POP culture is probably the most visible but least appreciated of the arts.

While the novel, poetry, opera, ballet, classical music and cinema and television are pored over and praised by critics, the worlds of comic books, video games, fantasy and science-fiction are largely overlooked.

That might explain why tens of thousands of pop-culture enthusiasts are converging on the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre in Glasgow this weekend at the "geekfest" of the MCM Comic Con. Last year's debut one-day event was so successful that this year organisers are spreading it across a whole weekend, with at least 30,000 people expected yesterday and today.

MCM Comic Con director Bryan Cooney said that while collectors come to find things to buy, conferences are prized by fans as a chance to socialise.

"The driving force these days is social media," he says. "They have all their friends on Facebook or on special groups and forums, but they never meet. Everyone has best friends that they never meet and they use Comic Cons as a base to meet their friends, so they all tend to come in from different parts of the country and then they spend one or two days together dressing up, playing video games and hanging out.

"There's a large percentage of what we call young adults - 16 to 23-year-olds - but we do have an audience that's older and we do have an audience that's younger. Gender-wise at the Manchester show we did recently it was almost 50/50 boys and girls, which probably goes against the stereotype.

"With video games you tend to get 95% boys, whereas with us as a 'modern pop-culture event' we're everything from comic books to anime and manga to robots and video games, so we tend to attract a wider net."

Highlights this weekend are ­appearances by TV and film stars, Robot Wars-style battles and a contest which pits gamers against one another "like a boxing match".

Cooney says: "The big draws will be different for everyone because it depends what you like. If you're a fan of The Hobbit, which a lot of people are, Luke Evans who plays Bard is actually coming along to promote his upcoming Dracula Untold movie so a lot of people will be looking to meet him … he's in Fast and Furious 6, The Immortals, Clash of the Titans, he's a major character in The Hobbit, and now has his own movie - so he's going to be a big highlight.

"Gaming tournaments are going to be big, which is where people actually come along to watch people battle out video games on the big screen and basically fighting - it's like watching a boxing match, people will sit down to watch teams fighting each other.

"Robots Live is going to be a highlight as well because we didn't bring it last year. It's like Robot Wars, you will literally be able to see robots battling it out throughout the day - 100-kilo, very heavy robots. Then there's James Cosmo from Game Of Thrones, and Ian McNeice from Doctor Who."

The event is the only one in Scotland and a chance to showcase the best in Scottish pop culture, a field where the country more than holds its own.

The gaming industry alone, dominated by the secretive Edinburgh video-games giant and Grand Theft Auto creator Rockstar North, is worth more than £30 million a year to Scotland's economy. Launched in 1997, the Grand Theft series lets players across the world explore a seedy world of drug-dealing, sex, violence, car chases and vengeance from their sofas. The controversial games have sold more than 150 million copies and won a host of awards. The latest instalment, Grand Theft Auto V, broke industry sales records and became the fastest-selling entertainment product ever, earning $800 million in its first day and $1bn in its first three.

Comics are a cornerstone of pop culture and Glasgow's Comic Con festival will pack in 70 stalls dedicated to comic art, including some of Scotland's most prolific authors and illustrators.

Mark Millar, the Coatbridge-born comic-book writer whose Wanted and Kick-Ass series have spawned Hollywood blockbusters, might be the best-known name in the Scottish graphic novel scene, but it is a diverse industry.

This weekend's Comic Con sees an appearance by the team behind Dundee-based Diamondsteel Comics who will launch the next book in their Saltire graphic novel series.

The comics follow the adventures of a blue-skinned, flame-haired "freedom-loving superhero" and "powerful protector of his nation". The authors declined to say which side of the indyref fence he was on, insisting the warrior would want "the best" for his country.

Previous instalments of the critically acclaimed series included Saltire: Invasion and Saltire: Annihilation - part One. It remains to be seen whether Annihilation: Part Two might cover referendum night.

Creator John Ferguson said: "Saltire is an immortal being created thousands of years ago to protect Scotland and its people. He's big, he's blue and he's ginger. He has Scottish values but he's a traditional comic-book superhero with a variety of super-villains to contend with as the story progresses, a Scottish competitor to Batman and Spiderman."

Also at Comic Con is Paisley-born comic-book artist Gary Erskine, whose 25-year career has included drawing for DC Comics, Dreamworks and Marvel UK, where he illustrated the Knights of Pendragon and Warheads series.

Online TV is also at the forefront of the event, showing how Scottish gothic literary traditions have been scooped up and adapted to the digital age.

Featuring at the event will be Cops and Monsters, set in a not-too-distant future Scotland where humans, vampires, werewolves and zombies have come to an uneasy truce, the peace kept by officers of the Paranormal Investigation Team.

And Caledonia follows the exploits of Glasgow Detective Inspector Leah Bishop, the only human officer at Caledonia Interpol, a branch of the police run entirely by monsters from Scottish folklore. The series is based on novels by Scottish historian and folklorist, Amy Hoff.

"The theme of this show tends to be about the power of storytelling and the strength that stories have for people," says Hoff. "It posits these creatures in a modern Scottish context because there is something visceral about monsters even for people in the modern age.

"We live in a time when these things should by all rights have been banished to the far corners of disbelief, but even in our age of technology we still embrace monsters, breathlessly tell stories, and even create entirely new creatures of fiction based on older ones."