The largest pop culture convention in Northern California draws big crowds and celebrity power
San Francisco recently played host to the largest pop culture convention in Northern California, FAN EXPO. Over the course of three days, the event brought together 35,000 fans of comics, anime, gaming, and Sci-Fi at the city’s Moscone Center. With a lineup of celebrity guests, voice actors, and talented artists, FAN EXPO proved to be a massive celebration of all things geek. This article takes you inside the action, showcasing the vibrant atmosphere and the impact it had on both fans and the city itself.
A Welcome Wave of Tourism
Fans like Sandra Daigneault expressed their enthusiasm for the event, highlighting the positive impact it had on San Francisco’s tourism industry. Daigneault mentioned how the convention attracted people from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of unity and upliftment among attendees. The city’s welcoming atmosphere and the convention’s ability to bring people together left a lasting impression on fans like Daigneault, who expressed a desire to return to San Francisco in the future.
Voice Actors and their Superpowers
One of the highlights of FAN EXPO was the presence of renowned voice actors. Sarah Natochenny, the voice of Ash Ketchum from Pokémon, shared her love for San Francisco and the amazing turnout at the convention. Barry Gordon, the original voice of Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, expressed his belief that his character would love the city. The voice actors’ interactions with fans showcased the deep connection between these beloved characters and the impact they have on people’s lives.
Artists and their Dreams Come True
FAN EXPO’s Artist Alley provided a platform for talented cartoonists to showcase their work and connect with fans. Gene Luen Yang, an award-winning cartoonist, described how being on the other side of the table fulfilled a childhood dream. He encouraged aspiring storytellers to consider expressing themselves through comic books, emphasizing the importance of diverse voices in the industry. Thien Pham, a San Jose artist, shared his personal journey of telling his family’s immigration story through the lens of food memories. His work aimed to inspire others to share their own unique narratives.
FAN EXPO’s celebrity lineup included stars such as Mark Hamill from Star Wars, Ewan McGregor, and Elijah Wood from Lord of the Rings. Their presence added an extra layer of excitement to the convention, drawing even more fans to the event. The opportunity to meet and interact with these iconic figures created unforgettable memories for attendees.
FAN EXPO San Francisco proved to be a geek’s paradise, attracting fans from all walks of life to celebrate their shared love for comics, anime, gaming, and Sci-Fi. The convention not only provided a platform for fans to connect with their favorite voice actors and artists but also showcased the city of San Francisco as a welcoming and diverse destination. With plans to return to Moscone Center every Thanksgiving weekend through 2026, FAN EXPO promises to continue its tradition of bringing joy and inspiration to fans for years to come.