As you may have heard, fanboys and girls from all over the world came to gather in San Diego this past weekend for the annual Comic Convention, better known as Comic Con. For the citizens of Los Angeles, the days leading up to the event are filled with, “Are you going to Comic Con?” The exodus out of the city is on par with Coachella. Just trade in the music, drugs, and hipster outfits for comics, nerds, and a shit ton of people in a hot convention center.
While Comic Con has transformed from an exclusive comic book/graphic novel weekend to an all out nerd fest for TV and movies as well, the fan base and popularity have grown exponentially over the years. Which got me thinking – are there other ‘cons’ out there that we just don’t know about yet? Could there be a ‘con’ that will be the next exodus out of LA? And exactly how weird will the people be that are attending it? Here are a few I found that you never knew existed, and probably never want to come across in your life.
Ever wanted to meet your favorite celebrities? Then don’t go here, because this convention is full of wannabes who lure you into thinking they’re the real deal. But I mean if you don’t mind taking a pic with someone who looks a lot like Cher and have friends who won’t be able to tell the difference, then this place is for you. Going strong for 12 years, the weekend-long convention is filled with talent shows, celeb mingling and even classes on how to be an expert impersonator.
If you were wondering, Australia is the place to be if you want to get in touch with your sexuality and hang out with a bunch of people who feel the same way. Sexpo (Sexuality and Adult Lifestyle Exhibition) is the world’s largest adult show, featuring the finest adult performers, meet and greets with porn stars, and vendors who sell the best sex toys in all the land. Don’t worry guys, Sexpo is actually in Brisbane this weekend, so you still have time to grab some tickets!
You know, I just realized how dangerous this research could be. From a Sexpo to freaks at a Sideshow convention, even the NSA is going to be like WTF is wrong with this girl? All for the sake of the internet. You’re welcome. The annual Inkin the Valley and Sideshow Convention is held in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and the foremost convention to see your favorite part of going to carnivals all in one convenient place.
Fun fact: My mother is a twin, which means a) I’ve never been one of those people who think twins are ‘so cool’ or fawn over them, since it was such a normal thing for me. b) I could possibly have twins if I ever have kids. Yikes. Anyways, remember that episode of Full House where Nicky and Alex attend a twin convention to compete in a twin contest and the whole fam ends up going? And Stephanie meets a cute boy – and his twin brother – so she pretends to be her own twin too AND OMG IT’S LIKE AN EARLY ORPHAN BLACK. So that convention is a real thing, appropriately held in Twinsburg, Ohio every year. More than 3,000 sets of siblings (including, but not limited to twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.) come from all over the world to wear the same clothes and marvel in human genetics. Good news for you twinnies out there – this year’s fest is August 2nd-4th!
Listen, I’m not one to shit on people’s fandoms. Clearly. There have been Star Wars conventions, Twilight Saga, Simpsons, etc. But this one is the most head-scratching of them all – Weird Al Yankovic fan conventions, affectionately called, Alcon. It’s not really clear if there’s been one in the past few years, but there definitely has been at least one, which is one too many. At Alcon, fans can bid on unique Weird Al memorabilia, enter in a lip-synching contest, and you know, just revel in the parody master himself.
ROFLcon is the first internet culture conference in existence. Basically if you don’t even know what ROFL means, you’re too out of the loop to even attend this event. The convention is a place where people can dress up like there favorite memes, and talk about it endlessly. Guest speakers have included the no-names behind the sites xkcd and 4chan, so again, if you don’t know what that is, don’t bother showing your face here, ya newb. lulz.
Unlike most of these conventions, Zebra Con isn’t what it sounds like. This convention originated as a Starsky and Hutch fan gathering, naming the event after the Zebra 3 call sign on the TV duo’s car. Over the years, it’s transformed into a cop/spy/sci-fi convention, and a lot of “slash” fan fiction. I only recently found out what “slash” really means, which is fan work where two characters of the same sex are placed in sexual or romantic situations with each other. Like so: (caution: may be jarring for Star Trek fans. Or not). Sadly, Zebra Con ended in 2007, after more than 30 years in business.
This is the strangest, and most niche festival of all the cons listed here, as it’s a folk music convention, specifically with internet, sci-fi or fantasy themes. The weekend consists of workshops, songwriting competitions, and open-filking which is not a farm term or sex act. BTW that video above gave me so much second hand embarrassment that I couldn’t get through the first 30 seconds. Someone let me know how it is.
It only gets even weird from here, folks. Anthrocon is the world’s largest furry convention. ‘Furries’ are fictional animal characters and all these people find extreme pleasure in dressing up like them. Naturally. The annual event attracts around thousands each year, who come to scare all the children in Pittsburgh for the weekend (there’s some freaks up in Pennsylvania). This year’s event earlier this month, gathered 5,577 furries, and raked in $6.2 million!!! THAT’S A LOT OF FUR MONEY! The good news is is that the money goes towards animal charities, so I guess that’s a good thing? BTW, the theme this year was called, “The Fast and the Furrious.” Still creepy. A little funny, but still creepy.
We briefly talked about Bronies in the past, but it’s so much more than adults dressing up like My Little Pony Characters. BronyCon is fairly new to the convention circuit, having only been in operation since 2011. But the brony fandom (bro+pony=brony) is super into the kids’ cartoon, dressing up like the ponies, drawing fan art, creating fan fiction, etc. And most of them are 18 to 35 year old males. So, that’s cool. At least they can all hang together at BronyCon.
I already love this one because I love a good ‘palooza’. This one in particular is for mermaids, and I always liked Ariel and her dinglehopper. Basically women (and men, I guess), from around the world swim to the port of Tampa, Florida to hang out and flip about. Listen, if Ariel can score a smokeshow like Price Eric with her fins, I’m willing to pretend to be a sea-human creature, too.