PUBLISHED 12 AUG 2016
WE all have our favourite screen stars but the odds of meeting them in real life always seems so slim. But that is what Comic Con makes possible.
A Comic Con or Con is an event that provides the opportunity to meet stars from television, film and comics all in one place. This usually then involves events such as photo shoots, cast and crew panels and autograph sessions alongside stalls of memorabilia to browse and purchase. Cons have sprung up around the world with one of the largest being San Diego Comic Con. There are even Cons dedicated to a single show, for example Walker Stalker Con is dedicated to THE WALKING DEAD (ROBERT KIRKMAN 2010-).
When I attended London Film and Comic Con earlier this summer, I managed to get photos taken with actors, get a POP! Vinyl figure signed and attend the Jeremy Renner panel: Marvel’s Avenger Hawkeye. As a fan of the Marvel cinematic universe, this experience was like meeting a hero. Renner discussed how he developed his character for THE AVENGERS (JOSS WHEDON 2012), providing an insight into actor choices and the importance of preparation even for what might be perceived — as a man with a bow and arrow and no real powers — as one of the most boring Avengers. Instead, Renner used this as his motivation.
I also met Jon Heder, who plays the titular character in NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (JARED HESS 2004), and asked him about his approach to the infamous dance scene. He explained that he just performed it from the heart in one go, really just doing whatever came naturally to him. I also met Jamie Harris, Gordon in Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (JOSS WHEDON 2013-) who, over a drink, chatted at length about his career, what it is like to work on AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., who he has enjoyed working with most and his most recent projects.
Comic Cons are big business with major film and television companies attending with exclusive trailers and teasers. But Cons are also a celebration, a celebration of fan culture. Gone are the days when fans of comic-book superheroes kept their joy to themselves for fear of being taunted. Now there is a sanctioned space for their mass enjoyment. With unique opportunities such as these, Comic Con impacts the relationship between audience and screen and is a reminder that the actors and crew are real people who love what they are doing as much as we love seeing them do it. It makes film and television a physical, tangible experience for the fans and, for that reason, the experience is priceless.