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Monday, July 31, 2017

London Film and Comic Con 2017: a fantastic experience!

It was the London Film and Comic Con over the weekend and it truly was one of the best events I've been to in nearly 40 years of conventions. The show took place at Olympia, and was huge, taking up several massive halls. With such a set up, there's always the danger of the comics section being overlooked by some visitors but that didn't happen this year, and the layout of the event was superb. 

A few months back, writer Tony Lee offered to take on the task of organising the comics side of things and he did us all proud. Many thanks to him for looking after the comics guests so well and making sure everything was running ok (I hope you have time for a good rest this week, Tony!). Thanks also to Jason Joiner for putting on the show and making it all possible, along with Paul Jones, David Nelson, Debbie, Claire, Garrit, Daniel, Franco Lou, Kathy, the other green room girls the tech guys (and girl), Carol Anne and Luke and the others. 

If anyone thinks that running a convention is easy, think again! Apart from the organisation of the event, there's a million and one things to deal with that can cause stress (often by outside forces or people unconnected to the con not doing their job properly; traffic delays, hotel receptionists, etc). With an event the size of this one, even more can go wrong, so it's a credit to the professionalism of the LFCC team that any problems were swiftly ironed out and everyone had a very pleasant experience.

It was definitely the busiest and most successful convention I've attended (and I've been a guest at cons since 1984). Thanks to the many people who visited my table over the three days, from those who grew up reading my work in the 1980s and 90s to today's new readers. The best thing about attending conventions is meeting the readers, past and present, and LFCC was an exceptional event in that regard, with people travelling from all over the country (and beyond). I was very touched that some said they came especially to see me, and it was a pleasure to chat with them and draw sketches. By Saturday afternoon I'd sold out of the stack of Combat Colin comics I'd bought with me and by Sunday only had a handful of my other comics left. (I still have some at home for mail order but will be arranging for a second printing soon.)

Last but not least, thanks for the great company of fellow guests Mike Collins, David Leach, Pau Vassileva, Nick Roche, William Simpson, Ian Richardson, GM Jordan, Leah Moore, John Reppion, DaNi, Emmeline Pidgen, Jessica Martin, Marv Wolfman, Simon Furman, John-Paul Bove, Tim Pilcher, Jess Bradley, Dan Boultwood, Emma Vieceli, Lee Sullivan, Al Ewing,Paul Goodenough, Ian Sharman, Aneke, and many more, and to Irma Page for being a great host for the panel a few of us did on Saturday.

One of the many highlights was meeting Marv Wolfman. Yes, the Marv Wolfman, writer of the superb Tomb of Dracula series for Marvel in the 1970s, Teen Titans, and much more. 

With it being three full days (nine hours a day) it was certainly the longest show I've done, but I enjoyed it so much I felt sad when it was over. I don't know if Tony and the team will be running it again next summer, but LFCC2017 will always be remembered with much fondness and smiles.

Here's a few photos from the weekend...

The 1966 Batmobile looks as cool as it did 50 years ago. What a car!

Below, ready for action on the Friday morning, having just set up my stall.

Below: Brian Meenhan, who I'd corresponded with on the Comics UK Forum many times over the years. Good to finally put a face to the name. 

Someone asked me to draw Felix and His Amazing Underpants from Viz, so I thought I'd make it topical for the event.

Below: When someone with a sword asks for a photograph, you don't refuse. :)

Nice to meet new people at the show. Fellow guest Emmeline Pidgen. Check out her work here:

Below: Jess Bradley, regular contributor to The Phoenix. See her website here:

Good to have my old mate David Leach as a table neighbour on Sunday. Buy his digital Psycho Gran comics for just £1.49 each at ComiXology:

Below: Brilliant artist Geoff Senior. Check out his work here:

All the way from Athens, talented artist DaNi will be one of the contributors to Rebellion's Scream and Misty Special this Halloween! See her artwork here: and her Facebook page here:

Out for a meal on Friday night with (left to right) Mike Collins, the legendary Marv Wolfman, DaNi, Pau Vassilena, Will Simpson (Game of Thrones storyboard artist).

Below: GM Jordan and Ian Sharman at the Markosia comics stall. 

...but the smiles turn to frowns in the early hours when Tim Pilcher (Humanoids books) and GM Jordan realise the bar has closed. (A blessing in disguise considering we all needed to be up around 6.30am.)

Below: Doctor Who storyboard artist Mike Collins gives us an enigmatic look because he knows all the secrets of the Doctor Who Christmas episode... but he's not telling!

Below: Talented Lee Sullivan sketching a Transformer...

Speaking of whom, some people in comics have sometimes confused me with Lee Sullivan. I can't imagine why. :)

Below: Another incredible lookalike, as we compare chrome heads...


Unknown said...

It was a great pleasure to finally meet you Lew after following your work in Transformers; Oimk, Buster through to the Beano today .

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks, Brian. Good to meet you too, and thanks for buying Combat Colin! Hope you had a good weekend.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Good to see you again, Lew :-)

I was planning on stopping by your table again on the Saturday (with an aim of asking for a Suicidal Syd/Tom Thug sketch) but I didn't realise how busy we'd be...

Really enjoyable event though, completely knackered now!

Lew Stringer said...

Good to see you too, Ryan! I'd intended to have a walk over to your area but I didn't have chance to get away for long. It really was the busiest event I've been to.

Yes, I'm still winding down too! Must get some work done!

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