Convention Spotlight: Portsmouth Comic Con
The UK has a LOT of comic conventions and festivals, and here at the FPI Blog we love to support them all. But our absolute favourite conventions are those that prioritise the COMICS part of comic convention. We tend to discriminate against those “comic-cons” where the list of guests is full of actors, celebs and various other things, with a comic artist guest list that often doesn’t even get mentioned on the promo stuff.
The biggest events in the UK right now are Leeds Thought Bubble festival and the Lakes International comics festival. But they’re both oop in the wonderful North of England. And there are several London shows throughout the year. But very few actually down south outside of London. Which is where we’re pleased to tell you about the very first Portsmouth Comic Con.
It takes place at Portsmouth Guild Hall on 5-6th, and concentrates very much on comics, with a side attraction of film, TV and pop culture. To give you an example of just how comics focused they are, check out the guest list photos below, all in pride of place, as they should be on the Portsmouth Comic Con website.
The star guests at Portsmouth have to be Walt and Louise Simonson, both veterans of the comics industry with a vast number of titles to their names. It’s the Simonson’s first European show in over a decade. But other names at the show include Tommy Lee Edwards, Frank Quitely, and Image’s Eric Stephenson. The show will feature a range of panels, exhibitions, displays and workshops. These include events put on by the Gosport Steampunk Society, including a cosplay competition, when they take over the basement of the Guildhall.
The show is organised by Joel Meadows and Andrew Colman. You should know Joel’s name from his long history of comics publishing with the excellent Tripwire comics magazine and website, that’s been running for the last 25 years in one form or another. Joel and Andrew were originally approached by Portsmouth Guildhall to organise a comic show with a focus on comics. The venue itself is well suited to a convention event, with a long history of event hosting.
It’s great news to have another major show on the comic events calendar, especially one focused so heavily on comics, and filling a gap in the geographical market!