London Film & Comic Con

General TJ stuff
User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

London Film & Comic Con

Post by ThyneAlone »

..well, a quick recovery from exhaustion at the end of school was a bit of a lost hope, given what yesterday was like. I hardly know where to begin. I suppose it begins with the reason why the trip was so singularly uncomfortable and almost – I say almost – proved pointless. The fact that neither we (hubby was with me) nor Jude bought tickets online in advance, unlike Simone who got in at a respectable time and had a decent and fairly interesting day. This was the old problem of wanting to do things together – misunderstandings and lack of liaison about who was doing what and when, right up to the point where online sales ceased and tickets at the door were the only option. In fact, we even ended up going on different trains because we had not established which of a possible 2 we were taking. For us, then, it was a 5 o’clock alarm to get out for 6 and a cab down to Liverpool to the station; and, on arrival, the Tube journey across London (avoiding some really inconvenient line closures) to Earl’s Court. It was boiling hot weather already, even at 10am when we got to the venue. And there were thousands there. Literally thousands. The queue we were in snaked endlessly round the building. I reckon a good 20,000 must have been in it by the end of the day because loads came after us and many of them were destined not to reach the door by the time the building closed. Regular con-goers were stunned. It was 4 times the size of anything they’d seen before. Vast numbers had shown up to see the main guest, Stan Lee, and the appalling organisation had failed to take account of this. It meant that within a few hours the hall had reached safety capacity and from then on it was a matter of one in, one out. They had also late-booked a load of popular guests, leading to a last-minute rush for on-the-door opportunists, and failed to supply anything in the way of food or drink for the wretched queuers, who were horrendously dehydrated and hungry. I certainly frequently felt the world swimming round me under the glaring sun, and we were under that glaring sun for 6 hours. Many gave up. Jude was about 40 minutes ahead of us in the queue so we kept texting her for any news. Eventually, hubby tells me, while he grew angry I withdrew into a little shell of misery and shut off. Fortunately the sympathetic people around us cheered me up with friendly chat and it was hard to remain self-focused for long when people were walking backwards and forwards in incredibly beautiful and imaginative costumes, right down to tiny details; the girl in front of us in the queue was wearing a woollen bobble hat in the shape of a Tardis!

When we finally entered the building (thank goodness we hadn’t booked up talks in advance; we would have missed them without a doubt, and I think many of our fellow sufferers will have had to claim their money back), photo shoot spots were all gone and there weren’t any more virtual tickets left for the autograph queue (yes we could have joined it randomly, but were now on a deadline for the train home). So the whole experience had been for nothing and I wasn’t going to get to see TJ. And that was all I wanted. Autographs and photos be blowed – just to speak for a minute would make it worthwhile.

And of course, we caught him informally as he moved between photo area and autograph table and I got my 3 minutes worthwhile time! It was a bit whirlwind, as the stewards were urging him off to the autograph table and we really did have to get off in a hurry, but I got plentiful hugs and we took a couple of photos and, well, it was all pretty joyous. A most strange mingling of feelings after such a horrible, not to say expensive, day. I can barely walk today. The sunburn wasn’t as bad as I expected, since I had brought that most English of emergency accoutrements, an umbrella, but I still look like a lobster. But – all worth it for TJ, especially as I have no idea when I will ever see him again. Sharon, he is actually taller than me. I knew he would be even though he comes over as quite small.

Today hubby put together a description of the day for son no.2’s delectation (son no.2, you will recall, is ensconced in the US for 4 months), so I am including some of that too, to give you a flavour of the experience.

We were directed into a queue that, at first sight, looked long but not impossible. However, we followed it around the corner and it just seemed to stretch off into infinity…and beyond. This was the queue for people buying tickets on the day. Every so often the queue shuffled forwards a few feet, then stopped for about a quarter of an hour. Even as we edged forwards, the queue continued to grow behind us. Just as you were getting to where you thought the front was, you turned a corner and found another 200 yards’-worth of herded people stretching round the next bend.

I really felt sorry for the people who’d gone to all sorts of lengths to put on costumes and elaborate make-up—there were a lot of people who are clearly into the costume angle of things and take it to some quite extreme lengths—and by no means all of these were in the “fast lane”. A fair proportion of them were stuck in the queue like the rest of us. Everyone we spoke to was very nice—and there was the full range, from hard-core nerds to normal people who clearly thought (mistakenly) that they were in for a nice day out—anywhere else but here, with our tradition of queuing up and doing as we’re told, I suspect there would have been a riot, with a few thousand calls to lawyers instigating compensation suits against the organisers. When we finally reached the building at FOUR O’FLAMING CLOCK, Jude had been in about 45 minutes and Simone (this being part of a carefully pre-planned trip) had been in the building since 10 am! I’ve no idea how many of the people behind us actually got in.

It was earsplittingly noisy and jam-packed. Less crowded and without such a ridiculous length of time queuing, I think I’d have been very, very impressed by what was in there, but again, the organisers shot themselves in the foot, as they had managed to do all day. It was like being in a giant aircraft hangar, crammed with stalls and rows of guests signing autographs and queue after queue of punters waiting to meet/have their picture taken with their various idols. Some people must have spent a fortune, as all these autographs and picture shoots cost anything from £15 to £60, depending on how “important” (i.e. “marketable”) the organisers perceive the guest to be. They must have made a fortune yesterday: don’t forget that all the stall-holders have to pay for their spaces—they are selling stuff, after all—and I bet that doesn’t come cheap!

The first thing we did was to try to get a ticket for TJ’s photo-shoot. He’d been allocated a pathetic 15 minute slot, nowhere near enough time to get in all the people who’d want to see him. Predictably, they had no tickets left.
“So we’ve queued outside for six hours to be told that!?” is my reaction.
“You could come back tomorrow” suggested the clerk on the desk.
“We’re not here tomorrow.”
“Next year book in advance” is the somewhat snide-sounding response.
“What after today? No chance!”
“Oh.” (Slightly taken aback person on desk.)

We find Simone and Jude (more or less by accident, in spite of 20 minutes of trying to get in touch by text!) Jude suggests we try for an autograph if we can’t get the photo. No tickets left for that either. I’m hot, stressed, hemmed in and getting a bit panicky and have your exhausted and deeply-disappointed Mum on my hands. I feel like punching someone or something. Fortunately, nobody presents me with an excuse to do so. We have to leave in 20 minutes to get to Euston. By that time we’ll have spent a grand total of 80 minutes in the place being squashed (both physically and psychologically) and bombarded (metaphorically and sonically). We hang gloomily around the Autograph area. TJ will have to pass by to get back to his desk there, to continue his signing: but when? Have the organisers whisked him away somewhere in between times?

Just as we hit the last 10 minutes of our time-window, I spotted someone who I thought may be him walking across...
”What’s he wearing today?” I asked your Mum (we’d seen Simone’s picture of herself with him.) At the same moment, Mum spots him approaching—I was right. It is him! She launches herself at him delightedly, saying who she is. He seems genuinely pleased to see us. By that time Jude and Simone have also spotted him. The rest, as they say, is history…

He was really enthusiastic and gracious and we got better and certainly less formal photos that the professionally-taken one would have been—and he stopped to chat for a couple of minutes. I don’t expect the organisers would be too chuffed, but as I thought, stuff them! It’s the people putting vast wads of cash into their pockets for them who are important; and it’s good to see that the guests are aware of this.
word count: 1690
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

Oh, Steph... my goodness! It sounds like one very, very, very poorly planned convention! Just the fact that it's a comic con and Stan freakin' Lee was set to be there should have clued them in that there would be an astounding number of fans wanting to be there. But that they gave TJ only 15 minutes? Shows they really didn't have a clue. I am so sorry that you and Ian ended up suffering in a long line of heat and sun - standing that long without much movement would have killed my poor ankle; I can only imagine how your poor feet must be feeling today! Ouch, ouch, ouch! *sends you virtual ice packs and comfy places to prop your feet*

I am so glad that you were at the very least able to meet TJ, even if it was only for a few minutes. If - after all that torture - you hadn't even had the chance to do that, I would have been so upset for you!

How was chatting with TJ? From all Sharon's accounts, I imagine he's a very enthusiastic, cheery and 'huggy' person, no matter how much time you had with him. :D

P.S. I loved your husband's account of the day. He's very humorous. "FOUR O'FLAMING CLOCK" was a personal favorite, as was this part: "I’m hot, stressed, hemmed in and getting a bit panicky and have your exhausted and deeply-disappointed Mum on my hands. I feel like punching someone or something. Fortunately, nobody presents me with an excuse to do so. " HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I likely would have felt the same.
word count: 275

stargazer
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:02 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by stargazer »

Goodness!! I'm so sorry that you guys had to deal with the heat and the unending lines! It sounds miserable! :( I'm happy that you finally got to see TJ, even though it was so brief. Thank you Steph and your hubby for sharing your experiences. :) Can't wait to see the pictures!!
word count: 54
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." ~Brian Littrell

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by ThyneAlone »

What's he like to talk to? Oh Lord. I can't remember much of what we said! I think I essayed a quite reasonable explanation of why I hadn't seen him before, what with the hours of standing in line and the travelling at 6 o'clock in the morning(this was after I'd called after him, looked up and said somewhat stupidly and awkwardly "I'm Steph": he had smiled with obvious astonished pleasure and said "But I thought you weren't going to make it!"), but every time I even mentioned what we had gone through to finally be there he kept hugging me, so it became a bit incoherent after a minute! He has one of those electric-light smiles that light up the room on entry so that contact is very warm and direct, both physically and emotionally. You can bathe in him. Charisma on tap. And he genuinely cares, you can tell, though honestly he must have been exhausted himself, sitting in that huge, hot, noisy building most of the day.

Of course I had to introduce Jude too, but she made a fair fist of it herself by racing over squealing. If I manage to get the pics up, you'll see my other half got a quick shot of us emerging from first hug, and Jude is over in the autograph queue looking shell shocked!
word count: 235
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
emi13
Fan
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by emi13 »

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I'm so sorry you
had to wait in that long line but very glad you got to meet him!
word count: 28
Dr. Jack Hodgins: Up and forward are only two directions. Science should look in all directions.

User avatar
MariaDiaper
Fan
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by MariaDiaper »

I went to Comic Con on Saturday, and I had pre-booked earlybird tickets & a pre-booked photoshoot with TJ and 2 others. I arrived at about 7.50am to queue to get in and I was inside the venue by 9am. I agree it was so disorganised and the heat was unbearable - when I got home I was dizzy, spinning, light headed, the lot.

That said, I did get lots of hugs, two autographs (1 free!), 2 gifts (an elastic band and a cute little bug) plus 3 photos from my camera even though I had a photoshoot later! TJ was very dedicated and really took his time with his fans despite it being terribly busy and packed, which I thought was amazing. He was so talkative, I forgot half the complimentary things I was going to say to him and we ended up talking about Oyster cards and the conversion rate between Pounds and Dollars! Honestly, fabulous to talk to. Without being in any way biased, he was easily the best guest there to interact with as he spent so much time talking to you etc. Plus, Showmasters charge per autograph but he gave me one for free because he said he liked my Jeffersonian lab coat (which was my cosplay), which I am sure Showmasters weren't happy about.

To be honest, the crew had no idea what they were doing, and everyone I asked just said "umm, I don't know", so I am very glad I pre-booked everything I could, and spent a dedicated day trying to devise my own personalised schedule.
word count: 268
Met TJ on 12/07/2014 at London Film & Comic Con.

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by ThyneAlone »

The crew were very rude and high-handed at times and far from helpful. I'm suitably jealous of your time with TJ but then that'll teach me to pre-book next time. Though if I'd pre-booked I wouldn't have had my wonderful husband with me.

And to be fair, I've been here since July 2007 (next week is my 7th TJ birthday), moderated here for nearly all that time and had a lot of contact with TJ tho this was my first full-on face-to-face.
word count: 93
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
MariaDiaper
Fan
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by MariaDiaper »

ThyneAlone wrote:The crew were very rude and high-handed at times and far from helpful. I'm suitably jealous of your time with TJ but then that'll teach me to pre-book next time.
Totally agree with you statement about the crew. They had no clue what they were doing. Definitely pre-book and arrive early because unfortunately so many people turn up on the day - sorry if you already knew this, it's a regular thing with cons.

As for TJ, I can give you my Facebook if you want to look at the small amount of photos I have (Haven't got around to uploading them from my camera yet), so it's mainly autographs and photos of guests so far I think. But they will be up.
word count: 132
Met TJ on 12/07/2014 at London Film & Comic Con.

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by ThyneAlone »

You can post your TJ photos here, Maria! WELL, especially as I don't have FB or Twitter. I'm a teacher - never a good idea to go where students can hack!
These are me & TJ taken by my beloved. oh plus Jude of course!


Image

Image

Image
word count: 45
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
MariaDiaper
Fan
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by MariaDiaper »

Image

One of the best photos from my camera, will upload soon I promise!
Image

My free autograph:
Image

Signed Bones Season 2 boxset (The autograph is not that light in real life)
Image

My Bones cosplay, which TJ loved.
Image
word count: 36
Met TJ on 12/07/2014 at London Film & Comic Con.

User avatar
MariaDiaper
Fan
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by MariaDiaper »

ThyneAlone wrote:These are me & TJ taken by my beloved. oh plus Jude of course!

Awww those photos are so sweet, I love the first one - looks like you are dancing with him!
word count: 33
Met TJ on 12/07/2014 at London Film & Comic Con.

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by ThyneAlone »

Yours are awesome too! That first one is when my husband just missed a shot of our first hug. Sooo lovely.
word count: 21
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
MariaDiaper
Fan
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by MariaDiaper »

Thankyou! Tbh, I never would have guessed he missed it, thought you were actually dancing aha. Can imagine him doing that!
word count: 21
Met TJ on 12/07/2014 at London Film & Comic Con.

User avatar
emi13
Fan
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:20 pm
Contact:

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by emi13 »

Those are awesome pictures! Thanks for posting and I'm so glad
You all were able to meet him!
word count: 19
Dr. Jack Hodgins: Up and forward are only two directions. Science should look in all directions.

User avatar
MariaDiaper
Fan
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by MariaDiaper »

Don't know if anyone was seen this, but just thought I'd post for those who haven't. I know TJ would be very touched to see so many of his fans speaking so highly of him!

http://showmastersonline.com/forums/ind ... opic=85261
word count: 45
Met TJ on 12/07/2014 at London Film & Comic Con.

User avatar
skftex
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2304
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:16 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by skftex »

I LOVE THE PHOTOS!! Love seeing our lovely Steph and Jude looking so happy. So thrilled for all of you that got to meet him! Great photo Maria too!

I am going to TRY to get TJ to do something for the homepage related to the CON but there are no guarantees. However, I do hope to do something with photos if I get enough people willing to let me use theirs and will put that on the homepage. If it is going to happen I hope to have it all ready next week.

I think it is so awesome we've gained some members because of the Con too! GOOD JOB TJ!

Oh and thanks for adding the link to the thread on the Showrunners site Maria, I had seen the thread but didn't even THINK to add it. :happy-cheerleaderkid:
word count: 141
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by ThyneAlone »

Thanks for the link to the TJ Appreciation thread Maria, that's brilliant! Can't think of anyone who deserves it more. Obviously I wasn't in amongst that lucky lot (that would have been cool, to get a bug and an elastic band!!), but he made everyone feel special so I am more than happy with just the couple of minutes.

Sharon, if you wanted a picture of me you only had to ask..

...LOL. ;)
word count: 76
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
skftex
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2304
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:16 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by skftex »

Oh Steph, you know I was just going to use your photos without asking.... :laughing-rolling: :icon-razz: :eusa-whistle:
word count: 14
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro

stargazer
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:02 pm
Location: Florida

Re: London Film & Comic Con

Post by stargazer »

It is so great that so many people got to meet TJ and really find out what an awesome guy he is!! The pictures are great and it's nice finally putting faces to the names! :)

Welcome Maria and thank you for sharing your pics and the link to TJ's appreciation thread. All of this just puts a huge smile on my face! :D
word count: 64
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." ~Brian Littrell

User avatar
Sculder1013
Super Fan
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:19 am
Location: UK

LFCC

Post by Sculder1013 »

Sorry if I have missed this from somewhere else on the site. I just wanted to share my experience of meeting TJ at the LFCC and some photos and hear from anyone else who got to meet him there...

As soon as I arrived (about 9:30am) on the Saturday I went straight to TJ's table to get a virtual pass. He was already up to over 180 fans waiting to see him so I got a ticket and came back later in the day. I have a broken ankle and was in quite a bit of pain by the time I got in line for TJ in the afternoon. I stood there for about 10 minutes and one of the event runners came over to where I was and cut the line off and said they were closing TJ's queue for health and safety reasons. She told me to come back later. I explained that I had waited all day to come see TJ and that I am not going anywhere as I have a broken ankle and need to rest and not be walking on it more.

She told me to wait there but that I couldnt join the line. Then for 45 minutes I stood on the spot and the line for TJ just did not move AT ALL because people kept just joining from the sides of the queue and the show runners wouldnt let me or the other behind me join at all. Finally they let us join the queue and I waited probably another 40 mins or so to get to the front. TJ was taking a lot of time with each fan he spoke to which was absolutely awesome.

When I got to the front he said "Hey what's your name?" and opened his arms wide for a hug. I told him my name and we chatted for a few minutes about how I had hurt my leg and had watched 7 seasons of Bones in 3 weeks back to back haha. I told him I had waited a LONG TIME to meet the King Of The Lab. He laughed and said it was a pleasure to meet me. He also said "let me get a King Of The Lab on here for you Emma" and smiled as he wrote my autograph out. He told me to make sure I take a bug and a rubber band with me before I leave him. I asked him for a photo and he said of course and he wrapped his arm round me while my friend took the photo. I think a really nice thing that he did was that he asked me to check the photo to make sure it was ok or we could take another. That was lovely of him as most people dont do that.

We chatted a little minute longer and I told him I am looking forward to Season 10 of Bones, and he thanked me for coming out to meet him and for waiting so long especially with a broken ankle. I told him I wasnt going to let a broken ankle stop me from meeting the King Of The Lab. He laughed and said that's really awesome. Finally we said our goodbyes and as I was about to walk away he said "hey Emma can I get another hug?" - I smiled and grabbed him for another squeeze. He told me he hopes my leg feels better soon and I left him.

I was absolutely GOBSMACKED at how nice he was. I mean I had seen that he was nice with the other people in line but I couldnt actually believe how amazing he was. My time with TJ was most definitely the highlight of my entire day - and thats even more than when I got to meet Robert Knepper as he was my main reason for going to the event.


Then a little later I was walking through a crowd of people and TJ was just stood in the middle of everyone chatting away and having photos taken. It was really funny because my friend tapped him on the arm as he walked away and said "Hey TJ can we grab a quick photo?"... he looked really apologetically at us as his "handler" as I would call her was frowning and trying to pull him away... and he said "I can give you a hug?" - I laughed and said "i'll take it" and he smiled and gave me a hug and then said "ill be back..." - Such a lovely guy.

Anyway sorry to ramble, it was just a lovely experience and I cant wait to meet him again next time. Here is a photo of us from the day...

Image


Such a lovely photo I think.
word count: 803
Image