Published on September 13th, 2017 | by Lucid Belle0
An Amsterdam Comic Con 2017 experience
On the 2nd and 3rd of September, the RAI-Amsterdam transformed into a place where one could enjoy comics, cosplay, the artist alley, panels, a shopping area and the opportunity to meet your favorite actor, actress or writer.
I am a cosplayer myself and have been visiting conventions in the Netherlands for a while now. I have heard mixed reviews about the first edition of Amsterdam Comic con in 2016, so this time I decided to go on the first day of ACC and find out what it’s all about.
Nearing the entrance of the con, you could already see many cosplayers dressed up as someone from their favorite fandom. Spidermen, Sith Lords, Disney princesses and Harley Quinns lifted the spirit before even entering the halls. The convention itself consisted of one big hall, where most of the action happened, and a smaller hall that was dedicated to mostly food trucks and other eating establishments. My first impression of the bigger hall was that the whole con was actually pretty small, as all the events took place in the same hall. The middle paths were dedicated to merchandise stands, where you could buy comics, comic and movie related apparel like hats and t-shirts, wall scrolls, props and American and Japanese snacks.
On the left side of the hall there was room for Deadshot’s shooting range, Back to the Future cars, the Force Academy where you could practice your lightsaber skills, and a showcase of Nightmare on Elm Street props and replicas that were used in the movies. I personally have a deep love for horror movies, so it was great to see these up close. The Tongue phone was a personal favorite.
The artist alley was also in this area. Various Dutch and international artists could showcase and sell their work. It was great to see that each one of them really had a personal style, something that can add to the experience of comic and art lovers. In the back was a small stage for panels with (comic) artists and writers. You could also get your portfolio rated, which I think is a great thing for aspiring artists.
In the back of the hall was room for photo-ops with actors, autograph sessions and the tables of the cosplay guests. In the afternoon there was a cosplay contest, where fans could present their carefully made costume and act. The stage for the cosplay contest, called the mainstage, was actually quite small, more like slightly elevated platform, and if you wanted to watch there was not a lot of room to sit down.
The karaoke and Star Trek Armada photo op was pretty much next to it, so it was noisy, making it hard to really understand what everyone was saying. The contestants were fun to watch though, and an awesome duo of Aquaman and Mera went home with the first place prize.
A small area was dedicated to games. You could play the latest ones, like Tekken 7, as well as some oldschool games from the early days of Mortal Kombat. But also here the space was limited, and you had to wait a bit before you could play as well. I had most of the fighting games at home so I just enjoyed watching others play.
Amsterdam Comic Con is relatively small compared to other conventions (13.000 square meters compared to 39.000 for FACTS for instance). The place was pretty crowded and noisy, especially around the merch booths in the middle of the hall. The program was not that diverse either, but I can imagine that would be the case with having limited place available.
They did have various actors from popular movies and series, which was nice! Pamela Anderson, Carice van Houten and Billy Boyd were a few of my favorite actors I was able to see in the flesh, and that was a nice experience. I also enjoyed talking with artists and cosplayers, something that always adds to my personal con experience. Even though not everyone is positive about ACC, I do see potential for it to grow. Having more different halls with more things to do would certainly make it more interesting for daytrippers and seasoned con visitors alike.