Here’s the thing – Ive never been to a comic convention in my life. So when me and Denis ‘Small Press’ Mallon received press passes for the Newcastle Film and Comic Convention I didnt know what to expect. I’d only ever seen footage of the huge American comicons and presumed that this one would be a small, quiet affair. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We arrived after an epic 3 hour trip to see the longest queue I’d ever seen however Denis assured me that only the STD clinic was comparable. Too many people had arrived and the venue was operating a one in, one out, policy. Which obviously pissed off most of the attendees. Not a good start.
After showing our credentials to the gatekeepers we entered to a carnival of ridiculously dressed patrons. It was just like the American conventions but with Frank Bruno and Peter Beardsley (the David Beckham of his days, watch out ladies!). Which brings me to the guest list. Two words – Carl Weathers. Action Jackson himself. Apollo Creed in the flesh. Master of making stew out of leftover party food. There were also two Doctors – Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann, Kenny Baker (R2D2), Julian Glover from Game of Thrones, and some people from Stargate or Farscape or Starscape or whatever it’s called.
Strangely the only thing that was lacking was, have a guess, yep it was comics. For a Comicon comics were underrepresented. We saw some great ones and chatted to Steve Penfold co-creater of a crazy comic called Moon. Moon tells the tale of the Moon which takes human form and kills bad guys. No really. And the art in it is amazing. Check it out.
Being a comic convention virgin I wasn’t sure of the etiquette that was expected. Do you just grab a celeb and stick a recorder in their face? Should journalists refrain from drinking? Should we stay out of photos? Then it hit me. I don’t care. So I proceeded to the bar and had five pints of overpriced beer which calmed my nerves. After this we met a lovely guy called Andy – a relatively new cosplayer who was in an excellent Assassins Creed costume with two scary looking hidden blades.
Cosplay was definitely the overriding theme of the day. The arena was packed with all kinds of wacky and wonderful outfits. Lot’s of Doctor Who characters, Batmans (Batmen?), and even a whole family dressed as Adventure Time characters. The Newcastle cosplayers really outdid themselves and made the day for me.
I’ve blethered on too much here so you should just look at the pics from the day. So what did I think of my first ever comic convention? I loved it, the people were so nice and friendly and made the day excellent. And best of all we got to sit on the Iron Throne. There were nerd-boners all round and two very satisfied customers. Looking forward to next year!