Standing on the platform of our home town's train station, waiting patiently in the Autumn sun with the occasional chill wind brushing our cheeks, the last thing we expected was to be set upon by a couple of street children wearing Halloween masks. Unprepared for such blackguard activities we stood uneasy as they demanded something from us with the cry of "trick or treat". We clearly had no sweets with us, for as Valhallahan later stated "The only people who carry sweets around with them are old people and paedophiles". Valhallahan gave them 50p and they jogged on leaving us feeling amused and conned at the same time.
This was the start of our Halloween weekend adventure.
After a fairly short train and tube journey we boarded the DLR (Docklands Light Rail). Practically tripping over the sailor fuku clad jail bait, we were trying not to laugh too hard at the awkward, gangly, nerdlinger wearing tights and an unconvincing wig as part of his cosplay.
Eventually we arrived at the Expo and, while waiting for Valhallahan to finish a cigarette, I watched the cosplayers, amazed at some people's ingenuity but saddened by the lack of western comics inspired cosplay.
We walked through the doors only for Valhallahan to realise that he hadn't any creds on his person. So we joined the cue for the ATM behind what I later realised was a boy, but at the time assumed to be a deeply unattractive girl.
After quite a long time we reached the front, withdrew the notes and Valhallahan decided he needed a beer. In the mean time I found a great Robin costume and an equally good but very shy Poison Ivy.
With his alcohol levels now topped up we proceeded to find the ticket booth. Instead we found an hour long cue.
Time passed slowly as I annoyed Val with some Cannibal Corpse and Thai pop in the form of Neko Jump (which was then stuck in his head for the rest of the day) and discussed the differences between fences and walls with the kids behind us.
Finally tickets were ours and we could leave the depressing cue room and move on.
We both felt agitated and when Val decided it was time for a smoke and another beer, I decided to join him. A cool beer would take the edge off.
Now it was time to get in there and see everything this geekfest had to offer. The first stall I looked at was selling Anime DVD's at which some jive sucka dressed as Mario proceeded to tell me how great Dragon Ball Z was as if it wasn't the most popular anime series ever made. I moved away as quickly as possible.
Then we came across the Delorean. It even had the Hover boards propped up against the side. Awesome!
Shortly afterwards we found Twinkies! =O It was exactly the sugar fix I needed. As you can see Val was happy too. We found a comic stall and I bought a Namor grab bag which contained an annual which was a fun read. Also at the back of it there was a Marvel Masterwork pin up by Mike Mignola.
We continued to wander until we came upon what is called the "Comics Village". There was a hole bunch of indie creators flogging their wares. We stopped by the Accent UK stall and had a nice chat with the guys there and I purchased Martin Fink's The Man of Glass which was a nice read. I especially enjoyed the art. Valhallahan bought Wolfmen II: Fall of the Wolfmen. We moved on and saw some famous creators such as Bernard Chang, while he was doing a sketch for someone.
Next we had a chinwag with David Hine, who was kind enough to sign a copy of The Bulletproof Coffin #1 for Valhallahan, which was nice of him. The Bulletproof Coffin is a brilliant series which you should pick up if you get the chance.
We saw the legendary Chris Claremont, if only from a distance. I was totally annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring my copy of X-Men #135 (One of my favourite comic book covers ever) to get signed. Grr!
It was nearly time to go so we took on last look around and came across some great cosplayers such as...
...this Batman with Asian school girl genre combo. I think I had a dream a bit like this once but it was a lot more X-rated.
There was this great rendition of Rayne from the Bloodrayne series of video games (which I've never played). I know this has nothing to do with comics but just look at her. HAWT! This picture doesn't do her justice, srsly.
Also hot, was this fine young woman dressed as Black Canary, and looking pretty spot on.
This female Gambit costume was fantastic! The best Gambit I've seen.
I was impressed with the home made Invincible Costume and the brilliant female Dr Fate. I have no idea what the guy from Cats is all about, he just got in the picture. Dick.
It was finally time to leave. On the way out I caught a shot of a black Zatanna because I thought she worked it.
We ambled down the walk way towards the platform that adjoins the Excel centre, only to find security blocking the way. The platform was full and they weren't letting anyone else on. Because of this delay we failed to meet our friend in central and so we walked to soho. Thus began an amazing night out which including such antics as me giving 50p to a tramp who then took it upon himself to kiss me on the head =s, a brilliant gig from The Urban Voodoo Machine, an Addams Family themed burlesque act, being followed all the way to Old Street by an unknown Australian and finally ditching some acquaintances to make our way home.
6:00 am, Kings Cross station. Valhallahan scoffs a sausage and egg muffin from the golden arches while I sip coffee and get ready to devour a tasty pastry, happy and safe in the knowledge that we had a most excellent adventure.