We arrived in Potterrow at 11AM, as the skies were threatening to open up on us. The building, normally a gathering place for the students of Edinburgh University, was teeming with a very different group of people – the kind you wouldn’t spot taking notes in class, unless it was Professor Xavier’s School for the Gifted.
In only its second year, Edinburgh Comic Con has already doubled its visitor figures, giving the organiser great prospects for the future.
There was a lot to see and take in, especially from the point of view of us roving reporters. We stopped to chat with actors and illustrators, as well as meeting and discovering new talents, of which there were many.
We would like to give you a taster of the convention. Imagine, if you will, that you are taking a leisurely walk through the many tables in the building with us, with a few stops along the way.
The first desk we saw was Dave Gordon’s stall of handmade dolls – Changeling. For the last two years, Dave has been creating particularly realistic dolls, of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. He uses resin for the bodies and hand sewn dresses. The dolls can be customised as well and measure between 12 inches and 3.5 feet.
Next were the prints of Nick Harrigan, a talented 24 year old artist, who is able to draw incredibly realistic portraits of both real, and fictional, well-known characters, through the use of simple pencil strokes.
Next we stop to chat with Steven Ingram, of Blurred Lines Comics. Steven designs and writes comic books, touching on a number of subjects. We were able to see the first four episodes of Left, his ongoing project, and Platyp-eye – a small collection of short comic stories that has been around for almost ten years.
Sara Ljeskovac, who hails from Switzerland, was creating a pen drawing when we stopped at her desk. Her style is clean and her sci-fi subjects accurately portrayed. Still only 22, she’s been drawing since she was a child, inspired by a deep love of comics and drawing.
Vital Publishing, run by John Farman – includes a comic so edgy that it reputedly upset the Royal Family and ended up in the national newspapers. John has even gained a fan in the form of crime writer Ian Rankin.
Castlerock Comics also grabbed our attention. Inspired by the classic Ingmar Bergman movie, The Seventh Seal, Bob Turner has produced his own brand of fascinating books and graphic novels.
Another such artist was Alan Henderson, owner of The Penned Guin. Alan has been releasing his comic strips online daily, for the last two years, with annual editions also available.
Last but not least, Manchester based Jon Turner and his illustrations made in ink. Jon combines vintage imagery with a surreal sense of fun.
The final Edinburgh based duo we came upon were Ken and Keith Crawley, a father and son team who have been designing and creating spaceships for the last twenty years. They were eager to show us two of their beautiful creations, and several pictures capturing the making-of process.
The costumes were of course fabulous (some more than others). Here’s a selection of a few of them.
Now, Xander is the founder of The Edinburgh Sci-fi Fellowship, a group that meet regularly to discuss all things genre related. Most importantly, they gather at conventions such as these to give their support to local charities. This time they were representing the Edinburgh Central Food Bank.