Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Doctor Who, a Hobbit, and ET Walk into Earl's Court
Nicholas Lea signing at LFCC 2012
I discovered The London Film & Comic Convention back in 2005, when I fulfilled the dream of meeting my favourite Star Trek captain, Kathryn Janeway (A.K.A, Kate Mulgrew). Since then, I have attended every year, and always look forward to meeting all the guests.
If you are in the back row, the guests can be difficult to hear.
Each year, Showmasters announce an amazing line-up, and the event just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Last year, however, I think they might have overreached themselves. There were so many visitors that the volunteers just could not cope, which lead to a big kerfuffle with the queues. They also had a number of technical difficulties with the microphones, so it was difficult to hear the guest speakers talk.
There are loads of talks throughout the day, many of which are free, but some have to be paid for. Sometimes you get guests who have loads to say and really know how to entertain a crowd, but other times, there are guests, who kind of just give 'yes' and 'no' answers. Because you don't know what you're going to get, I would recommend not wasting your money on paid talks, and just going for the free ones. From experience, I have actually come to realise that the guests who give free talks are usually the more interesting to listen to anyway.
Me & Gillian Anderson, 2012
Despite some of the problems, last year was one of the best experiences of all because I got to have my photo taken with two big names: Gillian Anderson and Jeri Ryan.
Because they were so popular, it was really just an in-and-out do, but if the queues are not long, you can end up having lengthy conversations with the guests, most of whom write personalisations on the autographs you buy.
Mitch Pileggi, 2012
I had a lovely conversation Nicholas Lea and Mitch Pileggi from The X-Files. Nick explained to me how he did scenes with a prosthetic arm, and Mitch and I had a laugh about how his character, Walter Skinner, had a massive crush on Agent Scully.
I saved £20 by comparing all the prices on action figures.
As well as the guests, there are hundreds of stalls to browse, where they sell action figures, comic books, American & Japanese sweets, costumes, swords, and a whole lot more. It is best to shop around before you buy as a number of the dealers are selling the same thing at different prices. For example, I saw Star Trek action figures for £25 at one stall, but then bought two for £5 from a different dealer further on.
LFCC also has two gaming zones: one that gives you previews of the latest games on the market, and the other is a retro zone with old time games and consoles like Crash Bandicoot on the Playstation 1 and Sonic the Hedgehog on the SNES. These are great fun to play, and they sometimes hold competitions, such as a Mario Kart tournament, with the winner getting a £5 autograph voucher.
This year's LFCC will be at Earls Court 2 on the 5th-7th July, and there are some wonderful things to look forward to. There will be a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reunion with Avery Brooks, Armin Shimerman, Max Grodenchik, Barry Jenner, Salome Jens, Nicole DeBoer, and Aron Eisenberg as confirmed guests. And there will also be an E.T. Reunion with many of the cast and creators attending, including the puppeteers, Caprice Roth and Matthew De Merritt.
Among the writers & artists attending, you'll find the creator of Dennis the Menace , DC & Marvel illustrators, and author Ian Rankin.
Tickets can either be bought on the day or booked in advance. It is best to buy photoshoot or talk tickets before hand in case they sell out. Admission cost £6 for a standard entry or £12 for early entry. There are also other options available like a £5 Friday preview, or a gold programme for £175.