The London Film and Comic Con (or LFCC for short) is normally a quiet affair with a few hundred movie fans, cosplayers and those waiting to see William Shatner for the 800th time. But this summer marked a special occasion as we were treated to one of history’s greatest dudes and creative minds, Mr Stan “the man” Lee.
This year’s show hosted the great man himself as he was long overdue for a showing in Europe. There was a huge gathering of thousands who came from across the country and overseas to see him, hear him speak and have their photos taken with him. This popularity showed how immense it was with the overwhelming crowds outside the door who, most were waiting for several hours just to enter.
Well, once I had entered Earl’s Court, I could see that not only were the heaving crowds outside, they were inside too. From previous year’s, LFCC showed moving space and fresh air to breath, both were absent this year. Moving around was difficult and the air was hotter than inside a volcano. But I was able to pass by a few sights of interest. Mostly the cool 3D printers, the cosplayers and the epic my little pony dressed as a marine from Aliens.
Among the crowds were dozens of brilliant artists and designers, ready to display their stunning works of art and show off their skills. There were those who have created a number of popular indie comics and a few new faces offering fresh inspiration. A group known as Allkightz, were showcasing their latest comic series Hardwire. These talented minds were here to promote a more diverse look at comic book heroes and their origins, pushing the point that not all superheroes have to have one skin tone or background. They offered an interesting and different approach to comic book heroes and gave a fresh look at developing multicultural characters within new and diverse worlds.
The crowds were also alive with a tremendous amount of brilliant cosplayers, who like the designers, showed their skills in taking the identity of a beloved character and becoming them. Cosplay has become a major cultural movement and one that is ever-growing. People are happy to wear the skin of their favourite characters (not literally) for self-fantasy and to entertain those around them. The time and effort placed in creating these costumes is mind-blowing and those who do have shown great skill at adapting fiction to reality. To celebrate the ever growing trend, a special catwalk style show was held, the masquerade, showcasing many of the talented people and their awesome gear! I also got stuck inside a lift filled with a few dozen cosplayers, I was fine, but for someone new to this, I’m sure they’d freak out!
There were a host of other stars at LFCC apart from Stan Lee. Famed Director and mastermind of zombies in media, George A Romero, made an appearance for his legion of fans. Along with Lee and Romero were other popular TV personalities and cult film icons. LFCC has seen the likes of John Hurt, William Shatner, Peter Jackson and George Takei. Dozens of stars often come along to see the fans and express their interests on different subjects, whether it be film, comic or game related.
The event’s guest star Stan Lee spoke at an open panel where for a 92 year old, his wit and style was still strong and his thought process on how the comic industry was growing and the integration of films was helping to shape superheroes into the new mythos. Mr Lee continued by speaking openly on not just how far Marvel has come, but others such as DC in the way stories are told and how now comics aren’t just for kids. He did mention as well if DC wanted him for a cameo they were more than welcome.
Later on over the weekend, Stan Lee did the duty of many other famous stars and welcomed his fans and admirers for photo-shoots and personal autographs. Stan Lee did it like a professional as taking the time to be with the fans for many, many hours is indeed a tiresome workout. But the fans were gracious that Stan Lee took the time and effort to make it over to London where he could see how much respect he had gained and his how important a figure he was to fans, designers and story tellers.