Is it Spiderman? Is it Iron Man? Is it Deadpool? Oh, wait. It’s all of them!
On 26th and 27th March 2016 you couldn’t have missed the many colorful characters from films, tv and games strolling down the streets of Utrecht. Had the world suddenly plunged into a different dimension where a latex deadpool suit was the newest trend? No; it was the second edition of Comic Con. The Jaarbeurs in Utrecht was transformed to a pop-culture utopia.
With almost 30.000 visitors this year, Dutch Comic Con was even more popular than last year. This is not surprising as one superhero movie is released after another in a rapid tempo. However, the whole spectrum of pop-culture was covered at the con. With genres such as horror, anime, video-games, fantasy, sci-fi and many more, there was something for everyone. Disney and Marvel were, of course, especially popular.
Saturday morning our alarm clock went off quite early as we needed to transform ourselves in Dean and Sam Winchester from the television series Supernatural. The same thing happened on Sunday, but then we needed to rise and shine and bloom into the characters of Rose Tyler and Amy Pond from Doctor Who. Luckily we could wake up properly with a nice cup of coffee in style.
The closer we came to our destination the more characters could be spotted. Having arrived at Utrecht Central Station we followed the crowd of cosplayers towards the Jaarbeurs. There we saw a long line of visitors eager to go in. We broke character as we got excited by the many brilliant cosplays around us, each one more amazing than the other.
After a long wait we were finally inside, but where should we start? There was so much to do and we were glad that we had tickets for both days so we could take the time to enjoy everything.
In the main hall there was a lot to do, from a real life replica of the Batmobile and BumbleBee to an X-wing you could actually sit in and take a picture! Near the entrance, The Ghostbusters theme would blast over the speakers, were a professional cosplay group stood next to the Ecto 1. Next to them stood the one and only Dutch Garrison where you could spot Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren and a 2 meters high Chewbacca!
Of Course there were some stands promoting new games such as the renewed HD version of the Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Pokemon and many others. There was also a big stage dedicated to E-sports, League of Legends and other game related events. We decided to sit down at a Nintendo stand where a still to be released game was on display. After 15 minutes furiously trying to defeat Yokai (Evil spirits) in Yokai Watch, we gave up and continued our journey.
Next to the photo booths where you could take a picture with the guests of Dutch Comic Con, the artist corner could be found. Here you could walk up to you favorite comic book artist and talk to them or even ask for an autograph or drawing.
On the main stage there were all kinds of acts, such as the cosplay competition where the best cosplayers would show themselves off. However there were also panels with actors and creators of popular series, films and games. The actor of Lancel Lannister was present, Lando from Star Wars, and Seth Gilliam from The Walking Dead were there, as well as many other actors and icons. Also, our own Dutch Metal Gear Solid model was present at the DCC.
After hours of walking and strolling through the big and crowded halls of the Utrecht Jaarbeurs building, you’d want to relax a bit. Well, plenty of opportunities there! All day long there were screenings of new FOX series that when then still to premiere on TV. Visitors of the DCC could watch the very first episodes months before they actually got released. This concerned Outcast, a horror series and 11.22.63, set around the death of JFK.
There were so many different activities to enjoy. Honestly, if you were sick of shopping for merch, comics and amazing items or seeing actors; attend a seminar of your favourite writer, play games, interact with people who wear a costume that caught your eye, possibilities were endless.
At the end of the weekend we were stocked with new cool items, had met and seen a lot of people and were enriched with a whole new experience. If you’re ever thinking of going to DCC, whatever edition: Just. Do. It. You don’t have to come dressed or even with a goal of buying things. You won’t regret it. See you there next year!
Picture credit to: Rico Koemans