Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Behold, the geeks and nerds doth gather...

It's been a few days since I last posted, largely because I've been working overtime to finish the first short-story that I've written in quite some time. A tale of prejudice, it is titled (intriguingly, I hope) 'The Seven Questions of Daniel Keys'. At 11,500 words it's not what you would call a short short-story, but I'm hoping for some positive thoughts from the lovely people who have offered to comment on the initial draft - I'll keep you posted on what they think.

Anyway, because it's been a few days since I've been able to post, this is the first opportunity I've had to tell you about the trip which we made into the Twilight Zone on Saturday.
Imagine a man, going on a journey beyond sight and sound, he's about to enter...Manchester Comic Con!
Except, entry did take a little longer than anticipated on account of the fact that the organisers had obviously been to the Disneyland Paris School of Queue Design and had hidden the vast majority of the queue out of sight along the side of the GMEX building - still, at least it gave us the opportunity to cast our eyes over the costumes that people were wearing (some of which were excellent, some of which were a bit less than excellent, and a few which could best be described as 'token gestures').
It was whilst we were queueing that the were treated to the bizarre sight of Bane pushing a pram:
A special mention to the Battlestar Gallactica Cylon Number 6 (tall, blond, etc) and her companion (who I assume was supposed to be Gaius Baltar) who informed us whilst we stood in the queue that the UK Garrison of Star Wars stormtroopers were on show (as certified by LucasFilm, apparently) - we were fortunate enough to see them later, complete with stormtrooper 'These are not the droids we're looking for' voice.
Also, loved the guy who had Terry Pratchett's 'luggage' trundling alongside him on a lead, though I bet he regretted having that with him when he was trying to fight his way up and down the aisles!

Inside Comic Con itself there were a lot of stalls selling a lot of merchandise covering everything from Japanese anime, through Marvel & DC, on past Aliens and Predator, alongside Star Trek before eventually ending up at Warwick Davies and RobotWars.
Something for every nerd and geek, me thinks.
There were samurai swords to buy, light sabres too.
But, by Christ, was it busy, and that was only with those who had spent the extra dosh to get early entry tickets - apparently, some of those who joined the general entry queue (which was allowed in from 11.00 a.m.) didn't actually get in until 2.00 p.m. and that's a hell of a long time to stand out in the blazing sun! Not so good.

We lasted about 3 hours before the general crush and uncomfortable odour of vast numbers of sweaty bodies inside heavy costumes began to get too much and we nipped off to the city centre for a pizza and a drink, loaded down with our obligatory purchases (I managed to get my hands on some old classic sci-fi paperbacks).

Would I go back?
Probably.

Most abiding memory (with the exception of Bane pushing a pram, obviously!)?
The quite surreal contrast we saw as we arrived at GMEX, with one side of the road full of stormtroopers, Marvel characters, Assassins, Jokers, Banes, etc, whilst on the other side of the road stood a whole bunch of university graduates, all in their ceremonial garb, alongside parents dressed in suits and posh-frocks, looking bemusedly across at all the nerds and geeks having a whale of a time and clearly thinking 'What the fuck...?'