The Big Glasgow Comic and Craft Fair finds a bi-monthly niche
Thanks to the popularity of superhero movies, comic conventions in Glasgow are growing
The success of the Big Glasgow Comic and Craft Fair is symptomatic of just how much superhero movies have helped revive the industry they sprang from. Older comic lovers with more than two decades’ recall might remember Glasgow supporting just one major comic convention every year, and how that even folded eventually. Now there are multiple conventions, marts and fairs in Scotland’s two largest cities, and the Big Glasgow one is so successful it’s even managed to go bi-monthly.
‘The simple answer is, if they weren’t popular we wouldn’t run them,’ says Ian Bonar of the Big Glasgow Comic Page, the Glasgow-centric comic community and fansite which has ballooned into a forty-contributor online publishing operation and this string of marts alongside. ‘We never intended that the BGCP would run any events originally, we just liked the idea of raising money for charity via a comic-themed pub quiz. It had such a great response that we attempted a tester mart alongside the next quiz.’
He says the fair is growing all the time in terms of visitors and stallholders, with comics and toys offered alongside artist sketches, special guest appearances and custom items (the Iron Man helmet is popular), and they also host an after-party in the pub with cosplay and quiz events.
‘Comics and the characters associated with them for a long time were considered uncool,’ Bonar points out, ‘but every dog has his day, and it’s most definitely the day of the comic right now. A decade ago no-one knew who Black Widow, Hawkeye or Iron Man were and now they’re household names. It’s something that should be celebrated.’
Walkabout, Glasgow, Sat 2 May