In 1970, the inaugural Comic-Con took place as a one-day event known as San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon. What began as a modest gathering of American comic enthusiasts, coming together to connect and celebrate their passion, soon evolved into a global pop culture phenomenon.
These early Comic-Cons centered on comics and original artwork, featuring essential elements like special guests, dealer rooms, and panels from the very start. Over time, this model has expanded to encompass a diverse array of attractions, including cosplay, video games, movies, collectibles, streaming services, esports, and much more. Notably, the inclusion of comic book-related films at Comic-Cons has attracted substantial attention from major corporations and the general public. This heightened interest has translated into increased attendance and the widespread influence of Comic-Con conventions, fostering the global growth of nerd culture.
Heroes Dutch Comic Con
As with every cultural phenomenon, Comic-Con eventually made its way to Europe, and in 2015, the first Comic Con in The Netherlands took place. The event was an immediate success, witnessing a growing number of attendees each year, and its program continued to expand. Now, you might be wondering how all of this relates to Retrolike.net. Well, in recent years, particularly at HDCC (Heroes Dutch Comic Con), we’ve observed a notable increase in video game-related stands, exhibitions, and dealers.
The Gaming Hall at HDCC: A Hub for Gamers
As in the previous year, this year’s HDCC event will feature a dedicated Game Hall, bringing together a variety of gaming-related events, experiences, and dealers. Over the past few years, specialized dealers have increasingly participated in HDCC, and the dedicated hall serves as a focal point within the larger convention.
Prominent exhibitors at HDCC have included Nintendo (Benelux), Ubi Soft, Belgian Game retailer GameMania, and Dutch store chain Intertoys. These exhibitors have contributed significantly to the gaming presence at the event.
A substantial portion of the floor is designated for gaming areas, offering visitors the opportunity to engage with contemporary esports games. Additionally, a noteworthy attraction is the retro game section, featuring 40 different video game setups spanning from the Atari 2600 to more recent consoles. Some visitors, like myself, enjoy the tradition of attempting to set high scores on classics like the Donkey Kong arcade cabinet found within the retro arcade exhibit on the show floor.
Apart from the Game hall, you can find retro games all over the dealer room, like at retrovirus.nl’s stall
The Gaming Stage
Within the gaming hall, HDCC has established a focal point known as the Gaming Stage. This stage serves as the hub for various gaming-related activities, including esports competition finals, Q&A sessions with video game voice actors and actresses, and engaging workshops. While the guest list for this year’s event is still taking shape, it’s already shaping up to be an exciting lineup, with notable names such as Elijah Wood and Famke Janssen confirmed.
A Pop Culture Gathering
In recent years, my focus during HDCC visits has leaned more towards gaming than any other aspect. This shift is noteworthy, considering my extensive collection of over 2,500 games and 3,000 comics, cultivated over the span of 25 years. It highlights how HDCC, like many other conventions, has transitioned from its origins as a primarily comic-oriented event to a broader pop culture gathering that welcomes enthusiasts from diverse interests.
I still find myself eagerly anticipating the event as new announcements trickle in, a testament to the evolving and inclusive nature of HDCC, where people of all interests and backgrounds come together to celebrate their passions.
Info and Tickets
Editor Danny on HDCC 2022