Comic Con Holland

A well-rounded event with plenty of celebrity guests, cosplays and merchandise.

Comic Con Holland Den Bosch Netherlands
Steampunks at Comic Con Holland 2024 in the Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Hilde Heyvaert)

Having been to a few conventions, but never a comic con specifically, Comic Con Holland was a very enjoyable introduction to these events.

The entrance set the tone with several movie props and sets to take pictures in. From there, we properly entered the convention, the heart of it, of course, being the guests. There were no fewer than 23.

John Rhys-Davies, of Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones fame, was probably the most in demand, with a very long line of fans throughout the day and John being more than ready to quote his most memorable lines to visitors. (We were given a very enthusiastic “Nobody tosses a dwarf!” when filming a skit with him.)

Other guests included Bonnie Wright of Harry Potter, several people who are part of the Disney umbrella (including Star Wars and Marvel) as well as newer franchises such as The Sandman, among others. The convention did a good job of making sure they provided a lot of varied entertainment, spanning multiple decades and interests, and this was reflected in their choice of guests as well.

There were many cosplays, and many at a professional level too. This isn’t to say that beginners wouldn’t feel welcome, as the convention actively encouraged cosplay of all levels and provided a very safe environment to cosplay in, including changing areas and various stages, so people had options when it came to participating outside of the main competition.

Supporters of small businesses and creators did not have to look far: there were over a hundred stands gathered in the artist alley. Items for sale ranged from stickers and other stationery to home decor, art prints and accessories — and even cookies! It was easy to lose track of time discovering all of them, as well as the stands selling licensed merchandise, and inevitably we found some handmade and licensed items to bring home.

For those who weren’t interested in meeting guests or shopping, other activities ranged from Q&As (in a fully seated hall) to (retro) gaming, themed photo booths, stands by various fandom groups and more.

The organization did a great job making use of the entire venue. The Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch are perfect for a convention, having several toilet and seating areas throughout. Many in the quieter sections, so if you needed a breather that was easy to find. Food was also spread out and varied, which is always a plus. The quality could be a hit-or-miss (we don’t recommend the burgers!), but that is not unusual at these events. The one thing we did miss were prevalent bars. Finding a drink was not as easy as it should be.

Another advantage of the convention making good use of its venue was that sections and stalls were well spaced out, with wide lanes in between, making it largely accessible for guests with limited mobility. And more pleasant for everyone to move about. Even at the busiest moments, it never felt like were were stuck in a throng of people that barely moved.

As for steampunk, we saw several steam- and dieselpunks roaming the convention, many more than photographed. The merchandise specifically catering to steampunks was more limited than at Belgian cons, but nevertheless there were some items on offer. And it was definitely an event you could dress in full ‘punk for, as well as safely bring your children. Altogether well-rounded, suitable for all ages, and worth a visit next time!

Written with Valentine Delrée.

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