Hello and welcome to a new regular feature that we’ll be running here at Culturefly. The world of conventions has exploded worldwide over the last few years and we seem to have a different event or three every weekend in the UK! We’ll be looking at the best and worst of the con scene, any new announcements for future events and the latest in cosplay, video games, comics and everything that makes up a successful convention.
Post con blues
I don’t know about you but ever since London Film and Comic Con finished I’ve felt a little bit depressed. You spend all year looking forward to a huge convention and then it seems to pass by in a flash and you’re left with only memories, an empty bank account and probably an overstretched credit card. But it’s all worth it right? At the end of July the Olympia played host to LFCC, run by long-time organisers Showmasters, alongside the Young Adult Literature Convention. LFCC launched in March 2004 while YALC has been in existence since 2014 as author Malorie Blackman’s pet project during her time as Children’s Laureate.
What’s great about LFCC is the way it brings together so many people. Whether you’re there for the TV and film guests, wrestlers, cosplay or comic guests, there seems to be something for everyone. Even if you just want to play on the retro video games or look around the numerous merchandise stalls there’s certainly loads to keep anyone entertained. Headliners this year included Sherlock/Doctor Strange himself Benedict Cumberbatch, his Marvel co-star and Hannibal lead Mads Mikkelsen, Baywatch legend Pamela Anderson, ultimate geek Kevin Smith and Game of Thrones/Hunger Games star Natalie Dormer amongst others. With over 100 film and TV guests, nearly 50 comic guests and over 100 authors it was more a case of wondering how to fit everything in.
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LFCC is arguably the convention king when it comes to film and TV guest lineups. There are other cons that focus more on anime and manga, or on specific TV shows/franchises, but on the whole nothing else delivers on the level of variety that Showmasters manage to pack into Olympia every year. These huge events aren’t for everyone and there are plenty of more relaxed and peaceful ones around the UK to enjoy but while people continue to travel worldwide for LFCC it seems like there’s no slowing down for Showmasters and their flagship show. With names like Stan Lee, Michael J Fox, Sigourney Weaver and Jeremy Renner at previous events, you have to wonder how they’ll top it in 2018.
Are we all saddos?
If you missed our response to Liz Jones’ convention article then why don’t you go and give it a read after this one? It’s been great to read so many positive reactions to the piece and indeed see everyone come together to give Liz many things to think about. It’s a testament to the community as a whole that there’s such a passion and belief in these events and why we do them. People from all over the world and all different backgrounds coming together for a weekend to unite over the things they love.
Something for the comic lovers
One of the highlights of the UK convention calendar in the last few years has been London Super Comic Con. Taking place at the end of August at the Business Design Centre in London, LSCC really looks to shine a spotlight on comics, their writers, artists and creators. While Marvel and DC may be doing big business in Hollywood they’d be nothing without their source material. LSCC is putting together an epic lineup including a first time UK appearance by Brian Michael Bendis who created Alias (the inspiration for Jessica Jones) as well as writing numerous stories for Avengers, Daredevil, Iron Man and Spider-Man to name a few. Brian also acts as a consultant on many of the Marvel Studios projects.
A glimpse into the future
With LFCC over there’s still plenty of other events coming up so if you’re looking to get another fix or maybe even considering dipping your toe into the convention pool for the first time, here’s some of the ones to look out for:
Film and Comic Con Glasgow – 19th and 20th August: Showmasters return north to deliver another slice of convention action including Tom Hopper who has recently made quite the name for himself in Game of Thrones.
Highlanders 2 – 25th to 27th August: Starfury are putting on their second event for all things Outlander including leading lady Caitriona Balfe. Take a trip to Blackpool and you’ll find guest talks, photo ops, autograph signings and more.
Film and Comic Con Bournemouth – 26th and 27th August: If you do like to be beside the seaside then venture down to the BIC and you can meet stars from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Doctor Who amongst others.
Leaky Con – 31st Aug to 3rd Sept: It’s amazing how loyal the Harry Potter fans are and this is a true celebration of all things from the wizarding world. Ireland plays host to numerous guests from the movie series, behind the scenes crew and authors of other successful series.
Em-Con 2018: a special mention for the recently announced Pearl Mackie (aka Bill from Doctor Who) and her first ever UK convention appearance.
Thanks for joining us for our inaugural insight into the UK convention scene. There’s plenty more to come in future updates including a number of MCM events, Wales Comic Con and the American invasion with Walker Stalker and Heroes & Villains Fan Fest. There’s never been a better time to be a geek! If you’ve got anything you’d like to see covered in the future do leave a comment below and we’ll do our best. Happy conventioning!