Comic Book Convention Prices Compared

I’ve been trying to decide whether to go to Wizard World Los Angeles this year. On one hand, it’s close. On the other hand, I just went to WonderCon last month. The astonishing thing is that a one-day ticket for WWLA costs almost as much as a 3-day membership to WonderCon. This got me thinking about comparing convention prices.

So I looked up the comic conventions in the area, plus the other two Wizard World cons that have prices up.

Convention Thu Fri Sat Sun Full
LA Comic/SciFi (a.k.a. The Shrine) $8 N/A
WonderCon (advance) $12 $12 $10 $30 = $10/day
WonderCon (onsite) $15 $15 $10 $40 ≈ $13/day
Wizard World LA, Philadelphia $25 $25 $25 $45 = $15/day
Wizard World Chicago $25 $25 $25 $50 ≈ $17/day
Comic-Con Intl. (way ahead)* $60 = $15/day
Comic-Con Intl. (advance) $25 $30 $35 $20 $75 ≈ $19/day
Comic-Con Intl. (onsite) none

And to compare to some non-comic-focused conventions, some nearby, some just big:

Convention Thu Fri Sat Sun Full
ConDor (advance) $25 ≈  $8/day
ConDor (onsite) $20 $25 $15 $50 ≈ $17/day
Loscon (advance) $35 ≈ $12/day
Westercon 61 (advance) $60 = $15/day
Gen Con Indy (advance) $35 $35 $35 $35 $60 = $15/day
Gen Con Indy (onsite) $45 $45 $45 $45 $75 ≈ $19/day
Dragon*Con (advance) $65 ≈ $16/day
Dragon*Con (onsite) $90 ≈ $22/day
Worldcon/Denvention 3 (advance) $200 = $40/day

It’s interesting to note that WonderCon (San Francisco) and ConDor (San Diego) are extremely cheap if you sign up far enough in advance. Also, when you expand to more general cons, San Diego Comic-Con is right in the middle of the range, with several conventions being more expensive. I’d guess that the more volunteer-based cons like Westercon and Worldcon probably don’t bring in as much money from exhibitors, so they’d be more dependent on memberships to keep afloat.

In compiling this, I discovered that this year, Comic-Con International isn’t going to be selling any memberships on-site. It’s going to be pre-registration only.

I guess they’re expecting it to sell out again like last year, and don’t want people to count on something they won’t be able to deliver. Plus I’m sure it’ll simplify matters for the con, since they won’t need to deal with taking money for registration.

Update: Added Loscon for nostalgia’s sake. Also fixed some links; GenCon rearranged their website sometime in the last 4 days, and I somehow typed in the wrong domain name for ConDor.

Note: These are the 2008 prices, except for the ConDor advance price, which is for 2009. All prices were obtained from the events’ websites except for the way-advance price for San Diego Comic-Con, which is simply the price I paid last summer for this year’s con. For shows with multiple membership packages, such as Wizard World, I selected the most basic package that lets you walk in the door.

*CCI always has a booth selling pre-registration for the following year’s convention at an even lower price.

See Also: Convention Photos & Write-Ups