It's Comic Convention Season: What You Should Know!

Comic convention season is in full swing, and that means it's time to get excited about all of the amazing panels, events, and merchandise that will be available! If you're a fan of comics, movies, or TV shows, then one of the conventions across the nation is definitely the place for you. In this blog post, we will give you a sneak peek at some of the things you can expect at the upcoming conventions this year and how you can prepare so you have the best time possible. Whenever you need high-quality memorabilia for your own collection or to give you some ideas for your cosplay, you can count on GFX Distribution. We are proud to offer incredible figurines for all of your favorite comic and pop-culture icons. Shop our store today to get prepared for a convention near you!

Post-COVID Attendance Is Low

With approximately 150,000 vaccinated fans (and their masks, both surgical and sartorial) coming together last fall, compared with about 260,000 in 2019, it felt like what Comic-Con International used to be before geekdom became mainstream. While attendance varies from convention to convention, looking to Comic-Con International for the standard is always a safe bet. Even though attendance may be lower at your local conventions, it's always a good idea to arrive early to ensure you get to all of the panels, autograph booths, and other events you want to attend.

Comic-Con International 2022

After the two-year break due to the pandemic, the convention will be in full flow this year. Creators (including the big guns like Marvel and DC), artists, and fans will flow to the San Diego Convention Center. Apart from previews of the latest comics, films, and TV shows, there will be special panels and parties. International’s schedule for this year is between July 21 and 24. Many other smaller or regional comic and pop-culture conventions took breaks in the last two years, and they will be coming back strong in 2022. Whether you're attending Comic-Con International in San Diego or another local convention, be sure to check their guidelines for mandates on vaccines, masks, and other health or safety information. Each convention is a little bit different, and it is always important to be following the guidelines so you and your fellow convention-goers have the best time possible.

Comic-Con Past, Present, And Future

The first of the annual gatherings we now know as Comic-Con International was a one-day "test" con held at the U.S. Grant Hotel on March 21, 1970. An estimated 75 people turned out for it but it was considered a success and led to more. It grew, it changed locations, and it changed names. In 1972, it was San Diego's West Coast Comic Convention and in 1973, it became the San Diego Comic-Con. Since 1995, it has been Comic-Con International. Some people go to buy new books and merchandise, some people love to see previews of upcoming TV shows and movies, and some people go to meet people whose work they love. Comic-Con has always been a big deal for the comics and publishing industry, but it really rose to global prominence in the early 2000s, coinciding with the first wave of big superhero-driven blockbusters and the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, which enabled the show’s attendance to balloon from 45,000 in the late 90s to well over 200,000 unique attendees that it draws today.

History Of Comic Conventions

In the early days, fan conventions were a place for fans of literary science fiction to gather to discuss and debate elements of the genre. But mostly they were to celebrate the worlds built by the imagination of the science fiction writers. These conventions were also the origins of cosplay. Comic book conventions got their start in the mid-1960s, with local and regional conventions burgeoning throughout the 1970s. Also, comic and card shows (comic books and collectible cards) could be found nearly every weekend at local municipal buildings and VFW halls. These cons featured autograph tables as well as vendors. While formal comic conventions were few and far between at the beginning, they have drastically gained popularity, and now many major cities feature their own version of comic and pop-culture conventions. While some are smaller or focused on a certain area of fandom, many are continually growing to incorporate more guests, media, and more.

  • Comic Convention Main Categories - There are several different types of categories that most comic conventions fall into, including:
  • Science-fiction conventions - Smaller, intimate conventions run by fans, usually under 4,000 attendees. The main focus is programming and panels.
  • Comic book conventions - Medium-sized events generally run by a comic bookstore and/or association, usually under 30,000 attendees. The main focus is the exhibit hall, some programming, and panels.
  • Pop culture convention - This is the most common form of comic convention. Medium- to large-scale events with attendance between 20,000 and 140,000+. Focus is split between programming and exhibit hall.
  • Corporate-run conventions - Small- to large-sized conventions with attendance between 4,000 and 100,000+. The main focus is celebrity appearances, autographs, and photo opportunities. 

No matter what comic convention you are planning to attend this summer, remember to have fun and stay safe! Each one is a little different, so make sure to check out the website or social media pages for the most up-to-date information on guests, panels, and safety information. When you're looking for new figures to add to your collection, don't forget to shop with GFX Distribution. And don't forget to stop by and say hello if you see us at your next convention!

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