Just a couple of weeks ago the fifth London Super Comic Convention took place in the familiar surroundings of London’s Excel Centre and as usual it marks the start of my Con-going for the year.
It’s one of the only events that I seem to have been attending since the very beginning so I’ve seen it progress since day one and this year was shaping up to be just as much of a spectacle as the previous year’s had turned out to be. Big name guests, a plethora of panels, comics & merchandise from retailers, some amazing indie/small press titles and a stunning selection of Cosplayers made up the weekend and the biggest challenge for the organizers has been to get the balance right.
As with other year’s some things worked and some things didn’t, causing a few grumbles among attendees but this didn’t impact the positive vibe the event was able to capture yet again. A clash with a Walker Stalker event taking place in London on the same weekend made the event seem far less busy than it has done in previous years but that worked in it’s favour as there was no claustrophobic feeling to overcome while queueing to see a panel or grab a chance at that elusive signature from your favourite artist or writer.
The roster of guests was typically impressive with a broad spectrum of styles and characters covered with the only minor concern for those in attendance seeming to be the increasing number who were charging for signatures. Not the first time it’s happened but it did seem to be far more evident and while that’s entirely down to the individual artist/writer it definitely took the edge off getting to see some of the big names. Seasoned Con going regulars would be used to it but there was no doubt that the additional charge caught some of those hitting their first con off-guard. Even moreso when those with kids or teenagers reached the front of a long queue to get their LSCC program signed only to find out that there is a charge. This seemed a tad harsh and if anything I would have hoped that the program would be exempt from any charges…..but maybe that’s just me as I have a completely signed program from each of the 5 years 😀
There was also a number of different events flooding the Excel Centre with visitors which meant the LSCC event itself was an escape from the madness outside……that being said, the rumblings about problems outside with Cosplay photo’s and problems with other event goers harassing or shouting abuse at some of those attending seemed to tarnish the experience for some who were there to enjoy the atmosphere of a con that does it’s best to embrace all interests in the comic book world.
Personally I managed to balance out my weekend in much the same way as I normally do with my Saturday being pretty much wiped out trying to get my comics/hardbacks signed……as well as some for other people and some extra’s to giveaway as prizes to those who weren’t able to attend. It’s then a much more laidback Sunday as the event is naturally quieter and I can get around Artist Alley to pick up any new small press/indie books I may be missing and catch-up with the friends I know with tables at the event. For me, Artist Alley is my favourite section for those reasons and I usually get the chance to pick up some extra Captain America sketches for my growing collection.
Sunday also gives me the chance to venture into the Panels and see what I can fit in and while I had 2 or 3 picked out I only ended up attending the first one as the sound was so difficult for guests, interviewers and fans alike. That’s an issue that needs to be fixed for next year and it’s the first I’ve known them to have any sound problems at all in those 5 years.
London Super Comic Con wasn’t perfect and I don’t think there are many Conventions out there that can claim to be perfect year after year but the grumbles, at least for me personally, were minor ones and it proved yet again to be the best start to the year I could hope for. I saw some big name guests over the weekend and I even got to contain my inner fanboy and chat to some of them about their influences & current work. LSCC is a busy convention and I’ve always known it to be that way but thankfully the organizers & volunteers seem to hit the ground running and keep the weekend flowing like the well-oiled machine it’s become. The balance is just about right with the combination of different elements and if they can iron our some of those issues then the number of people enjoying the weekend to it’s fullest will only continue to grow. 2017 never seemed so far away……well played, LSCC…….well played!