The biggest event of its kind on the south coast, Portsmouth Comic Con – International Festival of Comics, is back for its third outing on Saturday 7 and Sunday, May 8.
Offering the best in comics, cosplay, film, TV and pop culture entertainment, it will welcome some of the greatest international comic artists and writers, alongside stars of the screen, immersive experiences, and the wonderful world of cosplay to the Portsmouth Guildhall.
Organisers promise it will feature more panels, displays, exhibitions, gaming, VR and steampunk than ever before, alongside an incredible range of merchandise and collectables.
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Special features for 2022 include the Star-Wars Walk-Through Experience; She-Quential – A Celebration of Female Superheroes; and A World of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Nick Coles, event director for The Guildhall Trust said: ‘We’re delighted that Portsmouth Comic Con is back after a two year Covid-induced hiatus.
‘This event means such a lot to the comic and film fans of Portsmouth and from across the country and we’re excited to be welcoming international guests, and new attractions and features.
‘Our Star Wars Walk Through experience is sure to be a big hit, while She-Quential Saturday and the World of Witchcraft and Wizardry on Sunday will respectively celebrate amazing female superheroes and the best in film and novel magical worlds.’
Here’s what’s on offer at this year’s Comic Con:
:: The Star Wars Walk-Through Experience (Saturday and Sunday) will enable guests to feel like they are part of the Star Wars universe. Created by the Joker Squad and Isle of Wight Props Crew, visitors will explore the world of Tatooine before being transported to the moon of Endor with its Imperial Bunker, speeder bikes and an interactive Ewok experience.
:: She-Quential Saturday will celebrate some of the most inspirational characters ever created, including Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Supergirl and more, through a range of international guests, panels and cosplayers. Laydeez Do Comics, a female-led comic forum, will be leading a Graphic Novel Your Life workshop, talks and a Q&A.
:: On Sunday, the magical World of Witchcraft and Wizardry honours the fantasy novel and film worlds of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Excalibur and many more with costumed characters, props, games, a wand-making workshop and a School of Wizards-themed cosplay parade.
:: People of all ages are being encouraged to unleash their creativity and participate in the daily adult and children Cosplay Parades, with some great prizes to be won. Hosted by GoGeek Events CIC, the highly popular parades celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of the spectacular world of cosplay and costuming.
:: Spread across Comic City and Comic Village will be traders, merchandise stalls and independent illustrators. Visitors can meet writers and illustrators from the world of comics in Artists’ Alley, sponsored by online specialist marketplace, Catawiki. Comic guests who have reconfirmed their attendance include Troy Alders, Marguerite Sauvage, Janet K Lee, Gary Erskine and Laurence Campbell with multiple Eisner, Harvey and Inkpot award-winning artist and New York Times best-selling author, Adam Hughes.
:: They’ll be joined by stars of the screen including Pam Rose (Star Wars Episode VI, Batman, Superman), David Bulbeck (Labyrinth, Muppets Christmas Carol), Brian Wheeler (Star Wars Episode VI, Harry Potter), Madeline Smith (James Bond, Up Pompeii) and Britain’s smallest man, Michael Henbury (Star Wars – Return of the Jedi, Labyrinth, Harry Potter).
:: Throughout the weekend, there will be a range of panel discussions and Q&A sessions including: in-depth interviews with Adam Hughes, Rick Leonardi and Stuart Moore about their legendary careers in comics; drawing workshops with Gary Erskine; writing masterclasses from Rob Williams; and a fascinating glimpse into the process of peerless artists Marguerite Sauvage and Martin Simmonds.
:: There will also be a wealth of exhibitions and displays to explore, with visitors able to go behind the scenes of film and TV. Marvel at FX artist, Gary Pollard, who has worked on Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop, Red Dwarf and Harry Potter, as he demonstrates his amazing skill in prosthetics. Travel through time with an exhibition of Dr Who props including Davros, Daleks and a Tardis. A unique exhibition on The Clown Prince of Crime reproduces covers and comic art of DC’s most iconic villain, The Joker, while Bournemouth’s Westover Gallery returns with a collection of signed and limited-edition pieces for purchase.
:: In the VR/Immersive Tech & Gaming Zone, you’ll be able to see how the creatives of the future use technology to produce the things you love to watch and play. University of Portsmouth staff and students will be sharing their passion for dinosaurs through digital painting, their interest in VR through their cyborg experience, making TV programmes and playing student-made games. You’ll also be able to check out VR motion simulators and a gaming LAN with Reign PC Gaming by Novatech, one of the largest retailers of computer products in the UK.
:: In the Interactive Zone, get hands on and have some fun with retro computer gaming from Game Over or try your luck at a selection of hundreds of classic and modern board games from Dice Portsmouth. The Steampunk Deck also returns with a Witches & Wizards Steampunk theme, led by The Gosport Steampunk Society. Visitors can expect a photobooth, shooting gallery, tea-duelling and this year’s new sport, wand-duelling!
A range of day session tickets and full weekend tickets are available at portsmouthcomiccon.com.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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