When you are one of the army of volunteers that is needed for most shows these days, it is hard to get around the show and see all of the attractions, but if you were at Edinburgh Comic Con 2016, then it was worth it to get around the event for free and to be part of the team that helped create such a great event.
James Lundy, the brains behind Edinburgh Comic Con, showed that he had been wise to trade up to a larger venue after the event had outgrown the Students Union at Edinburgh University. With an estimated footfall of at least 3,500 on Saturday and at least 2,100 on Sunday, the event needed the extra space that was available in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. And this does not even include the repeat visitors that came back on Sunday after spending most of Saturday there. And I will be honest and say that these are conservative estimates. (Once I get the confirmed numbers, I will update this article).
Most of the attendees that I spoke to were more than happy with the event and the ability of the vendors to extract their money from them. Quite a few of the vendors were also, quietly, smug about the way their stock was selling out fast. (One exhibitor was so smug that they had broken even by the lunchtime on the Saturday).
In the interest of fairness, there has been a small amount of negative feedback, but as one was centred around parking, then it is difficult to lay that problem at the feet of any convention organiser as they will always be at the mercy of the infrastructure of the local area. The other piece of negative feedback was about traversing the aisles, but all conventions are at the mercy of the crowds as people meet old friends, carry out impromptu cosplays or people with mobility issues try and get their vehicles through. My personal experience was that I had no issues getting up and down any of the aisles, but any pathway can get crowded as soon as you add people. The area that was used was certainly a lot more mobility friendly than some of the venues in use around the UK and certain more mobility friendly than the old home of the Students Union at Potterow.
For me, the overwhelming impression of the event was cosplay, as you could not go anywhere without seeing at least one person in a costume, much to the bemusement of the permanent staff of the EICC. More than a few of them were impressed with the technical brilliance of some of the costumes and it was a pleasure to spot the covert geeks among their number.
I will be honest and admit that while I thoroughly enjoyed many of the cosplays, my favourite of the entire convention was the one done rather expertly by two young kids aided and abetted by their parents when they did a cross-gender Joker and Harley.
Although I was on the Front of House for the entire event, my breaks were spent going down Artists Alley and it was a pleasure to see some of the beautiful art on display. And once again, I was fortunate to get a few more sketches added to my latest sketch book. Pride of the convention was split between the sketches from Rutvig Vaid and Brad Walker. I am sure that you will agree that they are worthy additions to any sketch book.
The convention also brought one piece of sad news. Many of us on the Scottish circuit had grown used to the Hall of Justice that was being sold by Doug Adamson and it had made a useful landmark when navigating around the marts and conventions as it was always placed at the top of his stall so it was high enough for even us short people to see. But after three years of no sale, Doug has decided to keep this piece of nostalgia so it will no longer act as a beacon to guide us around the various events.
Overall, a successful convention that has been enjoyed by the majority of attendees. While the EICC could host this event for a few years, it will not be long before the event needs every inch of space that the EICC has to offer.