Being a fangirl, I love attending conventions, or ‘Cons’ as they’re now called. From San Diego Comic-Con and Wonder-Con to Star Wars Celebration, D23, and a Celebration of Harry Potter — I had had the privilege to explore, and now share the world of fandom.
There are so many aspects of attending fan conventions. What used to be shunned as the marginalized ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ culture is now embraced and adored. From comic book art to their iconic heroes-turned-blockbuster-stars at the box office, pop culture has come a long way.
Many will remember a time when liking Star Wars made you weird. Then people found community in others who also loved movies like Star Wars. Growing up, they created organizations such as the 501st Legion to share their common passions and — even better — give back to the community through charity works.
As cons are featuring well-known Hollywood actors and directors, they have become mainstream as individuals are encouraged to show their creativity.
Whatever your opinion may be of the current pop culture, many positive things can come from embracing common passions, and harnessing them for good. People attend conventions with different goals. Since there are so many activities, there is literally something for everyone.
Many fans are “All In.” They will literally go to the ends of the earth to attend the next fan convention. They are so passionate that they will save up exclusively for this purpose, and purchase tickets years in advance. They will reserve hotels over a year in advance, and look forward to meeting their favorite stars, or hear the latest news.
I have met many Star Wars fans at Star Wars Celebration (last weekend in Anaheim) who purchased tickets two years ago for this con. Specialty packages for ‘Jedi Master’ (limited to 50) and ‘Jedi Knight’ (limited to 250 worldwide) were sold out instantly, two years in advance.
At Star Wars Celebration Anaheim (SWCA), I had the pleasure to meet fans from different states in the US, as well as from many foreign countries as well, like Germany, Australia, and Japan. It is wonderful that a pop cultural phenomenon can serve to unite people of many different cultures in one common passion.
The next Star Wars Celebration will be in London July 15-17, 2016. Do you have your tickets already? Do you know where to stay, or what sights to see while in London?
That’s where a professional travel consultant can be indispensable in offering value in planning your perfect fan vacation!
Hundreds of fans will camp out overnight to get into ‘Hall H’ at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). Their efforts are rewarded with premieres of the latest sneak peek from Warner Brothers, Marvel Studios, or Universal, and offer a glimpse of their A-list stars.
Hollywood celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Tom Cruise, Charlize Thieron, and Jada Pinkett Smith have appeared on stage at Comic-Con.
In July 2014, we saw previews for Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” with all the Avengers in attendance (except for the pregnant Scarlett Johansson) — this was almost a full year before the movie will release. Marvel also announced “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” before the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” was even released.
There were also previews for DC Comic’s “Batman vs. Superman” with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill — the actors could not say much about early production, but it was great to see the look and logo they had created for this world.
Animated movie panels are also drawing big acting talent. Benedict Cumberbatch appeared for his roles as ‘The North Wind’ in the latest “Madagascar” penguin movie, as well as the voice of ‘Smaug’ in the final “Hobbit” movie. Jim Parsons came to a panel for his lead role in “Home.”
Do you have dreams of attending the next con? What are your experiences at previous cons?
In Part 2 of this article, I will cover the world of cosplay, merchandise, autographs and much more.
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