As we edge further and further into what many call “Con Season,” it becomes increasingly more exciting to look at the many shows around the country. May features one of my very favorite shows, so I’m especially excited about this month’s calendars.
Here are my top five cons of May, 2012:
5. Creation’s Star Trek Philadelphia: Cherry Hill, NJ (May 4th-6th)
Another month, another Creation show in the top 5. This time we find Creation with its “bread and butter,” the Star Trek franchise. In typical Creation style, this show packs a large amount of guest and programming. As usual, the tickets come at a premium price ($30 per day), but for your money you get access to stars like Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brett Spiner and LeVar Burton and guaranteed seats for all programming. For more information visit http://www.creationent.com/cal/sgvan.htm
4. Super Wild Pigs Show: Piscataway, NJ (May 5th-6th)
Like a classic Marvel Team-Up, our #4 convention brings together the king of the cheap comic bins and the kings of comic talk to make for one awesome show. When changes with the crew at the Comic Geek Speak podcast meant that their annual Super Show was in danger, the crew from the Wild Pigs Show stepped in to combine forces so that they could put on what will ultimately one of the most personable and fun shows on the con circuit. Don’t judge them by their size! Although the accommodations may look small, they’ll be cramming over 60,000 onto a showroom floor that will feature such celebrated comic talent as Jim Calafiore, Peter David, J.K. Woodward and many more. Gather your lists of comic needs and hit this show. For more information visit http://www.wildpigcomics.com
3. Long Beach Comic Expo: Long Beach, CA (May 12th)
It is extremely rare that a one-day show can crack my top 5, but after several years of consistent improvement, I have no hesitation in placing the Long Beach Comic Expo firmly at number three. Although it has a very small floor, there are deals everywhere you look and there’s still room for current stars like Brian Buccellato, Josh Fialkov, Whilce Portacio. In addition, this is one of the only one-day shows that you’ll find that offers panels. Last year I really enjoyed the Top Cow panel and through it was introduced to the work of Mr. Fialkov. From there I followed his work through all of his independent titles like Echoes and Last of the Greats and then followed him to some of his larger scale work with DC’s I, Vampire and IDW’s Dr. Who. This is a great show to get up close and personal with the talent, so mark it on your calendar and buy your tickets now. For more information visit http://www.longbeachcomiccon.com
2. Big Wow ComicFest: San Jose, CA (May 19th – May 20th)
Jim Lee, Thomas Jane, Bernie Wrightson and Steve Niles all headline this show that touches on many genres but stays centrally focused on comics. For several years in a row this show has grown in size and as such has begun to draw the attention of some of the world’s best comic talent. Although it remains to be seen where the identity of this show will ultimately be placed, the certain thing now is that it is a show that keeps fun at its heart. For more information visit http://www.bigwowcomicfest.com
The Con-Fluence Pick of the Month:
1. Phoenix Comicon: Phoenix, AZ (May 24th -27th):
If you follow me on Twitter, you are not surprised that Phoenix Comicon (PCC) is my top pick this month. Although it is a totally different type of show than San Diego Comic-Con, I find that I spend a near equal amount of time planning this trip each year. PCC does one of the very best jobs with customer service in the industry. They work hard year-round to make this a show that meets all of the needs of its fans. As it descends on Phoenix, it takes over the downtown area while at the same allowing a sense of relaxation for attendees. Nearly all panels have open seating, food is affordable and well-prepared and lines are managed cleanly and efficiently. Add these elements to thousands of comics and the biggest stars from Star Trek, The Walking Dead, Chew, Flashpoint and more. Nothing can match he sheer spectacle of SDCC, but PCC puts on a show where you feel valued and relaxed from start to finish (or at least I do!). For more information visit http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/
As usual, I hope this list gives you an idea of the best on the con-scene this month. Make sure to check back frequently for more info on the best of everything CON, and make sure to follow me on Twitter for updates on these shows and more: @The_Con_Fluence.