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 and then check out my personal experiences.
- Huge international convention with star guests from the film, TV, gaming & comic worlds
- Other highlights include top-level cosplay, eSports competitions and huge expo area
- 2021 dates: November 20 – 21
- 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. The Vienna version is pitched as the main event of its kind 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.
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.
2021 Comic Con dates & tickets
The con skipped 2020 but should return in 2021 on the weekend of November 20th and 21st. Doors typically open at 10am. Tickets are available online at the official website or at the door (if it’s not sold out). VIP ticket categories often 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 full 2021 list, but the following star guests have already been announced:
- Jack Gleeson, aka Joffrey from Game of Thrones
- Christopher Lambert aka Connor MacLead from Highlander. There can be only one and that one will be in Vienna in November
- Donny Cates, one of the superstar authors behind the Marvel comics
- Graham McTavish aka Dwalin in the Hobbit trilogy and Dougal Mackenzie in Outlander
- Tom Hopper aka Sir Percival in Merlin, but who has also appeared in Black Sails, Game of Thrones, and The Umbrella Academy
- Anna Shaffer, aka Triss Merigold in The Witcher, who first came to our attention in the later Harry Potter films
The 2019 edition had, for example, Sean Astin, David Bradley, Alex Kingston (who I met and was an utter delight), Steven Seagal, and others.
Quite apart from the numerous cosplay attendees, the event also has an official Champion of Cosplay contest. Get a flavour from this video.
A Comic Con highlight, for example, 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) with numerous live events and visits from gaming celebrities and influencers.
Based on my experience, here a few tips for getting the most out of Comic Con:
- 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 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 have spoken English when I’ve been.
- You get an awful lot for the price of a ticket. Just the exhibition area alone would justify the expense, but then you have 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’re 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 never had a problem attending live interviews. But if you want a seat near the front, then queue early or (again) consider the 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 Messe – Prater station, which leads you to Halle A.
Address: Halle A, B + Congress Center 2, Messeplatz 1, 1020 Vienna | Website