Coventry Comic Con 2018

Star rating: *****

Comic Con, a staple part of my geekery diet which must be dosed up on regularly – last year our team were delighted that a new convention popped up in Coventry and we were so impressed that we made damn sure that their 2018 sequel was in the diary. We were not disappointed, Coventry Comic Con has got it all – here are a few of the many positives:

  • Well organised – the organisation is top notch, this con has been well though out and the planning that must have gone into making it as successful as it undoubtedly was is evident. From the car parking stewards, to the security to the box office staff, everybody does a seamless job in helping us fans have a great time. No complaints from us!
  • Easily accessible – the event itself is very easily accessible, with the stalls, guests, attractions and talks all on the ground level. Likewise the facilities are also at ground level making this ideal for any fans who may have a disability. Fun for everybody, quite literally – that’s a massive double thumbs up.
  • Expanding each year – in comparison to its debut year, the growth and expansion is clear. From the larger variety of stalls and artists introduced to the additional space used to house the event which was also utilised for the guest talks. The layout was ideal and it’s fantastic to see the convention already going from strength to strength. Bigger and better again next year? Let’s do it!
  • Stalls offering affordable collectables – the number of stalls offering budget collectables made such a refreshing change. Often many of us save up for an event like this in case there’s a tempting item or two. However, if like us, your four year old has spent your pennies over the school holidays, there’s still plenty of merchandise available at affordable prices. Many pocket money options too which is superb for the four year old who’s gleefully continuing to spend the money you don’t have…
  • Cosplay galore – the number of extraordinary cosplayers on the loose appeared to have increased since the previous year. The grounds of the venue offer opportunities for cosplayers to have professional photographs taken too. The details that goes into the costumes is eye-catching in the extreme. Of course a convention isn’t a convention without a few Stormtroopers on hand and a flossing Chewbacca!
  • Plenty of space to walkabout (and run, skip, meaner about) in – is you’re easily claustrophobic, the amount of space left between stalls and attractions allows room to breathe. It’s notable how easy it is to have a proper look at the merchandise and the displays. Definitely a big plus and one of the top features that Coventry Comic Con has going for it. All the more room t floss in!!
  • Reasonably priced refreshments available – the refreshments available are at affordable prices too, so you don’t need to make a decision between the action figure and having a burger, you can have both! The staff who runs the facility are efficient and the food is delicious too. Big thumbs up to the best Comic Con catering!
  • A room to ‘chill out’ in – although we didn’t make use of it, we heard that there was a room to take a break in and that in itself is a genius idea. It can be an overwhelming experience to be in the hub-bub of a Comic Con, especially if it’s your first. This initiative should be adopted comic con-wide. It could be used as a time out room for cheeky Stormtroopers too…
  • Free retro arcade games – we all made use of these, a quick game of Street Fighter and even on Fix It Felix didn’t go amiss and was a welcome break from walking, looking and daydreaming over what we’d buy if money was no object. Making it a free area for everyone to enjoy was a bonus. We love a bonus!
  • Guest stars – the Guest Stars meeting and greeting fans appeared relaxed, with the volunteers looking after them well and plenty of chances for the Stars to chat with fans. A nice, easy approach was taken and surely that means repeat visits from the amazing Stars the convention attracted?
  • A friendly team – the overall atmosphere of Coventry Comic Con was spot on, all members of the crew should be commended on their approachable manner and thanks to all who gave our boy a bit of a boost by showing love for his Porg tee!

We’re only sorry that Coventry Comic Con is an annual event, every six months would be great thanks! Highly recommended by all three of us, it’s a good convention to take the small fans to, particularly if they’ve not explored the world of Comic Con before. Where else might you meet a baby dinosaur beside the rogue carousel horse of Mary Poppins fame? This event is not so large scale that you would worry that you’ve missed anything and it’s become one of the highlights of our yearly calendar of geekery!

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MCM Comic Con, Birmingham ~ NEC

I’ve been attending Comic Cons for over ten years, on and off and been a frequent visitor in my press capacity (and fan-girl capacity!) for most of that time. MCM Comic Con in Birmingham is always one of the local events of the year for me. It’s a large-scale geek’s dream with Christmas present ideas galore if you go to the November Comic Con.

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This year’s was no different and possibly the best one I’ve been to this year, and I thought that the effort that Wales Comic Con put in was a sterling one. The layout worked for me, this time, plenty of room to walk around even though advance tickets were sold out. The theatre had plenty of capacity and excellent choices of guests giving talks. Peter Davison was one of my personal favourites, Red Dwarf panel was as much fun as ever and AJ Michalka was a name I wasn’t overly familiar with, but she was fascinating to listen to. What I love about the Q&A sessions is sitting in on those that I know nothing or very little about, I learn something and pick up a new TV show or movie to look out for.

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Giant minions over-looking proceedings were a hit with my toddler, and the UK Garrison brought a fantastic set with them as usual. You could have your photo taken in a Storm Trooper helmet or say hello to a droid. They are a integral part of every con and it’s always a bit exciting when the troopers line up for Darth Vader’s inspection – yes, I know it’s not real… or is it?

The guests in the signing  area were plentiful and varied, Doctor Who, James Bond and Red Dwarf were well represented and it was a coup to have Flash Gordon himself, there aka Sam J. Jones. The last time I saw him was in the first Ted film. Speaking of that bear, thanks so much for the Ted 2 tshirt, I love it! Another reason to like the panel sessions, there are always some fabulous give aways. Tokyo Toys are always among one of the generous benefactors and we were delighted to bring home some Top Trumps Marvel cards for our little lad, too. The Kidzone was well patronised, free face painting being a crowd pleaser, light sabre training being another and the circus skills was an ideal place to allow some of the smaller children to run around.

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Wrestling was an attraction drawing huge crowds as well as robot wars, these add extra entertainment to the billing and I hope to see more of the wrestling in future – definitely a favourite!

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Over the years Comic Cons seem to have grown in popularity and they are popping up everywhere too. The number of people who choose to Cosplay at the events always increases and that ‘makes’ a con for me. As a self-confessed geek, big movie and TV fan, as well as a gamer – I am delighted that cons exist for us to all be geeks together and have a lot of fun free from judgement. All fandoms meet in harmony and I know that some fans are brave enough go by themselves and make friends there. Long live comic cons say I, and long live MCM, too!

I had a great opportunity to network so watch out for some amazing interviews…

Here’s the link to book your tickets for all of MCM’s glorious events: http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/

Photo Credits: Garry McWilliams

 

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