Nerd Cons in Brum: UK Games Expo 2017

I have ineffably fond memories of last year’s UK Games Expo… if only because it was part of the tail-end of 2016 before Britain lost its fucking mind and fell for complete and utter bullshit. Right, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can get onto the actual convention.

As far as I can recall, there are two things I’ve never done at the Expo: booked in the full three days, and done a full day of roleplaying. The reasons were mostly logistical (it’s a good 40-60 minutes from my place to the NEC by train), but after using up some annual leave and 20 minutes on Trivago, I managed to get a three-day ticket and two nights at the Yardley Travelodge, a mere 20 minutes by bus to my destination. Continue reading


Nerd Cons in Brum: MCM Birmingham Comic Con, Spring 2016

By the time this comes out, the juggernaut that is The MCM  Group will have left the NEC once again, only to return in Autumn. Last time I attended the convention, I got rather huffy over of going on a Saturday (the very idea!) as the last time I did it was far too noisy for my delicate sensibilities. Well, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go there yesterday (I considered going on both days, but my wallet protested most vociferously).

Well, it seems my fears were (mostly) unfounded. True, there were a few times where the aisle I happened to be in resembled Spaghetti Junction in the late afternoon, but for the most part the crowds stayed on the right side of “busy”, and everyone was having a good time, which is as it should be. As for the price hike in tickets, that was ameliorated by simply buying one online – this meant I “only” spent £11, instead of the downright extortionate £15 I had to fork over last time. Continue reading

100 All-Time Greatest Comics… Improved: Yet another interlude

I’ve talked about the main problem I have with the list Imagine Publishing came up with several times, and I figured now would be as good a time as any to bring it up now; some of the comics just aren’t that great. Not that they’re bad (but there are a few of those, which I’ll get to later on) but they just don’t qualify as all-time greats.

I mean, I understand softballing people who are new to comics (incidentally, everyone who worries about picking up a comic halfway through the story… don’t. Comics nowadays are very considerate about bringing johnny-come-latelys up to speed, and DC and Marvel have their own wikis, so just look up the previous issue if you’re confused). But there’s a difference between going easy and just going for the safe option. Continue reading