During the fall, there are quite a few conventions that run before inclement weather has a chance to lock up the East coast.
RetroWorld Expo: September 8-September 9
This convention dedicated to retro gaming and pop culture is just entering its fourth year. It features panels, guests from the videogame and YouTuber industries, an arcade, a retro videogame auction, vendors, and much more.
This convention takes place at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. A pass for the whole weekend comes out to $45, Saturday goes for $30, and Sunday amounts to $25. There are also $10 and $15 passes for kids between six and ten, with some other special ticket packages for families and for additional swag and perks. All packages are available now.
CT HorrorFest: September 15
This Danbury, Connecticut convention is dedicated to all things horror. Although it only lasts a day, it seems that that day is jam-packed with special events and chances to meet some real horror legends. This year’s VIP ticket package, which is unfortunately sold out now, offered up the chance to have breakfast with part of the cat of the original Halloween movie, including Nick Castle (“The Shape”/Michael Myers). Cosplay is also a norm at this convention, so if you can’t wait until Halloween to put on your old hockey mask, you’re in luck.
Tickets for this convention seem to be $25 across the board, and preordering your ticket gets you into the Danbury Ice Arena an hour early, at ten AM instead of eleven AM. Please note that a PayPal account is required to order tickets ahead of time.
Brooklyn Book Festival: September 16
This book festival covers a good portion of the Borough Hall area of Brooklyn, New York, stretching over the park into buildings such as the local library. There are opportunities to attend outdoor (and indoor!) panels and signing sessions with real literary giants, and lesser-known favorites, along with screenwriters and artists. Often representatives from literary magazines, literature and writing college programs, and museums will set up booths as well, so if you have work to submit, you’re sniffing around MFA programs, or you just want to plan a literary vacation, you’ll be in luck as well.
There are no admission fees for this event, although we’d definitely recommend a comfortable, spacious bag, sneakers, and a decent amount of cash, especially if you stop by the sprawling booth just outside the main entrance to the festival. That guy always has great antiques and collectibles, and he’s often willing to make a deal on obscure items!
New York Comic Con: October 4-October 7
Probably the biggest anime/comic/videogame/pop culture/whatever you can think of convention in the area, there’s little to be said here that can be added to what you most likely already know about it. It’s the crown jewel of conventions on this coast, definite bragging rights if you have ever had the chance to go, partially because tickets are so darn hard to get. If you need to be on top of pop culture, this is the con for you, though because of its size it can be extremely overwhelming, especially for those who have never attended any conventions before. Although this con is famous for its incredible cosplays, we’d recommend thinking twice before you commit to a whole day in stilettos or the power loader.
This convention is held in the Javits Center on 34th Street. The 7 line has a stop nearby, and the center’s site has more helpful navigation information. As of right now, only $50 Thursday tickets and $52.50 Sunday tickets are still available.
MICE: October 20-October 21
No, not a festival celebrating rodents, this is the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, held in Lesley’s University Hall in Cambridge, MA. This convention was recommended to me over and over during MOCCA Fest earlier this year. MICE is another illustrators’ festival featuring everything from graphic novels to clothing and sculpture, and I would guess that many MOCCA exhibitors set up shop at MICE as well. This event appears to promise the same easygoing mix of big-names and local artists as MOCCA. It’s also marketed as family-friendly and seems to host special drawing and comic-making events and panels specifically for kids!
Amazingly, this expo is 100% free. Donations are encouraged at a rate of $2 per “ticket,” which is still a steal (and indicates high attendance). You can also make a tax-deductible donation to sustain the expo here.
Rhode Island Comic Con: November 2-November 4
Arguably, this is the most New England convention of all, since it takes place in the Dunkin Donuts Center of Providence, Rhode Island. This convention stands out thanks to its varied mix of celebrities. Sure, there are cartoonists, actors who play superheroes, anime voice actors–the mix you’d expect. But then there are always some unexpected guests, like how last year featured former *NSYNC member Joey Fatone (still kicking myself for missing that one), and this year has part of the cast of The Office attending. People not out of the wheelhouse for such a convention, but not necessarily who would jump to mind when you think “Comic book convention,” right?
For a bigger convention, prices are pretty reasonable, with $85 weekend passes and $35 Friday passes, $45 Saturday passes, and $40 Sunday passes. Kid prices are all $20 or less if preordered, with a $30 special for the whole weekend. Additional packages can be browsed on their website.
Renegade Craft Fair: November 17-November 18
All right, this isn’t exactly a convention, but it is a gathering of talented artists in New York City at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Need a tie? Kids’ toys? Greeting cards? Jewelry? Pins? It will be here. It’s worth a visit if you can make the trip, though there’s another Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn in December if you can’t swing this one. This is a great fair especially if holiday shopping normally leaves you stumped.
There is no admission fee to get in, but because everything is handmade, things can get pricey quick. Not all shops have Square readers, so it’s a good idea to have at least some cash on hand for this one. Within the Pavilion, there is a small concessions area set up, and in recent years food trucks have lined up outside the building for attendees.
Winter Northeast Comic Con: November 23-November 25
#Repost @theartofmatthewatchley ・・・ Allie Elliott PROMISED in My Contract that for My Appearance at NorthEast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza DINNER would be provided. I REALLLLLLLLY SHOULD HAVE READ THE FINE PRINT!!! LOL!!! Allie, I’m still blaming you for this!!!!! I knew I had a sweet ass but THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!! LOL!!!!😜🤪😂 Soooo much fun at The NorthEast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza! Special THANK YOU to The Legend Himself, Bill Diamond for allowing me to play with his ORIGINAL AUDREY II he created for “Little Shop of Horrors” ON BROADWAY!!! Can someone finally NOW get me out of “THIS BIG GREEN MUTHA FROM OUTER SPACE???” And I tell ya….IT’S MEAN🎼🎼🎼 !!! LOL!!! @necomiccon #MatthewAtchley #NEComicCon #NEComicCon2018 #BillDiamond #JimHenson #LittleShopOfHorrors #AudreyII #Audrey2 #RickMoranis #Broadway #BroadwayShow #Repost #Share #ConLife #TWDFamily #TWDArtist #CelebrityArtist
Even though it says it’s the winter con, the dates still fall squarely within the realm of fall. This convention is family- (and “young at heart”) focused and covers a wide variety of interests, from sci-fi, to anime, to comics, to Hot Wheels, and antiques and vintage records… You get the idea. This looks like a great convention for a big group with varied interests, or one for parents who want to attend a con with their kids to see what they’re all about. It’s hard to imagine someone not finding something they’re interested in here.
This convention is held in Boxboro, Massachusetts, Northwest of Boston. It claims to be the most affordable convention in New England at this time, and these claims appear to be true–even the VIP experiences are under $100. A weekend pass will only set you back $30 max, and no daily pass breaks $20. Parking is also free!
The only snag with this con is that it does take place over Thanksgiving weekend, so you might be caught up doing family things. Then again, it could be your excuse to get out of the house!
Did you see any cons you’re interested in attending? Let us know in the comments! If you have any other cons that take place in this region of the US during this time that you’d like to recommend, please let us know as well! And keep your eyes peeled: you’ll probably see some n3rdabl3 staff members wandering around these show floors.