The bi-annual Monster Mania horror convention in Cherry Hill plays host to horror vendors, panels, and celebrities.​
The bi-annual Monster Mania horror convention in Cherry Hill plays host to horror vendors, panels, and celebrities.​ Mike Fenn

Summertime is here, and with plenty of vacation and wonderful weather in store, what is there for the city’s geeks to do before September rolls around? We have combed the city and its surrounding areas in order to compile a list of special events, local hangouts and blockbuster movies that are sure to keep the nerd in us thoroughly entertained all summer long. So get off the couch and get outside — even if it’s to hang out somewhere inside.

 

EVENTS

 

Summer is a time to get out and enjoy yourself! After spending a harsh and unexpectedly lengthy winter cooped up indoors, events centered around geeks’ favorite interests and fun in general, are just the remedy we need.

 

 

Philadelphia Comic-Con
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Sunday, August 5, 2018

With name brand comic conventions tending to lose their focus on comic books in favor of attracting Hollywood celebrities, the Philadelphia Comic-Con is a welcome breath of fresh air. This summer, the convention is holding TWO separate offerings, ensuring that fans of comic books, action figures, manga and more have an opportunity to interact with vendors and special guests from the industry. The Philadelphia Comic-Con is held at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Essington, PA, just outside the Philadelphia  International Airport.

Check out philadelphiacomic-con.com for more info.

AnimeNEXT
Friday, June 8 - Saturday, June 10, 2018

Fans of anime, manga, video games, and other facets of Japanese culture will swarm to the Atlantic City Convention Center for AnimeNEXT. Long held in northern New Jersey, 2018 marks the convention’s first appearance in Atlantic City, which is of course just a quick train or bus ride from Philly! Guests include voice actor Bryce Papenbrook (Sword Art Online), artist Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), and even the hot Japanese rock band All Off.

Check out animenext.org for more info.

Too Many Games Expo
Friday, June 22 - Sunday, June 24, 2018

The video game industry is hotter than ever, and nowhere is geeks’ collective love for the medium more celebrated than the annual Too Many Games Expo in Oaks at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Meet guests like Kenny James (the voice of Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. series), the Angry Video Game Nerd, rock out to bands like Crush 40 and the Minibosses, and of course immerse yourself in video games and merchandise all weekend long!

Check out toomanygames.com for more info.

Jurassic Weekend at the Academy of Natural Sciences
Saturday, June 23 - Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dinosaurs themselves may be extinct, but geeks’ passion for them is far from dead! Stroll down the picturesque Ben Franklin Parkway and pop into the Academy of Natural Sciences for Jurassic Weekend. There, you will be able to enjoy numerous dinosaur exhibits and even hone your archeological skills in “The Big Dig” event.

Check out ansp.org for more info.

Monster Mania 40
Friday, August 17 - Sunday, August 19

This bi-annual convention, held at the Crown Plaza Hotel just over the Ben Franklin Bridge in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is a must for horror fans of all ages! Browse several vendor areas, enjoy fellow horror fans’ amazing costumes, and meet special celebrities such as Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger himself), Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead), Carl Weathers, and more.

Check out monstermania.net for more info.

HANGS

As you wander the city and its surrounding areas, why not pop into a local geek-themed business? You can meet and mingle with fellow geeks from your neighborhood, enjoy intimate events that you won’t find at any sports stadium, and of course obtain unique merchandise ranging from toys to comic books.

 

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse
2578 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia

This unique spot in Fishtown is a geek’s heaven! Owner and curator Ariel Johnson is well aware of the city’s rich mix of cultures and ensures that comic books created by people of color and other minorities are always front and center. The shop is also host to a number of regular events, including weekly anime screenings every Wednesday and geeky stand-up comedy shows on the first, second, and third Fridays of every month.

Check out amalgamphilly.com for more info.

Atomic City Comics
638 South Street, Philadelphia

This longtime staple of the South Street shopping district is just as vibrant as ever. With an extensive selection of new and used comics, not to mention the largest manga offering in the city, Atomic City Comics has something for every fan of the genre. Make sure to pop in for its special array of in-store events, which range from movie screenings to themed parties to even sleepovers!

Check out facebook.com/atomiccitycomics for more info.

Digital Underground
732 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia

On the popular 4th Street corridor in Queens Village lies Digital Underground. On the surface, it may seem like a record store, but inside, there is so much more to be offered. In addition to its extensive music selection, Digital Underground also sells a number of board games and tabletop gaming accessories, including those for Warhammer 40K. What’s more, the store plays host to a number of open gaming nights each week; check out their calendar and bring your deck and dice down to play against fellow local gamers.

Check out facebook.com/digitalferret for more info.

Fat Jack’s Comicrypt
2006 Sansom Street, Philadelphia

Tucked away on a quiet street in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood is Fat Jack’s Comicrypt. An extremely knowledgable staff—and the store cats—ensure that you find the title, action figure, or board game merchandise that you may need. Additionally, the spot is renowned for its selection of comics and other works produced and published by local authors and artists. And if you can’t make it into the city, Fat Jack’s has an additional location just over the bridges in Oaklyn, New Jersey.

Check out comicrypt.com for more info.

Redcap’s Corner
3850 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia

Whether you are an expert or casual tabletop gaming fan, a visit to Redcap’s Corner on Lancaster Avenue in Powelton Village will not leave you disappointed. With an overflowing assortment of RPG board games, accessories, dice, and more, this one-of-a-kind store is a must for any geek. The store of course also holds gaming events each day of the week, occasionally themed (i.e. Star Wars, Magic: The Gathering, etc.).

Check out redcapscorner.com for more info.

MOVIES

As the summer wears on and the heat index becomes more and more brutal, it is understandable if you need to pop into a nice, air-conditioned movie theater and take a break. Fortunately, Hollywood is ready for the summer season with its annual offering of blockbuster titles.

Deadpool 2
Release date: May 18, 2018

When summer officially approaches in June, everyone’s favorite wisecracking, R-rated superhero will be there to make sure it is the most fun you can have at the theater: Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds returns as the disfigured, near-invincible Deadpool, who must assemble a team of similar antiheroes to fight the villainous Cable (Josh Brolin). Zazie Beetz and Terry Crews co-star.

The Incredibles 2
Release Date: June 15, 2018

The long-awaited sequel to the Pixar hit The Incredibles finds the family superhero team battling a new set of foes. Led by Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) this time around, the imperfect superheroes will undergo major life changes in addition to saving the world. Samuel L. Jackson, Isabella Rossellini, Craig T. Nelson, and others lend their voices to the all-star cast.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Release date: June 22, 2018

The 2015 epic Jurassic World breathed new life into the Jurassic Park film series, which debuted in 1993 under the direction of Steven Spielberg. In this sequel, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bruce Dallas Howard) return to the scene of the now-destructed Jurassic World theme park to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that is threatening to erupt. The film also co-stars Jeff Goldblum and Toby Jones.

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Release date: July 6, 2018

Fresh off of their adventures assisting the Avengers in the spring blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lily) return to their own film series to uncover secrets of their own past. The second entry in the Ant-Man standalone series will reunite Rudd and Lily with Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, and others.