Nerdy Conventions: Get Your Con On

Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco — By Alex Resnik on April 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

In the wake of the most recent installment of San Francisco’s WonderCon, one might expect that the comic dorks among us here at NileGuide would be all role-played out. And we were… for about a week. The days leading up to the comics convention were heady ones indeed, with high hopes from organizers and even higher expectations from the hoard of bespectacled, bemonstered, bemingling fanboys (and girls) lining up outside Moscone Center South.

“To say we’re excited would be an understatement,” swooned WonderCon Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Glanzer. And, the convention was by all measures a success, with record numbers showing up to hob-nob with some of the biggest names in Comicdom and beyond. But WonderCon is only a start to the convention season, and it left us craving more – much more. So, from Comi-Con to Otakon, we’ve sketched out a list of some more ways for the globe-trotting nerd to get conned in 2010.


San Diego Convention Center July 22-25 (preview night July 21)

If you don’t already have tickets to this one, you can forget about it. Comic-Con set records for sales this year, with four-day memberships selling out as early as last November. Keep checking the website to see if any reservations at the convention-sponsored hotels have opened up. Trust us, you’ll want to have an appropriate place to stash your leggings after hooking up with the right cos-playah on the convention floor.

APE (Alternative Press Expo)

San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center October 16 and 17

Photo courtesy Jutta@Flickr/Creative Commons

APE serves the nerd with an alternative/indie bent. Very steampunk. Last year brought capacity crowds drawn to panels devoted to the San Francisco art scene and a queer cartoonists event (whatever that entails). Special guests this year include the legendary writer/artist of Ghost World, Daniel Clowes.

Penny Arcade Expo

Washington State Convention & Trade Center September 3-5

Photo courtesy joeszilagyi/Creative Commons

Coming on the heels of the first Penny Arcade Expo to be held outside of Washington (PAX East in Boston), PAX 2010 in Seattle promises to spotlight the best in tabletop, console, and PC games this year. The Penny Arcade’s penchant for entertaining attendees is legendary, with performances and events turning this seemingly mild-mannered expo into an event of the season. It’s a great chance to catch the world’s self-proclaimed “579th greatest rapper,” MC Frontalot, serving up nerdcore hip-hop in his natural habitat.

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)

Los Angeles Convention Center June 15-17

E3 is a trade show at heart, so you’re not getting in to this smorgasbord of all the latest and greatest innovations in technology and entertainment unless you’re a certified member of the interactive entertainment industry, or the press. Leaving this blogger in particular wondering what realm of the blogosphere he’s got to elbow his way into in order to get some tickets.


Baltimore Convention Center July 30-August 1

The otaku is something apart from your run-of-the-mill nerd, dork, drip, dweeb, spaz, or square. Originally calling the Tokyo neighborhood of Akihabara home, otakus in Japan delve obsessively into one, usually very specific, interest (like, trains) and stick with it – relentlessly posting videos of obscure train lines around the world, for example. In the US, the term has come to more loosely refer to fans of anime, manga, and East Asian pop culture. Otakon 2010 should bring more films, fan-produced artwork, and live-action role-playing than you can shake a bo staff at. Who knows? You might even get Sailor Mooned at the “Otakurave.”

Tags: APE, comic-con, e3, nerd, otakon, otaku, penny arcade, wondercon

    1 Comment

  • Kenneth Rile says:

    One new con that has alot of attention attracted to it is named AM2 (formelry named MAX) and is being held on July 1st to July 3rd 2011, and interestingly enough is the first completely free to all attendees and is being held down in the Anaheim Convention Center, the con organizers are also listening to the people who are interested in going so attendees can have some voice in the con so check it out at


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