Comic-Con with a cuppa tea, you say?

Hello there my lovely chums!

How are we all? Please do let me know, wherever you are how you are all feeling at this time.

Now I know that this year has been an interesting one to say the least and a lot of us are sat here wondering “oh my goodness, whatever next” and although there are places opening for business here in the UK, I’ll be perfectly honest I’m just not prepared to go back to normal yet… Not that I’ve ever known what that was to begin with having dealt with severe anxiety, staying indoors had become my new normal a couple of years ago. But right now, aside from my walks in the park and feeding the squirrels (yes, I’m that person) I genuinely enjoy staying at home; I designed it to be somewhere that I’d want to spend a lot of my time and therefore love it.  

So you can imagine my sheer delight when San Diego Comic Con suddenly announced that they’d be doing a virtual comic con, everything as it would be just online. A place where everyone (no matter where you are in the world) could access all the panels online and the event wouldn’t be ticketed; simply tune into YouTube log onto the Comic-Con international YouTube page and enjoy 4 days of virtual panels!

Amazing, right!?

Now I know what you’re thinking and I hear you! I understand that this doesn’t give you a proper idea of what comic-con is usually like. It’s difficult because you can’t replicate the comic con atmosphere via a screen and there’d be no real buzz from the comic con floor. Sadly there’d be no meeting new people and being able to marvel at each other other’s cosplay’s in person.

But I love comic-con and although we can’t physically be in the room together I still have to applaud the way it was laid out and the variation of panels that were given screen time. For me personally there were many panels dedicated to cartoons and the voice acting community spread across the 4 days, including a wonderful 80th Bugs Bunny Anniversary panel and if you know me you’ll know that I was completely in my element; all of this gave me such joy to be able to participate.

Especially since I’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con and trying to afford a single day ticket (let alone a 4 day ticket), accommodation and flights; it was always highly unlikely I’d ever be attending! But I still count myself immensely lucky to have been given the opportunity to go to New York Comic Con last year. So for my nerdy self over 5000 miles away, to be sat across the pond with a cup of tea and a cinnamon roll to be in with all the comic con feels, it’s a wonderful thought for all of us to feel included.

One of the things I flippin’ adore about comic con season… y’know aside from everything I’ve mentioned so far is having the opportunity to shop for comic con exclusives, including some of my favourite vendors Loungefly and NECA and they definitely came through with some amazing pieces this year… Unfortunately, as always with Loungefly the term ‘you can look but no touchie’ still applies as we have to wait for their items to be available in the UK via Truffle Shuffle/Shop Disney/Zavvi websites… But y’know oh well!

Incase you missed out on San Diego Comic Con at home and you want to see what went down, don’t fret it’s still available on the comic-con international Youtube and if it peaks your interest there are now other comic cons following suit. There will be a comic con dedicated to all DC properties called the DC Fandome which will have all of its content available on DC’s website; this will occur August 22nd only – I can’t tell you how excited I am for this one. Did I mention that it’s a full 24hr immersive event?! I’ll get the coffee in now, shall I? Ahem, but before that excitement unfolds (breathe Quinn breathe) ReedPop (the company behind NYCC and MCM Comic Con here in the UK) they have their online convention on August 15/16th on the NYCC youtube channel. However they’ll have a mixture of free panel’s, pre-paid virtual signings and chinwags with their guests available to choose from. I will most definitely be watching all the panels made available to me, I like to have options!

Although all of this nerd culture content makes me insanely happy and it does (honest)! I will also stress to you all that I cannot wait for the day where it’s safe for us all to be at comic con again, I miss it dearly but right now it’s just not the right time. So grab a cuppa, bake some treats; download Bill and Ted 3: Face the Music on VOD and enjoy having comic con at home!

NYCC, Mr Lee & Me

If you know me and my penchant for all things nerdy, then you’ll know going to comic conventions is the epitome of what I’d call heaven.

Going to New York is also my idea of heaven and my partner knows this all too well.

So imagine my sheer delight when he contacts me at work to tell me that he managed to score Friday and Saturday passes to New York Comic Con (held every year at the Javits Centre), myfirst ever convention outside of the UK! Well it gave us the incentive to return to our favourite city (as if I’d need a reason!) Mr Lee had been to NYCC a fair few times before, so luckily was able to fully prepare me for not only the size of the convention centre itself, but advise me how chock-a-block (apologies, I mean crowded) it could get and believe me, coming from conventions in the UK nothing can prepare you for the vastness of NYCC!

It was strange because the first thing I experienced wasn’t even at the convention centre itself; it was a few blocks away in another venue and I was awe struck. Mainly because the comic con practically takes over the city and I’ve never seen that happen with a convention before. In London, apart from the shopping bags that are a dead giveaway that you’ve been to comic con, for the most part it’s pretty contained. In New York City, the entire of New York City knows.       

So my first taste of comic con in New York brought me to the main stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom, for a panel I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d ever get to witness.

SpongeBob Appreciation Day, a panel where the cast and creatives of SpongeBob Squarepants not only have a chinwag about how fantastic the show is but also do a live table read of one of the episodes.

Everyday is SpongeBob appreciation day…

Right there, in front of my face.

I died.

Ok dramatic, I didn’t quite do that… But I did cry upon leaving said main stage. Yes, 30 years old me cried because I got to see Tom Kenny (aka SpongeBob) perform the iconic chortle more than once and my 10 year old self was living a childhood dream. Things like that just don’t happen to people like me and that was only my first taste of what was to come, from a jam-packed two days of my nerdy dreamlike state.

Well I proceeded to cry another 2 times, didn’t I? This was over the course of our time at comic con, due to meeting people and attending panels that were making me pinch myself every two seconds, such as my childhood hero Sean Astin and the incomparable Rick Baker (I mean… That right there? GOALS… And that’s just to name a few!)

But aside from the guests, what amazed me about a convention that I suppose from the outset can be seen as someone’s worst nightmare if you have anxiety; it is insanely busy and there’s no  real quiet spot to take a breather, the queue’s for the toilets are constant and the food can be very expensive.

But you know what? I have never felt so at home.

Honestly. There was this feeling of radiating joy from everyone I came into contact with. Everyone around me was extremely kind, polite and so happy to be in this place of utter happiness! I got to meet new people and connect with friends, such as my pal Andre who I’d not seen in a while because he lives so far away. Also, the amount of people who asked if I was going to cosplay whilst there… Now there’s a good reason why I didn’t do this, because THE COSPLAY’S ARE FLIPPING INSANE!! Are you kidding me? If I want to even contemplate cosplay somewhere such as NYCC I seriously need to up my sewing game and soonish! The level of creativity and detail to people’s costumes is quite simply put- something else; it’s on a whole other planet and I just thoroughly enjoyed marvelling (ahem) at people’s hard work. It was beautiful to witness what people had created in person.  

I already know that Mr Lee and I will be returning to NYCC without a shadow of a doubt, and I’m already looking into it for next year.

Some people may say that Disneyland is the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’, but I think it’s fair to say New York Comic Con might be mine.