SUPERHEROES descended on Keighley last Saturday for the town’s first Comics Convention.
There were plenty of super villains to greet them as hundreds of sci-fi fans and local families headed for ‘Con Aire’ at Victoria Hall.
Captain America, Deadpool and Optimus Prime mingled with Mystique, Harley Quinn and Maleficent as guests and visitors alike got into the spirit of the occasion.
The ‘cosplay’ participants ranged from little children in shop-bought Superman outfits to sci-fi enthusiasts in highly-detailed suits that took many hours to make.
There was also the ‘real thing’ in the shape of guests like former Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy, who chatted with fans, both the pictures and signed autographs.
Dominating the proceedings were many characters from the Star Wars films, both heroes and villains, led by the Sentinel Squad cosplay group.
Traders selling a wide range of comics and sci-fi inspired items reported a roaring trade, while other stalls featured authors promoting their work.
Throughout the day there was a programme of events including talks by guests, an authors’ panel, and competitions for the best costumes.
Jedi Knight training sessions proved popular, with children waving light sabres on the Victoria Hall stage under expert instruction.
Down in the hall, milling around ranged from comic book icons like Spiderman and the Joker to lesser-known figures like Zoro and Usopp from the Japanese ‘manga’ series One Piece.
Meanwhile outside in the car park people could see see iconic Hollywood vehicles, such as the DeLorean from Back To The Future and the VW from the Herbie films.
Con Aire was organised by Savage Beast Events which is run by comics fan and author Natalie Gosney with help from her husband Philip.
Natalie has attended around 60 comics and sci-fi conventions over the past two years to promote her Wolf Born saga.
She last year moved on to organising three ‘mini-cons’ across Yorkshire, on the theme of popular computer game Minecraft, then chose Keighley for her first full-scale convention.
She said: “There are more and more conventions happening all the time, even more in 2016 than the year before, and I noticed Keighley didn’t have one.
“The convention was busy on Saturday. It was just perfect, people still had room to move around. Even at three o’clock people were still coming in. A lot of people stayed because we had events through the day.
“People browsed around and did their shopping. I had a lot of positive feedback from the traders. I think everyone was quite happy with how things went.”
Natalie has already contacted Victoria Hall to talk about a possible date for a repeat event next year.
For her first major event Natalie contacted the many entertainers, traders and superhero performers she had encountered while attending other conventions.
“I’ve been to about 60 conventions and got to know a lot of the organisers, and they helped me too.
“It’s a labour of love. We don’t make any money from this yet. It’s great fun, and lot of you entertainers are collecting for charity.”