3 Rivers Comicon: Putting Comics Back in Comicon

Apr 22, 2020 by


During the final weekend of May, a couple of Pittsburgh nerds were hoping to make comic con all about comics again. 3 Rivers Comicon was to take place May 30 – 31 at the spectacular David L. Lawrence Convention Center overlooking the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the convention has been postponed until May 22 – 23, 2021.

New Dimension Comics owner Todd McDevitt and general manager Jon Engel launched 3 Rivers Comicon in 2016 after hearing complaints from customers about the increasing cost of conventions and how the shift to an array of pop culture had left comics in the shadows.

“In my 34 years in the comic business,” McDevitt said, “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with almost all of the regional talent at one time or another. I can’t wait to bring them all together for one spectacular occasion.” Check out the convention’s guests page for a look at the many creators who would have been attending this year’s 3 Rivers Comicon. Weekend events also include cosplay contests, gaming, role play experiences, and panels.

McDevitt and Engel both have years of experience under their utility belts, attending and also working at comic conventions. From that involvement, as well as feedback from customers, they have the knowledge for what will work at their own event. The show is dedicated to cultivating the comic culture and community by bringing in some of the bigger names in the industry. With over 100 artists, writers, and other creators and almost as many vendors, this show is one that you should not miss.

The 3 Rivers Comicon is very reasonably priced. Admission is $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available through the convention’s website, at any of the six New Dimension Comics locations in the Pittsburgh area, and at the door.

The convention also hosts a very popular beer release party. Every year, 3 Rivers Comicon commissions a custom beer that is created by a local Pittsburgh brewery. Tickets to the beer party are $40 and include admission to both days of the convention, entry to the beer release party, two cans of this year’s custom beer, catered food, and more!

Let’s hope that 3 Rivers will have a few bottles of their craft brew to help us celebrate PulpFest 2020 from August 6 through 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

Although PulpFest will not have its own beer, the convention will have some great programming. Add onto that a dealers’ room featuring thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. We’ll also have a hospitality suite featuring wine, beer, snacks, and more.

So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to celebrate “Mystery, Adventure, Science Fiction, and More” at PulpFest 2020.

(3 Rivers Comicon will not be the only convention in Pittsburgh that will be celebrating the graphic story in 2020. On Friday evening, August 7, PulpFest 2020 will feature a presentation by cartoonist and freelance illustrator Don Simpson. He’ll be discussing “Bradbury in the Comics” as part of our “Visions of Mars” series during PulpFest’s salute to author Ray Bradbury.

In addition to his illustration work, Don regularly reviews books for the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE and teaches college writing and other courses in western Pennsylvania. He earned his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013.)