Shropshire Star

See inside Wales Comic Con as visitors from all over the UK arrive to take over Telford centre

Thousands of fans filled the halls of Telford International Centre this weekend as Wales Comic Con returned to the town.

Hanson Derricott, 3, was attending his seventh comic con

The centre was full to bursting on Saturday, as thousands of fans gathered for a celebration of all things pop-culture.

As well as hosting a huge gaming zone and dozens of stalls selling comics, merchandise and clothing, the two-day event gave fans a chance to meet with their on-screen idols.

Among the famous faces filling the hall on Saturday was actor Warwick Davies, Stranger Things stars Jamie Campbell Bower and Tom Wlaschiha, and Doctor Who's Jenna Coleman.

Wales Comic Con at Telford International Centre
Actor Giancarlo Esposito

Breaking Bad and Mandalorian star Giancarlo Esposito delighted Star Wars fans when he enthusiastically posed with a host of Storm Troopers.

Actor Giancarlo Esposito posed with fans

Among dozens of Darth Vaders, hundreds of fans got dressed up to cosplay as their favourite characters from comics, games, film and TV.

Nikki James from Wolverhampton

Cosplay, a portmanteau of "costume play", has long been a familiar sight at any convention, and since the 1990s has been rapidly growing as a popular hobby outside of the events.

Mike Northcott and Amanda Harrison from Portsmouth

Amanda Harrison, 36, and Mike Northcott, 46, travelled all the way from Portsmouth and joined in the celebration in their Superwoman and Captain America costumes.

The pair have been showcasing their costumes at conventions around the country, but say they enjoy Wales' 'Telford takeover' because of it's intimacy.

Claire and Max from Bridgnorth

"It's a lot more friendly," said Mike, "It's got a really cosy atmosphere, we really enjoy coming here."

Moth Thomas and Stan Hedley from Hereford

Stan Hedley, 26, and Moth Thomas, 27, travelled up from Herefordshire and attended the event in full clown regalia.

Stan explained: "I really like the feeling of dressing up and being a character, it's just got such a great energy and you make people's day. There are some really lovely people, it's just great."

Wearing one particularly fabulous unicorn costume, was 16-year-old Lilian Watkins, who travelled down from Ayrshire in Scotland for the event.

16-year-old Lilian Watkins from Scotland

Lilian, who has been cosplaying since she was six, has gained quite the following on social media under her handle, Lil-Bow Cosplay.

She makes her elaborate outfits with her mum, while dad, Peter takes her to around seven conventions a year.

Peter said: "When she was about six, she designed this strange looking fairy costume and her mum made it for her. But we didn't know where to show it off, and someone suggest a comic con.

"We read that Sylvester McCoy was at one in Glasgow so we went to that one and Sylvester came out and made such a fuss of her - that's where the addiction started for her really. And that's the only way I can describe it, it's an addiction."

Hanson Derricott, 3, was attending his seventh comic con

Fans of all ages were enjoying the celebration, including three-year-old Hanson Derricourt from Tamworth (named, it must be noted, after Star Wars' Hans Solo).

On Saturday, the youngster was kitted out as a pint-sized Indiana Jones for his seventh comic convention.

"He loves it," said his mum, Berni Parker, "he has such a great time. All the cosplayers are really friendly and he loves meeting all the characters."