There were lots of famous people on hand at this year’s Comiccon. Big name actors like Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), John Barrowman (Torchwood, Arrow), Billie Piper (Doctor Who) and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy) attracted huge lines of people waiting to meet them and get an autograph, as well as for dedicated photo ops. Others saw their attendance spread out over the three days, and were able to spend a little more time with fans, chatting and posing for photos. (A tip: lines are less busy on Sunday generally, or 30 minutes after the start of the session) One thing that could be improved though is to have the prices at the start of the line. It’s a little embarrassing to walk up to a celebrity’s table, check the price, and then walk away because it’s too much for your budget.
Even if you’re not laying down some cash for autographs (it gets expensive, trust me. I need to go binge shopping for frames now), just walking down that section is a thrill, seeing all these big name actors “in the flesh.” I saw a woman with her young daughter go by Billie Piper’s table, and she pointed out to the little girl “Look, there’s Rose!” (from Doctor Who). The kid’s eyes just lit up like Christmas lights at the realization! That was priceless. And really, Comiccon is an event you need to attend with the eyes of your inner child.
But the nicest thing about the celebrity guests are the Q&A sessions, and these are free. The host usually starts things off with the guest, but fans are free to come up to the microphone and ask any question they want. At all the Q&A sessions I attended, the guests were very gracious and generous about telling stories, answering all questions (even the most tedious ones) with great patience. Graham MacTavish (The Hobbit) was particularly funny, telling stories about going on a tank ride (!) with Peter Jackson in New Zealand, or the practical jokes Ian McKellan would pull on the set. Next year I will definitely build my Comiccon schedule around these wonderful sessions.