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London Day 3 – Misadventures in Tubing, LSCC Day 1, After Hour Antics, & Lessons Learned

Lesson one for the day… If a friend says, “take this route to get to the ExCel,” listen to them… I’m an idiot, let me start off by saying that, and I think some of our problems since we got here are me just being a bull-headed American. Having said that… We realized that there was a bus right by our house that could get us to the Bank Station really easily and from there, we could jump on the DLR and get to the ExCel with one little switch over… We get to Bank and can’t find the lift down… Someone recommends heading to Monument Station to get a lift down. We get there and a woman is standing at a closed gate, saying “Station is closed.” We tried to explain we needed a way to the DLR, “Station is Closed.” Oi… Another guy there says head back to Bank and explained the lift was on a random wall near one of the stairs down. Now remember, I’m pushing Amanda with a chair and I have about 65 or so graphic novels crammed into a backpack… Found the lift finally after up and down on this curb, that one luckily has a slight ramp, let’s just roll on the street there, hold on to your hats, etc… We push the button for the lift and a voice comes on, “hello, hello?” We say we need the lift… “The lift is out of service.” We explain the situation… “Head to Monument.” We explain we were just at Monument, “The lift is closed,” again, and the guy stops responding… Push the button twice… nada… Great. So, with a ridiculously heavy backpack in one hand, wheelchair in the other, Amanda navigates herself down the stairs (not fun right now), and we try to head into the station… No, sorry, no lift over here, but head up to the street, yadda yadda yadda… We explain what just happened, and the guy got really annoyed. Not at us, but at whichever dope told us it was down. He called and confirmed it was working… What the heck? So, he leads us around another way, special keys here and there, and gets us to the DLR. That’s the good end to that part of the day. We made it to the ExCel in pretty good time from there. Of course, we left the flat at 7:00 am, and didn’t get to the ExCel until right about 9:30am!!!

Anyway, the con was actually pretty cool. When you’re used to San Diego Comic Con, any convention is going to seem small. No offense, but it’s just a HUGE convention. But, I really liked it, because there were a lot of people, and they seemed happy to be there, browse around, etc… Banner sales? Nah, but that’s not what it’s all about… It’s about meeting people and putting some faces to people you’ve known for a while.

I don’t like to mention many names on my blog here, because although I’m a chatty person, I don’t like to assume people want to be talked about by name. We were sharing space with my artist from The Evil Tree, Daniel Thollin (advertised, so I can mention it, ha ha), and he brought two friends (including a collaborator of his), all amazing folks… Also, Yannis Roumboulias wasn’t far (Deadly Harvest artist), so I got to meet him in person for the first time and hear his best “Ahnuld” impersonation (best I’ve heard). We also got some great recommendations on our days in Ireland from an amazing couple (again, no names), and got to “talk biz” for a bit about Arcana, comics, animation, movies, etc… All good there! I’m really abbreviating the day here because it’s late!!! You’ll see why.

So, after the con, we were actually supposed to meet up with a group of folks we know from online as well as some other artists and such. We weren’t sure if we were going to make it, but had what we thought was a good bit of coincidence…  We happened to run into a writer friend of mine, who I have the utmost respect for, and he wanted to go by there, too, so it looked like a good chance to introduce friends, mingle, and have a good time for a bit, and then be off with the smaller group to have dinner. Didn’t happen quite like that. One of the folks in the group walks up to my friend and says, “you’re so and so, right?” Being well known and right outside of a comic book convention, all of us assumed it was a good thing, autograph or something. No, he asked us to leave… The hot blooded American bastard in me came out and I wanted to take a bite out of the guy, but I was asked not to by everyone else… We left. Didn’t get to meet up with some of the other folks we were looking forward to chatting for a few with, but that’s ok.

Someone else with our group (a friend of a friend) ended up taking Amanda and I in his car toward Liverpool Street to have some curry (we were to meet up with everyone else there… just easier with the chair in this case and he had to drive anyway). We chatted about music, London history, etc, along the way, had some sights pointed out to us, etc… Really a cool trip around to get to the area. If you’ve never been, Brick Road has this strip of Indian Restaurants… a TON of them. Guys stand out front trying to entice you in by offering free beer or other things. By the time we got there, the rest of the group has selected a place, which as fine by me. I’ve only had Indian food once and wasn’t thrilled with it, but I didn’t blame the cuisine, just the first restaurant. We got in, sat down ordered, and waited… Talked movies, comics, Doctor Who (shame on the members of the group who weren’t Doctor Who fans… booooo)… and other interesting bits. We all have a different experience in the comic book industry, so sharing stories is just a beautiful thing… A group of people all talking as equals, all sharing, and all interested. Grand time. The Indian food was really good, but I’m convinced one of the dishes wasn’t Gluten Free… Shhh…. Hopefully it doesn’t mess Amanda up too much.

We were there for a WHILE… I really can’t say how long because I don’t like looking at the time when in great conversations, because it causes people to think you need to be gone. No!!!

Anywho, great experience, you get it… The whole entourage (sans car!!) actually escorted us to the Liverpool Station to our bus… Caught one bus back to our flat! We got a bit mixed up, since we were on the wrong side of the street, but not a huge deal. Now that I’ve typed, it’s after 12:30 Sunday morning after an exceptionally long day. I apologize for no pictures, but I figure after the convention is finished, Amanda and I will have a LOT of time to go around taking pictures and having a nice vacation with a working set of front wheels on her chair, no carting around a large number of books, etc… Cheers all!

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