Portsmouth Comic Con unveils full programme that celebrates diversity, female superheroes and the wonderful world of witchcraft and wizardry!

Portsmouth Comic Con – International Festival of Comics returns to the south coast on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May, for the best in comics, cosplay, film, TV and pop culture entertainment. Comic Con will welcome some of the greatest writers and illustrators in the industry, alongside stars of the screen and the wonderful world of cosplay, to the Portsmouth Guildhall.

Alongside Event Partners Tripwire Magazine and GoGeek Events CIC, the Guildhall Trust’s third Comic Con will feature more panels, displays, exhibitions, gaming, VR and steampunk than ever before, alongside an incredible range of merchandise and collectables. If you’re serious about comics, love Marvel, DC and cult series, or are simply looking for a fun day out for all the family, this is the event for you.

Two special features for 2020 are She-Quential Saturday (Saturday only) and A World of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Sunday only). She-Quential Saturday will celebrate some of the most inspirational characters created including Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Supergirl and more, through a range of international guests, panels and cosplayers. LDComics, a female-led comic forum on a mission to change the world through comics, will be holding a fun ‘Graphic Novel Your Life’ workshop, in which you’ll be able to produce your own comic. They will also be hosting illustrated talks with leading British cartoonist Steven Appleby, and a Q&A with Appleby and Dr Nicola Streeten, graphic novelist and historian and director of LDComics.

On Sunday, the fantasy novel and film worlds of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Excalibur and more will come to life in a magical twist, with cosplayers, games, panels, a wand-making workshop, wand-duelling, a real Ford Anglia, postal worker owls and a ‘School of Wizards’ themed cosplay parade.

As ever, people of all ages are being encouraged to let their creativity and imagination flow by taking part in the daily adult and child cosplay parades, with some great prizes to be won. Hosted by GoGeek Events, the always-popular parades will celebrate diversity and inclusivity with a zero tolerance to bullying and discrimination, which continue to ensure that Portsmouth is one of the friendliest Comic Cons around.

Visitors can meet some of the biggest artists from the world of comics in Artists’ Alley, sponsored by Catawiki, including Brian Froud, Adam Hughes, P. Craig Russell, Troy Alders, Janet K Lee, Marguerite Sauvage, Rick Leonardi, Kieran Belshaw, David Michelinie, Katie Schenkel, June Brigman, Roy Richardson, The Etherington Brothers, Gary Erskine, Stuart Moore, Nigel Parkinson, Martin Simmonds and Paul Fry – with more still to be announced.

They’ll be joined by stars of the screen including Pam Rose (Star Wars Episode VI, Superman, Batman), Brian Wheeler (Star Wars Episode VI, Never Ending Story, Harry Potter), David Bulbeck (Labyrinth, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Madeline Smith (Live and Let Die, Up Pompeii, The Vampire Lovers). Throughout the weekend, there will be panels covering a range of comic-related topics, including:
– Women in British Comics: From Misty to Minnie the Minx
– Working on Star Wars – with Troy Alders
– Brian Froud: from Labyrinth to The Dark Crystal and working with Terry Jones
– The 13th Doctor: Exploring Time & Space in Doctor Who
– 40 years of The Shining: Stephen King on Film and TV
– Accio Fans! Celebrating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
– Women in comics: Marguerite Sauvage, June Brigman, Janet K Lee, Katie Schenkel
– Wonder Woman at 80: Adam Hughes, June Brigman and Marguerite Sauvage
– Brits In Comics: Gary Erskine, Martin Simmonds, Paul Fry and Nigel Parkinson on working in UK comics

The website will be updated with the full schedule so please do keep checkingportsmouthcomiccon.com.

In the Wonderzone, visitors will also be able to go behind the scenes of film and TV with excitingdisplays and workshops. They can marvel at FX artist, Gary Pollard, who has worked on JimHenson’s Creature Workshop, Red Dwarf and Harry Potter, as he demonstrates his amazing skill in prosthetics. There will be an incredible selection of screen-accurate Star Wars props including a speeder bike, pod racer and Endor and Tattoine backdrops from The Isle of Wight Prop Crew. Visitors can also travel through time thanks to an exhibition of Dr Who props including Davros, Daleks and a Tardis. And there’ll be robots in disguise to spot, with the Transformers Barricade car and props including a 6ft Megatron great sword.

In the VR & Immersive Tech Zone, the University of Portsmouth will be looking for the next big name in movies or games. If you’ve ever wondered how someone made it big, come and see how the creatives of the future use technology to produce the things you love to watch and play. Staff and students will be sharing their passions for dinosaurs through digital painting, and their interests in virtual reality through their cyborg experience. You’ll be able to experience what it’s like to make TV programmes and play some of the student-made games. You’ll also be able to talk to one of their industry partners and Comic Con sponsor, Reign Gaming by Novatech, and experience their VR motion simulators and gaming LAN.

Throughout the building, there’ll be exhibitions including The Clown Prince of Crime, marking the 80th birthday of DC’s most iconic villain, The Joker, with a unique exhibition reproducing a number of covers and comic art from over the years. Westover Gallery will also be returning to Portsmouth with a collection of signed and limited edition pieces for purchase, including some inspired by Stan Lee.

In the Interactive Zone, you can get hands-on and have some fun with retro computer gaming from Game Over and try your luck at a selection of hundreds of classic and modern board games from one of Comic Con’s sponsors, Dice Portsmouth. The Steampunk Deck also returns with a ‘Witches & Wizards’ Steampunk theme, led by The Gosport Steampunk Society. Visitors can expect a photobooth, shooting gallery, tea-duelling and this year’s new sport – wand-duelling!

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