To the surprise of many, Glasgow Comic Con 2017 will take place on Saturday, July 1st of next year. No, that’s not a typo, the formerly two day event will now take place on a single summer’s day.
The reason or reasons for this change are unclear. While this year’s convention seemed quieter, and traders complained of low sales, it was a tricky endeavour to compare numbers to the previous year as the con was now in one venue and had relocated to the much larger Glasgow Concert Hall. It has to be said that this was a much needed move and one that deserved to be praised, as we did here at Comic Conventions UK.
What will the future hold for GCC? As several fans commented, it is hard to imagine a lengthy journey for a one day con being a tempting proposition to many international guests. Perhaps the organisers, with one eye on a tight budget, want to prioritise British guests they can bring up by train on a one-day return? Or on the shuttle to Glasgow Airport? There are more than a few illustrious names dotted around the British Isles, of course, and if GCC could bag a Brian Bolland or two then they’d keep the fans happy.
The reaction on social media, as you can imagine, has been largely one of disappointment. The most worrying response on Facebook was a theory from a Gary Gray. (His comment is presented in full, although we have added punctuation.)
Downgrading to a one day event? Wow, not sure I see any logic in that, if I’m honest. Most cons are looking to expand as so much demand. Can’t help but think that this will give the impression that the con is in trouble. It’s exactly the first thought I had.
Whether or not this notion of a threatened future is true is not known but the prospect of losing GCC is a scary one for Glasgow. Putting a more positive spin on this development, perhaps we can compare this to the new arrangements for London Super Comic Con (LSCC)? While it remains a full weekend event, it has booked a much smaller venue for 2017. If the monolithic LSCC is downsizing, maybe the organisers of GCC are not making a revealing statement about financial dire straits and are instead showing good business sense? This shift from two days to one may, in fact, be a masterstroke by the organisers.
Only time will tell. GCC is a particularly difficult convention to make predictions about. The con itself seems to be unsure of its own identity: one year a comic convention, the next a five-day festival with an embedded convention, now a one day con.
Added to this is the fact that the UK comic scene is a changing landscape, with a massive proliferation of new conventions in recent years. This has also been evident north of the border, where in a mere two years Edinburgh Comic Con knocked GCC off its perch with effortless ease, and the up-and-coming Granite City Comic Con is also making a name for itself. The organisers of GCC need to get this latest format right.
All things considered, the guest list for GCC 2017 is going to make for extremely interesting reading.