Well, another Edinburgh Comic Con has come and gone, providing an entertaining comic-and-geek-culture-themed weekend in the heart of Scotland’s capital city.
While some “Comic Cons” focus squarely on the comics themselves and others seem to lean heavily into appearances by television and movie stars, ECC does a solid job of treading the line between the two, casting a broad pop culture net and providing an event which truly can claim to have something for everyone.
For me though, any event is only as good as the comic creators on the line-up, and in that respect, Edinburgh Comic Con most certainly delivered again, providing a mixture of big-name guests from across the pond (including the likes of Ken Lashley, Phil Jimenez, Chris Mooneyham and James Harren) and exciting home-grown talent (Garry Brown, Dan McDaid, Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie to name but a few), alongside all manner of up-and-coming small press creators.
[WALKTHROUGH – Part 1]
While the event was impressively well attended once again, the queues for creators were fairly short, and – for the most part – well managed. The creators themselves were all friendly and engaging, and the pricing structure to get your hands on a commission (or three!) were absolutely fantastic. For instance, I picked up all three of the Swamp Things below – from Dan McDaid, Chris Mooneyham and Garry Brown respectively – for just twenty quid each. Bargain!
[CLICK TO ENLARGE]
Comics aside, ECC also brought in some attention-grabbing guests from the worlds of television and movies. While we’re not exactly talking A-List talent, the addition of fan favourites like Babylon 5’s Claudia Christian and the trio of Mike Zapcic, Ming Chen and Bryan Johnson from AMC’s Comic Book Men made for some lively autograph/selfie queues and some engaging panels.
Once again, ECC continued to try and push the boundaries of the Comic Con Experience, and while professional wrestling (provided by the folks at the Edinburgh-based Scottish School of Wrestling) and an arcade and gaming area packed with video and tabletop games may not necessarily appeal to everyone (particularly quote-unquote “comic purists”), these areas actually ended up being some of the busiest of the event throughout the course of the weekend.
[WALKTHROUGH – Part 2]
One of the major improvements between this year and the 2016 event were the tweaks that were made to the layout, with the event now being spread across two separate halls and a far less claustrophobic atmosphere in the aisles between the many vendor stalls. There were still a few bottlenecks along the way, but it was obvious that previous suggestions had been listened to, providing a far more relaxed and user-friendly convention experience without losing any of the much-needed atmosphere provided by the hustle-and-bustle (and, in the case of the vendors, that all-important footfall).
At the end of the day, Edinburgh Comic Con should definitely be applauded for their approach, managing to balance the mass appeal of TV and movie stars with a genuinely fantastic collection of comic creators, not to mention all manner of interesting and unusual things to see and do between queues and panels. We’ll definitely be back in 2018, and whether you’re a fan of commissions, autographs, actors or just plain spending money, Edinburgh Comic Con is guaranteed to have at least something that will appeal to you.