27th May 2017
Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL
Cosplay – a fact which will surprise nobody – first became a ‘thing’ in Japan in the 1980s, but the desire to dress up in honour of science fiction/fantasy characters is almost as old as the genre itself: the UK has been having conventions for decades – in fact in Leeds in 1937 all the attendees came dressed as Dr Who long before the series even existed. There’s time travel for you.
These days Comic Cons are very big business indeed: the Excel spring gathering is amongst the grandest, being able to draw on plenty of obliging guests from an ever expanding industry to entertain an apparently insatiable audience that is increasingly comfortable its desire to celebrate its heroes in appropriate outfits [although I’m not entirely sure who this castle is actually celebrating].
The (official) cast list for this particular gathering included a former Hulk and Flash Gordon, who don’t seem likely to be forming a heroic double act any time soon by all accounts. Still – a good reason to revisit Queen in their pomp.
Meanwhile, Spring holiday being in full swing, there’s lots of other stuff going on in town, notably dancing: in Potters Field Park hundreds of young Spaniards are enjoying the opportunity to treat us to some flamenco dancing, and just up the road in Borough Market, it’s Tango (and the Chacarera) that’s keeping everyone on their toes.
The weekend immediately following this joyous event the market suffered one of the most violent terrorist attacks in the capital in recent memory – there’ll more on that in a later entry.