10 of the best UK Comic Cons
credit: Alasdair Watson
Calendar of sci-fi, superhero and comic book gatherings across the country
If you need any proof that geek culture has taken over the mainstream, look no further than the success of Black Panther, Avengers and Star Wars. Comic Cons are no longer niche gatherings for superhero obsessives but an inclusive celebration of comics, sci-fi and fandom. They are also more popular than ever, offering fans the chance to pick up exclusive and rare merchandise, meet actors and creators, discuss their passions or even indulge in some cosplay.
Here's our pick of the best Cons across the UK in 2018 (in date order):
Edinburgh Comic Con
With a strong focus on comics, but like most comic cons also taking in TV and film, Edinburgh Comic Con has an intriguing selection of panels and special guests covering everything from LEGO to Game of Thrones. Plus workshops, wrestling, cosplay and a special secret film screening.
Guests: Some serious comics talent including Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza, artist Gary Erskine (2000AD / Hellblazer / Dan Dare), Andrea Tamme (Rick and Morty / Adventure Time) and more. In film and TV we have Stefan Kapičić (Colossus in Deadpool), Joshua Herdman (Harry Potter) and Game of Thrones' Clive Russell and Fintan McKeown.
Edinburgh Comic Con, EICC, Sat 14 & Sun 15 Apr.
Portsmouth Comic Con
Portsmouth loves comics, with art exhibitions, panels and stalls across five floors (including their steampunk basement). Plus live special effects demos, gaming, TV panels and cosplay.
Guests: Comics legend Walter Simonson (Thor), Frank Quitely (New X-Men / All-Star Superman), Shawn Martinbrough (Black Panther / Captain America), Sean Philips (Hellblazer), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) and more.
Portsmouth Comic Con, Guildhall, Sat 5 & Sun 6 May.
MCM Comic Con London
One of the biggest names in comic cons with one of the most impressive lineups of special guests as MCM take over the huge environs of ExCel for three days. MCM has expanded to take on sci-fi, animation, TV, film and pop culture. There are also cosplay competitions; an enormous Comic Village; panels on movies, comics and animation; movie cars; manga; steampunk, toys and videogames.
Guests: The lineup includes Letitia Wright (Black Panther), Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Terminator), Tom Ellis (Lucifer), Rosario Dawson (Daredevil), Cooper Andrews and Khary Payton (from The Walking Dead), Orange is the New Black stars Jackie Cruz and Taryn Manning with many more to be announced
MCM Comic Con London, ExCel, Fri 25—Sun 27 May.
Cardiff Independent Comic Expo
CICE takes it back to its roots with a not-for-profit celebration of independent small press sequential art. A chance to discover new writers and artists plus guests and panels covering everything from big name titles to indie comics.
Guests: Artist and videogame designer Jon Davis-Hunt (2000AD, Forza Horizon), Chris Wildgoose (Porcelain / Batgirl Rebirth), Rachael Smith (The Rabbit / Wind Up Wrong), Mike Collins (Spider-man / X-Men) and Godmachine (2000AD / Faith No More) and more.
Cardiff Independent Comic Expo, Mercure Holland House Hotel, Sat 2 Jun.
Glasgow Comic Con
Annual showcase of established and up-and-coming comic talent that has grown and grown over the last eight years. Includes Kids Comic Zone and the annual Scottish Independent Comic Book Awards.
Guests: Names announced so far for 2018 include Annie Wu (Hawkeye / Black Canary), Christian Ward (Young Avengers / ODY-C), Kris Anka (Uncanny X-Men / Runaways) and Jen Bartel (The Mighty Thor / Jem & The Holograms).
Glasgow Comic Con, Royal Concert Hall, Sat 30 Jun.
International Comic Expo
ICE's biggest event of the year (they also run cons in Margate, Sat 14 & Sun 15 Apr, and Brighton, Sat 3 Nov). Expect a series of panels, interviews and discussions with comic stars, plus cosplay, art demos and traders all included in the ticket price.
Guests: Announced so far we have Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd / Strontium Dog), Alessandro Vitti (Iceman / Secret Warriors) and John Wagner (Judge Dredd / 20000AD).
International Comic Expo, BCEC, Birmingham, Sat 15 Sep.
Thoughtbubble takes comics seriously. A full week of events across Leeds promoting and discussing graphic novels, superheroes comics, animation and indie titles. Includes an academic conference, masterclasses and a programme of related film screenings (including the UK première of I Kill Giants). 'I want to see writers and artists, I want to see the creators that help the medium flourish. We've always wanted to celebrate comics in their purest form,' explains festival director Lisa Wood.
Guests: An impressive roster of creators including Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Saladin Ahmed (The Throne of the Crescent Moon / Black Bolt), Paul Cornell (Doctor Who / Wolverine), Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman / Batman / Superman), Elsa Charretier (The Infinite Loop / Harley Quinn), Steve Yeowell (Zenith / Starman) and more.
Thoughtbubble, various venues, Leeds, Mon 17—Sun 23 Sep.
MCM heads to Scotland with a mix of TV, film and comic stars. Plus their huge Comic Village, dealers, cosplay and exhibits.
Guests: Nothing announced as yet, but 2017's lineup included Sam J Jones (Flash Gordon), four Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Veronica Taylor (Pokemon) and Bryce Papenbrook (Attack on Titan).
MCM Scotland, SEC, Glasgow, Sat 22 & Sun 23 Sep.
Meanwhile … Comic Con
'We're all about the comics at Meanwhile! We'll have a great selection of artists, writers and small press ready to impress you with their latest offerings!' Plus the usual cosplay, traders, panels and workshops.
Guests: John Higgins (Watchmen), horror writer Angelo Tirotto (No Place Like Home) and Mick McMahon (Judge Dredd / ABC Warriors), with many more to be added over the next few months.
Meanwhile... Comic Con, Chichester College, Sat 29 Sep.
Details are thin on the ground at this early stage but Nor Con returns with sci-fi and comics galore including traders, exhibits, talks and cosplay comps. 'Probably the friendliest convention on earth,' according to SciFiNow magazine.
Guests: Still to be confirmed, but in 2017 they featured Terry Molloy (Doctor Who), Kai Owen (Torchwood), and Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones / Rogue One).
Nor Con, Norfolk Showground Arena, Sat 29 & Sun 30 Sep.
**This article has been updated for 2018