It’s the morning after the weekend before and I already have the Postcon Blues! After being away for a few years Portsmouth Comic Con returned with a vengeance. I have been looking forward to attending this event for so long. A Con in my hometown is great for so many reasons but one of the best reasons is it’s location. I normally have to get up super-early and commute up and down the country (sometimes internationally) so having one in my hometown is delightful!
I arrived early on Saturday morning to collect my Press Pass and get some photos before the visitors arrived. The line for early admission was already getting bigger! Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square always looks majestic with the grand steps and stone pillars. Combine that with a giant inflatable Hulk and a Spider-Man climbing down the building and you know you have arrived!
I got my bearings and my handy guide as I wanted to make sure I didn’t get lost. There was no fear of this though as there was maps and signs everywhere. Staff were also located all around the interior and exterior. Heroes everywhere! As I was walking around the event over the weekend I bumped into Curt Hill, the event producer, a few times. Curt was always on the move so it was nice to catch up and share some thoughts about my experience.
Everywhere you went there was something to see or do. There were all the usuals likes toys, clothes, Funkos and collectibles but what makes this Con so refreshing is the attention it puts on comics and creators. There were stalls selling bargain bundles, writers/artists talking about their latest work and others selling rare comics. Those were for the serious collectors. Slab City Comics are a great bunch and they let me inspect Superboy #68, the first appearance of Bizarro! On the Saturday it was also Free Comic Book Day so it was great to see that Galactic Comics got involved as well. It was nice to see new and old fans of comics buying some new issued and getting some free ones as well.
As I walked around the site over both days, talking with traders and visitors, the general outlook was that everyone was just so happy to be back at a con that was doing so much for the community. Not just for the community of Portsmouth and the South Coast but also the world of comics and comic creators. I spoke with James from Lawn Of The Dead about why he loved returning to this event and he mentioned how it felt so much like a classic con. People coming together to share their passions while also discovering new ones.
GoGeek Events , who are one of the events partners, were present all weekend and worked so hard to make sure everyone was entertained and having a good time. Their cosplayers were constantly meeting and greeting guests, posing with families, giving out advice and generally being heroes!
I spoke with Mark on The Podcast Of Steel recently and it was great to see him hard at work, organising the cosplay parade and making sure everything was running smoothly. The Cosplay Parade was one of my favourite events. Sitting on the Guildhall steps with 100s of guests, watching cosplayers of all levels and all ages getting lost in their passions and striking their best poses on the main stage for the applauding crowd. Magical!
After two days of walking around this con I felt like it had not gone away. I was so glad to be back at a Con that cared so much about the world of comics, creators and community. Seeing so many people enjoy spending their time with artists, writers and cosplayers was so refreshing. Some national/international cons concentrate so much on getting the big names in that the magic gets lost in the traffic and the madness. I have no issues with travelling to attend Cons but when I get there and can’t really find many things to do with comics, at a “Comic” inspired event, it can be disheartening.
This Con delivered everything it set out to. An event for families and fans where they could all get together and enjoy a fun weekend embracing their loves. Well done to everyone that was involved. Before I left I thanked as many people as possible for the amazing time I had and I managed to speak with Nick Coles, the event director. Nick is so passionate about this event and has even bigger plans for the future so it was nice to grab a moment with him and thank him for all his hard work.
Portsmouth Comic Con is one that I am so happy to see grow, one that I am proud to promote and one that I can’t wait to see come back. After it being gone for two years due to the pandemic, many might of thought that when it did return it would not have the same magic as it once did. It had more. More heart, more fun, more events and more comics!
Well done, Portsmouth Comic Con, you are all heroes. I will see you next year!