13 fantastic pictures of Luton’s first Comic Con - which has been hailed as a runaway success
Luton’s first Comic Con event was a major success.
The project was given the green light by Love Luton in June, and took place on Saturday at Lewsey Farm Community Centre.
Co-Project leader Jamie, who first pitched the idea on Facebook in 2022, said: “It was a runaway success and many people I spoke to myself had no hesitation in expressing their joy of having an event locally that they otherwise would have had to travel long distances for.
“What really made the day even more special, is for us to have the grace of hosting the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Luton Rising Chairman Javeira Hussain, and our two MPs Sarah Own and Rachel Hopkins all under one roof at the same time.”
Deputy Mayor Zanib, who attended the event dressed as Disney’s Maleficent, said: “I chose her as my niece loves the character, I also chose to attend the event as I’m a huge Marvel fan. I love my superhero movies and was excited when Comic Con was announced.
"I’m loving all these events in Luton, it’s showcasing what Luton has to offer, and it’s so good to see everyone coming together to have fun and enjoy themselves. I would love to see more of them.”
Jamie added: “I'm just simply so elated that so many people had a great day out without having to travel as far, despite multiple times that entry to the building had to be halted due to running way above capacity; but, in a sense, it is one of those unusually "good" problems to have. All I can say is... well... I can't thank you enough for putting your belief in this new start-up of a project.
"It's through people's participation and involvement, whether you are simply an attendee, volunteered, or part of the core team, it's you that makes these events the successes that they are. I'm going to be frank here, I was fighting internal tears as the day went on, seeing what started out as, at the time, a "farcical" Facebook post last year, and then for it to transpire into the real thing right before my eyes.
"I would like to extend a special thanks to core team members Kieren Hawken as Event Coordinator and Social Media Manager, Shanaz Sawal as Community Manager, and Sophie Steed for designing our mascot, the andromorphic fox, Hattie. Without their involvement, we wouldn't even get over the line with securing our funding let alone piecing together many of the features that formed part of the day."
Co-Founder Kieren Hawken said: “As I have experience in a wide range of areas such as banking and writing, I took control of the Love Luton application. I submitted it just a day before the deadline, and Love Luton was impressed by my business plan so we got the full grant.
After the application was completed, Shanaz Sawal, who also had some experience with running events, came on board to assist.
Kieren added: “She quickly took up the role of our Community Manager. While I was managing the actual event on the day, Shanaz was the one organizing all the volunteers and the special guests doing talks, etc. - an absolutely huge job that she deserves a lot of credit for.”
Jamie hopes to bring the event back next year. “The biggest change we definitely need to make is that we have to seek out a bigger venue, as Lewsey and the other community centres around town are just too small and simply not built for this type/scale of event; but on-the-whole, we had to start the ball rolling somewhere.
"Now that we, Luton, have something to show that we are ready to join the list of towns and cities that have a "Comic Con" as well, I'm convinced people now those in other parts of the country have one reason more to come and visit Luton."
Here are some pictures from the event.