• Mike Douglas

Portsmouth's First Comic Con


What a day! I did so much walking I couldn't handle the second day, hahaha. Need to work on that fitness!

Saturday 5th May saw Comic Con come to Portsmouth and wow, it was great. I really enjoyed my first Comic Con experience at the Portsmouth Guildhall.

Those of you that read my pre-event post will have seen that I was considering / preparing to do a little cosplay myself. Well... I did.

I was very apprehensive about walking through Portsmouth wrapped in ivy vines and not wearing any trousers. In the end I did take some joggers to throw on for walking from the car park.

After two 'are you Groot?' 'are you Zelda' interactions, 4 people did eventually comment on my cool Poison Ivy attire. Thank goodness some people recognised who I was trying to be, haha.

Like any large event the first port of call was to get a photo of the event map and activity / panel timings. There were a couple of talks I wanted to go to, but at the same time, I didn't want to be sat down all day. I one talk I missed that I would really have liked to have seen was the Sunday panel about the importance of diversity in comics. Hopefully next time.

Walking around the stalls on the ground floor rejuvenated my love of POP Vinyls it was so hard to not buy 5, let alone 1.

Another thing I was really tempted by was the awesome artwork on display. Some in comic form, but also the framed and canvas images. They were something to behold. I honestly think this is something I would likely spend money on in future. Im just not sure it would fit anything at home, at the moment.

I spent a lot of time mooching around and talking to a few fellow attendees. I didn't stand at any particular stall / stand that long. But I did find myself keep on walking passed Marc Silk. Marc is the voice of many comic and animated characters including: Pingu, Scooby-doo and Shaggy, plus a new Thunderbirds character. I loved that he was constantly talking to people, in a variety of voices. He kind of represented the event for me, in that dedicated fans knew who he was, and causal comic fans were drawn in by his friendly welcoming approach to the public. He really was an attraction to everyone, and honestly seemed to enjoy being an the event and meeting everyone.

There was some awesome art on show on the main stage where you could meet and talk with amazing comic book artists. Unfortunately this was wasted on me as a causal fan. But I loved seeing the enthusiasm of other attendees as they queued to meet their heroes.

I can't tell you how many cool figures, toys and decorative items I saw. There was a wealth of comic merch on show. I could have happily spent hours walking up and down taking photos of their displays and products.

There were so many friendly people walking around, particularly those in cosplay outfits. They made a real effort to say hi, wave and smile at people. It was lovely seeing Spiderman and Spiderwoman walking around together, and Batman and Superman chilling out in the retro gaming area. #BatmanVsSuperman

These guys, hahaha. They were also stood in the corner listening to the one panel I attended about the 80 years of Superman, the changes, non changes, character development, killing Superman in the comics and why that happened. It definitely added something to the panel having Batman and Superman in the room when comparisons were being made by the panel.

Seeing the retro gaming was really interesting given there was also VR at the event, showing the spectrum of modern gaming. It was ace to see the lightsaber training and VR bike experiences.

Gaming wise, I liked that the Games Workshop Team from the local Portsmouth store where there. It was a good local tie I thought and showed how the local community can get involved in the event. Warhammer isn't my thing but the games they develop and the models they were creating are mind-blowing.

We can't talk about creations without mentioning the rest of the 'Wonerzone' section of the event. Wow! There was some incredible stuff here. Including being able to see this clay model being created by Gary Pollard (I couldn't find a link for Gary, but google him, he's awesome!).

The Go Geek Events Team were pretty cool to see. I've already mentioned Batman and Superman, but it was ace to also see a load of other comic characters. Cosplay is defiantly something I think those of us affected by mental health illnesses can sometimes be more interested in because of our desire to escape our own lives. I definitely have a similar thing with wrestling. It's an element of escapism, fantasy, desire for a simpler life (comics often have clear good and bad), or just to remove ourselves from the life we are currently struggling with.

Plus sometimes the costumes are awesome.

It was nice to share this first Comic Con with someone else to. Laura came along to see what I was attending for the blog this time. While Laura didn't cosplay too (tut tut, haha), she wore a lovely dress that got as many positive comments as my attire, if you can believe that.

It did feel a little strange, my blog has always been something that I mainly shared and experienced with people I have first met online and then in 'real life'. So to share it with a 'real life' first person was... different... it was nice. Hopefully Laura comes along to a few other events in future.

I managed to meet up with fellow Pompey Blogger Hannah who was also impressed by the attire of many in attendance. Dress up meet up in future maybe?

Later in the day myself and Laura made our way around to the board gaming area to see the DICE Team. They had a welcoming tent with games for sale and a large range of games you could pick up and play on the tables. The DICE Team do hold regular events, which I would recommend you attend if your into board games or want to try something different. It felt like a very relaxed social space.

Some of the games were simple, some...were not, hahaha. But, Im going to be looking for one or two of these games online because they were really fun to play, even with just two people.

Other parts of the event that were interesting to see included: the biscuit tea dunk duel, the Jurassic Park Car, the Cosplay Competition, the moving Daleks and skimming through some cool comic book covers.

Unfortunately I didn't get to talk to all the people I had hoped to. But it was also nice to mooch around at my own pace and just enjoy my first event. I would definitely make sure to get some time with a few more people next time, potentially even recored some conversations for the podcast.

I really enjoyed my first Comic Con and hopefully I'll be able to attend next year too. I believe after the success of this weekend, a 2019 event has already been confirmed for the first weekend of May 2019.

Big thank you to the Portsmouth Comic Con Team for inviting me to a great event, I am already looking forward to next time!

#Portsmouth #ComicCon #Cosplay #Gaming

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