The Establishing Shot: London Film and Comic Con 2010 Review

Monday, July 26, 2010 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

“E! Are reporting from Comic-Con and Brad Pitt’s there now. Who reported from your (London Film and) Comic Con?” My girlfriend asked me a couple of days ago while watching E! She was of course referring to San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) vs. The London Film and Comic Con (LDFCC). My mumbled response somewhat deflating the grand and exotic picture I had excitedly painted of my experience at LFCC the weekend before. “Err!! A couple of bloggers by the look of things”. Naturally this spurrned me on to create this post.
LFCC takes place every summer (over a weekend) at Earls Court 2 in London. Celebrating the best of film, television, comics and sport, London Film and Comic Con is a day out unlike any other, giving you the chance to meet your idols, ask them questions as well as grabbing the latest film/tv/comic merchandise on the market.
So on Sunday in between Lovebox days I made my way to the Earls Court conference centre. LFCC London Film and Comic Con was back and better than ever. This year the convention covered a smaller area than the huge space in previous years. But nevertheless was capital. Some astounding guests, loads of comics, film memorabilia, talks, art, sci-fi, super heroes, Cosplay, sneak previews and an exhibition from DC comics.

I missed last year’s convention but this year the draw proved too much.

As with previous years the arena was divided up into different zones; The Signing Zone, Anime Zone, Photo shoot Zone, Artists Alley, Video Game Zone, Talk Area, Cosplay Zone, Dealer Zone.

I arrived at the Earls Court conference centre hoping to breeze in as in previous years but arrived a little earlier than anticipated and had to join the long queue to get in. As with previous years crowd control was conducted by the Empire’s finest ensuring that Trekkie scum were dutifully harassed and that all was kept in order. All the while various characters from across comics, film, Sci-Fi and Manga either queuing up or interacting with the visitors.

The long line of visitors moved very quickly one the doors opened.

Making my way into the centre I was greeted by one of the main draws for me – Batman’s Tumbler. Yes you read correctly the 2.5 ton Tumbler from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight was on display.

LFCC: Tumbler Batmobile, originally uploaded by Craig Grobler.

After taking a substantial number of pictures and regaining my composure. I started my walk around LFCC 2010, every 6 steps encountering another character from the world of make believe. My first stop was the Resonance stand.

Resonance is an innovative multi-platform drama series. A super-powered espionage tale of a group of people caught up in an epic struggle to control a mystical object. It is a collaborative project. From production talent, high profile brands, charitable and educational organisations to physics professors, broadcasters and athletes.

Resonance is a 6 x 60 min sci-fi drama series. A mysterious object has been fought over for 1,000s of years. Those who have possessed it have wielded incredible power. Some have used it to build civilizations and push the boundaries of human achievement. Some have used it to crush armies and destroy their enemies. The Object’s origins are unknown. But its effect resonates through history. Nothing has been seen of it for 60 years. Until today. Now secret and ancient societies will stop at nothing to secure it. No one can be trusted. No one is safe. The battle to possess it will spill onto our streets and the lives of those who cross paths with it will be altered forever.

Resonance is a new sci-fi multi-platform digital drama starring Aidan Turner, Charles Dance, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Ruta Gedmintas. Directed by Colin Teague.

The number of costumed characters in the centre was impressive this year. I couldn't walk 5 steps without bumping into a Super Hero, Trekkie, Star Wars, Anime or Manga character. Some of the detailing in these costumes is awesome.

Then sauntered past The Trading Card Zone which was hosting card games across a number of tables. Not to sure about the variety of games but there were a lot of guys playing Magic: The Gathering, Yu Gi Oh and Pokemon.

Continuing to the The Video Game Zone where there were a multitude of platforms, game types, styles and consoles to play on including a retro game area. Games that I saw included; Stepmania, Guitar Hero, Mario Kart Wii, Super Street Fighter IV, DDR Tournament, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies, Metroid and Sonic The Hedgehog.

Intentionally passing by the stage where uber talented comic book writer and novelist Greg Rucka was conducting an in-depth QA session.

I headed to the Talk Zone where the gorgeous Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, 24, Bionic Woman) was doing a QA session. During the talk Sackhoff came across as witty, fun, incredibly cute and was more than happy to openly engage with the audience who seemed quite star struck.

LFCC: Katee Sackhoff, originally uploaded by Craig Grobler.

She gave some interesting from behind the scenes on her shows as well as her experiences. At about 7:00 in the audio clip below from Katee talks about some of her upcoming stuff.

Throughout the weekend there were talks from actors, cast and production teams scheduled. You can find the complete time table over here 0n the LFCC site.

After Katee Sackhoff’s talk I continued my stroll around the centre heading through The Dealer Zone, where for a price you can obtain anything from the realm of Sci-Fi, Comics or film that your heart desires. The Dealer Zone has enough merchandise, memorabilia and artwork to keep any level of fan interested.

Making my way through the The Anime Zone where Anime purveyors sell your favourite DVDs, manga, merchandise, goodies as well as rare and hard to find pieces. I headed towards the DC Comics 75th Anniversary Covers Exhibition, which was another one of main draws for me.

On entry to the exhibition DC provided a DC goody bag which amongst other bits contained the Complete Motion Comic of The Watchmen DVD. Amongst the 100 or so enlarged covers the exhibition hosted a couple of pieces from DC films, a preview of the Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 game as well as a teaser poster for DC’s upcoming Green Lantern film.

Exiting the DC area I took a stroll past the Signing Zone with a huge number of guests and fans lining up to meet, greet and get their autographs.

LFCC: Sean Young, originally uploaded by Craig Grobler.LFCC: Iron Mike Tyson, originally uploaded by Craig Grobler.LFCC: Kristanna Loken, originally uploaded by Craig Grobler.LFCC: Tom Noonan calls us over for a chat, originally uploaded by Craig Grobler.

It was time for another reason I was at LFCC. William Shatner or “The Shat” as he is affectionately known was about to deliver one of his much anticipated irreverent, scathing and completely hilarious talks in the Talk Zone. As can be witnessed from the clip below from shanghaichica

After The Shat I made my way past the Tumbler again and through the Preview Zone where fans needing a bit of a break were treated to a trailer reel of upcoming films. I have to say that the Preview Zone hasn’t changed much but it would be nice if it was upgraded. For instance it really needs a big screen projector rather than a big screen TV, and dedicated high quality sound system in its own darkened cinema like area. If you really want to push the boat out a pop corn stand wouldn’t go a miss. I’m just saying.

Through the Artists Alley where professional and beginner artists congregate, discuss and show off their art work. No experience required and absolute beginners are more than welcome!

Through The Cosplay Zone, in case it’s unclear the entire convention center is packed with characters wandering around in costumes and they have a dedicated area where they meet, chat, showoff, have photos taken and compete for the best outfits, in fact this year the Cosplay Olympics were held at LFCC on both days.

Other Cosplay events included the Cosplay Showdown, Elegant Gothic Lolita section and a Steampunk meet-up. I don’t pretend to understand it but participants seem to be having fun and loving it. Any help identifying characters would be appreciated.

Past the Photo Zone where fans can have their photo taken with their favourite star(s). Which brings me to the final highlight of the day for me. This year LFCC hosted a celebration for the 30th Birthday of The Empire Strikes Back.

With the biggest reunion of cast I have had the pleasure of experiencing including; David Prowse (Darth Vader), Kenny Baker (R2D2), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Legendary Star Wars Producer Gary Kurtz. Amongst his other films I have been waiting for is 5-25-77 or 77.

Looks pretty neat huh?

All round a pretty awesome special day. Sorry I didn’t make it on the Saturday as well. My only complaints of London Film and Comic Con apart from there being too much to choose from please do something about the Preview Zone; it’s such a wasted opportunity. I for one look forward to seeing sneak peeks of upcoming films, viewing them in the right environment would be great. Also the Convention Centre’s awful yellow artificial daylights really kill any photos taken. I did notice one prepared photographer actually rigged up a portable light studio to ensure his photos came out well. I’m already looking forward to LFCC 2011 15th, 16th & 17th July 2011.

London Film and Comic Con 2010 Review

London Film and Comic Con 2011 will be held over the 15th, 16th & 17th July 2011

More info:
Over at the LFCC website