Collectormania London 2009
The Mystery Women had the opportunity of a stand at Collectormania London this past weekend, and a group of our crime writers came along to promote their books.
Collectormania is the kind of event where dedicated fans come to buy merchandise and collect autographs from famous TV and film people. Most of the TV shows and films concerned are in the sci fi/horror/cult ilk. As a Star Wars and Buffy geek myself, I can hardly criticise others for this.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect, when I turned up at Olympia on Saturday morning. I followed a guy wearing a Star Trek outfit off the train, figuring that would take me to the right place (and it did). We had forewarned our crime writers that this would not be the usual place to find crime fans. But with 10,000 people expected to attend, it wasn’t going to cost anyone anything apart from maybe a bit of time, and a few of those people had to be fans of crime fiction.
I think our writers found the whole thing fascinating. I was really impressed with the quality of the costumes the attendees turned up in. I saw several storm troopers; several Boba Fetts; a couple of Imperial Guards; two girls in 60s Uhura-style Star Trek mini skirts; a really impressive Spider Man; three or four David Tennant-style Doctor Whos; a few guys in Army Great Coats a la Captain Jack Harkness. There was even Nazi zombie, from Dead Snow (great film, incidentally). There were two aliens from the ‘Alien’ series, one of which was being led around on a chain by a group of marines.
There was also a life size remote control R2 D2 emitting the right whistles and beeps (and the recording of Princess Leia’s message, though sadly, no accompanying hologram).
I was in geek heaven. Fortunately I didn’t spend a lot of time wandering around, staying instead on our stand to look after our writers. Otherwise I wold have spent a lot of money. Most of our writers, however, were unfamiliar with the ‘geek’ sub-culture, and found the whole thing fascinating.
My job was to generally help out, and show the writers how to find the break room and so on. We took shifts to go on tea breaks so that the stand wasn’t left unmanned (isn’t it always the way? It seems that every time one of our writers left to get a cup of tea or take a bathroom break, someone came along wanting to buy one of her books). I was a bit gutted Sunday afternoon, when after taking the ‘first shift’ tea break, the ladies on the ‘second shift’ tea break returned to the stand reporting they had been chatting with John Barrowman and George Takei, who had turned up for a cup of tea while they were drinking theirs. I shouldn’t have been so impatient for that cup of tea – it would have been beneficial to take the second shift!
Everyone sold a few books, and all were keen to return, as it seems that the key to such events is to build up a presence. So I think the Mystery Women will be attending other Collectormania events in future. We think that next time, everyone should dress up as one of their characters, just to get into the spirit of things.
Me, I want one of those Storm Trooper outfits…