I The first day of the annual end of year Wales Comic-con wasn’t without its hiccups, I will fully admit that during the opening hours of the con I was kinda expecting a bit of a washout, literally & figuratively but as always this event and its tireless and dedicated staff pulled it back from the brink through dedicated hard work and the determination for people to have a great day even if things don’t quite go to plan. There was quite a bit of negativity floating around online about the relatively few things that went wrong during day 1 and to put it them in context, I was reading absolutely shocking word of mouth coming from the Manchester For The Love Of Sci-Fi event being held the same weekend, truly horrible stories of mismanagement and disastrous organisation which made the relatively tame complaints levelled at WCC seem rather trivial in comparison. A lot of genuine love goes into Wales Comic-con and I think it’s a huge disservice for that to be overlooked or poo-pooed due to a few logistical nightmares that were on the whole resolved, whereas FTLOSF sounded like a train wreck from start to finish with promotor greed outweighing fan experience, some food for thought to start off my piece on Day 2 of the event.
We arrive at the Glyndwr campus early again to bag ourselves a parking space only today there is no standing around outside in the cold due to our weekend wrist bands we obtained yesterday, a quick flash at the door to the main entrance building and were inside out of the early December drizzle. Upon earlybirds being allowed entry, we head straight to the vendor areas to scope out some more possible purchases, my wife embarking on a WCC right of passage, a visit to the fudge man. Once we’re done we head to our only Q&A of the day, The Walking Dead.
We are let into the hall for The Walking Dead Q&A nice and early where we find some great seats with little to no problem. During the wait for the panel to start I became suddenly aware of a lone walker shuffling his way down the aisle and getting a great pop from the crowd, particularly when he is set upon by some Walking Dead cosplayers and gamely falls to the ground dead and there he will stay for the entire duration of the Q&A, kudos has to go to that guy for his commitment to the role.
Soon after the Walking Dead guests take to the stage and we get Scott Wilson who played Hershall Green and Micheal Cudlitz who played Abraham.
Both actors make very entertaining and amusing panellists, answering questions from the audience with wit & warmth. This may have been my only Q&A of the day but it was a great one to have caught.
Next we made our way to our first photo-op of the day with Denis O’Hare from American Horror Story. As with yesterday’s photo-op’s, Denis was quite taken with Amelia and was lovely to converse with.
After coming out of the photo hall we had some time to spare so took an opportunity to get some photos of some of the spectacular array of cosplayers on display at this years event. After already encountering one of them during The Walking Dead Q&A, the Walker reappeared with a friend in tow and seemed to also take a shine to Amelia, she was wonderfully unphased.
We happily bumped into Terrance & Philip who also obliged us with a picture.
Heck, we even run into Deadpool.
But all this back & forth can be tiring so we prepare for our last photo-op of this WCC with Eric Millegan.
We arrive bang on time as people are being let into the photo hall which in many ways sums our entire WCC photo-op experience, no hassle, no unreasonable waits for the actual photo shoot, no waits for the actual photo as we leave, it is beautifully regimented and the event staff should be commended for their work in the studios this weekend. From the dreadlocked staff member who brilliantly, expertly even, handled any query put her way and ushered people into their respective photo-ops with time to spare, to the photography staff who tirelessly throughout the day take hundreds of photos and process them in no time at all, it is exemplary work all round. We enter the photo hall and in very little time meet Eric Millegan who greets us with a big smile and even elicits one from Amelia when she meets him, a lovely guy.
And with that, our comic-con experience for 2017 is over. This has been a very special comic-con for both me & my wife as it was the first we got to experience with our daughter as a family and we felt so well looked after. I have said it before in the pieces I have written on their event, the WCC community has a real family feel, everyone helps one another to have as best a time as possible and the staff are absolute heroes, many of whom volunteer to help make people convention experience a memorable one and by my personal estimation they have done this for me time and time again. We will be returning in April of next year to celebrate WCC 10th anniversary and we will be bringing our daughter with us to something I hope that will be a family tradition for many years to come.