It’s all getting really rather tight on the ol’ convention calendar page. We have no less then 32 entries so far on the list and we now that for life reasons (kids, money etc) we haven’t been quite as on the ball as last year and we may well have missed some. We know from speaking to organisers just how difficult it is to book guests and how frustrating it is when guests pull out. We also know how difficult it is to time the event far enough in advance to be able to actually sort it out logistically yet avoid clashing with other events.
Nerd Fest was up against a big hitter in the London Film and Comic Con, with a much improving comics section, and also a small press event in Bristol on the same day. The organisers though pitched the event very well with a large small press contingent supported by some of the bigger guns in Marc Laming, Gary Erskine and John McCrea. The event also saw local bands up on stage providing a soundtrack to the days events. The talks were well attended and the punters really seemed to lap them up, in many ways boosted by the layout and the decision to place the panels in the middle of the main halls. The addition of a bar on site increased the relaxed atmosphere and proved popular with punters who really got into the spirit of the event, many of whom were attending a convention for the first time, possibly due to the increased publicity surrounding all things superhero at the moment. The venue, although slightly unorthodox, was quite effective and the layout worked really well accommodating a variety of different stalls.
Small press offerings were, as usual, of a very high standard and it was good to meet up with Sam Johnson, Corey Brotherson, Constance Armitage, Leonie and Amrit and Steve from Time Bomb Comics (and others throughout the day, sorry if I missed you out).
This was not a big con, and there was no pretence otherwise, but it was ambitious, well executed and enjoyable all round with a relaxed feel. It was well attended and there were plenty of fresh faces which was refreshing and hopefully beneficial to the comics scene. We’d certainly be happy to see it return to the convention calendar next year.