Newcastle Film & Comic Con ’16: Cons in the UK
Across the 19th and 20th of November, Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena played host once more to Showmasters’ Film & Comic Con – celebrating film, TV, gaming, anime, and comic culture to an audience that numbered in the thousands!
I’ve attended the event previously with friends, but this was my first time as an impartial journalist. Showmasters hold Film & Comic Con events all across the UK, with the likes of Manchester and London being massive events on any enthusiast’s calendar. In the north, there are several other conventions, or “Cons”, but the scope of Newcastle Film & Comic Con tends to draw the largest numbers.
For those who aren’t familiar with “con culture,” you can expect a few things from the event, where there’s plenty to get up to throughout the day.
A visually stand-out part of the event is the vast number of stalls where visitors can buy merchandise ranging from stationary and clothing, right up to replicas and props. Fans are also able to meet actors and authors one on one, this year including Dominic Carter and Sam Coleman from Game of Thrones, as well as Christopher Fairbank of the Alien franchise and Mark Everex Collett of Star Wars.
Visitors are also able to take professional-quality photos with film props and green screens, and of their cosplay creations.
Outside of the main floor space there’s also a board game area and a video gaming area, for a bit of a rest and relaxation before tackling the show floor once more.
Of course, one of the biggest draws of Newcastle Film & Comic Con is the chance for fans to show off their costumes – many of which are amazing to look at.
At this year’s show there was a great variety of costume, and it’s genuinely impressive to see how many of them have turned out!
I got the chance to speak with a few cosplayers on the day, and ask some questions about their choice of costume, as well as the importance of having an event such as Newcastle Film & Comic Con in the north east of England.
Ben Ackroyd, above, came in costume as Neptune Vasilias from RWBY on the day. “I’ve spent the past 2 days working on the Halberd, but it’s come out pretty well I think” he said as I asked him about his costume, but what does he think about the event itself?
“I just think it’s a good place to bring everyone in the north together, everyone who likes this sort of thing. As cosplayers, for us to have a place to come, chill out, and be awesome.”
On the day, there were also a few group effort costumes, including the crew from Payday. I managed to grab a chat with them before being forced to my knees and swearing not to rat them out! You can check out what they had to say in the video below, which is a snap shot of the day and interviews with the Payday crew, Doctor Strange, and Krillin from Dragonball Z.
With thousands in attendance, this year’s Newcastle Film & Comic Con looks like another success for cons in the UK, and will no doubt contribute to an increase in the already considerable appeal of these events throughout the country.
Many of the biggest conventions in the world, and the most famous, tend to be the ones hosted over in the US, but many are hopeful that the UK in particular will see growth over the coming years and perhaps even rival the size and scope of events overseas.
Certainly, in the past couple of years when I’ve attended Newcastle Film & Comic Con, I’ve seen a growing attendance figure, and if it continues to grow, then it’s safe to say that we’ll get to see more events throughout the calendar for enthusiasts and fans of geek culture. Not just in the north east, but across the entirety of the UK.
It’s always a little difficult to explain exactly what a convention is to people who haven’t attended before, and a big reason for writing this article was to give a small look in to that world for those on the outside, and it turns out to be quite a unique microcosm.
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Fans of all areas of “geekdom”, all tastes, and all persuasions have a place to come together and passionately enthuse about these things in their lives, and that’s pretty special.
You can find out more about Newcastle Film & Comic Con on the official website here.
For more information on conventions in the UK for 2017, check here.
And for more convention coverage, we’ve got you covered here at Nerd Reactor.
Did you attend Newcastle Film & Comic Con? What did you think of the event, are you planning on attending next year? Let us know in the comments below, or you can talk to me directly on Twitter @raykimaru.