What is FACTS ?
According to the official website, FACTS is the biggest comics, sci fi and anime festival in the benelux and is located in Ghent, Belgium. This year the convention too place on the 20th and 21st of october.
Your On-Site reporter
Normally we go visit FACTS with a full Knightwise.com team. That way one of us can take pictures, the other can do the interviews, yet another does the video stuff and someone is giving out business cards. Each of us has his specific task,and that’s how we’ve been doing it for the past 2 years.
Sadly … this year not everything was going the way we planned it. @KonradPhoto, our professional photograper was the unlucky one who took an arrow in the knee so he couln’t make it. Well … actually right before Photokina he broke his toe … and so he had to bail out. @Knightwise and @Niejanahad issues with their holodeck and had to do some renovations manually. But that didn’t keep me from going to FACTS, even if I had to carry my camera, mics, DSLR and all that stuff around all day …
This edition they changed the layout of the showfloor a little. Previous years FACTS was spread over 3 halls, but this year they had 2 bigger halls. At first it gave the impression that FACTS was smaller than last year (hey … 2 is less than 3, right), but according to the organization the showfloor was actually bigger. To me … it looked very busy … and the layout didn’t really improve that. To get from the first hall to the second (and back) people had to walk through a small hallway which made it get very crowded at some point on saturday.
The even organizers quickly spotted that and opened some exterior doors so people could move from one hall to the other much easier. The weather was very good … so people took that opportunity to get some fresh air and go outside and enjoy the sun a little.
Personally, I haven’t been reading a lot of comics lately, so I decided to go have a look in the Artist’s Alley. Apparently they had already a few well known comic book authors and graphic artists there … sadly I didn’t know a lot of them. At first I watched Petar Meseldžija draw (he worked on the European version of the Tarzan comics in the past) and I immediately knew I was standing int he mids of real artists. The way he worked and was drawing characters made me wish I had that talent as well.
The next step was Sophian Cholet who was signing a hardcover and drawing something from the Zombies series on it. They also had Augustin Popescu from “De Roos en het Kruis” (a comic I really want to know more about). Then a little further up someone was drawing Yoko Tsuno. I had already heard about Yoko Tsuno before, but I thought Roger Leloup was the author and thought he was a lot older … but then again … maybe someone else was drawing Yoko Tsuno.
When I was filming the artists, someone else arrived, and I started filming him for about 10 minutes. In all honesty, I had absolutely no idea who it was until I noticed he was sitting in the Walking Dead corner. He was drawing Zombie characters and I was really impressed by how good he was at that. I was so impressed I actually asked who he was, and apparently it was Charlie Adlard himself … I had no idea … and probably most of you are thinking “Shame on You!” right now.
The drawings I have seen there were truly awesome, and it sparkled my interest to go read some comics again myself … so if you have any good suggestions, feel free to let me know about them in the comments.
Just as the previous years plenty of people spent a lot of time and effort to create their Cosplay costume. But those costumes are only part of the Cosplay act. Some people really studied the character they were cosplaying and acted just like the character. Making a costume with lots of gore and blood is one thing, but really walking and reacting as a zombie … now that is cosplaying. Some of them even imitated the sounds you would associate with their character … truly amazing.
This is the third year we go visit facts, and thus we start to meet some familiar cosplayers. This year Puck Barendrecht and Tamara Boss were there as well. I also noticed Tessa Van den Eynde who cosplayed the ever so sexy Lara Croft previous years. But this time I don’t think she was cosplaying at all, or maybe I don’t know the character she was cosplaying.
De Games & Showfloor
I remember that two years ago I already wrote about someone cosplaying Altair (Assassins Creed) in my dutch blogpost. Well, this year Ubisoft was showing off Assassins Creed III at facts. They had a booth where you could play a demo of the game and watch some trailers. I think they also hired 2 cosplayers and both of them had a stunning resemblance with their in-game characters. If the Ubisoft people are reading this … I was very impressed by the game and the cosplayers … but sadly I was unable to catch a Assassins Creed branded T-Shirt / Sweatshirt during the give-away … my sone would have been very happy with one of those.
Covering the FACTS Convention as a one man team was quite hard. Getting the right shots with the video camera, watch the audio, quickly grabbing a picture when I noticed something nice … I really had to do too much at the same time, which resulted in no more time to do some interviews. But then again … it would have been impossible for me to beat Knightwise’s interviewing style and techniques anyway.
But in the end I was quite happy I was able to go, and I’m already looking forward to FACTS 2013 which will be the 20th anniversary.
For those of you who missed it … I threw together some footage and made a video montage of about 10 minutes for you to enjoy :
As I mentioned, I didn’t have a lot of time to take pictures, but you can see my shots in my FACTS 2012 Flickr Set.
About the Author
Stefaan is a Software Developer by trade, but also active as a Tech Reporter and Podcaster mostly in Dutch / Flemish. You can find out more about him on his blog at iTutor Podcast or check out the Tech45 Podcast.