London Film & Comic Con 16

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Marc Thery takes another step in his attempt to claim ownership of the Euro circuit. Fortunately for us, he lets us know about it …

The London Film & Comic Con (way too long, let's use LFCC) took place last weekend for three days (initially, it was to last 4 days but for some reason the halls weren't available for that 4th day).  This convention is one of the few advertising their main guests before selling tickets, and that is already a great thing!

Environment and accessibility:

The con took place in the Olympia, a great building with several halls, located in the Hammersmith district of London. From the train station, it is very easy to get there (only 15mn), and there are nearby airports too. There were different access gates depending on which ticket you had, so there were no crowd outside the doors…

Quiet outside and quiet inside despite the high attendance

Quiet outside and quiet inside despite the high attendance

Were there pre-sale tickets (online/in-store) and could you get in early?

The last two years the event was Sold Out before opening. This year, tickets for the weekend were available for $78. There were also much more expensive special passes. Those passes didn't offer you any earlier access, but they allowed you to skip the queues for the Movie/TV guests.

How many retailers were there?

It's hard to say as the organizers didn't publish a list on their website. To know the exact floor plans and the booths, you had to buy the convention newspaper that costed $7. I preferred to keep this money, but I would estimate there were easily 100 booths.

How was the food and snack situation?

The food and snacks were really expensive and tasteless so you might prefer to bring your own stuff. Only the coffee was decent (but still expensive).

How was the floor layout?

There were two floors, one for the shops and the other for the guests. It was really clever because despite all the people it was easy and really pleasant to come and go from one location to another.  The first floor was divided in zones: one for comics, one for video gaming, one for manga and one for cosplay….but the comic zone was definitely the biggest one. It is good to know that lots of attendees come to the LFCC to see the Movie/TV guests and/or get their signatures. So if you like to hunt comics, you can quietly get in and go directly to the stores; you'll be able to search through the comics during a couple of hours without being annoyed by other people.

Who watches the Watchmen watching Comics ? (Sorry, i had to do this joke) :o)

Who watches the Watchmen watching comics ? (Sorry, i had to do this joke) :o)

What was the most ridiculously over-priced book you saw?

I saw one 2016 FCBD comic book being sold for as much as $7. I pity that seller…

What was the highest priced book you saw?

I saw a Walking Dead #116 priced $4,400 ! It was signed by the artists and CGC'd. But there were lots of other comics with high prices too.

What was your best bargain purchase? Why?

As I'm still quite new to comic book collecting, I'm not overly familiar with the value of books, especially Silver Age ones, so I try to avoid those. However, my tablet app was a very useful tool. So, my best bargain was the Batman Rebirth Legacy Edition sets. I got those for only 20% of eBay prices. Besides that, I got many comics for cheap (see below), cover price or less except a few that were still discounted.

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What was your favorite item purchased? Why?

I purchased some guest signatures as I can be a fanboy sometimes ;o). My favorite are those of Rutger Hauer and Jack Gleeson. But I got signatures from other Game of Thrones actors present as well.

What was your favorite comic purchased? Why?

I bought an Edge of Spider-Verse #2 for one quarter of the regular price. Didn't dare to negotiate even more but maybe that would have been possible.:o)

What was the rarest book you saw?

It's hard to say as there were lots of rare Silver Age books. There weren't any Golden Age books though.

What were some books you were surprised the dealers had priced so high?

Some booths had recent comic books with prices exactly reflecting auction place prices, to the decimal. At those booths, you couldn't haggle.

Were any artists present? What were your experiences with them?

There were some artists present on the second floor: Carlos Ezquerra, Steve Engelhart, David Lloyd, to mention a few….I had the chance to have quite a long talk with Mr. Todd Nauck, who is a very kind man. Too bad for me that I wasn't one of the allotted first four people at his booth in the morning to get a sketch…maybe another time.

Were any media guests/celebrities present?

80 guests and/or celebrities were present, the top stars being : Dolph Lundgren, Jeremy Renner, Carl Weathers, Famke Janssen, Mads Mikkelsen, Rutger Hauer and Ian McDarmid. Lots of Game of Thrones guests as well with the top star being Jack Gleeson, a.k.a. Joffrey Baratheon.
As a side note, the con had a booth with the original costumes of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. So I had the chance to see these:

Jpeg Jpeg

If you were the promoter, what would you have done to make this show better?

The queues for the guests were quite awful. The promoter should also control more drastically who can get or not into the queues, as some people skipped the lines…

If you were selling comics, what would you have done differently?

I wasn't selling comics so this point is meaningless to me.:o)

Did you see a dealer try to swindle a rookie? If so, explain.

A dealer was selling great comics but he sold those at the highest eBay prices possible or even more. Then, he always tried to seem to be a nice guy by “giving” you small discounts. But even with the discount, most of his comics were still overpriced. You know the trick: it's like when you go to buy a kitchen appliance or a couch, and the dealer always gives you “big discounts” but when you come back home you feel screwed.;o)

How much was this con about just the comics?

I'd say half about comics, one quarter about TV/Movie goodies, and the last quarter about manga.

How much was this con about the cosplay?

There weren't that many cosplayers. It must be one of the most “serious” conventions I have been to from that point of view. As always, some cosplays were awesome and others shameful.

How pumped up was the crowd?

I had no problem at all with the crowd. The fact there were 2 floors well separated was great. You could easily move from one area to another. You could do both the stores and have some guests signatures in 1 day and a half instead of staying at the con the 3 days. That gave me some time to get out of the con and visit London. I managed to get in two of London's best comics shops and found a lot of good and cheap stuff there.

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How strong was the haggleability?

You couldn't haggle too much because most comics sellers wanted to get the most for their comics and didn't already discount. But there were other booths with comics for less than one $1 and I found some gems in those bins.

FINAL GRADE: 9 / 10

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