The Con Virgin: Full Frontal Nerdity

Last weekend I attended my very first convention; London Film & Comic Con:

Stan Lee walked RIGHT PAST ME. I was starstruck. STAN EFFIN LEE!

When someone said to me over dinner last summer 'you've never been to a con? Oh my god, you have to go!' I immediately put it on my bucket list. It's something I've been meaning to do for years and never gotten around to. So this year, I bought myself a ticket.

Well, that got upgraded quickly.

I could only attend on the Sunday due to other commitments, I quickly realised this was a fatal Comic Con error as some guests only attend for one day, so I was immediately missing out, but that's a lesson learned for the next one!

I decided not to get overwhelmed, kill my credit card or destroy my savings account and went Time Lord specific, so that was two additional tickets purchased for the event:

London Film and Comic Con tickets
Time Lords! Squeeeeeee!

You know when you have NO IDEA what to expect from a day out? This was it for me. This was not helped by the masses of negativity that was being published about the event on Twitter (#LFCC). Saturday was oversubscribed, had huge queues and London was mid-heatwave (up to 27 degrees that day - not the best weather to queue in!). I have to admit, I even I thought the guest ratio was a bit too biased towards the Saturday (I recognise the guests are working around career commitments and personal lives but if they can only do one day I hope the organisers push for the quieter one more often).

I didn't let this ruin my enthusiasm, my friends and I were working ourselves up into a geek frenzy on messaging the night before. I had my satchel packed with more snacks than Hannibal Lecter would find in a mortuary and laid all my clothes out ready the night before. Yes, this was more exciting than Christmas Eve.

FYI: Faux Converse are not as comfy as real ones. But yanno, TARDIS. 

My friend Emma and I decided to try to beat the queues, get up early and upgrade our standard entry ticket to an early bird one, so we joined the queues at 9am, were upgraded for £7 and in the doors by 9.25am. Success!

London film and comic con 2014

The day was AWESOME. The crowds picked up around midday - early afternoon, but the morning and after 3pm were really relaxed. I managed to get both my photoshoots done in the morning, queued with Emma to get her signings done, went in and out of the venue a few times for air/real daylight/sunshine (I see how Vegas casinos make money now), met up with my other two friends Sam and Kate for their signings and photos and just had a fun day chatting to people, taking selfies with people and buying nice things for myself.

London film and comic con 2014
Sam & Kate. Sam made her awesome skirt - her first sewing project too!

This guy dressed as the 11th Doctor leapt in front of me as I was walking to a shoot and said 'SAVE ME THEN!' He got a hug, a contact card and a selfie for being the first person to greet me that day. :)

London film and comic con 2014

My tshirt was a constant source of amusement. During my Colin Baker shoot he saw me, grabbed my by the shoulders and said 'get saving then, dear girl!' and squished me into a hug. To be honest, Paul McGann could have said anything to me and I probably wouldn't have listened well; he shook my hand when I offered mine, I asked him how he was, he looked me square in the eyes and said 'I'm bearing up, yeah, thanks!' and laughed as he squished me in for a photo hug. I thanked him for being a honey and I was gone. Swooning. Sigh.

London film and comic con 2014 Colin Baker
Are any photos at these events at flattering angles? NOPE.  

London film and comic con 2014 Paul mcgann

I did debate cosplaying, but as it was my first con and I was only going for one day I decided against it. Plus it was bloody boiling inside Earl's Court even with aircon on, I probably would have fainted. I was really impressed with the amount of women who cosplay as male characters in a feminine way - in fact I love this idea so much that I'm going to run with this when I cosplay next. Take a traditional strong male character and make him as strong as a woman? Love that message. I'm all over it. I wish I got a photo of the girl dressed as Sherlock Holmes, she looked amazing, I'm totally pinching that costume idea, hand me my deerstalker.

My friend Rob messaged me whilst I was there asking how I was getting on (he's a pro and he knew this was my first event). I replied saying that I was panting with excitement and that I felt like I found something, a community that I belong in and feel a part of. He replied with 'welcome home Alex Marshall!' and he was right, I felt SO at home. I've said previously that the Doctor Who fandom is one of the best communities of people that I've ever known, but after spending 8 hours in a venue surrounded by so many other people from other fandoms, I extend that praise to many other fandom communities; everyone was lovely, friendly, patient, happy, excited, fun - it was a wonderful atmosphere to spend a day in.

My kick-ass new tshirt

Only two purchases? ALL THE RESTRAINT.

After all that excitement and exhaustion, I'm totally geared up for my next one. October? London? Are you in? Let me know. I'd love to see you there. I'll even get myself dressed up for it.

That's my con virginity done with, and what a first time it was! If you want to know how a con pro does it, go have a look at my dear friend Rob's YouTube channel; his latest vlog series is called The Con Artist and is all about the people who make cons so amazing; the guests, the attendees and even the props guys, it's definitely worth a watch if you're a convention fan.

(And yes, it was at the request of Rob that I trolled David Tennant last December. In my defence, David Tennant does look a lot like him, I was just pointing that out to him. Loudly. Making him look rather confused as he was signing autographs.)

Now please excuse me, I have cosplay costumes to plan. :)
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  1. Woo hoo! It's so awesome to see you had a great time! Also, once you've bought your first Pop Vinyl figure, you've pretty much sold your soul -- you're going to be bulk-buying them in no time. ;D

    1. Sarah, I fear you are correct. The guy who was selling them was giving me 'Only one? Not two? Not even for a special price?' ARGH. I asked if he had a sideline in crack cocaine as clearly he's done this before. The dirty pusher.