I like going to conventions regularly. It’s a great opportunity to meet famous stars from films and TV series you like, as well as meet other people who have the same interests you do. It’s also certainly exciting to see all the cosplayers in some really creative costumes.
This is the first time I’ve attended Liverpool Comic Con and it’s certainly the furthest I have travelled for a convention.
The main excitement for me attending this convention was to meet Melissa Joan Hart from Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Mark Paul Gosselaar from Saved By The Bell, two TV shows that are nostalgic to me. Unfortunately, Mark had to cancel but thankfully just after that, they announced Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea from Sabrina would be attending. Then of course Caroline cancelled and Jenna Leigh Green quickly replaced her.
Another excitement for me was Super Ink Arts creator Amy McLean was going to be attending and I would’ve loved to have met her in person. Sadly Amy was unable to attend, due to illness.
I knew she had autographs booked for the Sabrina trio so I happily got her autographs for her. It was certainly a great opportunity for me to talk to them in person and also get them to film intros to her Sabrina reviews.
I went to Jenna Leigh Green first, who played mean-girl cheerleader Libby Chessler and I can honestly say she’s nothing like her character. Jenna’s such a sweetheart and she still looks exactly the same, not aged a day.
Then I met Beth Broderick, who was sweet. Even though I asked for an autograph for Amy, she signed my group photo without asking for payment. Then she gave me two autographed pictures for Amy, which was a lovely gesture.
Melissa’s queue was longer and also slower, so I could tell before I saw her that she was giving her fans the time of day. Normally I expect the interaction with the bigger stars to be faster because of the number of fans waiting, so it’s usually a quick “Hello”, “Having a good time?” etc. While I didn’t have a big chat with her, it was nice that she appreciates the fans who have come to see her.
I had a group photoshoot with Melissa, Beth and Jenna, before the autographs, it was great. If you're wondering why I’m slouching awkwardly in the picture, it was mainly because of the way Melissa put her arm behind me, it was blocking my arm from going higher and I’m clearly taller. Still, I’m happy with the picture and it’s going right in my Comic Con memorabilia.
I did have a picture with Melissa later on in the day, thanks to Amy, which was nice as she allowed me to put my arm around her this time, so you can see I’m not really a sloucher.
Another highlight was getting to meet fellow Super Ink Arts writer Kyle J. (Mooscittles) in person, whom I can honestly say is a nice guy and it was a pleasure to spend the bulk of a day with him.
I finished off the con in the auditorium with nice comfortable seats (which was good after being on my feet the whole day), watching a Q&A with Melissa, who was supposed to do it on her own, but surprise! - she brought Beth and Jenna with her. They certainly revealed some facts and secrets about the show -
Melissa’s mother, Paula, bought the rights to the Archie Comics character and produced a TV-movie in 1996, which was used as an unofficial pilot to get the TV show picked up. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was produced when the rights Paula Hart owned expired.
While Melissa isn't interested in playing a role in Chilling, she would however like to direct an episode for it. Beth still wants to play Zelda even in Chilling.
Melissa wasn’t keen on the idea of filming her reaction to scenes from Chilling, that Netflix commissioned for YouTube, but Beth talked her into it.
Melissa did praise Chilling however for being different to the original show and said she would never have gotten away with the raunchy scenes on the show, because she almost got fired for being on the cover of Maxim.
Melissa’s favourite episode is 'Pancake Madness' and she would show it to her kids to warn them about addiction to sugar.
Jenna revealed an incident during filming of 'Five Easy Pieces Of Libby', involving a smoke pellet and her flammable trousers. She was ok apart from a minor burn but admitted she didn’t notice until the crew pointed out that her trouser leg had disappeared.
Melissa, Beth and Jenna agreed the most enjoyable episode to film was 'Disneyworld' because they actually filmed at Disney World. Melissa and Jenna went on safari, which went on longer than expected and made Melissa late to film a scene.
As for the convention itself, it’s definitely one of the better-organised conventions I’ve been to. Queues in general were well-handled, I really appreciated the tannoy announcements for the photoshoots, I think it made con-goers more relaxed and not have to worry about missing their pictures being taken. It also made sense that they check people’s photoshoot tickets before letting them queue.
There are loads of stalls with lots of merchandise for you to look at, artwork, sweets, prop replicas, authors selling their books. That’s just a small set of examples of what types of stalls there are, run by creative people.
I liked that they filmed all the Q&As and displayed them on the screens. It was great for the people who couldn’t attend the auditorium because of a photoshoot or an autograph signing etc.
Some minor issues I had: I did have a little trouble finding the auditorium, there were no signs to tell you where it was. It would’ve been helpful if they displayed the map of the venue with the schedules. Also the screens kept playing the same trailers on a loop the entire day, which was a bit annoying.
Overall it was a fantastic day and worth the long journey. I would definitely go again.
Written by Jack Parish