Fan conventions date back to the 1930s. The first conventions were gatherings of science fiction fans. The number of conventions began to increase dramatically in the 1970s after the emergence of San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC, originally known as the Golden State Comic-Con). Modern fan conventions don’t focus solely on science fiction or comic books, they present a wide range of pop culture elements. Most of them, including the Wales Comic Con, are modeled after SDCC.
The Wales Comic Con is managed and produced by the events management company Mercury Promotions. The event is designed as a meeting point for pop culture fans from all over Wales and other parts of the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to all aspects of modern popular culture such as comic books, films and television shows, science fiction and fantasy, video games, anime and manga, music, sports, etc.
The program of the Wales Comic Con is similar to that of other pop culture conventions. It features panels, autograph sessions and professional photo-ops with celebrity guests, Q&A panels and workshops, a cosplay masquerade, gaming tournaments, and more. The convention also hosts a variety of exhibitors and vendors selling various memorabilia and merchandise.
The convention is traditionally concluded by an aftershow party that features bands playing live music and standup comedians. The bands that have played at the Wales Comic Con include Blue Gillespie fronted by actor Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwood) and Beecake fronted by actor Billy Body (The Lord of the Rings trilogy).
Every Wales Comic Con features well-known actors, filmmakers, athletes, cosplayers, comic book artists and writers, and other special guests from the United Kingdom and abroad. For example, the 2016 convention (autumn edition) featured James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Torchwood), Callum Blue (Smallville), Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones), Josh Herdman (Harry Potter), Freya Tingley (Once Upon a Time), and others.