This Saturday was my first time attending this event. I'm quite taken with it. I was impressed by the scale and the range of the exhibitors, as well as the venue. There was food, merchandise of all types (related to film, TV, manga, super-heroes), there was manga (I got a compilation of volumes 1-3 of Bleach), there were comics (it was much more about independent comics and I was expecting it to be heavily swamped by the big boys Marvel, DC etc. but it wasn't), there were video games and last but not least there was the costumes. Oh boy! The effort that some people had put in on their costumes was brilliant. I spoke to a guy who had worked on his for 8 months. His was largely made out of the foam that camping roll mats are made from. Great idea but it must have been quite hot. We got there relatively early but had to stand around for a while until we were let inside, they had to let people in slowly. We had bought tickets in advance, so we didn't have to queue like the people buying tickets on the day. It quickly got to be very crowded and very hot with all those bodies. There was a lot of good spirit in the crowds though, even when they were standing waiting to go, giving strangers high fives as they passed. A lot of the youngsters (late teens and twenties I'd say) were wearing "free hugs" signs, which seemed very sweet and trusting in this community. Especially when you consider the brutality of what had happened a few days ago in Woolwich when a soldier had been attacked and cut like a piece of meat. Here are a few of the photos I took of the "cosplayers", who all happily consented to have their photographs taken.
Afterwards, I took my son (just the two of us went) into Piccadilly Square and we walked down Shaftesbury Avenue past Charing Cross to visit one of my favourite stores, Forbidden Planet. While we were there we bought a few items. Then it was back to the station and a Burger King for supper before we caught the train home. A grand day out. And even better, tomorrow I can do it all again at a show called Collectormania in Milton Keynes. And one more thing, I'm now off work for a week!