London Film and Comic Con 2011 Wrap Up
The fourth convention of the year and every damn time I forget how to set up my damn easel to display my prints. Honestly!
I’ve got my set-up time down to about 20 minutes but if this was war and I was asked to set-up a similar piece of equipment like a rocket launcher my regiment would be fucked.
London Film and Comic Con was slightly different to the other cons I’ve done this year. This is because there were big gun names drawing crowds here and I wasn’t sure whether I’d be just a footnote in the eyes of people longing to sniff Karen Gillan’s hair.
On the other hand, having a bunch of celebrities had an upside. For the duration of Saturday I could say that for once the only difference between me as a writer and Clive Barker was the approximate distance of 100 metres. Hoo-ha!
Being in close proximity to my one of my heroes bridged the grind of my daily life with the exotic flourishes and fortunes I imagine make up most of the moments of his.
Reverse-engineering the above thought, you begin wondering how Clive Barker would cope with a morning drive through Slough for five days a week. Maybe, in a way, I’m kind of mentally stronger because I don’t require the comforts of an LA lifestyle.
Back to reality and the scene at hand. Earl’s Court 2 is like a giant aircraft hanger. The curved red scaffolding frowns as it holds up the dome like an awkward teenager smiling with recently installed braces. Industrial spotlights form ordered constellations. The God of Earl’s Court 2 has OCD and everything must be just so.
The ground is hard with tattoos of paint, claw marks of chairs once dragged kicking and screaming and red set squares like hieroglyphics mark the spaces of perfectly positioned tribes long gone. Bits of tape cling to the floor like happy memories refusing to let go.
As I looked around the show I saw toys that I had received for Christmas and birthdays past. I saw video games which occupied my youth and film stars that I remembered vividly, like bumping into an old school friend in the high-street.
This is what conventions like these sell: memories of the familiar, a warm safe place called home in world that moves relentlessly forward and frightening speed.
Who needs a DeLorean when you can sift through a back issue bin of magazines you once bought when you were eight?
Daily lives are, by and large, filled with drudgery and much like the hanger the convention takes place in, is grey and dull, predictable and indifferent to our presence in it.
It’s only once we occupy it and fill it with our wild fantasies, our insane colours and our relentless ambition of queuing for an hour to get a glimpse of people who help us on our way that we get any true sense of meaning in living.
Conventions are spiritual to me. After I’ve finished selling on a three-day marathon, I feel I’ve done right by the world and by my work. There’s an odd peace that descends over me and anxiety evaporates.
That, and I got to meet Bret Spiner—which was AWESOME!