Comic Con Scotland 2023

Saturday 14 October 2023

Last weekend I attended my third Monopoly Events convention of the year in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was an unplanned trip, a friend offered me a ticket and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been tempted by Cameron Monaghan's announcement a couple of weeks ago -I'm a huge Shameless and Gotham fan. So me and a friend went for the whole weekend, staying a twenty minutes drive away at the Hilton Double Tree Queensway Ferry, with a spectacular view of the forth bridges, that I couldn't photograph because of the weather but a handy stay if you need accommodation.

Speaking of the weather, it was really bad. We arrived at the venue at around 9:30am, we had early entry but were driving from Newcastle the morning of so we hoped half an hour after opening that we'd get straight in. This was not the case and it was after 10am that we finally got through the queue, meaning we were soaked through -not ideal when you have photo ops. It's fine though, we thought 'conventions are always sweltering, we'll dry off in not time. Again, this was unfortunately not the case, the venue, particularly the photo op hall was freezing due to the open shutter and the fact that it was essentially a concrete ware house with metal doors on all sides.

Not only was the photo op hall freezing, it was also incredibly chaotic. The power went down at some point and photo op queues stopped moving with zero communication. I was in the queue for Cameron Monaghan at the time with his duo with Robin Lord Taylor straight after, when Cameron's queue was told to disperse I decided to hang around since the slot with Robin was supposed to be right after. This was cancelled but again, no communication and I was told to make sure I got to the 4pm time slot early as it would be busy. At this point it was only 1:30pm but I decided, since I was coming back the next day, that I would just spend the next couple of hours waiting for the photo ops, to ensure I was near the front and I'd just explore the convention on Sunday. 

This turned out to be the best plan, myself and a handful of other stressed fans formed our own queue for Cameron that the staff then added onto and it was all worth it because Cameron was incredibly sweet and friendly, giving everyone a hug and thanking them for attending. The queue for Cameron and Robin's duo was considerably smaller so I went straight out of my photo op into that queue and everyone was seen quickly. Robin was also extremely friendly and this is definitely my favourite photo op of the year so far. 

Monopoly Events are well known for having a whole host of prop vendors that travel to their various events and I have to say that Comic Con Scotland had the best range of them that I've seen so far. The Stranger Things props were my favourite and even though I've had my photo taking with the 'Don't Dead Open Inside' doors from The Walking Dead before, I couldn't resist going again. They also had props from Star Wars, a couple of horror props and even a Toy Story option. These are all free to pose with, though I do think it would be nice if they could have some volunteers around these areas to help those attending on their own to get some photos, luckily I had a friend who expertly took these (and many more) for me.

Monopoly Events can't be beaten for price and variety of guests, but they are definitely lacking in organisation at their bigger events. Comic Con Northeast was the only event that was straight-forward and stress free, but it was a third of the size of Comic Con Scotland in public attendance and guests. A lot of their problems could be fixed with more communication and maybe a loud speaker/PA system -this would also apply to the Q&A as I could barely hear the guests on stage, never mind the attendees asking the questions. 

The Sunday of the event was also far busier than I was expecting in the photo hall but the stalls and prop shoot areas were quiet and I was able to do and see everything I wanted to over the two days. It does make me nervous for Liverpool which is a bigger event and I'm only there for the one day but hopefully as it is their flagship event, it'll be more organised. As always I would recommend you check out your local event, there's a little something for everyone at these conventions and you don't have to travel up and down the country anymore, Monopoly has an event in most major cities/parts of the country now. More information can be found on their website

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