The ComiQuad: You’ve Been Con’d!

Boom! Wham! Pow! The ComiQuad is a column dedicated to the spandex-laden world of comics and superheroes. It goes up each Tuesday and will alternate between comic book reviews and other comic book news. Reviews shall try to be spoiler-free. Zam!

Most of the zombie apocalypses at these conventions aren't real. | Cover courtesy BOOM! Studios

“Give me your geeky, your nerds,
Your huddled masses yearning to fangirl,
The wretched refuse of your comic book stores,
Send these, the bullied, cosplayers to me,
I lift my lamp beside the convention door!”

Much like Lady Liberty’s immigrants many years ago, the geek community often searches for a place to call home. A place that can be a melting pot of vastly different cultures where comic book geeks, Doctor Who enthusiasts, Magic: The Gathering masters, manga aficionados, superhero cosplayers, and others can unite with their brethren and sistren.

Although it is not quite the geeky mecca that is San Diego, California, Boston houses a variety of nerd pop-culture conventions that can be the refuge for which people traverse the Atlantic. In chronological order, here are the next year’s bunch of conventions.

Boston Comic Con
Location: Hynes Convention Center
Date: April 21-22 2012

If the American comic book conventions were the Brady Bunch, Boston Comic Con would be Cindy Brady. It’s one of the youngest, most adorable, and often overlooked of the Brady children. Nonetheless, it is growing at an astonishing rate.

This year’s BCC features over 70 artists and writers, including the “Legends of MAD Magazine,” a variety of informative and entertaining panels, a Marvel portfolio review, and a zombie film festival.

Worried you won’t be able to go? No worries, because this weekend The Quad will be covering BCC extensively.

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Date: May 4-5 2012

Let’s be honest here. You hate doing homework; you love wasting time on the Internet. Between Facebook, Tumblr, and Reddit, you know who Scumbag Steve, Success Kid, and Nyan Cat are. In fact you’ve probably LOL’ed at Scumbag Steve and Success Kid while listening to the 24 hour Nyan Cat video on Youtube. Well, ROFLcon is your opportunity to meet all of them and more.

Well, you won’t meet Nyan Cat, but you can meet the creator.

If, again, you seek to live vicariously through Internet about a convention on the Internet, fret not. The Quad will also be covering this quirky event.

New England Comic Con
Location: Hynes Convention Center
Date: October 2012

Continuing with the Brady Bunch metaphor, NECC is probably Jan Brady in the fact that she’s the most…well-rounded. All right, that metaphor broke into pieces.

NECC, part of an envoy of national, smaller comic book conventions, features a wide array of geeky pop-culture beyond comics. In fact, it’s the broadest of all the conventions in this post. According to its website, it features movies, comics, toys, games, TV, horror, wrestling, anime, manga, and more.

That’s a lot of things. In years past, NECC was able to recruit several alumnus from the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to speak at the convention. Themes for this year are still unknown.

PAX East
Location: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Date: Spring 2013

Nary a nerdy soul knew Easter happened two weeks ago in Boston because PAX East, alongside the final entry of this post, kicked the Easter Bunny out of the city.

PAX East (standing for Penny Arcade Expo…East) is the New England promised land for all things video games. Representatives from nearly every major gaming company/person/news website are stationed behind booths stocked with either swag bags, game demos, or both. The convention attracts a large audience, especially considering that the mother convention, PAX Prime, is held in Seattle, Washington.

Anime Boston
Location: Hynes Convention Center
Date: May 24-26 2013

Sometimes the most niche-d markets bring out the largest number of people. Despite video games and superheroes being more popularly wide-spread in mainstream culture, Anime Boston and its world of Japanese-style animation reigns supreme in Boston.

Once a year, people in wigs, Pikachu ears, stilettos, Sailor Moon skirts, oversized armor and weaponry, and sometimes drag sojourn from all across the East Coast to Anime Boston. There are cosplay contests, enormous merchandiser booths, voice actor panels, and karaoke in this hustle and bustle of multi-colored chaos.

This past year, over 20,000 people attended the convention to rock out without fear (or in the case of some costumes: shame). It’s nothing short of a cultural movement.

Jon Erik Christianson

Jon Christianson (COM/CAS '14) is the zany, misunderstood cousin of The Quad family. His superpowers include talking at the speed of light, tripping over walls, and defying ComiQuad deadlines with the greatest of ease. His lovely copyeditors don't appreciate that last one. If for some reason you hunger for more of his nonsense, follow him at @HonestlyJon on Twitter or contact him at!

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