As fans of genre fiction no doubt already know, there were two major fan conventions last week: in San Antonio, the annual Romance Writers of America conference brought writers, publishers and fans together to talk all things romance. And of course, in San Diego, tens of thousands of comic (and movie, and graphic novel, and TV) devotees thronged to the convention center for Comic Con.

For those of you who haven’t been to these conferences, you may be wondering, “What’s the difference?” Editors Abby Zidle and Adam Wilson are here to break it down for you.


Attendees wear glamorous gowns at the RITA awards banquet:Rita gown 


Attendees dress up like the most glamorous superheroes, and travel in super-Spandexed packs:SDCC costumes 




The weather is described as “hotter than a Christian Grey-Mr. Darcy sandwich”




The weather is described as “indoors with eau de sweat”… if you’re waiting in line for Hall H outside, it’s just “oh the sweat”. 


Aspiring writers can attend panels like “Hybrid Authors: How to Stay Diversified” and “Saddle Up and Get Ready to Read”



Writers, fans, ANYBODY can attend panels like “Zombie Myths & Misconceptions” and “A Batman for All Seasons” 


Fans lined up to get books signed by their favorite authors:



RWA signing









Fans line up, but mostly they just form an ocean of images that make you feel like you’re lost inside the actual internet:SDCC line 








When not at the conference, attendees could visit the Alamo:

RWA alamo

When not at the conference, attendees can go to a fine restaurant… still in costume:SDCC dinner


The biggest faux pas of RWA: pitching your novel to an agent while she’s in the bathroom.



The biggest faux pas of SDCC: being grumpy and not recognizing the life-affirming nature of fandom. Everyone’s there to have fun, meet like-minded individuals, and celebrate what they love!