If there was an award for the city of Fandom, Birmingham would just win it. Beat that London! To start off with, the second city has collector shops such as Forbidden Planet and Nostalgia and Comics, a frequent comic and collector fair which is held in Ladywood and there’s also “geek meets” where costumed cosplayers meet up around the city centre.
This year there’s a staggering amount of conventions happening in the city ranging from anime, gaming to comics. Birmingham MCM, Birmingham Comic Con, Animecon, Collectormania, Birmingham Comics Festival, ICE and amongst such events, ironically, there’s Not Another Comic Con. It’s a one-day event that’s happening at the Novotel in Broad Street. NACC will have a mix of actors and comic creators, Comic Conventions spoke to NACC organiser Peter Burke to get the lowdown on Birmingham’s new convention.
Going back what was the first comic convention you attended and what was your thoughts?
My very first comic con was London film and comic con in 2009, and it blew me away, was an experience that just really left me awestruck.
You’re setting up N.A.C.C as part of your university degree, what did your course tutor think of you setting up a comic con?
I always said to my tutor that by doing the Masters in Event and Exhibition that I hoped it would lead to one day to be putting on Glastonbury or putting comic cons on for a living. It was said as half aspiration half jest but here I am.
How did you go about getting guests and exhibitors for N.A.C.C?
With hard work, a few contacts and good old fashioned networking.
How do you think the general public sees comic conventions?
I think to someone who hasn’t been to one, it’s a misunderstood event. It’s presumed everyone is in cosplay and we are all Big Bag level geeks. Obviously to anyone who has attended one previously they know it’s a great day out, a celebration of our common interests, people of all ages, all interests, and all backgrounds. It is an all-inclusive event which is great.
You recently started working at Nostalgia and Comics, how did your work colleagues support you?
Aside from making me spend all my money on comics and Funko, they have been amazingly supportive, they have helped in every aspect from fundraising to design to contacts to moral support.
Birmingham this year is having quite a lot comic conventions, why do you think Birmingham has become a hotspot for such events?
I think being the middle of UK helps as it has great transport links and is a lot of smaller towns & cities nearest big city. I think we are a great community in Birmingham too which means people want to come to the city and host these events.
How do you think N.A.C.C will stand out from the rest? Well, I’m hoping that by being comic-centric we are a little different to MCM or Showmasters. But ultimately I hope it’s the atmosphere, the vibe, the price, the guests etc. I want to just offer something I think is like cons were a few years back, minus a little bit of Hollywood commercialism.