The inaugural Pittsburgh Comicon was held in 1994. It was created by Pennsylvania-based comic book retailers Renée and Michael George, owners of Comics World. It was the first major comic book convention that took place in Pittsburgh since the 1970s.
The Pittsburgh Comicon features a large range of pop culture elements including comic books, science fiction and fantasy, horror, anime and manga, film and television, animation, webcomics, video games, toys, collectible card games, professional wrestling and more. The festival features exhibitors from across the country, but one of its main aims is to promote local talent and publishers. The show also supports various charity organizations such as the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In 2015, the convention was acquired by Wizard World and renamed to the Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh. Along with the Pittsburgh Comicon, Wizard Entertainment manages and produces fan conventions in Austin, Tulsa, New Orleans, Portland, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Orlando, Chicago, Nashville, and other cities. Following the acquisition by Wizard World, the show moved from the Monroeville Convention Center to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to accommodate its growing attendance (the convention attracts more than 10,000 attendees every year).
The program of the Pittsburgh Comicon is similar to that of other fan conventions. It includes panels, Q&A sessions, workshops and seminars with comic book professionals, previews of the most awaited upcoming feature films, a costume contest, video game tournaments, a large floorspace for exhibitors (media companies, comic book dealers, collectibles merchants), the Artists’ Alley, meet and greets, autograph sessions and photo-ops with celebrity guests, and a lot of other events and attractions. Whereas most other fan conventions try to invite more media guests to attract visitors, the Pittsburgh Comicon focuses on comic book artists, writers and publishers.