I can truly say, I’ve missed you geeks!
And, what better way to come back than to let you know of my shenanigans in the comic con world.
Crew at Thames Con
As you may remember, my last volunteering experience was LFCC. That was one of the biggest events in the country. However, this one was a smaller, more intimate event.
Last weekend, whilst Wales Comic Con was in full swing, I was helping out at a small event in my local area called Thames Con. This isn’t just your standard show with a few guests and stalls; this is a comic con with a difference.
I crewed this comic con last year, and I enjoyed it so much I came back again!
Thames Con is an event for all the family. It really does have something for everyone. From the official website:
“Thames Con is a variety convention with something for everyone. Conventions are a great way to meet new and interesting people, indulge in your interest and discover new ones, or be a big kid for the day and dress up as your favourite superhero.
Charity is a big part of what we do and I’m pleased to say that we raised over £500 for our partner charities below at the first event. We are also now officially part of #teamfox and supporting DangerousBoB.net to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research. If you like my T-shirt or cap in the pic above, please click here and help support a great cause.”
Just 10 of your great British pounds will get you entry into the event. This gives you access to the panels and the main hall, where the traders stands and the celebrity guests are.
The guests at Thames Con this year:
Clive Mantle – Game of Thrones (Lord Umber), Holby City.
Ross Mullan – Game of Thrones, Doctor Who.
Sarah Louise Madison – Doctor Who, The Amityville Asylum.
Jerome St John Blake – Star Wars, Fifth Element
Dangerous Bob – Prop Master on Back to the Future.
Louise Gold – Jim Henson Puppeteer, Actress, Singer.
Hugh Spight – Star Wars, Doctor Who.
Chris Bunn – Star Wars, James Bond
Bill Hargreaves – Star Wars, Prop Master
Mark Billingham – Author, Comedian, Actor, and all round nice bloke!
Nathan Hurst – Author
Chris Kendall – Puppeteer
Of course, there was going to be some special things in store for the attendees – This con saw a world first Dark Crystal puppetry masterclass.
“Dark Crystal & Muppets fans, have we got a treat for you! Hugh and Louise both worked on the original Dark Crystal as Puppeteers and choreographers and Louise has just finished working on Age of Resistance.
In this 90-minute special you will have a chance to show off your own Dark Crystal goodies, hear all about how Hugh and Louise came to work for the Henson company, see behind the scenes images and hear all about the making of the Dark Crystal & other Muppets projects.
This will be followed by a puppeteering masterclass where Louise will show us some of the tricks of the trade with one of her own puppets and willing audience members will get to have a go using the same techniques as they do on the Films!”
I, of course, missed all of this. As I was a guest assistant for the day, my task was to look after author Mark Billingham.
I remember him from Maid Marian and her Merry Men. (Most of you are probably too young to remember that). Mark has since gone on to write a series of crime novels. I’m more of a horror reader myself as opposed to crime novels. So I didn’t really know what his books were about. When I asked him how many books he’d sold and he told me around 6 million! I knew he must have been rather popular!
I had to make sure Mark had everything he needed throughout the day. Fed, watered, etc. I also had to make sure he got to his panels and shoots on time. During the quiet times, we had a good chat about his life, his books and the fact that he’d never been to a comic con before. He was rather impressed by the amount of effort that the attendees go to cosplaying their favourite characters.
Come lunchtime, there were a few food stands to choose from. Ranging from burger vans to Caribbean food. I opted for a microwave Slimming World meal. (Still trying to stay on the bandwagon!)
The comicon husband was also there. It’s always good to crew an event with someone you know!
He was looking after Louise Gold. So, when I went to talk to rob Louise and I had a little chat about the Spitting Image puppet she bought with her, and we had a mutual interest in each other’s shoes.
Overall, it was a fun day! If you want a day that doesn’t stress you out so much, and you’re looking for something a little bit different, this is your place!
Thank you so much to Zay for having me again. Here’s to another great year in 2020.
Sarah Jane Wilson – your resident convention crew girl