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What is the biggest American comic convention? It's not what you think

Spoiler: the answer depends on what you mean by America...

NYCC Crowds
Image credit: ReedPop

What is the biggest comic convention in America?

Well, the answer depends on what you mean by “America,” to begin with. For many, the idea of a pop culture convention immediately brings to mind San Diego Comic-Con, but the four-and-a-half-day July event — owned and operated by Comic-Con International — isn’t even the biggest con in North America, with around 150,000 attendees this year, according to estimates, significantly lower than New York Comic Con’s 200,000 attendees last month. (NYCC shares a parent company, ReedPop, with Popverse; Comic-Con International did not respond to a request to confirm the 150,000 estimate figure.)

Even NYCC isn’t the biggest American show, however, although it is the biggest in the United States and Canada. Once you factor in South America, then Brazil’s CCXP enters the picture, with its attendance of more than 280,000 people at last year’s event alone. This year’s event — with guests including Anthony Daniels, Tyler Hoechlin, Junji Ito, and Roy Thomas — takes place later this month; let’s wait and see how many people show up for that one.

This isn’t a contest for con supremacy, of course — if it were, even CCXP would have to bow down to Lucca Comics & Games, the Italian convention which just concluded, which brings in 80,000 guests daily across its five-day run… although in terms of daily totals, Japan’s Comiket brought in more than 130,000 fans each day back in August of this year.

The moral of this story? Step it up, American shows. Let’s see things get even bigger in 2024.

Here's a guide to all the major comic conventions around the world.

Graeme McMillan

Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.


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