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Cavalcade of conventions for summer 2018

From late spring through the fall, the Buffalo Niagara and southern Ontario regions are home to many fan conventions, commonly known as cons.

These events draw fans from across the continent, lured by the prospect of all the loot they could want, being surrounded by people who share their interests, getting pictures of and with the best cosplayers and, of course, the chance to meet their favorite actors, actresses, writers, artists and athletes.

If geekdom and fan-love were a religion, these events would be big-tent revivals. Here are this summer’s opportunities to worship in the Church of Geekhood:

Nickel City Con

May 18-20 at The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

Who it's for: Fans of comic books, films and gaming, with dashes of manga and anime.
Don’t miss: Richard Dreyfuss, Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Reggie Jackson (MLB hall of famer), Lou Ferrigno ("The Hulk"), Shannon Purser (“Stranger Things”), Thurman Thomas (Buffalo Bills).
Hours: 3 to 8 p.m. May 18, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 20.
Tickets: $15 for May 18 and 20, $20 for May 19 in advance; $18 to $25 at the door. Ages 10 and younger are admitted free.

[Read Toni Ruberto's preview of the 2018 Nickel City Con]

Anime North

May 25-27 at the Toronto Congress Centre and Delta Hotel Airport, Toronto.

Who it's for: Primarily draws fans of manga and anime, as well as gamers.
Don’t miss: J. Michael Tatum (“Black Butler”), Jerry Jewell (“Hetalia: Axis Powers"), Josh Grelle (“Attack on Titan,” “RWBY”), Micah Solusod (“Soul Eater,” “Assassination Classroom”).
Hours: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. May 25, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. May 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 27.
Tickets: $35 for May 25 and 27, $45 for May 26 (online only).

Niagara Falls Comic Con

June 1-3 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Who it's for: Fans of comics, gaming, TV, movies and wrestling.
Don’t miss: Michael Rooker (“Walking Dead,” Guardians of the Galaxy”), Sean Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” "Gilmore Girls"), Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) and Ralph Macchio (“The Karate Kid,” “Cobra Kai”). Also, WWE legends The Big Show, Trish Stratus, Amy “Lita” Dumas, Ric Flair and comic book creators Dawn McTeigue, Jim Steranko, Neal Adams and Peter David.
Hours: 3 to 8 p.m. June 1, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 3.
Tickets: $24.95 for June 1, $39.95 for June 2, $31.95 for June 3. Ages 7-12, $15.95.

Flower City Comic Con

June 9-10 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center

Who it's for: Fans of comics, gaming, TV and movies.
Don’t miss: Caitlin Blackwood (“Doctor Who”), Catherine Sutherland (“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”), Beth Broderick (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”), Josh Herman (“Harry Potter” films), WWE legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 10.
Tickets: $20 for June 9, $15 for June 10 or $25 weekend advance; $25 for June 10, $20 for June 9 or $30 weekend, at the door. Ages 11-14, $10. Ages 10 and younger are admitted free with paid adult admission.

Buffalo Comicon & Cosplay Convention

Debuting June 24 at the Buffalo Niagara Marriott, Amherst.

Who it's for: It will likely draw area cosplayers, plus fans of comics, TV and films.
Don’t miss: Your opportunity to try cosplay, or get how-to knowledge from cosplay experts.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets: Adults, $4.50 advance and $6 at the door for adults. Ages 9-12, $3.50 advance, $4 door.

Lil-Con #5

June 30 at the American Legion Stephen Sikora Post 1322, North Tonawanda.

Who it's for: Fans of tabletop strategy games, fantasy card games and video games.
Don’t miss: Free comic books to the first 150 attendees through the door.
Hours: Noon to 11 p.m.
Tickets: $5

Fan World

July 6-8 at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.

Who it's for: Fans of comics, manga and anime.
Don’t miss: Greg Sestero (“The Room”, “Best F[r]iends”), Kevin Eastman (co-creator, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), J. Michael Tatum (“Black Butler”), the Alpaca and Llama Petting Zoo.
Tickets: $25 for July 6 and 8, $30 on July 7. Weekend passes are $30 advance (, $40 door.


Aug. 4-5 at the Seneca Park Longhouse Shelter in Rochester.

Who it's for: Anime and manga fans. (More info to be released.)
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tickets: Free.

Fan Expo Toronto

Aug. 30-Sept. 2 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto

Who it's for: Everyone. This is the third-largest fan event in North America (behind San Diego Comic Con and the New York Comic Con). It has it all.
Don’t miss: Michael J. Fox, Karen Gillan ("Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," "Avengers: Infinity War"), Evangeline Lilly ("Ant-Man and the Wasp," "Lost"), Jeff Goldblum ("Jurassic Park" series, "Thor: Ragnarok"), Jennifer Morrison ("Once Upon a Time").
Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Aug. 30, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 31, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 2.
Tickets (Canadian): $25 in advance, $30 at the door for Aug. 30; $40-$45 for Aug. 31; $60-$65 for Sept. 1; $45-$50 for Sept. 2. Ages 6 to 12 are $10 a day. A four-day pass is $125 advance, $135 at the door.


Sept. 8-9 at the Kodak Event Center, Rochester.

Who it's for: Anyone with an appreciation for comics, TV and films, with some anime and manga thrown in.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 9.
Don’t miss: Alison MacInnis and Steve Cardenas ("Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"), Denise Crosby ("Star Trek: The Next Generation," "The Walking Dead"), Vic Mignogna ("FullMetal Alchemist," "RWBY").
Tickets: $20 adults, $12.50 ages 6-11, per day. Two-day passes are $35 adults, $20 children.

Buffalo Comicon

Sept. 15-16 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

Who it's for: Focuses primarily on comics, but delves lightly into TV and film. More information to be released.

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