My First Con: London Film and Comic Con 2015
Hot, cramped and achy. If we’re going purely physical, that’s my off the bat response to the convention. The weekend saw the London Olympia heaving with what I assume to be thousands. It reminded me of music festivals I’ve been to, becoming just one in a swell of people that seem near impossible to navigate through. Unlike those festivals though, the indoor nature of LFCC means that the crowds felt like they were generating more heat than the sun. Also, it seems that my feet just suck at their job. In fact, my entire lower body didn’t stand up too well to the task of long days moving around the con. I guess what I’m really saying is that I kind of get where Jesse Eisenberg was coming from when he described his recent experience at San Diego Comic Con. He was obviously being hyperbolic, as he himself admitted, but there is a serious physical response to that amount of people in that amount of space that sort of goes beyond rationalisation. All that said, and somewhat whined, it’s certainly one hell of an experience.
From gleefully staring at how normal the Game of Thrones stars are outside of the show (seeing Carice van Houten, aka Melisandre, just totally normal and in reading glasses gave me a particularly odd amount of pleasure) to getting in on Syfy’s fairly awesome 360 camera, LFCC had a ton of stuff to see and certainly got the crowds in to do so. Merchandise stalls were all over and covered in temptation. Honestly, if I had the money, I would’ve required a forklift to carry all the stuff I wanted out of there. As it was, I settled for a few comics from the rather wonderful Rachael Smith (interview to come, check out her website here) as we worked our way through a few interviews with the comic artists/writers on the Sunday. Speaking of which, pretty much everyone we dealt with was truly awesome. It’s not exactly that you think they won’t be, it’s just that there’s sort of that apprehension about people becoming stars and then not really caring about their fans. “Never meet your heroes” and all that. So it was a true pleasure to see how cool all of the guests we met there were.
And speaking of cool guests, I sat in front of Sigourney Weaver. Seeing the Back to the Future cast was cool but seriously, Sigourney Goddamn Weaver. It still seems surreal to think I was only a few metres from Ripley. We were lucky to just happen to wander up to check out the third floor just as the Aliens panel was starting (check out our highlights coverage here) and what followed was truly joyous. I mean, that’s really what I took away from all of the guest interactions. That there is something weirdly joyous about seeing these people humanised and brought to the level of just being normal, goofing around with each other and their fans. It’s nice to see that the people you look up to as stars can be just as cool in real life. Also, Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor, really is that huge. I mean, seriously. Real nice guy but damn. And we randomly bumped into Filch (David Bradley) on the way out of a lift which was a bit of a double take moment. It’s a sort of unique convention magic to spend half your time suddenly twitching your head back to confirm that really was the Prince of Flowers cruising past.
There’s no real way to dilute the entire convention down into a few paragraphs. The visual experience alone warrants too much with the bevy of cosplay craziness that occurred (though all respect to the full scale Korn Beserker, as impractical as that was it was also damn impressive). The experience was certainly an interesting one and one that was really made by the great team, if I do say so myself, that I was part of. LFCC put on quite the show and it was great to be a part of it. Over the next week or so, we’ll be putting out a load more coverage so keep your eyes peeled for more of what we got up to at this year’s London Film and Comic Con.