A tale of two congresses

I have a proper job, I know that may surprise people but I wear a suit, work in an office and like to think that what I do matters, I work for a major multinational company and travel a lot for work. This is a rather large contrast to the Scifi world I often inhabit at home and sometimes the contrast becomes starkly obvious.

This week I’m at a very large conference for work. A brief outline of the event goes something like:

    Attendance – 20,000 people
    Dress code – suits
    Sessions to sit through to learn new information
    Key ‘star’ speakers people want to hear talk, or meet
    A huge exhibition area with every company in the sector here
    Meetings from 7am until midnight
    Long queues for overpriced (and not very good) food at the exhibition centre
    Champagne and cocktails in the conference bar in the evening.
    Lots of media coverage and film crews wandering around.

In two weeks time I’ll be at the New York Comic convention. I was trying to explain the concept of a comic con to some colleagues over dinner last night. It went something like this:

    Attendance – 90,000 people
    Dress code – jeans, comic based tshirts, fancy dress (showering appears to be optional!)
    Preview screenings, talks by comic artists and celebs
    Key ‘star’ people from the movie and comic industry that everyone wants to hear talk, get a sketch or signature from or meet
    A huge exhibition area with every company in the sector here
    Queues from 7am (and earlier) and sessions to go to until midnight
    Long queues for overpriced (and not very good) food at the exhibition centre
    Beer in the conference bar in the evening.
    Lots of media coverage and film crews wandering around.

So comic con is bigger, more laid back and smellier but in some ways there are actually very similar. The biggest difference is the fancy dress. This conference would be so much more fun if a fancy dress rule was implemented!

I find I’m actually looking forward to four days in my jeans (I DON’T do fancy dress), drinking beer, staying in a cheap hotel, getting star struck over Princess Leia, dodging people dressed as Ewoks and random manga characters, hunting down comic artists who you have no idea what they look like. It will definitely make a change. Roll on comic con.

“I do”, or do not – there is no try

We went home for a wedding and to finally meet Scifi nephew at the weekend. Oh and to pick up comics…

Scifi nephew is gorgeous. His mum has got him dressed in cutsie blue onsies and there’s lots of soft toy animals around. Absolutely no signs of Batman, Spiderman etc anywhere near him – yet. However with a father who is a mad Eve player and Scifi uncle around I’m sure that won’t last.

20120919-211516.jpg Scifi nephew with Scifi Auntie

The two friends who got married are huge movie fans and had persuaded the local cinema to let them get married in front of the big screen. To be honest the pair of them have seen over 100 movies there this year so I think the cinema probably owed them one. The cinema hadn’t hosted a wedding before but our friends applied for the wedding licence for them.

All the usual wedding superlatives apply. The bride looked beautiful, the groom was nervous, we had a great time etc. But what I loved was the fact they went all out on the movie theme. The invitations looked like the old movie advertising postcards. They had photos of the two of them up on the big screen. The cinema had rolled out the red carpet – yes an actual red carpet. We threw popcorn instead of confetti. There’s going to be some great photos of the bride on the escalators and the groom serving popcorn. Even the tables at the reception had movie names and there was a movie themed quiz on every table. Brilliantly done. Congrats to the bride and groom!

20120919-211631.jpg View from the back row of the cinema

Of course Scifi hubby can’t go anywhere without finding comics so in between the wedding and meeting Scifi nephew we visited the local comic shop, collected books that had been posted to my parents house and managed to see the new Judge Dredd movie. It’s a good job that there’s no weight limit on hand luggage…


Sometimes life IS black and white

Scifi hubby is a huge Simon Bisley fan. Bisley, also known as Biz, is a really famous comic artist and has worked on Batman, Lobo, Judge Dredd, Hellblazer etc etc. The first time we met Biz was at a comic shop in Beford. They were running a signing and we turned up really early. Biz, fairly predictably was really late (and drunk but that’s a story for some other time). Whilst killing time Scifi hubby decided to buy a statue of Batman based on a Biz drawing so he could get Biz to sign it.

Skip forward a couple of years and we were at a scifi/comic show in Milton Keynes called Collectormania. The convention had run for several years in the local shopping centre but that year it had moved to the football ground. As a result the con was actually pretty rubbish. They had fewer guests than normal and those they had were hidden away in tents. There were less stalls and less stuff to buy. However Scifi hubby still had the same amount of money burning a whole in his pocket…

At the end of the show he spotted a couple of statues from a set called ‘black and white’. Now I know that once Scifi hubby has three of something it becomes a collection so I know not to ever let him buy the third. Ironically collecting is quite black and white with him, he either has all of something or none. I had completely forgotten about the Biz statue and hadn’t really realised it was part of a series so didn’t think anything of it when he bought both. Until we got home…

Predictably the collection of black and white statues has now got a little out of control – in fact he owns all of the existing 44 black and white statues! Worse, they are still being produced and he’s still buying them. They are quite pretty so live in glass cabinets but he’s rapidly running out of room. Before you worry about the original boxes (like any true collector would), they are, of course, safely stored in several big boxes down the cellar.

The Bisley Statue that started it all

Just some of the collection…