Well, that was in July, by August, I was jonesing for another Comic Con fix. So the bestie and I hopped in the car and road tripped it up to the Windy City for Wizard World’s Chicago Comic Con.
This was my second year going to Chicago for Comic Con and the number one question I get asked is: “How does Chicago match up to San Diego?” Comparing the two conventions is like comparing apples and oranges, but I’ll try my best.
SDCC is HUGE. Like just enormous. You can walk nonstop throughout the whole convention and still not see everything that is there. While that’s cool and all, the severe FOMO that happens when you realize you didn’t see something AMAZING is a side effect of SDCC.
Chicago Comic Con is huge, BUT, it’s not so big that you miss out on things. It’s the perfect size. One side of the convention is filled with vendors and bars. Yes, bars. The other side is filled with the book pushers, artists, tattoo artists, and the “talent”. Upstairs is an entire gaming section and the photo-op area.
Upstairs with the gamers was some old movie props.
Chicago Comic Con is a good ol’ fashioned convention. Which means, you go to a booth and buy a photo-op and then get in line and wait for your moment to squeeze your celebrity of choice. But be forewarned, it really is just a moment. Photo-ops are fast. Like you blink and you’re done – FAST.
The best part & the most awkward part is going to the tables and talking to “celebrities” (I’m sorry but the dude who played zombie number five hundred and twenty-nine on The Walking Dead is not a celebrity. That’s just a dude with a cool story to tell at a bar.). So while you’re waiting in the three-hour line to chat with Norman Reedus, you’re kinda stuck awkwardly locking eyes with the green power ranger occasionally.
In SDCC the best way to meet a celebrity is by bumping into them in the hotel lobby.
Both conventions win in the cosplay department. But I have to think that Chicago almost has MORE cosplayers than SDCC. Possibly because SDCC is so big and spread out, while Chicago is just wall to wall cosplayers. Not just the expected Harley Quinn’s and Daryl Dixon’s either. You see a wide range of nerds in Chicago. Including this nerd:
My very first cosplay!
My favorite cosplay of the weekend.
Shopping is my favorite hobby. Right next to sleeping. Spending a day internet shopping in bed is the dream. But the shopping at conventions is a close second. You’ll never find a better place to buy nerd supplies than at a convention. So how do the two compare? Well, that’s tricky. The very wide selection at SDCC is mind blowing. SDCC literally has EVERY SINGLE GENRE of nerdom you can imagine. The shitty part is that nine times out of ten, you ain’t getting in that booth to look at that SDCC exclusive you drooled over since hearing about it online in December.
Chicago’s selection, while smaller, at least allows you to actually touch the things you want. You can actually buy Funko Pop’s without having to get in line at 6am and pray for a wrist band to get you back in line ten hours later and hoping for a chance at the BB8 Thumbs Up Pop. Plus, Chicago has cookies y’all. THESE COOKIES.
So. Damn. Good.
So, on a scale of bee’s knees to bomb dot com, how would I rank these very different conventions? Easy. They’re both the bomb dot com. SDCC is a wild ride of experiences that you think will lead you one way, but really you end up on some side street you’ve never heard of and you’re calling Uber to get you back to your car.
Chicago Comic Con is a nerd fest. Total complete nerd fest. It’s a beautiful thing. When you’re left getting sad that maybe SDCC has become too mainstream and you miss seeing nerd boys running around with comic books in their hands, go to Chicago Comic Con. You will not be disappointed.