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London Film & Comic Con, Part 3

Okie doke; Sunday, last part

I checked in my hand bag [£1 per bag] and went to check out new guests.  Mark Ryan & Chris Sarandon had been joined by the Phelps Twins from Harry Potter – so much bigger!  Probably still looking to get laid!  They had competition in the Twilight guys and the little girlies were creaming their panties over Justin Chan & Alex Meraz. Scott Bakula, Eve Myles & Michael Shanks all did very well.

I had three more photos to be taken and all were scheduled for Sunday – midday with Jewel Staite, 12.30pm with Michael Ironside and then Paul McGann at 3.35pm.  With the later starting time, we didn’t have much of a wait for photos to start but I discovered they had swapped Jewel with Jimmy Jean Louis as he had to go earlier [he hadn’t bothered to tell them, they said].  This meant that instead of being first, Jewel was now 2.50pm.  Ok, not just a bloody nuisance, but this meant that there was no way on gods earth I was going to get my photo back in time to get it signed before she left!  So I might just as well get on and have something else signed.  Jewel and Michael Ironside were the main reason I had come to LFCC and to say I was cross, was the understatement of the month.  I had a good old moan to the Pit Boss, who was suitably sympathetic and took a nice picture of me with Jewel while I was picking up the picture she had just signed for me.   Jewel got to hear about how angry I was but as I hastened to assure her, it wasn’t anything she could do.  I then discovered nobody had actually told her about the time change either!  She’s a sweet lady and greeted me prettily when I had my photo with her later.

I duly had my photo op with Mr Ironside [the only one on-time that day!] and what a lovely man he was.  I took his hand and said you have no idea how long I have waited to meet you, it’s a real pleasure.  He said thank you very much, thank you for coming.  The photographer [Danielle?] kept my stick out of the photo, which I appreciated and when we were done, Michael said ‘Is your leg sore?’  A little bit, I said and he asked what it was.  ‘Arthritis’ and he was all set to have a talk, obviously having been there and done that.  I’m always conscious of the queue and started to move away from him, but he had hold of my hand and said ‘don’t worry about them’ !!  I laughed and said I’d see him later and kept going.  Jess and I shared a smile on my way out.

I was lucky to get my photo back in time for MI to sign it but I had to wait until 4.30pm and I have to say I was getting a little anxious by then.  However, it was all good and it was nice and quiet by then, so I was able to sit and have a talk with him.  ‘There you are’, he said, ‘I  was beginning to think you weren’t coming’ and won my heart completely!

He was having a sandwich and a discussion with his minder about ‘The Wrestler’ and how good it was.  I had to say I don’t like wrestling or Mickey Rourke, so on a hiding to nothing there and they were trying to persuade me that it wasn’t anything to do with wrestling, could have been anything, it was all a metaphor for the struggle etc.  They were wasting their time but it was a good discussion.

He then asked about me and I wanted to know what he had and it’s not arthritis so much as calcium deposits he said, that he has to have operated on once in a while, as he’s broken most of the bones in his body and been through a windscreen twice!  And that’s come from playing American football and then the action movies that he is so well known for – let’s face it, if you’ve seen ‘Scanners’, the TV series ‘V’ & ‘SeaQuest’ [replacing Roy Scheider], ‘Starship Troopers’, ‘Top Gun’ and Arnie’s ‘Total Recall’, you can’t have missed seeing him. 

He has been in a lot more movies than that of course [126 to date, approx 66 TV appearances in TV series, mini-series & documentaries, and 8 video games (including Splinter Cell & Ice Planet)], I’m just picking the most well known to recent audiences.  This great and talented Canadian is also a director, producer and writer. 

I’ve got ahead of myself again!  I had time to kill until Jewel’s photo shoot and had a troll around the dealers’ tables, picking up a couple of trading card packs - Series 5 ‘Smallville’ [with Brainiac/Milton Fine, of course!] and BTVS ‘Men of Sunnydale’ [for Spike, natch!], for £3 each.  Woulda been a crime to ignore them… I also picked up a large photo holder, only had some smaller ones and I had a long photo to safeguard – now where did I put it…?  I know I had it on the train…

I took some photos around the Cosplay area and spotted Al, the Mystic Gypsy visiting with Robert Rankin.  I tried to take a couple of surreptitious shots but RR spotted me.  I just smiled and moved on.  Al draws great manga pictures of people and comics too and I was delighted to see him and his lovely wife arrive that morning.  

I went and picked up a virtual ticket for Michael Ironside and learned from the stewards that he was going to do a talk later with Edward Furlong.  I was directed to the side theatre and sat and listened to Spike Spenser who is a working voice actor, while I waited.  The lady running the show was unclear if MI & EF were going to be there and it turned out to be the other theatre and I’d missed it! Damn and triple damn…

I decided to go join Jewel Staite’s line and nearly had a heart attack when I saw the queue; it was MASSIVE – no way was I going to get through that and be in time for Paul McGann!  And there were a lot of people who had earlier shoots who wouldn’t make it either and we were all trying to work out which to do first.  After a lot of shilly shallying, the Head steward sent me to McGann’s line as it was going to be at least 3.45pm before I would be going through Jewel’s line.   So I hoofed it over to the other side of hall and checked in with the Hs on that side, who said ‘why couldn’t she put you straight through first? Go back and tell her I said to’ – I said, you tell her, I can’t!  So she got on her phone and sent me back across the hall [oh my aching blisters] and I got put through straight away.

Jewel’s name suits her perfectly and I think she is a very nice person.  She was very nice to me and the photographer actually took three of us together, as she wasn’t happy with how they were turning out.  She printed them all too and left them for me!  Very sweet and went some way to mollifying my anger at the time change.  I’ll just have to get Jewel to sign one at a later date is all.

Anyway, that done, I took off across the hall again [!!] and was told to ‘sit there’ until the extra photo shoot for Michael Shanks was done.  There were about 120 people and I think Malcolm really did set the land speed record this time!  But I could hear him and although he was going like the clappers, he was being polite, respectful and so professional, I was impressed.  He also checks every shot before he gets the next one in; I know, I’ve watched him. 

Malcolm has improved out of sight since I first met him photographing James.  He has relaxed and it is true that he will probably never have the amount of people again that he had with James and later with John Barrowman, and I think having had them he now knows he doesn’t have to get all tense and snappy to get it all done.  If he is calm and does the job, not only does he get all the people through but the quality of his shots improves.

Michael Shanks done, we waited for Paul McGann.  He arrived promptly and I was zipped in first.  Malcolm took his couple of test shots and Paul looked over at the queue filing in and the amount of boys in Dr Who costumes and he grinned his head off.   I stepped up and smiled at him, saying I was about the least Whovian person there.  He was in great spirits, huggy and laughing and managed to wrap himself around my side and still jiggle about.  I was conscious of holding him and trying to keep him still.  I said ‘stop wriggling’ and he laughed saying it was Australian exercise or something, which made me laugh.   Malcolm took the shot and I like it.

I shook PM’s hand and he said lovely to meet you, with a huge grin and I said thank you for coming. Sweet man…

I heaved a sigh of relief when I got out, all done.  All I had to do was get my photos back.  So I did the necessary things, washed my hands, had a drink and Michael Ironside’s batch came back.  Went and had my visit with him and came away with a smile.

Back to waiting and hanging around the photo tables…  It got to 5pm and they did an announcement saying they’d stay open until the photos came back.  There was Eve Myles, Michael Shanks, Jewel’s and of course Paul’s.   Both photographers came to check and actually helped out. Eventually, batches started to come back and the four major’s did come back but there were some of the smaller batches that didn’t come.   I picked up Jewel & Paul’s, packed them away safely and took back the wheelchair back to the cloakroom and picked up my bag.

It took some walking to get to the Piccadilly line in Earls Court tube, to my surprise – shouldn’t it be as easy to get back at it was to come in??  Anyway, many weary footfalls later, up a lift, down a lift and some more walking, I finally got the right platform – and man, it was packed!  The surprise being after 6pm on a Sunday night, not rush hour on a week night.  Anyway, I managed to get a seat and get up to Kings Cross.  Thank heavens for escalators…and a nice young policeman who pointed me to the stairs and saved me a hike.  I blew him a kiss to his delight… :D

I must have looked tired as I propped myself against a column near the departures board, as a young black man gave me his seat [they usually either don’t see me or give me the hairy eyeball].  I was able to return the favour ten minutes later and give it back to him when my train platform came up. 

It was one of those times when one train came in after another and we had to walk the length of the first to get to ours; goddess, I hate that.   I finally limped onto one of the middle carriages and got seated.  Pretty empty at first but rapidly filled up and we were maybe 10minutes late leaving, about 7pm.  Didn’t know why but just outside Hitchin, we found out.  Track problems or point problems, not sure which but a broken down train too.  We passed the train [on it’s way to London], still with people inside as it was between stations.  Then we stopped for about an hour…  My feet were rather cramped and I was very sore the next day.  We finally got going again and reached Cambridge with no further problems.  I let the crowd stream out and just as I was leaving the train, I rang my taxi company to come get me.  That works well and I was home a little after 9pm.  Exhausted.

Checked for any urgent emails or phone messages, while I had a hot drink and my eyes started to close.  Didn’t even unpack my bags, just rolled into bed.

So that was that, my little chickadees…  :D  One fun-filled, highly interesting weekend.  Next one will be Hub3 in October, followed a week later by Hallowhedon – now THAT will be a weekend – er, or two!!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
You sure got your share of exercise that weekend! Checked out your pics on PBase the day you uploaded them. Lots of faces I recognize, but I never remember the names. And some of them are getting OLD, not you of course ;O), the celebs!

You look as fresh as a springflower. Wink wink, nudge, nudge!!!

Let´s see when we meet next time. Not going to the Hallowhedon thing or the Hub. And London in February sounds pretty awful. I hope James doesn´t cancel his May-tour thingie because of the February stuff...
And if he´s going to be on Torchwood again, we might see more of him on the stage too! Keeping my fingers crossed for some more John Hart, our omnisexual antihero...
Jul. 30th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
Flatterer! i look like an old bag! and a large battered one at that. That's the problem being photographed next to pretty people but i'm only a couple of years older than Michael Ironside!
And i think i'm about the same age as David Prowse?? Poor man was loosing his voice and i was searching in my bag for some throat lozenges! i found them that night and went to find him the next day. He hadn't managed to find any and i shared my Honey & Lemon Strepsils with him [sealed blister packs you can buy in chemists & supermarkets here] - he popped on in his mouth while i was there! His PA made some remark about giving him things and i gave him a withering look and said, 'oh yeah, i work for the Strepsils factory' and he shut up. It's not like i made him a cake!
And why hadn't someone been looking after him and got him something Sat night anyway?
i'm sorry you won't be making Hub3 or Hallowhedon - i will miss seeing you crouched at my side! i'll be so far back in the crowds at both of them, i'll only get to see James up close for the photos and autos. Hope some of our good Brit photographers are in the Golds and inclined to share - neither of my cameras have a telephoto lens!

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )