From humble origins, Edinburgh Comic Con continues to grow
The capital's annual comic convention boasts its more high-profile line-up yet
The modern comic convention is an ever-evolving creature and, particularly in the case of Edinburgh Comic Con, just gets bigger by the year. Founded in 2014, its first event was held at Edinburgh University's Potterrow student union with barely 500 people in attendance. Fast forward to 2016 and the city's huge Edinburgh International Conference Centre was sold out, the queues of families and cosplayers stretching around the block.
For ECC founder James Lundy, it's a situation which contrasts with the fallow years he's seen since he visited the booming UK Comic Art Convention in London back in 1990. 'The demographics of the people who attend has changed,' he says. 'Now it's really cool to witness people like me who were always on the outside now becoming more ingrained in the social consciousness. The convention scene is booming, and attendees can decide for themselves how they feel about that. I'm all for the variety, but I feel the market has reached saturation point. We experienced something similar back in the 90s, when it was boom or bust.'
ECC does a good job of catering to everyone, though, representing the comic community with high-profile guests like Phil Jimenez and Dan McDaid, names from film and TV including Game of Thrones' Ian Beattie, the team behind Kevin Smith biopic Shooting Clerks, and fun extras including interactive prop displays and Lego exhibitions. 'It's amusing when people look at the New York or San Diego cons and they immediately expect the exact same in Scotland,' says Lundy. 'We have to realise that strong trees don't grow overnight. Yes, Edinburgh Comic Con can compete on the world stage and draw attendees from all over the world: we just have to be careful how we do that.'
EICC, Edinburgh, Sat 15 & Sun 16 Apr.