Sgathaich: Comic Con Scotland North East 2023

3 Cosplay figures frpm Star Wars with the central figure a child holding Rowlet
Image credit: Sgathaich

Over this last weekend I was at Comic Con Scotland North East at P&J Live, in Aberdeen. I had planned to go last year but bad weather cancelled the boat I was going on (a standard risk for us in the cold north). However, I had been to the Comic Con down in Edinburgh back in 2019 so this was not my first time.

I am very grateful to the friends that got me the tickets to go.

The journey down was smooth but then you have the problem of finding something to do till I could check into the hotel. Main plan was Aberdeen’s Art Gallery but after a while I decided to hunt down some nerd shops in Aberdeen. See if I could find one that sold stuff from the Digimon Card game, and indeed I did find one and, in the back, had people playing the game, I joined in. Bringing my main deck turned out to be a good decision as I was for the first time able to get proper games played, won games, lost games, key thing was fun.

But anyway onto the convention itself.

Walking through the doors you instantly feel the sensation of people’s passions. To my right were people selling Lightsabers and in front was signed merch, but this was just the opening area, not the main convention section.

Into the main convention area you lay witness to many stalls, artist and collectors selling goods. Some people selling things they made like Pokémon terrariums, others selling collectables and the likes of various nerd properties. At one area you had the many guest celebrities there. Later on, they would get on stage and give talks and answers to the fans but for now they were there for people to get autographs and photos taken. The 5th,6th,7th and 8th doctors were there. My friend got a bunch of autographs early on from the classic doctors. I however had plenty of time to burn so I decided to first just look through the various stalls, see what was there and what I may buy.

2 girls dressed in Cosplay outfits. One holds Rowlet and One a plushie
Image credit: Sgathaich

But one thing I was going to enjoy was the sight of the many cosplayers. Cosplay is people dressed up as various characters from shows, games and anything. In 2019 I had on a whim taken my Rowlet with me and had begun taking pictures with him/her in it rather than myself, so I decided to continue that trend. If I saw a good Cosplay, I would ask them if I could get a picture with them and the Rowlet, something I’m happy to say the cosplayers were very happy to do, really liking the concept. Those people put lots of work into their cosplays and the various pictures you can see show that. I kept taking pictures of Cosplayers with the Rowlet for both days. Funnily enough while I missed the Cosplay contest as I was having a break in the hotel for a moment, I had taken a picture of the person who went on to win, it was Iron Man.

Another thing I liked to do was listen to those talks from the guests. I find its best to get a seat early, this doubles as also giving my feet a good rest. First up was Sean Pertwee who not that long ago played Alfred on Gotham. I watched as people asked him questions including ones related to his experiences being the son of Jon Pertwee. I would have asked about that, but felt better if people asked about him rather than his father. Second was Nolan North a name I instantly remembered for one very important reason. When it came time for questions, I asked him what it was like being the first person to give voice to Deadpool, I’m happy with the answer. But I was also quite happy hearing in his talk that he far more understood why adapting a video game into a movie was difficult and why.

By the end of the first day I had one last thing I wanted to do, someone I did want an autograph from and meet. For well 30 years ago a show came on. In 2019 I had a chance to meet someone that was in that show but sadly passed away last year. I didn’t want to miss out again. So, I got in queue, waited and then got to meet Walter Emanuel Jones the original Black Power Ranger. He brought out his morpher. I brought out the Rowlet and holding it out like him and we both went “ITS MORPHING TIME!”

Large man with Rowlet and the Black Power Ranger with his morphing shield

Day two was much more relaxed, day one had been sold out after all. I had already achieved what I had intended to in day one, even some nice pieces of art. So, it was more photo taking… but I did indulge myself and bought a keyblade (wonder what people thought of me taking that on the boat back up). So, it was more cosplay photos with the Rowlet then sat down to listen to another guest talk Dante Basco, you may remember him recently as the voice of Prince Zuko though the image displayed with him was of a far earlier role, that of Rufio in Hook. He talked about that role and how it was a strange one for him, first time he played a character that died, I remembered that part of the movie very well. I found his talk very powerful as he spoke on being part of Avatar which became such a big series to people, how people came up to him and said how the show helped make their generation ( Avatar the last Airbender is a really good show you should watch it) I very much enjoyed the talk.

After that there was one thing I wanted to see before  heading out to go on the return journey back north, watch the cosplay masquerade, all the cosplayers that had the confidence to get on stage. For the younger cosplayers that was quite the achievement, and one I definitely could not do, they were rewarded with sweets from a Mandalorian as a thank you. And so, I sat for a whole hour as people got on stage, some just showed the outfit, some did a little act, some were individuals others were groups. And then at the end they all got on stage, managing to fit. After that the Mandalorian threw the remaining sweets into the audience and as one flew overhead my arm shot up and grabbed it in the air… a moment later I realized that was one of the most dramatic things I’ve done and no one was there to record it, drat.

So did I enjoy the comic con? Yes. The problem for me is never the con, it’s getting to it that’s the issue. Those long Kirkwall to Aberdeen boat rides can really take their toll, Monday I was so worn out I had difficulty moving. But would I go again? well maybe, always depends. But I do have an idea about what I could do, sure still bring the Rowlet, it’s kind of what I do now. But I do have something I’d like to wear. No nothing as elaborate or amazing as the Cosplayers I saw but, well there was an article or two about a certain Lego franchise with Masks.. maybe I could make one.

And here’s a wee film :

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