This weekend I attended my first ever Comic Con. Thinking that the main event in San Diego might be a little much for a convention virgin, I and a group of friends plumped for a more modest affair – Manchester. Following my weekend, I believe this may be the start of a beautiful friendship.
What first struck me when I walked through the doors of the Manchester Central expo was just how accepting and full of life the event was. There were no judgements here, only compliments, encouragement, and happiness. Our group’s takes on Star-Lord, Thor, The Punisher and Quicksilver were fine, but Great Scott, were there some creative people in that hall! There were countless takes on Jokers and Harley Quinns, Batmen and Spider-Men; WARHAMMER Space Marines that inspired envy in all who beheld them and ditto Garrus from MASS EFFECT, plus loads of people dressed as brightly-coloured characters from various anime series which completely went over my head. There were also a lot of people in civilian dress, but they were having just as much fun. Everyone was having the time of their lives mingling with their fellow fans, strutting their stuff or buying some really cool stuff.
The other great thing (that I didn’t wholly expect) was how much of a family affair convention-going can be. Couples and single parents alike brought their children along and the whole family had a great time, particularly the dad dressed as Wreck-It Ralph with his daughter as Vanellope. One dad asked me to pose with his son who was a very convincing Rocket Raccoon, which was lovely.
I’ve always been obsessed by films, have an occasional intense interest in a particular TV show, comic or video game. Anime and manga has mostly passed me by, but in this kind of arena it doesn’t really matter – there are just as many who like superheroes but not Japanese animation as vise versa. Everyone can find their place at a Comic Con if you love something passionately enough, and of course no-one can love everything. No-one can even have a passing interest in everything.
I didn’t really get in on meeting the Con’s famous special guests, but I walked, posed, photographed, and boy, did I shop. I was particularly pleased with my purchase from the autographed photos stall, a certain character image from my all-time favourite superhero movie signed by Alan Cumming.
I’m sure every attendee took some very special memories away from the Con, as well as bags fit to burst with geek memorabilia and a mountain of photos that hopefully don’t show the sweat patches too much. My personal favourite moment was watching a friend posing as Thor with a Deadpool acting very Deadpool right behind him.
Next year San Diego? Maybe it’s a little soon. London? Very possibly. We’d better start getting our costumes together. SSP