So where to start? Well, I’ve been coming to GFCC for years now, it was the first convention I started going to regularly, although it used to be Collectormania! It is fairly local to me (20 minute car journey) and convenient. It is held in Braehead Arena so the layout has not changed which makes it super easy to find things!
I suppose I’ll start off on a more negative note. This year I wasn’t really feeling it, (not sure if it was not hyped enough, or just my life or whatnot) I only bought my ticket on the Friday night and at that only got a day ticket (would usually get a weekend one). I hadn’t planned much to do, just have a wander and maybe buy a couple of pieces of merch!
Even though I felt a bit meh about it all I had a wonderful day! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed myself this time around. I had zero plans, so took a note (well a picture on my phone) of the talk schedule and had a wander around the stalls. As I arrived at 11am, the first panel I wanted to see was at 11.45am- Ryan Gage. I’ve met Ryan before at Milton Keynes and he was so lovely. His q&a was varied and he discussed The Musketeers, The Hobbit and Red Dwarf to name a few. He was at ease during the whole talk and just comes across as such a decent person! It was after his talk I decided that I would get another autograph from him, making this my third one!! At the auto table he was lovely and commented on some artwork I has purchased. He spoke a little about his Red Dwarf episode, as it was the picture I wanted signed, which was the cherry on top for me! Lovely man!
The Game of Thrones panel was very interesting- I think this is the first one I’ve been to since the show ended so the inevitable ‘who do you think will be on the Iron Throne’ was not asked! It felt strange. Gemma Whelan, Tara Fitzgerald and Kerry Ingram were all present and again, a lovely q&a! They all spoke about times on set, the audition process and just all things Game Of Thrones. After the talks I went to get Tara’s autograph as she has been in two shows I love (GoT and Musketeers) and well, as with Ryan she was just lovely! Got a musketeers print signed and she talked away at the costuming and about her time on set! She just had a lot of time for everyone that came up to her, making it a very personal and enjoyable experience.
The last panel I went to was the Harry Potter one with Devon Murray and Afshan Azad. The feeling of genuine friendship and the tales behind the scenes made my heart happy. Both had some funny stories to tell behind the scenes, as well as how their day to day life was while on set! Even movie stars can get into trouble at school!
Out-with the panels I bumped into one of my D&D buddies and one of my workmates (who I persuaded to come along- she loved it). Both enjoyed themselves as well! I got a couple of things from the stalls (a Castlevania print, LOTR print and some comics). Special shout out to one of the stalls (no idea the name as that would involve having a good memory) for actually have Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus merch- so now an owner of a Camp Half Blood and SPQR Camp Jupiter t-shirt!
Although not a guest for me, I did notice a steady crowd for Christopher Lambert, who is Glasgow’s first Diamond pass if I am right in remembering! Glad to see some more ‘diamond pass’ calibre guests venture up north!
A little side note about the facilities! The food inside the con is pretty rubbish- just one stall selling hot dogs, pies, snacks and some drinks (overpriced as all events are). However, the con itself is right beside the food area of the Braehead shopping centre. Some of the food places had discounts for convention goers as well, which makes it that much better! More money for Merch!!!
There needs to be a little more work in respects to accessibility! There are limitations due to the nature of the building it is in, but the talk areas didn’t have a part that was wheelchair accessible, this could be better. I wasn’t aware of anything else but this is just my experience.
There is plenty of free parking near the convention and a bus station that has frequent buses into Glasgow City Centre. The shopping centre itself is really good with a variety of shops, and it is right beside Soar @ Intu Braehead as well!
There is a couple things I would like to see changed-
• more of a gaming section/ gaming merch ( I assume its really small because of Play Expo)
• using the app for local cons and not just London
• talks on different stages at different times as sound issues caused some problems.
• More of a comic section
but overall a good convention for me. Guests were lovely and had time for everyone. The layout remains pretty much the same, although no signing room at the top this year (I’m assuming as less guests?). There were a good mix of vendors, some new ones and some old faithfuls! I went home feeling happy, satisfied and like I filled my time wisely.