Opportunities for cosplay on the continent abound this fall. (iStock)
Many festivals and events are staged throughout Europe, almost alluding to important moments from centuries ago. Apart from these bastions of tradition the world, events firmly held in the present remind us of the global reach of popular culture. There are plenty of opportunities to catch up with the latest screen and video stars, writers, artists, producers and other personalities of the moment when you know where to look for them.
Comic Cons and Cosplay
On 24–25 September, fans of comics, games, movies, TV series, cosplay, board games and other pop culture events will be drawn to two festivals held under one roof in Brussels, Belgium. Heroes Comic Con is dedicated to American and European pop culture, while Made in Asia pays tribute to the event’s Asian counterpart.
Heroes Comic Con offers the opportunity to purchase themed merchandise, play games, participate in Q&A sessions, meet the writers and artists behind the comics, and take a look at the screen sculptures of some of today’s most popular series. For an additional fee, it is also possible to arrange a photo op with the stars present. Actors appearing this year include Caleb McLaughlin, Alyssa Milano, Matt Smith, Emily Swallow, Dan Fogler, Sarah Rafferty and Andy Serkis.
Cosplay activities include on-stage competitions for groups and singles, and everyone has a chance to strut their stuff on the catwalk. Made in Asia’s offerings include a Korean village with K-pop, cooking demos, tattooing, an origami workshop and an introduction to games like Mahjong and Go.
The conference takes place at the Brussels Expo in the Place de Belgic. There are many ticket options available. Prices for a day ticket start at 18.50 euros for a Sunday trip, when purchased online in advance. Door-to-door tickets will also be available, but expect them to cost significantly more. Online: herocomiccon.be
Can’t make it in Brussels? Other Comic Con events this autumn include Vienna Comic Con (Vienna, Austria, October 1-2); Zurich Pop Con and Game Show (Zurich, Switzerland, October 1-2); Comic Con Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland, 8-9 October); Birmingham Anime & Gaming Con (Birmingham, England, 22-23 October); MCM Comic Con Birmingham (Birmingham, England, November 12–13) and Dutch Comic Con (Utrecht, Netherlands, November 19–20). Upcoming comic cons in Germany include the German Vikings Con (Düsseldorf-Neuss, November 5); Comic Con Stuttgart (Stuttgart, 26-27 November) and the German Comic Con Winter Edition (Dortmund, December 3-4).
EGX London is a major trade fair for the gaming industry and the place to be for lovers of video games of all kinds. In addition to trying out the latest titles, visitors can participate in panel discussions, enjoy cosplay shows, play on vintage machines in the retro arena, and experience augmented reality games. Those looking for a career in the industry can get professional advice here.
EGX takes place at ExCeL London until 25 September. Various ticket options are available, including a day ticket at a cost of £26 UK. Online: egx.net
Gamers based in Italy, want to make their way to Milan Games Week and Cartomix, Italy’s largest fair, which offers everything from comics, fantasy fiction, role-playing and board games to cinema, entertainment and gaming, esports and pop in all its forms. Dedicated to culture. Cosplay The event will take place at Fiera Milano Row from November 25-27. Online: milangmesweek.it
The Raindance Film Festival, the UK’s largest independent film festival, gives cinema fans the chance to see what could become the next cult classic. “Pulp Fiction,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “The Blair Witch Project” are some of the American films that have premiered here over the years.
The 30th edition of the festival appears on 26 October–November. 5 in cinemas across the West End, London’s famed entertainment district. The program covers not only full-length feature films but also shorts, web series, music videos and other genres. Tickets will be available or made available through the box offices of the following cinemas: Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Hoxton, Curzon Soho, Genesis Cinema, Regent Street Cinema and Bertha Dockhouse. Online: Raindance.org
Even fans of the horror genre won’t be left out in the cold this autumn. For something rattling down your spine, check out Catalonia’s Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival (Sitges, Spain, October 6-16); Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (San Sebastian, Spain, 28 October–November 4) or Abertoir, The International Horror Festival of Wales (Aberistwyth, Wales, November 15–20 and November 25–27).
The Frankfurter Bookmesse, or Frankfurt Book Fair, is considered the largest book fair in the world. This important meeting place for writers, content creators and publishers will open its doors to the public in the last three days of its run.
From October 21-23, visitors can access thousands of titles along with a wealth of educational material in printed or digital form, including many books in English. Each edition features one country as the guest of honour; This year, Spain has been welcomed. Note that the sale of books is permitted only on the last Sunday of the event. Adult single-day tickets go for 25 euros if purchased online in advance. Online: buchmesse.de