Everybody knows about the big conventions. For example, San Diego Comic Con gets yearly coverage in the media because it is the hub of everything “hot” coming out of the entertainment industry. Locally, we always hear about Gen Con because of the huge crowds it brings to downtown Indianapolis, and the Indiana Comic Con also drew a lot of buzz, due to everyone wondering why Indianapolis hasn’t had its own comic con lately. However, while these conventions are awesome, and have their place, I was wondering if people were aware that there were many local, fan-run conventions around our state that help provide a fantastic con experience, without the huge crowds. In fact, some of these cons even have some pretty good guests, for those who are into that sort of thing. Let’s take a look at a few of these cons.
- Who’s Yer Con – A small, volunteer run gaming convention held on the west side of Indianapolis at the Clarion Waterfront Hotel. I have not had a chance to attend, but I have heard from gamer friends that it is a lot of fun, and checking it out is on my convention “to do” list for 2014. No date has been set yet, but expect to see it around March.
- Appleseed Con – This is a pure comic con held up in Fort Wayne. I visited back when it was called Summit City, and it was great speaking with comic creators, getting personalized sketches, and just hanging out with great, like-minded individuals. It has already passed in 2013, but I’m fairly certain they will be back next year, so keep your eyes open!
- InConJunction – Normally on July 4th weekend on the east side of Indianapolis, this is one heck of a local con, covering science fiction and fantasy. While not having the guests that Days of the Dead has on the west side of Indianapolis, it’s still a great piece of fan history in Indianapolis, and a great place to interact with people.
- IkasuCon – An anime con in Fort Wayne. This will be held on the second weekend of July, and I thank Terry O’Brien in the comments for pointing it out to me!
- Indy Toy & Comic Expo – This will be the first year for this show, to be held at that hotel with the water slides sticking out of it off of the Michigan Exit and 465. It’s also called Caribbean Cove, but most people just know it from the water slides. Featuring toy vendors and local artists, this show look to be a good time, and it’s a single day show on July 14th, so I’m planning on attending.
- Indy Fur Con – Hey, I told you guys before, I don’t judge! I used to work at the office building attached to the host hotel for this convention, and I know it’s a hopping affair! Take a look!
- Kokomo-Con – Another small, single-day convention in the surfing mecca of Kokomo! This looks to be an all-purpose convention that covers gaming, science fiction, and comic books, along with encouraging costuming.
- Darkside Con –
Another all-purpose convention at the Clarion Waterfront Hotel on the west side of Indianapolis. This will be the first year for the convention, so I’m really excited to see what they have to offer. It will be held the first weekend of November. Update: This has been cancelled, per their Facebook page, for 2013. They are planning a good showing in 2014.
- Pentacon – Another pure gaming convention, this one up in Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Center. Great for gamers, it will be the second weekend of November.
- Starbase Indy – The con that I grew up with. I used to hit this convention religiously in the late 90’s, and it warms my heart that it’s still a Thanksgiving Weekend staple. Normally a great place to see some of your favorite stars, this year they have a line-up including Rene Auberjonois, Armin Shimerman, Claudia Christian, and more. This is a lot better than leftover turkey.
- Anime Crossroads – For those who are into eastern animation, Japanese culture, and music, look no further than the east side of Indianapolis from December 13th through the 15th.
- Ash Comic Shows – Occurring throughout the year in Indianapolis, this is a great way to get your comic and collectible fix, if you can’t hit a bigger show the rest of the year.