Stepping into a fantasy world

Rare vintage first edition comics worth up to �100,000 will be on show at WOSCon, which runs from August 1-2 at Sheffield University Students' Union.
Rare vintage first edition comics worth up to �100,000 will be on show at WOSCon, which runs from August 1-2 at Sheffield University Students' Union.

This weekend a spectacular of all things Sci Fi, fantasy, comic book and gaming is expected to bring to Sheffield 8,000 fans - many in themed costumes - and promises to be the most interactive event of its type ever seen in the UK.

The World of Superheroes Convention at Sheffield University aims to bring to life the fantasy world of movie and comic-book heroines and heroes which grips millions across the globe.

Comic cons are huge – I always wanted to create my own

Steve Eyres

It is the long-held dream of Sheffielder Steve Eyres, a lifelong comic-book fan who has made his hobby a highly successful business.

Four years ago Steve launched WorldofSuperheroes.com, an online fan site  and store for vintage superhero comics and memorabilia. The website has united followers across the globe in the virtual sense - and Steve decided it was time to do it in reality.

The launch of WOS.Com’s first ever live event, staged in partnership with Sheffield Students’ Union, aims to unite thousands of  superhero and comic fans with creators and enthusiasts, said Steve, of Mosborough.

“Comic conventions are huge all over the world. I’ve visited most of them and always wanted to create my own. We’ve got the perfect venue - four floors of Sheffield Students’ Union building, including lecture theatres, a 300-seat cinema and the Octagon Centre. Big national names and some amazing local entrepreneurs making their name in the genre are on-board. This will be the most engaging and interactive Comic-Con the UK has ever seen,” said Steve, 54.

The real addicts - Cosplayers who live out their superhero and sci fi fantasies by creating elaborate costumes - are expected to flock there in their finery. But WOSCon also hopes families will immerse themselves in the Marvel-ous world as they travel through 10 interactive zones.

Highlights include The Vault, where prized items from Steve’s 20,000-strong collection will be on display, including signed artwork by legendary illustrators, original movie set items and rare first edition comics worth thousands.

Anyone with their own stash of old superhero comics or toys in the attic can dig them out and bring them to the convention’s pop-up valuation room to find out it they are sitting on a small fortune.

A walk-through digital history of the superhero genre is being created, amateur gamers can pit their wits against top players in the Gaming Zone and the WOS Marketplace will be filled with up to 150 dealers, artists and crafters.

A line up of special guest stars includes David Prowse, the original Dark Vader, along with fellow Star Wars actors Mike Henbury, Marolyn Turk and Pam Rose. Ian McElhinney and Pixie Le Knot from Game of Thrones and actors from the Harry Potter films will be there to meet fans.

l WOSCon takes place on Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm, at Sheffield Students’ Union and Octagon Centre.