You’re probably wondering why I didn’t blog along with tonight’s episode of The Gifted.

The reason?

Tonight’s episode of The Gifted was a re-run. In the US the show took a break this week, so the UK did too.

As it turned out, this situation worked in my favour, because myself (and the husband) spent a good chunk of the day at Bat Con UK – a Bat-themed convention in honour of the 30th anniversary of Batman ’89. I say ‘convention’; the event itself wasn’t really a convention as such – but it was still a heap of fun.

You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I attended a 40th anniversary screening of Superman: The Movie (1978), complete with Q&A and photo/autograph session with actor, Jeff East. During the course of that event I became aware that a similar event would be taking place this weekend for Batman (1989).

Upon further investigation (aka a quick Google search) I discovered that the event was being held under the banner heading of Bat Con UK. This convention was promoted as an exclusive screening of Batman ’89 + Batman Returns (1992), with a special Q&A from Richard Strange – aka one of the Joker’s goons.

In addition, the convention – being held at Stockport Plaza, Greater Manchester – was to include photo opportunities, comic artists, toy dealers, comic dealers, costumers and a Batman swap-meet. ‘Was’ is the operative word here, because due to some behind the scenes issues the majority of the additional hoopla was dropped at the 11th hour, leaving the event as predominantly a film double-bill + the Q&A.

Was this a huge problem?

For me?

No.

I can’t speak for other people who might have been looking forward to all of the trimmings of Bat Con UK, but I was happy with what we got. This included: A (small) display of Batman paraphernalia, a screening of Batman ’89, a Q&A with Richard Strange, and a screening of Batman Returns.

The cost?

Just ยฃ11 a ticket!

Not bad really for a full afternoon out (at least five hours). Plus, had I wanted to get an autograph and/or photo with Richard Strange the opportunity was available.

Overall this was another successful event for organisers, Rad Screenings/237 Signings. It wasn’t as popular as the Superman event, but I believe this was due to the timing/location more than anything else.

More than 400 people attended the Superman screening, which took place on a Saturday afternoon in central Manchester. Had this Batman event followed suit (a Saturday in the city centre) then I think it would have been more popular.

The important thing I took from today’s double-bill screening, as well as the Superman screening last month, is just how much fun these smaller scale events can be. When compared to huge, arena-filled conventions that cost a small fortune to attend, these events are great value for the money.

Richard Strange was a good guest, who had some interesting insights into the production of Batman, and his Q&A session acted as the perfect pausing point between the two films. More of this, please.

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