This weekend, for the third year in a row, I got my Ninth Doctor outfit back on and headed to Preston Comic Con!
When I look around the stalls at a Comic Con, I’m always most interested in whatever books might be on offer, but I was disappointed to find that there weren’t that many this year. There was, however, a lecture by Bryan Talbot, the author of the Grandville series. This series of graphic novels takes place in a steampunk, alternate history Victorian world populated by animal heads on human bodies (plus a few actual humans, who are treated as second-class citizens) – the protagonist is Archie LeBrock, a badger detective. Talbot’s lecture, appropriately, was on the history of animal anthropomorphism, from Greek and Egyptian mythology, to folk tales, to Beatrix Potter, Rupert Bear and The Wind in the Willows. He also discussed some of the references he slips into Grandville: for example, a scene early on in the first book takes place in the village where Rupert Bear lives, and Rupert’s dad can be seen in the background a couple of times. Afterwards, I picked up a copy of the first Grandville book, and liked it very much.
As for the guests, I was able to meet another Doctor Who, Colin Baker.
There was also Tamsin Topolski, who appeared in the TV series Penny Dreadful as Lavinia Putney, the blind daughter of a freak show owner. Tamsin proved to be much nicer than her character.
Most fun of all was Hannah Spearritt, who played Abby in Primeval. Before that, she was a member of S Club 7: I was a big fan of the TV series like Miami 7 and LA 7 which they used to do on CBBC. Hannah was absolutely lovely, and very enthusiastic.
In the afternoon, there were two Q&A panels. The first was for Game of Thrones, featuring Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Mace Tyrell), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel, whom I took a sword-fighting class with at Blackpool Comic Con), Ian Hardmore (Pyat Pree) and Ross Mullan (a couple of White Walkers). They all had plenty of stories to tell, with Miltos lamenting having the most ambiguous death scene in the show. (I say there’s still hope for Syrio – The Hound came back this season, after all.) Roger Ashton-Griffiths was especially good, being much more intelligent and well-spoken than his character on the show.
Later, Andrew Lee Potts and Hannah Spearritt came together for a Primeval panel, and were just as good a double act as their characters. I asked a question about whether there were any prehistoric animals they would have liked to appear on the show: Andrew replied with the Diplodocus, and mentioned that there was a rejected story idea featuring a sauropod with oversized parasites that attacked people.
It was another fun day – really the only problem I had was how hot I became in my leather jacket!