The culture of attending conventions

BY: AMBER REITER

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There are many perks to living in Southern California. The rest of the nation envies us for our world famous “no season”-esque weather; it’s one of the few places in the country where you can go to the mountain snow and the dry beach all in the same day, and the desert isn’t that far either. But another great thing about living in Southern California is the conventions, also known as cons. From Comic Con in San Diego to Anime Expo, also known as AX, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, cons are all over the place. For the last two years we’ve even gotten WonderCon, which is a comic convention usually held in San Francisco, and it’s returning to Anaheim again in 2014. Another convention that takes place at the L.A. Convention Center is Comikaze Expo, which is Stan Lee’s comic con.

I’ve been to three of four of those conventions. The most recent one I attended was Comikaze. Anime Expo is held in the same venue as Comikaze, but Anime Expo makes the L.A Convention Center seem small, whereas Comikaze makes the venue seem huge. However, in Comikaze’s defense, AX is the biggest anime convention in North America.

Comikaze is just one of many comic cons in Southern California, let alone the whole continent.

Comikaze may not be the biggest comic convention, but it’s good for fans who don’t like big crowds or the hype that surrounds bigger cons. The exhibit hall where all the vendors are is a decent size, and in the middle of it there’s a stage for the main panelists with a screen projecting what’s happening in real time.

There are panels in normal rooms as well, but the stage in the middle is convenient because you can look up while browsing the exhibit hall and see who is talking. I’ll never be as close to Alyssa Milano as I was when I was watching her panel at the main stage in the exhibit hall.

So next time you feel bored or want to try something new, and you like comics and/or anime or any other kind of pop culture, try seeing when the next convention is in town and buy a one day ticket. You might just fall in love.