Thoughts on my first London Comic Con!
So last weekend was London Film and Comic Con Spring,
I had been anticipating this event for well over six months. Not just because this was one of the biggest events (save MCM Birmingham) I'd traded at so far but also because I was driving there. I passed my driver's three years ago, and just driving across town was a struggle because I had such severe anxiety anytime I was in the driver's seat. If you'd told me back then that I'd not only be driving to London, but also driving around busy London during rush hour traffic, I'd have thought you a lair. The travelling/driving that has come along with this new career is by far one of the biggest hurdles for me, and I feel so proud to have overcome it!
As with Showmasters events, you're required to set up the day before, meaning I had to travel down on the Friday. My hotel was just under an hours walk from the venue, so I decided to Uber there to set up (as I hadn't booked a loading slot, and very ambitiously thought I could walk with my stock, screen, banner etc.) I was situated upstairs in Artist Alley opposite the signings, and so I very hurriedly got my table set up and met my neighbours. As I'd been awake since 5am, I was very keen to walk back to the hotel and relax before the event with my supply of instant noodles.
The next morning I prepared to walk down to the venue at 7am with a small bag of extra stock I'd left in my car. I was very much aware that it was likely to pour with rain over the weekend, so I tried to prepare as best I could by bringing plenty of plastic bags in case I needed to keep things dry. Of course, in my attempt to hurry back to the hotel asap the day before, I left them at the venue. So I had to pathetically try and cover my prints with a scarf and one small bag I found. Needless to say, the rain was unforgiving and many of my prints got wet. This didn't dampen my spirits though, as I'd actually had a very decent night's sleep the night before. So instead I created a little Print Intensive Care Unit under the my table where I nursed them back to health.
I had a quick look around the event before we opened to the public, and I met so many wonderful artists with beautiful art I wanted to purchase. But I had to wait until it was quieter, as we had a rush of people come in. A lot of them heading to get autographs from people like Charles Dance, Bella Ramsey, Jerome Flynn and Daniel Portman from Game of Thrones, Tom Hopper from Umbrella Academy, Cassady McClincy from The Walking Dead, Afshan Azad from Harry Potter and Sylvester McCoy among others. But I was most excited about Ivana Baquero from Pans Labyrinth, a film I love very dearly! So once I felt I'd made enough to justify treating myself to an autograph, I went and met her. She was very lovely, and I even got a quick photo with her also!
Later, on request of a friend, I met and got autographs from Charles Dance and Bella Ramsey.
The second day was just as enjoyable, I met so many lovely new people, and got so much wonderful feedback on my work. It was noticeably quieter today, and people weren't as keen on buying things, which gave me more of a chance to look around at the other stalls. I purchased some fantastic art, DnD stickers, and did an art swap with an old trader friend. She claimed the first print of my new piece, 'Pythius,' while I nabbed one of her awesome d20 necklaces!
After packing up and saying my goodbyes, it took me about three hours to drive home (with the scary London rush hour traffic actually being quite painless!)
Overall, it was a very enjoyable event! Thank you for everyone who stopped by my table, chatted with me or purchased something off me, I don't know what I've done to deserve it sometimes! And I'll hopefully see you all at London Film and Comic Con Summer!