The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue)

Resplendent in Newspeak and Doublethink.

London Film & Comic Con 2010

Showmaters really did put on a fantastic show yesterday. So much to keep all those there entertained and enthralled. Particular kudos for the DC Comics Exhibition which was excellent, rounded off with a goodie bag which included a limited Alex Ross ‘Green Lantern’ print and a copy of ‘Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic’ on DVD!

There was much more room in EC2 this year also, what with the DC show, larger video gaming area and mini-theatre for live streaming from crunchyroll.com. Therefore, unlike previous years, I hardly ever found myself pressed up against unwelcome body parts. Phew! The crew also did a fantastic job keeping it all running smoothly, and aside from a little hiccup regarding Shatner’s photo queue, they hardly faltered. They do a great job.

A plethora of toys, comics, DVD’s, posters, clothing and various other merch kept the dealer’s tables buzzing with traffic and the sound of opening and closing cash tins. So much great gear, never enough cash! (bit too much ‘Twilight’ crap, but it’s this year’s fad so…). I picked up a nice ‘Quatermass 2’ reprodution print, an inexpensive Joker canvas print, a reproduction Freddy glove (finally! I regretted not getting one back at LFCC ’07. Could have had Robert Englund sign that too.), another Gundam kit, a ‘Flash’ figure and the find of the day: a die-cast ‘Starsky & Hutch’ model ’76 Ford Torino! In the words of one Arnold J. Rimmer: “marvellous!”.

As for the guest, they we’re really well set out with both ‘Star War’ guests and William Shatner having been separated from the other, more generalized guests. This meant that it was easier for the traffic to move around the main signing area than in previous years and it really worked.

As for The Shat, it was hardly surprising that both the autograph and photo lines were HUGE, with the former a little more organised. Naturally, being so popular it really was an ‘in-and-out’ experience. No chatter, no personalisations. This was ok by me, but some, including the really annoying couple in front of me found this hard to accept (she kept faffing about with her camera!).

Robert Rankin was as warm, charming and dapper as ever. He always has a tale to tell and every show he’s at I always pick up his latest book, this time, ‘Retromancer‘. He even signed a limited print too while we talked for a moment about his yearly appearance at LFCC.

Sean Pertwee was cheery and full of his usual brand of swagger. Happily added ‘Sausages’ to my ‘Dog Soldiers‘. Just as I suspected, it wasn’t the first time he’d done that!

Tom Noonan looked somewhat nervous but was nonetheless polite and friendly. I figured it was probably that he rarely does conventions and therefore was somewhat overwhelmed by the reception he was receiving.

Julian Glover was a complete gentleman in every way and really rather busy. Very quiet but utterly charming. Whilst signing my ‘Quatermass & The Pit‘ DVD, he asked me if I still thought the film stood up today. I do and said so. It remains not only one of my favorite Hammer movies, but one of my most treasured flicks of all time.

Greg Rucka was just exceptional. After signing the story ‘Delivered’ from the ‘Hellboy: Odd Jobs’ collection, we talked about the origin of the story and it’s inspiration. He proceeded to tell me about the time when working at DC in NYC when, at the end of the day he and a few of the DC guys would sit at sundown in Central Park and have a smoke. As dusk set in, he would marvel at the change in the park’s population. Change as in species. Rats. Hundreds would descend at twilight to relcaim the park as their territory and this, Rucka recounted, unnerved him somewhat (‘Delivered’ tells the tale of Hellboy loosing his gun (the Samaritan) in Central Park, whilst looking astounded at the rats taking over the park in a similar fashion. In his attempt to discover who (or what) has taken it, he is introduced to Mick, a six-foot talking rat, who arranged for the theft of the gun so he could introduce himself to Red in an attempt to forge dealings with the BPRD. A quintessentially ‘Hellboy’ notion)

I didn’t take a multitude of snaps, but here’s what I did get:

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July 18, 2010 Posted by | Comics, Film, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment

Blogs ‘n’ Tweets from LFCC ’10

I’m gonna be at Earls Court tomorrow for the annual London Film & Comic Con, from Showmasters. It’s THE big event to attend every  year and always eventful. So, seeing as I’m now running my own blog, I’m gonna be tweeting from the Con via JonCottage/twitter.com or by trending #lfcc.

My autograph list this year is pretty small compared to previous years, with Sean Pertwee, Julian Glover, Tom Noonan and Greg Rucka. I might see if I can get into Sean Young‘s queue for a signature on my ‘Blade Runner‘ BluRay, but the biggest name event of the day will be my photo op with The Shat! Yep, William Shatner will be at EC and I’m getting my pic taken with him. I’m taking the VHS sleeve from ‘Undiscovered Country‘ with me if the chance arises to get his auto but his line’s going to be shocking so I’m not holding out much faith there.

What with The DC Comics exhibition, Warner Bros. providing one of the Tumblers from ‘The Dark Knight‘ plus talks, anime streamed directly from crunchyroll.com and, of course, the dealers room; it’ll be a busy day!

I’ll be posting an review blog with pictures from the Con sometime on Sunday.

http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Comics, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment

‘Bring Classic Horror Back To The BBC’ JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!

I’ve just popped off an email to the Beeb’s ‘Points Of View’ and Radio Times about this march toward the reinstating of classic horror movies to the late-night weekend schedule on the Beeb. If you want to know more about it, then just click the following links and get cracking!

http://bringclassichorrorbacktotelevision.blogspot.com/

http://filmrantnoel.blogspot.com/2010/06/email-to-bbc.html

I worked from Noel Mellor’s template and sent this to Auntie:

“To whom it may concern,

My attention has been directed towards a campaign which I believe is very worthwhile and is being spearheaded online with a petition and twitter campaign.

As you will see, this relates to bringing classic horror movies from the likes of Hammer and Amicus back to the beeb – something I feel could be hugely beneficial for people who have never had the chance to revel in this part of our national cultural heritage.

Obviously, I realise that ‘taking over’ BBC 1 or 2 late on a Friday/Saturday night is way beyond impossible, but I seriously think (even if its just a season) horror double bills would be a great addition to, say, BBC 4 on a late evening slot. Indeed, in itself, BBC 4 is, with it’s output, a channel that you should all be very proud of.

I am a member of a household that pays it’s licence fee. However, there is currently nothing in your primetime schedule of interest for me, or other likeminded individuals. I have no interest in ballroom dancing, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Dr Who or Casualty/Holby, but I don’t feel the need to complain about this as they are all part of a broad remit that I understand you have to serve – and the truth is they are all popular.

However, I do feel that a part of our British cinematic culture has been allowed to fall off the face of the planet and in a world where “horror” has become less theatrical and engaging, this would be a prime opportunity for one British institution to educate the “SAW” generation about two others, HAMMER and AMICUS, for example. Along with classic Universal Monsters and B-movie creature-features, it would be evidence that there is much more to the genre than just inexplicable and brutal violence for violence sake.

I hope this campaign – and indeed my email – gets the attention it deserves, please consider reinstating this great slice of British history to the place it truly deserves.”

July 11, 2010 Posted by | Film, TV | Leave a comment

Vader has left the building….

This is pretty shitty from LFL. Ok, so Prowse has played the Vader card so often it’s become somewhat pathetic. The man is so much more than one role, one in which we never even saw his face. For my generation, he’ll be the Green Cross Code man as much as Luke’s Father (spoiler?), and just as much for me as ‘ol Frankie in the Hammer classic, ‘Revenge Of Frankenstein’.

I met David Prowse (finally) at last year’s London Film and ComiCon. He signed my ‘Star Wars’ poster, along with Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker and Gary Kurtz. He signed in his usual fashion: “Dave Prowse IS Darth Vader”. So was James Earl Jones, Sebastian Shaw and *cough* Hayden Christensen. I was happy to meet the man beyond the mask that terrified me so much as a kid, but I couldn’t help but feel that to sign such a comment, one which he has committed to a multitude of different photos and pieces of memorabilia, was somewhat of a cheap shot over his dismay of being overdubbed by James Earl Jones way back in ’77. Bill Bailey put it best: how could have Vader come from the West Country? “Ooh, the Force is strong in this’un!”

Even after all this though, I still got to meet someone who’ve I’ve admired for years and, regardless of what he wrote, or his slight sullenness, I’m still happy I met him. I’m the only person I know who has and that means a lot.

LFL have enacted a pathetic swipe at Prowse. Leave him well alone. Let him say what he wants to say and sign what he wants to sign. Maybe if the Bearded One had been upfront from the start and stipulated that his vocal performance was not going to be used in the final cut, then none of this sorry tail this evening would have emerged.

Here’s the link: http://scifiwire.com/2010/07/darth-vader-actor-david-p.php

July 10, 2010 Posted by | Film, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment

I’m not so sparkling after all….

Let’s cut to the chase. I’ve been diagnosed with NAFLD. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Now, the thing is I’m not really that scared. Trust me, if I had been told I had this, say, three years ago, I’d have had a monumental shit-fit. Back then, you could have removed the “Non” from that title. Now my, shall we say, habits, are vastly different. Returning to the chase, I don’t drink anywhere near as much as I used to. That’s a VERY good thing. I’ve gone from being utterly reckless for about five years to semi-teetotal (like the Veggies, I still “eat fish”). Can’t say I miss the concept of a hangover much these days.

Anyhoo, having had Dr Crippin give me the 3rd degree over my mighty frame, I’m told to rapidly loose some weight and head for an Ultrasound (I may look like seven months gone) ASAP to confirm the state of my Liver. I’m also looking a diabetes in later life, but seeing as most of my family have/had it, I resigned myself to this conclusion some time ago. Along with rapid hair loss. Thanks Gramps.

I did some research last night about NAFLD and, having sorted said wheat from the substantial chaff, I discover that to rapidly loose the weight would be a CATASTROPHIC thing to do, more likely to make it worse, not better (hence why he’s know to me as Dr Crippin. A justified non-de-plume I think you’ll agree). Instead, gradual weight loss is strongly advised, along with some studies into the use of Vitamin E as an antioxidant to help break down some of the polysaturated fats currently taking shelter in my liver like pikey’s who’ve pitched up in some buggers front garden.

Strangly, this all came about from some blood tests I had about two weeks ago when I saw the quack over some rather uncomfortable thumps around my heart. About one pint and one ECG later, the ticker’s tickety-boo and my cholesterol’s 4.4 (this almost gave Shipman a cardiac arrest upon reading this out to me. Hah!)

So, finally my Duodenal Ulcer has a playmate to give me shit every now and then. Chuffin’ marvellous.

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment