ICE con in Birmingham has become a mainstay in the calendar of the UK Premiere league of true comic conventions and is a one day con I always look forward to. The challenges this year were moving to a new event location and being sandwiched between the dates of the two UK con heavyweights, London Super Comic Con and Thoughtbubble. How did it fare?

This year’s guest list did not seem as extensive as last year’s but it did feature the UK premiere appearances of famed Star wars stalwart, John Tyler Christopher and also Freddie Williams II. Also on the bill was Dan Slott and Charlie Adlard as well as the first England appearance for some time of Spiderman artist, Will Sliney. Adding in the talents of other notables such as John Bolton, John McCrae and Glen Fabry to name but a few more and you have a great one day line up.

The length of the queue outside the event was an early indication that the event was going to be popular as indeed it turned out to be. The new location was more than adequate to cope with the number of attendees. Everything apart from the seminars was on one floor and there was a very nice buzz in that conference room. Plenty for the comic fan to see with lots of good comics related stalls to match the signing areas.

The three American guests were absolutely superb, with John Tyler and Freddie signing all day without limit. Both were completely affable and engaging as well as interesting conversationalists. It was during one of my chats with John Tyler that I learnt about just what an amazing job was done by the organiser, Shane Chebsey, to get him over to the UK in the first place as he suffers from the same affliction as a certain Mr Kirkman in relation to flying. This therefore may have been his one and only appearance in the UK. Match that next year Shane!

Although not to the same level as London Super Con, ICE did suffer with the same affliction of certain guests limiting signings and charging for signatures. One followed the same path as Jae Lee did giving no free signatures and charging £5 a pop! This was really the only negative for me regarding the Con and given the example set by Thoughtbubble 2017 (review to follow) is something I hope Shane will be able to correct next year.

I do hope that ICE made enough to make all the hard work of organising this and the earlier ICE Brighton con worthwhile as they are both prime comic events that must continue. If you did attend either or both events, I’m sure you will all be back next year. If you did not attend, you’ve missed out! Make sure you get to both next year as I guarantee, it will be worth it.

Thanks for all your efforts Shane!

Peter Brewer