Comic Con Copenhagen 2016 – the first ever in Denmark – took place on September 24-25, and it was pretty amazing. Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement!
Even though Comic Con Copenhagen 2016 was the first of its kind, it’s not an entirely new venture for the people putting it together. Last year, it was simply in Malmö (Sweden) instead. So while it crossed the border into Denmark this year, it’s only about 30 minutes from where it took place in 2015.
Still, we were all very excited to have Comic Con Copenhagen in our native Denmark this year, and bought Early Bird tickets the second they were released.
We never asked for press access, because we’d rather go and experience it along with everyone else. And while we do attend press screenings of movies, we prefer to watch any good horror movie with a real live audience. We always prefer to do things as “civilian nerds” instead of professional “press nerds”. After all, we are – first and foremost – people, who love horror and sci-fi. Not some huge website that needs extreme press coverage.
In any case, we had no idea what to expect for Comic Con Copenhagen 2016, when it came to attendence. How many people would want to buy tickets? Would it be half empty? Would there be lots of Cosplayers or just a few here and there?
As it turned out, a lot of people bought tickets, the place was full (beyond, actually) and full of awesome Cosplayers.
The lack of security was down-right alarming!
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. We arrived at Comic Con Copenhagen a little after they had opened, and the line was so damn long. With no idea of what to expect, we started following the the line to get to the end. We couldn’t even see the convention center, when we reached the end of the line. What we did see, however, where lots and lots of happy people, excited to get in. And the glorius Indian Summer was a welcomed surprise, as the last weekend of September can be damn cold – and usually rainy – in Denmark.
Of course, if we hadn’t bought tickets, we could’ve bypassed the line and bought them at the door. Oh yeah, two doors were open: One for the thousands, who had bought tickets and the other for the – relatively and certainly comparatively – few, who wanted to buy access at the door.
But we weren’t going to let this ruin our high spirits. Also, the long line moved swiftly, and we were all entertained by some amazing Cosplayers. Of course, the reason the line moved so quickly became apparent once we arrived at the entrance. And it wasn’t a good one.
Basically, there was no security whatsoever. Sure, there were signs stating that anyone could have their bag searched at any time. But we didn’t see one person getting searched. Most people had purses, backpacks or other kinds of bags with them. It seems insane that no one at least looked into these bags. And then, of course, you have Cosplayers walking around with fake weapons, but since these probably weren’t checked either, it could’ve been real weapons.
This was in Denmark, and we don’t have many problems involving guns or weapons, except for those involving criminals. But Comic Con Copenhagen isn’t a Danish event. It’s and international convention that takes place in Denmark. In fact, most people there were not Danish. Most of them were fans of Alycia Debnam-Carey. Oh yeah!
Commander Lexa drew a crowd from all corners of the world
Now, because Alycia Debnam-Carey (The 100 and Fear The Walking Dead) would be there, we knew there would be a lot of fans. Especially women. And most identifying as somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum.
This is of course due to her role as Commander Lexa on The 100. Her character was killed off – apparently due to Alycia Debnam-Carey’s commitment to Fear The Walking Dead – and this sparked a huge movement with the slogans “Lexa Deserved Better” and “LGBT Fans Deserve Better”.
So, while we were very aware of Alycia Debnam-Carey’s popularity, it clearly wasn’t something the people behind Comic Con Copenhagen 2016 were expecting. Even though no other Comic Con – or any other convention or film festivals had managed to get her to attend. Well, except for San Diego Comic-Con, but of course, that’s like the Comic-Con.
The result was absolute chaos at the Q&A Panel with Alycia Debnam-Carey on day 1. Nobody had any sort of control, and people were screaming out “Stop pushing” from the front of the line. With increasingly panicked expletives attached to the request. Or “front of the line” is wrong, since it was simply a hoard of people.
The only saving grace of this event, were the three Comic Con Copenhagen 2016 crew workers that formed a human wall, when they (finally) started letting people in. This happened just around the time the Q&A Panel with Alycia Debnam-Carey was supposed to begin. These three brave souls were smiling and trying to lift the spirit of everyone passing them. Still, we kept talking about how wrong it all could’ve gone. After all, the Pearl Jam concert at the Roskilde Music Festival (also in Denmark) resulted in several people dying and many getting injured.
Also, the delay resulted in just 30 minutes of Q&A with Alycia Debnam-Carey instead of the full hour. There was a packed program, so really, no way around that one. Still, the Q&A Panel did go very well and Alycia herself was very sweet and funny. The relatively few people, who managed to get a question in, were from all over the world.
There were people from California, Australia, South America, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia and South Korea. The European countries, I would expect, but people from Russia, USA and South Korea was a surprise.
Day 2 was a new and improved Comic Con Copenhagen 2016
On Day 2, the line was looking a lot better. Both for getting into Comic Con Copenhagen and for the Q&A Panel for Alycia Debnam-Carey.
We arrived and could walk right in. Actually, I mean that litterally. We walked right in!
And nobody stopped us.
Not to ask for tickets. Not to look if we had a bracelet – which we did, since we had the yellow Weekend Pass bracelet. And certainly not, just like the day before, to look in our bags or check our pockets. So still, no security whatsoever.
I know Denmark is often proclaimed to be the happiest country in the world, and that’s probably a huge part of the explanation. Unfortunately, this also makes us naive and gullible. Which is strange, because we are allies with the US and take part in every single war they’re in, so it’s not like we don’t know what’s happening in the world.
Anyway, moving on… We had initially wanted to go to the Alycia Debnam-Carey Q&A again on Day 2, but upon finding out that many never made it inside on Day 1, we decided to skip it. However, the line was amazingly organized and everyone was calm and happy.
When we found ourselves near Stage 1, where the Q&A was held, just 10 minutes before it was supposed to start, almost everyone had been let in. We decided to get in line, and after two minutes we got in.
In fact, it never got completely full. Many of the international visitors obviously had to get back home for work and school, so they couldn’t attend on Sunday.
It was delayed at the beginning again, but we were promised a full hour of Q&A and they delivered. Also, this second day Q&A featured a lot more focus on her character from Fear The Walking Dead, so it was two completely different experiences. Day 1 had been very focused on her The 100 experiences.
New Nordic horror short film Zombiehagen was a perfect ending
Honestly, the highlight for us – the thing we were really looking forward to – was Zombiehagen. A Danish horror short film of the zombie variety. First, we watched the 25 minute short film, and then there was a Q&A with director, Jonas Ussing, and the two stars of the movie: Simone Lykke and Casper Sloth.
First of all, Zombiehagen was awesome. All the scenes featured iconic areas such as Copenhagen Town Hall Square and the biggest stadium in our small country. Everyone was left wondering how in the HELL, they had managed to get permission to shoot the short film. Of course, the Q&A revealed that it was all CGI.
We even got to watch the video showing the before-and-after VFX. It was crazy good. This movie was made for very little money, but you wouldn’t know that from watching it.
Of course, director Jonas Ussing is no strange to visual effects. He’s worked on Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the documentary Inside the Human Body.
You can watch both Zombiehagen and the VFX Behind-the-scenes video via VOD.
Watch the trailer for Zombiehagen:
The Q&A featured a lot of refreshing answers about the problems with getting funding for horror movies. Also, when a movie has been made in Denmark, they tend to be ignored here, while the rest of the world is actually interested.
Far too often, it’s only after a Danish horror movie has been screened internationally that it’ll get a chance here. That’s what happened to Shelley, which will finally premiere in Denmark this December. However, this will be the first official screening in Denmark, while the movie has been featured at film festivals in Germany, South Korea, Canada and USA – in fact, it’s been out in limited release and VOD in the US.
New Nordic Horror is a great niche genre, but not one that has a lot of respect in Denmark. These years only filmmakers in Sweden and Norway are getting real support to make these movies, while the Danish filmmakers have to rely on independent producers for funding. Of course, we’re hoping Shelley can help change this, and then we also have very high expectations for Finale, which will be out sometime in 2017. They just wrapped up this month.