As a secret geek, this is an event close to my heart. The Vienna Comic Con is a chance to spend two days immersed in the worlds of fantasy, science fiction, film, comics, and much, much more. Don’t forget your lightsabre.
Read on for event details and visitor tips and then check out my personal experiences.
- Huge international convention with star guests from the film, TV, gaming & comic worlds
- Recent guests included Sean Astin, Alex Kingston, and David Bradley
- Other highlights include top-level cosplay and eSports competitions
- 2020 dates are November 21/22
- See also: Events in Vienna | Comic Con – my review
What’s Comic Con all about?
Anyone familiar with the Comic Con concept will need no further introduction. In fact, the company behind the New York Comic Con is the one behind the Vienna version, which is pitched as the main event for central and eastern Europe.
For those unfamiliar, consider it a melting pot for all things pop culture, particularly fantasy and sci-fi, comics, gaming, anime and manga.
You might bump into someone dressed as a character from Game of Thrones, and then watch a live interview with the actor who played that same character in the actual TV series.
There are panels and presentations, sword fights and lightsabre battles, games of Quidditch, and, basically, a lot of fun. Not to mention numerous vendors and artists selling everything from comics and costumes to toys and t-shirts.
2020 Comic Con dates & tickets
The 2020 con will be held over the weekend of November 21/22. Doors typically open at 10am. Tickets are available online or at the door (if it’s not sold out). VIP ticket categories typically sell out quickly, and are only available online in advance.
Comic Cons are famous for their special guests, and the Vienna event is no different. As well as photo and autograph opportunities, many of these guests also give public interviews on the main stage.
It’s a little early for the 2020 guest list, but the previous one included, for example:
- Sean Astin aka Sam from the Lord of the Rings films. Hobbit alert! His interview offered insights into life on the set and the crowd melted when he threw out some quotes in his Sam voice
- David Bradley aka Walder Frey from Game of Thrones and Filch from the Harry Potter movies. Cancel that wedding, people. Another fascinating interviewee.
- Alex Kingston aka River Song from Doctor Who, but also a long-standing character in ER (Emergency Room). And she once played Jane Austen’s Mrs Bennet, thereby covering all my interests in one person. I had a quick chat and she was wonderful
- Chris Klein aka Oz from American Pie. OK, I’m not a fan of that movie series, but a lot of people are. Klein starred most recently as Cicada in the TV series, The Flash
- Jack Dylan Grazer aka Eddie Kaspbrak in the movie adaptations of Stephen King’s It. Also co-starred in Shazam!
- Frank Miller, aka the legendary comic book artist, writer, and director (among other talents). Perhaps best known for Ronin, Daredevil, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, and 300
Quite apart from the numerous cosplay attendees, there’s also an official Champion of Cosplay contest. Get a flavour from this video:
As a Star Wars fan (I have three Darth Vaders on my desk), a Comic Con highlight is always seeing members of the 501st Legion Austrian Garrison Star Wars Fanclub in appropriate garb.
Those with more of a gaming bent should also enjoy the huge eSports tournament area (the Vienna Challengers Arena). At the previous event, this included the Coca-Cola eSoccer Cup for FIFA20 players, as well as tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 11, and Tekken 7. Gaming celebrities attend, too.
Based on my experience, here a few tips for getting the most out of Comic Con:
- There is so much to see and do that I recommend attending both days. Then you can view the displays and exhibitor stands at your own pace and have plenty of time for signings and performances.
- Don’t worry about language. This is an international event, so you don’t lose out if you don’t speak German. All the top guests were English speakers.
- You get an awful lot for the price of a ticket. Just the exhibition area alone would justify the expense, but then there are the live action performances and, particularly, the live interviews with the stars, too. However…
- If you want a photo with a star or an autograph, you are going to have to dig a little deeper into your pockets. But it’s your choice – you don’t have to pay.
- Talking of photos and autographs, the star guests have several signing and photography slots throughout the event. To avoid unnecessary stress, get yours at one of the earlier slots and begin queueing in plenty of time.
- VIP tickets get priority queueing, so that’s a strong ticket option and time saver if you’re going to get more than one or two autographs or photos over the course of the weekend. You don’t want to lose too much time to queueing because there is so much to see and do. Some guests kindly take time to chat at the autograph tables, so waiting times can be lengthy if you’re at the back of the non-VIP queue
- The main stage has a large capacity, so I had no problem attending live interviews. But if you want a seat at the front, then queue early or (again) there are VIP ticket options.
How to get to Comic Con
The Messe Wien exhibition location hosts the event. It’s Vienna’s main exhibition centre and easily (and quickly) reached by subway: take the U2 line to the Krieau station, which adjoins Hall D.
Address: Messeplatz 1, 1020 Vienna | Website