Comic Con Seoul 2019

Third Time’s The Charm

Story By: Emma Kalka

Photos By: Emma Kalka, Reed Exhibitions

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As the summer hits its peak, it’s once again time for the pop culture event of the year - Comic Con Seoul put on by ReedPop and Reed Exhibitions.

Set to take place at COEX on Aug. 2-4, the ever-evolving convention is bringing with it even more changes this year, including more events for attendees as well as more guests and new ticket packages. After taking into consideration feedback from fans and attendees, the organizing group has done away with the expensive Star Passes, choosing instead to permanently adopt photo and autograph passes that participants can buy in addition to their one-day or three-day passes.

The passes are cheaper than last year - 50,000 won for photos and 25,000 won for autographs - and can be purchased as add-ons to general admission tickets. They will also be available on-site, though the availability will be limited depending on how many tickets are purchased online and how many online passes are cancelled before the event.

There will also be star meet-up events that are free with a few selected guests, however participants should register online in advance as space is limited.

The cosplay zone has also been vastly improved with a larger changing space that includes space to touch-up or apply makeup and more storage space. Cosplayers should also register in advance for expedited services in the zone. While the storage space as been expanded, it is still on a first-come, first-served basis.

Listening to fan feedback has also led to Comic Con Seoul adding more activities for participants. There will be a daily cosplay parade at 1 pm through Starfield Mall that anyone can join, a DJ Zone, Silent Cinema, more photo zones, and a free play zone in addition to the usual merchandise booths and artist alley. There will also be more panels ranging from interviews with famous guests, to talks on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Game of Thrones, creating video games, webtoons, special effects makeup and costumes, a Geek X 101 competition, a Masked Singer Competition judged by famous guests, and much, much more. 

And speaking of guests - Comic Con Seoul has increased the number of special guests this year, inviting three Hollywood stars along with more Korean actors and voice actors.

Pom Klementieff, known for her role as Mantis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Billy Boyd, who played the hobbit Pippin in “Lord of the Rings”, and Kevin McNally, famous as Joshamee Gibbs from the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, will all be in attendance and available for both photo and autograph sessions. In addition, actor Park Myung-hoon from “Parasite”, voice actress Iida Riho, voice actress Lee Yongsin, voice actor Nam Doh Hyeong and more will be on hand to conduct panel talks.

And while there is a lot to look forward to at this year’s Comic Con Seoul, for many, it’s all about the cosplay.

“As a cosplayer, of course I am the most excited to see the cosplays,” said Nicki, a Seoul resident. “It’s always fun to see how creative people get when bringing their favorite characters to life!”

She said that she intends to cosplay all three days, though hasn’t publicly said what she is dressing as - only that they are part of groups and she chose characters that she felt match her personality. However, for future events, Nicki said that it would be nice to have another smaller cosplay competition that’s more for fun and showing off a costume. There is too much pressure in the main cosplay event, she said.

Starlette Tyler added that she is looking forward to seeing the costumes and booths this year, as well as getting to know other cosplayers and fans of the movies, comics and genres that she likes.

“I think with every year CCS improves both with their guests and the events they have. My favorite part of attending has been meeting other fans and cosplayers in the Korea area,” she said. Granted she added that it would be nice to see more famous Korean actors as guests - especially those who have been in both Korean and Hollywood films such as Lee Byung-hun. It’s a sentiment echoed by Nicki, who said she would like to see actress Bae Doona.

For cosplayer and US expat Cassandra Kidd, she is hoping to catch more of the panels and guests since she was unable to at previous cons. This is the first year that she will be attending all three days with her husband and fellow cosplayer Brandon. 

“I’d like to see more variety in things at CCS. Maybe see some more famous guests make appearances, have some fun interactive stuff for people attending to participate in and get to know one another,” she said. “I think have some raffles and giveaways could be fun, too. I’d like to see a variety in performances and shows like skits, comedians, music and the like.”

Her husband Brandon added to that, saying it would be nice for the convention to grow a bit more popular with the local residents and companies that have booths there.

“It would be nice for it to expand to a bigger venue and have more variety of merchandise,” he said. However, he said that he’s enjoyed both years that he’s attended and loved interacting with the other attendees and nerd out over costumes. “I’m most looking forward to seeing all the amazing cosplayers and getting pictures with everyone.”

Comic Con Seoul will take place from Aug. 2-4 at COEX. One-day and three-day passes are currently available online via Interpark and Auction, and will also will be available for purchase on-site throughout the event. For more updates, be sure to follow the Comic Con Seoul Facebook page.

Sean Choi