Sunday, February 19, 2012

SFX Weekender review

I don't normally got to conventions, but by the end of February I will have been to three cons this month. First up was the SFX weekender held at Pontins holiday camp in Prestatyn, North Wales. It was weird going back to Pontins which was the scene of a daring escape from my childhood, but that's another story.

SFX is a two day convention organised by the science fiction magazine of the same name. Brian my co-host from British Invaders was over from Canada and went to both days and I joined him for the Saturday. Although it is small in comparison with American conventions this was considerably bigger than the single room Brumcon I went to last year. Thousands of people were there, with many in costumes and several professional models in rather more revealing outfits.

Brian and I went to some of the panels including Q&A sessions with Eve Myles from Torchwood, and the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker. Then while Brian went off to get Baker's autograph I listened to the Judge Dredd creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra answer questions about the comic, and then I queued up to get their signatures on one of my Dredd books.

And like Dave Gibbons at Brumcon who was doing quick head sketches of Rorschach, Carlos was doing Dredd or Johnny Alpha doodles in peoples' books. Here is mine. Gracias, Carlos!

In the afternoon we went to another Q&A with the larger than life Brian Blessed who raised the roof with the power of his voice. There was a moderator on stage to ask questions but he never got a word in as Blessed told anecdote after anecdote for an hour, pausing every now and then to bellow "Gordon's alive!".

Finally in the evening we went to the SFX awards ceremony where author Robert Rankin and his wife gave out various awards for 2011. Obviously several of the award-winners were not there to accept their gongs and several had sent video acceptance speeches. It is worth checking out the videos at the SFX site to watch Neil Gaiman's amusing video about his best writer award for The Doctor's wife. However, Stan "The Man" Lee probably stole the show with his video to accept the "Biggest Disappointment" award for not doing a cameo in the X-Men: First Class movie. It's great, watch it.

On the Sunday Brian set off on the rest of his travels around the UK, while I returned home for work on the Monday. One week later we got back together for Big Finish Day. Review coming up next.

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