Recent years have led me back to smaller cons, and I was impressed this one had attracted the likes of Lew Temple, Thomas Waites and others. It was also easily accessible by train for me, so when I managed to land some bargain train tickets I grabbed an entrance ticket, and started planning my trip. In the week prior to the event I also pre-booked photo ops with both Lew and Thomas. I also had the added bonus of getting to meet up with two friends from Walker Stalker - Kira and Jodie. That made the day more fun instead of wandering around on my own.
This was an excellent event for it's small size. It attracted some good cosplayers, and all the staff were nice people. Not the largest mix of guests, but some good ones, and it was so refreshing to see a buzzing artists area. Some cons are dropping the artists. This proved to be my favourite area of the con. I also found a nice mix of dealer stalls, and some great film/tv show displays along with classic famous vehicles. Will definitely come back again.
I decided to meet my main targets as early as possible to allow plenty of time to explore the con properly. First up was a lovely young lass Annette Hannah who appeared in two episodes of Game of Thrones. It was meeting her with her father, and he kindly took a picture of me with her. Please excuse my stance - I had to crouch as Annette is tiny. I got a Game of Thrones photo signed, and also my friend's Game of Thrones poster.
I then moved over to meet Joseph Marcell while my friends were meeting Ian McElhinney who I met in Wycombe last year. Joseph was lovely, and we talked bout his role in EastEnders. He is best known for playing Geoffrey in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I had a picture with him, he signed my EE book (58th signature), and signed a Fresh Prince photo.
It was then time to meet Thomas Waites who I best knew as Windows in The Thing, a favourite film of mine. He also has a cult following for The Warriors. It was nice meeting him, and as well as a pic with him, plus two signed items, I later a had a photo op with him. HE signed a Thing photo for me, and an awesome Thing art print - love this. Nice guy.
Finally met Lew Temple. He was awesome, and really hit it off with my friends. Such a nice, fun guy to talk to. One of those rare people I would enjoy meeting again, and I do not usually do that without good reason. Talked about TWD, other cast members I had met, and 31. He became the 21st person to sign my Walking Dead poster, and also signed a pic from 31 with awesome quote. I had pre-booked a photo op with him, and along with my friends was thrilled to get two photos from him for the price of one as he insisted on doing a pose with everyone. Such a lovely, fun man.
Had a bit of a wander and chill with my friends then spent most of the remaining time in the artists area. Although I enjoyed meeting the earlier guests, Lew especially, I found this area most rewarding, not least for a hilarious Dalek reducing Doctor Who artist Mike Collins, and everyone else to non stop laughter. There were so many talented people, and it would have been lovely to meet more, and get more sketches, but tried to stick to some kind of budget. lol
Malcolm Draper is well known for his work in the world of animation dating back from 1965 and includes The Yellow Submarine, Popeye, Looney Tunes, The Pink Panther, and much more. He had a couple of great art prints with him, and he kindly signed a brilliant humorous take on Trump with Popeye, and a character who was not Olive Oyl. He kindly allowed me to take a picture with him. Enjoyed talking to him about his career.
I christened it at this event, and the first to sketch in it was Simon Donald of Viz Comics fame. I left it with Simon while I had a coffee with my friends, and he kindly did an excellent Sid the Sexist sketch for me. Really chuffed with this, and Simon was fun to talk to. Also had a couple of pictures with him.
I then met Kev Hopgood who has worked on Iron Man for Marvel, and he drew a nice Iron Man sketch for me. He was sitting next to Mike Collins who is a really well known Doctor Who and Marvel artist, plus since the Capaldi Doctor has storyboarded the show for the BBC. Mike was charging upwards of 30 quid for sketches, so while Kev was sketching I asked him how much for a Zygon sketch in my book. He looked at what Kev was doing, and said 25 quid. I was quite happy with that as he is a really good artist. Kev did me proud with the Iron Man sketch, but I was not prepared for what Mike did for me.
While Mike was working on my Zygon sketch, and it is wrong to call it a sketch, it is a piece of art, I spent about half an hour talking to him, his wife, and Kev Hopgood. Such lovely people, and fun to talk to. Really enjoyed this experience, and watching ike at work. It is a stunning piece, and I cannot thank him enough.