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Grab your capes and your cowls, there’s a comic convention coming to town

Grab your capes and your cowls, there’s a comic convention coming to town

There’s never been a better time to be a fan of comic books.

From the cinematic blockbusters to cutting-edge writing and artwork filling the pages of the graphic novels, it seems the whole world has gone a bit geeky.

But do you know your Black Canaries from Black Panthers, your Green Lanterns from your Green Hornets?

If not, there’s a chance to polish up next Saturday when the Dundee Comic Expo rolls into the Queen Mother Building of Dundee University.

And as if one convention wasn’t enough, the event is being run in conjunction with Dee Con 2014, a celebration of all things Anime.

Both events boast a strong list of speakers, appearances and workshops from some of the UK’s leading artists and writers in their fields.

Homecoming Heroes

Top of the list is artist and illustrator Dan McDaid.

Best known for his work on Doctor Who magazine, the Scots native has worked for some of the biggest comic companies in the world, including D.C.

The Scottish feeling around the convention also continues to the exhibitor tables.

DiamondSteel productions are a homegrown group who have produced the nation's very first super hero.

Appropriately named Saltire, the big blue monster features in storylines crammed full of heritage and history from the past few hundred years.

There will also be a chance for visitors to view some of the artwork from uni students who will be contribution to an anthology of work for the event.

Away from the traditional comics, the Dee Con event, which runs at the student union, is a celebration of everything from the Far East.

Anime

Featuring a host of artists' tables, film screenings and industry presentations, it also serves as the fundraiser for the animation Degree Show at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

The event's organisers, Dundee University Students' Association, are hoping that the Dee Con and Expo will bring a bit of lively activity to their student union.

Jo Kearns, clubs & societies coordinator, said: "DUSA is delighted to be hosting Dee Con again this year. The event has grown in popularity each year and we are confident that this year we will continue that trend.

"Dee Con 2014 will be bigger and better than ever before, as we have teamed up with Dundee Comics Expo 2014, providing two attractions in one location. We are confident that there truly will be something for everyone."

Being one of the more unique events in the comic calendar in Scotland, organisers have found pulling things together has been a challenge.

However, as Jo explains, it's something that they know the association and university will reap rewards from during and after the exhibitions.

She said: "Being Scotland’s largest free animation convention, Dee Con attracts visitors and enthusiasts from all over the country, meaning that the pressure is on. We have risen to the challenge by securing a number of exciting, big name speakers from the animation and video games industries.

"The video games area has been developed significantly to include more tournaments running throughout the day and a variety of retro consoles and games to try. We have also teamed up with The University of Abertay’s school of Arts, Media and Computer Games, who will be showcasing the work of some of their most promising students.

"The day itself takes months of planning and all involved have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort to make it a success. DUSA is hugely proud of Dee Con and how it has progressed since its inception, affirming our status as ‘Scotland’s Best Students' Association’ in the National Student Survey 2013. "

Cosplay

And what exhibition would be complete without a bit of dressing up.

Organisers are keen to encourage all attendees to come in the fitting attire of their favourite heroes and villains.

There will be a display of those who have applied to appear on stage, with prizes for the best.

Both events are heading into their second years and hope to capitalise on the popularity of the medium.

And with recent movie releases and more on the horizon, things could bode well for events like these in the future.

Jo added: "We are passionate about giving our students the means and opportunity to make their events as successful as possible. Therefore, we hope that Dee Con will continue for many years to come."

Will you be heading along to the conventions? Are you dressing up? Let us know by tweeting @STVDundee.

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