September 2013 saw the announcement that Comic Con was coming to Belfast. Since that moment my excitement had been steadily building and finally it all culminated last weekend when I got to experience Comic Con for the very first time. In this post I just want to share some of my highlights with you.
DAY 1 – The first day was an early start for me, I was up at 7.30AM as I had decided to cosplay as The Incredible Hulk I had a serious paint job to get on with. Unfortunately in standard Belfast fashion the weather was not on our side and the heavens well and truly opened which made for an interesting queuing experience as I tried to stop myself from becoming a massive green puddle. My friends and I had opted for the priority weekend pass at £20, this was a bit more expensive than the standard tickets however well worth it. The queues for the standard entry were ridiculously long and it was so nice that we were able to avoid these. Once we got in, it was apparent just how much was going on! I was overwhelmed at how awesome it all was. Endless amounts of stalls selling the best in nerdy memorabilia, huge movie posters and cutouts promoting the new releases, the fantastic array of cosplayers, guests signing autographs, Daleks, Robot Wars. You name it and it was there! One of the first ports of call for me was to visit Hannah Spearritt, star of the sci-fi series Primeval and also member of the band S Club 7. As a massive fan of Primeval I was very excited to meet her and she was the best guest in my opinion, as I stood in the queue I was desperately trying to think of something witty to say, in the end I think I just told her how much I loved her! She had a lot time for her fans and was genuinely down to earth, getting pictures and signing autographs for free. This just set me up fantastically for the day. Throughout the day there were several panels with different guests, for the Saturday these included the stars of Red Dwarf, Raphael Sbarge, James Cosmo and Ian McNeice. The only panel I attended was that of Ian McNeice, star of Doctor Who (Winston Churchill). He was very funny and had many anecdotes from his career to share with the audience, I really enjoyed this panel and I am sure that if I knew more of the guests I would have attended more of these. After this panel came the Cosplay Masquerade, this was probably one of the best parts of the day. What this entails is those people who have dressed up (Cosplayers) and registered can show off their costumes to the audience and some judges. The competition has different prizes and categories and it is endlessly entertaining to watch. I was thoroughly exhausted after my first day of Comic Con but on such a high from all the days events.
DAY 2 – The second day saw me cosplay as the more reserved Clark Kent, however I was still just as excited. There were fewer things things to do on the second day as I had exhausted most things on the first and I wasn’t too interested in any of the panels that were on offer although this did not mean that I had a bad day, it was still fantastic. The Sunday was nowhere as near as busy as the Saturday and the costumes on show were not as impressive, but one of the best things about Comic Con is the people. The banter that is had between people is just great. Someone dressed as Deadpool shouting to a Wolverine, ” You ruined my franchise” and when you spot a Tom Baker style Doctor and ask him if he has any Jelly Babies and he gives you one, it is moments like these that really make the event what it is! For anyone thinking about going to Comic Con in the future I would definitely recommend dressing up as you get that extra bit of attention which feels great and you are bound to be able to have some craic with some of the other cosplayers! Another great aspect of Comic Con was that in between panels freebies would be given out. Sunday saw one of the funnier moments with a Goku Cosplayer trying to win a crystal dragon ball by doing his best impersonation. It was a ‘you had to be there moment’ but the hash tag #GokuFailGuy was born, so that might give you and idea of what went on. Another Cosplay Masquerade took place on the Sunday although it didn’t live up to Saturdays it was still great and a perfect end to the weekend.
There is so much more I could tell you about but honestly the best way to experience this is just to get yourself down to an event as soon as you can. Easily the best £20 I have ever spent, it has given me so many great memories and of course I picked up a few items as well! I can say with absolute confidence that this will be the first of many Comic Con experiences for me.