Thousands of costume-clad fans are set to descend on the Capital next month as Edinburgh’s only comic and sci-fi convention gears up for its second year.
The two-day event boasts guest appearances from a host of big-name stars from the worlds of film, television and comics – including cast members from Star Wars and smash-hit TV series Game of Thrones.
And organisers insist this year will be bigger and better than ever, with ticket sales already on course to triple those of last year’s convention.
The inaugural event – to run over the weekend of April 11 and 12 – was launched last year by Lothians-based company Hero Conventions, which hopes it will eventually rival world-famous American festivals such as the San Diego Comic-Con International.
James Lundy, who runs Hero’s online bookstore, said the comic con would help “put Edinburgh on the map”.
He said: “It’s about Edinburgh being an international city. We have people buying tickets from America, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland, and it’s going to be a lot busier this year in terms of footfall and attendees.
“I’m a glorified, 100 per cent geek and I wear that badge with pride. I know that demographic, and that market. I know that Edinburgh is a massive, international place, and geographically it’s in the right area.”
Among this year’s highlights will be guest spots from Caitlin Blackwood, who played the young Amelia Pond in Doctor Who, and Game of Thrones actresses Josephine Gillan and Pixie Le Knot.
Actor and puppeteer Simon Williamson, who portrayed alien musician Max Rebo in Return of the Jedi, will also be making an appearance.
James revealed 1300 tickets have been sold in advance of the event, with organisers expecting an on-the-day crowd of up to 3000 comic and sci-fi fans. He added: “We are living in what I would call a golden age, where things are getting done. Comic books have grown up – it’s not just superheroes and stuff. If you are a storyteller, comic books and graphic novels are an easy and cheap way to put your story across.”
Richard Lewis, the city’s festivals and events champion, welcomed the boost in ticket sales for the convention, and said: “It’s in line with a lot of the festivals. Last year the International Festival had a bumper year, so it’s all looking pretty healthy.”