Edinburgh is gearing up to host its first comic and sci-fi convention, one which organisers hope will come to rival the superstar status of American events such as the legendary San Diego Comic-Con International.
Thousands of costume-clad fans are expected to descend on the Capital for the two-day festival, Something Awesome 2014, at Potterow in April.
The inaugural event has been years in the making for Lothians-based Hero Conventions – which has enlisted artists and writers from industry giant DC and cast-members from cult classics such as Star Wars and Doctor Who.
James Lundy, who runs Hero’s online bookstore, said he wanted to build on the success of a series of toy and comic book markets already held in Edinburgh.
He said: “For being such a ripe, historical city that loves festivals, it was missing something like this and there was definitely a gap to be filled.
“It was just a case of organising it and bringing everything together and finding a venue – that was the challenge. Now it’s gathering momentum, I don’t see why it won’t grow into something extra special to rival the likes of San Diego.”
Amongst the highlights will be Batman duo artist Norm Breyfogle and writer Alan Grant in their first appearance together on Scottish soil.
Other confirmed guests include Doctor Who’s blue-skinned Dorium Maldovar – or Simon Fisher-Becker – and Star Wars stormtrooper Trevor Butterfield.
Councillor Steve Cardownie, festivals and events champion, said: “It sounds certain to be a colourful and fun weekend.”
Argentine Hellblazer artist Leo Manco said: “I’ve heard Edinburgh is a beautiful city and the people are very warm and welcoming.”
You’ll have to be quick on the draw
Confirmed guests at the festival include:
• Comic artist Leonardo Manco
• Batman artist Norm Breyfogle and writer Alan Grant
• Paisley-born Marvel artist Gary Erskine
• Doctor Who’s Simon Fisher-Becker
• Trevor Butterfield of Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Flash Gordon
• Emma Beeby, first female writer for Judge Dredd
• X-Men and Captain America Marvel artist Ian Churchill
• Edinburgh-born Clone Wars artist Tanya Roberts
• Scar comic writer and publisher Jim Alexander
• Nathalie Cox from Star Wars, Jumper and The IT Crowd
• Warhammer Fantasy’s Gordon Rennie
• Manga artist Yishan Li
• Swedish graphic novel artist Jennie Gyllblad
• Nick Joseph from Star Wars