conventions That Celebrate Pop Culture

If you're a pop culture fanatic, it's likely that you've gone or have thought about going to a convention celebrating your favorite media. It's at these venues that fans from all walks of life are able to come together and forge a sense of community around the movies, shows, comics, literature, and video games they passionately consume. For those seeking ideal opportunities to cosplay, meet beloved creators, and generally geek out for a few days, the conventions listed here will have you covered. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Pop Culture Conventions for Fans of All Stripes

Convention Location
Wizard World Various North American cities
J1-Con Atlantic City, New Jersey
Comic Con Revolution Ontario, California
FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention Salt Lake City, Utah
ThunderCon Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motor City Comic Con Novi, Michigan

Title Author
1. The War for Late Night Bill Carter
2. Cork Dork Bianca Bosker
3. Sex and the City and Us Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
4. Goth Gavin Baddeley
5. Heroes in the Night Tea Krulos
6. Green Suns and Faërie Verlyn Flieger
7. The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie Tanya Lee Stone
8. Barmy Army Dougie Brimson
9. The Company They Keep Diana Pavlac Glyer
10. Blood Relations Jes Battis

J1-Con in Review

In Depth

In recent years, it has become socially acceptable for adults to devote huge amounts of their free time to children's entertainment. One result has been the explosion of pop culture conventions, offering guests the opportunity to dress up as their favorite characters and meet the people behind beloved comic books and sci-fi and fantasy entertainment. This list, presented in no particular order, looks at six such gatherings in the United States and Canada.

#1 is Wizard World, a series of pop culture conventions that take place across North America. Promising visitors the chance to meet their favorite celebrities, these events bring together tens of thousands of fans to celebrate a range of movies, television shows, video games, comics, graphic novels, toys, and collectibles.

The conventions take place over long weekends, in two to four day periods. They bring major stars, such as Jason Momoa and Cary Elwes, to cities like Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Chicago. The events often feature multiple figures from classic shows like Smallville or contemporary ones; for example, Gotham.

The conventions take place over long weekends, in two to four day periods.

At #2, J1-Con is a gathering for fans of anime and games that began in Philadelphia and is now hosted in Atlantic City. Staged by the eponymous studio, creators of Lime Rind: The Rogue Samurai and Mega Ran: Random Lyricism, the convention attracts fans of animation, cosplay, and gaming; whether tabletop, card, or console.

The convention is known for its gaming tournaments, which offer cash prizes. Each year it brings a variety of guests designed to appeal to fans, such as voice actors, Youtube and Twitch streamers, and podcasters. There are also panels and cosplay competitions. Guests can purchase items from vendors, whether artists, publishers, or hobby shops and craft makers.

Coming in at #3, Comic Con Revolution is held annually in Ontario, California. Attendees can expect a full conference hall with over 300 exhibitors including comic creators, dealers of both new and vintage editions, publishers, toy and collectibles vendors, crafts, costumes, clothing, cosplayers, fan groups, media stars, and more.

Attendees can expect a full conference hall with over 300 exhibitors including comic creators, dealers of both new and vintage editions, publishers, toy and collectibles vendors, crafts, costumes, clothing, cosplayers, fan groups, media stars, and more.

In addition to exhibits, Comic Con Revolution features panels and a variety of name guests. The convention has hosted celebrities like WWE Superstar Jon Moxley and Maile Flanagan, the American voice actor for Naruto. Previous participating comics artists have included Karl Altstaetter, Penelope Gaylord, and Danny Miki. In addition to figures such as these, the event hosts actors, cartoonists, writers, and others from adjacent fields.

#4 on our list is FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, an event co-founded by Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg that has brought celebrities and pop culture events to Utah since 2014. With social media pages that reach 1 to 2 million people each week, it boasts one of the most engaged and active comic convention communities in the world.

Previous guests have included stars like Tim Curry, David Tennant, Jason Momoa, and "Weird Al" Yankovic. FanX offers events such as photo opportunities, author discussions, and panels. Cosplay forms a major part of the proceedings, allowing guests to play dress-up and display their elaborate and creative fantasy outfits. There is also programming targeted more directly to children.

FanX offers events such as photo opportunities, author discussions, and panels.

#5: Thundercon is a gathering of self-described nerds and geeks in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Each year, it hosts board, card, and video game demos and tournaments, a cosplay contest, VR displays, and guest panels. Vendors hawk their wares to fans in the convention's Diagon Alley. Thundercon also offers visitors the chance to meet celebrity guests.

Previous editions of Thundercon have featured appearances by voice actor Kirby Morrow, Robert Picardo of Star Trek: Voyager, and award-winning Canadian rapper and comic book creator Wordburglar. For super fans of the convention, there are ways to participate year-round, including membership in the not-for-profit organization the oversees the event.

Wrapping up the list at #6, Motor City Comic Con has taken place in Detroit for more than 30 years. It brings together more than 250 comic book creators, writers, and artists, as well as over 40 actors from the television and movie industry. A range of vendors are on hand as well, offering publications, collectible toys, anime, movies, pop culture crafts, and gaming merchandise.

It brings together more than 250 comic book creators, writers, and artists, as well as over 40 actors from the television and movie industry.

An anime room screens movies and television programs. Throughout the convention's three-day run, there are also autograph signings, panels and Q&As, and photo opportunities. Two cosplay contests, one for adults and one for children, provide an interactive experience for visitors. The proceedings conclude with The Saturday Night After Party, featuring a cash bar, DJs, and a photo booth.