So recently I was able to attend the Film & Comic Con at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on Saturday 22nd September 2018 thanks to volunteering with Wicid. So if anyone would like to gain the chance to go to events like this and similar ones for free, make sure to show interest in writing articles for us and you too can go to events like this.
Now I was only able to go to Saturday and not Sunday as I had a job interview on Sunday, so my coverage will only be from this one day. I managed to go with a few of my old Uni flatmates, so unlike my time at the Cardiff Anime & Gaming Con in February 2018, I had people to go with.
When we got there, we decided to split off and see the different stalls to see what was around and what else was taking place during the day. Most of the stalls were very similar vibe in that they were themed on different fandoms in comics, television and video games. I could list what types there were, but we’d be here for hours. They had much on display in terms of memorabilia and things for people to buy.
Some stalls sold retro/old school video games, others sold HUNDREDS of different volumes of comics and manga. The main thing I noticed was at most of the stalls on display, were Pop! Vinyl figures. Like, I’ve never seen so many Pop figures in my life. Of course I ended up buying one of ‘The Demon’ Finn Bálor, you know, the WWE Star/character, which is very different from his regular one.
A few stalls that genuinely shocked me, were one that sold weapons. You read that right. WEAPONS. As in, one known to use in violent situations, or in the worst case scenario, KILL people. Now I’m sure they aren’t sold there for that purpose, as many of them were from different TV shows, as there were different guns shown at one that were used in The Walking Dead series. Others were themed at anime like Sword Art Online and from video games like The Legend of Zelda, as well as MANY other franchises. I don’t mind these being around since they are hardly ever seen by people, but to have three different stalls? I thought that was a bit much. Then again they had so many copy and paste stalls from different companies I should have expected it.
There was also a desserts stall from a lovely place based in Glasgow Scotland called the Galloway Fudge Company. I bought a pack of chocolate and marshmallows there which I also melted in my tea, those were like a luxury treat.
One of the nice things to see at this event were the different cosplayers that were there representing the convention. There was a group by the name of Team SWG that were dressed as different Star Wars characters that were taking pictures with people. Other brilliant cosplayers who had their own stalls and did different talks in the Cosplay Stage included Ceri Cosplay, Little Miss Metamorph, QueenieShah and others. Here was an impressive cosplay duo that wore the most elaborate costumes that wouldn’t be able to be seen in most places. Mainly because they wouldn’t be able to fit through normal doors. I’ve included an image of them, they are the ones in the purple armour themed cosplays. Sorry for not knowing the franchise they are from, but they were incredibly impressive to say the least.
The event also had an abundance of guests from old school films and TV show, ranging from the first Star Wars films, Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Harry Potter and MANY more. Some names included Jimmy Vee, Ian Whyte, Rudolf Martin, Ken Colley, Aaron Heffernan, Richard Cunningham, and TONS MORE NAMES.
Now as someone who isn’t the biggest movie buff, I can’t say I was entirely excited to see most of these names. My friends were happy to see some of them, especially since they are big Doctor Who fans. It’s great that these types of names and those behind some of the most iconic looking characters and species from different franchises were there. But to me, it just didn’t do enough. I know in past conventions there have been professional wrestlers there and there was no one there this weekend, which was a shame.
You can argue that having current voice actors from video games, animated shows and anime would be great to see at a large event like this, however the expenses it would take to get some names like say, anyone from the D&D show ‘Critical Role’ (Matthew Mercer, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Ashley Johnson, Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel and Taliesin Jaffe) would be incredibly difficult. Or even any other voice actors from American and other countries that you can name (Yuri Lowenthal, Troy Baker, Nolan North, Kyle Hebert, Benjamin Diskin, Kira Buckland, Christopher Niosi, Casey Mongillo… just some of my personal favourites that inspire me to get into this field). Not that they wouldn’t want to appear I’m sure. But with how small, yes even now, these conventions are, I don’t think there’d be enough interest, or more particular, funds to bring them in for a weekend from different parts of the country. But maybe it can happen in the future if the stars align, who knows?
At the event there were different themed activities going on. There were a few different quizzes going on throughout the day at the Cosplay Zone since that was one of the few places to actually have rows of seats for people to sit down on. And of course, there was a Cosplay masquerade, where many of the people who dressed up in hand-made costumes of their favourite fandoms, were able to show them all. Now the only issue I had with this, and this goes for any other conventions that do this, is the SOME (not all) acts had these planned performances that they rehearsed for the show. Now sometimes these moments can go really well, but other times, and this was sadly the case for a majority of them, they did not go well. People still applauded them for trying, as did I, but I could help but feel awkward for them. Granted they still had the courage to go through with them in the first place, which that should be applauded for all on its own. If it doesn’t end up going as planned or looks like it was executed poorly, at least they tried in the first place.
But my issue with this is honestly how this seemed to persuade more reactions from people than those who just appeared on stage and just showed off the costume. I think at these masquerades, everyone should come out to the same music, have a fixed set time (10 seconds, maybe longer or shorter depending on how many people took part) and come out to the same music. It gives every participant the same chance at winning and wowing the crowd and wouldn’t sway people’s minds so much. But that’s just me honestly, maybe people who take part in these shows think different.
There was also a ‘Gaming Zone’, when I entered, I excepted there to be an abundance of different consoles from different eras in gaming history. But all I saw was a MAX of six consoles in an oversized room with hardly anyone inside. Like, this had the potential to be so much more to people who just wanted to sit down and play some video games, but I can imagine most people who went there were just as disappointed as I was. Speaking of gaming, there was a small corner for board game players, but much like the Gaming Zone, this section could have been so much more as well. All this was was four tables set up and a small selection of board games. Granted this was on the main floor as all the other stalls, but surely more could have been planned for people who wanted to do some board gaming? Maybe have some people who volunteered at the weekend to have a room to set up some one-off D&D sections to people who want to play some D&D. Bring card games of all walks of life for all ages for people to have a go at.
The main point I took away from this honestly enough, is that I enjoyed spending more time with my friends, than I did going to all the other planned activities and stalls at the event. It wasn’t a bad experience by any means, but it could have been so much bigger.
I believe tickets are on sale now for the next event on the 9th and 10th of March 2019. Come and have a good weekend, geek out over your favourite fandoms in a genuinely fantastic venue, Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. Click here to visit their website, there’s something for everyone!
Big thank you to everyone at Motorpoint Arena Cardiff for allowing me to attend the Film & Comic Con, staff were brilliant as always and hopefully I’ll have the chance to visit once again in the near future.