Got a kid who’s mad about Manga or passionate about Pokemon? Fancy a family day out where you can mingle with Marvel characters, sidle up to a Star Wars stormtrooper or bump into Batman? Then London Comic Con’s the place.
Inspired by the original Comic-Con International, San Diego, which began in 1970, London Comic Con is a celebration of comics, TV and movie memorabilia from Star Wars and Star Trek to Brit favs Dr Who and Sherlock and sci-fi pop culture.
Here are some of the cool things you can do when visiting en famille:
Whatever you do, don’t call this dress up!
Cosplay is a massive part of the spectacle, but this is costume play of a higher order. Mini Spider-man or Elsas will not look out of place either. Everybody joins in, so there’s no need to be coy if mummy and daddy
fancy donning Wonder Woman
and Superman outfits:
you’ll be in good company.
Cosplay really adds to the atmosphere and the kids will love spotting their favourite heroes – and there are some pretty impressive and elaborate costumes. Plus, it’s quite amusing to watch a flashmob of Star Wars stormtroopers munching on their packed lunches on the front steps of the venue.
- Shopping… and more shopping
Pocket money – and then some – will be happily spent on the eye-popping plethora of gifts and goodies on sale from cute soft toys and keyrings, posters, interiors, T-shirts, and every Funko Pop you care to name. MCM Comic Con gives fans the chance to buy the very best of movies, anime, Manga, TV, Comics, Trading Cards, Action Figures and much, much more. We’d suggest setting a budget, but expect your wallet to feel noticeably lighter on the way home. .
- Meet and greet the ‘stars’
There is always an array of special guests from favourite sci-fi to cartoon voice actors to meet-and-greet – though for a price (from £20 for an autograph, £30 for a picture). You’ll also need to sign up in advance for the biggest stars appearances – in May 2016, Jesse Eisenberg, promoting his villainous role as Lex Luther in Batman v Superman, and Star Wars actor Warwick Davies. But of course, there’s always the (free) option of asking an impressively dressed cos player if your child can pose with a selfie with them.
- Go on a Caped Crusader Hunt!
A fun free activities for little ones is to go on the treasure hunt across the halls to get their special card stamped. You can then hand it in to get a exclusive Comic Con cape for instant superhero status. Other free activities that children will enjoy include the board games areas, where you can get hands-on demos of new games and movie stalls with previews of the latest family films.
Why go? To mingle with folk of all ages dressed in outrageous costumes, to shop for memorabilia and have a fun bonding experience as a super family!
Who is it best for? Anyone who embraces the geek culture of comic books, superhero films and sci fiction.
Top tip Bring your picnic to enjoy amidst a motley crew of miscellaneous fictional characters from Sailor Moon to Star Trekkies. Saturday is the busiest day – so if you’re visiting with younger children, the quieter Friday and Sunday sessions are a good option.
Our favourite bit Seeing all the outlandish cosplayers – and shopping.
While you’re there Take a trip on the Emirates Air Line. Well, it is a chance to get a Superman’s eye view of London, so take a short walk along the riverside to Emirates Royal Dock and hop on the cablecar across the Thames to North Greenwich, where you can dine at one of the many eateries, including kiddy favourite Nandos.
Fun fact The first Hollywood panel at San Diego Comic Con was, appropriately, about Star Wars, with a fresh-faced Mark Hamill making an appearance, though only a handful of attendees showed up. These days, Comic Con wouldn’t be Comic Con without a good dollop of everything Star Wars from Lego figures to collectibles.
Did you know? In 2014, Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe went unnoticed at San Diego Comic Con, because he disguised himself in a Spider-Man costume.
What’s in store at the latest Comic Con London October 24-26 2018? Check out our top pre-show highlights.
Main photography and Batman lighting: Gilly Riddington