A host of weird and wonderful characters made an appearance at Walsall’s first ever Comic Con.
Thousands of horror and superhero enthusiasts descended on the town hall for the event, with many dressing up for the occasion.
There was even a chance to meet a number of famous faces, including actor Ian McNeice – who starred as Winston Churchill in Doctor Who – Hattie Hayridge of Red Dwarf fame and Welsh actor Ian Whyte, from Game of Thrones and Prometheus.
The stars met with fans, who were charged up to £15 for an autograph from their idols. Hayridge, who played Holly in Red Dwarf, said: “It’s great that Walsall now has its own Comic Con.
“This is an intimate setting and it is a great event for people who have never been to one before and can come and see what it is all about.
“And I really like meeting all the fans,” the 60-year-old said.
McNeice, aged 65, whose impressive CV also includes roles on Doc Martin and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was also pleased to meet his fans.
He said: “The event has been very well attended and I’ve meet a lot of Dr Who and Doc Martin fans.” It was the first Comic Con that teenager Tom Jancso, 13, from Kingswinford, had been to – and he left feeling impressed.
He said: “I was really excited and it’s been amazing. I love Star Wars, the film is iconic and it’s great that everyone comes together and dresses up.”
On the other end of the scale was veteran Comic Con attendee Tessa Isted, from West Bromwich, who said the event was brilliant.
Dressed as Disney’s Cinderella, she said: “We go to lots of these events all over the country. But to have something local is brilliant and is more accessible to those who can’t travel to Manchester or London.
“This has been brilliant, a real mix of ages and a fantastic atmosphere.” Comic Con was organised by Film Geeks. More than 50 traders sold a host of collectables and limited edition comics, figurines and prints worth hundreds of pounds at the event.
Organiser John Gould said he hopes the Comic Con will become an annual event on the town’s calender.
“There was nothing like this in the area and we saw a missed opportunity,” he said. “The fans have come out in their droves and have really embraced it, the costumes are fantastic.”
Around 2,000 people visited Comic Con on Saturday.
Mr Gould added: “Everyone has really enjoyed it and there has been a great range of special guests. All the actors here are current and the trade stalls are very popular.”