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    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2009
    should be ther... Encephalo Ray what flight you on?
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2009
    Fantastic. I'm in the country for just that week. I'll bring my girlfriend, whom I got into Warren's writing using Crooked Little Vein.

    Warren, is this a speaking engagement, or a just sign and then getthefuckout kind of thing? Also, I wouldn't want to make you shake hands, so do you prefer high fives or terrorist fist jabs?

    I think I'll bring my copy of Ministry of Space. Yay.
  1.  (5615.3)
    Signing and leaving. I'm just in for the afternoon.
  2.  (5615.4)
    And, seriously, I'm okay with shaking hands.

    What I'm not okay with is signing thousands of books for seven hours a day over three to five days, AND shaking hands with everyone who comes to the table. That just destroys my right arm. You should try it sometime.
  3.  (5615.5)
    What about your left? I'd assume that most people attending would be right handed, so that'd mean that shaking/writing would be distrubuted (almost) equally, wouldn't it...?

    I'm about to get fucked up, aren't I?

    Heh, I was at my local comic store today, and the owner insisted that while at the expo, I should pull up a chair and stare @warrenellis with my mouth agape, despite the fact that this would likely incur a knifing from him. No.
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2009
    Rather than shake hands, I will demand hugs and pout furiously if I don't get any.
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2009
    I've been going to the Expo twice a year for the last, ooh, 5 years? I'm not usually *that* bothered by the guests - usually from CSI or misc sci-fi shows I've missed, but THIS IS AWESOME. I'm a cosplayer so I'm going to be a little silly looking but hey, not as silly as most of them. The fact that I'm 31 and cosplaying Sheila from Dungeons and Dragons will have nothing to do with it. Nu-uh. I will have my 4 year old with me as Bobby though, so that makes it cool, right?..right? *sigh*

    I shall bring Freak Angels only to be signed. But I will have to take a photograph. Hopefully with me in it too, as proof, and to make all my non-Expo going friends jealous, mwahaha. Anyway, if anyone wants to know anything about the normal Expo proceedings, feel free to ask.
  4.  (5615.8)
    @clairefun - Yes, I think i'll try to steal a photograph too, hopefully without bothering him too much.

    Anyway, this will be my very first Expo, and i'll be needing some pointers on... Well, everything.

    Is there a certain ettiquette for these things, seperate from common sense (e.g Do NOT proposition the guests)? Is there a set of rules that every person should adhere to, lest they be beaten and forcibly removed from the premesis? What the hell do I say when I reach the front of the queue? I can imagine "I'm a huge fan of your work, would you mind signing this and taking a photograph?" would get a little old. Do I even attempt to engage in conversation? Are there cliques in these expo's - certain undesirables that I should avoid at all costs, and those who I should make every attempt to remain civil with?

    Help me to win at Expos, Claire!
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2009
    Nothing wrong saying 'Hey I'm from the Whitechapel forum' :)
  5.  (5615.10)
    Bugger it, then:

    Help me win at Expos, Whitechapel!

    Pointers, tips, rules, regulations.

    and @sillypunk - I suppose not. This is not limited to Warren Ellis, though. I've genuinely no idea what to do.
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2009 edited
    Hee hee, its not that difficult. Really, you just wander around and look at all the shiny things.

    my advice:
    one: try not to spend your money on EVERYTHING. I recommend doing the rounds of all the stalls and things and get a good idea of what is there. a lot of its just general crap that you could get online/comic shops so go for the things that you won't necessarily see again or stuff that you've promised yourself because then you feel like you've gotten stuff but not spent heaps of money. because you can. there is so much stuff there. last year it seemed like it was mostly merch and not so hot on the actual comic stalls sort of thing.

    two: make sure you know who is where, when, and what they are doing so you aren't disappointed by missing out on something.

    three: be polite! have lots of patience, there are going to be a fuckton of people there. i'm really not that good with crowds so i have to force myself to walk slow, don't get frustrated by everyone being in your way. keeps you in a better mood, you'll enjoy it more and not want to leave in five minutes. bring some water!

    four: take pictures of all the fun cosplayers. most of them don't mind at all, and its hilarious. we were especially amused by the Dr. Horrible/Captain Hammer duos last year

    five: i'm really shy so when actually talking to people i admire, so i'm generally in the vein of 'hello, i really like your work' etc. but you know, lots of them are very engaging and will have stuff to say. its just a conversation, be natural, have fun. maybe think of a question that you want to ask them.

    six: get there early, very long line for when it opened last year. it moves relatively quick and i'm sure members of the 501st will be there to amuse you in their star wars gear. in combo with that, make sure you know where you are going and that the DLR is running/you know where the replacement busses are!
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2009
    Bring comfort everything: shoes, clothes, backpack, ... Try to cut down on everything you bring with you to the expo. I got neck, shoudlers and back pains that lasted a few days carrying too much stuff (mainly books) with me on comic festivals and my legs and feet kill me every time I spend too much time on lines. Remember that water can be heavy, so bring what you think you'll need.
    I had the same problem with authors. After some years of akward mumbling, i've learned that being polite and make small talk while the author is signing is enough. If you really want to ask something, write it down. You may be too nervous to remember when you're in front of said person.
    If you have a rare/old/almost forgotten publication/something others don't have, bring it! The authors love it when you bring stuff they don't get to see much (me and a friend were blessed with 2 sketches of McKean because we were the only ones with the Mirrormask illustrated script-he was doing only one sketch per person due to a tight schedule).
    Pretty basic one, if you have lots of stuff from that author to sign and enough time, get some of them signed and then come back for more. It's bad for others in line and you don't piss off the author.

    Have fun and try to meet new people:)

    PS-How many babies do I have to sacrifice so that Warren goes to a comics festival outside US and UK??
  6.  (5615.13)
    Rather than shake hands, I will demand hugs and pout furiously if I don't get any.

    I think we should all do this.

    Then cry in front of him.
  7.  (5615.14)
    Oh, and about the location itself - if you aren't using public transport then it's best to park in the local residential streets rather than park in the official parking. Just... erm.... make sure you lock your car well.

    Loads of back roads off of Victoria Dock road and they are pretty well patrolled by armed police looking for mad terrorists planning on shooting down planes landing at City airport.

    (Which is how they saved one attempted suicide by 'hosepipe into the car' the other year).
    • CommentAuthorDarkest
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2009
    @DC- He's been known to travel to europe so no need to resort to infanticide.
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2009
    No cliques if you aren't in costume. There *will* be a lot of teenagers running about in a very excited manner. No-one you should avoid, and as far as staying on their good books, try not to antagonise the staff - even if some may clearly be trying to antagonise you. (Grrr). A lot of the staff volunteer and, through no fault of their own, simply do NOT GET TOLD the things that people ask them. They will hopefully send you to someone who does know (but not always).

    Patience is the most important thing to have at the Expo, especially on a Saturday - Saturday is the biggest day for the cosplayers and there are MANY, some (like myself) just dressed a bit funny, but others with huge pretend weapons or some other awkwardly shaped costume. They walk slowly - if not for costume, then stopping to pose for photographs. and everyone will do this - you basically shuffle around a lot of the Expo. It's difficult to get to some of the stalls at times too - we tend to come back to a busy one later on.

    If you get there early, you wait longer, but you get in earlier. Some of my friends get there 8 am, I generally get there at 10, 11, and often avoid most of the rush. Early bird tickets, either bought in advance or on the day, will get you into the place before normal ticket holders, though sometimes if they're running late setting up, there's not a huge difference. If you're desperate to see the stalls early that's your best chance but be quick, as once the hordes enter, there's LOTS of them.

    As far as the stalls go, it depends what sort of shopper you are. We look at as much as we can and we always say we'll buy *something* as our souvenir - a manga, a dvd, a comic. You *can* get bargains, but if you're a savvy net shopper anyway, it might not be that amazing. I tend to find prices are a bit too high. It is more anime / sci-fi based than comic based but I think it's improving the ratio.

    Not bringing stuff *is* a good idea, but equally, bringing your own food and drink is also a good idea. What we tend to do is park on site (it ranges from £8-£12 for the day) and bring a picnic, and about 10 bottles of drinks. It gets really hot and I need caffeine fairly quickly, but rather than carrying them, we just pop back to the car - easier and works out much cheaper. Bring as much money as you can bear to carry on you, too, as the cashpoint machines on site have huge queues and have been known to run out of cash.

    Everyone in cosplay will be happy to stop and have their picture taken, that's part of the fun. It's nice to know that other people appreciate the hard work we've put in! They are a really friendly bunch (at least to non-cosplayers, heheh). Plus you'll have some mad stuff to show friends. You should also either post a link on the Expo forum, or tag it london expo on flickr (I speak as someone who has LOTS of photographs taken and never see them afterwards!).

    The info desk will have programmes with a map inside and information on when any talks will be held, etc. Pick one up! Also, when you leave the expo hall, remember to get your hand stamped to show you've paid. One friend didn't notice the hand stampers by the exit and had already lost her ticket in the general debris, and had to pay twice...

    Your feet WILL hurt. I'm dreading mine as I have to wear certain shoes for my cosplay that aren't that comfy at the best of times let alone walking for ages. If you can't find a spare seat, go out the front of the building, there's more benches, or even a patch of grass if you can squeeze in, and the cosplayers are usually doing something silly out there to entertain (cosplay chess, cosplay rave, cosplay conga, all sorts of silly).

    Only rules are common sense stuff - no weapons drugs etc, you can smoke out the front, drinking policy is okay I think but there's a lot of people there so just nothing disturbing. Keep a close eye on your wallet - normal 'crowd safety' stuff. Arrange somewhere to meet up with friends if you lose them, and bear in mind that you can't always hear mobiles above the crowd noise.

    Guests...some guests you have to 'book' first - pay money for a ticket and then hand the ticket in when you're in the queue. The 'popping-in' type guests aren't usually like that - Danny John-Jules was at the last one and you could just wander up and chat to him. (I told him we'd been watching him as Barrington recently and he rocked, he agreed completely and said Barrington was awesome...) They're just normal people and they're used to the attention, so don't worry about it. If you can think ofsomething cool to say, then go for it, if not, the standard 'I think you're smashing' will do. Much as I think I rock, I'll be there to meet Warren Ellis, he's not there to meet me :)

    Hope this helps - and good luck. Feel free to come say hello if you see me - look up Sheila from Dungeons and Dragons, that's how I'll be dressed!
  8.  (5615.17)
    Thank you so very much, that's a massive help, Claire. And yes, i'll be sure to say hello if I see you, it'd be a pleaure to meet the woman who's likely saved me from disaster.
    • CommentAuthorcjstevens
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2009
    I'm so happy you're attending a UK event. REPRAZENT BLOOD - REPRAZENT

    Hopefully the copy of Laz: Final Cut that I ordered ages ago will arrive sometime soon..

    I'm well excited, haven't been to a convention for years, and Warren there, this is gonna be the start of a wicked summer.
      CommentAuthorTony Lee
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2009
    You won't be allowed to stand there and blankly stare at Warren while he signs.

    You WILL however be allowed to do that to Kieron Gillen, who'll also be there. He loves it.

  9.  (5615.20)
    Gillen's one of the few guests i'm attending for, so i'll be sure to consider it.