What a triumph Bridlington Comic Con was last weekend! After two great Hull Comic Cons I was once again proud to emcee the guest panels! I’ve not seen much written about them, but thought it worth a mention as lots of cons now seem to just have signings rather than panels and Q and A’s.
Harry Potter Death Eater,Jon Campling. The only guest that gets to appear on his own has become a much anticipated part of District 14’s events. Opening proceedings with as much vigor as Status Quo opening Live Aid, Jon is a true star, but with the closest link to his fans in the audience.
For john’s session I created the “Wheel of Jon” – a no expense spared CGI spectacular which dictated the questions for Jon to answer. All were discussed in full with only the mysterious cheese question left for future events!!!
Our comic book artists have become one of the most popular parts of our events, and quite right – it is a comic con after all! Russ Leach (Doctor Who Adventures, Draw the Marvel Way), Rachael Smith (Titan’s Doctor Who, Lumberjanes) and Russ Payne (Jack Kirby Museum) talked on a range of subjects ranging from copyright of Marvel characters to their views on drawing hands. Out of interest Russ Leach’s opinion was “don’t”.
Rachael’s “Well you have two of your own!!!”
and Russ Payne’s “Buy Draw the Marvel Way by Russ Leach”
One of my biggest joys of meeting these guys has been the opportunity to buy one off commissioned art work, and I was happy to invite them to promote their wares to the audience.
A happy audience hit was Sarah Louise Maddison. The performer brings to life to the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who. Despite being silent and covered in makeup, she had a raft of questions from an army of fans, and among other things we learnt that she was scanned for the Weeping Angel action figure, she can pick herself out of a line up of Angels in publicity photos, Peter Capaldi buys Watercress in Waitrose and despite wearing a mask on screen, she has been recognized in Lidl !
After two amazing events with Norman Lovett in Hull, it was great to gain our second Holly in the shape of Hattie Hayridge. Hattie gave us some great stories about her time on Red Dwarf and certainly pleased a lot of Red Dwarf fans of all ages.
My final panel of the day was my true highlight as I met two actors who had been in my favorite film Star Wars. David Stone was only an actor for a short time, but managed to be one of Joan Collins’ Studs, worked with Brit Ekland, was directed by Monty Python’s Terry Jones and was of course in the biggest sci-fi film of all time! After this joyous folio of films, David started running Holiday Homes. Having now retired from hospitality David is surprised to find that despite his small role in Star Wars (The Alien who buys Luke’s Landspeeder in Mos Eisley) fans want to hear of his time on set. But why wouldn’t they! not only did David perform with Alec Guinness and appear in the famous Cantina scene, he was also Mark Hamil’s double for long shots, or as David says “Shots were it was cheaper to use him than fly Mark Hamil in!”
David’s stories often started to venture to telling us a little too much, but luckily he was kept in line by Tina Simmons. An actor who not only appeared in Return of the Jedi as a Rebel Technician, but has also appeared in:Roger Rabbit, The Dark Night, Superman, Super Girl, Bourne, four Bonds and totally wowed the crowd with a Bridlington exclusive that she’s just filmed scenes with Benadict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange!
Tina told us how Billy Dee Williams stole the spotlight on set for ROTJ, and confirmed that Harrison Ford is a very serious chap! Tina started her career in an early episode of Doctor Who with William Hartnell and said that Star Wars and Doctor Who were her career highlights.
Tina and David weren’t just a joy on their panel. When I introduced myself, they were so happy to show me photos and press clippings of their life and career and actually thanked me for their experience at the con. I couldn’t have more respect for Tina and David and the unique stories they bring us from the world we love.
District 14 events go from strength to strength, and it’s a joy to be on the team. If you love films, comics and TV I can’t recommend these panels enough. I’m spoiled to be able to talk to these people and I hope you get to see us at a future event.