By Michele Brittany, a West Coast Bleeding Cool Correspondent
With summer just a few weeks away, the season of cons and expos are upon us and liable to break more than a few budgets and cause some to consider taking a second mortgage. One of the things I noticed when looking at the various events, is that they are looking for volunteers. For instance at the Albuquerque show, they give their volunteers free entry, a t-shirt, a special badge, food and snacks, AND you'll be giving back to something you believe in. Okay, now on to the events!
Phoenix Comic Con will be rocking the first weekend of June. Hopefully you have pre-registered, but if you procrastinated, there are still tickets available at the door. A long list of who's who in the comics, film, tv, anime, etc. will be there. I've heard nothing but positive things about this con.
Bringing a story of epic portions to Emerald Knights Comics and Games in Burbank, California, Fanboy Comics will present Penguins vs. Possums Volume One Release Party and Signing on Wednesday, June 4th starting at 7 PM. The creative team will be on hand to autograph the volume that collects their first four issues along with exclusive bonus material and a sneak peek to issue five. The event is free and there is plenty of free street parking as well.
LA Cosplay Con is exactly what it sounds like – a one-day event for cosplayers to get together and celebrate to world of cosplay. The event is Saturday, June 7 at the Hyatt Century City Plaza in Los Angeles from 10 AM to 10 PM. Tickets available online.
In the Tokyo District of Los Angeles on Saturday, June 7, one can attend Ninja-Con, the Independent Anime and Asian Culture Convention. Held at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, industry and media guests as well as vendors and artists will be on hand. Tickets available online or at the door and children 13 and younger are free with a paid adult.
San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum will host the first annual Queer Comics Expo on Sunday, June 8 from 11 AM to 5 PM. The expo is part of the larger Queer Cultural Center's National Queer Arts Festival. Featured guests include Ed Luce, educator, comic book champion and creator of Wuvable Oaf, and Eisner nominated cartoonist Jeff Atwood. Tickets to the event are included with admission to the museum.
If you are a fan of the television and anime versions of Transformers, then BotCon is for you! Held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California, this 30th anniversary event includes the Hasbro Transformer Team, lots of panels, vendors, films, and contests. The con dates are June 19 – 22 and general admission tickets are available at the door for $20/adult and $10/children (5 and up).
Working in tandem are the Northwest Fan Fest and Anime Evolution being held Friday through Sunday, June 27 – 29 at the University of British Columbia. Guests include John Stocker, Linda Ballantyne, Toby Proctor, Mackenzie Gray, Scott McNeil, and Sebastiano Serafini. In addition, the event has two contests back for another year: the Anime Music Video contest and the Mascot contest. One-day and three-day passes are available online or at the door, for slightly higher prices. Children six and under get in for free and there are childrens' passes when accompanied by a registered adult.
The mile high city's mega popular con will be held in Denver June 13 – 15 at the Colorado Convention Center. Single-day tickets are still available online but going quickly. Don't miss this highly regarded con.
You are so money, don't you know it?! Get yourself to Las Vegas for the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con taking place June 20 – 22 at the South Point Hotel & Casino. According to convention organizer/promoter Jimmy S. Jay, "this is a very traditional comic con in that comic books and creators are the headline talent." Featured guests include: George Perez, Rob Liefeld, Adam Kubert, Steve Epting, Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, John Layman, Charles Soule, and many others. Single day and weekend passes available, plus a limited number of VIP packages. Kids 10 and under are free with a paid adult.
Want to attend a con that's making a name for itself? Then head out to Albuquerque June 27 – 29 for the annual Albuquerque Comic Expo held at the city's convention center. Reasonably priced three-day passes at $40 (online) or $50 at the door, daily passes or the VIP Package. There are several media and comic book guests listed already: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, James Robinson, MST3K alum Joel Hodgson and the cast from the television show Being Human. And, the con has a kick butt logo!
The state capitol hosts the Olympia Comics Festival on Saturday, June 7. The OCF focuses on independent, creator-owned comics, so all exhibitors are cartoonists or publishers. There are three events throughout the day: it is $6 to attend The Comix Stage, which includes a round table interview with the special guests, however the Cartoonist Expo is free.
And, plan early for these very popular events coming up in July:
For anime and manga fans, the Anime Expo is an event not to be missed. Spanning across four days, July 3 – 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, this is the largest North American expo of its kind. Last year, I attended with a one-day pass and I highly recommend attending for a minimum of two days to really see everything this expo has to offer. The exhibition hall is filled to brim with vendors, artists and of course, amazingly dressed cosplayers! Panels, media and musical guests keep attendees entertained into the wee hours each night.
If you are like me, you'll be having feelings of loss and anxiety as your devious mind tries to figure out a way to attend the grand-daddy of all cons…the Comic-Con International in San Diego July 24 – 27. To all those with tickets, I salute you! For those you who are a glutton for punishment, feast your eyes on the con's official website:
While I try to cover all the major event happenings as well as some of the signing events along the West Coast, if I missed your event, please post the details in the article's comment section. And for those with events coming up in future months, please feel free to reach out to me via Twitter @mcbrittany2014.
Michele Brittany is an independent popular culture scholar and semi-professional photographer currently editing an upcoming anthology on the influence of James Bond on popular culture. She regularly posts reviews and analysis on the spy/espionage genre on her blog, Spyfi & Superspies.