Now in its 6th year, Dublin Comic Con has established itself as one of the most anticipated events in the Irish calendar. Last weekend saw the first ever Anime Edition of the convention, with more of a focus on all things pertaining to the Japanese animation style. The traditional convention returns to the Convention Centre Dublin this August. However, the allure of all things ‘Geek and Nerd’ is not for everyone. Despite the fact that the event draws an attendance of thousands every year, it is still something of a niche culture in Ireland, particularly outside of the capital.
With this in mind, we decided to send an objective observer to review the convention for the mainstream audience. We sent 21-year-old agricultural science student Sean. A native of County Roscommon, he had never before heard of Comic Con. Armed with a hang sangwich and a bottle of Lucozade, we sent him on his way.
‘It was actually pretty cool when I first went in to the place in the morning’ our man told us with cautious optimism. ‘There was a couple of floors with stalls selling all different types of things like comics, toys, art and drawin’s of mad yokes, and food’.
‘I went up to the second floor where ya could play retro computer games as well as one of the new PS4 games. ‘Not too bad’ I thought to myself. Somethin’ I was a bit more used to yano? Maybe I could just stall the horse and park myself here for the day. I was hoping It’d be the new Farming Simulator, but it was some game called Far Cry or somethin’ like that. ‘Twasn’t bad. More guns than Farming Simulator but less John Deeres’.
One of the highlights of the Con for many people, is meeting the celebrity guests who attend. ‘I was a bit disappointed, ya’, Sean replied, when asked for his thoughts on the calibre of the celebrity guests. ‘They had some fella from Star Trek, a lad who was in The Wire and The Walking Dead, another fella who was in Pokémon or one of those shows that used to be on telly when ya got home from school, and a few others I can’t remember’.
‘There was a load of lads dressed up in ways I’d never really seen before. Although this is Dublin so maybe this is just the way a lot of them do be dressin’ all the time ya know? We excommunicated one of the lads from back home before for wearing skinny jeans. Anyway, they do this thing called ‘coz-play’ where ya dress up as a fictional character. So, I dressed up as a Mayo All-Ireland Winner. Haha. Ah no only messin’’.
‘I was a bitteen hungry in the afternoon, so I was lookin’ around the stalls for a bitta’ somethin’ nice to eat – some Tayto or somethin’. But all I could find was this foreign stuff, like ‘Dagashi’, ‘Onigiri’, and ‘Coffee’’. I actually found a KitKat – the nearest thing to a Dairy Milk there was – but it was green and in Japanese. It actually wasn’t that bad though in fairness’.
‘There’s a fine stretch in the evenings’ our man exclaimed upon exiting the building later that afternoon. ‘Ya it was a lot different to anythin’ I’ve ever to before. Nothin’ like the Ploughin’ that’s for sure’.
We asked Sean how he felt Comic Con organisers could improve on the event. ‘If they want to draw in bigger numbers, here’s a few names for ya: Daniel O’Donnell, Marty Morrisey, Castlerea’s favourite son Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, your man who Played Jim McDonald in Coronation Street, The Morbegs. If they can guarantee even just one of those, I’d consider coming to the next one’.
When asked for his final thoughts on the experience, Sean replied ‘All in all, it was grand. Just not my cupan tae’. However, as our man made to take out a hoody from his gear bag before he walked back to the Luas stop, clearly visible among the extra hang sangwiches were several Pokémon plushies, a copy of Sailor Moon, and a signed picture of Star Trek legend Brent Spiner.
James Simcox – Turbine Writer