A: At a Comic Con.
Thanks to cosplayers, visiting an event such as Film & Comic Con Cardiff isn’t just a chance to buy memorabilia, hear an actor talk about their new project, or get a selfie with a star from your favourite TV show.
Cosplay (costume play) involves enthusiasts dressing as their favourite character (often in painstakingly accurate home-made costumes) and attending events to mix with other fans.
So Film & Comic Con Cardiff, which I just attended [23-24 September 2017], offered the chance to shake hands with Tywin Lannister (played by Andy Horobin – whom I’d met previously on the set of an indie film we’re both involved in) and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, and an Ood from Doctor Who.
Elsewhere, I spotted Banana Man posing with kids, and a whole group of Batman characters gathering for a chat (or plotting some evil deed in Gotham?).
The cosplay community certainly adds a unique element to such conventions. For the cosplayers themselves, as well as meeting, and posing for (or with) visitors, at the Cardiff con there were also stage sessions with advice from experienced cosplayers, professional photo-shoots, and even a cosplay masquerade, with cash prizes for the winners.
Film & Comic Con Cardiff, organised by Showmasters, delivered real stars too – former Doctor Who leads, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from Star Wars), Natalie Mendoza (Juno in The Descent and Stacy Fung in Blood Drive), Staz Nair (Qhono in Game of Thrones), and many more.
The stars are accessible through photo shoots, panels, autograph sessions, and talks, while the main hall at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena was filled with hundreds of stalls, selling comics, posters, autographs, costumes, models, even cup cakes!
Among the many exhibitors that caught my eye were: Lifesize models of SpiderMan, Deadpool and more, available for sale or hire from Planet Allstars; movie-themed T-shirts and mugs from Unit 13 Originals; and Hobbit-style model houses by Zahir Khares.
If you’re interested in the themes enjoyed at the FIlm & Comic Con, especially scifi, horror and fantasy on film and TV, do check out some of the other posts on the Piece of Pink Pie blog.