Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crowds and Cosplay

Back from the massive London Comic Con at the weekend and just about recovering. Boy it was big. On the Saturday we were told that they had reached the fire limit for the venue and so it was one in, one out. And that meant 50,000 people were trapped inside the massive warehouse which was one of the Excel Halls. The adjoining hall was taken up with the queue ...

The crowds!
Sam Stone and I were guests of Lady Elsie and Major Tinker from the Victorian Steampunk Society, and they kindly gave over one of their tables for us to sell some books. Their own tables were heaving with all manner of brilliant trinkets and baubles, all steampunked of course. If you're interested, have a look at http://thevss.yolasite.com/ for more information.

As Saturday got busier and busier, the sheer number of people in costumes started to become overwhelming. I would say that perhaps 75% of the people who attended came in some sort of costume, from a cardboard box (I'm not joking) to some of the most imaginative and sophisticated costuming you could get, every aspect was represented. Most I had no idea about as it was all coming from Manga and Anime and comics, but some I recognised, like two girls dressed as Alice from the American McGee Alice computer games, others dressed as members of Ouran High School Host Club, and folks from Silent Hill, Batman, Doctor Who, Spiderman ... and as I say, just about everything in between.

Fantastic cosplay as Harley Quinn
It was totally groovy to see the excellent Chris Stone and his lovely lady Stephanie there again. Steph was wearing her very sexy Black Cat outfit, while Chris was totally perfect as Austin Powers. They certainly got a lot of photographs taken of them ... Shagadelic baby ... yeah!!

Amidst the throng it was good to see some independent films being showcased. I'm looking forward to seeing Noel Clarke's new science fiction film Storage 24, and it was good to see Noel there again promoting the title. Another which looks great is Iron Sky, another science fiction yarn in which Earth is invaded by Nazis from the Moon ... when I get to see these I'll add some reviews here.

We managed to chat a little to a few of the guests. Sam and I are enjoying watching Grimm at the moment, so it was good to see the star of that show, David Giuntoli there. Another nice chap was Raphael Sbarge from a show called Once Upon A Time. We need to find that and watch it! The cast of a new Cbeebies drama called Young Dracula were there as well - something else to watch out for. And cult favourite Elvira made an appearance and was every bit as stunning and charming in real life!  Danny DeVito was there promoting his new film The Lorax (in which he voices the title character) but the film company were in security overdrive and the best I got was a glimpse of the top of his head and a few photos when he did a limited signing (120 posters for the lucky people who got the white wristbands!)

Sam with Honey Sempai from Orun High
School's Host Club
Among the games on display was a cool thing called Lollipop Chainsaw, which had zombie cheerleaders roaming the halls ... they gave me a foam chainsaw and a lollipop! There was also a game called Dead or Alive 5 which looked fun - I signed the sig board they were building and got an 'I'm a Fighter' badge as a reward. Always nice to get free stuff. A new Transformers online game was being promoted, as well as an Aliens Colonial Marines game which was for Adults only.

Overall my impression was that the place was stuffed to the gills with teenagers having fun. All dressing up and enjoying themselves. The predominant fandom was perhaps cosplay, and within that, anything went. Manga and Anime ruled, and games came second, with television and film trailing a little. Books ... well books were nowhere to be seen. I suspect that most attendees were hooked on books with pictures ... and so books with words that made pictures in your brain were not really top of anyones agenda. Which is a great shame.

The event was superb fun though, and very well attended. There were panels and signings taking place the whole time, and lots to see and do. I don't envy everyone all the queuing to get in though! My thanks to Bryan Cooney for his kindness to us, and for a fabulous event!

Here's some more pics!

Danny DeVito
A very cute kitteh

I've no idea whatsoever who these people were

American McGee's Alice cosplay

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