A few years ago, I bought a ticket for SDCC and ultimately had to sell it (perks of being a teenager, and not being able to afford flights to America). I’ve always liked the idea of Comic Con, bringing a load of fans together to appreciate a mass of mediums, but until this weekend had never got to experience it. That was until this weekend.
Now, I had early entry tickets and, instead of queuing to get in at 9.30, waited until 10.30. It meant that we walked straight in with a neat half hour to spare before general entry. It was clear from the off it would be heaving. The cosplayers were fantastic. Some were honestly great. There was a particularly flawless Hit Girl and Big Daddy, a gender-swap Loki, a weeping angel (I happened to be with her, and saw her stopped every 10 steps for photos). So many good costumes.
The hall itself was a bit crammed. There was a lot there, and that much was fantastic. The Tardis and Delorean photo opportunities, a multitude of great stalls selling art, dresses, toys, wigs, belts, stationery, comics, books – there was a real mix of things to browse and buy (I’m proud to say I had some self-restraint and kept my pennies on this particular occasion). The artist section was another highlight. Lots of talented people were selling their own works, with many offering portraits for as little as £3.
At the back rested a couple of hundred chairs behind a partition with a little stage in the centre. This, it seemed, was where the guest speakers would be. I only caught a few guests. First was Rhys Williams (Torchwood), who seemed to use his time on the stage as a stand up comic, also battling the weeping angel in attendance after he said their episode was his favourite. Next were Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan of Babylon 5, the former seeming to like the sound of his own voice at times, but their new project involving many fans incorporating steampunk designs into their work sounded cool. Finally, my pick of the day, Mr. Warwick Davis. Naturally, my preference lies to his Harry Potter work, but let’s face it, he’s worked in so many outstanding franchises it was just a great opportunity. Kudos to the kid who made him a wand though, that was really cute.
It seems, by this point, that the event was a signed and sealed success. The problem was the organisation. Having it in one hall is fine, but it seemed there was no limit to tickets and it felt very claustrophobic and points as an abundance of people crammed in. What’s more is that when we left – note left at say 3.30 in the afternoon – the queue was still enormous. Later, I found out that hundreds, push over a thousand people queued for hours and didn’t get in.
I understand they could say that getting there early secures entry, but even I fail to remember a mass of information on times and limits, etc. I had a great day, but think there could be better organisation in the hall itself. Others didn’t get in, and I think that highlights a massive point of focus for next year, should it come back (which I really hope it does).