A Trip to Wales Comic Con

It’s been quite some time since I went to MCM Comic Con in London. I saw an opportunity come up to go to another event, this time up in Telford. Why go so far? Well, I was very interested to meet Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, the Admiral and the President respectively from Battlestar Galactica. It seemed worth the 3 hour drive each way, plus what I remembered from MCM was it was great looking around all the stalls and seeing all the cosplayers. I thought it would be a nice day out and I cold round it off by going to see Dune one more time at the cinema before it disappeared.

Now that some time has passed, I have a fonder view of my day in Telford.I have to say that I wasn’t really enjoying myself on the day. For one thing, I was alone. I used to get more out of that but I think I’ve become a lot more social creature as I’ve grown older and I didn’t feel like I had anyone to share this with.

Guard post

It would have been nice to have someone to share the 1.5 hour queue to get in when I arrived. I think they must have sold far too many priority tickets as the queue was about a quarter of a mile long. By the timeI reached the front, they had started to let Standard ticket holders in and that was rather annoying. Someone I spoke to said they waited 2+ hours in the standard line so maybe I should count my blessings.

Once inside, I discovered that there were very limited food outlets and each one had a similar queue to the one in which I had just waited.

Credit to the organisers; they had a very good line up of guests, even taking into account how many had cancelled (Evangeline Lilly among them). There were people from lots of different fandoms; Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Red Dwarf, Pro Wrestling, Buffy and Charmed to name but a few.

Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart!

This is where my major bone of contention is with this event. All the advertising leading up to it mentioned only the photo opportunities that were available. It said nothing about all these people having their own stalls where you could get selfies and autographs for much less money. I booked a photo op with Edward and Mary but only because I wanted to meet the pair of them and say thank you for the brilliant work they had put in and what an influence it had been on my own work. In reality, and unbeknownst to me, I could have done this anyway for a fraction of the cost. The professional photo ops involved lining p for a while and then being rushed through the studio, barely even getting to say hello to the guests, and then being effectively strong-armed out again. Leaving there, I felt so deflated.

As the afternoon progressed and the place started to empty out a little, I noticed that the pair of them were back at their tables with no queues. I seized the opportunity to go and have a conversation with them; all I really wanted to do in the first place. I gave Edward a copy of The Ardenna Crossing; hopefully he’ll like it! He seemed very nice and genuine, as did Mary.

I popped in to see Peter Davison and get a picture (he was my Doctor growing up – I was a little young to remember Tom Baker).

I also stopped in to see Charisma Carpenter. I wanted to thank her for being brave enough to share her experiences and her disappointment in the way she was treated by Joss Whedon, and to apologise for what she went through on the show.

Cordy and me!

There were so many people there to see. There were some fun stalls.

Lots of weaponry

and some great cosplayers. Here are a few of my favourites.

Kyle and Rey
Kaylee and Jayne
Legolas and Gimli
The Witch-King of Angmar
Three Doctors

I spoke to quite a few people while I was there, so it wasn’t like I was in a shell all day. I couldn’t pluck up enough courage to give out flyers for The Ardenna Crossing (I had hundreds of them with me). It was only the next day that I put my finger on what was wrong with my experience; why it felt so hollow.

It’s because I really, really miss my annual trip to the Twin Peaks UK Festival. I can’t say how much I miss seeing the members of the community that I came to know in my few years attending. It was such a friendly, close circle that welcomed anyone, and a place where the guests felt the same as the rest of us. The best comparison I could conjure was the difference between shopping in a small family shop and going down to Costco. Sure there’s more there, but it just doesn’t have the same feel.

I don’t know; maybe it’s just me. Maybe I would have had a completely different experience in different circumstances. I am quite pleased with the photo I got of me with Edward and Mary. It makes. A nice banner for my Facebook Writer page, like they’re giving me an endorsement.

That’s it for now. The highlight of the day was seeing Dune for the second time, but I’m going to talk about that another time.

Cheers for reading,

Richard

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