Trying a new comic con is always a bit of a gamble, especially one that takes a few hours to get to, but any doubts I might have had were soon put aside when Nor-Con proved to be a very pleasant conclusion to my run of cons this year. I think this was the 9th year for the show, but it was the first time I've attended, and the first time I'd even been to Norwich.
The venue was the Norfolk Showground Arena, which was a 15 to 20 minute taxi ride from Norwich but a very good venue to hold a convention. Organiser Mark Dean and his team worked hard all weekend to make sure all the guests were looked after and everything ran smoothly. It's not easy to run an event but they did a fantastic job.
Multi-media events can sometimes give priority to the actors with comic guests shunted to a side hall (or, in one show I attended a few years ago, put in the foyer where visitors walked past us). Nor-Con isn't like that. It had a nice balance of actors and artists, and we were all treated equally, and positioned in the same area. This helped to give a good, positive vibe to the whole weekend. Indeed, the atmosphere of the whole show was upbeat anyway.
|Dalek invasion! With actor Cara Theobold and Gladiator Wolf in the background.|
|Wolf meets a Dalek!|
It was a very colourful event, with numerous cosplayers and props from film and TV on display, and everyone I spoke to was enjoying the weekend. For some it was their very first convention, so I'm pleased it gave them a good impression.
|Photo by Martin Griffiths.|
As always, it was great to meet people who have followed my work over the years or are totally new to comics and bought Combat Colin to try it out. I was particularly pleased that Daryl Selby stopped by. He was one of the many readers who'd submitted a "cure" for Pete and his Pimple back in the Oink! days, which was published. (Similar to Pow's Dare-A-Day Davy, I instigated a contest back in 1987 where readers were invited to send in their ideas to cure Pete's giant pimple. The winners had their ideas turned into a story which I drew up, and they won some "Piggy Prizes".) Daryl's son had grown up reading my Team Toxic strips in Toxic, so it was nice to know that my work had been appreciated by two generations!
Nor-Con had a good line up of guests and as ever it was great to catch up with my comic mates Mike Collins, Nigel Parkinson (and colourist Nika), Martin Griffiths, Lee Townsend and Grant Perkins. It was also nice to meet artist Katie Bass who had the table next to me. (Check out her work at katiebass.co.uk).
It was an absolute pleasure to meet comedian Hattie Hayridge (Holly in Red Dwarf) who joined a few of us for dinner on Saturday night and was great company. It was also very nice to see Sophie Aldred again and to meet (and share taxi rides with) actors Eve Myles, Sylvester McCoy, and Cara Theobold, and to chat briefly with Nicola Bryant.
All in all, a very happy convention with lots of laughs, and, on a personal level, a perfect way to conclude my list of shows for this year. Thanks again to Mark and his team for a great weekend!
Nor-Con website: https://www.nor-con.co.uk