The general vibe I get from those who attended was good. It wasn't perfect, but then I only say that because it wasn't quite what I wanted. Selfish git, eh? I would have liked to see less movie fluff and more comics. I'd have ditched all the video game nonsense and replaced it with 25p boxes of tat, and I wouldn't have let some of the shite awful indy creators past the front door. No offence to indy creators, I love a good independent comic me, but there weren't many good independent comics on show. Far too much floorspace was taken up by sixth form standard bilge -IMO. What about those jokers at the end of artist alley selling dog rough sketches of aliens for a fiver?! If you bought one of those you want incinerating. So yeah, fuck them off next year and either get some decent indy creators OR replace them with more purveyors of old tat.
I bought a fair amount of old comics BUT, I have to say, in the main there were not many bargains to be had on the vintage stalls. Same old problem, I'm afraid - the sellers seem to be in denial over ebay. NEWSFLASH: thumbing through your Overstreet guide, deciding you have a NM copy and then slapping an extra few quid on top of the guide price isn't good enough any more. If you want to sell your water damaged copy of Giant Size X-Men #1 then you're going to have to quote a sensible price! I'm sure the stalls peddling the high price silver age tat sold some of those comics on their wall, but only to mugs. I am not paying you £270 for a comic that I can get for half as much on ebay! You have to adjust or you WILL die! Sorry. I don't want to see you die, I am just telling you the truth.
Right, moans out the way - the good...
The people. I had such a nice time meeting comic chums. Really. I even announced this after a couple of beers, at which point Little Ad said I was just sucking dick! Well, Little Ad - not so sir! The people (including Little Ad) were the undoubted highlight of the weekend for me. From Dexter and John, who schlepped the floors with me, to Dave who tore up the cosplay and provided plenty of laughs in the pub. It was spiffing to spend so much time with like minded folk. I got to meet Pete Kirkham, have a chat with Mike Leader, a bit of a yarn with Mr Salmond. Marvellous. It really was very pleasant. Then there were the brief but - for me anyway -enjoyable chats with creators. Shaky Kane - what a lovely fellah. He spent ten minutes apologising for the fact that the free sketch he was doing for me was shit. It wasn't shit and even if it was, it was fucking free! Chris Weston - politely breaking off from some proper work to pose for a snap and chatting happily about The Twelve with me (nearly finished, apparently). A 10am chat with Leinil Yu in a kebab shop. Nerdgasmic stuff. And what about the cosplayers? I saw a lot of this bunch in action because I spent a good proportion of the con following Dave around. Didn't talk to them, but enjoyed watching them doing their thing and got a little bit of an insight into the politics at work within their community. Some good soap opera there, for sure. Lesbian cosplay grooming FTW! Plus - Domino, PHWOAR!
Venue. Great place. Lovely and bright. Big high ceiling with natural light. Rooms for the panels (I only went to two) were spacious and air conditioned. Plus Upper Street is great for restaurants and pubs AND it's really handy for my house, which is obviously the most important factor.
Anyway, yes. Next year - bring it on! More cosplayers. More tat. Less video game and film shit. Reasonable prices. There's a chance HMV might go bust, so at least we won't have their wank stall. Tell that strange lot with the electric guitars and their rip off of Detroit Metal City to piss off, too. Or not. Whatever. I'll be back. The fact that it wasn't perfect doesn't matter. It's a comic convention! That's what I care about. It's in London. Tickets were fairly priced and those involved clearly put a lot of work into organising it.
Overall I give it a 7.5 out of 10. Really enjoyable weekend.