Recently friend of Otherworldsthanthese.co.uk Chris Vint had the chance to visit London Film Comic Con. He kindly blogged about his adventures for the site.
2 years ago I had my first experience at a Showmasters event which was funnily enough in London and I had planned to go to America but due to a family issue I didn’t go. I used the money from that for this event and boy am I glad that I decided to go to this con. The lineup was insane and getting to meet some of these people I’ve seen in movies or in tv was a dream becoming reality for this 3 day event!
I decided to stay in a hotel within 15 minutes walk of the London Olympia where the event was taking place. This was so helpful being able to leave the hotel at 7.40 and be there for around 8am which was still plenty of time and queuing inside was helpful incase it’s raining and there were toilet facilities nearby as well.
What I hopefully plan on doing in the review is talk about my experience with each individual that I met
I was lucky enough to purchase a diamond pass for Benedict Cumberbatch which meant I was able to get a photograph and an autograph from him. Was this cheap? No. Was meeting someone from the Marvel Universe high on my agenda? Yes it was indeed. Benedict had 29 batches of photos to get through on the Saturday when I was meeting him. What does that mean? Well there is about 50-100 per batch so you so the math. I was happy to meet him and he was a very nice man when I got my photo and when I got my autographs as well. There was no personalisation but I understood given how hectic his schedule was. He was one of my main meets this weekend so that’s why I’ve put him first and also my only diamond pass guest.
Friday was the first day of the convention and I was excited to see what the day would bring and who I would meet. I had four photos that day and had planned to get a few autographs out of the way as I knew I’d be up against it on Saturday. The atmosphere queuing up was terrific. Seeing people who had put hours of work into their cosplay and some people who where just happy to be there. Conventions bring a lot of people together. I wouldn’t talk to someone in the queue ahead of me at Tesco but at a con, that’s a different experience. I even talked to an American lady who had travelled from the states to London, solely for Cumberbatch! That’s commitment!! My first experience was with David Morrissey who was the Governor in The Walking Dead and in Doctor Who as well. He was very thankful of the fandoms as I brought a doctor who magazine for him to sign.
I said I was looking forward to my photo with him later in the day. He asked what time it was at as he wasn’t told which made me laugh. He even said hello again when I got my photo with him. Pamela Anderson was the only read hiccup of the weekend. I thought she may have a been a Prima Donna and I think I was right. She didn’t start signing autographs until 11am and seemed to make up her own rules. Don’t get me wrong, she was nice enough to meet but how people’s photos turned out was dreadful. It was so over exposed and I have never been so disappointed in a photo I got. I was speaking to my friend who I went with and he told me that the Showmasters forum said to visit the organisers booth. I did and after waiting got credit to use in the upcoming days which was handy. I have altered the photo so it’s not as bad as before but think Pamela Anderson met Casper.
Dean Cain was next on my hit list. I was planning to go to Collectormania in Birmingham at the end of July but due to my father passing away I didn’t go and was delighted to see him announced as my friends had said how wonderful he was and they weren’t wrong. He looked at everyone’s shirt and loved my He-Man shirt and when I got my photo he thanked me and I then went to wait for him at his autograph table and waited there for him. I got to shake hands with him and I always enjoyed his portrayal of Casey Manning in Las Vegas. He said he almost…almost felt bad for being paid for that job as it was such fun and the girls…well look them up! I told him about not being able to meet him at Collectormania. He was most sincere and wrote a lovely message on my comic which meant a lot to me. Last photo of the day was with Mads Mikkelsen who like everyone else was fantastic and was good to end with someone from Rogue One and Doctor Strange!
Saturday was without doubt the busiest day of the convention.We were very fortunate to get low virtual queue tickets for the guys I wanted autographs from which today were Kevin Smith. Ian McDiarmid and Chris Judge (he went home sick the day prior). Virtual queue tickets are a number that you have and you wait until that guest is up to that number. So if I have Kevin Smith number 78 and they call up to number 50, I wait until they go to number 100. It stops you being in a queue all day and I love how they do this!
I was a stressed mess on Saturday morning. I had a huge clash with my photos. I had Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Lloyd at 9.30 and Benedict Started at 9.45! I went to Ian first and had that done and Christopher Lloyd’s photo queue was out the door. I then headed for my William Regal photo which I thought was at 10.20 but it was 10.50. Luckily the photo area where Benedict Cumberbatch was, was closer so I managed to get that done and then headed back to meet Christopher Lloyd who was majestic. After this was done I was calming down as I had my William Regal shoot that I had to bolt to from Mr Lloyds photo area and luckily my friend Robbie and I were the last ones in.
The camerawoman was having some real issues taking our photo and poor Robbie had to take his glasses off. We even joked with Mr Regal and asking how he was and he was saying oh I’m terrific, you guys. Was lovely to meet him and we had a right laugh. After that I had to head to get my Bernard Cribbins photo and this was one of great importance to me as I loved him in Doctor Who and grew up with The Wombles. There was a guy dressed up as Negan from Walking Dead and Bernard took his “Lucille” which is a baseball bat with barbed wire at the top and took a photo where it looks like he’s hitting his chest with bit.
Was a moment that made everyone laugh. I had a bit of a break as the morning was starting to catch up on me and after that I went to get my autograph from Ian McDiarmid. Again thanks to being prepared and having a low vq (virtual queue) ticket I was allowed in the line. Ian was another one that was very important to me. My father and I watched all the Star Wars movies and he was so excited that I was meeting him and I was wearing a white Star Wars polo shirt that I bought for dad. I was able to tell Ian all I needed to and this for me was my closure as it was something I wasn’t just doing for me but for my father.
Next up was Benedict Wong who played Wong in Doctor Strange and he was terrific. Loving doing different poses and being funny with everyone. I was so happy I got a photo with him as I was on the fence. Arrow and The Flash have been two tv shows I’ve watched since the beginning and I was able to get a photo with Joe Dinicol who played Ragman in seaon 5 and was so welcoming to others! A very humble fella who I hope others meet down the line.. day was an unexpected gift from two of my friends and that was the legend that was John Cleese. He was sitting down but to see someone from an iconic role in Fawlty Towers and to stand next to him was terrific. Again happy with the photo as I am all of them
I also managed to get some autographs from some Star Wars guests. Ian, who I already covered, Dave Prowse who played Darth Vader, Jeremy Bulloch who played Boba Fett Jimmy Vee who was R2-D2 in The Force Awakens and Alan Harris who played Bossk. Alan Harris spoke of his time in Belfast from a few years ago and really enjoyed being over here. Chris Judge wasn’t there on the Friday as he was ill but I managed to meet him on the Saturday for him to sign my Masters of the Universe comic as he voiced Zodak in the 2002 reboot of Masters of the Universe. He had never seen this comic before and was happy I had met him and shown that to him with a hefty handshake. I did get an autograph from Michelle Harrison but her writing is that small you can’t see it. She did give me a massive hug which was wonderful! Last up was Kevin Smith. I told him that the Spider-Man comic I got him to sign was my first Spider-Man comic I had read and he was very shocked and happy I enjoyed it. He paid tribute to the Dodson family who helped him work on it. A true gent and so down to earth!
Sunday was a much more relaxed day and had Gemma Whelan first of all with my friend Gemma so it was team Gemma and I! She was heavily pregnant but was so nice! Kevin Smith was greeting everyone with a handshake, a hug and left them with a high five. My friend Simon and I were queuing for David Bradley and decide to get our photos together as if you have two tickets, you can then get two people in the photo and two prints. So we went for a normal one and asked if he could do his first doctor pose which he obliged with and we were so happy with how the photos turned out. Natalie Dormer was an hour later. I was really nervous about this one as with her being so beautiful, I thought she may not be as lovely as he was.
I asked if she could do her Margarey smirk from Game Of Thrones and as you can see, I got my wish and loved the photo. Rosie Jane who played Bill’s Mum in the latest season of Doctor Who was lovely. Michelle Harrison who played Nora Allen (Barry’s Mum) was another highlight as I asked if she could hug me first then hug Simon. The picture in the middle of me reading The Flash comic is one of my favourites from the weekend. After this photo we took it to Michelle who loved it and even applauded our photo. The last photo of the weekend was Matt Lucas. Funny how I didn’t enjoy him in Doctor Who at the start and loved him at the end. A very charming man and meeting two comedy legends in a weekend was brilliant.
I managed to get two autographs from Natalie Dormer and David Bradley. These were two insanely popular people and was delighted to talk to both of them. I said to David Bradley, I’m sure it’s wonderful being part of three massive fandoms now and he retorted with how much it’s changed his life! I said to Natalie how happy I was with the photo and how beautiful she looked. She was very appreciative. I also did pick up a commission from the insanely talented Martin Griffiths who did my Lion-O piece!
The three days went in too quickly and even though you meet celebrities, the most important thing is the people you do the conventions with. if you are reading this my dear friends, thank you so much for all the wonderful memories that you helped me create. These are never forgotten and without a shadow of a doubt, this has been my favourite convention I’ve attended.
Years down the line I’ll look at the photos I’ve got in my hand and remember the good times with some incredible people. I hope if you decide to go to a convention, you have a great time like I truly did this weekend!