Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Wales Comic Con 2015 Part II - A Detailed Review

Guests met and discussed in this review :-

• Chris Jericho (Wrestler)
• Sean “X-Pac” Waltman (Wrestler)
• Mark Lutz (Groosalugg from “Angel”)
• DJ Qualls (Garth from “Supernatural”)
• Ian McElhinney (Ser Barristan Selmy from “Game of Thrones”)
• Ian Beattie (Meryn Trant from “Game of Thrones”)
• Mark Stanley (Grenn from “Game Of Thrones”)
• Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen ‘Baratheon’ from “Game of Thrones”)
• Nonso Anozie (Xaro Xhoan Daxos from “Game of Thrones”)
• Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn from “Game of Thrones”)
• Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel from “Game of Thrones”)
• James Cosmo (Lord Commander Jeor Mormont from “Game of Thrones”)
• Ross O’Hennessey (The Lord of Bones from “Game of Thrones”)
• Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley from “Harry Potter”)
• Hugh Mitchell (Colin Creevey from “Game of Thrones”)
• Four Star Mary (band, most well known for “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”)
• Justin Lee Collins (Presenter & Entertainer)

Two quick notes before we get started...

1) If this is your first time on "Shangel's Reviews", I'm currently reviewing every single episode of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" in depth. A list of all the reviews I've written so far can be located here.
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With that being said, let’s get started, shall we?

This past Sunday, I attended my fourth consecutive “Wales Comic Con” event in Wrexham, Wales, which is orchestrated by the Mercury Promotions team. My long time readers will know the love I have for the “Wales Comic Con”, as I ranked last year’s “Wales Comic Con Part I” and “Wales Comic Con Part II” as my favourite and second favourite signing events of the year. It’s the perfect blend of being not too small and not too big. It’s big enough to get great guests, but small enough to keep the queues nice and the venue bearable. All the “Wales Comic Con” events I’ve attended have taken place at the Glyndŵr University, which may sound a little dodgy in theory, but the venue has proven to be a lovely place. The autograph hall is spacious, and you only have to worry about claustrophobia at peak times (11am-2pm). Even then, it’s like a holiday at Disneyland compared to an event like “London Film & Comic Con”, which has quickly spiralled into a cattle market of mooing cosplayers trying to find their friends in the crowd. Like my review of “Wales Comic Con 2015 Part I” that preceded this, I won’t be spending much time talking about the layout of the venue, how the schedule works, etc., because I’ve done that on two previous reviews, so if you’re thinking of attending yourself and want to know what to expect in a more generalised way, please check out these two reviews – “Wales Comic Con 2014 Part I” and “Wales Comic Con 2014 Part II”. Speaking of, I’m going to take this opportunity to thank the attendees that came up to me to say “hi” yesterday. A bunch of you I’d met and spoken to at previous “Wales Comic Con” events, and others just said they’d read my reviews of previous events and bought tickets because of my recommendations. Either way, it was greatly appreciated. Also, it was great to see so many of the regular convention attendees and some old friends again. I’m not going to name names in fear of forgetting someone, but you know who you are. 

I’ve mentioned this repeatedly before, but it’s worth mentioning again for the new readers, that I consider “Wales Comic Con” to be the ECW of the convention scene. For those of you unaware, ECW was a wrestling company in the mid-90’s and early 2000’s. It wasn’t the biggest company, it didn’t have the financial luxuries of the big two companies (which in the convention sense would be Showmasters and MCM), but it made the audience an interactive part of the show. Everyone felt included, everyone felt like they were a family, and everyone bonded through this mutual love. This is exactly how “Wales Comic Con” has operated since I started attending their events. They make each and every person feel included, welcome, and important. I don’t think any signing event can compare to them in regards to caring for their attendees, listening to constructive criticism, and tweaking their almost-perfect system for the bettering of everyone’s experience. Listening to constructive criticism, eh? Who’d have thought that listening to your fans and making their experience more positive would lead to growth?! Mind-blowing development, people! Yet so few companies do it. Especially the bigger ones. Jaime and the team truly go out of their way to give attendees an experience as opposed to a straight-up signing event. There’s a gaming zone, there’s the Owl Rescue team (accompanied by real owls you can hold!), replica movie and TV vehicles, an area to play card games, and the usual merchandise stalls, autograph areas, and photo areas that make up the core of a signing event.



Now, coming into this event, “Wales Comic Con 2015 Part I” received my highest ever score for a signing event (which I differentiate to the vastly different weekend conventions), garnering a mighty impression 9/10 – that’s coming from a harsh critic too – so my expectations for part II were high, but I wasn’t expecting the event to live up to the lofty expectations of its predecessor because, honestly, there was very little that “Wales Comic Con” themselves could improve upon. Minor tweaks here and there, certainly, but they’ve got the fundamentals down so well that the ‘final score’ I give these days will often be based on the guests as opposed to the event. I love that I’m in a position to do that because it means the organisers are doing their job very well. WCC is the only convention I can do this with, so kudos Jaime!

Myself and my friend John left a dreary Gloucestershire at 6:15am on Sunday morning, ready to drive the two hours or so to Wrexham and soak in a long day (and aftershow party) of conventiony goodness. The trip ran relatively smoothly, with one minor hiccup coming about 30 minutes from the venue, where John took the wrong direction. No matter, we had two satnavs between us, so satnav to the rescue! We arrived at the venue at about 8:45am, and proceeded to get the shit kicked out of us by the weather for the next 75 minutes. Oh. My. Days. I’ve never been to a convention with such bad weather. I’ve been to rainy conventions before, I’ve been to cold conventions before, but this was something else. The biggest problem of all was the unrelenting, powerful, debilitating wind. The problem was that it started raining too. The wind meant any umbrellas that were put up were quickly destroyed, meaning everyone got wet, then obliterated by the wind, which exasperated the cold. Luckily, myself and John had the combination of a strong umbrella, and two of us holding every quarter of it, meaning the umbrella stayed intact and protected us somewhat until the wind turned it inside out at 9:58am...thank God I texted him late the night before to remind him to put an umbrella in the car!

 (Don't attend a convention in November without one, kiddies)
For this particular event, I had five studio photos and a plethora of autographs to collect. However, Shaun Parkes and Luke Barnes had to pull out of the event 24 hours before it took place, leaving a little money in my wallet and a more manageable schedule. Then, Scott Hall attended the event until about midday, but had to go back to the hotel due to sickness. Unfortunately, I had not met Scott by this time, so I missed out on the opportunity – bad for me, good for my wallet. Furthermore, I ended up missing Miltos Yerolemou’s autograph table (not too much of a biggie as I’ve gotten his autograph before, gotten a photo with him, and he was at the group photo at this event), and Nonso Anozie left due to feeling a little sick two minutes before I was going to meet him. Ouch, ouch, ouch. However, there was a small little comfort because he was in my group photo, but, still, please bring him back again soon, Jaime! I offer cookies as bribery. Well, I said I offer cookies...Tesco offers cookies, I’ll merely buy them and take the credit. This left twelve autographs on my list to collect – Chris Jericho, Sean Waltman, Mark Stanley, Kate Dickie, Ross O’Hennessey, Ian McElhinney, Ian Beattie, DJ Qualls, Dean-Charles Chapman, Chris Rankin, Hugh Mitchell, and Mark Lutz. Thankfully, mercifully, Jaime’s events always have very reasonable prices, so this wasn’t going to set me back as much as you’re probably thinking. With the exceptions of Chris Jericho and DJ Qualls (who were £20), all of the guests were £10 or £15. Hilarious when you see the prices for the same people at other conventions in the U.K.

First up was Chris Jericho. Due to his touring schedule with his metal band, Fozzy (for which he performs the vocals), Chris was only able to attend “Wales Comic Con” for a couple of hours. He would be arriving at 11am and would be departing at 1pm. Therefore, myself and John took 30 minutes to acclimatise and figure out where all the guests were before we headed to John Troth theatre, where Chris was signing by himself. As Chris would be in photoshoots from 11:50am for about 40 minutes, I knew that I’d need to get to Chris before his photoshoots began to guarantee an autograph. Now, I’ve been a big Jericho fan since I was seven years old and he’s one of my all-time favourite wrestlers, so this was a big deal for me. We got to Jericho’s autograph desk at 10:30am. When 10:50am rolled around, we were two of about five people in the room. I thought, “man, this is quieter than expected!”. Then, a crew member came over to us and said “are you here for Chris? Yeah, the queue’s outside”. Well, you could have told me that 20 minutes ago! Two seconds after this, my brain registered the word “outside”...no, you cannot do this. Don’t make me go back out into the belly of that gusty bitch. Turns out, the queue wasn’t too bad and we were perhaps 40th in the queue. “Oh, look, it’s started raining really heavily again too. Wonderful.”, my dribbling brain processed as we stood in the queue waiting. Thankfully, Chris arrived on time and the queue started moving just after 11am. The downside – for those of us outside at least – was that Chris, unlike many bigger guests, was taking his time at the autograph table. He was chatting away to people, smiling, sipping his coffee, had some music playing around the table...he was totally chilled. It took half a fucking hour to get back inside into the warmth and comfort of the building. For those of you keeping track, that’s now 105 minutes in the rain and wind – and I’d just got my hair looking passable again! This is where good crewing comes in handy because the crew member running Jericho’s queue line was great. Not only was he stood outside in the rain with us (when he had the option of standing in the doorway), but he was walking up and down the queue entertaining people. Actually, all of the crew at “Wales Comic Con” are terrific. The ones I know personally like Maverick, Jaynee, and Gareth are phenomenal at their jobs, and even the ones I don’t know were great too. The lady running photo area 2 yesterday (I wanna say she was in a black and red top, but that could be totally wrong) was terrific, and the people running the photo collection area are always helpful, especially in the stressful situation of everyone coming at them at once with different questions, demands, and photos to collect. To me, the crew are the unsung heroes of conventions almost every time. Often they’re unpaid, sometimes they’re a little underappreciated, but it’s thanks to them that the event goes smoothly. From the information desks, to the people stood outside directing the entrance queues, to the people at the autograph tables with the guests, to the photo areas, to the collection areas, and everything in between, I can honestly say I’ve never had a bad crew experience at “Wales Comic Con”, which, again, isn’t something I can say for other signing events I’ve attended.

Soaking, shivering, but oddly happy, I got to the front of Chris’ autograph queue. Knowing other people that have met Chris and seeing his interactions with his fans at Fozzy post-show parties, I knew that Chris, if given time, is a great guy, and really dedicated to his fans. However, as he was only there for two hours (roughly 80 minutes of signing time), I was fearful it was going to be the ol’ LFCC conveyer belt situation (moo!). Alas, while it was probably my most brief conversation of the day, I still got a solid 90 seconds with Chris, which is more than I was expecting under the circumstances.

Chris Jericho: We chatted about his career, his podcast, his new (3rd!) autobiography...damn he’s done a lot of stuff...before we talked about something a little more personal, which became a recurring trend of the day from that point on. See, I joined “The People’s Wrestling Website” forum in early 2002. At the time it was a hot bed for passionate, mostly male, wrestling fans in their teens and early 20’s. Within a couple of months, I made some friends. One of which was Daniel House. Unfortunately, a couple of years ago Dan was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He happened to meet Chris a year or so ago, and they developed something of a friendship. Chris stayed in contact with him throughout the disease, he had Daniel on his podcast to tell his story, and he reassured Daniel that he’d take care of things once Daniel was gone. I thanked Chris for helping to ease my friend’s pain and burdens during the past year of his life, and for giving him some exciting moments to hold on to. For example, Chris brought Dan and his then-fiancée into the wrestling ring at a WWE show in Australia (where they live), where Dan proposed to her. That told me before I had the opportunity to meet Chris what type of a human being he was away from the arrogant, egotist he plays on television when in his wrestling persona. Chris seemed genuinely appreciative of my words and we talked about Daniel for a while before I thanked him and left. I didn’t want to take up too much of his time. Guest Type = Responder.


“But, Shangel, what the frickiddy frick frack is a ‘responder’?”

I’m glad you asked, gentle readers. A couple of years ago, I devised a system for categorising the guests I’ve met at conventions, which breaks down as follows :-

·       The Responder: This type of guest is often polite and friendly. If you ask them a question, they’ll happily answer. If you comment on something, they’ll respond or smile gratefully. However, they won’t carry the conversation forward, you have to. These are the most common type of guest, and this is what you expect when meeting someone at a convention. This is a great category to be a part of, and if attending an event for the first time, this is the type of exchange you should come to expect going in.

 ·       The Groucho/Big Guest: There are two aspects to this category. Firstly, you have the groucho. The groucho is there for monetary purposes or is generally just having a bad day, or is a bit of an ass. If you meet enough people, one of them is bound to be an ass! The grouchos aren’t interested in conversations above a few words. They’ll say ‘hi’ (sometimes they don’t bother with that), sign, say ‘bye’ (sometimes), and you’re on your merry way. Of course, in certain situations this is relevant and expected, which brings me to the second part of this category, the big guest. Some guests are going to be insanely popular. Such as Stan Lee at LFCC ‘14, who had an entire building to himself basically. When you get a huge queue like that, the guest can’t take a lot of time with everyone. If they did, many people would go home disappointed at not getting to meet them at all. Therefore, the convention company and the guest want to get through as many people as possible. You cannot have a huge guest and expect to get above a minute with them, which is perfectly fair.

 ·       The Conversationalist: This is easily my favourite type of guest. They’ll answer your questions with a smile, ask you questions in return, and are happy to chat for an extended period of time (extended = above 2-3 minutes), regardless of where the conversation leads or how long you’ve been talking. Obviously, there has to be some cut-off point if there is a queue behind you, but you leave the experience feeling euphoric and like you gained a lot more than just the autograph you queued for.

With Chris’ autograph in the bag, it was time to brave the winds and rain once again to mosey on over to the photo shoot building for my photo with Chris. So much Chris in such a short space of time! It was Christastic! The photo shoots are ordinarily very brief exchanges and I’m sure everyone knows the process of how to take a photo, so there’s not really much to add. You queue, you get to the front, you say “hi”, you smile, you say “thank you”, you leave. In, 5 seconds of passion, out...wait, that sounds familiar?...Now, Chris had one of the more unique photo shoots I’ve attended. Firstly, he had music playing. It ranged from Motorhead, to Fozzy, to Ed Sheeran. Chris was so frickin’ relaxed in this photo shoot! He was air-drumming between photos, sipping coffee after every 20th photo or so, which allowed that next person to talk to him for 30 seconds before he was ready for the next one. He was chatting away, smiling, and taking a refreshingly leisurly pace, without holding up proceedings to the point of causing problems. I loved seeing Chris interact with the children too. For example, one family were just in front of me. It was a mother, a father, and a young son. The family picture was taken with Chris, then Chris asked the boy to stay behind, dangled him upside down by his ankles, had this rather impromptu picture taken, then later shared it on his Instragram and Twitter. That’s a moment that child will treasure forever, and it wasn’t even a photo that was part of the shoot. Big, big props to Chris.

I got out of the photoshoot about 12:15pm, so we decided to stay in the warm, safe photo building, ready for my 12:40pm photo with DJ Qualls. Hello, sweet downtime at a convention. I don’t recall meeting you before. It was blissful to take 20 minutes off from the chaos and just regain some composure and allow the feeling to return to my hands after the couple of hours in the rain and wind. Honestly, it’s a testament to the passion of the fans that we were all willing to stay outside for hours in that weather, just to get inside and enjoy the festivities. As of writing this, I managed to avoid catching a cold too! \O/ <--- celebratory arm-flail of joy. Like Chris’ shoot before it, DJ’s photo shoot went absolutely fine. Luckily, I had a couple of friends in the queue next to me to talk to during the wait for the session to start, so we started discussing conventions, who we’ve met, our experiences, etc. That’s another good rule for conventions in general – don’t be afraid to attend alone. Every single person you’re there with has something in common with you. You’ll make friends quickly. DJ’s photoshoot went smoothly and quickly, leaving me about two hours before my next shoot to get some of the eleven remaining autographs done. 
 (Party on, Garth. Non-Supernatural fans will think I'm quoting the wrong thing here). 

More wind, more rain, more destoyed hair, then we arrived in the autograph hall. There was a talking Dalek wandering around the hall and I suddenly had this awesome realisation – where else but a convention could you have such weird, unique experiences? As a gigantic Whovian, having a Dalek randomly sliding across the hall making wise cracks was genius. I always find the first autograph of the day to be the most challenging. You’ve yet to find your conversational groove, so it’s quite the daunting task. Granted, I’d met Jericho by this point, but because he was there for such a limited time, it felt like a different experience to some extent. Luckily, I decided to break my WCCPII autograph hall cherry with Mark Stanley, which was a wise move.

Mark Stanley: A week before the event, I decided to watch “Kajaki”, as I wanted to know Mark from something other than “Game of Thrones”. FYI, please go out of your way to watch “Kajaki”. It’s based on a real-life story of Mark Wright and some other soldiers that were stationed in Kajaki, Afghanistan. In essence, they get trapped in a minefield, chaos ensues, and it’s a really wonderful (albeit horrifying as it’s true), captivating insight into the brotherhood of soldiers and the struggles they often face. Firstly, myself and Mark talked about Grenn from “Game of Thrones”. It was his first acting role out of drama school, which was also the case for some other Night’s Watch actors, such as Jon Bradley (Samwell Tarly) and Rast (Luke Barnes). Talk about a trial by fire! Mark walked me through his story on how he received the part and the casting process, which naturally transitioned to Grenn’s death. If you’re gonna go out, go out killing a giant, basically. Mark told me that he didn’t know about Grenn’s death until he was reading the script at home. No forewarning, no phone call, just stumbling across it on a page. I get that the producers and creators are busy with a thousand things, but really?! Not one of them can pick up the phone to call long-time cast members such as Mark Stanley or Ian McElhinney and let them know that their time is up? Surely someone on that staff can afford 5 minutes to these people who’ve poured their lives into these roles just to tell them that unfortunately they’re being killed off? I digress. We also talked about “Kajaki”, and Mark told me what it was like filming it. We also talked about the convention itself and the oh-so-lovely weather that was surrounding it. I told Mark I’d just come from the other building, and he said “oh, fuck, is it still raining?”, I said that it was “pissing down”, and he grabbed my upper arm and said “you’re soaked!”. Bless him, he was concerned. We (myself, Mark, and his crew member) also talked about illegal piracy and basically all agreed that we only do it in situations where we feel it’s essential (such as “The Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones”, where if you don’t watch it instantly it gets spoiled), but even then, we watch it on TV too, and I always buy the DVD’s, so in those cases I don’t think I have reason to feel bad. Everyone wins. I even managed to snag a photo at the table too! Guest Type = Conversationalist.

  (Look at that glorious beard. Love it when the guests add quotes. Kudos, Mark!)

 Ian McElhinney: At this point, I believe I’ve met roughly 55-60 of the cast from “Game of Thrones”, and every single one of them without fail has been lovely. Seriously, there has not been a single dud in the bunch. However, out of all of those, Ian might be my very favourite. Not only is he Irish and reminds me of my grandfather a great deal, but he’s such a conversationalist (bet you can’t guess which guest type he will be)! He’ll talk your ear off. Plus, he seems geniunely interested in what you have to say. Once you’ve been to as many conventions as I have, you can smell the fakes a mile away. Not literally, thankfully. You can see through a fake smile, you can instantly pick out the people that aren’t really that interested. In essence, it’s easy to distinguish between passionate guests that are there to give back from the guests that are there to make money. Oh my God, Ian is the former. I had the honour of meeting Ian at “Wales Comic Con” 18 months before this one and during that long, excellent talk, he told me how excited he was to film season five. See, Ian is a reader of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, and a huge fan of the franchise. He knew that Barristan becomes a point-of-view character in the fifth book, “A Dance With Dragons”, which is roughly what the 5th season of the show was to be based on. However, due to reasons I can’t personally comprehend, David and Dan decided to kill Barristan off. Note, he’s still alive in the books and has become much more important. Granted, that’s never stopped them before, but this one stung particularly for me because I knew firsthand that Ian was so excited for the season. Barristan was in twenty five episodes of the show, making him (by my calcuations) the 2nd most recurring character in the show that’s never been in the opening credits (behind Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle). Once again, no phone call, no notification from the producers or David and Dan. Ian received his scenes for the season and realised he had less than the year before, not more. What’s more offensive to me is that after the season had aired, David and Dan referenced that they were happy to be rid of a certain cast member who’d read the books and argued that his character shouldn’t be killed off. I’m 99% sure they were referring to Ian and, honestly, I’m with him. Barristan shouldn’t have been killed off when he did. Yes, the show has Jorah/Tyrion to act in his place somewhat, but is that reason enough to kill off the most noble knight in Westeros or Essos?...Ooh, a ragey tangent. Myself and Ian discussed all of the above at the autograph table, which also got us talking about his scenes in season five. The last one he filmed was actually from early in the season, where Daenerys orders one of the former slaves of Meereen to be killed for murdering one of her hostages. The scene where Barristan escorts Daenerys back inside was his final one on “Game of Thrones”. Ian did say that he did love how his character went out – a wonderful fight scene, we finally got to see Barristan in battle after all the stories we’d been told, and he took a bunch of Harpies out too! He also loved that this scene bookended the scene where Barristan tells Daenerys all about her oldest brother, Rhaegar. You got to see the two best sides of Barristan in his last episode. Ian also said that his favourite Barristan scene was during the end of season one, where Barristan is dismissed from the Kingsguard and he throws his sword at Joffrey’s feet, and tells him to melt it down. Finally, we talked about “The Truth Comissioner”, which is based on a book by David Park. Ian filled me in on the basic plot outline (without giving away anything that he wasn’t supposed to), which sounded absolutely fascinating. I’ll definitely be checking that out. Furthermore, it also stars “Game of Thrones” alumni Conleth Hill (Varys) and Ian Beattie (Meryn Trant). I’d strongly recommend keeping an eye on this project in the future. When I’m at the autograph table, for most guests I knee down so that I’m eye level with them. I’ve noticed that this usually leads to a nicer experience as you’re on the same level. I must say that Ian gives amazing eye contact. During the 10 minutes we were talking, he looked me in the eye almost the entire time. You could just feel that he was so happy to be there and genuinely enjoys talking to the fans. Meet him if you ever get the chance! The icing on the cake, I got a photo at the table too. Guest Type = Conversationalist.

Sean Waltman: Sometimes, I find meeting wrestlers a little more disappointing than meeting actors because they seem to be a little surlier, a little grumpier, and a little less talkative. That’s certainly not always the case! People like RVD, Paul London, James Storm, and Devon Dudley have been incredible to meet, but for every great conversation, there’s a brief one. Luckily, my Jericho experience went well, which meant the law of averages determined that Sean would be the surlier guest. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Not only did I have a great talk with Sean, but it was probably my most raw, honest, personal talk with a wrestler to date. Obviously, we discussed his career and how he’d been consistently on my television since I was (quite literally) four years old. I’ve seen him wrestle live before, I’ve always been a big fan of his, so it was great to meet the man. The conversation turned to his appearance on “The Steve Austin Show” about a year ago, where Sean, unlike almost every other celebrity, talked openly, honestly, and frankly about his struggles with depression, alcoholism, drugs, and attempted suicide. The man has been through a lot of shit. Many of you know already that I’ve personally battled extreme depression before. Thankfully, I’m in a great place right now and have been for a long time, but once upon a time I was right where he was. I thanked him for being someone in a position of power that actually openly talked about this topic. Sean described depression as “the elephant in the room”, which is absolutely true. Sean said, “you know, we’re all going through the same shit, but nobody seems to want to talk about it!”. Again, very true. We talked a little about our various struggles and histories with depression, before I had a photo with him at the autograph table. Granted, it cost £5 for the ‘selfie’, but that’s quite commonplace with the wrestling guests. Plus, he was such a cool guy it was totally worth it. Guest Type = Responder.


Mark Lutz: Mark, Mark, Mark...I’m sure you can tell from this review that I’m a massive “Game of Thrones” fan. Obsessive, you could say. However, there are two shows that hold a special place in my heart above it. Two shows that quite literally guided me through my parent’s divorce, through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Those are “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”. Now, I’m going to give an unpopular opinion...I prefer “Angel” to “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”. There, I said it. It’s a close race, but I slightly lean towards “Angel”, especially the older I get. I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Mark before, but I’ve interacted with him on social media various times. Some of my friends have met Mark before and I’d heard nothing but great things, so I approached Mark’s autograph table excitedly, if not a little apprehensive. I only say ‘apprehensive’ because if he’d turned out to be a dick, it could have ruined my favourite show. Luckily, Mark was awesome. We discussed Andy Hallett and whether or not Mark had some great stories to share. I can’t go into detail on those here right now, but I will do in the future (oh, the mystery!). I filled Mark in on Charisma and J.’s stories about Andy from the previous weekend’s “Vampire Ball” event, before we moved on to talking about “Victor”, which is a biographical drama film that Mark wrote and starred in, based on the life of Victor Davis. I will honestly admit, I’d never heard of Victor Davis before watching “Victor” a week or so before this event. I knew that Mark had written it and starred in it, and I thought it’d be a great, unique thing to talk about. Mark mentioned that he didn’t mind if people watched this piece illegally online because at least it meant people got to see it. I told Mark that I believe I watched it legally. By which I mean that I paid to watch it on the website I watched it on. Whether or not it was legal for them to host the film is another matter. Either way, I really enjoyed it. Mark also talked about being #HikeBros with J. August Richards, and I mentioned how lovely it is to see some of the “Angel” cast being so close, even though the show has been off the air for 11.5 years. Mark mentioned that when he auditioned for the role of Groosalugg, it was described as a ‘guest or recurring’ role, meaning that there was the potential for him to come back after the Pylea arc that closed out season two of the show. This did indeed transpire and Mark returned for most of the second half of season three. The talk ended with a nice photo at the autograph table. Actually, thinking about it, I managed to get a photo with everyone at the autograph table except Chris Jericho, which was understandable given his time constraints. Granted, some people did get a photo with Chris, but I didn’t want to be a nuisance and ask for one when I had the professional studio photo already. Guest Type = Conversationalist. It was also nice that I knew Mark’s assistant for the day, Elaine. Having a familiar face at the table helps, as the conversation turns more into a three-way sometimes, which often leads to longer conversations and breaks any pauses that might otherwise occur. 


This is the point in the day where things got a little, well, odd. I still had so many autographs left to get, but nobody I needed was at their table. The five “Game of Thrones” guests I needed were in their talk (I was still intending to meet Nonso here), the two “Harry Potter” guests were heading to their talk, and DJ was (I’m assuming) on his lunch break. After half an hour of wandering around the stalls, we decided to head over to the photo shoot area to chill for half an hour before my next photo at 3:00pm in photo hall A (my first ‘A’ hall pic of the day) with Ian McElhinney, which would be followed by the group “Game of Thrones” photo picture in the same area straight after at 3:25pm, and then my last photo shoot of the day with Mark Lutz in photo area B at 3:50pm. The photo schedule worked oddly in my favour this time, as I had two photos close together, then a nice break, then my remaining three close together, then a nice break. My only regret of the day was missing my first “Game of Thrones” panel at “Wales Comic Con”. Alas, there was just too much to do. All of the photos ran smoothly. All ran on time, if not a little early, which is rare for a convention. Ian remembered me, by name, during our photo together, which is always a lovely little addition. While queuing for the “Game of Thrones” group photo, I got to chat with Natasia for about 20 minutes while waiting for the shoot to start. 20 minutes of “Game of Thrones” talkage is always cool and really helps the time go by. Interestingly, the terms and conditions for the “Game of Thrones” group photo stated that it would be a minimum of three guests. Three guests for £30 is good value for money. However, during the lead up to the show, the unofficial number had risen to six guests. Ian was still in the photo room from his previous photo shoot, when Nonso, Miltos, James Cosmo, and Ross walked in. Sweet! So there were going to be at least 5! That’s amazing value for £30!...Then Kate Dickie, Mark Stanley, and Ian Beattie entered the photo area too...wait a minute...that’s eight guests! Surely they’re not all going to be in the photo?! That works out to £3.75 per guest, are you fucking kidding me?! Yep, it was true. Show me any convention on the circuit - whether a signing event or weekend event – that’s offering that kind of price for a group photo with eight people. Simply, no others do. I’ve got to give Jaime and the team major props here because that was awesome and simply something you never see. Most group photos with 5 or 6 people cost £60+, and somewhere in the £80-100 range for eight guests. Phenomenal. Nice to see a convention ran by people that aren’t solely motivated by money-grabbing. You get free event guides too. The group photo went great. All of the guests were having fun, messing around, and entertaining the queue. Finally, Mark Lutz’s photo also went swimmingly. Started on time, no fuss, no muss, and time to head back to the autograph hall to try to track down  these remaining autographs!



The time was 4pm, the closing of the event was 6pm, and most of the guests start to mosey on home between 4:30pm and 5:30pm, so I knew that I had to bust a move or two to get these done. Thankfully, with the exception of Nonso, who I sadly missed by two minutes (no, I’m not getting over that any time soon), I got the other seven autographs completed over the next hour or so. One of the things I personally appreciate about “Wales Comic Con” is that by 4pm, the autograph hall starts to majorly thin out. This means you get more time with the guests, you can meet more people in a short space of time, and you can move entirely unrestricted. The downside, of course, is that some guests also start to leave at this time, so you need to plan smartly. Even an ol’ veteran at these events like me has been caught out before due to a few of the guests leaving early due to illness – Nonso here, Chris Rankin at a previous “Wales Comic Con”, Scott Hall here. The most intelligent thing to do is to meet your most important guests first. Then, if they leave early, it doesn’t matter. Knock off those top two or three in the morning.

Dean-Charles Chapman: I believe that Dean may have only done one event before this one, so he’s still quite a new guest to the convention scene. However, while I saw that he was busy earlier in the day, by this time his queue had thinned out, so I jumped on the opportunity to go and meet the most recent Tommen actor. The first thing that instantly stood out about Dean was his accent. On “Game of Thrones”, Dean sports a posh, upper-class English accent, whereas in real life he’s got that laidback Essex accent. Considering Dean is still a teenager and hasn’t done many of these events before, he was so at ease and talkative. I was impressed with how calm and confident his demeanor was. I asked what it was like filming with a cat, “Ser Pounce”, during the last season and Dean said it was a nightmare. The cat used would constantly jump off the bed or not move when he was called. He was being a total diva. Evidently, the scene took much longer to film than anticipated for this reason...poor Dean, all that extra time with Natalie Dormer. What a challenging life he must lead. I also asked Dean about the process of transitioning from Martyn Lannister to Tommen ‘Baratheon’, as Dean played Martyn Lannister in the 3rd season of the show...before, of course, Martyn was killed. It is “Game of Thrones” after all. Interestingly, the show approached Dean and asked if he’d like to play Tommen. I don’t believe he had to re-audition for the role. When Dean was filming as Martyn, he didn’t watch the show as he was too young. However, when he was coming back as Tommen, he’d become a big fan over the intervening two years. He knew that Tommen was going to be a much larger role, so it was really cool that he was offered the part. Clearly they saw something in Dean when he was on the show as Martyn. Obviously, they were right, as he’s done a great job as Tommen, I think we can all agree. I said I was very curious to see where Tommen was going for season six because after Maggy’s prophecy, chances are Tommen might get killed off. Dean, obviously, could neither confirm nor deny, but he said that it’s a big season for Tommen and that a lot of cool stuff is coming up for the character. Dean also mentioned that he’s close to some of the other teenage “Game of Thrones” actors, such as Nell (Myrcella) and Isaac (Bran Stark). I got a picture at the autograph table too, however, about 2 minutes after we left, I realised that the picture John had taken hadn’t worked for some reason. It didn’t exist. I went back to Dean and asked if we could take another one and he very graciously did. So thanks to Dean for that. Guest Type = Responder.

DJ Qualls: DJ might be the most relaxed man on the planet. He’s so chilled. It’s way more like chatting with a dude down the pub than talking to a celebrity. He’s sat there in his glasses and farmer cap, eating fizzy worm sweets, and chatting away. Totally cool guy. It was nice to see that the fiasco of “Blackpool Comic Con” didn’t put DJ off of attending non-Rogue Events conventions. I imagine the great relationship between Jaime and Rogue Events helped here. Ironically, while I told him that I loved him on “Supernatural”, he’ll always be Kyle Edwards from “Road Trip” to me. DJ told me that film changed his entire life. Before “Road Trip” he was working as a paperwork clerk in a lawyer’s office. “Road Trip” was his first big break. He managed to keep the orange t-shirt that Kyle wears for most of the film. I asked if the producers gifted him with the t-shirt and he looked shifty and said, “umm, no...”. LOL. Apparently, he was once offered $50,000 for the t-shirt by some Japanese movie enthusiasts, but he turned them down because it’s a t-shirt from the movie that changed his life. Very noble dude. We also talked about his love of reading, before talking about the aftershow party. DJ said he was originally going to be coming to it, but he had to be in London at the last minute so couldn’t make it. I asked for a picture at the autograph table and DJ said, “I’m not really supposed to, but I don’t give a fuck any more, sure!”. In my defence, there was no sign anywhere saying “no posed photos” like there normally is. Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked. I think pretty much everyone was getting photos with him at the table all day. Bless. Guest Type = Responder.

Ian Beattie: Oh, Ian. The two Ian’s were probably the best talks I had all day, which is saying a lot because some of the other talks were incredible too. Whereas Ian McElhinney is very chatty, deep, and thought-provoking, Ian Beattie is bonkers. Entirely crazy. Imagine someone who speaks passionately and enthusiastically about everything. I mean everything. From “Game of Thrones” to tattoos, to “The Truth Comissioner”, to conventions, everything that came out of Ian’s mouth was said so energetically that it was impossible not to get excited and energetic in response. The first thing I said to Ian was that I’ve had the best times with him and the worst luck! I met him a year ago for the first time, the autograph was stolen out of my bag on the way home. Nobody elses, just his (“NO FUCKING WAY, THOSE BASTARDS!”). Then I was supposed to get a pic with him at “Blackpool Comic Con”, but that company turned out to be a train wreck (“the less said about those unorganised idiots, the better”). Ian said that all the people who missed out on photos with him at “Blackpool Comic Con” were getting free ones at other conventions, as arranged with him and his agent (who happens to be a Facebook friend of mine and a terrific man), which is such a nice gesture on their parts and the parts of the other convention organisers who’re allowing this to happen. It was so cool to see the convention community pull together in the wake of the shitstorm that “Blackpool Comic Con” created. For those unaware, the convention was disorganised chaos. People couldn’t find some of the guests, some of the photo shoots didn’t take place, the guests themselves had an awful time and tweeted their complains. Then, after the first event had finished, the company closed, leaving people such as the electricians thousands of pounds out of pocket. Disgraceful. Getting back to happier topics, I asked Ian what it was like filming his death scene in season five. Ian said that he remembered talking to me about Meryn the year before and that he’d already filmed his death scene then one week before we met, but he couldn’t tell anyone anything about it because it hadn’t aired yet. He talked about wearing the prosthetics on his eyes for his death scene, in which Arya stabs Meryn’s eyes out. During filming, Ian was blind for 9 hours because he couldn’t see through the prosthetics. He was being guided around set by a young man who was leading him by his left side...until the young man accidentally walked Ian face first into the camera! Ouch! Poor Ian...funny though, let’s be honest. Ian got his phone out and showed me a picture. When Ian was at “Wales Comic Con” the year before, this particular fan told Ian he was going to get a tattoo of him on his forearm. Ian dismissed the idea and thought nothing of it, until the same fan saw Ian earlier in the day and showed him that he’d gotten it inked! To be fair, the tattoo work was pretty good, but Ian said, “it’s on his forearm. Now, I don’t think this particular gentleman has a girlfriend, so he probably uses that arm a lot...and I’ll be right in view when he’s doing it. I’m not sure how I feel about that”. I don’t recall ever laughing harder at an autograph table. Another thing I love about Ian is that he swears loudly, then looks around to make sure there are no children in earshot. Finally, we talked about “The Truth Comissioner” (the same project I spoke to Ian McElhinney about earlier), and Ian informed me that Ian McElhinney gave him his first job 25 years earlier, so it was cool that they’ve worked together three more times recently, including having a scene together in “Game of Thrones” season one (the scene Ian McElhinney described earlier as his favourite scene). They’re both Belfast boys, so it’s pretty cool that they’re good friends and get to work together a lot. Got a photo at the autograph table too! Which Ian very enthusiastically took after the debacle over the photo at “Blackpool Comic Con”. A total class act and an amazing person to meet. Please, please do so if you get the opportunity. Guest Type = Conversationalist.

Kate Dickie: Kate was one of the guests I was most intrigued to meet because I’m such a fan of hers from “Game of Thrones” (amongst other projects), yet I know little about Kate Dickie the person. People like Ian, Ian, and Miltos I’ve met before. People like Jericho and Sean Waltman I knew what they were like already. Kate was something of a mystery. It’s funny, but one of my favourite Kate moments of the day came from after the autograph table. My friend Gareth’s group photo is incredible. He’s sat on the floor looking exasperated, while the 8 guests in the background are fighting amongst themselves. Kate was sat next to Mark, and in the photo it looks as though Kate is kicking him in the face from the outside...or that Mark is taking a trip downstairs on her. When Gareth showed her the photo, she must have laughed hysterically for a solid 60 seconds. It was awesome. Going back to my autograph table meeting with Kate, oh wow is she a warm, lovely, friendly person. She immediately disarms you by making you feel safe and important. She gives 50% of the conversation, rather than a Q & A situation, which puts people at ease. Obviously, based on my love of Lysa Arryn’s character, most of our conversation revolved around that character. When Kate was awarded the role of Lysa, she did something that few people would have taken the time to do...she read the books. Yep, those massive, amazing, doorstop-sized books. Therefore, she knew before filming season one that Lysa had miscarried children. That she’d had a rough life. That she poisioned Jon Arryn. That she loved Littlefinger. Therefore, when she played the character, she played it with these things in mind, which works so much better! It would have been a completely different (and worse) characterisation if Kate hadn’t taken the time to do her research. I have so much respect for her for taking the role that seriously. Kate was a little apprehensive at first because she knew that in the books Lysa is described as frumpy and she worried that fans might not respond favourable. However, they did! I told her that was a testament to her acting ability because people tend to complain less about physical characteristics if the actor or actress nails the part. We also discussed excitedly how almost everything in the show reverts back to Lysa and Littlefinger. The whole “War of the Five Kings” stemmed from Jon’s death, Ned going to King’s Landing, Robert’s death, then Ned’s death, which was all due to Lysa and Littlefinger. Lysa is much more important to the story than you originally think when you first meet her. Kate also talked about euphoria of playing a grey-area character. On the one hand, she can be an awful person who bullies her niece and refuses to help her sister. On the other, she’s a petrified mother, terrified of war and losing her son after miscarrying before. Complex characters are so much more fun! Finally, we discussed Lysa’s death scene, where Littlefinger pushes her out of the Moon Door. It took twelve hours to film that scene because they wanted it just perfect...the perfect camera angle, the perfect closeness between Littlefinger and Lysa, the perfect facial expressions. I told Kate that clearly the 12 hours were worth it because the end result was awesome. I love seeing the reactions of people watching that scene for the first time! Yet again, a picture at the table too! Such a warm lady. Guest Type = Conversationalist.


This is where Nonso left, just as I was finishing up talking to Kate. He flitted away and out of my clutches...friendly clutches. Sad times. Cookies, Jaime, cookies.

Chris Rankin: With Ross briefly away from his autograph table, I moseyed on over to Chris and Hugh’s area. Having missed Chris at the last event, I was determined to meet him before it got too late, as he might disappear again. I mentioned this to him and he said, “oh! Yeah! I had a bad burger the night before so had to leave early...”. Enough said, Chris, enough said. That just screams “diarrhea”. Still, Chris was here this time and seemed to be perfectly healthy in the bowel sense. Like Ian and some of the other guests before him, talking to Chris simply doesn’t feel like talking to a celebrity at an autograph table. It’s like talking to a friend over a drink. Obviously, we discussed Potter, but I was most interested to discover that he’d transitioned to working behind the camera as an assistant director. I noticed on his IMDB page that he worked on “Atlantis” for two years as an assistant production coordinator, so I asked him how this transition took place. Chris told me that after filming “The Half-Blood Prince” and being the best paid no-dialogue actor in the film, he figured that his Potter screen time had drawn to a close. Certainly any significant screen time. Therefore, Chris smartly thought of an exit strategy. He went to university and studied to work as an assistant director, picking up many of the skills he needed along the way. I asked Chris if that means that transition is permanent and he’s done with acting and his response was “oh, absolutely! I’m done with acting. I realised that while I still enjoyed it, that passion wasn’t there as much anymore. Instead it was behind the camera”. Can’t fault a person for that. Chris has found his passion and his calling in life. Good luck to him! I also told him tha I’ve loved his Halloween costumes the past couple of years. You guys should look for them on Google. Picture at the table too! Guest Type = Responder.

Hugh Mitchell: This was probably my briefest conversation of the day, which was fine as Hugh was my standby guest in case anyone cancelled (funds are limited). With two cancellations and two going home sick, I could afford the £10 for Hugh’s autograph. As I’d recently finished listening to the “Chamber of Secrets” audiobook for the 3rd or 4th time (yes, I’ve read the books many times too!), I was excited to meet the actor behind Colin Creevey. Was it the biggest role in the films? No, but I got a kick out of that perverted little bastard. Perverted, you ask? He took pictures of Harry constantly and used to deliberately try to find Harry in the corridors. Are you telling me he didn’t sneak into the shower room after Harry’s quidditch practise for a little voyeur fun? Hugh seemed a little shy. He kinda had that deer-in-headlights look I’ve seen before. Yet, he was still perfectly pleasant as he filled me in on the projects he’s been up to since finishing the Harry Potter films. The last few times I’ve seen pictures of him, he’s had shoulder-length hair, but Potter fans, I can report he’s now back to shorter hair. These are the types of groundbreaking facts you can find on this blog. I ask the real questions and tell you the things you really want to know. You’re welcome. Picture at the table too! Woohoo! Guest Type = Responder. 


Ross O’Hennessey: If you were to look at Ross and make judgements purely on his physical appearance, you could be intimidated. He’s rockin’ the bald head and he’s built like a small army tank. Seriously, the dude is jacked. Yet, he couldn’t have been friendlier! It was Ross’ first ever convention and I was pleased to see that his queue seemed to be pretty busy for most of the day. I do feel bad sometimes when some of the smaller “Game of Thrones” guests come to a convention and are dead for most of the day. I’d talked to Gareth earlier in the day and he’d filled me in on how cool Ross was when he’d spoken to him earlier. I was already intending to meet Ross anyway, so this just enforced my decision. Even though Ross was only in one episode of the show, as I told him, “if you’re gonna be in one episode, might as well be the episode that’s widely considered the greatest one”. Of course, Ross plays the Lord of Bones in season five’s “Hardhome”, which is simply a masterpiece episode of television for almost the entire 50 minutes, especially the second half that is almost exclusively the Night’s Watch and the wildlings. Ross was a big fan of the show before he got the part. After Edward Dogliani (who played the Lord of Bones in the second and third seasons) was unavailable to reprise his role, Ross was given the opportunity to pick up the mantle. He read through the script excitedly...to discover that he dies in the same episode. Not only dies, but is killed with his own weapon. Not the most noble of deaths, but still makes for pretty good viewing to be fair. I love talking to actors from the show that are themselves fans of the show. People like Ross have a certain gleam in their eye when they talk about the show, which is great for us fans as that’s how we feel too. It bonds us  to them. The conversation then shifted to “The Bastard Executioner”, which was a ten-episode television series that was just cancelled (interestingly, Chris Rankin was working behind the scenes on that show too). I told Ross that I was just about to start the show and he filled me in on some of the finer plot points without giving anything away or ruining anything. It sounds really interesting! Ross’ conclusion for the cancellation was that perhaps Americans simply don’t care enough about the U.K.’s history. Perhaps there weren’t enough explosions and car chases? If I end up loving this show after I’ve seen it, I shall not be pleased with you, United States. I had a picture taken at the autograph table, then Ross shook hands with me as I was departing. Decent handshake. I can’t be dealing with that limp wrist stuff. Ross shakes hands like a man. Guest Type = Conversationalist.


With all of the autographs completed, it was time to head back to the photo area to collect my five studio photos. Sadly, the Mark Lutz one wasn’t quite ready (which was fine as they advise two hours for collection, and it had only been about 80 minutes), so myself and John headed back to the autograph area for a last-minute merchanise perusing. During our drifting, we walked right next to Justin Lee Collins, so I took the opportunity to get a picture with him. He was an extremely nice gentleman too. When I asked if it was okay to get a picture with him, he said “it would be my absolute honour”, and he said it with such sincerity. Just before this picture, someone else got one with him. The camera operator for this photo aimed the camera upwards, and Justin said “don’t do that, you’ll get my chin in it!”. It was hilarious. Even though my time with him was very brief, he seems like such a nice guy. I used to love “The Friday Night Project” and I really enjoyed when he tried to get the Star Wars cast back together, so I figured a free picture with Justin was awesome. Soon after, the Mark photo was ready and it was time to fly, fly away. Food was eaten, chillaxing was accomplished after a very long day, and it was time to head to the aftershow party with Four Star Mary, which turned out to be quite the experience.


The doors opened for the aftershow party at 7:30pm, with an announced start time as 8pm. However, the band didn’t start until 9:15pm, which was absolutely fine. Both myself and John had resided to the assumption that we’d be running off of little or no sleep at work the following day. Plus, the wait was fine as it allowed me to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones along the way. This was my first aftershow party for “Wales Comic Con” and I am so glad that I went. Four Star Mary blew the roof off the place! The set list was awesome, all five of them sounded great live, and half of the songs on the set appeared in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” episodes. I’m not sure who was more delighted when “Pain” started, myself or Emma. Truly a fanboy moment. After the gig, the boys all came over to the merch. area to sign posters, take pictures, and interact with the fans. Not only did they interact, but it felt like a family reunion. They hugged everyone, they were so enthusiastic to be back in England for the first time in seven years, and it was so apparent that they were genuinely excited to be there. During the gig, Tad (the vocalist – anytime you hear Devon sing on Buffy, that’s Tad) repeatedly thanked Jaime for bringing them over, for believing in them, and he stated that they wouldn’t be there without him. Naww! When I was getting my poster signed by Tad, he wrapped me in a big hug. We talked about the band and I filled him in on my history with them – I started watching Buffy when I was eight, right after my parents separated. The show quickly became a form of escapism for me and it became the catalyst for how I became close to my best friend. We bonded over our mutual love of Buffy and wrestling, and we spent our training sessions listening to Breaking Benjamin and Four Star Mary. I filled Tad in on Luke’s unfortunate death and how it felt somehow wonderful to be at Four Star Mary as a representative for us both. This is where Tad’s wonderful human spirit kicks in because rather than thanking me and dismissing me, Tad asked how I was coping with his death. I explained that I’m okay now, but talked about my battles with depression in my late teens and early 20’s. By the end of the conversation, Tad was crying, he wrapped me in a huge hug that must have lasted a full minute, he kissed me on the cheek, and he went out of his way to show he cared. It’s one of the most raw, genuine moments I’ve ever had with any human being, let alone someone I’ve never met before and grown up admiring. Tad is such a special human being, and it was truly an honour to meet him and all of the boys. I grabbed a picture with Tad, finished getting all the signatures on the poster, said some goodbyes, and managed to find Jaime to thank him for the convention and the aftershow party. I believe I’m 4/4 for thanking Jaime in person after one of his conventions. He puts so many hours into these conventions. Yes, he gets financial incentives to do so, but if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have met some of my biggest idols over the past couple of years, so I hope he knows that it’s very much appreciated. Myself and John headed back home. However, lingering around the chasm of John’s iPod were a few “NOW” albums. You know those shitty compilation albums of pop songs? After getting over my initial surprise, I realised that these were the greatest gift ever as the songs were almost exclusively from the 90’s. He was subjected to two hours of me singing S Club 7, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys as badly and as loudly as I possibly could. I’m surprised he didn’t drive into a pillar to bring sweet relief. 


The success of any convention is ultimately the answer to the question “would I go again?”. I don’t think it’s going to come as a surprise to anyone, but I will attend every “Wales Comic Con” event that I possibly can. Jaime and his team genuinely run the best signing events in the United Kingdom in my opinion and that is using zero hyperbole (one of the Four Star Mary guys asked if I enjoyed the convention and I gave him that exact phrase. He loved my use of the word ‘hyperbole’ and it merited two thumbs up). His taste in guests appeals to my own, the venue is nice, the atmosphere is awesome, and it’s the only signing event or weekend convention to date that can boast that I’ve never had a single bad experience with a guest or a crew member at Jaime’s events. I’ve had at least one of the two with every other convention company.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my review of “Wales Comic Con”. If you were there and want to share your experiences, please do so in the comments section. If you weren’t there and have something to say anyway about the blog, conventions, or life, the comments section eagerly awaits you.



  1. I'm sorry. I was the crew who asked you to join the queue outside for Chris. But glad you enjoyed it. Manic day, but love it.

    1. Ha! No worries, mate. These are the stories you remember fondly years later ;)

  2. I left my home near Derby Saturday morning to attend the Flash Gordon 35th anniversary reunion in London that night which was amazing and Sam Jones wished me luck for my travels and said he looked forward to seeing me the bext day. 1am I was on my coach to birmingham with a 5hr wait for my train to Wrexham. Had an amazing day. Highlights being, Rick Cosnett loving my hair lol, Sam Jones and Melody Anderson remembering my name and having two fun shoots with them, John W Shipp telling me I made his day, Mark Addy remembering my name and his video message he did for me the yr before, Dean Charles Chapman easily one of the nicest guests ever to do a convention, and seeing my good friend Rohert Watts the producer of Indy and Star Wars who has an amazing close family who make u feel loved. Amazing day and after 41 hours without sleep I was ready for my bed lol. Defo be bk though

  3. I totally agree with your review I was at the very first wcc as a fan when everything and I do mean everything was in the sports hall even that first time was fantastic in that time ive missed two, one was because I was at destination star trek London and the other was spy and Sci fi show London strange both in London and I live in Wrexham but other than that I've seen wcc grow in size and popularity even hearing fans say they have come from all over the world just for it even guests Eve Myles (Torchwood) came from I think California stayed a few hours & flew back same day that was April 2012 I would just like to say keep up the good work Jaime & team your gods to loads of fans like me

  4. Great review! I've attended for the last couple of years and loved it! This year I was one of the Crew members, and must admit, loved it even more! I'll look out for you next time :-)

  5. As always, great review! Love that every GoT actor you've met so far was so nice! Gives me good hope for the future as I plan to meet as many as possible too :p The details, like for example on Lysa Arryn's character, are so interesting! Will start to read the first book asap ^_^ so sweet of Dean to take a second picture with you! On Barristan, I just rewatched the episode yesterday and however that he went our graciously, I wish he would have stayed longer on the show. If they really killed him off because of things Ian might have said, that's sad. Yay for the group photo! Such an amazing deal for you :D keep those reviews coming! :) Rebecca