Art & Design Best Practices in Print Marketing Business Cards Corporate Culture Design Holidays & Occasions Ideas Inspiring Stories Marketing Tips & Tricks Postcards Small Business Tips

Comic Conventions: Their impact on fashion, culture, technology and entertainment

The power and reach of Comic Conventions

Cosplayers and conference goers are getting ready for the upcoming Comic-Cons as many of the country’s largest comic-based conventions in major cities like San Diego and New York are gearing up for their openings. Comic Conventions have been able to expose and magnify trends, bringing to light fashion, memes, and content that just would not have gone viral without them. In Hawaii, what started as a singular comic convention (Kawaii Kon) some ten years ago, today we find no less than 6, each focusing or dedicated on a different aspect of pop culture; be it movies, tv shows, comics, games, fashion or collectibles. Overall, it’s a remarkable growth for these very specific conventions as comic conventions have grown over the last twenty years by more than 25 major conventions, expanding comic conventions’ reach and influence throughout the country.

Many comic conventions throughout the country have areas where artists display and promote their work and comic book sections where comics and artists that are unknown are able to feature and promote their works. In general, hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the vast various comic conventions in the United States are exposed to artists, vendors, brands, entertainment, information, books, comics and more; all content they would not normally have gotten exposure to.

The power of Cosplay

One of the biggest fashion trends of the past few years has to be ‘cosplaying’, or the practice of dressing up as a character from a popular or obscure movie, book, comic, game or TV show. It’s become so popular that ‘cosplay’ has itself become a verb and millions world wide go ‘cosplaying’ at popular events like comic conventions, at theme parks, movie theaters for premieres and parties. Cosplaying has become popular with all walks of live and there’s no restrictions on who can dress up and participate. At comic conventions it’s equally common to see whole families, including young children dressed up as it is to see people well into their 90’s, dressed up in thematic attire. The advent, popularity and relative cheapness of 3D printers and the availability of sewing patterns has meant that cosplaying is available to just about everyone. For most cosplayers it just takes time and effort to turn themselves into their favorite real or fictional character.

Cosplaying is a growing market and one where people make money, whether from creating files necessary for creating costumes or working with corporations to advertise a product or service while cosplaying at a convention or event. Hundreds of professional cosplay ‘experts’ take over comic conventions each year, showcasing their perfectly replicated costumes and typically near perfect physiques, pausing and posing for pics while simultaneously handing out or showing gear and ads from their sponsors. Many of these professional cosplayers are extremely popular on social media, with a sizable portion of them posting videos of the making of their costumes, putting on their costumes or making videos with detailed instructions on how to put on makeup or fix hair in order to become their cosplay characters.

San Diego Comic Con - comic convention influence on social media, technology, fashion, culture and entertainment
San Diego Comic Con – comic convention influence on social media, technology, fashion, culture and entertainment

Cosplay as Art

More venues are now focusing on displaying photos. Examples and complete works from cosplay artists that have typically only previously received attention and exposure from comic based conventions, like this photography exhibit at Pellissippi State and the recent Art of Cosplay Exhibit at the University of Manitoba, provide great insight into the huge universe that is cosplay today. These exhibits describes cosplay as a sort of ultimate form of wearable art that seeks to showcase it as a legitimate artform by displaying cosplay through scenes of action and images from collaborations with local prominent photographers, offering viewers a truly visual, personal experience, deeply exploring what cosplay is and what it means to those who cross their paths at conventions.

The numbers show just how popular these conventions have become. More than one and a half million tweets discussed comic conventions in 2018’s San Diego Comic-Con. More than 37,000 instagrammers took part at the convention last year. Their posts received well over 2 million impressions, reaching hundreds of millions of people. Conventions are absolutely huge events and these social numbers point to just how active and popular these events are. Well over 100,000 focused hashtags were used and #SDCC Instagram users tweeted from more than 100 countries. An average of 125,000 images were uploaded to Instagram for #SDCC related hashtags with a major portion of those images being cosplay related.

Technological advancements help move visitor convention experiences into the future

Live event management from comic conventions has become more structured, planned out and modernized over the past few years. The latest technological advancements implemented at these conventions have increased order, more security and control while providing event goers a more interactive experience. Advancements include better solutions for ticketing, access control, scheduling, feedback, booking and payment. Many conventions now use RFID-enabled badges to collect data, allow for real-time accommodation of visitors and better understanding of attendee behavior. Sponsors and large exhibitors are increasingly using virtual and augmented reality, gamification, mobile apps and other cutting-edge digital technologies to create amazing, futuristic experiences for convention goers and general visitors. While the bulk of these individual technologies were first demo’d or became popular via other venues (i.e. CES in Vegas) the general usage of and acceptance at large venues first came about because of comic conventions. This technology has now filtered not down but actually up to other large types of venue performances from major recording artists, sporting and gaming events and even Broadway shows.

comic con cosplayers from comic-con san diego
comic con cosplayers from comic-con san diego

Artists and content creators are using advanced technological platforms for promotion and advertisement at comic conventions

The Twitch streaming service recently expanded their available categories to include several specifically used by artists typically found at comic conventions today. Artists are now using networks like Twitch to promote other shows, art exhibits, upcoming music and movie releases and most notably upcoming appearances at comic conventions. Just a few years ago you would never expect to see virtual reality products, cryptocurrency, blockchain sessions and hyper futuristic robots at conventions. Today, those are just a few of the things you’d see and now consider normal. Advancements in robotics, AI, virtual reality and more can be experienced first hand at events like FutureTechLive!, a regular hub and now official event at Comic-Con in San Diego. Manufacturers of hardware and software now use conventions for major product and software updates and announcements for new products. The hub will now also feature art exhibits including VR art, possibly paving the way to eventually see similar exhibits in actual museums one day.

Show me the Money

Conventions bring in money to the local community also. The majority of fans at comic conventions spend anywhere from $100 to $500, not including admission tickets, lodging, food or parking. Most attendees frequent more than one comic convention per year and many are repeat attendees, and are much more likely to attend the following year. Most conventions continue to grow in visitors each year. The San Diego Comic-Con’s attendance numbers were around 126,000 in 2008 while in 2018 that number was well over 130,000. Others conventions like the New York Comic Con sold more than 250,000 tickets to convention goers this past year, an increase of more than 100,000 compared to numbers from just 5 years ago. New York estimates that those convention visitors also brought in to the city over $140 million, making the New York Comic-Con one of the most profitable conventions for the city.

So, what are visitors spending with their money? Money is spent typically on collectible items, toys, comics and other convention popular items. Items that become truly popular at conventions are often shared and uploaded as social media posts and images, increasing exposure for the products and gaining notoriety for artists. So, it’s not surprising that many book, tv, movie, toy, clothing and tech companies specifically plan on product releases around one or more comic conventions as conventions offer virtually free advertising, great word of mouth opportunities and the possibility for having a product or service go truly viral. Deadpool, the movie, is infamous for getting it’s official start at conventions. The brain and love child of actor Ryan Reynolds, Reynolds wanted to make a movie version of the beloved Marvel superhero for years. It was only after the ‘test footage’ he made with a team of graphics artists at Fox Studios leaked, going viral on the night before the final day at SDCC in 2014 that word of mouth and buzz at the convention in San Diego spread quickly and widely enough for the movie studio to finally take notice and agree to make the film. Within 24 hours of the footage being leaked the movie was greenlit. Much of Ryan’s and Deadpool’s success can be directly attributed to the response convention goers had to the leaked footage.

Comic conventions are now being used more and more as vehicles and venues to announce and release new books, games, tv shows, movies, and more. Many panels that can be seen at the more popular comic conventions usually feature exclusive content, products and services that are not and will not be available elsewhere. Many feature panels of actors, artists, performers and celebrities where conversations and Q&A sessions happen that typically have moments that get posted and shared on blogs, social media platforms and news outlets. Combined with the power that these conventions have with social media posts, cosplayers, artists and venues, comic conventions are a pathway for many to fashion, culture, technology and entertainment.

Going to a Comic Convention this year? Be sure to check out the wide range of comic-con related products at Overnight Prints: overnightprints.com/comiccon.

COMIC-CON FESTIVALS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

COMIC-CON FESTIVALS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INSIDE LOOK: CARTOON FAN ART THAT SELLS AT COMIC CON

INSIDE LOOK: CARTOON FAN ART THAT SELLS AT COMIC CON

You Might Also Like

9 Best Social Media Platforms for Promoting Your Small Business in 2019

5 Creative Mother’s Day Photo Gift Ideas for 2019, 2020 and Beyond

Incorporating Pantone Color into Your Backyard Decor

Overnight Prints Offers Custom Sticker Printing

Overnight Prints Offers Cookie Printing

A Brief History of How Valentine’s Day Got It’s Charm

Show Your Stuff by Submitting Your Business to the 2019 National Small Business Week Awards

3rd Annual #SpookMeONP Halloween Design Contest

Great Tips for Overcoming Your Procrastination

Back 2 School – From the 1950s to Today

How To Spruce Up Your Apartment Walls

History of ‘Christmas in July’

Comic-Con Festivals from Around the World

Hit Summer Flicks Blasting Their Way Into Theaters

Getting Physical: Digital Brands Are Moving to the Physical World by Opening Stores

Six Small Business Week Tips For Success

For National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day: Mom & Pop Shops That Made it Big

Genres That Defined the Nightclub Scene: From Dance Hall to EDM

World Water Day: Waterless Printing Saves Our Planet

6 Awesome DIY Ideas for Custom Easter Baskets

18 Pot O’ Gold St. Patrick’s Day Small Business Promotions For 2018

Pi Day Recipes

Free Templates for Corporate Thank You Cards: Employee Appreciation Day

Best Voted Movie Poster Designs of the 2018 Oscars

How to Use Psychology to Create Good Design

Fashion Branding 101: Sell more than clothes

Achieving the ‘Feng Shui’ of Art & Design

Artist Alert: 5 Typography Trends to Know in 2018

Old School Print is the Latest Marketing Strategy

Calligraphy: Learn the Basics of Hand Lettering from Master Artists

5 Marketing Resolutions for a Happy New Year

10 Free New Year’s Eve Party Invitation Templates

All Hail the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year

Correct These Holiday Card Grammar Mistakes

Ultimate Gift Guide for Everyone Else on Your List

Short History of the Popular Christmas Greeting Card

Smart Ways Print Adds to Your Holiday Marketing

A Guide to Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Top 5 Advice for Entrepreneurs on Small Business Saturday

2nd Annual #SpookMeONP Halloween Design Contest

4 Reasons to Use Direct Mail Marketing

Best Halloween Party Invitation Templates

4 Reasons Why Brand Consistency Makes Sales

Top 4 Marketing Books That Will Transform Your Small Business

Alternative Ways to Share School Pride on College Colors Day

Overcoming Fears One Canvas at a Time

The Best 4 Marketing Tools for Branding a Professional Speaker

4 Modern American Artists to Watch

Back to School: 10 Major Life Hacks for DIY Classroom Décor

Are You a Shark in Business?

Print vs. Digital: Where to spend your ad dollars

Staycations That Will Improve Work Performance

World’s Best Dad: Celebrating Father’s Day at Overnight Prints

Father’s Day Guide: Custom Gifts to Suit Every Dad

Cheap Print Ideas for an Easy, Breezy Summer Wedding

Limited Edition Hero Cards to Commemorate Medal of Honor Recipients

5th Grader Wins OvernightPrints.com Student Storyteller Contest

National Photography Month: 5 Photogs to Celebrate on Instagram

Mom Knows Best: Celebrating Mother’s Day at Overnight Prints

What You Need to Print Before and After Graduation

Essential Print Marketing for the Tourism Industry

5 Budget-Friendly Print Products for Small Businesses

Ready-to-Use Templates for Email Debt Forgiveness Day

Small Business Story: Kristin Bleyenberg Design

Tax Advice: 5 Small Business Marketing Deductions to Know

OvernightPrints.com Hosting Student Storyteller Contest

Top 7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Business Marketing

8 Design Faux Pas You Need to Avoid

Mom & Pop Shops That Made it Big

6 Brilliant Office Pranks for April Fool’s Day

OvernightPrints.com Wins Bronze ADDY Award

5 Best Examples of Employee Appreciation

Will You Be My Valentine? How to Attract Customers

Adorable Ways to Say I Love You (Without a Greeting Card)

The Most Powerful Red Logos in Marketing

Free Printable Kids’ Crafts for Chinese New Year

New Year’s Resolution: Dance Away

#InspireMe2017: Finance Tips

Small Business Marketing Lessons from the Rose Parade

Small Business Conference Planning Checklist

4 Neat Ways to Personalize Holiday Wrapping Paper

11 Holiday Parties to Throw This Winter

How to Easily Design Business Holiday Cards

3 Ways to Prepare for Small Business Saturday This Year

Secure Customers Before and After Cyber Monday

16 Secrets to a Successful Black Friday

How to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table

Halloween #SpookMeONP Design Contest

Fun Fall Marketing Ideas

Overnight Prints Relaunches Affiliate Program

Top 5 Trade Show Tips Worth Stealing

A Graduation to Remember

Inspirational Prints For Your Home Office

Creative Ways To Decorate With Leftover Print Materials

Understanding Gloss & What It Can Do For Your Prints.

Where Print Marketing Wins

Start Being The Best You!

Tell Your Story With A Business Card

3 Products You Need for Easter Church Marketing

Make Some Green with St. Patrick’s Day Sales Ideas

Overnight Prints Introduces Wrapping Paper To Product Line

It’s Time to Prepare for Spring Break in Las Vegas

The Ten Steps To Consider When You’re A Maid Of Honor

More Wedding Products For Your Special Day!

Celebrate Wedding Month With Our Favorite Wedding Products!

Be a Showstopper at the Las Vegas MAGIC Convention

Advertise your Business Seamlessly with Chinese New Year

Give Something Special this Valentine’s Day

Quick Tips for Hosting a Winning Super Bowl Party

New Year, New Marketing Materials.

New Years Party Essentials!

It’s Not Too Late To Order Your Holiday Essentials!

Give Your Friends And Family More Than A Gift This Holiday Season

Skip The Rush By Shopping Small This Year

How To Execute A Great Las Vegas Summer Wedding

Save-the-Date Right

New Custom T-Shirts Designer Is Available!

New Promo Items Are Available At Overnight Prints

Apps to Increase the Productivity of Your Business

What To Consider When Creating A Logo And How Our Design Services Can Help

Stand Out From The Crowd By Using Spot-UV

Artistic Genius Ben Kwok Speaks

Expand Your Booklet Horizon

Las Vegas Wedding Photography / Breaking The Myth

Creative Wedding Essentials

Not What it is, What it Represents, The Effect Of Branding

Making Your Mark: Tips for Designing Your Logo

Integrated Marketing

Help! I Need a Designer ASAP

Custom Design vs. Template

Saying More with Less

3 Visual Elements that Encourage Trust

Our Recommended Partner: Boostability

Does your Business Card pass the 3 second Glance Test?

5 Things Every Freelancer Needs to be Successful

How Old Fashioned Marketing can Impact your Small Business

Scratch for Success

Pairing with Non Profits-Working Together

Giving Back – A Spa Play Day for Dogs

Tips for Great Web Copy

Choosing the Best Paper for Your Print Project

Breaking Sales Records with Creative Print Marketing

Designing a Brochure from the Heart

Grow your Small Business with Novelty Notepads

How Print Marketing is Like Dating

Small Business Website Basics

Go from Zero to Hero with Integrated Marketing

Boost Sales by Choosing the Right Colors

How one photographer used savvy marketing to skyrocket his leads

Capture Mobile Consumers with QR Codes on your Print Material

The Five Essential Elements of Effective Logo Design

A True Sink or Swim Story

Beginners Guide to SEO

Effective Branding

How to Talk to a Graphic Designer: Bridging the Gap

Writing a Compelling Call to Action

The Power of Words (in sales)

In The Trenches With Ryan Dowd: Entrepreneur – Designer – Visionary

Pro’s and Con’s of Postcard Marketing

Five Simple Primary Market Research Techniques

Best Practices in Graphic Design

How to Make Your Direct Mailer Stand Out

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Choosing the Right Font

Pricing your Product or Service: Learn from the Red Lobster Snafu

Brochure Minimalism

Taking Stock of Your Business Card Paper

Stop Bailing on Mailing (Services)

Business Cards: Here today…Not Gone Tomorrow

QR Codes in Posters and Mini BCs

Presenting the Pocket Folder

Death of the Business Card?

Crazy March Media, Money & Marketing

What Chlorine Free Means

Roses are Red

A Paperless Society

Back to School Ideas

Promote yourself – 50 self-promotional tips for Graphic Designers & Freelancers

Mini Business Cards

Overnight Prints Web Commercial – how we made it!

5 ways to add value to your business cards

THE BEST NEW FREE FONTS

Tips on Creating Direct Mail Services for your Small Business

10 Tips on Creating a Brochure

5 ESSENTIAL TIPS ON CREATING MESSAGING FOR COMPANY GREETING CARDS

Create a design portfolio booklet at Overnight Prints

Amazing Christmas Card Designs

Black Friday Promotion – Spend $50 get $50

Make your own Holiday Gift Stationery at OvernightPrints!

Overnight Prints Magazine Discount

Steve Jobs 1979 business card

Halloween Print Products for October Promotions

Free Halloween Stencils for Kids

3 Best Print Product Ideas

postcard vs e-postcard

Best business cards

Flyer design – upload Photoshop flyer for free

Upload your Business Cards for FREE – Overnight Prints’ new and improved online service

My Adventures Up & Down the Ladders – Interview with Mear One

Creating your own Business Card file for print

The Importance of Good Print quality when creating Photo Postcards

Top Sites and Useful Resources for Freelancers

Top 5 list of Digital Designers you should know about!

Become our No.1 Fan on Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook and Win 500 Free Business Cards!

Maryland Institute College Illustration Artists

The Dark Art of Edward Frausto

Brilliant Art & Design Work

Ryan Claytor – Elephant Eater Comics

Address Labels are now available at OvernightPrints.com

Create a Simple Holiday Postcard in Photoshop- using the Clipping Mask, Warp Tool, and other Text Effects!

5 Best Custom Business Card ideas from Small Business Customers!

Five Steps to Better Color with Adobe Photoshop – color profiling

Top 10 FREE design resource and inspiration sites!

ABOMINABLE FONT CHOICE! – My list of dreadful Typography!

5 OF THE BEST SMALL BUSINESS/SMALL BUDGET MARKETING IDEAS!

Do Your Business Cards & Marketing Materials Need Revamping?

Interview with Graphic Designer Stephen Bowman

Not Convinced? Free Samples To Change Your Mind!

Resolution Blues: the tiff between gifs and jpgs

Selecting Fonts

The pen tool – leading you up a scary path!

Path Basics

Going The Extra Mile: OvernightPrints.com Mailing Service

Shop the Story!