What was Blackpool Comic-Con 2015?

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Back at the start of the groovy seventies a small group of people decided to host an entire convention dedicated to what they loved the most, comic books. It was a small one day event with the special guests of a guy who collects sci-fi and a tracer. From there Comic-Con has truly gone international and is now not only host to some of the best and biggest stars in sci-fi, comics and fantasy but is also the model for not only every comic-con to follow but pretty much every convention…… in the world.

So what’s one more to the mix? It’s got an awful lot to live up to, right? Can we still have one day minicons in this day and age? Let’s find out with……….

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The convention managed to build interest slowly over the year with them starting with one guest who nobody had ever heard of before building up to the second to last Stark to die and the current arm candy for the Doctor, there were to be robots and race cars, though sadly no race cars that turn into robots. There were to be Arcades to live out your ‘Ready Player One‘ fantasies in preparation for the movie and of course many many stalls where you can be kindly parted from your money. Think of it like the Ankh-Morpork thieves guild.

However problems started pretty much the night before for a lot of people as they realised that though children under eight did indeed go free they still needed a ticket. Something that many parents didn’t seem to have and with the convention already sold out this left a lot of people scrambling around for tickets or for someone to shout at. Now I didn’t have a little one to watch though I seem to recall that the site did indeed state that such tickets were indeed required many claim that it didn’t and even more say that tickets bought on site came with the assurance that they didn’t, let’s call that a draw for fault placing.

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Then on the day came problem number two. The line managed to loop a couple of blocks and last a good two hours for many of the people in it. This might not have been so bad had the cue not stretched past three other entrances to the building all of which were closed and used as tea or smoke shelters from the gloomy whether. Storm Troopers, Olaf and Umbrella corp were on hand to try and placate the crowd. It is up to you to decide which one of those things is the worst with I’m sure several parents going for anything that brought ‘Let it Go‘ into their lives. Either way this meant that much of the early show was lost to those locked outside such as the mega awesome robot which despite running all day was gone before I arrived inside. Still at least R2 was still there with his friends.

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Not that I was aware of this straight away as it was quite hard to tell what was there and not as nobody knew where it was. Once inside there was no map and little to no signs giving you a gentle nudge in the right direction meaning everyone, including a lot of the staff was completely lost.

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This had one advantage for the con however as this made it quite hard to notice what was missing and or late. The cars had managed to loose the ‘ecto-1’ and ‘bat-mobile‘ and the arcade was no where to be seen. This also went for the promised tour-de-force of the a plethora of Gerry Anderson sets that many had come to see dug out of mothballs for a true celebration. Not everything was truly missing however with a lot simply being quite late though this is probably because the stars had no more idea where they were going than the fans did. Heck some stars were so desperate to talk to some of the organisers that they were stuck to using twitter it was that hard to find a staff member.

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Though they at least got more out of the con than the stalls managed with many having to prove their purchase of said stall on the final hour and scrambling about with no guidance or pack in an effort to get ready with their prep time the night before cut and cut again from what they were told.

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With nothing else to do fans were forced to entertain themselves with mock lightsaber duels on the dance floor and space marines patrolling the grounds. Cosplay was of course in full attendance with the overall prize imo going to the woman donning the all too glamorous costume of Appa so that her wee tiny child can come as Aang. No I didn’t get a picture because much like Blackpool Comic-Con I wasn’t quite as professional as I should have been. Just ask the Hawkeye who had to stand there with a drawn bow for picture after picture as I tried to work the camera. Or the Lupin who disappeared into the crowd like well a master thief before I could get decent proof that he was ever there. Not that I didn’t manage to snag some pictures which should be up shortly.

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The after party was for the cool kids only so I wasn’t allowed to attend though going off the convention itself I’m not sure how great it would have been and from the sound of it many of the cool kids couldn’t be bothered either. Still they had the ‘Mona Lisa Twins‘ and ‘Blues Harvest‘ who no doubt wowed everyone with the special brand of jizz. For those to lazy to click the link Jizz is a genre of music played in Star Wars and I should state for the record that ‘Blues Harvest’ are not some weird sex act. So far as I know.

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They also got a commemorative poster of the event in a kind of Drew Struzan style. More importantly they got to skip the two hour long cue at the start of the day by having their own entrance.

I’ve been very down on Blackpool Comic-Con but I would probably go again if they put it on offer, though at the moment that’s doubtful as things have gotten so bad that they’ve had to take down their own facebook page to avoid the high number of complaints, mind you that’s because it was under fifteen quid and only twenty minutes walk from where I live. For those that live further afield or are more used to travelling to the big cons they might be harder to draw back for next time. But quite a few people seemed to enjoy themselves and I think I did too.

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After all, it could be worse …… …….

So did you go to Blackpool comic-con?

What did you think?

What would you like to see for next time other than a map?

Or have you had any worse convention experiences?

Please share all this and more in the comment section below.

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8 thoughts on “What was Blackpool Comic-Con 2015?

  1. I did enjoy myself overall, though part of that was because I had a good idea of what I wanted to get out of the event and I managed to do it all – though at times, it was a struggle to do so. The crowds were a constant pain. It was certainly the worst convention I’ve been to, but I haven’t been to very many.

    I’d been looking forward to the day for a long time so I was determined not to let the problems spoil it for me, and I was relatively fortunate with my plans falling into place, but there are plenty of people who have every right to complain.

    A map would definitely be a good idea, and really the staff need to be better prepared for big numbers rather than doing things like asking for volunteers just before the event. At one point, I was told to find somebody with a radio because only they had a clear picture of what was going on; better communication and briefings would be essential. Also, at the beginning of the day, somebody should have been around outside for directions: I was standing in the wrong queue for a little while.

    • So would you say that if we don’t get another one that people who enjoyed this one should head to Preston comic con next year? I have never been myself so I was wondering, was there a noticeable difference between the two in your opinion?

      • There’s been two Preston Comic Cons so far and both took place in the Guild Hall, which has significantly less space than the Winter Gardens. Both cons were crowded, but not unbearably so, and it was always possible to buy tickets at the door though the queue was fairly long: I must assume that there was a lower turnout than Blackpool, maybe because the guests weren’t quite as high profile or there wasn’t as much publicity. It was certainly a lot easier to find your way around the Guild Hall, and you could pick up leaflets with maps and talk/photoshoot times. Basically, Preston Comic Con operated on a smaller scale, but was considerably more comfortable for it – I enjoyed both of them very much.

  2. Despite long queues, lack of map and timetable and missing panels because I just couldn’t find them, I did enjoy the con, and enjoyed meeting Richard Madden, Eugene Simon and DJ Qualls who were genuinely nice people.

    • Unfortunately the more I hear about BCC the more I fear it was a one off money grabbing scheme, I don’t know but that is what I am hearing, but like you I enjoyed myself and hope that somebody notices the amount of people who would want such a con in Blackpool and sort another one out.

      • I guess it was the first comic con that they had held so I hope they learn from their mistakes. They should have a timetable and map available to download on their site. That would solve a lot of issues.

        Am not sure about going next year but will see how they progress with their plans.

      • I’m now doubtful there will be a next year unfortuantly. Their facebook page has been deleted and their web page has just gone offline due to the number of complaints. There are reports of stars paying their own way both too and from the con. Right now my main hope is that someone will see that there is a market for it and try their own con next year.

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