Last weekend saw the 3rd Edinburgh Comic Con take place in it’s new surroundings with the hope of being just as successful as last year…..if not moreso.
Last year’s con (reviewed here) saw the two-day event reach new heights with attendance and this proved to be the main drive in moving to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre as main organizer James Lundy pulled out all the stops to put together another successful show. His team of volunteers and helpers were there to keep things moving and the guests & attendees all had a fairly laidback approach to the event which ECC has had form the beginning.
There was no rush to get anywhere as everywhere you looked there was something of interest to get involved with – be that the Star Wars or Doctor Who themed props, some boxes of comics or just catching up with a creator you’ve been desperate to meet. Cosplay seemed to play a bigger part in the weekend too as each day was overrun with every type of character you could imagine from comics, cartoons, TV or movies……and all brimming with enthusiasm for the characters they were choosing to be for the day.
For me the small press & indie attendees were as much a draw as anything else and with the likes of Accent UK, Vital Publishing, City Of Lost Souls, Bust, Cult Empire and many more in attendance it offered a great chance to catch-up with some of the creators to find out what they are working on & how the weekend had been going for them. I’m pleased to say that most seemed to thoroughly enjoy the day & make significant sales of their titles to a new and widening audience.
Another key part of my weekend was picking up some sketches…..something that has crept into part of my Comic Con ritual and while I’d normally focus on adding another Captain America to my collection I took the chance to get hold of some different characters by other artists……this could be the beginning of something all consuming though as the end results of these (and several others I saw over the weekend) were stunning.
A typically impressive mix of panels were on offer over the weekend too with some of the guests and some great chat throughout those that I saw covering the likes 2000AD, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Fan Films and more. A special 5th Anniversary screening of Electric Man took place too with a Q&A and free DVD copy of the movie up for grabs to those in attendance (check out the Website & Facebook for more on this).
Overall the third year was a carbon copy of those first two years with the enthusiasm from the organizers being a key element in pulling together another fine mix of elements that kept the broad range of fans entertained. The new venue proved to be a much needed change and it helped open up the event to more visitors but some additional spacing out of the tables would have been preferred to keep away from some of the cramped conditions that crept in on occasion. Not a show-stopper by any means and it’s definitely something that’s fixed easy enough for future shows – I just think its hard to gauge which stalls would be the busiest…….the crowd around the stall with Lego figures on it seemed to be the busiest I’ve ever seen 😀
I’d also heard some rumblings about access issues for some of the visitors but I saw those with wheelchairs, prams and walking sticks passing through the event just as easily as everyone else did so I’m not sure if that was a widespread concern or a one-off issue. The space available in the EICC seemed more than enough for this not to be the case but I can see that the busier stalls could introduce these types of problems……plus you had people stopping in the middle of walkways to take selfies or grab a photo of a cosplayer……not ideal and it didn’t help at times. Minor grumbles for what turned out to be another fun-filled weekend for me……and it proved that Edinburgh Comic Con has built itself up to being one of the best Scottish Cons around….a position it’s earned. Roll on 2017 with more of the same please!