Comic Con Scotland 2023: Three things that satisfied and three that disappointed

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Comic Con Scotland 2023 took place last weekend, on October 7-8. While this year, fans didn’t get to see Ewan McGregor, there were lots of other special guests and attractions for pop culture enthusiasts.

Here are the top three things that worked well this year and three things that could be improved.

Stall selling anime merchandise and pride mystery bags.
Image credit: Jules Adamska

Satisfying: More merchandise stalls

For fans that attended the convention last year, one thing was certainly disappointing and that was simply not enough stalls selling merch. Something that Monopoly Events (the expo’s organiser) has certainly improved on this year.

There were much more exhibitors, with the trader zone taking half of the Highland Hall in the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh.

A map of the events at Comic Con Scotland 2023
Image credit: Comic Con Scotland / Monopoly Events

Disappointing: Small expo venue

Something that both fans and traders agreed on was that the venue was ‘too small’. The trading area, while larger than last year, was still smaller than many other British pop culture conventions. For the biggest comic con in Scotland, one would expect a fitting venue.

There could certainly be more space for trading or gaming if Central Hall was used for more than just a photo area with a few food stalls. Most of the hall was just people sitting on the ground eating their food or simply resting after wandering around all day.

On top of that, the two stages set up for Q&A panels simply could not fit enough people, causing most of the audience to be forced to stay far away, not being able to see or hear much during the more popular talks.

Comic Con Scotland attendees playing vintage Play Station and Nintendo games
Image credit: Jules Adamska

Satisfying: Gaming section

Much richer than last year, the gaming zone was definitely a great addition. In 2022 you needed to wait to play and whenever someone left their computer or console you would immediately run and take it, before it got claimed by someone else. You wouldn’t even care what game it was, as long as it worked.

This year, however, the gaming section was almost three times larger, with many more computers and consoles to choose from, and chairs to sit on. At almost any given moment you would be able to find a game to play without waiting for it. Definitely an improvement.

Disappointing: No board games

A board games section is a reason many to attend comic conventions, however, for the biggest pop culture expo in Scotland, this one certainly disappoints in that regard.

Another expo run by Monopoly Events, Comic Con Liverpool, has been recommended by traders as a much larger event, including a tabletop gaming zone. Hopefully, next year the organiser will bring board games to Edinburgh as well.

Satisfying: Special guests

As some fans were sad not to see Ewan McGregor again, this year’s headliners definitely stole the show. Among the stars we could see last weekend were Matt Smith (The Crown, House of the Dragon), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian), Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf, Arrow), Stephen Amell (Arrow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2), and Cameron Monaghan (Shameless, Gotham).

It’s great to see so many big names from the industry come to meet fans in Edinburgh.

Disappointing: More people than the organisers were ready for

Unfortunately, the organisers underestimated the interest the expo would bring. Due to the sold out Saturday tickets, none were available on the door. Additionally, the framing for photos taken with guests was also sold out.

Featured Image Credit: Jules Adamska / Comic Con Scotland / Canva

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