Monday, 30 March 2015

Comic Con 2015 - Newcastle

And so, quicker than the blink of an eye, the second Newcastle Comic Con is upon us.  My darling wife and I headed up The Toon and the Metro Arena for a weekend of fandom and general fun and games, and what a weekend it was too!

Firstly, the organisation this year was far better than last year and the crowds seemed to be under greater control.  As with last year we'd purchased Early Bird tickets, so the crowds weren't really an issue for us and so we wandered in to find the place buzzing.

Comic Con has Three main elements to it:

1.  A large fandom marketplace, and this basically dominates the layout.

2.  Celebrities - a variety of celebrities, and others who have acted or contributed to various films, TV shows etc.  Typically they do a meet & greet panel and autograph sales thing, and some also contribute to various formal 'breakout' talks.

3.  Cosplayers - attendees often turn up in the costumes of their favorite fandom or character.

Ultimately its an opportunity to spend time among like-minded individuals of all ages, and to express and enjoy being immersed in a culture of unrestrained joy.

The Marketplace
OK, well, sure the chance to pick up a few purchases is always welcome and I purchased a few things, as did my wife (pop vynals are her new thing).  I'm always interested in the artists who pitch up to show their wares too; from professional comic artists, to other more general semi-pro and amateur people.  Of those present, I was particularly taken with Kate Mia White.

Her work reminds me of Russ Nicholson's stuff, which i'm a huge fan of.

Other than that the marketplace is a good place to wander and view the cool stuff on display, like this...

On the first day the marketplace was heaving, but nowhere near as crammed as last year, i think in part due to the better organisation this year.  It never felt overwhelming, although you did need to do a few circuits to be able to get to see everything you wanted to through the crowds.

Generally i'm not starstruck, so these hold little interest for me.  My wife on the other hand was specifically interested in meeting Louise Jameson, here childhood heroine, who among other things played Leela in Dr Who.

We only managed to get to one talk this year and it was with the Dr Who panel; Louise Jameson, Bonnie Langford, and  William Russel.

William Russell as Ian Chesterton.

 Louise Jameson as Leela.

Bonnie Langford as Mel Bush.

It was an interesting panel discussion, and Bonnie Langford was very good.  Being a huge Whovian, this delighted my wife, and she was particularly happy to get to spend time talking to Louise Jameson.

Of course I'm rather more interested in Star Wars and it was great to see Jeremy Bulloch.

Perhaps he's better known as Boba Fett.

There was also KITT from a rather, ahem, show from back in the 80's...

But for me the highlight of the whole weekend was on day two with an impromptu display from Ray Park and Garret Wang.

Does it get anymore awesome than Harry Kim...

...having a lightsabre duel with Darth Maul...

...???  I'll admit, I nergasmed a little bit.


Ray was so fast, the camera couldn't keep up with him...


Garret was watching in joyous awe like the rest of us, and then he wanted in on the action...


Ray Park showed him the moves...

And it all kicked off...

Bloody awesome!  

Someone else managed to get video footage of the whole event...

This year there was a fine crop of excellent costumes and people indulging their fandom fantasies.  I'll let the evidence speak for itself.

I find your lack of costume...disturbing...

Star Lord...there were a LOT of these!

A female Comedian.  My wife's favourite, and this cosplayer certainly did the job!

Impressive groinal attachment you have their Kryten...

So refreshing to see the Good Guys for a change!

Poor unfortunate souls, in pain, in need...

Could I get away with this at the office?

Overall, an excellent weekend.  Can't wait for next year!

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