This post comes a little later than it was meant to. I was going to write on Sunday after I got home from Thought Bubble but all I wanted to do was sleep. I thought about writing yesterday but just didn’t. So here I am, two days late. Better late than never and all that.
Until last weekend, I had never been to any sort of comic convention. I have a few friends from home who go to MCM in London most years but for various reasons (mostly money) I have never ended up going with them. Last time I was in Leeds, I wasn’t even aware of Thought Bubble, as I mentioned in my last post, but a few months ago, a friend mentioned it to me and I knew I wanted to get involved more than just going along.
I meant to do a post per day of Thought Bubble but that clearly didn’t happen. I have already written about the setup on Friday so I will start from Saturday morning.
It started very early.
My first alarm went off at 05:00. My second alarm went of at 05:15. My third alarm went off at 05:30. I ignored all of them and fell asleep again. I of course managed to miss my bus to get there for 06:00. I ended up arriving at around 07:00. On a Saturday, that just isn’t an hour that exists for me. It shouldn’t exist for anybody.
I had originally not been on the list of jobs that was sent around the volunteers, which meant I was supposed to be a floating volunteer. In the first half hour of arriving, I was assigned to be on refreshment duty. My initial thought with that was “Oh god, this is going to be awful.” I am glad to say I was wrong and had one of the best weekends, but it wasn’t without its perils.
One of my first jobs was to go and buy as much milk as I could for £10. It turns out, you can buy a lot of milk for £10. And I do mean a lot. I strutted into Tesco, picked up as much milk as I could carry and ran to the till. Turns out 30 pints of milk is awkward to carry and rather heavy. It also transpired once I had finished scanning them like a crazy person, that you can buy an extra 6 pints and still end up with change from £10. That was when I did my mad dash across the shop to pick up another 6 pints of milk. By this point, the scales on the self-service till were already full of milk. The last container just ended up precariously balanced until I had paid.
Now, I decided in a moment of madness that two plastic bags would be enough to carry these 36 pints of milk. I could already foresee the bags splitting when I left Tesco. They were already bulging and stretching in a way that made me very nervous, but I held onto the hope they would hold up until I got back to the ticket office, which was probably only 100 feet away.
They did not hold up.
One bag did, but about 50 feet down the road, the other violently exploded, sending 3 giant containers of milk tumbling to the floor. Luckily, the milk gods were looking down on me because none of them split. That may have had something to do with the fact I was probably hunched over from the weight.
That was the most eventful part of the pre-convention setup for me. The rest of it was setting up and filling the urns, waiting for people to arrive to make tea for. Once the exhibitors had arrived, it was full steam ahead. I made more tea this weekend than I have ever made in my life. I started off as I meant to go on by throwing 2 cups of coffee onto the floor in my futile attempts at balancing 5 cups of coffee. Turns out you can balance 2 on top of each other, not 3. The more you know.
I will tell you this, when people have an early start to the day and low prospects of leaving their stand, they are so grateful for caffeine. I had more compliments this weekend just for bringing coffee and tea to people than I have had for the rest of the year.
There is power in having access to all the caffeine.
Refreshments ended up being one of the best jobs. Yes, I never once stopped moving, my feet were on fire by the end of Saturday and my notebook was filled with pages of scrawled tea orders, but it was a lot of fun to have legitimate excuses to meet all the big artists.
By the end of Saturday I wasn’t even asking proper questions or greeting people though. I would walk past and wildly blurt out: “Tea, coffee, chocolate?” And just stare at them expectantly until they answered. Good system, good system. Will employ next year.
I got a chance to meet DMC of Run-DMC over the weekend. Nice guy. Brought him some chocolate. Can add him to the list of famous people I have met.
The list stands at 1.
I also met my Trans-Atlantic twin. Lovely lady. Lots of food preferences in common. We had a good system for delivering lunches to people. Will employ next year.
I have so much I could say, but not many words coming to mind to say the things. So I will just sum up:
- My feet were dead by the end of the weekend
- Every single muscle ached including some I didn’t know existed
- The weather was dreadful all weekend, it rained nearly constantly and then just to spite the entire event, it was glorious sunshine on Monday
- I had one of the best weekends and am ready for next year already
It must have been a success. I didn’t injure myself that much.
I only gave myself an electric shock once.
I loved this costume. Might not have been one of the most difficult to execute, but it was done so well.
Most impressive costume (that I took a picture of):
This was insane. The guy was giant in his suit. I didn’t even know what the character was from but I still wanted a picture.
Someone came into the kitchen on the second day and just said: “did you see the owl?” I thought he meant that someone was dressed as an owl. There had been furries walking around the day before, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that. I walked out of the kitchen and there was a girl stood there in an owl hat and I assumed that was the end of that. Completely forgetting about the owl thing, I had made myself a cup of tea and was in search of a place to sit down. I walked out, set my tea down and looked to the side. “Oh my god, there’s an owl.” I honestly just looked to the side and there it was. I didn’t realise at the time that she was dressed as a Gryffindor. Mad props for her commitment to realism.
Creepiest person of the convention
I’m leaving furries out of this because while I personally find fur suits horrifyingly creepy, I know that isn’t a sentiment shared by all. The creepiest person of the weekend was this guy.
His costume was a little bit creepy on both days (didn’t get a picture of his costume on the second day) but what really pushed it over the edge was that he would stand somewhere perfectly still for ages. He would just ever so slightly turn his head and follow you with his eyes as you walked past. Already a bit weird. What was even more bizarre and disconcerting was when he would move between spots in the square. He did not just walk. What he did was move really slowly, almost gliding across the square. Everyone else around him was rushing around from place to place and there out of the corner of your eye you would see this figure just moving slow motion through the crowds. Very strange. I approve, creeper.