Pittsburgh is blessed with a multitude of small conventions that focus on practically every aspect of Geek Culture imaginable. Steel City Con in Monroeville is held three times a year, for instance, with a focus on Pop Culture. Science fiction literature fans have Confluence, while aficionados of Japanese Pop Culture have Tekko. Horror fans have Horror Realm and Monster Bash, while the Living Dead Festival caters to zombies. PIX: The Pittsburgh Indy Comix Expo puts the spotlight on comic books, while Anthrocon is geared towards Furries and fans of animation. Barely a month goes by in any given calendar year without some sort of con, giving Pittsburgh a vibrant scene for both Geeks and non-Geeks alike.
Despite the abundance of options in the area, part of me has always wanted to check out similar scenes in other locales across the country. Truth is, it’s been a long time since I’ve been outside of the Three Rivers, and 2015 seemed like as good of a time as any. Starting in January, I travelled to Salt Lake City, Cleveland and Seattle for major conventions, and if you go back to late July 2014, Las Vegas can also be added into the mix. It was a varied assortment of cons, from Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention in Vegas to a newer con in Salt Lake, a Wizard World in Cleveland to one of the most respected national comic cons in Seattle. While the basic aspects of each convention were more or less the same, each experience was also different, offering unique spins on the Pop Culture explosion that has erupted in the Twenty First Century.