Conventions are an integral part of any comic creator’s calendar; they provide a great opportunity to make money, gain new fans and meet other professionals. And there are so many of them nowadays that wherever you are in the world, you won’t be too far from one. To prove it, Biserka Stringer-Horne – the founder of the wonderful Comics Explorer web site – has compiled, utilising Google Maps, what has to be the most comprehensive map of worldwide comic conventions on the internet, featuring over 200 cons in 50+ countries – something for everyone.
“This list is still not exhaustive, so if you know of a con that’s not here please email me” she asks. “No matter how big or small the con is, the only criteria for inclusion are that the con or festival is about comics, manga, manhwa, manhua, bulles, BD etc. and that people can exhibit at it (ie: not a retailers / back issue fair or one that is about ‘comics culture’ but has no space for comic creators).
“I particularly welcome people notifying me of smaller cons and fairs, as they are much harder for me to find.”
Biserka describes herself as the “Chief Sherpa” of Comics Explorer. She’s worked in the comics industry for over five years as a creator, self-publisher, editor and now as festival co-ordinator of Thought Bubble.
“Comics Explorer was born as my response to a problem I’ve seen way too many comic creators struggle with,” she explains on her site, “how to manage the business of making comics. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of exceptionally talented creators out there who make beautiful work but don’t know how to get it out there or build their careers in a sustainable way. In what is often a career that is pursued in stolen time from ‘proper’ jobs, energy and hours spent on research, unnecessary work and wasted opportunities have a big impact on productivity. Comics Explorer was created to help creators reclaim that time.
“What started out as a personal quest has now turned into a site that covers lifestyle and the making of comics as well as the development of business and marketing skills. Directories of anthologies, creator groups and conventions, plus news and reviews, have made it grow rapidly since it began in November 2014. Its focus on self publishing, small press creators makes it unique.It is completely free, which means no ads or paywalls. It can only remain so thanks to the generosity and support of its readers and contributors.”
Biserka’s map took hundreds of hours to build and many more to maintain. If you find it useful, please consider donating to Comics Explorer to help with its upkeep.