The costumed masses at the Dutch Comic Con
Last month saw 30,000 self proclaimed geeks and misfits descend on Utrecht. A hundred spider-men; a thousand Harley Quinns; enough Mario and Luigis to fix the plumbing of the Titanic; and one person who apparently forgot and just threw a sheet with a couple of eye holes over his head last minute.
Dutch Comic Con is now in it’s third year, and much like the sub-cultures it represents, it continues to grow in popularity.
‘There are other con’s in Rotterdam and Amsterdam but this is the main big event of the year’ says the little Mermaid, reclining by a fountain in the Jaarbeurs convention centre entrance. Staying in character is a point of pride for many of the costumed visitors, or cosplayers at Comic Con. The Little mermaid—sometimes known as Susanna—was particularly impressed with the scale of this year’s event, ‘It’s bigger and there’s more to do more stands, everything’s more’.
Anyone for a samurai sword?
These stands The Little Mermaid speaks of are indeed numerous. Stands representing Sci-fi and fantasy fan societies, from Doctor Who to The Walking Dead, and of course Star Wars and Trek; stands of 3D printers showing off their ability to make tiny cathedrals; and amongst the myriad comic book and merchandise stands you might even find a hobbit treating himself to a samurai sword or two Disney princesses thinking about investing in an authentic Harry Potter wand.
‘This year we’ve also got speed dating and a whole gaming hall that’s been very popular’ said Thijs van Teinen one of the event co-ordinators. He explains that the popularity of this ever expanding Comic Con has even spawned a winter edition, although disappointingly he stopped short of saying ‘winter is coming’.
Apart from the simple joys of seeing Khaleesi from Games of Thrones dancing with a giant egg on at the Saturday night fever silent disco, the event had celebrity appearances—notably Lennie James who plays Morgan in The Walking Dead—as well as lectures, performances and a cosplay competition. To mention some of the highlight.
However, what gives events like Dutch Comic Con their bizarrely brilliant soul, is the sea of costumed fans, proudly geeking out in the uniquely judgement free bubble that exists within this community. A Spiderman—first time cosplayer Jurgen—explains it best, ‘when you’re going from home to here it’s a little bit strange because everyone is looking at you like ‘he’s crazy’ but when you’re here it’s normal’.