Geektivities: 5 California Fan Conventions To Attend in 2014

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The Collective gals got into the blogging game because of our burning desire to attend San Diego Comic-Con and coexist IRL with other nerds. If you’ve read the 2-part “Great Comic-Con Disappointment”, you’ll know that we haven’t gotten tickets, well, ever. Still, our adversity created this amazing blog and, as we grumbled much of the summer 2013 (and well into 2014), the fire continued to burn. Over the years, the Collective bloggers spent most of our time at literary conventions (we’re nerds, yes), but the need to connect with fandom is a very real and burning desire. We know finding the perfect, attainable event can become a challenge. Fan conventions are usually sold out a year in advance, which means scoping out the scene well in advance. We attended our first official fan con as a blog team in November 2013, mulling over the $85 single day ticket price for the Burbank Supernatural Convention, for about 15 seconds, before fully committing to cosplay, photo-ops and autograph sessions that turned out to be AMAZING.

My advice? As soon as you hear about a con, Google it. Look it up. Do your research. Find out how much the tickets are, when they usually go on sale and what kind of crowd your particular fan con draws. Then, start buying stuff. A entry ticket here, a photo-op there. Spread out the cost of the items you want to enjoy at the fan con over time, and it won’t hurt as much. Next, check out the list below. It contains my top 5 picks for California fan conventions in 2014. Tell me your favorites in the comments below.

xoxo The Collective Diva

1) Gallifrey One–February 14-16, Los Angeles, Ca

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Although it seems fruitless to even discuss Gallifrey One in 2014 (they’ve been sold out for a year), this is the premiere Doctor Who con in the United States and it happens to be right at my back door. Located at the Marriott LA Airport, this Valentine weekend extravaganza will include Billie Piper and Paul McGann and I really want to kick myself for not getting at least an $85 single day ticket BUUUT I can patiently wait one more year, I suppose. No doubt this year’s event will be over run by nerdy cosplayers, Dorky Daleks and many tears for Matt Smith. Ticket information for the 2015 Gallifrey One will be available immediately after Feb 16, so check back at the website the Monday after the con and see if you can snag us a pair. I’ll pay ya back.

2) WonderCon–April 18-20, Anaheim, Ca

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This comic and pop culture event held at the Anaheim Convention Center, is put on by the folks who bring you the epic SDCC, so we have no idea how well the ticket buying process will work. Last year, the folks from Warner Bros “Arrow” had an entire panel to themselves, which I would’ve appreciated, to be sure. Also, Joss Whedon and the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew showed up on Sunday, which could be because Disney (who owns pretty much all of Anaheim) recently purchased the rights to Marvel. I’m hoping this means more Avenger action at the con in 2014 with the release of Winter Soldier coming up soon, but the guest list, so far, is pretty sparse. Tickets run $50 for a weekend badge and $20-25 for a single-day. To get a ticket, you must be a registered Comic-Con ID holder, but that’s free and painless. This fan con boasts some pretty big names in film and comics and is a lot cheaper than other SoCal conventions. It’s a great event to ease into the whole Comic-Con scene.

Editor’s note: read about the Collective Bloggers at WonderCon 2014 here

3) Long Beach Comic and Horror Convention–Sept 27-28, Long Beach, Ca

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Not to be confused with the LB Comic Con in May 2014, this local comic and horror convention, held at the Long Beach Convention Center, has turned into a huge deal, as fan con popularity grows. The reasonably priced tickets are $40 for a two-day pass and kids under 10 are free. Most of the guests are writers, illustrators and other genre specific folk, so if you’re not into comics, horror or cosplay, this isn’t the con for you. I’ve heard this called a poor-man’s SDCC, but last year brought in thousands of guests, plus, they screened the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, which must have been pretty awesome. Join the email update list to get real time info on when tickets will be available and let’s plan a group cosplay, shall we?

4) San Diego Comic Con–July 23-27, San Diego, Ca

Photo by Rudy Manahan © 2013 SDCC
Photo by Rudy Manahan © 2013 SDCC

As Meccas go, this one is pretty much it for fan cons. The Collectress and I have been pining away for ages, but have never been fast enough to get tickets during the EPIC registration battle of the first 10 minutes badges go on sale. Everyone and their mom wants to go to SDCC, including the stars of every television show and film I’ve ever loved. Supernatural, Sherlock, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Arrow, you name it, they are there. For a 4-day event pass, you’re going to pay at least $200, while the single day passes are reasonable; between $25-45. Hotel accommodations are pretty much ridiculous to try for, but again, I live within driving distance and know a few peeps who may let me crash on their couches in San Diego. That being said, I am not getting my hopes up, although I will be sitting in front on my computer again this year, attempting to get a spot in the EPIC waiting room to get EPIC badges to this EPIC event. If you can’t attend the actual convention, Nerd HQ has some pretty awesome panels happening right across the street and there are parties happening all over town the weekend of SDCC. San Diego can still be fun, even without con tickets.

5) Salute to Supernatural Convention–Nov 14-16, Burbank, Ca

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Pretty much my number one priority of 2014, no joke. This fandom is my favorite and I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing Jared Padalecki acting like a dork and the faces Jensen Ackles makes at his tv bro. Plus, this year Misha Collins, Osric Chau and Tahmoh Penikett will attend, and I know the Collectress will happily swoon at all three. Tickets for BurCon are not available as of yet, but the $700 Gold Weekend Package seems to be standard for out-of-towners. Luckily, I live within driving distance of the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, and so I can pick and choose the days I want to go. A suggestion we received at the actual con from fangirls was to purchase items throughout the year and not all at once so it doesn’t hurt the wallet as bad. That means maybe this time, the Collectress and I can get a J2 photo-op and properly snuggle the Winchester brothers.

Editor’s note: Read about our adventures at BurCon 2014 here

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