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We caught up with Peter Hvass from the organising team of Cyprus Comic Con 2015 and got an insight into this years event...
1. August 2014 was the first Comic Con in Cyprus and it was a huge success - did you expect it to be such a success?
We honestly thought that our initial estimate that perhaps 1000 people would show up was the absolute best case scenario. When at least 3000 (some say 5000) people ended up showing we were humbled and entirely blown away. It’s a dream come true.
2. What was the biggest problem you faced on the day of the event last year?
The lack of space! Our venue was simply too small. We managed somehow - it definitely wasn’t comfortable! This was the number one thing people brought up in their responses to our feedback form. Many other factors were brought up such as a better cosplay stage show, better air conditioning, more variety of food/drink, leaflets containing schedule & floor plan. I’m pleased to say that we’re addressing all of the above and more for this year’s event!
3. When did you start planning for Comic Con 2015 and what have been the things that you have done different this year as far as organisation is concerned?
Early proceedings began a few weeks after CCC2014 though we really started to pick up the pace in January. Beyond responding to all the amazing visitor feedback a core difference is that the size of our team has increased - we’ve maintained a dynamic of organised chaos which lets us move quickly and with very little bureaucracy or politic involved. Another is that we are already taking notes and making movements towards CCC2016!
4. You have moved to the Filoxenia Conference Centre this year – do you think that this will be big enough for the event?
We’ll know on the day! Filoxenia is ideal in that it is an actual and proper conference centre with all the mod cons that go with that. It’s a venue that feels almost familiar having visited other conventions taking place at similar style locations. The actual floor space this year has increased five-fold. Our corridors are at least twice as wide in the main hall and we have dedicated spaces for video gaming, table-top gaming, lectures, workshops, our short film festival and fringe festival!
5. Tell us what we can expect at Cyprus Comic Con 2015.
Just more of everything. The related communities, companies and industry in Cyprus have shown growth since last year. There are old players getting involved who didn’t last year. There are new players who have sprung up in the wake of Cyprus Comic Con 2014. On top of that everyone is more experienced and aware of the incredible demand we have here in Cyprus going into this year’s convention. The best way to answer this question is just to direct you to our website over at cypruscomiccon.org - we’re posting everything there!
6. Will there be any special guests at the event? Is it going to be an all day event?
We’re expanding our guest roster from 1 to 6 this year! Incredibly happy to be welcoming Neil Gibson of T Pub back again - he has been a staunch and stalwart supporter of Cyprus Comic Con. The other 5 names will be dropping very soon on our web site! I’m also pleased to say we’ve already begun some special guest conversations for 2016. This year it’s a true all day event - from 9a.m till 9p.m with an after party to follow into the early hours of the next morning. Last year we closed our doors at 7p.m and cosplayers and visitors were still arriving at a really fast rate so we figured at the very least we need to expand hours for this year and perhaps look at other more flexible options for years to come.
7. Who can and should attend Comic Con 2015?
Everyone. Whether you’re a hardcore geek, gamer or otaku or just freshly whet your appetite and cut your teeth on the latest Avengers movie. Young or old and totally regardless of background. This event is the most open and expressive of its kind in Cyprus and we are proud and determined to keep it that way. There’s something for absolutely everyone here and if you don’t find it then come talk to us and we’d be more than happy to help you get started creating it.
8. What makes Cyprus Comic Con such a success?
Cyprus has been long due its own comic convention and being a non-profit NGO turns this into a total labour of love for everyone involved. The pure passion and dedication of all involved in putting this together in what would otherwise be their family, gaming, quality or other down time is truly something to behold. And it’s never enough - everyone wants to see this grow far beyond its current recognizable state. The core audience here has been underserved for generations - there’s this pent up fiery desire to see this happen and to really see it kick some serious ass. This bleeds from so many different sources - oppressive or misunderstood childhoods, people feeling like no one understands them or that they can’t find friends, a gaming community that has, at times over the past two decades been hugely toxic and faltered when it was just finding its feet time and time again. A measurable amount of the core audience has spent so much time shut up in doors on the internet hiding away from the world outside. I’m speaking from experience. This is something that simply MUST succeed.
9. How does Cyprus Comic Con rate against others around the world?
With this year’s convention I believe we’re reaching the scale of other small to medium regional events. We’re covering all the bases now - we just need to see the industry here grow and to keep stimulating interest from countries beyond to keep adding more content and legitimacy. I have very high hopes for the growth of our collective love child - some tough love and a bit of pampering and it’ll grow up and stand up proud among conventions. We’re hoping it becomes a firm and fast destination on every convention goer’s calendar at the very least in the surrounding region.
10. A few final words about Cyprus Comic Con 2015…
Climb into a silly hat or some cosplay, turn your screens off, get up off the sofa, skip a day at the beach, you can finish that game another day, books can be friends but so can humans, power down your consoles, charge up your Game Boy/DS, big smile on your face and mosey on over to Filoxenia on the 29th August. We’ll be there waiting for you. One of us!
You can see some photos from last years Comic Con HERE
Peter Anders Hvass was born in Cyprus in 1987 and soon became more than a little obsessed with his NES, arcades and comics. Today it’s 2015 and not much has changed except he has a little less time to play games and read books, comics and manga thanks to his full time coding job and Cyprus Comic Con duties. The in-between was a blur of confused classmates, few friends, Pokemon TCG in the library, failing to successfully lead a Counter-Strike clan, managing to complete his Masters in Computing, trying not to play another MMO for so long that he almost passed out, partying hard at cosplay club nights, pretending he could play Magic, ruing the day he threw away his big box versions of Monkey Island, Dungeon Keeper and Fallout and wishing he had time for D&D as well as just one more Final Fantasy 7 playthrough. Also Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gintama.www.cypruscomiccon.org