As a secret geek, this event is close to my heart. The Vienna Comic Con offers a chance to spend two days immersed in the worlds of fantasy, science fiction, film, comics, gaming, and much, much more. Don’t forget your lightsaber.
Read on for event details and visitor tips
- Huge international convention with star guests from the film, TV, gaming, author, & comic worlds
- Other highlights include top-level cosplay, eSports competitions and a huge expo area
- 2023 dates: Nov 18-19
- Discover my experiences at the 2022 and 2018 events
- See also:
What’s Comic Con all about?
(A star guest back in 2019, who gave a wonderful public interview)
Anyone familiar with the Comic Con concept will need no further introduction to the Vienna version.
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 a beloved show and then watch a live interview with the actor who played that same character in the actual TV series.
Watch panels and presentations, sword fights and lightsaber battles, and, basically, simply have a lot of fun. Not to mention the chance to browse numerous vendors and artists selling everything from comics and costumes to toys and t-shirts.
2023 Comic Con dates & tickets
Dates for 2023 are November 18th and 19th.
The con skipped 2020 and 2021 but returned in all its glory in 2022 on the weekend of October 1st and 2nd (a little earlier than the traditional November dates).
Tickets are available online at the official website or at the door (if it’s not sold out). VIP ticket categories often sell quickly, despite the expense, and are normally only available online in advance.
Comic Cons are notable 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 (which I’ve always found both entertaining and illuminating).
I’ll list the top guests as they come in. So far (still early days), we have for example:
- Jonathan Frakes, aka Commander Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation (and Picard)
- Andrzej Sapkowski, whose books gave us Geralt (better known as The Witcher), leading to the legendary games and a Netflix series
- John Ross Bowie, aka Barry Kripke from The Big Bang Theory
- Sam J. Jones aka Flash Gordon (*the* Flash Gordon)
- David Anders, stalwart of such shows as Alias, Heroes and iZombie
- Ben Aaronovitch, author of the excellent The Rivers of London book series
Take a look at some of the guests who entertained us at the last event:
- Jack Gleeson, aka Joffrey from Game of Thrones
- Anna Shaffer, aka Triss Merigold in The Witcher, who first came to our attention in the later Harry Potter films
- Kevin McNally aka Joshamee Gibbs from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies
- Clive Standen aka Rollo from Vikings
- Luka Peroš aka Marseille from Money Heist
- Nikola Djuricko aka Yuri Ismaylov from Stranger Things
The edition before that (back in 2019) had, for example, Sean Astin, David Bradley, Alex Kingston (who I met and was an utter delight), Steven Seagal, and others.
A Comic Con highlight, for example, is always the numerous cosplay attendees. I love seeing members of the 501st Legion Austrian Garrison Star Wars Fanclub in appropriate garb. Especially their opening parade with music (and you know exactly which music).
Those with more of a gaming bent should also enjoy the huge gaming and eSports tournament area (the Vienna Challengers Arena) with numerous live events and visits from celebrities and influencers.
Based on my experience, here a few tips for getting the most out of Comic Con:
- Buy your tickets in advance (in 2022, they had to turn people away on the Saturday as they had sold out). Sunday was quieter, incidentally, which made for a more relaxed experience.
- With so much to see and do, you might want to attend both days. Then you can view the displays and exhibitor stands at your own pace and have plenty of time for signings and panel interviews.
- 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 have spoken English when I’ve been.
- You get an awful lot for a simple entry ticket. The huge exhibition areas, live action performances and, particularly, the live interviews with the stars. However…
- If you want a photo with a star or an autograph, you’re going to have to dig 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 later, get yours at one of the earlier slots and begin queueing in plenty of time.
- VIP tickets get priority queueing and include autograph/photo tokens, 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 never had a problem attending live interviews. But if you want a seat near the front, then queue early or (again) consider an appropriate VIP ticket option.
- Vienna has another event in the same genre as Comic Con: try the COMIX expo for all things comics related, as well as cosplay and a hefty chunk of Star Wars action.
How to get to Comic Con
The Messe Wien hosts the event. It’s Vienna’s main exhibition centre and easily (and quickly) reached by subway: access to the Comic Con event is usually from the U2 subway stations Messe-Prater and/or Krieau (depending on which halls are in use).
Address: Messeplatz 1, 1020 Vienna | Website