Wednesday, February 27, 2013

London Super Comic Con 2013

So it's way too early on a freezing cold Saturday morning, I'm in a strange and vast convention centre in a part of London I'm not that familiar with after having had maybe one too many pints of Becks forced upon the me the evening before, and comics legend and co-creator of Judge Dredd John Wagner has just bought me a coffee.

Yeah, that.

So, it's the London Super Comics Convention at the Excel Centre in London, and the first convention I've attended since Thought Bubble last year. The epic Judge Minty is having a screening here on the Sunday evening, and I'm here with Judge Burdis but also with new colleague Dave Wynn a.k.a. Judge Pal.

..and what a weekend it turns out to be. Patrolling and intimidating the signing queues for the incredible Brian Bolland - who if anything must have felt right at home with the hirsute chins of Burdis and Pal. I've never seen so many copies of "The Killing Joke" in a single place before, all being eagerly presented in front of Bolland for signing.

...and then being chastised by 2000ad legend Alan Grant for smiling too much for a Judge.

Later in the day saw us escorting various talents from 2000ad into the main hall for a 2000ad panel - although the sight of me frogmarching John Wagner into the room must have been a comical one, as he's at least a head taller than me. Despite blistering heat I managed to stay concious throughout, and the panel concluded with Burdis, Pal and myself ejecting a bewildered Pete Wells by throwing him out of the room - the expressions on those waiting to come in for the next panel was an utter delight.

Overall, the weekend was quite, quite excellent. If anything the Judges were even more in demand that at the London Film and Comic Con and it was nothing short of a military operation to go and get a drink. We were being stopped every ten paces or so and confronted with a number of individuals who wanted to be beaten up. We'd get the photographs out of the way and start walking again and the process would repeat.

Other highlights of the weekend included:
  • A young lad in a batman outfit (who you might have seen from some of the Batman photographs with the excellent Kirk Reay from the day that made the National Press) had been watching us having our photographs taken with a few people in the standard pose (I.e. get on your knees, hands behind your head, and look scared while you pose as though we're beating a confession out of you). He came over for a photograph and without even being prompted assumed the position - to the riotous laughter of every onlooker. All in all, the easiest criminal we worked with all weekend.
  • Catching up with members of both the Galactic Knights and the Iconic Legion. For frustrating reasons the Galactic Knights had been forced to officially pull out of the event (for no reason other than piss poor organisation on LSCCs behalf), but a few friends were there - so it was nice to briefly catch up before unleashing ourselves on the Sci-Fi weekender this coming weekend. And the Iconic Legion saved our lives by letting us use their changing area to store our stuff. We costuming groups can be a lovely lot at times.
  • The reaction to the Judge Minty screening on the Sunday evening - I've gone on at length for obvious reasons about why I like it so much - and I've watched it to death now - but it's great to be amongst an audience who are watching it for the first time.
  • We knew that we'd have a Chief Judge Hershey joining us on the Sunday, but it was amazing when she turned up and was accompanied by a variety of other 2000ad characters - Devlin Waugh, Durham Red and Chopper the Skysurfer. The combination of us all (and Dredd 3D Armour assembled and worn by Paul Labelle)  made for a great many awesome photo opportunities. 
And this photo. Idea by John Burdis, but executed to perfection by Steve Green - and by far and above one of the best photographs of us in costume I've ever seen.

Judges on Foot Patrol - Photography by Steve Green

So, other than a bit of a mad panic on the last night in which I thought I'd lost my train tickets home, a great weekend. Great to do a bit of promotion for 2000ad and to be so well received, and to catch up with so many good friends from both the Galactic Knights and the Iconic Legion and always good to catch up with Senior Street Judge Burdis and the two Steves - and nice to have a new patrol buddy in the form of Judge Pal!

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