Summer is a big time for conventions across the globe. Like anywhere else, the East Coast of the United States hosts quite a few, so we thought we’d share some of our favorites for your planning purposes.
Below you’ll find some of the main conventions of the East Coast as well as a few you may not be familiar with. These conventions will be on and around June through to August.
BookCon: June 1 and 2
This convention is essentially ComicCon–but for books (it’s even held in the Javits Center, when the New York ComicCon is held every year)! This convention allows the bookish to meet their favorite authors, buy books (or get lucky with free advance copies) and other literary swag, and attend various panels. For more information on the con’s “bookish content,” you can check our article on it here.
Although the ticket mailing deadline for BookCon 2019 has passed, there are still Saturday and Sunday tickets available to purchase onsite, during the convention.
Games For Change Festival: June 17-19
Games For Change Festival is another event that takes place in Manhattan, hosted in the student center of The New School. It takes a more academic look at videogames and innovative technology that can benefit people and the world at large. It hosts a wide variety of panels aimed at various audiences, as well as a variety of hands-on experiences aimed at various audiences, and an award ceremony. For more information on the festival–including coverage of last year’s festival–check out our hub page.
Tickets are still available for all three days, with various packages for different days or combinations of days and discounts for educators.
PortConMaine: June 27-30
This convention, held in Portland, Maine, at the local DoubleTree by Hilton, is the first and longest running in the northernmost New England state. The convention covers just about every type of nerd culture you could imagine, including but not limited to anime, videogames, stage combat, and cosplay. The community is also drawn together throughout the year for events such as fan flea markets.
Connecticon: July 11-14
Connecticon, hosted by the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut, began as a predominantly anime convention, slowly expanding over the years to encompass sci-fi, videogames, literature, and, like, PortConMaine, just about any other type of nerd culture in general. The overall slant for merchandise tends remain anime, but there is some variety. The vendors tend to stay consistent from year to year as well, and that familiarity is nice. This is a reliable medium-sized convention.
Tickets are currently available online for weekend and individual days, with discounts for active or retired members of the military. Your best deal is with the weekend passes, even if you end up only deciding to go for a day or two.
Lock City Anime & Comic Con: July 27
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Yes, dudes and dudettes! Major league butt kicking is back in town! We have the honor of announcing a very special guest. In a rare convention appearance.Please welcome Mr. Peter Laird. Peter is best known for being the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Peter will be joining our already announced special guest Steve Lavigne. They will be available for autographs and will be signing pieces at the show. They will have plenty of prints to sell. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to meet 2 of the Legends in the comic book industry. Get your tickets now on our website. www.lockcitycomiccon.com VIP offers the best chance to get in line early to meet him however we are dangerously close to selling out of our VIP option. Get your tickets now. #art #artistsoninstagram #peterlaird #tmnt #teenagemutantninjaturtles #cosplay #ct #ctpost #leonardo #raphael #michaleangelo #donatello #splinter #caseyjones #rareappearance #cartoonnetwork #nickelodeon
Lock City Anime & Comic Con is a smaller convention that packs a huge punch held yearly in North Haven, Connecticut. Last year featured an impressive array of vendors, additional events, and guests for its size; last year’s fare included Philo Barnhart, a former animator for Don Bluth and Disney, and the original creative team behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Every year has a theme, and although too much hasn’t been shared yet, one contest for free passes and swag at the con took a page from Ready Player One, a possible hint.
Tickets are currently on sale in a variety of packages. You also have the opportunity to snap up one of 400 free passes on May 4, Free Comic Book Day, more information on which can be found here. For more information on this con, you check out our hub page for last year’s event.
Liberty City Anime Con: August 9-11
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LET THE VOICE OF LOVE, TAKE YOU HIGHER! God I miss conventions. . . . . . . . . #jojosbizzareadventure #jojosbizzareadventurecosplay #jojo #jojocosplay #koichicosplay #koichi #koichihirose #koichihirosecosplay #jotaro #rohankishibe #rohan #dio #diobrando #johnnyjoestar #caesar #suzieq #kars #foofighters #trishuna #trish #jojopart4 #diu #diamondisunbreakable #diucosplay #diamondisunbreakablecosplay #lcac #lcac2018 #libertycityanimecon #libertycityanimecon2018
Liberty City Anime Con is another convention located in New York City, conveniently located for even the most fish-out-of-water tourist: it happens right in Times Square. This con, of course, focuses on anime, manga, and other aspects of Japanese culture. This convention features anime screenings, social events, panels, and cosplay contest. It also works to get more Japanese creators every year, so if you can’t afford a ticket to Japan, this may be your best chance to meet your favorite manga-ka or jpop stars (along with more local stars as well).
Tickets are available for both full weekend experiences and individual day passes, with the next increase in prices happening on May 10. We recommend checking hotel prices first–the ticket prices are more than fair, but being right in the biggest tourist area of one of the region’s most popular cities might make you want to make alternate quartering plans with a friend who has a nice, comfy couch.
Flame Con: August 17 and 18
This is one of those conventions that I heard about just a moment too late to talk about effectively in a convention article. Flame Con is self-described as “the world’s largest queer Comic Con.” So, you’re getting a comic book/pop culture event, but the focus is on the great diversity of queer culture and geekdom. Everyone is invited to enjoy nerdy goodness, and if they’re interested, they can attend some deeper and more thought-provoking panels and take part in discussions if they so choose. This convention features both well-known and more local, indie creators in a healthy mix.
Tickets are on sale right now for very reasonable rates for both days or just single days. It appears that attendees under 21 get in for free on Sunday. This convention also takes place in Times Square, in the Sheraton Hotel, which is offering reduced rates for attendees.
How about it? Are there any listed here you regularly attend or are now planning on attending? Or are there any conventions you love that we missed? Let us know in the comments below! And keep your eyes peeled at these events–you may just see some N3 staff wandering the floor!