* YALC = Young Adult Literature Convention and LFCC = London Film and Comic Con
On the 27th off July, I was down in sunny London for Young Adult Literature Convention and London Film and Comic Con. We booked Friday tickets, because comic cons are always much quieter on the Friday, and made our way from our London hotel to the Olympia, ready for a day of books and fun.
Our hotel was only a half an hour drive away from the event, but we set off early so we wouldn’t have to queue for the car park. We actually ended up being parked over an hour before the event was due to start, which meant my dad and Andy could indulge in a full English at a greasy spoon nearby. After paying £27 for the parking, it was a relief to find somewhere cheap for breakfast.
Let’s Start With YALC
YALC was amazing. I only actually spent a couple of hours there, because I didn’t want to make Andy and my dad trawl round book stalls for too long, but I loved it so much. There are so many booksellers there and the books are so cheap, and you can even pick up a few things that haven’t been released yet. There are also lots of competitions and freebies around, so have a good look at the stalls and see what they’ve got on. A lot of publishers put out information about what they’ll be doing on social media, so it’s a good idea to give them a follow before you go. I didn’t know this and ended up just wandering around like a lost puppy.
Apparently, the Friday morning is one of the busiest times at YALC, which made it quite difficult to see what some of the stalls were doing. Despite this, I still managed to enter a raffle and win a proof copy of Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes, and I also picked up a free copy of Three Dark Crowns by drinking a “mystery” drink that they had in potion bottles on the table. It was cloudy lemonade, by the way, so not too daunting a task. But I did stand in a queue willing to drink anything for a free book. Because books.
Unfortunately, because my dad and Andy aren’t young adult fictions fans, I didn’t go to any panels or signings, but I’m definitely going to try next year!
Here’s what I picked up at YALC:
After we’d finished looking round YALC, we headed downstairs to LFCC. We actually didn’t cosplay for this one, as we hadn’t been before and wanted our first experience to be free from costume restrictions. Plus, it was absolutely boiling, so we’d definitely have struggled!
LFCC was a lot bigger than I expected it to be and I was so impressed with the amount of space between stalls. I’m so used to being cramped in at MCM events, that it was amazing to be able to move around and actually see the stalls properly. There were so many cool things to see, and I treated myself to a Pokemon/Avengers crossover shirt and some Eeveelution/Kirby phone charms.
There were also a lot of photo opportunities around the event and we got so many cool pictures. Here’s one of me looking ridiculous:
We didn’t book to meet any celebrities this time, as I wasn’t really sure how it worked, but we did see them all from a distance. Also, we walked straight past Jason Momoa, and Andy didn’t notice. He was literally less than a metre away from us and I got incredibly excited and was like “OMG that was so cool” and Andy just looked at me and said “Are you really that excited over Colin Baker?” Obviously, he’d been too busy watching Colin Baker walk through to notice Aquaman. I’ve since lectured him on being a fail of a Justice League fan, even though I spent five days debating whether it was actually Jason Momoa or not (after checking the LFCC page and seeing photos from the day I’ve since confirmed it was). We definitely don’t have a future career as celeb spotters, that’s for sure.
It was an amazing day overall, but we were so tired by the end of it. We ended up leaving at three because we were so exhausted and I’d not been able to eat anything all day really (long story, but I’m like the queen of soup right now). Next year, I’d love to do a whole weekend there because there’s so much to do and see. Definitely one of the best events I’ve been to!
Have you ever been to a comic or literature convention?