Showmasters Events’ London Film and Comic Con is viewed as the biggest Pop Culture event in the UK of the year and the 2017 event certainly lived up to the hype. Myself and two of the Team Venom Media cameramen, Jay Walker & Richard Peeling, travelled down to the 2017 event at the London Olympia with exclusive, all-access press passes to the event.
We set off from Burton-upon-Trent (our home base for all things Team Venom) at 5am on the Sunday morning and arrived at the Olympia for about 8am. The first thing we noticed was the sheer amount of people that had decided to camp out for the doors to open at 9am. There was hundreds of attendees there. We joined our queue and at 9am went straight through to the press desk and claimed our physical passes.
Once in, we discovered that there were irritatingly no guests available at 9am and every guest’s space had queues forming so the three of us decided to visit the stalls. In previous years that I’ve attended, the stalls have played as big a part of Comic Con as the guests (what with certain companies offering rare, hard to find TV series and films – comic book or otherwise – converted to high quality DVD/Blu rays and lots of specific collector’s stalls for everything from Movie props to replica scripts) but unfortunately this year the variety wasn’t that great. We looked around and irritatingly found the same sort of thing over and over with little to no variety and a few exceptions. There were a few gems to be found – Jay purchased a stunning Batman: Black and White statue from a superb toy stall and Richard picked up a beautiful 12 inch Marvel Legends Deadpool figure mint in box – but that was about it and we’d been around every stall by about 11.
We left the convention at about half 11 feeling underwhelmed (due to viewing all stalls and not meeting a single guest) and headed to a local pub for an early lunch. Following this (and a beer or two) we headed back into the Olympia to see if we could have any exclusives from the guests. Instantly our day picked up as we met with Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville’s Lex Luthor) who provided us with his thoughts on Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex in Batman vs. Superman (His answer, “F*cking Sh!t”). We proceeded to make our way around the guests and managed to get a fair amount of exclusives including a follow up interview from one of our guests on the Team Venom Interview Podcast from 2015, the lovely SoCal Val and multiple time WWE Women’s Champion and TNA/GFW Knockouts Champion Victoria/Tara.
One of the biggest highlights – for me, at least – was being able to get an exclusive sit-down interview with the former Doctor Who, Sylvester McCoy, who provided us with his thoughts on the announcement of the next Doctor being portrayed by a woman as well as his run on the iconic BBC show and his appearance on the Scottish classic sit-com, Still Game.
Another highlight was the fantastic interview and all-round great experience we had with Game of Thrones star, Daniel Portman. Daniel was very accommodating and felt like “one of the lads” as a result of how casual and friendly he was.
We followed this up with a fantastic interview with John Rhys-Davies – the 73 year old actor who has been in many iconic film series’ such as Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings (in which he portrayed Gimli). John gave us one of the humblest interviews we’d heard in which he talked about how he enjoyed the convention as a way of meeting “ordinary people” who had shared their stories with him. He’d met a former soldier who had served in Lebanon, a young lady who had overcome Asperger’s disease to gain a degree and the most well-spoken fork lift driver he’d had the good fortune to meet. We also got to ask him about the rumours of him insisting that the stuntmen on LotR actually fought with him during the battle scenes, to which his answer was fantastic.
All in all, the three of us had a very memorable day at the London Film & Comic Con 2017 and are already making plans to return for the 2018 event.