Buckinghamshire comic book fans are eagerly dusting off their lightsabres as High Wycombe prepares to hold its second annual comic convention this weekend (June 11-12).
Wycombe Comic Con 2016 promises two packed days of sci-fi fun, with guest appearances from the likes of Star Wars actors Jeremy Bullock and Brian Wheeler, Only Fools and Horses star, John Challis, and Red Dwarf' s Chris Barrie.
This year marks the second year in a row that the event will take place at Bucks New University , but the idea first came to organiser Gary Cole in November 2014.
Gary said: “I turned around to my other half and said do you want to organise a comic con in Wycombe?
“It never really occurred to me. I think I was in between jobs at the time and it gave me the time to organise it.”
Now Gary, a security worker who lives in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, has turned his spark of an idea into a fully operational comic convention that saw more than 1,200 revellers through its doors in 2015.
This year, Gary said he is keen to double those numbers and produce even more of a buzz around the event: “If I attract 6,000 people into Wycombe for the weekend, it helps the traders and it helps the local community.
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“There are so many things that I'm looking forward to – there is literally something for everybody.”
With a busy few days ahead in the run up to the sci-fi extravaganza, Gary has now returned to his former home town to make sure the final preparations are in order.
He said: “I have been going backwards and forwards with my other half several times a month. We have got family and friends in town which helps.”
In addition to 25 guest signers, the convention will host 40 trade stalls, five movie vehicles and an appearance by the UK Garrison of Star Wars costuming enthusiasts – part of the world's largest costuming group, the 501st Legion .
Gary said: “There are so many other costume groups out there, they just happen to be the largest in the world. It's good fun and everyone enjoys it.”
Fans will also be able to enjoy a new 'retro games' section, and peruse scores of stalls dedicated to everything from jewellery, action figures and – of course – comics.
Wycombe Comic Con 2016 will take place at 10am - 5pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June at the High Wycombe Campus of Bucks New University, Queen Alexandra Road, HP11 2JZ.