May the force be with you... at the Winter Gardens

Paddy O'Hare and Luke Williams get ready  for Blackpool's Comic Con
Paddy O'Hare and Luke Williams get ready for Blackpool's Comic Con
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Two self-confessed comic book fanatics are hoping to bring some of the biggest names in comics and science fiction film and television to Blackpool.

Paddy O’Hare, 37, and Luke Williams, 29, are the masterminds behind some of the biggest sci-fi conventions in the North West.

And after attending numerous other conventions all over the UK, the Cheshire-based pair have now picked Blackpool’s Winter Gardens as the venue to host a major new event, showcasing all they love best in television and movie fantasy.

ComicCon 2015 is planned for September 12 next year.

The event will see the Winter Gardens decked out with spectacular props, including the classic Batmobile from the original Adam West Batman TV show, the Ecto 1 vehicle from Ghostbusters, James Bond’s Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and even the Weasleys’ Ford Anglia from Harry Potter.

And while they have not confirmed who they are trying to get to appear, the pair are hoping to get stars of films, TV and the comic book world to come along to meet fans.

There will be a whole host of activities on the day including photo shoots, panels, autograph sessions and hundreds of stalls full of memorabilia to browse.

Paddy, a radio DJ, musician and film fanatic, has been collecting movie merchandise since he was a schoolboy.

Talking about the atmosphere of the Winter Gardens venue, he said: “You get the impression here that people really want this thing, there have been conventions here and there and they’ve not really gotten off the ground.

“Cons all kind of repeat a similar pattern, a massive room with a lot of tables and they can be very ‘beige’, it’s like a factory.

“But what we figured with this spectacular venue is that it can be more like a journey or a show, it’s about putting a bit more imagination and thought into it, and creating an interactive experience for fans.”

Luke, an experienced events organiser, said: “For me, Blackpool represents my childhood, I used to visit here a lot, and Paddy did too. His dad is a singer and used to perform here for summer seasons and on the Pier.

“We feel like we want to give something back to the town that we remember so fondly and we will also be raising money for local charity Autism Initiatives Group, along with Make A Wish UK.”

The two are confident that Blackpool ComicCon will not just be for the diehard fans and comic collectors, with plenty on offer for families and free tickets for under-eights.

And with the new train line opening up from London to Blackpool this month, they are to make the event a UK-wide attraction. Go to www.blackpoolcomiccon.com.