Biggest comic conventions in the U.S.!
I am actually quite surprised at the popularity of my previous article regarding the biggest Anime conventions in the U.S. So I’ve decided to do a different version but this time however, we shall be focusing on the biggest comic conventions.
You might think that both Anime and Comic conventions are similar enough, but they are quite different. I explain in full detail here.
But the TLDR: Comic cons are more about Western-focused fandoms with a bigger dealer’s room and generally bigger name guests. Meanwhile, Anime conventions are all about…the Anime! And I find there are generally more panels and activities to do at Anime cons, and they tend to be open later than comic cons (some stay open all night).
Both are good in their own way! But that doesn’t mean there’s no Anime at Comic cons; in fact, Anime is becoming more of a staple at Comic cons in recent years. So just because you’re more into Anime than comics potentially, don’t let that stop from attending comic conventions; they’re a lot of fun as well!
Anyways, let’s answer the question…
What are the biggest comic conventions in the U.S.?
By far the biggest comic convention in the United States is New York Comic Con. With over 200,000 attendees in 2022, New York Comic Con is not only the largest comic con, but by far the largest fan convention in all of North America. Don’t be fooled though; there are many comic cons in the U.S. that are incredibly large, such as Dragon Con in the South, San Diego Comic-Con in the West and Chicago Comic Con Expo (C2E2) in the Midwest.
In this post, I’ll go over the 15 biggest comic conventions in the U.S. that you should definitely consider attending. These are some of the most popular events in America as of 2023!
Based on the research I’ve done, there are a LOT of big comic cons in the United States! But I had to narrow the list to the top 15 biggest ones.
Like the previous article, I won’t be sorting this list by size (which may be impossible due to varying attendance numbers); I will be sorting the convention by the regions in the US: Northeast, Midwest, South and West. This is how the United States officially separates their regions, so I will do the same!
Also, keep in mind that this list only is for COMIC conventions; other events such as Anime conventions don’t count. So you won’t be seeing cons such as Anime Expo or Anime NYC on this list, even though they’re just as big, if not bigger than some of these Anime conventions. If you’re looking for a list of the biggest Anime conventions, click here.
Another thing is that I don’t have many photos to share because I personally haven’t attended these comic cons (yet). So you won’t be seeing much photos in this list.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Comic Conventions in the Northeast United States
The Northeast and East Coast of the U.S. is one of the most populated areas. And when it comes to comic cons, there are definitely a handful of them in this region! However, there are only 2 that are considered the largest comic conventions in the U.S. Which ones are they? Let’s start with the biggest one of them: New York Comic Con.
1. New York Comic Con
|Name||New York Comic Con|
|Location||New York City, New York (Manhattan in particular)|
|Venue location||Javits Center|
|Number of attendees||Over 210,000|
|Next event date||Thursday October 12 – Sunday October 15, 2023|
At first I thought a certain well-known convention in San Diego was the largest. But I was wrong; New York Comic Con is THE absolute biggest comic con in the U.S. With over 200,000 attendees (yes 200k) every year, the annual event in NYC surpasses anything and everything even close to it.
New York Comic Con is 4-days long and organized by ReedPop, the same team that hosts other fan events across the globe (including one I absolutely enjoyed, MCM London Comic Con!). I myself haven’t been to NYCC but I’m sure the event is amazing, especially since taking place in NYC, America’s largest city!
2. Rhode Island Comic Con
|Name||Rhode Island Comic Con|
|Location||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Venue location||Rhode Island Convention Center, Amica Mutual Pavilion and Omni Providence Hotel|
|Number of attendees||50,000 in 2021|
|Next event date||Friday November 3 – Sunday November 5|
Normally we don’t associate Rhode Island with anything big. But surprisingly, one of the biggest comic conventions does take place in the small state of Rhode Island! The convention takes place in Providence, the most populous city in the state. The event is relatively new compared to other conventions, only starting back in 2012. Like many comic cons, Rhode Island Comic Con is 3 days long, with a plethora of guests to see and activities to take part in. Don’t let the small state of Rhode Island fool you; there were around 50,000 attendees in 2021!
Comic Conventions in the Midwestern United States
Much like the situation with Anime conventions, the Midwest has plenty of big comic cons in the region. People in the area love fan conventions and comic cons are no exceptions. Let’s see the biggest ones in the Midwest…
3. Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo
|Name||Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (or C2E2 for short)|
|Venue location||McCormick Place|
|Number of attendees||Over 95,000|
|Next event date||Friday April 26 – Sunday April 28, 2024|
Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo is the flagship comic convention in the Chicago area and the Midwest. With nearly 100,000 attendees in recent years, you can bet this annual event in Chi Town gets a ton of attendees. I always thought the name of the convention is cool, especially when the name is abbreviated to C2E2. A lot of my cosplay friends have attended this wonderful comic con in Chicago, and have only good things to say about it!
4. Fan Expo Chicago
|Name||Fan Expo Chicago|
|Venue location||Donald E. Stephens Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||Over 75,000|
|Next event date||Thursday August 10 – Sunday August 13, 2023|
I myself am quite familiar with Fan Expo, as the organizers also host their signature event in Toronto (click here to read my guide on Fan Expo Canada)! Like the many Fan Expo’s in Canada, the one in Chicago is an enormous comic con, with over something attendees in something! It’s no surprise given the event takes place in the big city of Chicago. With Fan Expo in Chicago, you can expect to see big-name guests and a big dealer’s room!
5. Motor City Comic Con
|Name||Motor City Comic Con|
|Venue location||Suburban Collection Showplace|
|Number of attendees||Over 60,000|
|Next event date||Friday May 19 – Sunday May 21, 2023|
Starting back in 1989, Motor City Comic Con is one of the longest-running comic cons in America; 34 years in the making. It’s by far the largest comic con in the state of Michigan. Although Motor City is usually associated with Detroit, the convention actually takes place in a nearby suburb in Novi, Michigan. I’ve actually been to Novi; it’s a nice smaller city with good hot dogs! There are plenty of spaces for vendors and a lot of activity going in during Motor City Comic Con.
6. Planet Comicon Kansas City
|Name||Planet Comicon Kansas City|
|Location||Kansas City, Missouri|
|Venue location||Kansas City Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||70,000 in 2016|
|Next event date||Friday March 8 – Sunday March 10, 2024|
Although I have not been to the Planet Comicon Kansas City convention, or the city itself, you can tell this comic con is definitely unique! Started back in 1999, this local convention has become the largest comic con in the Kansas area, with many attendees making their way to this annual event every year. Planet Comicon Kansas City will be having their 25th anniversary in 2024, so that will be a convention you won’t want to miss!
Comic Conventions in the Southern United States
The South definitely gets their share of large comic conventions. Much like Anime conventions, there is a huge demand for events where we can cosplay and geek out! We have 3 conventions from the Southern U.S. that made it onto this list. Let’s start with probably one of the most well-known comic cons out there…
7. Dragon Con
|Venue location||Multiple venues in downtown Atlanta|
|Number of attendees||65,000 in 2022|
|Next event date||Thursday August 31 – Monday September 4|
Oh yes! Dragon Con is one of the most popular fan conventions today. It’s been a con I’ve wanted to attend myself, but haven’t gotten the chance. The convention itself takes place in several hotel buildings connected together in downtown Atlanta. A big attraction of Dragon Con is the big outdoor cosplay parade that happens on the last day of the convention! What’s also notable is that the annual event is 5 days long, so you’ll be having fun for a very very long holiday weekend!
Here’s a video by Dragon Con with their cosplay parade in 2022 below!
8. Fan Expo Dallas
|Name||Fan Expo Dallas|
|Venue location||Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||Over 60,000|
|Next event date||Friday June 9 – Sunday June 11|
Another comic con run by the wonderful team behind all the Fan Expo conventions across North America, Fan Expo Dallas is another large con in the great state of Texas. With over 60,000 attendees showing up, Fan Expo Dallas is definitely one of the biggest comic conventions in the U.S.
What I find interesting is that the venue for Fan Expo Dallas changes almost every year. Some years it has taken place at the Irving Convention Center in a suburb of Irving, Texas. Other years the con is right in the middle of downtown Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. However, for 2023 it will be in the latter venue in Dallas!
9. Florida Supercon
|Location||Miami Beach, Florida|
|Venue location||Miami Beach Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||Over 55,000|
|Next event date||Friday June 30 – Sunday July 2, 2023|
Florida Supercon takes places in Miami Beach, Florida. With over 55,000 attendees, the event is one of the largest in Florida. Florida Supercon is another big con that’s organized by ReedPop, which runs a bunch of other awesome large comic conventions across the country (as mentioned earlier). So you can expect a high-quality event in Florida Supercon!
10. MEGACON Orlando
|Venue location||Orange County Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||140,000 in 2022|
|Next event date||Thursday February 1 – Sunday February 4, 2024|
This comic con definitely lives up the name of MEGACON. This event is MASSIVE, with over 140,000 attending in 2022. What surprises me is that in my opinion, Florida is not known for having large fan conventions, yet MEGACON is one of the largest in all of North America when it comes to attendance numbers. The event is 4 days long and like many comic cons on this list, you can expect to see a lot of famous celebrities and activities taking place.
Comic Conventions in the Western United States
When it comes to comic cons, there are TONS of big conventions in the West. Yes, we all know about San Diego Comic-Con but there are many others outside of California as well. There were so many that I had to exclude some, simply because there are a lot of big ones in the West. After sorting through them all, here are the biggest comic cons in the Western U.S…
11. Emerald City Comicon
|Name||Emerald City Comicon|
|Venue location||Seattle Convention Center Summit Building|
|Number of attendees||Over 98,000|
|Next event date||Thursday February 29 – Sunday March 3, 2024|
The Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. has plenty of big name conventions like Pax West and Sakura-Con. But by far the biggest comic con in the region is Emerald City Comicon, which takes place at the Seattle Convention Center in downtown Seattle. Not only is Emerald City Comicon the largest comic con in the Pacific Northwest, it’s one of THE biggest in the entire continent. With nearly 100,000 attendees, this event is HUGE!
12. Fan Expo Denver
|Name||Fan Expo Denver|
|Venue location||Colorado Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||Over 100,000|
|Next event date||Friday, June 30 – Sunday, July 2, 2023|
I believe Denver is located within the Western United States. When I think of the Midwest, I think of mostly flatlands and as you know, Denver is nowhere considered being flat. Anyways, we have another Fan Expo gem in the mile-high city of Denver with Fan Expo Denver. This is really surprising to me because the convention seems quite under the radar, given the attendance numbers of over 100,000. But in any case, Fan Expo will always have lots of attendees because of the great variety of activities, guests and panels to see at their events!
13. L.A. Comic Con
|Name||L.A. Comic Con|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Venue location||Los Angeles Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||126,600 in 2022|
|Next event date||Friday December 1 – Sunday December 3|
Los Angeles seems to be the city where tons of big geek events take place. From Anime Expo (the largest Anime convention in all of North America), E3, to WonderCon (although large, not as large as the ones on this list). L.A. Comic Con is no exception; with over 126,000 attendees in 2022, the event is one of the largest in North America.
Formerly known as Comikaze, L.A. Comic Con is notable for their connection with the late legend Stan Lee in previous years, where they collaborated together and even had their 2016 event named Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con. So not only is L.A. Comic Con one of the biggest comic cons in the country, the annual event is truly something special!
14. Rose City Comic Con
|Name||Rose City Comic Con|
|Venue location||Oregon Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||50,000|
|Next event date||Friday, September 22 – Sunday, September 24, 2023|
Taking place in the lovely city of Portland, Rose City Comic Con attracts 50,000 attendees to this West Coast city every year! The event is run by LeftField Media, the same group that also hosts AnimeNYC. So you can bet that Rose City Comic Con is always a wonderful time!
15. San Diego Comic-Con
|Name||San Diego Comic-Con|
|Location||San Diego, California|
|Venue location||San Diego Convention Center|
|Number of attendees||Over 135,000+ in 2022|
|Next event date||Thursday July 20 – Sunday July 23, 2023|
We can’t talk about comic conventions without mentioning one of the most significant and influential of them all; San Diego Comic-Con. Started way back in 1970, the annual event in Southern California has grown significantly, with over 135,000+ attendees in 2022.
Most notably, you can find big name guests and major movie announcements being made at this convention. The convention has everything you could want, including comics, video games, toys and more. You better get your tickets in advance though; badges sell out really fast, despite hosting over 100,000 attendees every year!
To summarize, here are the 15 biggest comic conventions in the U.S:
- New York Comic Con
- Rhode Island Comic Con
- Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo
- Fan Expo Chicago
- Motor City Comic Con
- Planet Comicon Kansas City
- Dragon Con
- Fan Expo Dallas
- MEGACON Orlando
- San Diego Comic-Con
- Emerald City Comicon
- Fan Expo Denver
- L.A. Comic Con
- Rose City Comic Con
- San Diego Comic-Con
And there you have it; the 15 biggest comic conventions in the U.S.! I hope you found this list useful and I also hope you are motivated to head down to some big comic conventions in America.
Which conventions are you planning on attending? Let me know in the comments below!
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!