On the 29th and 30th of June, while Europe enjoyed a heatwave, over 35,000 cosplayers & geeks sought refuge in the chilled halls of Messe Stuttgart to share their love of comics, films and games at Comic-Con Germany (CCON).
As with other European cons I’ve visited (VienCon & Celebration Europe) CCON is used to travelling visitors so provided many panels in English and most staff, guests & stallholders spoke various languages – so if you’ve forgotten all your German school lessons there’s no need to panic!
The actors guest list focused on quality over quantity, I was excited to Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and Karen Gillan. All of the panels were free with plenty of opportunities to ask questions. As a Mantis cosplayer I enjoyed the Pom Klementieff panel – especially when she shared that she enjoyed seeing cosplayers (a few cheers from the other Mantis cosplayers) and intrigued to hear that one of her dream roles would be in a Quentin Tarantino action movie using her kickboxing skills.
There was also a smaller stage for talks with comic artists and cosplayers including Gladzy Kei explaining about how to make cosplay armour, Kit Buss describing how she develops the art for Critical Role and 3D Disney artist Hamid Ibrahim sharing the work he is doing with the comic anthology Kugali and how they are trying to bring African comics to the world. Based in the centre of the main con, there was lots of seating so you could also stop by to chill and expand your knowledge of cosplay and comics.
There was a large cosplay area including a varied mix of international cosplayers to meet plus free & paid for photoshoot booths. Everyone was very friendly and there was such a wide mix of cosplay themes and levels from shop brought outfits to creative duct tape & foam costumes all the way up to finely detailed movie quality replicas.
There were plenty of free photo opportunities including a Star Wars Speeder Bike and Deadpool’s couch. Up on the balcony, you could find numerous impressive displays of Lego models – including some interactive options and huge 27,000 brick mosaic of K.I.T.T showing the German love of The Hoff – there was even a large family section to create your own models.
One event that really set this con apart from any other I’ve been to was the Saturday night after party. The official parties are usually a rather quiet and awkward affair or a messy drunken scrum, but CCon made full use of the convention atrium with a live DJ, music videos and surprisingly strong iced alcopops. The partygoers were there to dance and we arrived to a floor full of synchronised macarana-ing, shortly followed by Loki leading a conga line. The mix of high school disco music, newer pop songs and local favourites include The Hoff’s “Looking for Freedom” (the German’s really do love The Hoff!) kept everyone entertained. Bench seating provided plenty of people watching and seat dancing for those of us with tired feet from the long day.
The party was still in full swing when we stumbled the short distance back to the hotel – which might have explained why, like most cons, Sunday was significantly quieter but that certainly made it easier to shop! There was a mixture of the usual comic con stalls selling Pop figures & Anime items but noticeably more goth/alternative stalls and medieval wares. I saw several interesting handmade items including a selection of plasticised comic books turned in to wallets and 3D papercraft cards (small enough to fit in my cosplay filled suitcase!)
The food was the usual event pricing but there was a wider than normal selection to choose from including various Japanese vendors, German Currywurst, and the usual burger & chips offerings. Plenty of cool drinks and well-needed ice creams were spread out through the con with seating – always useful when melting through your cosplay.
A new addition to CCon was the outdoor medieval market which featured various stalls selling medieval costumes and props along with all kinds of metal and leather products. Swords – both real and foam – were plentiful and there were lots to look at even if it wouldn’t make it home through customs!
There was a wide range of food including pulled pork and crepes to enhance the atmosphere. It was an interesting addition to the con however the heat made it hard to stay outside for too long.
The next Stuttgart CCON will be on July 11th – 12th 2020 and I’ll definitely be booking my tickets again! There are not many cons when you can step off the plane and walk straight to the con (it’s quicker to walk from the Airport to the Messe centre than it is to walk around the back of Excel centre!)
Thank you TxtEva for you review of this. If you want to follow TxtEva, can on her instagram account.