After writing about my thoughts on Blackpool Comic Con, I was quite alarmed to look at my stats page the next day. The latest column showing the daily number of views was so disproportionately high, it rendered all the surrounding columns barely visible. Many people who attended Blackpool Comic Con had a lot to say on the Internet, and most of it was bad. While I tried to focus on the positives myself, I’m well aware that I was one of the lucky ones and all too many attendees had a rotten time of it. With its crushing crowds, and poor organisation and communication, Blackpool seems to have already gained some infamy in Comic Con history.
But it hasn’t put me off Comic Cons, because I still signed up for Bolton’s Official Comic Con! (So named because another event had already taken the title of Bolton Comic Con.)
Although I enjoyed being Daredevil for Blackpool, I went back to my trusty Ninth Doctor cosplay for this one, since the website suggested a sci-fi focus and there were a few Doctor Who guests I wanted to see. This led to me posing for a picture with two other attendees who went as the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors!
I got to the event relatively early, but even by the time I left the number of people there was perfectly manageable, despite there being less space to work with than at Preston Comic Con. And while I didn’t have to ask for help very much, the staff were very nice and enthusiastic, and with excellent costumes. There was also good appropriate music playing, like Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds and Queen’s ‘Flash’, plus a few movie trailers on a central screen. If there was one letdown, it was that unlike at previous events, I was unable to get photos at the tables with the guests I spoke to. There was the option of paying for a photoshoot, but I didn’t have quite enough money for it.
Still, I enjoyed getting the chance to speak to the guests. First there was Josephine Gillan and Pixie le Knot, who have both appeared in Game of Thrones as two of the prostitutes whom Tyrion hired as a treat for his squire Podrick. Pixie is a professional contortionist, which she demonstrated in the show with her ‘Meereenese knot’: when I chose a photo of her posing from ‘The Lion and the Rose’ (the episode where Joffrey dies) for an autograph, she signed it along the legs!
Then there was Sophie Aldred, who played Ace, the companion of Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor – and also my favourite companion of the classic era. She was absolutely lovely as I gushed about how much I loved the character – she said that Ace had been a really great character to play. If you’re a fan of sci-fi comedy, Sophie is currently featuring in an audio series called Strangeness In Space.
When I chatted to Simon Fisher-Becker, who played Dorium in the Matt Smith era, we ended up talking about whether we preferred the sonic screwdriver or Peter Capaldi’s more recent sonic specs. We both preferred the screwdriver: I don’t have the same hatred for the specs that some of my friends do, but there’s more of a dramatic intent and purpose when the Doctor points that screwdriver at some obstacle.
And while I really should know better than to add to my already hefty reading list, I can’t resist books at a Comic Con – they’re just such a good place to find potential literary treasures that you might not have heard about otherwise. Today, it was the sci-fi thriller Thieves’ Guild series by CG Hatton and the sci-fi comedy Truxxe trilogy by Ruth Wheeler. I particularly like the titles of the Truxxe trilogy, which starts with All Aliens Like Burgers. Once again, both authors were lovely to chat to: I’d already talked to CG Hatton a bit on Twitter and she’d kindly agreed to save some paperbacks for me!
Ultimately, while it didn’t take me that long to get around Bolton’s Official Comic Con, it was another enjoyable day of fun opportunities – certainly much more peaceful than that other Comic Con – and I look forward to seeing how the event develops in the future!