As a supporter and frequenter to the smaller conventions (as well as the bigger), we were pleased to see another local convention announced this year, this time in one of the most royal towns, Leamington Spa. We took some time out to get to know the man behind the scenes, Dan Mallier, and see what he has in store for the latest Midlands convention…
We always ask this one, partially out of curiosity, but also because we kinda like to get to know the people putting the toil in. Who are you?
I am Dan Mallier, 32 years old, born and raised in Leamington Spa.
Outside of trying to set up a comic convention, I work as an account manager for an automotive supplier in Gloucester and I have a 5 month old son called Joshua.
I am into comics, Transformers, gaming, astronomy and I am a Coventry City FC supporter!
Leamington is quite the mixed town, why do you think you’ll draw the crowds?
Leamington and Warwickshire as a whole has great history of supporting community events and local businesses, drawing thousands of people to its high-streets and special film, food, comedy or folk festivals. What the calendar is missing is a comic convention!
We’re starting as small Indiegogo project, but we’ve big ideas to grow this long-term into an annual festival of comics and illustration which is well and truly establish in the Warwickshire calendar.
We’ve also been inundated with emails from local graphic designers and the general public who want to give up their time or hard earned cash to make this event happen, whether this is by designing posters, offering to hand out flyers or by donating and sharing our event on social media.
Leamington also has a large student (and geeky) population, who we hope to attract to our event.
The UK is exploding with conventions at the moment, what makes yours different?
From the feedback we receive via our social media pages, it is clear comic fans want a comic based convention and that is what we plan to deliver.
We are trying to create something that sticks true to comics and that doesn’t really branch off into TV, film, science fiction and gaming.
We also want to create an intimate event, where comic fans can interact with the writers and illustrators of their favourite comics.
If we are successful in growing this event, we will always stick to true to this idea and focus mainly on comics, comic writers and illustrators, with little deviation!
Do you visit UK conventions? What has been your best experience?
Yes, I have attended a number of UK conventions which range from the big MCM events to local independent cons such as Nerd Fest in Nottingham.
I really enjoyed Nerd Fest last year as the venue size was great, you could walk around freely and talk to the comic writers and fans. This was exactly what I was looking for from a comic convention.
Being honest, it was Nerd Fest that inspired me to try and launch a Leamington Comic Con and they have also been very supportive in helping me get to where I am today.
With the bigger cons, I find that comics get lost in all of the other bits and pieces going on.
Also, recently queuing for over an hour to get in to a large Birmingham event with a 5 month old wasn’t a pleasant experience. The only plus side was that we were both wearing Leamington Comic Con t-shirts, so our event got a lot of exposure.
Who’s on your list?
You have done me here as I wasn’t planning on announcing guests until after our Indiegogo campaign, which finishes on the 24th of April.
Part of our plan is to have a heavy presence of local talent alongside national comic writers and illustrators. But, to give you a sample we have Al Davison (Coventry), Victor Wright (Birmingham) and Boarderline Press (Northampton) lined up. Further announcements will be made after the 24th of April, but I think people will be surprised by the quality.
If you could bring just one guest (I am sure it’s not the case), who would that person be?
If I could have one guest, it would have to be Peter Cullen. I am a real Transformers nerd, so I could never pass on the chance to meet the voice of Optimus Prime!
Finally, a bit about the day, what can visitors look forward to?
We’re coming up with new ideas on a daily basis as our imaginations are currently running wild, but we’ll have great guests, comic and memorabilia traders, guest Q&A’s, a superhero photo booth as well as a comic based cosplay competition.
We are also looking to raise money for charity, so we have lined up the 501st UK Garrison and will be holding various fund raising events on the day to support the local community.
As a side note, thank you for giving me the opportunity to promote our con and for adding our date to your conventions list. Also a huge thank you goes out to all of the people that have supported our project so far. We have been blown away!
Also, see below links to our Indiegogo campaign and event ticket provider: