While organizing a POP culture event in a small country like Portugal, one must consider several important factors that might ruin everything… Localization, guests and facilities need to be carefully planned… And for an event occurring for the first time, these factors are crucial. Now, I must say I wasn’t present in the first day of the event (due to college work) and that it was impossible for me to attend Natalie Dormer’s panel due to the amount of people present in that day. Comic Con Portugal allowed everyone to meet some of the stars of TV shows like Game of Thrones, DaVinci’s Demons and Arrow alongside with some interesting people from the world of Comics. There was also room to experiment some new games and to be introduced to new and interesting projects made in our country.
With several auditoriums and a special exhibit by SyFy channel in which everyone could see props from some of the most well-known movies in film history, there was room for everyone in Exponor during this weekend. If you weren’t interested in the main attractions, there were several small shops where you could buy merchandising from your favorite TV shows and Comics and there was also room for gamers with some Arcades, consoles, computers and an area completely dedicated to trading card games.
Star Wars was represented in a quite enthusiastic way, with cosplay and parades taking place and parents were invited to bring their kids into a special section of Comic Con dedicated to the younger minds who also want to be superheroes. With some great cosplay in the middle, Comic Con Portugal surprised me a lot and for the way the crowd reacted to most of the events I must say that this was a successful first edition.
On the panel of the TV show DaVinci’s Demons the crowd cheered with enthusiasm while Tom Riley, Blake Ritson and Elliot Cowan were confronted with some unusual questions and requests. Like most of the guests they mentioned how good our food and wine was and they shared some of their stories on the set. Tom Riley mentioned that in the next season, no one is safe, not even Leonardo, thanks to a decision he has to make in the first episode and a preview of the next season was shown during the panel. Following the fun and exciting panel of Tom, Blake and Elliot was Clive Standen from the TV show Vikings. Clive told a funny story about his younger son who has never seen the show and that after being at the set started believing that his dad’s work was to be covered by caramel.
I also attended Paul Blackthorne’s panel which was focused on his role in the TV show Arrow. Just like most of the guests, Paul was funny and answered some interesting questions (in this case concerning his daughters in the TV show and his opinion regarding the world of superheroes). Paul ended up being the face of the event since he was there every single day signing autographs and talking with some of his fans.
I also had the chance to watch a panel dedicated to one of the most irreverent Portuguese TV shows ever made, Odisseia, that I advise you to watch because it’s really funny. In the panel Gonçalo Waddington and the producers mentioned the lack of support from our TV public network that spends lots of money in things that don’t benefit our society. A funny and interesting panel that covered Bruno Nogueira and Gonçalo’s funniest moments on set and that made clear the state in which our public TV network currently is. Gonçalo Waddington was also present in a panel dedicated to the up-coming Portuguese film Capitão Falcão which was supposed to be a TV series in the beginning but that was then “rejected” by our the same network I mentioned before and that thanks to the support of thousands of fans is back on track! Captião Falcão follows the story of a superhero working for the Portuguese dictator António Salazar and who defeats the “evil communists” in a reckless, irreverent and funny adventure. The director announced in the panel that both the production and the distributor are trying their best to release the movie in April 25th, a very special date in Portugal.
So yes, after saying all these things, I think I can conclude that the whole event was successful even though there were too many lines and even though it was clear that the organization was not ready to face the thousands of visitors that appeared on Saturday. The event was an amazing experience and the 3-hours train trip to Oporto was well worth it. From the good atmosphere in the city to the amazing panels, Comic Con Portugal brought lots of people to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and allowed its visitors to meet some of the actors from the TV shows they like. An unforgettable experience that I really hope to repeat next year and that ended with a great way, as you can see in this picture of me and some of my friends alongside with the cast of DaVinci’s Demons in the middle of a street.
For those of you who want to visit Oporto, this is a great way to be part of an amazing experience while at the same time you can taste our great food and wines! Comic Con Portugal… Where everyone can be a superhero!