13 May 2014
UCLan students organised Preston’s first comic and sci-fi convention
Fans of all things sci-fi and comics came out in force to support Preston’s first comic-con event.
The free comic/fantasy/sci-fi convention was “a celebration of everything nerdy” and saw the Harris Library awash with ‘cosplay’ – meaning fans were dressed as their favourite superheroes and sci-fi characters.
Talk Nerdy To Me was the brain child of two University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) English literature and education undergraduates who were given the task of getting more young adults through the doors of the city’s main library.
Joint organiser Gary Cartwright, from Preston, said: “We wanted people to indulge their geekdom without fear of mockery and many people did. Lots came along in cosplay, took part in the free events and enjoyed spending time with fellow comic and sci-fi fans.”
The 27-year-old added: “Comic-cons are very popular at this moment in time, especially with the late teens early 20s age group that we were asked to engage with. But we also know there are comic book fans of all ages out there so we were delighted they came along and joined in the fun.”
“This was a first for Preston but the reaction we got was encouraging and has made people think it could become a regular event.”
Fans browsed comic books, visited memorabilia stands, played sci-fi computer games, watched comic and sci-fi films, listened to a selection of talks and joined in with specialist debates.
Fellow organiser Jessica Senior, who is 20 and from Rochdale, added: “This was a first for Preston but the reaction we got was encouraging and has made people think it could become a regular event.”
Victoria Todd, Assistant Manager of the Harris Library which is part of Lancashire County Council's Library Service, commented: “Talk Nerdy To Me was a great success and attracted over 400 visitors. The Harris Library has never hosted anything like this before and the event did a fantastic job of getting many young people through the door who have already expressed an interest in coming back for another comic-con event next year.
“The level of professionalism shown by Gary and Jessica exceeded our expectations and I’d love to work with UCLan again on future projects.”
UCLan Senior Lecturer in English Literature Dr Helen Day said: “The students have really tapped into something here and used an academic module (Live Literature Project) to run a real-life project that clearly captured the imagination of many. People of all ages attended the event and I’m sure it is just the start of comic-con in Preston.”