Though the summer is coming to an end, it's still the perfect time for the infamous anime and comic book conventions to start springing up in various locations bringing pop culture enthusiasts together. You might be familiar with the bigger ones that happened this summer like San Diego Comic Con, Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California, and maybe even Otakon that occurred a couple of weekends in Baltimore, Maryland. Luckily convention season isn’t over as the Fall season is kicking in with its conventions like New York City Comic Con in New York, New York. As an avid lover of animation, comics, and multiple TV shows, I love these kinds of conventions because it brings people together to just, well, nerd out about everything!

Being on social media sites like Facebook and Tumblr has opened up my eyes to the convention scene in multiple ways. A lot of times I see many pictures of people's cosplays, artist's booths they set up in conventions, and even exhibitions. It got me to such a point where, a couple of years ago, I just had to go to a convention and experience everything for myself. I scored lucky in 2013 as I finally got the chance to purchase tickets and attend New York Comic Con for two of the four days the convention is held. Just going to that one convention really made me appreciate how great these events can be and ever since, I’ve been making it almost a tradition to attend various conventions every year.

In the few years I’ve been attending comic and anime conventions, I’ve come to love them all, no matter how small or big they are. I’ve met so many great people (even the famous ones!), seen a handful of beautiful cosplays, and bought so much merchandise. The biggest convention I’ve ever attended was, admittedly, New York Comic Con as I made it a tradition to go the next few years after my first attendance in 2013. And even though I’m not attending it this year, I’m happy with how I’ve expanded my convention experience to more than just one convention. In fact, this past spring, I attended the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s own Sakura Matsuri event. Though it was a literal festival centric around flowers and Japanese culture, it was still a nice experience expanding out from just one convention as I saw many great things and people.

So what makes these conventions and festivals so great?

I think that it’s the atmosphere that brings out so much potential in having a fun time and meeting new people. My personal favorite thing when going to conventions is browsing through what’s known as the “Artist’s Alley” where I can browse through various artist’s works. Not only that, but a majority of these artists are freelance artists that have a following on the Internet so being able to meet some in person is always a pleasure. Another thing that I enjoy a lot in conventions is meeting new people and chatting with them, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Even just simply talking about a show or character you love is the best way to initiate a conversation, especially when they're in cosplay!

I could go on and on about my adventures at these conventions, but I think the best way to experience them is actually going there. In some ways, conventions feel like a completely different world because you're surrounded by so many people who are similar to you in so many ways. I might be stretching it a little relating the feeling of going to conventions being like I'm "home." But I know that if I never involved myself into the convention craze and scene, my life would be so different.

It's ultimately not a bad idea to check it out and go to these conventions and hey, maybe you might have a great time too!