Comic Con Manchester 2023

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Monopoly Events were back in Manchester this past weekend with a varied line up of film and TV guests from across the generations, from Only Fools and Horses to The Walking Dead; there was someone for everyone. 

This was a new location for me, after the success I'd had at Comic Con Northeast (find my blog post here) I was optimistic about attending Comic Con Manchester and while I had a blast, this convention didn't exactly go to plan for everyone. From zero cancellations at Northeast to five cancellations at Manchester, including two big names only two days before the event, it's fair to say that a lot of people were upset. These things happen in the convention world and cancellations are typically out of the control of the organisers but losing multiple headliners while already having a smaller guest list than the previous year, it certainly isn't ideal but the guest list included Shazam actor Zachary Levi and Buffy's Seth Green so it was still in good attendance. 

First impressions of the venue Bowlers Exhibition Centre were that it's very out of the way, in an area that you wouldn't think to look twice at for a convention if it wasn't for the steady stream of cosplayers heading through an industrial estate. Once inside though the venue seemed spacious and a marquee was set up to make room a second hall of traders, plenty of variety as far as merchandise was concerned, probably not two days worth of browsing material but certainly more options than there were at Comic Con Northeast. The food at Bowlers was also far better value for money than at the Utilita, so what it lacks in location, it makes up for in quality of dining. Arena food is very expensive though, Monopoly have sensibly organised to allow attendees to bring food and drink with them (within reason), so I'd recommend taking advantage of that. 

Onto my guest meets. If you did read my post from Comic Con Northeast, you'll know I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead and Manchester had three guests in particular scheduled who I have never met and very much wanted to. First on the day was Alanna Masterston who played Tara on the show, she was so lovely and gave me a big hug for our photo, which made my day from the start.

Next was Khary Payton who played King Ezekiel, he was who I had booked from the minute I bought my tickets, when I was rewatching the show earlier this year, his character was a stand out for me the way he wasn't originally and I regretted not meeting him the last time he was at a convention I was attending -so it felt like fate. Khary greeted me with a hello beautiful so obviously I was beaming for the rest of the day, no I'm sure he didn't say that to everyone... 

Last up was Austin Amelio who played Dwight on The Walking Dead and is still playing him in the last season of Fear The Walking Dead, which features one of my favourite moments from the whole show me being the silly romantic that I am, you can watch that clip here. Austin was very friendly and thanked me for meeting him, said with a warm smile, I was very happy. The only downside being that Austin's photoshoots were both in the last couple of hours of the event on the Saturday, most other guests had a slot in the morning and afternoon, so I was waiting around for a while.

As well as celebrities, Monopoly are very good at organising prop photo shoots that you can take advantage of for free -this time I had a friend with me so I could actually take advantage of these and get some very cool photos in between my photo ops (thanks Kellie <3). The ones I was most excited for were the infamous DONT DEAD OPEN INSIDE doors from the first episode of The Walking Dead and a King Ezekiel throne shoot with Shiva the tiger included, I also couldn't resist another photo with Hoppers car from Stranger Things, which I paid for a photo with at another convention, so points to Monopoly. 

There were many more props from different fandoms including Star Wars, The Hobbit and even Postman Pat, true variety. As well as free prop shoots, the convention were giving away free convention Lanyards, which was a nice touch and makes for a great souvenir of the event, hopefully this is something Monopoly continues to provide at future conventions. 

Overall I had a great time at Comic Con Manchester and while I don't think I'd add this convention into my regular routine, I would definitely return for the right guest and I'll be at the venue later this year at For The Love Of Horror anyway, so I may yet change my mind. It's also worth mentioning that the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike did very little to impact the convention, the only change being that guests couldn't provide promotional material to sign, but you could bring anything yourself and almost all actors still signed with character names and/or quotes. I still agree with my thoughts from Comic Con Northeast, Monopoly are miles ahead of competition on the convention scene and I look forward to attending my next Monopoly event in just a few months time!

Post a Comment

© The Northern Film Blog. Design by FCD.