I’ve been to many Comic-Cons all around the United States. Most have the same characteristics: small and large professional dealers dominate the convention floor selling comics, toys, and movie and TV show memorabilia. But if you look carefully, you can always find a few independent dealers selling what might have been found in a garage collecting dust the past few decades.
Of course this doesn’t take into account New York or San Diego Comic-Con, where huge corporations and manufacturers have pushed onto the con floor to make sure their upcoming products have enormous displays. While some take issue that the huge cons cater to massive companies, I think the majority of convention attendees actually enjoy seeing these setups and appreciate that their favorite movie and TV stars are willing to sign autographs and meet their fans at a studio setup. Prior to the cons being commandeered by huge professional dealers, they used to be a place where mom and pop shops could sell their merchandise and you would never know what the next table would be selling.
Which brings me to London Comic-Con.
Thanks to Universal Home Video bringing me over here for the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary (the cast is here and I’m doing interviews that will run closer to the October Blu-ray release), I got to spend a number of hours walking around London Comic-Con yesterday and today. Unlike its American counterparts, London Comic-Con is entirely made up of smaller dealers and stores selling their products, and there are plenty that look like it’s their first time selling at a con. In addition, unlike American Comic-Cons where the only places to buy food are convention-owned restaurants that gouge attendees, I was pleasantly surprised by how many dealers sold cupcakes and candy. It’s definitely a lot different than what you find in America.
Other surprises about London Comic-Con were how many artists had tables and were selling some cool and unique stuff, including hand painted sneakers and art that incorporated LEGO figures. I also noticed a few dealers selling swords and knives, 3D-printed lightsabers, tons of people selling cool t-shirts, and posters. Also, I was shocked by how many dealers were selling autographs. While I know people collect them, with the amount of people selling them today, it must be a huge thing in the United Kingdom.
Since I know most of Collider’s readers are not going to make it to London Comic-Con, I tried to take a lot of pictures of the con floor so you can get a great idea of what the experience is like. As usual, all the pics are high-resolution, so click on any image to see it in greater detail.
Finally, a huge thank you to Universal Home Video for bringing me over here for the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies and being able to ask Michael J. Fox a question yesterday about BTTF was incredibly cool.
A photo posted by Steve Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) on