Cardiff revisited Part 2


What else did I get up to last summer – when I had promised you all to finish my Merlin fan fiction? We-e-e-ll, among the exciting events I attended, the Cardiff ComiCon stands out as a highlight…especially, because it had two “Merlin” actors from the BBC’s stable attending.

Dr Who's Parking Issues

Dr Who’s Parking Issues

Camelot’s “King Uther” aka Mr Anthony Head was there and the shy and very cute little “Mordred”, aka Mr Alexander Vlahos, so naturally this writer had to go along. Wee “Mordred” walked right past me, as I stood in the long, long queue waiting for the doors of the Cardiff venue to open.

Cardiff ComiCon 2013

Cardiff ComiCon 2013

He’d arrived early to get “a feel for the place” it seems.

At first, painfully shy and hiding much behind his floppy hair, he soon relaxed and a couple of hours into the event he seemed to really enjoy himself, chatting happily to fans and having his picture taken with a multitude of fan girls and boys of all ages.

Mr Anthony Head, of course, was a seasoned hand at such an event and seemed as relaxed as a man can be.

Last year’s event was held at the end of August, but there’s another one this March, 1st and 2nd, so if you happen to be in Wales, do stop by. Ticket prices are going to be £6.00 in advance and £12.00 on the door on the day (see http://www.cardiffcomicon.com/).

It was complete mayhem on the first day, as literally thousands of people attended with a queue on the Saturday that wound right around the building and down the road…and then some more…

I wisely decided to go on the Sunday instead, when the first excitement had died down a bit. It was much better, especially when going first thing in the morning. By lunchtime though, the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena had filled up considerably, making it quite difficult to see or hear what the stars of the event were saying.

Main Stage Mayhem

Main Stage Mayhem

Thankfully, I managed to miss Mr Hasselhoff’s appearance…

Apart from inspecting some amazing stalls that sold pretty much anything from comic books to posters, memorabilia and autographs, I also saw many stars from some of the most famous fantasy and sci-fi TV shows and movies…squeak, I stood right by the friendly and very nice Tom Baker aka Dr Who, who was besieged by fans. I gawped at various Star Trek actors and was shocked to realise that I’ve practically been a Trekkie for the better part of my life.

Cardiff ComiCon queues 2013

Cardiff ComiCon queues 2013

In an upstairs part of the Motorpoint Arena various comic book artists, writers and producers of various shows held 30 minute talks, so if you’re a real nerd…erm…fan…be sure to be more organised than I was and get your tickets well in advance. For some of these special events you’ll need to buy additional tickets, while others are free.

Main Hall Comicon Cardiff 2013

Main Hall Comicon Cardiff 2013

At one point I got chased along the aisles by a “real” Dalek, which was a thrilling if somewhat frightening experience. I admired and tried to photograph the many fans who’d dressed up – not very successfully, as the hall was very dark and bathed in some horrid orange light. Most of my pictures didn’t come out at all, so here are the few that I did manage to go home with.

Who do you think this is?

Who do you think this is?

Actually, one of the reasons I attended the event was to check out if writers could use this type of event to connect with potential readers and fans of genre literature. As it happens, there were a few writers trying to showcase their books, some with their own artwork, so it seems an idea to turn up with a picnic table, a thermos of hot chocolate and my books at some future Cardiff and London events.

Maybe see you there?

Up close & personal with Mr Dalek

Up close & personal with Mr Dalek

As for my “Merlin” fan fiction, for those of you who are interested, I have uploaded what I’ve already written to Goodreads.com and archiveofourown.org. Once I’ve done the ending, I’ll upload it to these two sites, where it’s much easier to read chapter by chapter than here on WP. I’ll keep you posted!

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4 thoughts on “Cardiff revisited Part 2

  1. You have officially activated the nerd in me with this! Did Hasselhoff really show up?? (not sure if I spelled his name right and I’m too lazy to Google it 🙂

    I have yet to go to a comicon, and somehow I always end up talking myself out of going. Not good.

    • Yes, the Hoff did show up but it was when I’d popped across the road for lunch. It was incredibly crowded from about 11am onwards, so I fled across the road and returned later in the afternoon when it was quieter. It was a very useful experience for me as a writer because some of the writers trying to sell their book were shy wall flowers and didn’t engage with their audience, so people walked just by. Other writers had decorated their tables in imaginative ways and were happy to chat to people as they shuffled past the line of authors. It was my first ComiCon and I realised that for me, writing in the vampire genre, it would be a good venue to get face-to-face with readers. Writers charged ca. £10.00/$15.00 for their signed book and that seemed to have been accepted as a fair price by all present. I wouldn’t have known how to price the book, so again this was a useful fact finding “field trip” just for that. There are all sorts of other shows suitable for the scifi and fantasy genre, but I think ComiCon might be the largest event organiser of this industry.

      • That’s very helpful. I never even considered selling my books at a place like that, and the truth is that people go to find all things nerd, so this might be a good chance for me to grab some hard copies and go forward with it. We have a couple of comicons here in NC every year. I’m going to look into being a vendor one. Thanks for this!

        • Oh that’s great news! The great thing was that the potential reader and writer could connect and chat about their beloved genre, not just doing a “hard sell” of the book. It was a chance to make a good first impression as a writer and a person. Some people even exchanged contact details with the authors because they loved the book illustrations or were interested in what the writer had to contribute to the genre discussion.

          Even if people didn’t want to be physically burdened with the paperback – they are usually attending the event all day – they would take a business card, bookmark or whatever the writer had prepared, so they could contact the writer later or order the book directly from whatever online outlet it’s available from. I’ve done this when I’ve seen bands or musicians at free events here in Cardiff. It’s not always convenient to cart around somebody’s CD or book, so if the artist has a compliment slip or business card, you can just buy later.

          By the way, have you tried selling your books via tradebit(dot)com, clickbank or scribd(dot)com? I knew about clickbank but have only just discovered the others. It would be interesting to hear from a fiction author who has tried them, for non-fiction e-books sell really well via those e-tailers apparently.

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