Dear Mummy, we had a fantastic weekend at Portsmouth Comic Con 2022 recently as the Portsmouth Guildhall swung open its doors once again to host this fab two day event after Covid restrictions halted the past 2 years.
It was good to be back at Portsmouth Comic Con after visiting in 2019 and doing something normal after all the pandemic postponements.
The sun was shining, the steps of the Guildhall were filled with cosplayers and visitors, it could not have been a better day and we loved it!
The atmosphere outside was electric with people milling around and watching the parades on stage. There were inflatable props like The Hulk and Spider-Man dangling from the building which built excitement.
I had lots of fun seeing my favourite TV and Film characters and joining my folks, scouting through the comics and collectibles.
From a child’s perspective Portsmouth Comic Con was a dream, especially if you are a massive Star Wars fan like me. I immersed myself in a world of fantasy. My eyes were popping out of my head at one point!
On the Saturday I dressed up as Rey and joined the other cosplayers for a parade and in the photos.
I participated in Jedi Training with Jedi Master D-T’rill and joined in a Star Wars TikTok dance which was super awesome and organised by Jedha FIT based in Portsmouth. (See my YouTube Video for more action).
We met some wonderful people and everyone was so happy and generally glad to be out and together again. The Portsmouth Comic Con programme of panels, roundtables and drop-in sessions covered many varied topics from the world of comics including women in comics, Star Wars design and illustration, horror films, manga and much more. My folks sneaked into the ones where they could and listened to the panelists on the main stage throughout the day.
Our highlight was the Star Wars Experience and we were fortunate enough to gain entrance before it got super busy on the Saturday and Sunday. It clearly was a popular attraction at the event with queues snaking around the building.
Inside we were transported to Endor, Tatooine and Hoth! Joker Squad UK and the Isle of Wight Props Crew did a fantastic job of decorating the walk-through Star Wars scenes and entertaining the visitors.
I do think the organisers need to re-evaluate the labyrinth-style Portsmouth Guildhall as a venue space, as inside it was tricky to navigate with a lightsaber and two Jedi’s in tow, with loads of confusing corridors and levels.
Even the force wasn’t strong enough to help us get our bearings inside the Portsmouth Guildhall! Especially if you needed the loo and it takes you 15 mins to get out of your costume!
Everything was dotted around, a maze of rooms and it would have been nice to have all the comics and artists together in the larger space. It is a comic con after all!
The resellers with toys, collectibles and merchandise seem to dominate the larger spaces, and even though we liked to dive through toys (I am a toy reviewer after all) my folks wallets and moods weren’t so happy. The amount of choke points on the sold out Saturday was challenging. Next time we’d like to see more artists, crafters and comic book makers at the event. My folks also revelled in the opportunity to meet guest artists like Russell Walks and Gary Erskine whose graphic art skills are amazing, not overlooking all the other amazing artists that were present.
There were lots of different fandoms represented at Portsmouth Comic Con and I was amazed at all the wonderful characters walking around. This was really a highlight for me and the visitors make Comic Con great too.
There was more than enough photo opportunities and I loved seeing the Jurassic Park Jeep and stopping to chat with John Hammond and his dinosaurs.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Comic Con without seeing Deadpool there and I couldn’t resist having my photo with him! There were Dr Who props and a great Steam Punk area, along with arcade machines playing retro games, a VR, Immersive Tech & Gaming Zone upstairs run by the University of Portsmouth and Novatech. Outside I saw Extreme Robots, featuring the stars of the smash-hit BBC Television series “Robot Wars”.
On Sunday it was the World of Witchcraft and Wizardry Day and even though we adored the space down in the basement, which had been transformed into Hogwarts, it would have been nice to see more activity areas like this outside, as I felt this got a bit lost on the day. We’re not sure what happened to the Weasley’s car as that sadly didn’t make an appearance in the end. It’s possible it was still stuck in the Forbidden Forest!
I enjoyed the wand making and visited a couple of times to hon my artistic skills thanks to the super friendly team that manned the stand. The painted mural was beautiful and lent itself perfectly to the theme. Check out my YouTube video to see more…
There was a food court outside for chips, duck wraps, burgers and hotdogs etc, along with a sandwich bar inside the Guildhall which served tea and coffee. Inside the marquee there were more stands where you could pick up cupcakes and bottles of water, programmes and other goodies. Of course the ice cream vans helped cool us down! Though we were disappointed that despite plenty of bins, some of those attending felt it ok to drop their litter or food on the steps of the Guildhall which made it messy to sit on especially if you’ve taken lots of time to dress up.
It was a shame you couldn’t bring your own water in. As our reusable water bottles would have been better for the environment as opposed to having to buy plastic bottles of water on site. There were no signposted drinking water points onsite. We understand that this is to combat alcohol coming into the venue but on a hot day with us little ones it would have been better.
Overall we had a really enjoyable time at Portsmouth Comic Con with the Saturday definitely being the busier and better day for us. Even though it was crowded at points the atmosphere was joyous.
It’s a great family day out and we’d definitely recommend it for any film, TV and comic fans and it’s nice to share a passion for all things fantasy with my folks. It felt like a super safe place to explore everything on offer, as well as share whatever fandom excites you, in an inclusive and diverse atmosphere of cosplayers and attendees.
Portsmouth Comic Con is back in 2023, make sure to check out their Facebook page and website for updates on tickets and dates!
Disclosure: We were kindly gifted weekend tickets in order to review and take footage. All thoughts, photo and video is our own.