New comic convention for Inverness

Image source, Lucasfilm/AP
Image caption,
Organisers of NessCon hope the new Star Wars films will help to stir up interest in the festival

Inverness is to have its first comic convention since the last staging of the popular Hi-Ex Comic Con in 2010.

NessCon at Eden Court on 8 and 9 July has been organised by three graduates of an events management course at Inverness College UHI.

Darrel-John Paterson, Abbygail Sutherland and Lewis MacKenzie's event will celebrate comics, graphic novels, film, TV shows and gaming.

They have lined up guest appearances and a cosplay costume competition.

The three hope the explosion in the superhero, fantasy and science fiction genres in literature, movies and television will boost interest in NessCon.

Since the last Hi-Ex seven years ago, there has been the release of DC Comics' Suicide Squad, Marvel TV shows such as Jessica Jones and the re-launch of the Star Wars films with 2015's The Force Awakens and last year's Rogue One.

Image caption,
NessCon has reached out to Inverness-born actress Karen Gillan on Twitter

Guest appearances confirmed so far for NessCon include original Power Ranger Jason David Frank and special effects actor Paul Warren.

On Twitter, the NessCon organisers have reached out to Inverness-born actress Karen Gillan in the hope that she can be involved in some way in the festival.

Gillan has appeared in Doctor Who and Disney-Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy movies, its sequel later this year and is expected to appear in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.

Cosplay parade

Mr Paterson said: "We would love to have Karen Gillan involved because she is a home-grown talent, but we absolutely understand that she is very busy."

Inverness' last comic con, Hi-Ex, was held between 2008 and 2010.

The event's guest speakers included Superman comic book artist Frank Quitely and Judge Dredd comic strip artist Mick McMahon and featured fans dressed as zombies and Star Wars stormtroopers.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Cosplay enthusiasts will be encouraged to attend the festival in costume

Mr Paterson said: "I was working at Eden Court in the heyday of Hi-Ex being held there. It was a great event.

"Like Hi-Ex, we want to offer something that people living in the Highlands would have to travel to Glasgow and Edinburgh to see."

As with Hi-Ex, and the comic cons held in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the new Inverness event will feature cosplay - people dressing up in the costumes of their favourite characters in comics, film, TV or video games.

Mr Paterson said: "We are encouraging cosplay and will be holding a parade and also a competition for the best costume."