Last weekend my family and I made our annual trip to Olympia for London Film and Comic Con 2019. It’s always one of highlights of the convention calendar for me and this year marks our tenth year of attending! I can’t quite believe I’ve been going to conventions for a over decade now (my first was Dalek Invasion back in 2008).
London Film and Comic Con 2019 was set to be the biggest yet, with a guest list including Aquaman’s Jason Mamoa, Charlie Sheen, Batman’s Val Kilmer and Christina Ricci, to name but a few. Honestly the guest list gets bigger every year, but that also means more attendees and more guests having diamond access passes.
If you’re new here, a diamond pass guarantees you an autograph and a photo shoot with that particular guest. You may also get free gifts or a talk too. So if there’s a guest you can’t miss, I’d recommend it and have previously had diamond passes from Buffy’s Alyson Hannigan and Jurassic Park’s Sam Neil.
London Film and Comic Con 2019
We headed down on the Friday and, as always, had a very early start with a 4.30am wake up call! 😴 Lucozade and large amount of water were my saviours this weekend! It’s important to keep your fluids and energy levels up at comic con.
Once we arrived at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre we headed to the entry queue to wait for the show to open. Now normally at comic con you can expect to queue for up to 2 hours to gain entry! This time was no different but it definitely played on my anxiety which is triggered my large crowds and especially “S” shaped queues. But I love comic con once I’m inside the venue and it gives me opportunities to meet some people I admire, so it’s worth it in the end.
After the doors opened my sister and I made a dash for our VQ tickets. What’s a VQ ticket? Simply, a VQ ticket is like a raffle ticket. You’re given the ticket and then told to come back later to join the actual queue. Tickets are usually called in batches of 100 and the lower the number the better chance you have of meeting the guest. Which is why we queue so early.
Adam Baldwin (Firefly / Serenity / Angel) was the first guest I met, and mum kindly went down the queue with me to ease my anxiety somewhat. We chatted about Firefly (shock!) and he was happy to personalise my autograph book with a quote. He took time to study the design on my book and said it was ‘beautiful’.
Next up was Gina Torres (Firefly / Serenity / Angel), although I don’t remember much about the experience. Sadly, anxiety kicked in and it was all a bit of a blur. I remember feeling foggy and clutching my autograph book tightly but not much else! My mum says I was smiling when I was chatting to her though, so that’s good. 🙂
With hopes of meeting three diamond pass guests, Saturday was another early start for us to collect more VQ tickets. Which meant more long queues… eep. It was worth it as I manged to meet 9th Doctor Who doctor Christopher Eccleston, Batman’s Val Kilmer and childhood starlet Christina Ricci.
I met Christopher Eccleston briefly at last year’s convention when I had a photo op with him, but missed out on his autograph due to timing issues. I had a fully packed schedule!
This year I was determined to meet him and have his signature on my Doctor Who figure set, which has already been signed by the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th doctors. I’m very happy to say I did get to meet him, and I did get my figure set signed. 😊 Which means only Tom Baker (4th) and Matt Smith (11th) are missing from it.
Christopher Eccleston was very friendly and I know it sounds strange but he sounded just like he does on the show! Some actors put on an accent (like David Tennant) but not him. So, we had a very happy Whovian over here.
My sister is a big Batman fan so of course Val Kilmer was high up on her wish list. We had a long wait to meet him and it was definitely worth it. Val was very sweet, but clearly suffering from health issues. I honestly didn’t realise how ill he was until I saw him! 🙁 My mum thanked the head organiser personally for bringing Val to the convention and to pass on her thanks to him.
Christina Ricci played one of my childhood heroes (Wednesday Addams) so I was nervous to meet her. She was nice but somewhat reserved. I asked her to sign a 8×10 photo of Wednesday and she was happy to personalise with a quote.
I think our experiences this year are proof you don’t necessarily need a diamond pass to meet the bigger guests. 😊 But you will need to get up super early(!) and expect to queue… Too things I hate, lol.
A quiet Sunday
Sunday was an easy day. I got my first comic con lie in. Ever(!). Spent some time looking at the dealer’s room where I picked up some Doctor Who hand soap and bubble bath. Caught up with my friends Sarah, Pia and Gemma, and checked out the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC).
While we browsed the dealers area we also walked past the cosplay, Lego and Star Wars zones. I marvelled at the Lego Star Wars display they had there and saw some amazing horror cosplayers! 😍 My sister’s wife Yazz and I also played a bit of Guiter Hero 3 in the gaming area.
Have you ever been to London Film and Comic Con? Or other conventions?