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– by Kyle Malone

Every geek dreams of going to a big convention in their lifetime. New York, San Diego, Wondercon, D23, and Star Wars Celebration are some of the biggest and most sought after cons in the world. These conventions contain everything in geek and pop-culture from comics to movies, games and cards, and of course cosplay. Imagine everything you’ve ever loved (maybe even your mom and dad) in one place… in one room. If you haven’t been to a con, here are some reasons to make it happen.

The Community

Everyone likes to feel as if they’re part of a group. Humans are social creatures and loneliness is unhealthy. For the longest time geeks were considered less than appealing. You were weird if you were into comics, played video games, or read fantasy books. Conventions offered geeks the opportunity to be surrounded by their own kind. Over the last 15 to 20 years, geekdom has become more accepted. The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a prime example of this acceptance.

The community at conventions may have grown to include casual fans, but it is still filled to the brim with die-hard geeks, cosplayers, and creators that create for the joy of the art, not money. You will make life long friends waiting in line and discover new obsessions while talking to them. You’re home at the con.

The Creators and Talent

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 05: (L-R) Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Lena Hall, Sheila Vand, Steven Ogg and Graeme Manson speak onstage at the Snowpiercer panel during New York Comic Con at Hammerstein Ballroom on October 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for WarnerMedia Company)

Who doesn’t want to meet their favorite artists, writers, and actors? Who doesn’t want to ask them the question that no one else has ever asked? Well, there’s no better chance than a con! Yes, the big A-list celebrities may have the longest lines for Q&A but you still have a chance. The comics creators are almost always approachable and accessible though. Of course, Todd Mcfarlane may have a longer line than Tim Seely, but chances are you’ll get your book signed and a photo with both.

Artists are notoriously underpaid and overworked. In order to make a little extra cash, they will do custom sketches or bring rare work to sell at conventions. I saw Mark Bagley doing Spider-Man logo sketches on kids’ hands as their parents came by his table to get prints and comics signed. That’s a lifetime memory right there.

The Bragging Rights

It’s not cheap to go to a convention. Ticket prices excluded, you have to pay for travel, lodging, food, and goodies. New York City is notoriously expensive and the prices for lodging go up around New York ComicCon. San Diego has been more affordable to visit in the past, but their prices go up around the yearly San Diego Comic-Con too. These costs combined with the high demand makes those two the two to visit.

Coming home from SDCC or NYCC can make you a hero to your friends. Not to mention the exclusive toys, comics, and prints you can get making them jealous. It is an experience to be certain and it will make you hungry to do it again. Even if you can’t make it to the big ones, smaller cons still get top-notch talent and meeting them can still make you the envy of your friends.

There are countless other reasons to go check out a convention, but those three stood out in my mind during my recent trip to NYCC. I can’t promise each con will be as joyous as it should be, they can be incredibly stressful, but I can promise you’ll see things you’ll never see anywhere else.

What cons have you been to? What convention is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

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Kyle is the Weekend Editor for LRM Online and a business school graduate who loves movies, comics, and video games. He shares his passions with his wife and is raising a next-generation geek.