Nottingham Comic Con Event Review

I arrived at 8am on Saturday the 4th of
October. It was early. I was tired and still slightly drunk, even if the crisp
Nottingham air had cured me of that, along with several enthusiastic bear hugs
from NCC runner Kev Brett.

Having been to the con last year when it was
known as ‘Nerd Fest’ it was a different feel. Not only was the venue different,
bigger and more modern than last years. Not only did it have elevators with
northern accents (that my friend Steve and I rode up and down to endless
amazement). But TheCultDen was there as not only visitors but participants on
the day itself!

But that wasn’t my task on the day- mine was
to walk the event checking out all the things that I though were cool, chatting
to artists and in general getting a feel for the place. In other worlds I was
in heaven- and what better event?

Make no mistake- this was a big venue and
there were so many people in attendance. From the cosplayers who were queuing
up outside the door about an hour before the venue opened, to the amount of
artists, many of them producing their first works. Not that you would know it-
the standard was pretty much universally high all round and with so many
different forms of expression. It wasn’t just comics we saw- there were skate
decks, stickers, hand crafted jewelry, face painting…all in all an
absolutely great mix that meant there was something for everyone no matter the
age.

That was something that was nice and
unexpected too. There’s been a lot of talk of late about how the comics
industry needs to be more inclusive, or at least recognize the amount of
talented people being ignored because their work doesn’t appeal to the middle
aged white guy. Nottingham Comic Con certainly put paid to the idea of there
being ‘no women in comics’. The mix was about 50/50 men to women of exhibitors
and the people attending were the same too- from five year old kids to 80 year
olds, a real mix of people turned out to see the people who are helping shape
and define the UK comics industry.

I met so many people in the space of a few
hours… I wish I wasn’t so poor at remembering names. Everyone was unanimously
friendly, funny and were able to put up with me stumbling over my words as I
failed to express how great their work was. To apologize, let me link you to
the floor plan of the day (here) – remember these artists and studios, because
in 10 years time they will be some of the biggest things in comics.

My only slight critique of the day would be
that the layout was a bit odd – though it was clearly designed to make it so
the talks and bands didn’t drown out the artists area, its positioning meant
that some of the people I talked to weren’t even aware there was a separate
artists area! Still, these things happen and with the event runners moving to
such a bigger venue than last year means there would be some problems. I’m sure
they ill be fixed next year.
All in all it was a great day- I’ll be back
next year guaranteed. With the controversies that have gripped the comics
industry in the past year, it’s hard to forget that outside of the big studios
and the internet fights exists a whole group of people that want to read comics
that they, their kids and their partners can enjoy. Nottingham Comic Con is the
kind of event that promotes those sort of comics, so I’ll do everything I can
to help.

Roll on next year.

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