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
- Covers film, TV, gaming, books, content creation & comics
- Other highlights include
- …top-level cosplay with photo opps
- …a huge expo area and artist alley
- …numerous talks and demonstrations
- 2024 dates: provisionally Nov 23-24
- Discover my experiences at the 2023, 2022 and 2018 events
- See also:
What’s Comic Con all about?
(Jonathan Frakes appeared in 2023; press photo © Felix Braune, David Bitzan)
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 & sci-fi, comics & manga, gaming & anime.
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 comics, costumes, toys, t-shirts, film merchandise and manga characters, original art, books, accessories and much more.
2024 Comic Con dates & tickets
Tickets are available online at the official website or at the door (if not sold out). VIP ticket categories often sell quickly, despite the expense, and are normally only available online in advance.
(Looking forward to 2024)
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. It’s early days so here’s a look back at 2023…we had, for example:
- Jonathan Frakes, aka Commander Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation (and Picard), whose panel was huge fun
- 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
The previous edition had the likes of Jack Gleeson, Anna Shaffer, Kevin McNally, Clive Standen, Luka Peroš, and Nikola Djuricko.
The edition before that 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).
(A star guest back in 2019, who gave a wonderful public interview)
Based on my experience, here a few tips for getting the most out of Comic Con:
- Buy your tickets in advance
- If you only go on one day, then go Sunday. Saturdays can get extremely busy (the weekend attracted 39,000 guests in 2023). But do check schedules in case someone you want to see is only there on Saturday.
- With so much to see and do, you might want to attend both days, though. 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 (trust me on this).
- 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