Saturday, 26 September 2015

Blackpool Comic Con 2015

Saturday the 12th of September 2015 marked the first ever Blackpool Comic Con. Myself and my little nerdish family had been looking forward to it for months and our friend that comes with us to Cons had even got his first ever cosplay together.

Waking up early on that morning to get ready, we were slightly disappointed to see that it was pouring with rain so we had to make the decision not to put the nerdlings in their cosplay outfits (Wonder Woman and the Flash) as we didn't want them to get cold and wet. My hubby however still donned his Arrow cosplay and our friend his Sebastian (Black Butler) waistcoat and tails. I have yet to cosplay as I spend that much time making sure everyone else is sorted I don't have time to sort my own, however I did an everyday cosplay and wore red and black with my Deadpool necklace.

When we arrived we found parking easily just around the corner from the Winter Gardens and walked round to the "front" of the place, we were surprised to see just a handful of people waiting outside the doors. We waited here for a few minutes before someone walking past advised that the queue was actually at the side, so we wandered round and found that the queue was actually the length of the entire outside of the building! By this time we were extremely lucky and the rain had eased off so we didn't end up getting wet. When we go to cons part of our enjoyment comes from queueing and seeing all the people in cosplay and all the effort that these people have put into their costume. In fact a lot of our pictures end up being from the queue.

Once the doors opened, the queue moved fairly quickly and we were in in no time at all. As soon as we were inside we saw an amazing couple of cosplays of Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Maleficent which our oldest nerdling wanted her photo taken with, the women were absolutely lovely and posed for the picture and also gave her a gift of a princess family card game. It's easy to say that she was absolutely made up. Winter Gardens is an absolutely beautiful venue and it has such a grand entrance it really makes you feel as though you are entering a wonderland, however once we were through though doors, we walked into complete chaos. The last con we went too (Preston Comic Con) had printed out floor maps and were handing them out in the queue, they had also put them up on their Facebook page prior so we could make a plan of action (we decide in advance who we want to see and then work out where they are to make our lives easier), but Blackpool had none of this and we only saw one sign in the entire place which was for the WWE Superstars, but it didn't really point you in the right direction. Considering how big Winter Gardens is and how many rooms there are, a map and signs I feel are essential. However, this was the events first year, there were bound to be teething problems and organisation was one of them.

Our first port of call was to find Kevin Nash as he has been one of my hubby's heroes since childhood and he has waited a long time for the chance to be able to meet him. Once we located the right room, we saw a huge line waiting to meet Mick Foley (yes THE Mick Foley, I was in the same room as Mick Foley!) but we were able to get to the front of Kevin Nash's table and wait for him while he finished up his photo shoot. While we were waiting I nipped over the Booker T's table and I was lucky enough to get his autograph. We are a WWE fan family. When Kevin Nash arrived my hubby talked to him for a few minutes and had his photograph taken with him, this absolutely made his day and Kevin was so nice and seemed to really enjoy the interaction.

Next up was Jeremy Wilkin who voiced Virgil Tracy in Thunderbirds, this one was for me. I absolutely love the original Thunderbirds and I have already met Shane Rimmer (who is absolutely lovely). There was only one lady in front of us but we had to wait a while, when I got to the front I found out why, Jeremy is a chatter! He was happy to talk away and engaged with the nerdlings, I was thoroughly happy with my encounter and was very happy with my autograph and how he signed it. Those who also got an autograph will know what I mean.

We were going to see Richard Madden and we did ask a member of staff where he was but they didn't know but luckily a con goer overheard us asking and pointed us in the right direction. When we found the queue it was coming out of a room with no sign and people were just asking people already in the queue who they were queueing for. We waited for a while before being told we might not get in before he had to go to his panel and that everyone had to put their cameras and phones away (not in the politest of ways). At this point we gave up on seeing him and went out to look round the stalls and to see the cosplay guests.

Our friend is a big fan of Doctor Who and was looking forward to meeting Jenna Coleman, but sadly we could not find her anywhere and no one was able to tell us where to find her, so he missed out on his opportunity.

Our final stop of the day was to meet Ian Beattie who played Sir Meryn Trant in Game of Thrones, I had wanted to meet him at Preston but had missed out so I didn't want to miss him again, We had to wait a long time at his table as the people who were manning the tables didn't know where he was or when he would be back (he was at a panel and then a group photo shoot) but I didn't want to miss him and we were the front of the queue. I have never been so glad to queue for anything ever, Ian is an absolutely wonderful man and just so lovely. He has the ability to make you feel like you're the only one in the room and that you have his full attention, which in a room filled with hundreds of people is an impressive feat! We had a brilliant chat and he let me take his picture holding mini nerdling even though he was covered in chocolate.

Once I was done speaking with Ian we went off to the sea front for a walk and to get some chips so we could cool down after being so hot inside and we were done with the con for the day.

Overall we really enjoyed our day and made of it what we wanted. There were some disappointments (where was the Batmobile and Ecto 1?) and the organisation was horrendous, but the calibre of guests was exceptional for a first time. I've heard all sorts of both rumours and information after the event and if they're all true then I don't believe we will see another Blackpool Comic Con in the future, which is sad firstly for the people who have been affected and secondly because the venue was so perfect and run by the right people I think this Con could be amazing.

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