Got a call from Heather just as I was finishing up packing. I have clearly become too predictable – she was calling to place an order of booze for my usual pre-con Tesco pitstop. Only I’d done it a few days previously. No matter; picked up a random selection of Breezers and Smirnoff Ices at Feltham on the way.
Got to the hotel to discover it appeared to be in a state of chaos; something about computer systems and people getting bumped. I girded myself up for a good rant but my check-in went without a hitch; Hell, it was actually faster than usual. Slightly anticlimactic…
When I registered, I was told there was a chap called Paul Chan at Fusion who’d had several people coming up to compliment him on a great Monkey costume. Snigger. I did manage to catch up with him and we did have a good laugh about it. Actually, I did notice several male Orientals at the con. Hmm… not happy about this!
Had fun reprising the Monkey outfit alongside Sonia as Tripitaka and Simon as Pigsy. Is it just me or was he really getting into role-playing the lecherous Pigsy? ;-)
Highlight of the talks was definitely Julie Benz and Vincent Kartheiser. They made a great double act. It’s also quite impressive how much more confident Julie is on stage now compared to how she was at Nocturnal 2000, even doing things like checking Vincent’s underwear to answer the “Boxers or briefs?” question!
The only con guest I’ve seen with less reserve or sense of discretion than Vincent is Neil Roberts. When Julie mentioned having been recognised in The Pleasure Chest, an LA sex shop, he started talking about it. I thus couldn’t resist asking if his knowledge was based what he’d been told or from personal experience. He replied that Pleasure Chest was a great store and went into detail about all the weird stuff they had, like hog masks!
Rather unusually for me, I did do the autograph queue, mainly because I’d printed up another “Lord, won’t you buy me a
Oh, also overheard in the queue, Sean Harry telling Cathy that the only item he will sign is copies of Witchcraft X. So, off to Amazon then!
The fancy dress was another impressive array of well done and imaginative costumes, especially the Wolf, Ram and Hart group entry and most of all, Sloopy’s Smile Time Angel which very deservedly won. Heather, Alex and I also had fun with our Princess Bride entry although there was a period of panic when Alex went off to run an errand and got stuck in traffic for several hours. Did mean we had to scale back our ambitions for the fencing part of the entry though. Still, at least I got to point my epee at Sean and do the “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die” spiel. Mind you, I’m sure I once swore I’d never wear a stupid brown wig ever again…
Oh, and special mention to Jimmy the Scot for entering as Neil Davidson, Jedi Master Chef! Guess you’re really a Big Name Fan when someone enters the fancy dress as you!
Breakfast at McDonalds on account of Sue and I sleeping way past the 8.30 breakfast slot due to disco excesses…
Highlight of the talks was discovering Jenny Mollen was a comic book geek, and especially a fan of Alan Moore’s so I ended up having a brief chat with her about Watchmen, V For Vendetta etc in the autograph queue. She also advised me to get Alan Moore’s CD which apparently consists of him reading weird poetry to weird music (my comment: “Alan Moore doing weird stuff? Well, there’s a surprise!”). However, I don’t think I’m a big enough fan of either of them to try this one…
Vincent Kartheiser came up with another memorable comment. Someone asked which of the films he’d worked on was his favourite and why. His reply to the latter: “Because all the others were shit!”
Had an unusual variant of the mistaken identity problem in the afternoon – one of the photo desk staff came up to me with a photo. I pointed out it wasn’t me (“Are you sure?” :-O) and that I hadn’t had any photos taken that weekend. She said it was actually from Fusion so I pointed out it definitely wasn’t me then as I wasn’t there! It was, of course, Mr Chan, taken with Robert Patrick! In general, too many oriental chaps present this weekend. Not happy. My exclusivities are being infringed. I am so going to sue someone’s ass.
Come the evening, Sue and I had fun with our Mortal Kombat costumes (Sonya and Raiden, respectively, the latter once again courtesy of Tors). Note to self: Must remember to think about pockets for future costumes… Had lots of photos taken. Next step – integrating them into Mortal Kombat screenshots (“Finish him!”, “Test your liver”, “Round 1 – Drink!” etc…). Main worry costume-wise: Andy appears to have nominated me to do Cat in a group Red Dwarf effort. Really not convinced about this…
Seemed like everyone left earlier than usual but some of us have hypothesised that this may have something to do with the hotel removing the chairs and tables in the main lobby! Anyway, dropped Sue at Heathrow, gave Taz a lift home, vegged out for a few hours and even made it into fencing later on! Parting comment from one of the Irish contingent: If I think ~3.5 months till next con (White Room) is too long, I’m going to too many!
Once more, photos at new (third now!) Yahoo album.
Last night, at fencing, it suddenly occured to me Kate had been at fencing the last three sessions, surprising as her being booked for work on Euro 2004 was one of the reasons for choosing to go to Hyperion rather than Malta. Turned out her employers' plans changed so she could have gone to Malta and that she wasn't at all pissed off about it and certainly hadn't been complaining bitterly about it to all and sundry. Honest, she said. Heh. Funny how things play out.