Verge Attends: Wales Comic Con – December 2019

Before Wales had even begun this year, it threw out an immediate curveball. One that many of us were hoping for. It announced that Wales Comic Con would be relocating itself to Telford.

It is strange, as it still goes by the name Wales Comic Con except now with an extra sub-title. The event in December 2019 was known as Wales Comic Con: Telford Takeover. This move was inevitable. Wales Comic Con has been running for over 10 years now. It has become very popular and has continued drawing more and more guests each year. It has grown exponentially and could no longer be contained in the Wrexham Glyndŵr University. Choosing a new venue was a smart move by the organiser and allowed Wales Comic Con to truly show us what it is capable of.

This was definitely something I wanted to be a part of this year. That is why I was very lucky to be able to secure a Press Pass and attend on Saturday. If you don’t usually attend cons, or are not sure how it works with Wales Comic Con, then let me offer some insight.

Wales Comic Con - December 2019
When worlds collide!

It begins with the guest announcements. If you follow Wales Comic Con on Twitter or find the Facebook Pages/Groups, you might find one day, that a guest is announced for the convention. These guests will be attending the event to offer you a photo opportunity and/or an autograph/selfie for a certain price. Then you have the usual convention experiences like merchandise, cosplay, gaming, panels and so on.

Now, this moved allowed there to be a bit more space at this event than usual. However, this is not as big as other events in the UK. This is not a problem, more of a word of warning if you were expecting a huge event. It is an event more focussed on the meets and greets with guests . This December saw an incredible lineup. It included Doctor Who stars (Matt Smith, David Tennant, Alex Kingston, Catherine Tate, Arthur Darvill), Michael Rooker, Zachary Levi, Lee Pace, Tom Welling and so many more.

Wales Comic Con - December 2019
This was before most people got in. It tends to look a lot busier than this!

I’ve honestly barely touched the surface with these announcements. There were over 50 guests who attended the event. A lot of them featuring in very popular movies and TV shows. I don’t know how they do it, but Wales Comic Con always seems to have an outstanding lineup. That is one of the main reasons I’ve always attended this event. I’m always very excited to see who they could potentially announce next.

As for my personal experiences at the event. I will say, that I didn’t have any truly negative experiences. Although, I still saw a lot of problems that I thought we might have beaten by now. As we pulled into the event, there were swarms of people and queues. People were not sure where they were going and were worried about missing times due to the photo-op schedule and entry being very close together. While every con has issues, this is one that Wales struggles with the most. Wales needs to find a way to update people and/or have some control in regards to that situation.

Wales Comic Con - December 2019
A view of the morning queue!

As I made it into the event, I can say straight away that I loved the new venue. There was so much space! It suited having much more room to breathe. It felt a lot more like a convention this year. As the day went on, it got a lot busier but I never found it to be overwhelming. It was mainly the photo-op area that became the most chaotic during the day. Again, this is expected at conventions but Wales needs to try to find a way to manage it just a little more.

I didn’t have as much to do myself this year. Having an event before Christmas means either choosing to treat loved ones or me. So, that meant I had to be tight with my money and not go as all out as I usually would. The thing is, even when I do that, I still have a great time. Conventions are just fun places to look around and to see friends who I don’t always get to see.

It’s not a true comic-con without displays.

The only guest I met was Colton Haynes who plays Roy Harper/Arsenal in Arrow. He was very friendly and was super interactive with everyone one which is always lovely to see. Even though I only met one guest, I did hear a lot of great stories about several guests at this event. That’s always good to hear!

I realise due to it being a quieter event for me personally I don’t have as much to say. I will say that having a peaceful/less stressed convention was what I needed to end this year. The main thing Wales Comic Con needs improve on is sorting out the initial queue. As it always seems to be chaotic trying to get into the venue. After that, it runs as any other convention would. Delays are expected and the venue is always going to be busy. I know what I’m getting into these days and I can handle it pretty well.

Wales Comic Con - December 2019
Just Dance!

I will also add that I attend a lot of conventions and I do get a full scope of how everyone else runs an event. There is expected problems and then things that shouldn’t be a problem at this stage. I will say, this is all just my opinions and based on my experiences. I try to be honest but it could have been a very different story for someone else.

I definitely won’t stop supporting Wales Comic Con: Telford Takeover anytime soon. I’ve attended both events Wales have run (April and December) for the last 3 years at least. They are great events and they are striving to improve. Other than those minor problems, it is 100% a worthwhile convention and one you should keep on your radar. It pulls huge names and it is always a fun time. At the end of the day, every little problem I had just disappears and I’m left remembering the good times. That’s what is important!

The next event takes place on 25-26 April at The International Centre in Telford. Currently, there is no guest announced but it is very early days. I will probably be attending and hope you decide to join me!

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