Is there a more dedicated community than that of the comic book fanatatic? Probably not. Especially when you consider that for 362 days of the year, they’re carefully putting together their costumes in preparation of strutting into the next comic con as their favourite superhero or villain.
This weekend, the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) returns to Dubai World Trade Centre where all that hardwork comes to a crescendo. It’s the siren call to the region’s comic book and movie zealots, where seeing Batman in deep conversation with Captain America, or Thor sipping coffee with Superman is commonplace. It really is a fantastic sight.
There’ll be guest turns from your favourite shows and movies, a dedicated video game zone to flex your skills and a tricky escape room to try to get yourself out of. Not to mention the amount of food trucks on standby ready to provide epic portions of fare to hungry heroes. It’s going to be huge, and if you’ve only got a passing interest in the show, you shouldn’t fear.
Like we said, the fan community is completely committed to their comics and films, but they also welcome newcomers with open arms. It’s not one of those exclusive events where you’ll feel out of place. Just suit up and fly straight into the action.
To ensure that you don’t miss out on a single thing, we’ve compiled a handy guide of the five things that you need to see and do at the Middle East Film & Comic Con 2018…
1. Celebrity sightings
No comic con is complete with a host of celebrities to stand and gawp at, and MEFCC 2018 has got a lot. Possibly the biggest of the lot, in both senses of the term, is Kristian Nairn – the popular giant, Hodor from global phenomenon, Game of Thrones. Nairn will be performing a DJ set – yes, you read that correctly –on the WAVO main stage on Saturday April 7, so be sure not to miss it.
And for fans of hit show, Stranger Things, you’ll get the chance the chance to see Natalia Dyer who plays Nancy Wheeler in the creepy series.
Next up is Karl Urban (Star Trek, Thor: Ragnarok and Dredd) who’s basically played more iconic comic book roles than anyone in the universe. Jason David Frank, the original Green Power Ranger, will be hosting a karate class at the show, too. So make sure to bring your gym gear for this one. The Flash star Ezra Miller is also making an appearance, so be sure to pass by on Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7.
And last, but not least, there are the unsung celebrities who work in the background. Comic book royalty, Adam Kubert is coming to town to talk about his run on Wolverine, Weapon X, The Incredible Hulk, Ultimate X-Men and Spectacular Spider-Man. And former The Simpsons artist, Phil Ortiz will be in the house, too.
For a full schedule .
2. Lost in Space premiere
Netflix is hosting a special screening of its sci-fi special, Lost in Space – a remake of the ‘60s cult hit – with fans getting the chance to see the first episode before the official launch in a few weeks. It tells the story of the Robinson family who, in 2046, find themselves crash landing on a mysterious planet without any means to contact home or help. Rather than a big budget special effects showcase like the Battlestar Galactica remake was, Lost in Space relies on slow-burning to push the narrative forwards.
Coupled with the other colonists that soon appear, the Robinsons have to deal with the psychological trauma of dealing with all those around them. If it sounds a bit deep, it’s not relentless, which you’ll be able to tell when you get your sneak-peek.
Brilliantly, the cast of the show will be holding meet and greets throughout the weekend, so you’ll get the chance to have a chat with Toby Stephens (John Robinson), Molly Parker (Maureen Robinson), Mina Sundwall (Penny Robinson), Taylor Russell (Judy Robinson) and Max Jenkins (Will Robinson). You know, before they become super, super famous and stop rolling up to these types of things. Entry to the Lost in Space premiere is free as it comes as part of your MEFCC ticket.
When: 2pm, April 6
Where: ROXY Cineclub
3. Esports Arena
This year’s show introduces a special area that’s packed full of gaming goodness. The hottest game of the moment, Fortnite, will be part of an Esports experience as three lucky audience members will get a chance to play with a pro, while the game’s events are commentated on, just like in the big leagues. Not that competitive? Don’t worry, you can head over to the Laban Up Arcades for a spot of old-school pinball or a spot of retro gaming action. It’ll instantly transport you to a time when games didn’t need VR or high-def 4K TV sets to get you excited.
4. Food and music
With all that marching around the halls, you’re going to work up a hunger. Thankfully, the will take care of your growling stomachs in no time. Opposite the WAVO main stage, you’ll find a selection of culinary offerings that are themed around characters and films such as The Avengers, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Pokemon and the most recent Marvel blockbuster, Black Panther.
Expect your standard takeaway fare such burgers, pizzas and sandwiches, but with, you know, more superhero-y names. And while you’re tucking into all that, you can check out rock and pop sounds of The Boxtones on Friday, April 6. The Dubai-based band will begin their set at 6pm and perform their hits “Against All Odds” and “City of Mirrors” along with setlist of brand new tunes just for those at the show.
It seems fairly obvious, but you your entry fee is worth it just to see the amazing costumes on display. The levels of creativity that these people go to get into character for the big show, is mind-blowing, and often makes them look like they’ve stepped off a movie set or straight out of a comic book. They are that good. You’ll see them as you wander around the show, but if you fancy seeing the best of the best – which of course, you will want to do – head to the WAVO main stage on Friday between 6pm and 10pm for . This will be the main event for those that have spent many an hour perfecting their outfit. Think of it as Paris Fashion Week, but with less gaudy clothing. And if there’s one that you find particularly impressive, you can wait until they jump off stage into the photo area and take home a souvenir Polaroid of you and your new hero.