London Film and Comic Con

London Film and Comic Con Summer 2015 – Friday Preview Day


I was rejected for a press pass for this summer’s London Film and Comic Con. Just putting that out there first thing because I am still full of bitterness. Why would someone choose the Daily Mail over this fantastic blog? I mean, what the hell is a Reuters anyway? Okay, so perhaps it is easy to see why such an in-demand event would not choose me, but still – I’ve got sass.

Alas, missing out on a press pass (and not being notified until a week prior to the event) also meant I missed an opportunity to buy tickets to the nearly sold-out London Film and Comic Con. Thankfully there were still a few tickets left for the Friday Preview Day to be snatched up by me and my constant-con-cohort Virginia over at Corleones and Lannisters. Thankfully, there was still much to be seen on Friday.

And it was no surprise that this summer’s convention had such in-demand tickets. The con had a plethora of high-profile guests like Sigourney Weaver, Michael Gambon and a whole slew of Game of Thrones cast members. Oh and just a little 30th anniversary reunion of Back to the Future. But I’m sure no one has ever watched the movie to care or anything like that…

Jokes aside. The reunion of Back to the Future was also there support The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The campaign called ‘Up to 88!’ is fundraising all weekend to help the foundation reach its goal of $88,000 by October 21, 2015 – Back to the Future Day. At every corner of the convention there was solidarity and support for this wonderful foundation. People who donated were given a poster that was exclusive to the convention in London. The convention also sold exclusive ToonStar Toys which donated a portion of the proceeds to the foundation.

In its 11th year, the London convention moved to its new home at the Kensington Olympia. This was a much-needed move as they had very much out-grown their old haunt at Earl’s Court. New digs also brought new problems, but things seemed to move quite smoothly for a first try.

But there is something so much bigger and better we need to talk about here. We need to talk about Billy.

The Panels 


Zach Galligan and faithful side-kick Gizmo


Oh the fangirl in me had to restrain myself to not squeal in delight when the actor walked on stage for this panel with a small Gizmo plush. My friend and I have noticed a trend that most 80s actors have ceased to grow older (see last October’s LFCC for Ralph Macchio proof). Galligan looked absolutely amazing. The actor was joined on the panel by his on-screen mother, the wonderful Frances Lee McCain. The two hadn’t seen each other in almost two decades, but got along as wonderfully as old friends.

The discussion at the Gremlins panel was lively and friendly, and it even got a bit naughty (lots of sexual innuendos – all greatly appreciated for a good laugh). When an attendee asked if Galligan of McCain ever thought the puppets were life-like when acting with them, the responses were all gold.

“The sound editing on Gremlins was amazing. I didn’t get to hear any of Howie Mandel’s voice saying ‘bye Billy’ or anything,” said Galligan. “When I acted with the puppet, all I could hear was machine sounds. Acting with Gizmo was like working with an escalator.”

They were both thoughtful with their responses. Galligan had an unique view on a possible Gremlins sequel. One that was positive more than ornery or negative. He made valid points on puppetry vs CGI that made me even second-guess my own opinions on the matter. They were very gracious to fans for their love and engagement. A refreshing take on the cult-adoration. This was one of the most engaging and entertaining panels I have seen at any convention thus far.


Zach Galligan and Frances Lee McMcain pose for a quick photo

The last panel of the day was simply titled ‘horror panel’ which is even less descriptive than I am. But there were some real legends on the stage on Friday, including the one and only Tom Savini. Joining the iconic special effects make-up artist were Canadian stunt man and Jason Voorhees Ken Kirzinger, Saw II director Darren Lynn Bousman and actor J Larose.

While there were some horror fans in attendance, it seemed as though the emcee had no idea what was going on. I do have to say he was quite good on many other panels (as he hosted the Q&A’s at the last LFCC and did a fantastic job with the Gremlins panel), but he seemed a bit out of his league – he even forgot J Larose’s name and the poor actor sat in silence for most of the panel, which is a shame because he’s a really cool guy.

Most of the discussion seemed a bit stuck on repetitive questions, unfortunately. But interesting people will always deliver good answers regardless of the monotony in the conversation. I wish the panel would have been directed a little bit better, but alas most of the discussion was centred around favourite this and favourite that.

I really have no right to complain because I didn’t have the guts to ask my own question during the panel (which was of course about Deranged). While I love interviewing people, asking questions in large groups where I have a funny accent really isn’t my idea of fun.

Perhaps the most interesting story of the hour-long discussion was Bousman’s talk about how he got his film Repo! The Genetic Opera into theatres and into the hearts of cult movie lovers. After Lionsgate gave the film little promotion and a very limited release, Bousman took it upon himself to get the movie out there. He drove across the US paying theatres to show his film until it gained the momentum it has today. It was a great story to hear from a director so passionate about his film and not giving a flying fuck about the studio.

I don’t think it was the fault of LFCC that the panel was a bit bumpy. It was fantastic to see some horror legends up on stage, but they really ought to be where they belong – in a horror convention. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a better fit at the moment than a comic convention (in London anyway, there is always the Sheffield HorrorCon where Savini was the previous weekend). Maybe next time I can be hired to ask questions. I have zero personality, but at least I will never forget the name Larose.


Despite the impressive array of guests, this summer’s LFCC definitely had hit a few bumps in the road. The lack of rooms to watch panels was a bit of a mistake. Having more talks and more places to wander would be a great improvement. That was one thing MCM Comic Con has a leg up on – there is always something to do.

The new layout also meant that it was difficult to find anything. There were a few posters on the walls with the daily schedule and a vague map, but something more would have been nice. MCM Comic Con always gives a really in-depth programme for their weekend party. Plus the layout had become very confused, which was a little surprising considering how well everything had been planned when it was held in Earl’s Court.

That being said, this convention is really bigger and better than ever. That’s exactly what it said on the press release I stole, but I actually mean it. This convention was an absolute monster in size. We were there from about 2 until close at 8 and I’m not even sure if we got to explore every part of the convention.

IMG_1193I also got to pick up a few things at this convention. The first was a selection of three comics written by John-Paul Kamath. These independent comics were a great buy (but more on that later). He was extremely friendly and clearly passionate about his work. Meeting artists and writers at conventions has now become one of my favourite ways to spend my time at conventions. These comics are definitely worth picking up. Check out their website at The London Horror Comic and Graveyard Orbit.

The second purchase had to be something Gremlins because at this point in my life, this movie obsession has seriously taken on some kind of disease in my brain. The poster I bought at this convention is done in the now very popular minimalist style. I bought this in hopes that it wasn’t too offensive for my husband that I would be allowed to hang it up in our flat. The verdict is yet to be reached…

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a name of the creators anywhere on the poster. That and the vendor didn’t give me any flyers. So if anyone can IMG_1195point me in the right direction, please do. I would love to give credit where it is due. They make loads of movie posters and its all on great heavy-grade paper for a much more high value feel.

On a different note, the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) was a wonderful breath of fresh air (literally – it smelled in the main area). Working as one, yet seperate, the YALC boasted some major names in young adult literature, such as Judy Blume and Robert Rankin. This was a much more quiet area of the convention. It was a wonderful place full of books and chocolate cake.

The one disappointing part was seeing several of the comic artists squashed in upper floor with the YALC and the video games. I make it a point to buy either art or independent comics when I go to these conventions. Seeing them cut off from the main area was a bit sad, but thankfully many people seemed to have ventured out of their way to seek out the artists.

While I might still be a bit sore about missing out on a press pass, I do have to admit I enjoyed the convention. There was still so much more to see. Definitely worth seeing every day. Just remind me to buy my tickets ahead of time from now on.

Can’t go to San Diego for Comic Con? London has a fix for that.

San Diego Comic Con begins in just a few days. Let’s face it – this is where everyone wants to be and no one can get to. And if that isn’t painful enough, it seems like every media outlet just like to rub it in with plenty of “preview” coverage to make you cry. Want to learn the latest about the new Star Wars or see that exclusive Ash vs Evil trailer? No. No you can’t.

But for those in lands far away from California, New York or Chicago, there are still fantastic options. For Britain, there is no better comic con than the London Film and Comic Con at Kensington Olympia. There will be three days of famous actors, popular comic artists and a large number of authors. Oh and so many things to spend money on you’ll need to take out a small loan.

From July 17-19, there will be no other place in London filled with more stars than LFCC. Everyone under the moon from Back to the Future to Gremlins and even the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise will be there. October’s Winter edition of the con was plenty of fun – with Q&A’s with Ralph Macchio and Alan Ruck. So chances are this summer’s con promises to be even better yet.


  • Back to the Future cast “Return to the Future” Q&A
  • Sigourney Weaver
  • Kevin Eastman
  • Half of Westeros
  • More Doctor Who cast members that you could name

Personal highlight:

  • Zach friggin Galligan

Tickets are selling out quickly now that there are only a few more days before the convention kicks off.

London Film and Comic Con Winter

Lon Chaney, Jr. approved.

Lon Chaney, Jr. approved.

If there is ever a place of heaven on earth, it might just be at the London Film and Comic Con: a land of toys, books, gadgets, artists and film stars. This summer the LFCC was so busy that I took one look at the four-hour long queue and turned around.Thankfully with the power of the press pass, my Spanish counterpart Virginia and I were allowed full access to the winter show. What a day it was.

Considering I’ve spent more of my life spent with headphones in my ears and my nose in a book, I was lost to most of the film and television aspects. Doctor who? That being said, none of that dampened the sheer awe of the Earls Court 2 spurred. A massive building was wall to wall in memorabilia and fans. It was a geek’s paradise – superhero cape or not.

One of the main pulls were the conversation-style panels. Due to the District line on the tube we arrived too late to catch most of Chris Barrie’s Q&A. But there were plenty of others to stop by and see like Scottish hobbit Billy Boy and the the eternally-youthful Ralph Macchio (who has so much charm it seemed effortless to win over the already adoring fans).

Alan Ruck was the man who sent me star struck. Despite hovering around his table for ten minutes, I couldn’t get the courage to speak to the man. There is something about actors make me dumb. Thankfully we had the chance to watch his panel. Ruck came off incredibly genuine. That is probably said about every celebrity, but this is the honest truth. Or perhaps I will always be team Midwest.


When asked questions about his favourite moments filming movies like Ferris Bueller or what he liked and disliked most about Star Trek – he gave answers that felt true. They weren’t always glamorous or expected answers but if many people were in his shoes – that would probably be the answers most of us would give. A particularly charming response was to the favourite bit of Bueller. What was it? Watching a young boy catch a giant fish.

On our journey home a group a people were slagging off a friend who “when to that geeky comic thing.” I could only roll my eyes. If there is one thing to take away from something like LFCCW, it is that the people who go are some of the most dedicated humans you’ll ever meet. Whether they don a meticulously recreated Alien costume or have launched a Kickstarter campaign for the film they made about their life-long obsessions, these people are some of the best company to keep.

It’s like a one-stop-shop to find people with the same interests. I had to exercise a little restraint when a young child in line next to me was also purchasing the Wolfman Pop Vinyl.

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This coming weekend is the MCM London Comic Con, and it certainly has a lot to live up to.