Fans flock to convention to greet sci-fi and comic book heroes

Iron Man mingles with fans at the film and comic convention. Picture by Paul Vasey

Iron Man mingles with fans at the film and comic convention. Picture by Paul Vasey

First published in News by

As Newcastle held its first film and comic convention, Duncan Leatherdale joined the thousands clamouring to collect comics and meet sci-fi stars of the small and large screen.

STARGATE star Chris Judge would like to have played Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, while Red Dwarf’s Cat Danny John Jules used his father’s wedding suit as inspiration for his colourful costumes.

Two enjoyable revelations to come out at the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday, the first day of this weekend’s Newcastle Film and Comic Con.

This was a two-day extravaganza of all things geek.

As well as the talks from the aforementioned sci-fi stars, we also heard from two former Dr Whos (Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann) and three actors who appeared in Star Wars (Julian Glover, Kenneth Colley who also played Jesus Christ in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, and Jerome Blake).

Not to mention of course the chance to meet R2D2 Kenny Baker and Darth Vader himself David Prowse, chat to comic book creators like Bryan Talbot and Alan Grant and spend silly money on all sorts of memorabilia and books, much of it signed.

Sci-fi writer Robert Rankin was also present along with sport stars such as Geoff Capes, Frank Bruno, Carl Fogarty and Peter Beardsley.

Carl Weathers, star of Predator and Rocky, took some time out from a busy schedule of signing autographs to speak to The Northern Echo.

He said: “This is a fantastic event, really well organised and the people of the North-East are unbelievably friendly.”

The US actor said he even managed to understand the regional accent, although he did not have any unusual requests for signatures.

He said: “There’s been nothing too weird in Newcastle, the weirdest I ever had was body parts, I’ll let you imagine it further.”

The convention had capacity for 4,000 people, staff at the event said they had gone beyond that and eventually had to stop people coming in, starting a one in one out system.

One staff member said: “It just shows the demand there was for an event like this, we will definitely be coming back.”

Many of the visitors packing out the venue were dressed to impressed, some in delightfully homemade homages to their favourite characters from comics, films and computer games, others in incredibly detailed costumes worthy of the finest cosplay participants.

The most popular dress up seemed to be Harley Quinn, the Joker’s girlfriend, although there were also several Batmans (one with a homemade papier mache cowl), Assassin’s Creed characters and a remarkable troupe of Ghostbusters and two terrifying-looking Judge Dredds.

For those that did manage to get in, it was a crowded but exciting experience, for those that didn’t, the festival will be held again on Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, next year.

Plenty of time to start making an Iron Man suit out of cardboard - and to start queuing

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