This weekend I attended Comic Con Liverpool 2019. The con – organised by Monopoly Events – took place at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool from Friday 8th March until Sunday 10th March, and featured guests from the worlds of TV, movies and comic books.
I’m a seasoned convention goer – I’ll talk about this in a follow-up post – but this was the first time I’d attended a Monopoly Events con. I have to say, I was very impressed.
On Saturday, a friend and I arrived at Comic Con Liverpool 2019 around 9am, expecting a lengthy wait to get into the event – something which has become the norm with conventions in recent years. We were pleasantly surprised to find the queuing process was pretty swift and bar a short wait to usher people into the building (including bag checks and ticket scans) we were into the exhibition hall in no time.
Once inside, while my friend went on an autograph hunt, I took a wander around the hall, to scope out the layout and see what was on offer. As well as the usual collection of trader stalls, the con included a number of vehicle displays (the A-Team van, the DeLorean from Back to the Future etc), a few props (ideal for photo opportunities), a VR experience and various gaming consoles that were all hooked up and free to play.
The hall also included an area for paid photo sessions, an autograph zone, and a stage for all of the talks and Q&As. This is where I spent a good chunk of the day, watching the likes of John Challis and Jeff East taking questions and recounting stories.
Incidentally, this is the second event I’ve attended this year that has featured Jeff East as a guest – the other being the 40th anniversary screening of Superman: The Movie (1978) – and I have to say he is a fantastic guest. Having spent a year on the set of Superman, East has plenty of stories to tell about his experiences and he’s so damn likeable.
I hope he gets asked back to more UK conventions.
One of my favourite panel’s of the day was the Power Rangers: Zordon Era panel, which featured six guests: Paul Schrier, Jason Narvy, Tracy Lynn Cruz, Steve Cardenas, Blake Foster and Selwyn Ward. Not only was this panel fun to watch, it also demonstrated what great guests Schrier and Narvy are!
I didn’t meet Schrier or Narvy (perhaps better known to Power Rangers fans as Bulk and Skull), but every time I saw them around the convention hall I couldn’t help but notice how much they appreciated their fans. They seemed to take a real delight in being part of the Power Rangers legacy and they were having a ball interacting with fans.
The same could be said for all of the Power Rangers guests, of which there were 14 – all from different eras of the show. This was such a great booking from Monopoly Events and a real coup for PR fans.
I’d love to see the organisers do something like this again, whereby they book a significant collection of guests all from the same show/movie series. Heck, I’d totally be on board for a Power Rangers con too, if they were ever to consider it.
My next favourite talk was the Q&A session with Eric Roberts. What a fantastic guest.
Roberts has been in the business for 40+ years, so could have easily spent half-an-hour on stage recounting half-a-dozen anecdotes. Instead, he was keen to take questions from the audience, paying close attention to who wanted to speak to him, to ensure they didn’t get missed.
Such a likeable guy and someone I’d love to see invited back.
And speaking about likeable people, the big headliners of the weekend were Lois & Clark stars, Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain. These two were charming throughout their panel and just as nice taking part in their photo sessions.
Yep, that’s me looking a little unhinged in a photo with Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain. I was beyond happy to be stood in between two of my teenage idols.
Once again, another great booking and a VERY popular one. The Superman talk – a Q&A session with Hatcher and Cain – was arguably the most watched talk of Saturday and their photo sessions were busy, busy, busy.
I was fortunate enough to be at the front of the queue, so I was in and out when it came to my photo, but I am aware some people did have to queue for some time. My friend had a photo with Hatcher and the session did overrun by around 30 minutes – a result of how popular the Hatcher/Cain session was.
Sometimes these things can’t be helped and it was simply due to the popularity of these two guests. From going to many cons in the past, I can say this was a very minor delay. Both myself and my friend have had some awful experiences queuing at cons and this certainly wasn’t one of them.
In fact, the organisation of Comic Con Liverpool 2019 was fantastic. The talks and photo sessions where clearly sign posted on electronic displays and the PA system was being used continually to keep people updated of what was going on in key areas of the hall.
This was a very well-run con, with such a good collection of guests. There was an emphasis on quality rather than quantity and I liked that a lot.
Some cons get oversold, which results in lengthy queues and less-than-fun experiences. Organisers also book waaaaay too many guests, which often feels unnecessary. This certainly wasn’t the case for this con. It had just the right amount.
OK, so as mentioned above there was an overrun on the photo sessions for the headline guests, but this was all handled very well. The staff in particular were really friendly and extremely helpful to people who needed a little extra assistance throughout the day.
The con ran until 6pm (with an after party to follow), but my friend and I left the Exhibition Centre around 3pm. We had watched a number of panels and ticked off everything we wanted to see on the day.
Was there more to see and do? Yes – but we were pooped.
Had we stayed longer, then no doubt I would have watched more panels and perhaps had a few turns on some of the retro consoles. Ah, well – maybe next time.
Was there anything I would have added to the day?
My only suggestions would have been to further take advantage of the Power Rangers guests, with maybe a dedicated breakout area for some screenings of Power Rangers episodes. A screening of Superman: The Movie – with intro from Jeff East – would have been good too.
But now I’m just being greedy.
Having seen how well run Comic Con Liverpool 2019 was, I look forward to attending another one of Monopoly Events’ cons – be it For the Love of Horror, or one of the ’80s and ’90s themed cons the company has on the horizon.
Well done to all involved.