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To kick off New York Comic Con, four 2014 Chevrolet Sonics got dressed and hit the road

By Kristan Schiller

With the TV sit-com The Big Bang Theory garnering high ratings, America is clearly embracing its inner nerd—and becoming ever more obsessed with comic books. Sheldon and Leonard, the show’s hyper-intelligent physicist roommates, constantly discuss comics and make frequent trips to the local comic-book store. Any of the conventions below—where comics artists and enthusiasts converge in one setting over two to three days—could easily be a future vacation destination for The Big Bang Theory’s stars—or for you! So grab your pals, pile into your Chevrolet Sonic and geek out at one of these gatherings near you.

New York Comic Con
Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY
October 10-13

In advance of this year’s annual fan convention, Chevrolet and pop-culture event purveyor ReedPOP launched “New York Comic Con King of the Road,” a tri-state scavenger hunt on wheels pitting comic book publishers Valiant, Image, Dark Horse and Boom against one another in four 2014 Chevrolet Sonics custom-wrapped with images from their respective comics. And that was before the convention even started! New York Comic Con—devoted to comics, graphic novels, video games, toys, movies and television—began in 2006. In 2010, the massive event merged with the New York Anime Festival, which added a new level of artistry to the show. One of its most popular features is the accessibility of its large artists’ alley. Due to high demand, tickets for New York Comic Con are rolled out in waves. Check the website regularly for updates.

Wizard World
Various locations and dates throughout the year

Wizard World was founded in 1972 as Nostalgia ‘72 by a Chicago comics dealer named Nancy Warner and acquired in 1997 by Wizard Entertainment, which turned it into a national touring event. Originally exhibiting comic books, the convention has expanded to include a broader range of pop culture, such as science fiction/fantasy, horror animation and collectible card games. Upcoming stops include Nashville (October 18-20), Austin (November 22-24), Portland (January 24-26), New Orleans (February 7-9), St. Louis (April 4-6), Philadelphia (June 19-22) and Chicago (August 21-24).

Heroes Convention
Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC
June 20-22

Heroes Convention, or HeroesCon, has been held every year since 1982, making it the oldest continuously operating comic-book convention in the United States. It is also one of the largest independent comic book conventions in the country. Organized by Shelton Drum, owner of the downtown Charlotte comic-book store Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, the convention has garnered a cult following over the years.

Comic-Con International: San Diego
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
July 24-27

A mere two-and-a-half-hour drive from Sheldon and Leonard’s fictional Big Bang Theory home in Pasadena, this comic book convention founded in 1970 by a group of local San Diegans is perhaps the best of the best. True comic connoisseurs make it their business to be at this event. (At last year’s convention, there were more than 130,000 attendees.) It’s a great place for celebrity spotting, and it features both mainstream and indie exhibitors, as well as panels and Q&As galore with artists and actors. Since 1974, the convention has bestowed the annual Inkpot Awards, honoring individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation and fandom services. It is also home to the Will Eisner Awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the comics industry. Like New York Comic Con, tickets are controlled due to high demand. Check out the website’s “Badge Purchase FAQ” for further details.

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Kristan Schiller, a Travel Editor at Fodor’s, is also a blogger and writer whose articles have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Town & Country, Organic Spa Magazine and Entrepreneur, as well as on the Huffington Post and Salon.com.