Comic book convention brings army of Storm Troopers, Iron Mans, Simpsons and Judge Dredds to Seaburn Centre

Comic Con event at Seaburn Centre, Sunderland - Lucy Butler, 12 (front) with hers sister Grace, 10 and dad Gary, from South Hylton, meet the Simpsons.
Comic Con event at Seaburn Centre, Sunderland - Lucy Butler, 12 (front) with hers sister Grace, 10 and dad Gary, from South Hylton, meet the Simpsons.
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AN army of Storm Troopers, Iron Mans and Judge Dredds descended on the Seaburn Centre for Sunderland’s first comic book convention.

The two-day event, which took place across the weekend, brought together independent illustrators and writers from the North East with invited guests such as Nigel Parkinson, the illustrator of beloved Beano characters such as Dennis the Menace.

Although Wearside already has an annual Japanese animation convention, this event was the first large-scale festival dedicated to comic books.

As well as the classic comic book heroes, it celebrated a new wave of emerging comic artists and graphic novel authors.

Sha Nazir, event producer for organisers Black Hearted Press, said: “We hold a convention every year in Glasgow but this is our first time in Sunderland.

“We have had all ages coming along and many have got dressed up in costume, which is a big part of the convention.”

Glasgow Comic Con is Scotland’s number one comic book festival and one of the top five in the UK.

Sha added: “It would have been obvious to stage this event in Newcastle but it’s more interesting to do it in Sunderland.

“It’s more central for the North East, plus it’s very similar to Glasgow. They are working class areas with a history of industry which has led to a deep-seated desire to make things, whether that be shipbuilding or comic books.

“I’ve worked here before with stage design at the Empire and workshops and I’ve always found it an intriguing place.

“I have a soft spot for Sunderland and I want this to become an annual event here and to put it on the map.”