Sheffield Comic and Film Fair paves the way for the next generation of superhero fanatics

Hundreds of comic collectors descended upon the city to visit the Sheffield Comic and Film Fair.

The fair, which was hosted by Golden Orbit, was held at the Showroom in Paternoster Row on Saturday, and gathered the attention of both rookie and veteran comic-fanatics alike.

Comic Fair in Sheffield

The fair featured a variety of stalls selling a range of comics, figurines and memorabilia.

Simon Walker, 49, a Northern-Irish comic-trader from Liverpool, said: “Things people buy here are very different to Birmingham. People here are looking for filler for their collections; in other places people tend to look for more expensive books.”

He added: “Birmingham last time was rammed; Sheffield has a better buying experience where people can take their time and search at their leisure.”

John Wright, owner of Regeneration Comics, has been collecting for 50 years, and said he got into comic collecting when his grandparents gave him a box of their old comics.

John, 60, said he once owned a copy of X-Men Vol. 1, which he sold for £200, though it would be worth almost £5,000 now.

“I’ve sold many comics that broke my heart to sell, and stuff has gone up over the years,” he said. “I once bought a Fantastic Four Vol.1 for £20 at a car-boot, and sold it for £2,000.

“I hate online trading, it’s not me at all. I like to have a laugh; you can’t get any conversation out of a monitor.”

Novice traders Mick and Kerry Williamson have been married 25 years and have only been trading since September.

Kerry, 44, labelled differences in gender at fairs and conventions. She said: “You get mainly male collectors, but the ones that have cosplay tend to attract more girls. You enjoy the people, and everyone gives you tips.”

Nowadays, the bigger comic conventions, such as MGM, are considered simply too expensive to do. Pete Smith of Pete’s Comics, said: “Conventions are pricing themselves out. At the NEC, it can be upwards of £1,200 for a table, it used to be a lot better.”

The 64-year-old added: “We’re seeing a definite resurgence in the newer generation now because of all the movies, the younger generation are becoming more interested.”

The fair gained the attention of Sheffield independent writer and illustrator, Andy J. Clarke, who promoted his graphic novel “FLUX”, which he began in 2018. Andy compared Sheffield to other events, saying: “At the larger venues and events, you kind of get lost amongst all the other vendors, but even if we’re not making sales, we always have a lot of interest in the artwork.”

Written by Aaron Byrne

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