Comic Con Stockholm Highlights
Early November I flew to snowy Sweden to attend the 2nd edition of Comic Con Stockholm.
On top of a great guest line-up, Comic Con Stockholm had a wide array of exhibitors and entertainment. Video games were a big focus on the convention floor with companies like EA, Bandai Namco and Playstation showcasing their latest titles. I tried out the new Dragonball 2 Xenoverse and had a great time despite having never really played on PS before. Nintendo games are usually more my thing. Sony was also present with a big stand where fans could try many games. Having played Batman Arkham VR at Comic Con Copenhagen, I opted to test Battlezone, developed by Rebellion. While I had fun for some minutes, motion sickness hit me pretty hard very quickly so I had to stop in the middle of it. It took me about 2 hours to recover so I’ll be more careful next time I try VR. Nevertheless, I like that VR technology is more and more mainstream and accessible to a larger audience. I visited the UNICEF booth which also used VR but for marketing purposes this time. They showed a 360° video of a Syrian refugee that put the audience in total immersion. It is a great tool to raise awareness among a different type of audience.
One surprise on the exhibit hall was the possibility to try an escape room. A friend and I tried to decipher all the codes to get in but our Morse skills were lacking a bit. It definitely made me want to try a full scale Escape Room though. There also was a wide array of replicas all throughout the convention floor: R2D2, BB-8, Jabba the Hutt, Terminator, Wall-E… Matt Denton, the engineer who designed BB-8, hosted several panels during the weekend about the Star Wars robots. Kids were also welcomed at the convention. There was a specific Kids’ Corner with activities for all ages. Personally, I quite enjoyed playing Lego Star Wars and the Hello Kitty booth was a big success with all ages.
As I said, Comic Con Stockholm had quite the guest line-up: Ricky Whittle (Mistresses, The 100, American Gods), Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl, True Blood), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter films), Naomi Grossmann (American Horror Story), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) and Chase Coleman (The Originals). All of them had several panels throughout the weekend.
If you ever have the chance to meet Ricky Whittle at a convention, go for it! Seriously, he is one of the nicest people I have ever met and he has hugs at the ready for everyone. During his panels, he showed that he knows how to entertain an audience. He revealed that he would love to play a Disney princess and that he likes to pretend he is Iron Man when he skydives (complete with an on-stage recreation of his skydiving skills). Whittle is mostly known for this role of Lincoln in The 100 but his next project, American Gods, is bound to put him on everyone’s radar. Since most of the audience had not read the book American Gods by Neil Gaimann, he jokingly tried to sell the show by promising the fans that they will see more of him than they have ever seen before and that there is a surprising scene of the character Bilquis eating a man in a very unexpected and interesting way. While he put on 30lbs for American Gods, Whittle lost about 15 during production because of the intensity of the schedule. His character, Shadow Moon, being in every scene was very tiring to shoot. He also recollected some funny moments with the cast especially with Ian McShane who apparently likes to play pranks on set quite often. On Saturday, I sat with him to talk more about American Gods and its adaptation to the small screen. You can watch the interview here. The topic of Lincoln’s fate on The 100 obviously came up as Season 3 is still very fresh in people’s mind. Whittle said that it was sad to see Lincoln go but he was glad that his death meant something to the fans. For him, Lincoln died for no reason. “It was a bad example to set for the young audience. Lincoln was a good model. […] He was one of the only characters on The 100 who didn’t go against his morals.”
I do not watch American Horror Story because I find it too scary but a friend of mine likes the show so I went along with her to Naomi Grossman’s panel. Grossmann is a theater actress and it shows: she is very expressive and clearly loves to delight the audience with funny stories. While she did say that there was no plan for her character Pepper to return to AHS at the moment, she joked that she had a mortgage to pay and that fans should ask the producers to have her back on the show.
Most of the people coming to see Mehcad Brooks were more familiar with his older roles in True Blood or Necessary Roughness. Nevertheless, Brooks shared his excitement at being cast in Supergirl, becoming Guardian and noted that the role of James Olsen gave him a lot of hope regarding diversity on television. For him, just because it was done a certain way in the 70’s (as in Jimmy Olsen being white) does not mean that it cannot be different now. I had the chance to talk more in depth with Brooks about his storyline as Guardian as well as representation in the TV landscape. You can listen to the interview here.
With the success of the Harry Potter franchise, Jason Isaacs was the most recognizable guest during the weekend. Isaacs brought his British humor to the stage. He started his panel by pre-answering common Harry Potter questions that he always gets asked. Isaacs likened Lucius Malfoy to the next president of United States saying: “Lucius Malfoy is a racist, like the one that is running for President at the moment. He was full of fear, anger and afraid of the future”. For Isaacs, his job was to make clear how awful Draco’s upbringing was and that Lucius was incapable of love. While he does not like playing villains, he plays them as human beings and tries to find flaws in them.
In between panels, geek shopping, taking pictures and trying out new video games, I put on my inflatable dinosaur costume once again and roamed the alleys of the convention. It was lot of fun and I made many friends: Hello Kitty, some sort of yellow fluffy cat, Superman and even the Swedish army, who tried to make me fit in their truck (I could not go further than the head)!
I had a great time at Comic Con Stockholm. Everything ran smoothly with little time spent in lines and a lot of interesting things to experience. If you’re in Europe next year, make sure to stop by this convention!
FroggyFroggy holds a Master of Science degree in Marketing and Management from Dauphine University in Paris. She currently resides in Northern Germany where she works in the Space Industry. On top of covering conventions across Europe for The Geekiary, she’s a sports photographer for Our Game Magazine.