Meet celebs and superheroes at Comic Con Baltics

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Comic book conventions, often shortened to comic cons, give fans of comics, sci-fi, fantasy, computer games, manga and cosplay the chance to get up close and personal with their heroes, meet the minds behind the characters, experience live shows, check out exhibits and soak up an environment in which they’re surrounded by like-minded individuals. Comic cons got their start in the U.S.A. back in the 1960s, when small gatherings appealing mostly to niche groups were organized. Since then, they’ve grown exponentially, and present-day iterations of such events are slickly organized, ambitious in scale, and capable of attracting fans in the tens of thousands.

The Comic Con Baltics is just one of many such events taking place on European soil. Organizers of the second edition of this event, slated to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania’s LITEXPO Sept. 15-16, bill it as the biggest pop culture event in the Baltic States.

Meeting and greeting one’s favorite screen stars or the genius behind a beloved comic is high on the agenda of many attendees. Celebrities scheduled to attend include Janeshia Adams-Ginyard from Black Panther and Rick Cosnett from The Flash and The Vampire Diaries. Nick Seluk, creator of The Awkward Yeti, is also scheduled to appear. (There is, however, one caveat. Organizers note that due to fluctuations in their busy schedules, actors or actresses are at times forced to cancel their appearances at the last minute.) Collecting autographs and a professionally shot photo with ones’ heroes is subject to additional fees; tickets for both will be sold on event day itself.

Cosplay is also on the agenda, with last year’s event having offered more than 150 performances by participants from eight countries. The Comic Con Market is the place to find a unique and collectable keepsake. Other experiences to be had include learning about the daily life of a movie maker, seeing a film set first-hand, playing new and old-school computer games in the gaming zone, sitting in a make-up chair or participating in a workshop led by professional stuntmen.

A variety of ticket options are available. Adult single-day tickets go for 12 euros, tickets for both days cost 18 euros, and a family single-day ticket is available for 25 euros. The Superhero ticket, offering various VIP-like perks, is 67 euros. Those under the age of seven enter for free. Registered cosplayers can buy their tickets at half price.

Getting there: Vilnius is served with direct flights from Frankfurt operated by Lufthansa and Ryanair. Ryanair also flies directly to Vilnius from Nuremberg and Cologne.

Why Vilnius? The Lithuanian capital, home to over half a million residents, remains relatively low on the tourist’s radar. The city offers an attractive Old Town brimming with restaurants and cafes, a thriving craft beer scene, a charming free republic of artists and rebels known as Uzupis and a statue honoring musician Frank Zappa. Buy tickets online.

Other comic cons: German Comic Cons come to Munich Sept. 15-16; Berlin Oct. 20-21 and Dortmund Dec. 1-2. The Heroes Comic Con takes place in Madrid Sept. 21-23, Romics is in Rome Oct. 4-7, and the Comic Con Paris is slated for Oct. 26-28. 

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