Comic Art Festival

Comic Art Festivals as are known in the UK are big and well organized gatherings with the purpose of connecting the readers and the fans with the comic writers, creators, designers and illustrators and animators. Initially, this event was created due to a decrease in the comic’s audience; therefore, the comics festival’s aimed to reach non-comic readers and families to expose them to a wide variety of comic’s material and so building a readers community for the future.

This is a worldwide phenomenon, in South Australia fans in many communities have managed to gather and meet the creators, designers, writers and illustrators of their favorite comic book. The purpose is the same, connect to new audiences, promote and offer the varieties of the graphic novel, plus giving both the comics and the graphic novels an artistic and literary place within the medium to preserve it for generations. In that spirit, “Papercuts Comics Festival is a celebration of comics and graphic novels over five days in September 2019 in Adelaide, South Australia. It aims to promote awareness of comics and graphic novels as an artistic and literary medium, showcase members of the local creative community, connect creators with one another, and help creators reach new audiences. Papercuts was born of a passion not only for comics but for Adelaide. The festival co-directors aim to create an event that celebrates Adelaide’s cultural reputation and develops partnerships among the creative community.”

Back to the UK, in Leeds, Thought Bubble is a celebration of UKs most expansive Comics Festival. There, from superheroes and cosplay, to big name artists and newbie small pressers, through to self-publishing and altcomics fare Thought Bubble is a festival that genuinely has something for everyone. This festival aims to catch as many readers as possible and is centered on new writers or creators that have a new project to show, so understandably many book debuts choose Thought Bubble as the platform to make their entrance. This feature is one of the most attractive of the festival because so much talent gets to be shown and appreciated by comic or graphic novel fans and to other more senior writers.

Other festival events highlights include the Women World Builders event at Leeds Arts University, showcasing leading female artists who have built a successful career in this traditionally male dominated environment, with talks and a panel debate. Thanks to major Arts Council England funding, Thought Bubble will launch their innovative new Augmented Reality project ‘Comics Are Alive’ at the weekend convention, creating a hidden trail of digital comic art pieces across the site. And marking the 10th anniversary of Nobrow’s magazine with ‘Studio Dreams’ is a celebratory exhibition featuring the work of 70 artists and illustrators and their portrayals of artist studios and creative spaces.

The week-long Thought Bubble festival culminates in a huge, two-day comic con on 22nd and 23rd September in a specially built festival village in the heart of Leeds. Here fans can meet some of the biggest names in the industry in what are frequently their only UK and European appearances. In addition to 450 exhibiting professionals, the convention offers exclusive panels, workshops, portfolio reviews and talks with the con’s 90+ international guests and culminates in an amazing cosplay parade to finish off the festivities.

The Best Comics Conventions in USA

The geeky and nerdy culture on the United States have created an important niche in the economy. The fact that there are over 10 comic conventions that gather from 25.000 to over 200.000 people for days is something to take a look at. As for economic growth, each city that hosts the convention experiences an economic pump in different sectors, for instance the San Diego Comic-Con International has brought over $488.4 million between 2013 and 2015, according to a study released by the San Diego Convention Center Corp. As for direct spending… “The study also showed that direct spending by attendees during the three convention years would total $203.4 million and hotel tax revenue would total $7.9 million. Sales tax revenue would total $442,000 and room nights would total 378,000.”

As for this conventions not all of them last for 4 days every year, some of them have a bi-annual schedule some others only take two days and still have a very important impact on the entertainment business because it entails big panelists such as Chuck Norris, Robert Englund (Freddie Kruger) and even the cast of Power Rangers both the old and the new. 

The first signs of comic conventions started back in 1960s in New York City and was called New York Comicon. Of course there were other initiatives in the decade but these so called “early conventions” were small events that, usually organized by local enthusiasts, one of them is Jerry Bails, who was then known as the “Father of Comic Fandom”, and Dave Kaler of the Academy of Comic-Book Fans and Collectors and featuring a handful of industry guests. The first recurring conventions were the Detroit Triple Fan Fair, which ran from 1965–1978, and Academy Con, which ran from 1965–1967. Many recurring conventions begin as single-day events in small venues, which as they grow more popular expand to two days, or even three or more every year. Many comic-cons which had their start in church basements or union halls now fill convention centers in major cities. 

What’s the current state of Comic’s Conventions?

Now there are a high number of comic’s event, in fact Wizard Entertainment alone hosts 21 conventions in American Cities. In addition to it, there are more than 39 different conventions and some of them started in 2010, 2013 and 2014 which is a clear statement that these conventions are not only from the 20th century but they have come to stay to influence and impact both Pop Culture and the city’s economy causing well-known growth each year. 

According to some comic’s webpage here is a list of comic conventions across the United State:

Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio, TX 

Alternative Press Expo in San Jose, CA 

Baltimore Comic-Con in Baltimore, MD 

Big Apple Comic Con in New York City, NY 

Boston Comic Con in Boston, MA 

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo in Chicago, IL 

Connecticut ComiCONN in Uncasville, CT

Comicpalooza in Houston, TX 

Dallas Comic Con in Dallas, TX 

Denver Pop Culture Con in Denver, CO 

Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA 

East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia, PA 

East Coast Comicon in Secaucus, NJ 

Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, WA 

FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention in Salt Lake City, UT 

Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC 

Indy PopCon in Indianapolis, IN 

Intervention in the Washington, D.C. area 

L.A. Comic Con in Los Angeles, CA 

MegaCon in Orlando, FL

Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention in Memphis, TN 

MoCCA Festival in New York City, NY 

Motor City Comic Con in Novi, MI 

New York Comic Con in New York City, NY 

North Texas Comic Book Show in Dallas, TX 

Ohio Comic Con in Columbus, OH 

Pensacola Comic Convention, Pensacola, FL 

Phoenix Fan Fusion in Phoenix, AZ

Comic-con

A four day event created by a few group of friends and fans that invited writers, artists and speakers to talk to other fans about the upcoming comics, movies and shows related the comic industry and TV shows that were born after them. This event took place in San Diego in 1970 under the name San Diego Comic-On International and it’s now a trademark. Even though there are other conventions with the name comic on such as The New York Comic On (without the dash) these are not affiliated to the San Diego convention.

The dynamic of the four days are panels filled with celebrities who tend to unveil new trailers of upcoming movies closely related to comic books, or release big announcements. Due to the large amount of people that hope to see their favorite panelist discuss the script, movie and experience many of the attendees can spend whole nights waiting to be able to have a seat at the room. Other important experience that people live in comic-con are the cosplays display. This is the art of creating a costume of your favorite hero, anime, or fictional character within the comics’ universe and impersonate it during the convention.

The tickets to this event cost 15 dollars per day and people have the chance to buy one badge or all four of them. To mention some interesting facts on the impact that San Diego Comic-Con has  widely websites have spread that “according to Forbes, the convention is the “largest convention of its kind in the world;” Publishers Weekly wrote “Comic-Con International: San Diego is the largest show in North America;” it is also the largest convention held in San Diego.

The convention has an estimated annual regional economic impact of more than $140 million.Yet, in 2009, the estimated economic impact was criticized for allegedly negatively impacting seasonal businesses outside of Comic-Con, low individual spending estimates of attendees, that a large number of attendees live in San Diego, and that the impact of the convention was more cultural than financial”

Pop Culture and the Nerd community.

This year Comic-Con celebrated it 50th anniversary and it is widely recognized as a pop culture legacy created by the nerd community. As incredible as it may seem the media has recognized that even “the new century has been especially good to the event: The arrival of Marvel Studios and hit fantasy TV series such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead” have driven attendance skyward, while production companies from Disney and Universal and television producers from NBC to HBO have used the convention to promote any TV show or film even remotely “genre-leaning” in a bid for fans’ attention.”

This influence has forever shaped the way users consume TV shows after Game of Thrones in an era dominated by streaming video services as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and now Disney and Warner. The key to worldwide shows who have used Comic-Cons as platforms to present the series to more than 130,000 attendees does not belong to a specific franchise anymore. For this reason, many companies regard this yearly event as crucial to present and promote the next movie or TV series.