Saturday 25th July Manchester Conference Centre and my first Comic Con in at least two decades. Strangely enough my first Comic Con was in Manchester but it was back in the Eighties and I’m not even sure of the year but it had to be between 80 and 82 because my son was born in the January of 82 and I never went to one after that. When you become a father you have other commitments to consider and I considered comics to be not something a grown adult should be indulging in, how wrong could I have been!
Of course since the 80’s the comic book industry has gone from strength to strength and has reached a wider audience than I ever thought possible. I no longer read comics but I’m still a huge fan of the medium and I incorporate certain elements into my writing anyway so for me the whole comic book universe has been a huge influence.
The last Comic Con I went to was just a large room with sellers with stands touting their wares. Hundreds upon hundreds of comics were on offer and I had never been in a room with so many in my life. That was it though, it was just comics, there may have been a few stalls selling other stuff, maybe some merchandising products and possibly a few book sellers but I can’t honestly say how many or even what they were for my eyes were immediately drawn to and remained fast on the comics. Now though it has grown to something that encompasses not only the super hero genre but Manga, Anime, Cosplay and various other things. I saw two actors from the series Arrow, Karl Yune and Katrina Law in a Q&A with an enraptured audience in the theatre which was possibly one of the fastest hours I have ever experienced. These two were incredibly entertaining, funny and humble and loved meeting the fans of the show which came across so well in the presentation. I saw and chatted with three actors from popular television here in the UK, Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred from Doctor Who and Robert Llewellyn from Red Dwarf. I even had a photo taken with Andrew Lee Potts from Primeval who was there to advertise his new web series ‘Wireless’.
It took at least a half hour to get inside even though we had Priority Entrance tickets for the queue was half way around the building and I heard mention that there would be around one hundred thousand in attendance. Now I don’t have the exact figures of how many were there but the figure mentioned couldn’t have been far off and yet it never felt claustrophobic. it was packed without a doubt but the organisers had got it right and everything went off without a hitch so hats off to all involved.
To say it was a nerdgasm would be not far from the truth. It was the first time that I went to a large event and had not felt out of place. The atmosphere was relaxed and I truly felt at home there. Perhaps it was because they were all geeks like me, I don’t know but I do know I can’t wait for London in October because should my schedule allow and nothing untoward crops up before then, I will be attending.