I hadn’t been to any kind of comic-con event since waaaay back in the day: before they were even really a thing.
Certainly before they were the huge things they are now.
I’ve never cared much about autograph hunting or selfies with celebrities, for one thing. And I’ve never really been bothered about talks or panels.
But I do care a fair bit about comic books. And vintage toys.
So this summer I decided to attend the London Film and Comiccon, held at the Olympia in Kensington and organised by Showmasters.
There isn’t a great deal to say here: this is mostly just an excuse to share some fun photos from the day.
Certainly, the general standard (and popularity) of Cosplay has grown by leaps and bounds. Lots of Jedi and Mandalorians. Some Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman action. A pleasantly surprising Ahsoka Tano.
I was most struck by a random attendee who was sporting a near-perfect Wanda Maximoff costume – which I’m pretty sure was homemade. I didn’t get a photo of her, unfortunately.
I also got to peruse and appreciate some independent comic book creators and artists’ work. And happened to also notice some Paradox Girl representation – which was nice, as I interviewed Paradox Girl’s creator Cayti Bourquin here a few years ago and also reviewed the first books she published in the series (here).
I also did get pretty close to Christopher Lloyd, who was talking generously with some fans. And I made eye contact with Gowron, the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council (or at least the actor Robert O’Reilly, who portrayed him for over ten years).
The rest of it is just people trying to sell you stuff. I did pick up a handful of choice items for reasonable prices: mostly some Silver Surfer and West Coast Avengers comics from the 1980s, and a couple of early 90s X-Men books (X-Cutioner’s Song is still a thing of greatness).
But events like this reinforce my intense dislike of Funko Pops.
Those damn things were everywhere – and in many cases being sold for ludicrous prices (£45 for a WandaVision Funko). I hate those things – and not just because they’re so trendy and popular. They’re just low-grade, cheaply made bait.
I get that people find them cute: but these things are featureless, ugly things that have none of the craftmanship or detail you’d find a decent model or action-figure.
And they’ve taken over the world – they’re everywhere.
Apart from teenage girls, I can’t imagine who’s buying these things on such an industrial scale. But clearly someone is: and with some of them being priced as high as they are, I assume the Funko obsession is here to stay for some time.
Alright, that’s my review of comic-con concluded.