The Force is strong at Comic Con 2019

The University of Portsmouth will be showcasing its research in popular culture, robots and state-of-the-art technology at this year’s Portsmouth Comic Con, returning for the second time to Portsmouth Guildhall.

‘Beyond the Earth: Moon and Mars’ is investigating the design of future human settlements on the Moon and Mars.

Falling on Star Wars Day (4 May), the event will celebrate the legendary film franchise as well as the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman. The Guildhall will be bringing featured artists and guests from all over the world, including Marvel legends Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart.

Join the University team on the second and third floor at the Guildhall on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May for a celebration of the comic, film, TV and all things pop culture. Staff and students from the faculties of Creative and Cultural Industries; Technology; and Humanities and Social Sciences are collaborating on new interactive work that turn ideas into reality.

Explore Martian cityscapes and interact with humanoid robots; imagine the future inspired by the past and present as we take you from pixel to paper in our interactive drawing and digital sessions.

Visit ‘Science Fact’ and find out about the technology behind science fiction where you can meet robots, see 3D printers in action and take part in demonstrations of virtual reality  technologies.

There will be a real time motion capture display led by Alex Counsell, from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, who will run a Virtual Reality LED live action combat Sabre competition.  Participants will be immersed in another world, where they must face a computer-controlled droid and deflect as many laser bolts as possible within a time limit.

Dr Louis Netter and Dr Olly Gruner will talk about history of the comic revealing their own collaborative comic called Steal This History and new projects in the pipeline. The discussion will include other compelling comics exploring history, in particular, March that is about the civil rights movement in the US. Dr Netter will also talk about his project that explores conspiracy theories and skewed renderings of historical events.

“If you’ve ever wanted to draw your own comic character and explore narratives in comics, then drop into one of my drawing workshops where Illustration students assist me and demonstrate their techniques and concepts. Aimed at children aged seven and up, participants will learn how to construct panels for a comic, in a simple and fun manner,” explained Dr Netter.

Dr Lincoln Geraghty returns to Comic Con with the Schools of Film, Media and Communications and Art, Design and Performance to host panel discussions on topics ranging from British classics like The Beano and Alan Moore’s Watchmen to big blockbuster franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). To celebrate Star Wars Day and 80 years of Batman, the panel will discuss ‘The power of ‘the Force’ and ‘What really makes the Dark Knight tick’.

Portsmouth DarkFest is led by Dr Karl Bell with volunteers from Portsmouth’s creative community, offering immersive experiences with Darkfesters who will be role-playing in costume.  The activity will feature information about a new course in Victorian Gothic: History, Literature and Culture; the Supernatural Cities project; a new app called Portsmyth, a gamified mythic, supernatural re-imagining of Portsmouth.

Visitors will also be able to build apps, take part in a street art workshop, and view futuristic 3D printed models as part of ‘Beyond the Earth: Moon and Mars’, a project based in the University’s School of Architecture’s new Media Hub. The project is investigating the design of future human settlements on the Moon and Mars. Bridging the gap between science and fiction, the project investigates design solutions for the implementation of an Earth-based ecology in a hostile environment, speculating about the possible design of our future colonies.

“With a brand new superstructure for 2019 we are almost doubling the footprint of the event to welcome some of the greatest artists and writers in the industry alongside stars of the screen with an exceptional range of panels, exhibitions, displays and the magical world of cosplay,” announced Portsmouth Guildhall.

Find out more about Portsmouth Comic Con on the Portsmouth Guildhall website, and book your tickets here.

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