A comic book convention or comic con is an event with a primary focus on comic books and comic book culture, in which comic book fans gather to meet creators, experts, and each other. Commonly, comic conventions are multi-day events hosted at convention centers, hotels, or college campuses. They feature a wide variety of activities and panels, with a larger number of attendees participating in cosplay than most other types of fan conventions. Comic book conventions are also used as a vehicle for industry, in which publishers, distributors, and retailers represent their comic-related releases. Comic book conventions may be considered derivatives of science-fiction conventions, which began in the late 1930s.
Comic-cons were traditionally organized by fans on a not-for-profit basis,though nowadays most events catering to fans are run by commercial interests for profit. Many conventions have award presentations relating to comics (such as the Eisner Awards, which have been presented at San Diego Comic-Con International since 1988; or the Harvey Awards, which have been presented at a variety of venues also since 1988).
The first official comic book convention was held in 1964 in New York City and was called New York Comicon. Early conventions were small affairs, usually organized by local enthusiasts (such as Jerry Bails, later known as the "Father of Comic Fandom", and Dave Kaler of the Academy of Comic-Book Fans and Collectors), and featuring a handful of industry guests. The first recurring conventions were the Detroit Triple Fan Fair, which ran from 1965–1978, and Academy Con, which ran from 1965–1967. Many recurring conventions begin as single-day events in small venues, which as they grow more popular expand to two days, or even three or more every year. Many comic-cons which had their start in church basements or union halls now fill convention centers in major cities.
Internationally, the world's largest comic book convention, in terms of attendees, is Japan's Comiket (first held in 1975), which boasts annual attendance of over half a million people. Italy's Lucca Comics & Games (first held in 1965) and France's Angoulême International Comics Festival (first staged in 1974) are the world's second and third largest comic festivals, respectively.
Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. It began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans — including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Alf — banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. Comic-Con started as a one-day “minicon,” called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The purpose of this single-day event—which included two special guests, Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer, and drew about 100 attendees—was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. The success of the minicon led to the first full-fledged, three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1-3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A. E. van Vogt. Over 300 attendees packed into the hotel’s basement for that groundbreaking event, which featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, and more: essentially, the model for every comic book convention to follow.
From the beginning, the founders of the show set out to include not only the comic books they loved, but also other aspects of the popular arts that they enjoyed and felt deserved wider recognition, including films and science fiction/fantasy literature. After one more name changes (San Diego’s West Coast Comic Convention, in 1972), the show officially became the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in 1973 with the fourth annual event. In 1995, the non-profit event changed its name to Comic-Con International: San Diego (CCI). With attendance topping 130,000 in recent years, the event has grown to include satellite locations, including local hotels and outdoor parks. Over it’s four-and-a-half decade-plus history, Comic-Con International has continually presented comic books and comic art to a growing audience. That love of the comics medium continues to be its guiding factor as the event moves toward its second half-century as the premier comic book and popular arts style convention in the world.
Can't wait for the annual convention? You can visit the Comic-Con Museum anytime located in San Diego.
For the past 50 years, San Diego Comic-Con has created one of the biggest, most popular conventions of its kind in the world. But the organizers of Comic-Con wanted to do even more to recognize fans and spread the magic of Comic-Con.
They imagined a place where fans could come together to celebrate the things they love, not just for a few days each summer, but all year long. A place where the public could learn about areas of art and pop culture of which they may not even be aware. A space where everyone is included, where old fans and new could enjoy the passion, creativity, and imagination of Comic-Con, while learning about science, technology, art, storytelling and much more. Now, with the help of fans like you, that dream will soon become reality.
With classes and activities during the day, movie screenings and trivia contests at night, and programs available online anytime, the Comic-Con Museum will be an experience unlike any other. Our focus will be on community and not collection by bringing diverse audiences together for shared, vibrant experiences
In addition to the comics, film and science fiction/fantasy genres that started it all, the Museum will showcase TV shows, books, video games, anime, and so much more. Through regularly rotating exhibits, hands-on workshops for kids as well as adults, and interactive experiences to try, you will always find something new and exciting to explore.
Opening in November 2021, the Comic-Con Museum will be a participatory place where audiences can connect with the magic of Comic-Con year-round.
BAKERSFIELD COMIC CON
Tony Fleecs is the writer and artist of In My Lifetime, an autobiographical comic book. First published in 2006, ‘Lifetime was an immediate critical success, featured twice in Wizard Magazine, in the Comic Buyer’s Guide and on the Ain’t-It-Cool-News.
American Graphic & Comic Book Artist born and raised in Los Angeles California. Started drawing sequential comic art in 1999 with VIOLENT MESSIAHS and John Carpenter’s SNAKE PLISSKEN CHRONICLES. Some time later he started drawing sketch cards for both INKWORKS & RITTEN-HOUSE. A few years later he started drawing for BONGO COMICS, and started a happy career drawing stories for SIMPSON’S COMICS, BART SIMPSON’S TREEHOUSE OF HORROR, RADIOACTIVE MAN & FUTURAMA.
Lonnie Millsap’s cartooning career began in 2010 when he released a self-published volume of his single panel cartoons titled ‘My Washcloth Stinks!’. Since then, he has been a guest, or exhibited, at countless book and comic conventions since 2011 including: Bakersfield Comic Con, San Diego Comic-Con, Wondercon, SPX, and L.A. Comiccon. In 2016 Millsap won the Los Angeles National Cartoonists Society Dingy Award and the Comic Art Professional Society’s Don Rico award. He competed in the 2017, 2018, and 2019, Wondercon Quick Draw competition against Sergio Aragones, and in the SDCC Quick Draw in 2023.
Len Smith began his career at Hanna-Barbera Studio in new show development. During Len’s time at Walt Disney Feature Animation, he designed Toontown in the film ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’. Next came a decade at Walt Disney TV Animation where he designed characters for ‘The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’, ‘Tailspin’, ‘Bonkers’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ series.
Steven A Wilcox is a Fresno, Ca based comic book artist who has provided comic book covers for Rick & Morty, Stabbity Bunny, Sink and Mary Shelley Monster Hunter. He has contributed art to the history making anthology, Always Punch Nazis and recently completed the art on a Knight Watchman short story for Big Bang Comics.
Scott "Fuzzy" Joseph is a Bakersfield based comic book creator producing the apocalyptic series "The Warren Hope". Fuzzy shares his love of Art and Comics as a high school Art teacher in the Bakersfield community.
Nadji Anthony Jeter is an American actor. He is best known for providing the voice and motion capture for Sam in the action-adventure video game The Last of Us (2013) and Miles Morales in several Marvel projects since 2017. He was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Performer in a Leading Rolefor his performance as Miles Morales in the 2020 video game Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Kathy Valentine is a musician, songwriter, singer and author, notably known as a member of the Go-Go’s. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 with the Go-Go’s and co-wrote 3 of their hit singles including “Vacation” and “Head Over Heels.” Her widely acclaimed book “All I Ever Wanted: A Rock n Roll Memoir” came out in 2020 and earned a spot on both the Washington Post and Rolling Stone’s best non-fiction books list. Valentine has worked as an actress, (The Transcendents 2015) a spokesperson (Brookside Chocolates, Rainbow Light) keynote and public speaker, as a producer and musical director for theater (Head Over Heels, 2023 Zach Theater, Austin.) She lives in Austin, Texas and London, England.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Gina Schock is a unique entity as a female drummer and songwriter. Early on, she played in many bands, including Baltimore's first punk new wave band Scratch n Sniff. But a game changer was touring with Edith Massey, "the Egg Lady". Edie was one of the main stars of John Waters' films. This gig was Gina's first professional experience playing in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Lori Petty is an actress, director, and screenwriter. She is noted for her roles in the films Point Break (1991), A League of Their Own (1992), Free Willy (1993), and the title role in Tank Girl (1995). Lori joined the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black as Lolly Whitehill as a guest star in the second season, and a recurring character in the third, fourth and seventh seasons.
Jerry's television and show business career began at the tender age of two when he did a Pet Condensed Milk commercial with Ed Wynn on the "Colgate Comedy Hour." He continued to work on many of the early '50's live television shows and in 1954, he made his movie debut co-starring with Linda Darnell in "This Is My Love." He then caught the attention of Alfred Hitchcock who signed him for the 1955 film, "The Trouble with Harry," starring John Forsythe and Shirley MacLaine in what was her very first film role. The budding young actor next appeared in two Bob Hope movies, "The Seven Little Foys" and "That Certain Feeling." Two movies with Alan Ladd followed, "The Deep Six" and "Men of the Fighting Lady."
It was in 1957 however; with the debut of the series "Leave It To Beaver" that Jerry entered the hearts and homes of America. An immediate success, the show gained national attention and ran for six seasons, totaling 234 episodes. When it celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 4, 2007, the show became the longest running scripted show in television history. In 2017, the show celebrated its 60th anniversary! Currently shown on Me-TV and in countries throughout the world, "Leave it to Beaver" has made Jerry an American Icon.
Andrey signed with an agent and began landing acting/stunt roles on such known shows as: "Falling Skies," "Nikita," and "The Transporter" (the TV series). He landed his first leading role in a Lionsgate feature called "The Way Of The West" which was released in 2011 as well as a lead role in the Envision Media feature "Freezer" opposite Dylan McDermot which was released in 2014.
Kevin is one of 6 siblings who always stole the scenes and attention since he was born. He performed in school plays and family skits while growing up. He attended Pasadena City College and Los Angeles Valley College studying cinematography while touring with The Original Harmonica Band and The Hollywood Shorties Smallest Sports Team. Along the way he started auditioning and landed a role in the classic sci-fi film Blade Runner(1982) delivering his first on camera line “Home again, home again jiggity jig, Good Evening JF”. Later he would work again alongside Harrison Ford in the Star Wars IV-Return Of The Jedi (1983). He continued in the made for television movies as the Ewok Chukha Truk in The Ewok Adventure(1984) and Ewok Battle For Endor (1985). Kevin appeared in the 80’s cult films Weird Science (1985), Amazing Stories (1985), Twilight Zone (1986), Night of The Creeps (1986), Garbage Pail Kids (1987), Spaced Invaders (1990), Looney Tunes Back In Action (2003) and Epic Movie(2007).
Spencer Wilding: Darth Vader, Guardians of the Galaxy, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Fast and Furious, Batman Begins, Men In Black, Dr Who
Come see AEW’s Johnny TV, formerly known in WWE as John Morrison at Bakersfield Comic Con! He is best known for his time in WWE, Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground. Hennigan is currently working with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as Johnny TV, as well as the independent circuit under various ring names.
Taya is a Canadian professional wrestler, fitness competitor and model, who is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Outside of AEW, she also wrestles for Mexico’s Lucha Libre Worldwide (AAA), where she is a record-tying 4-time AAA Reina de Reinas Champion; in Major League Wrestling (MLW) - where she is the inaugural MLW Women’s Featherweight Champion; and in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Valkyrie holds the record for the longest reign as AAA Reina de Reinas Champion.
Andrew Gray was born in Sacramento, California,. He is an actor and writer, known for Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Legendary Battle (2015), Slumberland (2022) and Power Rangers Megaforce (2013).