Fans of pop culture will gather in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow and more
It's nearly convention season again, and bank accounts will soon start to shiver amongst pop culture fans. Cosplayers will ignore their projects until con-crunch is inevitable and sleep is a far off venture, comic readers will hunt for that elusive number missing from their collection, and autograph hunters will rehearse time and time again what they will say to their favourite actors and artists when the time comes to approach their table.
Comic conventions have reached a level of mainstream appeal in recent years thanks to events such as San Diego Comic-Con, so do not feel discouraged to attend one if you are not a full card-carrying member of the geek society. They are a fun day (or weekend) out for the entire family, around like-minded people, and there is something for everyone. What's not to like?
Here are the best conventions taking place in 2020 throughout the UK.
Showmasters organise, in their own words, 'the coolest events in the world', and we're sure a lot of people would agree. Stretching beyond the confines of the UK, this company definitely attempts to please as many varieties of fans for as far as the eye can see, from classic film buffs to specific fandoms such as Star Wars or Star Trek.
When it comes to the more classic comic con format, Showmasters runs the mandatory London events, London Film & Comic Con Spring (Sat 29 Feb–Sun 1 Mar) with guests such as Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Clark Gregg (Agents of Shield) and Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars) already confirmed to be in attendance and London Film & Comic Con (Fri 24–Sun 26 Jul), welcoming John Wesley Shipp (The Flash), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Riz Ahmed (Rogue One) and more.
Outside of the English capital, geeks can also look forward to Showmaster events in Milton Keynes (Sat 25–Sun 26 Apr), Glasgow (Sat 15–Sun 16 Aug) and Birmingham (Sat 5–Sun 6 Sep).
London Film & Comic Con Spring, Olympia, Sat 29 Feb–Sun 1 Mar, times and prices vary. Find out more at showmastersevents.com.
Glasgow Comic Con
Relative newcomers to the comic convention scene, Monopoly Events has been making waves since its inception in 2015, under the slogan 'for the fans, by the fans'. Don't let its short history fool you, however, as they have brought some big names to the UK in previous years, such as William Shatner (Star Trek), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV) and David Hasselhoff (Baywatch).
Their biggest event, surprisingly (for people that, justifiably, believe comic cons are very London-centric), takes place in Liverpool (Fri 6–Sun 8 Mar), and the line-up for 2020 features Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings), David Harbour (Stranger Things), Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) and many more international stars. They do not forget the comic stars, having John McCrea, Nigel Parkinson, Lee Bradley, amongst others ready to meet their eager fans.
If Liverpool is a little out of the way for you, you can make your way to either Edinburgh (Sat 10–Sun 11 Oct) or Manchester (tbc).
Comic Con Liverpool, Exhibition Centre, Fri 6–Sun 8 Mar, times and prices vary. Find out more at monopolyevents.co.uk.
MCM Comic Con
MCM (via ReedPOP) know how to throw a good geek event, and they do it all over the UK. Their flagship event, MCM London Comic Con, takes place twice-yearly in the English capital, and has attracted stars such as Anthony Daniels (Star Wars), Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who), Charles Martinet (Super Mario), Sebastian Stan (Marvel) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly).
Featuring highlights such as a comic village, several stages filled with compelling panels, a tattoo studio and workshops, this year's first event in London (Fri 29–Sun 31 May) will host the entire cast of the popular Dungeons & Dragons web series, Critical Role. Laura Bailey, Liam O'Brien, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, Sam Riegel, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe and DM extraordinaire Matthew Mercer, all professional voice actors by trade (and geeks by choice), will delight fans with tales from their role-playing streaming adventures.
MCM London Comic Con, ExCel, Fri 29–Sun 31 May, times and prices vary. Go to mcmcomiccon.com for more information on this and their other events in Birmingham (Sat 21—Sun 22 Mar & Sat 14–Sun 15 Nov), Manchester (Sat 1–Sun 2 Aug), Glasgow (Sat 26–Sun 27 Sep) and London (Fri 23–Sun 25 Oct).
Glasgow Comic Con
Celebrating its tenth year in 2020, this BHP Comics venture will take Glasgow by storm on Sat 4 Jul. Focusing more on the 'comic' in 'comic con', this event welcomes an array of comic artists and writers from Scotland and beyond, from renowned names to hidden gems of the comic world. Younger fans can also attend and enjoy a variety of kids' events, and there will be the usual cosplay competition for the more crafty of goers.
Glasgow Comic Con, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sat 4 Jul, 9.30am–6.30pm, price tbc. Find out more at glasgowcomiccon.com.
Glasgow Comic Con, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, is a highly popular annual event which focuses on showcasing sequential art, and will once again host a wide range of established and up-and-coming creators from all across the globe.
A three-day celebration of pop culture, which invites fans to explore a Comic Village packed with artists and writers, listen to bands and musicians at the MCM Fringe Festival, enjoy colourful costumes in the Cosplay Masquerade and meet special guests from the worlds of TV and film.