new to comic con Guide

never been to a comic con before? here’s our detailed guide to help you make the most of your first geeky con experience!

what is a comic con?

If we had to summarise this incredible geeky experience that takes over the Portsmouth Guildhall for one mind-blowing weekend, then we would say “a celebration of the fans” is the best way to put it. Comic book conventions have been around for many decades, with the first one ever taking place in New York City in 1964, as a way to gather fans and indistry professionals in one place and strenghten the community. The most popular con to this day remains the San Diego Comic Con, which has been around since 1970 and continues to set the standard for all geeky conventions around the globe. Some cons focus more on celebrities and movie announcements, while others prefer to focus on the artistry and the ins and outs of the industry.

However, all cons aim to do one main thing: honour the fans, as well as our favourite films, genres and characters and the geeky culture we all love! And the Portsmouth Comic Con is no different: all we want is to create a space of accetance and celebration, where fans can experience the freedom to be whoever they want to be and enjoy themselves with fellow likeminded fans for one grand weekend in June. Whether you are a geek yourself, or you are looking for a family-friendly way to spend the weekend surrounded by comics, film and TV culture to enjoy with your young ones, then Portsmouth Comic Con is for you!

things to do beforehand

You have booked your tickets. Now what? The best first step is to follow us on our social media, where we post useful tips and interesting information about what to expect at the Con. This way you can keep up-to-date with everything happening around the event, and also it grants you a way to connect to us in case you have any questions and queries. The next step is to visit our website and have a browse through all the activities, experiences and guests we will feature at the next Con, and possibly write down a list of all the things that you would like to see and attend.

On the day, make sure to pack some of the neccessities for the weekend ahead of you: a portable battery so your phone never runs out of charge, your tickets and a t-shirt with your favourite character on it of course!

things to do on the day

The list of activities you can do at Portsmouth Comic Con is endless! Specifically for our 2023 event, we have planned such a wide array of experiences for you that for the whole weekend, you will not feel a single second of boredom.

For those who are after a bit of an out-of-this-world journey, we have the Jurassic interactive experience with the dinosaurs welcoming you at the very entrance into the event, and later you can move onto the immersive Star Wars area for a chance to travel to a galaxy far far away with the UK’s very own Joker Squad.

For those interested in cosplaying, we have our amazing Cosplay parade and competition, which is open to participation to all. If competing is not your cup of tea, it is always just as enjoyable to sit on the Guildhall steps and watch and observe the talented cosplayers on the main stage!

For those of you who are interested in the comic book industry or are artists yourselves, we also have our Artists Alley, where you can meet many gifted industry professionals from all over the world to share experiences, get advice and have a geeky chat with.

And if you feel like you want to discuss and geek out further about your favourite shows or characters, we also have our panels on a wide array of topics surrounding the geeky fan culture of the present day!

And last but not least, for those of you like a bit of shopping or are collectors at heart, we have our Comic Village and Comic Cities, filled with stalls selling all kinds of merch and memorabilia.

things to keep in mind

There are a few things to keep in mind in order to make this weekend as great of an experience not only for yourself, but for everyone else as well.

The first key thing is mutual respect: not only for your fellow fans, but also for the staff and everyone else at the event. We all have opinions and we are all very passionate about the films and characters that we love and adore so much, and of course our event encourages that. However, we must remember that more often than not, we are all fans of dfferent things, we express our fan-ness differently and we all experience media in unique individual ways. We take pride in our convention being a safe space for fans from all backgrounds and ages, and a safe space for all kinds of geeky self-expression, so this is why respect is of the utmost importance here, as that cannot happen without it.

In a similar aspect, taking photos is absolutely encouraged at the Portsmouth Comic Con: how else would you remember this marvellous experience if you don’t have the pictures to prove?! But please apply the principle of respect here as well- taking a picture of someone or with someone without their consent is a violation that we do not stand for, so we kindly advise you to always ask for permission beforehand.

This ties in with the next key detail to keep in mind and that is the capacity of the venue: we are so happy to welcome you all into the halls of the Portsmouth Guildhall, and we try to expand the event every year, but crowds are unfortunately inevitable. Please be assured that staff members will be there to assist you and prevent that from happening, but as long as we keep the principle of respect here as well, all further complications will be avoided.

Also, please remember that staying hydrated and nourished is also of high importance here in order to make most of your weekend: rest assured we have food stalls spread all around the venue to fit all of your food tastes and preferences.

And of course, to conclude, please remember to have fun! Geek out as much as your soul wishes!