Last time I was at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) I was surrounded by hundreds of people wearing caps and gowns, not capes and masks. I had last ventured those halls for my graduation ceremony back in 2012, now instead of excited graduates and proud parents there were aisles full of geeky memorabilia and people in elaborate costumes. It was surreal how different it looked after all these years.
With big names such as Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) and Michael Biehn (Aliens/Terminator) in attendance, you would not have thought it was Bournemouth’s first comic convention with reportedly 28,000 people across the weekend. Many attendees were Bournemouth residents or from nearby cities such as Southampton, although some had travelled further afield like I had.
Other than my sentiment towards the location, it was the guests that had brought me to Film Comic Con Bournemouth. Every year I post on the Showmasters forum suggesting guests from Buffy and Dark Angel and this year it seems my wish was granted in the form of Jennifer Blanc-Biehn who played Kendra, Max’s (Jessica Alba) friend and room mate in the first series. Jennifer was a pleasure to meet; friendly and interactive I was privileged to interview her and she was happy to go in-depth about all things Dark Angel! (Interview coming soon). From Buffy, fans were treated to Sarah Hagan (Amanda) whom I also had a chance to speak with (interview coming soon).
As an anime fan, I was very pleased that Showmasters had booked Veronica Taylor (Pokemon) she had been a superb guest when I first met her back at Winter London Film Comic Con 2013 alongside her teenage daughter. Veronica had a panel in London and was happy to answer questions in Ash’s voice and really made the effort to interact with fans – no matter their age! Roll on Bournemouth, 2015 and sadly she didn’t have a panel but she remained an absolute delight, I I even got to interview her this time (coming soon). I hope Showmasters continue to bring more anime guests to their events not all convention goers are sci-fi fans so anime voice actor guests are really appreciated!
As well as talks from Michael Biehn and Chris Judge there was the comic con tradition of a cosplay masquerade. For a first time convention the cosplay masquerade had a great turnout even with the minor timetable change. From Digimon to comic book characters there was a great range of characters. Kenny’s Cosplay Stuff and Kerry Cosplay won first place. Judged by Drewett Cosplay, Heartbound Cosplay and Riddikulus Cosplay who were very impressed with Kenny’s slut drop!
Overall the event came across well organised, staff were polite and helpful. Showmasters have already announced the date for the next Film Comic Con Bournemouth is 12-13 March 2016.