Thanks to Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool I was able to spend FCBD away from Singapore not morosely depressed and pining for comics. Being in London was a great blessing – just to see how FCBDs are run in other parts of the world in person was a rather great experience especially since I knew that I wasn’t going to miss out on some great comics. And even better – once I got to my first stop everything was in walking distance. Huzzah!
So with trusty Android phone in hand (this post not sponsored by HTC One X or three.co.uk – I had 3G, I had Google Maps, all was good) I headed out to the streets of London early one morning. Based on where I was going Tottenham Court Road station was my best choice. Having actually been to Tottenham (White Hart Lane, to be precise) the day before, that actually meant that I … took the wrong tube. So if you were ever, ever wondering if Tottenham Court Road was anywhere near the actual Tottenham, the answer is NO.
One somewhat scary train ride later …
So yes! My first stop (if I had been on time) was to queue at the extremely famous and hallowed grounds of Forbidden Planet. When I tweeted about comics in London almost everyone told me to try out Forbidden Planet – and so I was there … Pretty much after the queues had cleared.
But never fear: Captain America was still there to give out comics. And what luck! They’d run out of The Mouse Guard until intrepid Captain America hunted for a new box. Loot! And yes, comics are not too mainstream for hipsters. I did a quick browse around Forbidden Planet, promised myself I’d be back (I was, and I bought a Dr Who thingy anyway) and went off to hunt for Gosh! London.
If you ever needed to hunt for Gosh! London, look out for the bat-signal. And the street of sex shops behind it.
To me this was a big highlight, because, for starters, I saw Rich Johnston an his entourage (all kids) just having a good time drawing comics. Whatever you might think about how he sometimes does things at Bleeding Cool – his aims for FCBD were pretty cool indeed. Gosh! was also great because they had a great indie slant: Some of the comics for FCBD were indie stuff that weren’t listed. They also had a nice range of other things – got myself a signed The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier while I was there.
Another thing: Roger Langridge doing a most wonderful Kermit on the glass panels of Gosh!. The guy has won a Harvey Award for drawing Muppets so … Pedigree? There you go.
Last stop was Orbital Comic. By now the skies were doing the good old London rain thing, but I wasn’t perturbed (my comics probably were). Took the most photos here because they had tons of cosplayers and a huge queue for a Transformers signing with legendary Transformers writer Simon Furman. I got myself some oversized (to us) British Transformer comics to sign! Woot!
Here’s my favourite pic at Orbital – The Thing protecting X-23 and female Deadpool (who was really pretty but I didn’t get a shot of her then) from crazy Green Latern. Must be jealous about all the better Marvel movies. As for the rest of the pics, click down at the gallery below!
Well – I definitely survived FCBD in London (if not I wouldn’t be posting). What I really liked was a community feel – especially in Gosh! London, where it was very focused on the local scene. I was missing Singapore’s special version with Nicola Scott and gang for sure – but thanks to London, it turned out very well indeed. The key to surviving? Don’t take the wrong train, and have fun!