I was initially reluctant to do this event as it is from the same people who do the Walker Stalker conventions, and they are expensive. This seemed to be too soon after this year's London Walker Stalker. I took advantage of a BOGOF deal for Saturday tickets, and arranged to go with my brother Sean who I had not seen for four years. I then ended up getting a Sunday ticket as well after to talking to my friend Sam who was going on the Sunday only. It worked out well allowing me to book a couple of photos for myself on the Sunday, and a special Gotham cast photo on the Saturday with my brother. I also decided to get pre-order autograph tickets for the main stars - Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards and Melissa Benoist. Melissa sadly cancelled about a week before the convention. Maybe another time. I met a lot of nice fans at this event, but regret not getting pictures of them or with them. Everyone was so friendly, and there was no hysteria seen with WSC events. It was a refreshing experience, and very enjoyable. Credit to all.
As with WSC I attended Will Call on the Friday to pickup tickets for myself, brother and friend Sam. I like this experience as it begins the buzz earlier, I get to talk to a few other fans, and occasionally meet people I know from previous cons. This time it was John from WSC. This was a lot more efficient than at WSC. Less people in the queue earlier made it so easy, and I was in and out within 10 minutes, job done, and home to family an hour earlier than expected.
The pre-order autograph tickets only allowed one person to join the queue, so rather than have my brother waiting around a lot I gave him my ticket for Emily Bett Rickards while I went to see Stephen Amell.
My brother said the experience with Emily Bett Rickards was not great. It was not possible for him to get any pictures, even from a distance, and when he got my photo signed, she refused to sign without dedicating. It was also a poor signature - just block capital initials. I get that stars might have a problem with signing autographs out in public, but when you are charging a generous fee for the honour, it takes the piss.
Stephen Amell on the other hand was a much better experience. I was allowed to take photos from the queue until getting close when they stopped people. Stephen was very friendly to meet, chatty, and shook my hand. He definitely had time for people. I got two pictures signed by him plus one for a friend's birthday (not pictured).
After my brother and I met up again, swapped queue stories, and stood watching John Barrowman's talk from the sidelines. Glad I met him in Birmingham the week after this - see my Collectormania report. He is an amazing guest at any con, and genuinely gives a lot to the fans. I think the first pic gives an idea how popular his talk was. We then had a wander to see what was what, which queues were active, check out some stalls, before I joined the queue for some other guests.
Time for some guests. I joined the queue for Robbie Amell and Italia Ricci who are a couple, and I loved that they signed together. I have seen other couples at cons before, but never with this togetherness. They were both lovely people to meet. Robbie I know for his leading role in the last version of The Tomorrow People, and his work in The Flash. Italia is the female lead in the brilliant ABC show Designated Survivor, and has appeared in Supergirl. I could only afford one autograph from each. I took some photos of both from the queue, and they kindly let me take a photo of them while they signed my photos. I had a pre-booked photo op with Italia on the Sunday - see end of page for the photo ops.
I then met Maisie Richardson-Sellers who plays Vixen in Legends of Tomorrow. She was very nice, and a pleasure to talk to. She signed a photo for me, and I had a picture with her. There was no real queue for Maisie, so I was able to chat for a while. Nice lass.
Sean and I then had a wander outside, grabbed some lunch and a drink, sat in the sunshine, before heading back in. Took some time to mooch a bit, and snapped a few pictures, then went over to the photo area for a special group photo with the five Gotham cast members in attendance - Sean Pertwee, Drew Powell, Robin Lord Taylor, David Mazous and Jessica Lewis - see end of page for the photo ops. They were great fun. One of the best photo op experiences I have ever had. Most are conveyor belt, get in and out as quickly as possible experiences. This wonderful group of people interacted with everyone, laughing, joking, hugs, hand shakes, and made it special.
After the distraction of the great Gotham photo op it was back to meeting a few guests. First up was Michael Rooker who has been fun to watch for many years. For me, since Mallrats, but mostly for The Walking Dead. He was not surprisingly always busy which is why I had left him until later in the day, but still had to queue for a while. My brother went to watch another talk while I was in the queue. One thing was obvious, Michael favoured the female fans. Male fans definitely got less of his attention. lol. Once there, it was a pretty quick experience. He signed my TWD poster (22nd person), and photos for two friends. Not the greatest experience in the world, but achieved my goal of getting him to sign my poster, so all good. I had a photo op with him on Sunday - see end of page for the photo ops.
After Michael I met Colin Donnell to get a picture (not shown) signed for a friend's birthday. He was really nice. Will get him myself another day. Only so much one can spend. lol. After that, my brother had to leave early, so I called it a day myself, quite content that we had a good time.
Before leaving I made a short 9 second video showing part of the main floor area. This would have been about 4pm on the Saturday.
It was nice going back for the second day knowing a good day had already been had, and a fair bit achieved. I met my friend Sam and her friend outside, and we joined the queue to get in. After pointing them in the right direction for a few people, I checked out Robin Lord Taylor's queue, but decided it was too long for me to meet him in time for my Italia Ricci photo op. so left to come back later. I met up with John from WSC and his wife on the Sunday, and finally had a picture with him. It was nice catching up properly. While in the queue for Italia Ricci's photo op, took a couple of pics of a Flash cosplayer.
I now hit my groove meeting a few guests, and started with Michael Rowe, aka Deadshot from Arrow. I had a great time talking to Michael who was a friendly chap. We talked Arrow, and also his exciting project based on Valiant Comics - Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe. I must see this some time. He kindly posed for a couple of pics, and signed a Deadshot pic for me.
I then shuffled myself down the row of guests a bit, and met Charlotte Ross who played Donna Smoak on Arrow. She was lovely, and we talked about her time in daytime soaps in the USA, as well as her time on Arrow. A very infectious and bubbly personality to meet. She kindly posed for a picture and signed a picture for me.
Things were fairly quiet, so I took the opportunity to get the third and final autograph (not shown) for my friend's birthday, Brandon Routh. I teased him a bit as my friend was turning 18, and the message on the postik included happy 18th birthday. He saw that looked at me, so I said, "yes, that is me, bad health has made me look this bad for my age". He just looked at me quizzically, and signed the picture. lol.
Then it was over to Shantel Vansanten who played Patty Spivot. She seemed very friendly, but distracted by a super fan, and I got distracted by seeing a friend with her hubby and another friend, so it was very brief. She kindly signed a photo for me, and I wandered off for a pic with my friend Tina, taken by her hubby. It was nice to meet him.
It was then time for my final guest of the weekend, and one of my favourites, Robin Lord Taylor. I had the Gotham cast photo with him the day before, so did not ask for any photos with him, but took a few from distance. I later found out that a nice lass from the WSC cons was volunteering at his table, and kindly took some pics of me with Robin. He was great to talk to, and signed my TWD poster (23rd signature), and a TWD photo. A great guest to meet as my last of the weekend.
I saw part of Brandon Routh's talk from a distance, and part of Michael Rooker's also, but felt the latter's was a bit of a ramble, and got bored with it. Here are some pics of these,and some random pics from the weekend. Was given the event poster for free as I left on Sunday. Seeing Sean Pertwee was nice as I met his father Jon 39 years ago at my first convention back in 1978.
I decided to close this report with my three photo ops from the weekend. I really enjoyed the weekend, more than the WSC weekends. I honestly felt both guests and fans enjoyed it more due to the lack of stupid hysteria found among many WSC fans. I would definitely do another of these events in future.