Sci-fi lovers, mangaworms, and League of Legends nerds: We’ve all wanted to live out our favourite fantasy stories. Just like the iconic Stan Lee once said, “comic books are fairy
These boisterous, bustling and fun events are where true fans of everything pop culture gather to geek out on the latest Sci-fi blockbuster, anime release or fantasy graphic novel. From the world-renowned San Diego and New York comic cons to the best European versions, you can finally live your own sci-fi fairy-tale at these upcoming comic cons!
Every pop culture worshiper’s dream event, San Diego Comic-Con is the largest comic convention in the United States and the most popular in the world. Get ready for its grand return after a three-year break this July 21 to 24, 2022.
The 2.6 million-square-foot San Diego Convention Center, on picturesque San Diego Bay, became the annual meeting point of thousands of visitors since the first SDCC in 1970. Here, in this perpetually sunny Southern California city, attendees got to experience the magic of sci-fi and fantasy in person.
Expect large panels featuring iconic writers, directors and actors—think Shin and Yuko Kibayashi, Scott Gimple and Chris Evans—to exclusive Marvel and DC sneak peeks and trailer screenings to booths offering signings and meet and greets, and you get the picture.
But popular celebrities aren’t the only stars of the event. In addition to the awards for artists and professionals, cosplay enthusiasts can also participate and showcase their creativity and talent during the Masquerade contest. With many prizes to be won, the colourful show is a must-see!
The East Coast is not to be left out. New York Comic Con, the largest convention on the East Coast, will be held from October 6 to 9, 2022 at the Jacob Javits Center. From traditional celebrity panels—last year, attendees met Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels), Chace Crawford and Erin Moriarty (The Deep and Starlight, respectively, from “The Boys”), and John Cena—to screenings, all the classic comic con experiences are on offer. Head to Artist Alley to discover manga and comic book illustrators.
Video game geeks will also have a blast at the Gaming Zone where you can play new and retro games, or participate in epic tournaments. The New York convention is also perfect for family-friendly exploration with its dedicated children’s area. From interactive games to creative drawing workshops and the chance to interact with cosplayers from the Star Wars and the Ghostbusters’ universes, kids of all ages will head home with a smile on their faces.
MCM London Comic Con, London, England
On the other side of the pond, the English capital will be hosting the MCM London Comic Con from May 27 to 29, 2022, at ExCel London, an event space along the Thames’ docks.
Besides the usual cast panels, the art of cosplay takes a much more grandiose and epic twist here, with the grand finale of The Cosplay Central Crown Championships where participants are judged on costume intricacy and accuracy.
Finalist cosplayers dressed in stunning and insanely realistic costumes parade during a breathtaking show. Take a look at the 2020 winner: the contestant crafted a badass, post-apocalyptic version of Mario (yeah, we’re talking about the mustachioed and potbellied one). Not bad, right?
For a more relaxed cosplayer gathering, head to the fan meet and greets. From Disney to “The Witcher,” Overwatch, and Marvel and DC superheroes, enjoy photoshoots with other cosplayers for a unique souvenir. For the 2021 edition, Tom Hiddleston (aka Loki in the Marvel universe) surprised fans who were dressed up as his character.
If you’re not a cosplay fan, visit the Pop Asia area to immerse yourself in the colourful and vibrant world of Asian pop culture from Anime to manga to Kpop and more.
Swiss Comic-Con, Basel, Switzerland
From May 26 to 28, 2022, Swiss Comic-Con, also known as Fantasy Basel, will hold its new edition in the gigantic Messe Basel centre. Welcoming around 50,000 visitors each year, the event is one of the largest European comic cons. In addition to the classic panels, the anime and manga creators’ stalls in the Artist Alley, and the cosplay contest offer iconic experiences for attendees—get ready for 100s of people dressed as Stormtroopers or Geralt from “The Witcher.”
Video game nerds are also guaranteed fun during Swiss Comic Con in Basel. Visitors can meet professional gamers, compete in tournaments, discover the newest games and test the latest gaming computers! If you’re passionate about the artistic dimension of video games, immerse yourself in game design and discover the works of new talents and creators.
Warsaw Comic Con, Warsaw, Poland
While most European pop culture lovers focus on conventions taking place in the biggest cities on the continent, Eastern Europe offers the Warsaw Comic Con, launched in 2017, which runs this spring (dates to be announced).For its panel program, many celebrities have already been confirmed, including actors such as Anna Shaffer (aka Triss Merigold in “The Witcher”), Lindsey Morgan and Richard Harmon (“The 100”), Ed Westwick (“Gossip Girl”), and Ian Somerhalder (“The Vampire Diaries”).
While avid gamers can take part in tournaments, meticulous cosplayers can attend one of the many workshops and panels dedicated to perfecting their cosplaying, and comic book lovers can visit the artsy Comic Zone where original illustrations of comics are exhibited.