28th May2019

‘Oldham Comic Con 2019′ Event Report

by Phil Wheat

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A few years ago Nerdly, or as it was known back then Blogomatic3000, were regular attendees of the Leeds-based Thought Bubble Comic Convention – one of the few ACTUAL comic cons that focused on comics and their creators, be they indie comics or comics from the big two companies. Between moving down south and then relocating a number of times we’ve missed out on the last few years, though we have plenty of coverage for you to go back through and read/watch, including a fantastic report from the perspective of one of our former writers who went into comic creation himself and attended TBub as a creator!

So why am I telling you this? Well earlier this month we attended the 3rd annual Oldham Comic Con, a comic con that I felt very much like the early days of Thought Bubble. Like those early Thought Bubble shows there was a clear focus on comics rather than celebrity, with guests that reflected that focus too, including some artists and writers that, honestly, I wasn’t too familiar with but had plenty of fans and interested attendees clamouring round their tables. I also think the excitement that Avengers: Endgame stirred up in the UK was a help to get casual attendees through the door – especially families more familiar with MCU than comics, with both excited kids and parents in the queue before the doors opened.

Put on by local Oldham comic shop Comic Den, Oldham Comic Con is obviously a labour of love for the shops owners, who bring their expertise and love of the genre to the fore with their cons Рthe guests mirroring that knowledge, and what a diverse range of guests! Amy Chu, Al Ewing (a huge coup for the con given his current succes on Immortal Hulk), Keith Williams (a very rare comic con attendee), Nick Brokenshire and Kev Hopgood to name a few Рthere were plenty of guests from all walks of comic life, be they working on big-title US books or British born books like Judge Dredd, there LITERALLY was someone for every kind of comic fan. It truly was remarkable how the con obviously reflected the diversity of comic fans in its line-up.

I think it also helped that Oldham Comic Con benefited from a more local vibe, with a smaller venue and a more family-friendly atmosphere (and advertising). The smaller scale meant that there was room for hardcore comic fans, casual fans and families to mingle together and explore both the vendors and guests without the crowds and almost claustrophobic atmosphere you find at comic cons like MCM and Showmasters events. Of course you had your usual vendors selling all sorts of different geeky items: from food to jewellery, comics to toys. But this was a convention that was split in favour of the guests rather than the retailers, with two-thirds of the venue given over to guests and indie comic creators Рa great split that meant comics were kept front and centre of this ACTUAL comic con!

If you’re in the Greater Manchester area, hell even further afield, and your a fan of comics, be you a hardcore OR casual fan, then you owe it to yourself to check out next years Oldham Comic Con. Best of all..? It’s totally free to enter, meaning you get to spend the usual entrance fee on goodies once you get inside!
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Make sure to look out for reviews of some of the books we picked up at Oldham Comic Con, including the fantastic work of inde comic company/artists Reckless Hero, very soon.

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