Last weekend, the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht was once again transformed into a place where Pop Culture lovers from all genders and ages came together to celebrate their fandoms in true Christmas style. It was the Christmas themed Dutch Comic Con: Dutch X-Mas Con. This year the organisation managed to get some great guests to attend; most notably Jason Isaacs who portrayed Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived at the convention was that it was considerably smaller than the edition held in March. This wasn’t surprising considering the fact that another Fantasy convention was held that very same weekend. I assume many people who prefer fantasy chose to attend that convention instead. That did not spoil the fun for us. Upon entering the hall, we walked right into Whoville, the fictional village that appeared in the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was very well done and it immediately got us into Christmas spirits!
There weren’t as many stands at this edition and also not as many merchandise stalls, but that did not matter. There was an ice-skating area and various food stalls. You could try your hand at singing some karaoke (which we did. A beautiful rendition of Don’t Stop Me Now which probably would have made Freddie Mercury proud. If he were tone-deaf). Fox also had a stand which allowed you to take great photos while you were pretending to run from zombies and another one where supernatural stuff was flying around your head. Good fun! Also, there was a stand with 3D printers and I spent quite a while looking at those with great fascination. I really want one although I don’t know why but just give it to me.
Another area was decked out with many merchandise stands. Although the stands were significantly smaller than the ones at the March Comic Con, there was still enough to see and to buy. In between my photographing duties, I bought a Gryffindor scarf, a Hulk mug for the boyfriend and a collector’s edition of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Anansi Boys. Apart from that, I’ve managed to keep my bank balance mostly in tact.
There were some great cosplayers, which I spoke about in this article. I think it is great to see the amount of time and effort people put into these costumes as a way to show their devotion to a certain character or series. I wish I was as capable as these people are, but I’ve already mentioned that about a million times so I will not mention it again (still jealous).
This edition certainly set itself apart from other editions in the sense that they managed to attract some pretty big names. Lee Arenberg, from Pirates of the Caribbean and Once Upon a Time; Sibel Kekilli and James Cosmo from Game of Thrones; Steven Williams and Samantha Ferris from Supernatural and of course Jason Isaacs from Harry Potter. Apart from that, there were writers and artists, such as PinkStylist and the famous Dutch writer Paul van Loon. The latter is responsible for giving me many traumas back when I was a child.
Dutch X-Mas Con Panels
I attended a couple of panels and I found it interesting to hear the stories these people told. Many of the guests were very funny and kind to the people asking questions. I particularly enjoyed the panels of Paul van Loon, because I used to read his books when I was much younger. It was interesting to hear about his perspective on writing, especially as a writer myself. The other panel I enjoyed a lot was the one of Jason Isaacs. Of course because I am a massive Harry Potter fan and he portrayed an excellent Lucius Malfoy, but also because he is an amazing storyteller and very funny.
All in all, I had a wonderful time and am very excited about the next edition in March.