Bright and early on a Sunday morning I headed to Runcorn to pick up my con buddy,Kirsty to attend Wales Comic Con. After a small hiccup of forgetting her wallet and having to double back with the much needed McDonalds breakfast we eventually got on the road to Wrexham.
Wrexham isn’t all that far, less than 40 minutes on a quiet Sunday morning, and we were soon arriving at Glyndwr University where the convention was held. We quickly spotted which building to head towards due to the enormous queue of people snaking across the campus at 10:20am, at this point we were glad we’d shelled out the extra two quid for an early bird ticket which gave us entry one hour earlier – from 10 until 11am (regular entry tickets being measly £5).
I will admit that my original reason for wanting to go to Wales Comic Con was to see the Impala from Supernatural ( yes my favourite guest would’ve been a car) but it wasn’t ready and withdrew from the con at the 11th hour, However there was still an impressive line up including no less than 8 Game of Thrones cast members, Billy West, Warwick Davies, and a raft of comic book artists to name a few, plus Robert Llewellyn and Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf who provided great and funny photo ops. I will mention here that WCC stand out from other conventions I’ve been to as firstly they took 3 shots and let you choose which one gets printed, which was awesome! Secondly they also gave you the opportunity for poses which again I’ve not experienced before, only had the joys of being barked at with ‘no touching, no poses next!’ in the space of 10 seconds – to be greeted by the guest with a handshake and smile was refreshing and ended up with photos that make me chuckle every time I see them.
Another advantage to the early bird ticket was just having that quieter time to work out where everything was, being able to move around easier and more time to chat to the guests at the autograph tables, my compadre doing some of that with Finn Jones and Gethin Anthony from Game of Thrones who were sharing a table and both very lovely.
We kick started the day with the Q&A for Billy West, he of Futurama fame for what was easily the highlight of my day. We got an amazing whistle stop tour of his voices from Ren & Stimpy through to Dr Zoidberg, Fry and Professor Farnsworth along with insights on the inspiration for various characters “the voice of Fry was me when I was about 23, I had this whiny voice”. When asked about Seth McFarlane “I remember when he came to town, this geeky kid from Rhode Island, now he looks like he should be in them [TV shows]”.
We managed to get all the photo ops we wanted between us done and dusted by 1pm so headed to the pub for lunch, good job really as the onsite burger van had a queue to rival the one for entry. The Plas Coch pub is literally 2 minutes around the corner, and does 2 for 1 on all main meals, we both had fish & chips variations but the Sunday roasts looked good too.
Then it was back for more madness in the main hall where I managed to pick up something from the comic book guys for my brother as a surprise, they were selling comics from free comic book day for £3 – with that going to the make a wish foundation and all three guys signed them too, can’t say fairer than that! there were also just loads of great art work from various Star Wars and Transformers as well as the opportunity to have a custom drawing done. And lest not forget the Swansea Comics Collective who started a Wallcomic where anyone can come and draw a page of a giant comic story, I drew a rather fetching man running away from a meteor, Kirsty drew a shark, she’s obsessed with them or something.
We then decided to go get in line for the Red Dwarf Q&A, because as seasoned con goers we do love a good queue, almost as much as I love a brew. But we were too late, the hall being used that I estimated held over 200 people was full to burst, so we joined the already formed queue for the Game of Thrones panel being held an hour later (you can read more about that here) before one final burst around the stalls, amazingly picking up our photo ops before the end of the event. Now to many this maybe standard, but I’ve recently received convention photo ops from May!, yes 3 months later, so to have some apologise for the delay when it really wasn’t, was yet another pleasant surprise!
All in all an amazing day that well exceeded expectations, even the traffic jam on the M56 that turned our 40 minutes journey into 2 plus hours couldn’t dampen my spirits, looking forward to next years event already.