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.
Did you witness this behaviour at all? If so, on a scale of ‘normal’ to ‘paparazzi’, where did it fit?
No doubt. You’ve got to factor in that for many people, this passion hobby can be turned into a full-time source of revenue. There are plenty of existing examples who have been proving just this for many years now, most notably, via Twitch.
Damnit. That's a shame. I'm sure she would have obliged and wouldn't have been surprised if she had social media to share with you for follows or exposure. By any chance, was this the person?
Tim White – Flickr
I hope you didn’t maintain eye contact for too long, because…
“THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE ANSWER TO THAT!!!!”
How much does stuff like that go for?
Ha ha! I had to google what that even was and then realised I’ve seen pictures of such things before.
One word, Licensing. I suspect a great portion of that £45 goes to Disney or whoever is allowing them to use their intellectual property.
Thoroughly enjoyed your report. Dismissed.😛
Thanks for posting the pictures: I don’t think this is the same woman. The girl I saw had much more of a DIY/home-made feel to her costume – the one in these pictures seems more store-bought. It’s still impressive though.
Oh, the random hotch-potch of comics I picked up were all for around £2 or £3 each. The guy I kept going back to was an older gentleman who had a vast collection that he was trying to sell off (he needed to raise funds urgently for something). So, although events like this are full of people selling pretty expensive merchandise (often over-priced), you do find little stalls where the person isn’t really trying to make big bucks but is just trying to pass on his/her items to someone who appreciates them. That’s the stuff I like.