Sunnycon draws thousands of anime and manga fans to Sunderland

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THOUSANDS of comic book fans descended on Sunderland’s seafront for an annual convention over the weekend.

The third Sunnycon gathering was held at the Pullman Lodge Hotel in Seaburn.

Trading card games took place, memorabilia and video games stalls put on and demonstrations acted out, with most people turning up in fancy dress.

Organiser Michael Tuckwell, who is chairman of Sunnycon, said: “It just keeps growing year-on-year.

“We were looking at putting it on at the Seaburn Centre again but that didn’t happen.

“So we’ve managed to build our own marquee at the back of the Pullman and it’s worked really well.

“There have been a number of things like this in Newcastle but they’ve only run for one year, whereas we won awards last year from fans’ blogs which shows how popular it is.

“We expect that we’ve had 2,500 people in over the whole weekend.”

As well as celebrating the best of Japanese manga comics and anime films, actors J Michael Tatum and Quinton Flynn also managed to pull in the crowds.

Tatum is known as being the voice of Sir Hammerlock from videogame Borderlands 2, while Flynn featured in the popular Metal Gear Sold video game series as the voice of Raiden.

Both actors have also done much anime voice acting work.

Some fans had travelled almost the length of the country to be part of the fun, with pals Georgina Cullis-Jones and Jaz Cooper coming up from Devon to Wearside.

Jaz, who was dressed as Selene from the Underworld film series, said: “We’ve come up on the bus but it has been worth it. We’ve been to other conventions in the south and decided to try this one. So what if it is far away from where we live? It’s been cool.”

Sunderland man David Golden had fewer miles to travel, coming to Sunnycon from his Monkwearmouth home dressed as a Dragonball Z character.

“It’s my third convention and although I’ve gone dressed before, I decided to up the ante this year,” said the 22-year-old.

“Sunnycon gets a lot of people in and it’s getting more respect from the fandom each year.”

Staff from games developer Konami put on a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament, gamers battled it out at computer stations, while artworks based on manga characters and films were also bought and sold over both Saturday and yesterday..




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