2021 Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention

By Doug Ellis: The 20th annual Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention is now just over a month away. The convention will take place on September 10-12, 2021 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois.  As usual, we will have auctions on both Friday (September 10) and Saturday (September 11) nights, and this year’s auctions will truly be fantastic. 

The Friday night auction features 200 lots of material from the estate of famed collector Robert Weinberg, while the Saturday night auction begins with 96 lots from the estate of Glenn Lord, literary executor for the Robert E. Howard estate, followed by 5 lots from the estate of author and Arkham House co-founder August Derleth, finishing up with several lots from other consignors.  And additional lots will be added to the Saturday night auction at the convention, to include material consigned there by convention attendees. 

Among the highlights in this year’s auctions are: 

  • A fine copy of the October 1933 issue of Weird Tales, featuring the Margaret Brundage’s famous Batgirl cover 
  • A beautiful copy of the August 1929 issue of Weird Tales, featuring Robert E. Howard’s “The Shadow Kingdom” – the first sword and sorcery story! 
  • A lovely copy of the February 1928 issue of Weird Tales, featuring “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft 
  • Numerous other issues of Weird Tales, including several Conan issues, many in gorgeous condition (likely publisher file copies) 
  • Robert E. Howard’s incredibly scarce first book, “A Gent from Bear Creek”; fewer than 20 copies are known to exist 
  • Several letters to Robert E. Howard 
  • August Derleth’s rarest book, “Love Letters to Caitlin”, of which fewer than 20 copies exist 
  • Clark Ashton Smith’s “Ebony and Crystal” – inscribed and signed by this legendary fantasist to his friend, Robert E. Howard 
  • A rare signed letter from Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright to one of Weird Tales’ few female authors, Greye La Spina, from 1925 
  • The manuscript for “Divide and Rule” by L. Sprague de Camp, which ran in Unknown 
  • A signed copy of “The Horror on the Asteroid” by Edmond Hamilton, the author’s first book 
  • Other signed items by H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth, Otis Adelbert Kline, Dean Koontz, Max Brand, Fritz Leiber, Zorro author Johnston McCulley, Spider author Norvell Page and many others 
  • The first year of the pulp Astounding Stories of Super-Science 
  • The only issue of the Amazing Stories Annual from 1927, featuring “The Master Mind of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs 
  • Complete runs of the pulps Unknown, Strange Stories and Tales of Magic and Mystery 
  • Many rare U.K. and Australian science fiction pulps and books 
  • Numerous Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft items 
  • Rare items by Clark Ashton Smith, including “The Star Treader and Other Poems,” “Nero and Other Poems” and the manuscript for “The Dragon-Fly” 
  • Many early Arkham House books, including Robert E. Howard’s “Skull-Face and Others”, H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Outsider and Others” and “August Derleth: Twenty-Five Years of Writing, 1926-1951” 
  • Frank Belknap Long’s rare “A Man from Genoa and Other Poems”, published in 1926 in an edition of less than 300 copies 
  • A complete bound set of the legendary fanzine, “The Acolyte” 

And much more! 

The complete auction catalog, along with images, is now available on our website

More details will be posted on our Facebook page.  

The website will also soon have details on absentee bidding, for those who can’t make it to the convention. 

But the auctions aren’t our only highlight!  Friday through Sunday, our massive dealer room will be buzzing, bursting with 180 six foot long tables, with roughly 100 dealers from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. displaying pulps, vintage paperbacks, science fiction, fantasy & mystery hardcovers, golden and silver age comics, original illustration art, movie memorabilia and more. There will be loads of SF books, pulps and art available from many dealers familiar to attendees of SF/fantasy cons, such as Greg Ketter/Dream Haven, John Knott, David Aronovitz, Jane Frank/Worlds of Wonder and many others.  

Our art show will feature a great display of art from the pulps Astounding and Black Mask.  As usual, our film programming, curated by Ed Hulse, will run Friday and Saturday, showing movies and serials based on pulp stories.  Our evening programming will include presentations on Edgar Rice Burroughs and Black Mask.  And Sunday morning will see New Pulp Sunday, programming devoted to the vibrant and colorful world of New Pulp organized by Ron Fortier of Airship 27 Productions.  And all attendees will get a copy of our fabulous convention book, put out by Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books. 

We hope you’ll join us for the fun and excitement at this year’s Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention!  For more info, contact Doug Ellis at pulpvault@msn.com

Dublin 2019 Scholarships to SMOFcon Europe

Dublin 2019 welcomes applicants for scholarships to attend SMOFcon Europe in Lisboa, Portugal, to be held December 3-5, 2021.  

Dublin 2019, following in the footsteps of CanSMOF, is offering a series of scholarships to attend SMOFcon, the annual convention runners’ convention.

Dublin 2019 wishes to encourage fans who wish to develop, learn and share experiences in conrunning. They recognize 2020 and 2021 have been very unusual and difficult years and hope this offer will help fans. 

Dublin 2019 is offering a total of 17 scholarships. 

  • 5 X €50 to local fans 
  • 4 x €250 to European Fans 
  • 4 x €250 to Irish fans 
  • 2 x €250 to worldwide fans 
  • 2 x €750 to worldwide fans 

Successful applicants will also receive a free membership to SMOFcon Europe, which supports all initiatives to bring fans safely together in Lisboa. The con will be held at the VIP Executive Art’s hotel.  

A Google form is available for application here: https://forms.gle/QyX6K53DCBdeNnHW8

James Bacon, the Chair of Dublin 2019, said: “Please do not self exclude. If you are involved in conrunning, or if you aspire to be, this is for you!”

Deadline for applicants is September 24, 2021, 23:59 Dublin time.   

If you have any queries, concerns, or questions, or if you cannot access the Google document, please email chair(at)dublin2019(dot)com

[From the press release.]

Eurocon 2023 Site Picked

Uppsala, Sweden was confirmed as the site of Eurocon 2023 during this year’s Eurocon (2021/Fiuggi, Italy).

The 2023 event will be held in conjunction with Konflikt 2023.

Follow them on social media:

2022. Eurcon 2022 will be held in Luxembourg as part of the annual Luxcon, and will be held in the very South of the Grand Duchy — in Dudelange, right next to the French border.

BIDS FOR FUTURE EURCONS. The following bid announcements for upcoming Eurocons were made this weekend in Fiuggi. Other bids are invited to email contact_esfs (at) esfs (dot) info to make their intentions known.

  • 2024 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2025 Åland, Finland
  • 2026 Berlin, Germany
  • 2028 Zagreb, Croatia

BasedCon Planning for Dozens of Attendees

BasedCon – A based sci-fi con, organized by author Robert Kroese to appeal to the “sci-fi writer or fan who is sick of woke politics,” is planned for September 17-19 near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The list of confirmed guests includes two-time Prometheus Award-winner Travis J.I. Corcoran, Robert Kroese, J.A. Sutherland, Hans Schantz, Jason Anspach*, Milo James Fowler, J. Daniel Sawyer, Dan Gainor, and Nick Cole* (asterisk indicates attending virtually).

On the BasedCon website, Kroese explains what “based” means to him and why his con has that name.

Why “BasedCon”?

In internet parlance, “based” means something like “in touch with reality.” Based behavior is the opposite of social justice activism, which is about meaningless virtue signaling and beating up strawmen. Some based beliefs include:

  • Men cannot give birth
  • Guns don’t kill people; people kill people
  • A fetus is a human being
  • Socialism has failed everywhere it’s been tried
  • Discriminating against white people is racism

BasedCon isn’t about pushing any particular ideology, but honest conversations have to start with a shared understanding of reality. If you think people with a certain skin color can’t be racist or you expect people to use made-up pronouns when talking about you, you may want to do a reality check before coming to BasedCon.

The BasedCon “About” page also devotes several paragraphs to the now-familiar “lost cause” genre narrative, for example —

Sci-fi cons used to be a lot of fun. They were places where people of all colors and creeds could get together to talk and learn about science fiction and fantasy books, games, movies, and TV shows. Then, starting a few years ago, things changed. Cons became increasingly dominated by a small clique of authoritarian jerks who made them into venues for pushing social justice dogma and, in the name of “inclusiveness,” shut down any opinions that didn’t align with progressive orthodoxy. You may remember the Sad Puppies saga, which culminated in WorldCon voters selecting “No Award” in several categories of the Hugo Awards rather than reward people outside their tribe…

Venue: BasedCon 2021 will be held at a privately owned property in Norton Shores, Michigan. How many people are they expecting to attract?

We have nine bedrooms onsite with 2-3 beds per room. If you prefer a private room, you can stay at one of the hotels nearby

Here are some tweets from earlier in the year when Kroese was still searching for a place to hold the event:

Here is some of the social media reaction, both favorable and unfavorable.

[Thanks to Anne Marble for the story.]

Further Clarification of 2023 Westercon Site Selection

From ye olde days — the 1973 Westercon program book.

Westercon, created in 1947, and which in its heyday drew a couple thousand fans, is held in a Western North American city – if one wants to hold it. Which right now is the problem.

In April, the 2021 Seattle Westercon announced it had disbanded. The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, stewards of the Westercon service mark, said they will hold a Westercon business meeting and conduct 2023 site selection at Loscon 47 in November. Originally, there was an unopposed 2023 bid for Tempe, but they withdrew last week.

The situation is made even stickier because the April 15 deadline for filing to be on the Westercon site selection ballot has passed and cannot be extended under the Westercon Bylaws. However, Kevin Standlee, Westercon 73 Business Meeting Chair, explained in a post at Westercon.org it is still possible for groups interested in hosting Westercon 75 to file as a write-in bid up to the close of voting at Loscon – which will be open only on Friday, November 26, 2021, and is scheduled to close at 8 p.m. Pacific Time on that day. So no bids will be listed on the ballot, but write-in bids will be allowed. Standlee describes the process in full here.

Should no bid be selected through the site selection voting process, the Westercon Business Meeting can select a site by a three-fourths vote. If they don’t, it’s then up to the LASFS Board of Directors to select a site.

Standlee’s condensed version of these options is:

  1. Site Selection will continue with write-in bids only.
  2. Site Selection voting will be on Friday only, but will stay open later than usual (8 p.m.)
  3. Any group that files the usual paperwork is eligible to win as a write-in.
  4. If no eligible group wins, then the Business Meeting on Saturday (time TBA) can select a site.
  5. If the Business Meeting cannot decide, then LASFS decides.

Tempe Withdraws 2023 Westercon Bid

The Tempe (Arizona) committee has dropped their unopposed bid to host the 2023 Westercon because the recovery from the pandemic has not moved quickly enough to assure them the region’s fans will support and attend their con. They are now considering a bid for 2025.

They announced on the bid’s website:

With sadness, CASFS and WesternSFA are officially withdrawing our bid to host Westercon 75 in Tempe, AZ in 2023.

This is because of the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic. While we expect that the country as a whole and the southwest in particular will be much more open in 2023 than it is today, that expectation has sadly not translated into support for Westercon 75 thus far and choosing to continue at this point would put both our sponsoring bodies at serious risk. We cannot survive on local fans alone. We also need regional fans to be ready to travel again and it’s clear that they’re not comfortable doing that yet.

The prudent option, which was taken unanimously by our committee and both our sponsoring bodies, is to withdraw at this time but to ready a future bid for a time when the wider community is hopefully ready to return to a physical Westercon.

Our current plan is to submit an equivalent bid to host Westercon 77 in Tempe in 2025, once we’ve agreed a contract with our hotel in mid-2022.

The bid was a joint effort of the Western Science Fiction Association and the Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society

Kevin Standlee explained on the Westercon.org that the site selection process for 2023 will be conducted at Loscon 47 in November 2021, because this year’s Westercon was merged into Loscon after the original Westercon 73 committee disbanded and handed the convention over to LASFS, owner of the Westercon service mark.

Standlee also told File 770: “Because Westercon’s deadlines are hard-coded into the Bylaws, we’re not allowed to reopen filing to be on the ballot. Bids can still file, though, and be eligible to win. There will still be an election (at Loscon), but if no eligible bid wins, it will go to the Business Meeting (at Loscon), and if the meeting can’t decide, then as you probably know, LASFS will have to decide.”

Purported Event Will Counter-Program the Seminar on Diversity in Tolkien

A little over a week ago the topics of papers scheduled to be presented at Tolkien Society Summer Seminar 2021 on July 3-4  drew criticism from conservative news sites and bloggers for focusing on “the many possible applications of ‘diversity’ within Tolkien’s works, his adaptations, and his readership.” Now a website for The Society of Tolkien – a sound-alike name, whose domain was just registered on June 17 – claims they will run an opposing online seminar on July 3.

Bounding Into Comics’ John F. Trent, a conservative news writer, devoted an article to the purported event: “The Society Of Tolkien Launches Counter-Programming In Response To The Tolkien Society’s “Tolkien And Diversity” Seminar” [Internet Archive link].

There are as yet no papers on the Society of Tolkien’s schedule [Internet Archive link.] They say this is what they are looking for:

When J.R.R. Tolkien created Middle Earth, he filled it with characters, themes, and dangers that leapt from the pages to intrigue, excite, and give hope to his readers. In these sessions, we’ll explore these concepts to celebrate all that makes his works stand the test of time and what we should take from them today.

Topics are 15 minutes each and may include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of characters, situations, and linguistics in the books
  • Military doctrine and tactics portrayed in the books or movies
  • Themes, lessons, and allegories drawn from or used by Tolkien
  • Works influenced by Tolkien’s writing
  • Works which influenced Tolkien’s writing
  • Middle Earth history

And they say topics should not include:

  • Concepts not included in Tolkien’s writing
  • The Black Speech of Mordor
  • General foolishness

The new website for the Society of Tolkien consists of only four pages — the home page, the program schedule (all “TBD” except for opening and closing remarks by “Danger Casey”), a “What is this?” page, and an accounting page [both Internet Archive links] listing $94 of website expenses they’d like to recover from donations.

[Thanks to Robin Reid for the story. Illo by Teddy Harvia.]

CanSMOF Offers Scholarships to SMOFCon 39

CanSMOF Inc. will provide up to three scholarships for convention runners to use towards the cost of attending SMOFCon 39, to be held in Lisboa, Portugal, December 3-5, 2021. SMOFCon is the annual convention about organizing Science Fiction conventions.

The first scholarship, of up to 1000 CAD, is open to a Canadian citizen or resident involved in running conventions, with a preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.

The second scholarship. of up to 1000 CAD, is open to anyone not residing in Europe* who is involved in running conventions, with a preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.

The third scholarship of up to 500 CAD is open to anyone involved in running conventions, regardless of their place of residence with a preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.

All scholarships come with an attending membership to SMOFCon 39, graciously donated by Smofcon 39.

The link to the application form is here.

Applicants will automatically be considered for any and all scholarships for which they are eligible. Preference will be given to fans who have not previously attended a SMOFCon, but this is not necessary to be an applicant. The submission deadline is September 24th, 2021, 23:59 SST (UTC-11). CanSMOF reserves the right to not award any or all scholarships.

More information on SMOFCon 39 may be found at here. General information about SMOFCon, including a list of past SMOFCons may be found here.

CanSMOF is a Canadian not-for-profit corporation that ran the 2009 Worldcon and is hosting the 2021 World Fantasy Convention and the 2022 SMOFcon.

*Europe defined as Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

[From the press release.]

Seminar’s Focus on Diversity in Tolkien Draws Conservatives’ Ire

The Tolkien Society Summer Seminar 2021 scheduled for July 3-4 – “a short academic conference of both researcher-led and non-academic presentations on a specific theme pertaining to Tolkien scholarship” — is free and online. Last year’s online event had over 400 viewers from 37 countries. (Register at this link.)

The topics of the papers scheduled for presentation in July have attracted lightning strikes from culture warriors John C. Wright, Bounding Into Comics’ John F. Trent, The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, and Not The Bee’s Joel Abbott. Meanwhile, The Tolkien Society has had to turn off comments on its own Facebook page.

The Society’s call for papers set this focus:

…Representation is now more important than ever and Tolkien’s efforts to represent (or ignore) particular characteristics requires further examination. Additionally, how a character’s identity shapes and influences its place within Tolkien’s secondary-world still requires greater attention. This seminar aims to explore the many possible applications of “diversity” within Tolkien’s works, his adaptations, and his readership….

And they have scheduled the following papers for presentation over the two days:

  • Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings
  • The Problem of Pain: Portraying Physical Disability in the Fantasy of J. R. R. Tolkien
  • “The Burnt Hand Teaches Most About Fire”: Applying Traumatic Stress and Ecological Frameworks to Narratives of Displacement and Resettlement Across Cultures in Tolkien’s Middle-earth
  • The Invisible Other: Tolkien’s Dwarf-Women and the ‘Feminine Lack’
  • Projecting Indian Myths, Culture and History onto Tolkien’s Worlds
  • The Lossoth: Indigeneity, Identity, and Antiracism
  • The Problematic Perimeters of Elrond Half-elven and Ronald English-Catholic
  • Hearkening to the Other: Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth
  • Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
  • Desire of the Ring: An Indian Academic’s Adventures in her Quest for the Perilous Realm
  • Queer Atheists, Agnostics, and Animists, Oh, My!
  • Hidden Visions: Iconographies of Alterity in Soviet Bloc Illustrations for The Lord of the Rings
  • Questions of Caste in The Lord of the Rings and its Multiple Chinese Translations
  • Stars Less Strange: An Analysis of Fanfiction and Representation within the Tolkien Fan Community
  • “Something Mighty Queer”: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the Works of Tolkien
  • Translation as a means of representation and diversity in Tolkien’s scholarship and fandom

The topics quickly attracted the attention of the conservative blogosphere.

Bounding Into Comics did a straight news story, “The Tolkien Society’s Summer Seminar 2021 Will Focus On ‘Tolkien And Diversity’” [Archive link], which nevertheless was enough to whip their commenters into a froth.

Then the pundits on other sites went to work.

Rod Dreher said in his short report for The American Conservative: “The Woke J.R.R. Tolkien” [Archive link] —

The reader who sent this in cites it as an example of O’Sullivan’s First Law: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” The Tolkien Society has announced its summer seminar — and hoo boy, is it ever woke!…

At Not the Bee (a Babylon Bee affiliate) Joel Abbott scoffed: “The Tolkien Society goes full woke, bows to the will of Sauron in unbelievable new summer seminar”  [Archive link.]

Here’s the first of the virtual sessions, just to give you a taste of how the Tolkien Society has abandoned reason for madness:

Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings

Someone has been looking into the Palantír seeing stones for far too long.

How is that an actual session being sponsored by the Tolkien Society??

We’re gonna put The Babylon Bee out of business at this rate.

Oh, but that’s just a taste of the insanity. If there were only a few sessions that were woke, you’d think they are simply trying to be relevant.

…Where does the Tolkien Society even go from here? They’ve already hijacked a devout Catholic’s epic saga of heroism and hope against all odds.

…Do they not hear themselves? These people probably fancy themselves free spirits like the elves, without realizing they’ve been taken by a Dark Power and mutilated, turned into a ruined and terrible form of life….

John C. Wright, in “Tolkien and Diversity” [Archive link], declared his own spiritual tone with typical heavy-handed irony:  

Please do not contact these people, harass these people, challenge any of them to a duel, or ignite a thermonuclear device in their vicinity. Wrath is a deadly sin, no matter how abundantly deserved or long overdue.

Nor he did spare the dictionary in the climactic lines of his jeremiad:

…Until and unless Professor Tolkien is canonized, despite the universal and ferocious sentiment of all hale and sound Men of the West, technically it is not blasphemy to utter injuries and libels against him, not even by grotesque and orkish freaks in service to the Dark Lord.

And the princes and stewards of the decayed remnant of lands not yet conquered by the Shadow have not the valor and wisdom of day of old, and will not lift up the sword against the malefactors. Numenor is fallen, the heroes of old are lost beneath the waves, and we will not see their like again. 

We scattered few who remain no longer have freedom of speech our fathers knew, but the trolls and unclean spirits in service to Dol Guldur enjoy the privilege, and were-worm lolls on his ill-gotten heaps of dwarven gold. 

[Thanks to Robin Reid for the story.]

London Comic Mart Resumes

James Bacon, left, and friends.

London Comic Mart, May 23, 2021 Royal National Hotel Russell Sq., London 

By James Bacon: The London Comic Mart has a long history, in various guises, can be traced back to the Seventies, and it continued today. The lockdown beginning to ease has recently allowed venues to open up and welcome fans. It’s been 435 days since I walked into a scout hall in Pollokshields, Glasgow for the Commando Swap Meet, and the lack of interaction and engagement, and just comics, is telling. 

I headed into London early. Once into the city, the streets were deserted, surely quiet on a Sunday morning, but as I watched a cyclist pedal down the wrong side of what is normally a brisk road, it is obvious that normality is slow to return here. But a small group of comic book fans had also made the trek in. Changes have occurred, the space normally for tour busses and vans maneuvering is now a courtyard with matted green fake grass, and plastic benches, so seating was socially distanced amongst the couple dozen people who were patiently waiting. 

The queue formed, there were no cosplayers, no people running around offering hugs, no cheer when the door opened, these are collectors, of all ages, quietly on the mission, looking for comics, or cards or pops, and hoodies adorned with Venom, Cap Shields, Hunger Games and Star Wars were de rigueur, amongst some slick looking styles, and relaxed casuals. The wide diversity of London gets good representation at this event, while it’s also a destination for hard core European collectors, literally jetting in for the day. Or used to be. 

There was a limit on how many people were allowed in, which was never met. One had to fill in a tracing form, masks were mandatory for those who can wear them, and hand san was in abundance. The tables themselves were much more spaced, an extra room had been utilised, and a number of tables were not where they once were, a whole island block no longer in existence, and more spacing. Many of the regulars were here, and there were dealers who were there who I had not seen before, but there were also one of two regulars missing, making me wonder and hope that they were OK. 

If you felt there was someone too close, there was ample move away space.  

Comics were of course in abundance, eight boxes at 20p next to some silver age, about 50 boxes at a £1 next to an incredible wall for of key titles, 40p, 50p, £850… all prices were catered for here, and I was astonished to see one dealer offering Fantastic Four 1, graded at 1.5 for £10,000. The first appearance of Catwoman, you can have that for four figures, while Star Wars comics from 2015, a pound, including number 1.  

Usually it is a swarming chaotic mess of humanity, a little jostling, pushing and squeezing to get into the comics, but today, well today it is different. A new politeness had descended upon everything, people were patient, stepping away or back, giving space, checking in, and generally the extra space helped. 

Dave Finn from Incognito Comics reported a brisk and positive trade, and he reckoned that business was similar to pre-Covid, but it was clear that people went in earlier, and with more focus, to get going. His wall, all colourful and full of the nice things had many gaps as the short day wore on. 

It was amazing to watch, as a few comics would cost hundreds, and then moments later, a stack cost so little. There was some serious spending happening and many of the dealers had interesting comics on their walls. 

Some of the dealers who specialise in recent comics sold cheaply (from the last six to eighteen months) were either not there, or those that were did not have as much as I expect. It was interesting, there was no sign of Far Sector, and no  DIE, Invisible Kingdom, Monstress and only a couple of very recent Ghost Spiders. There was a Far Sector 1 on wall, at a fascinating price, but the Hugo constituency have chosen comics which have sold through, which are popular, and obviously in demand,  as well as recognising the brilliance. 

Variety in pricing was obvious, with so many thousands of comics at a £1 or less, it was easy to find one person selling at a few or fiver, and the same to hand, being moved on. Stock in shops or stock rooms, is not what is wanted, here, there was a keenness to move stock on. It was great to hear sharp London voices getting good deals, everyone, sellers and buyers happy, with the transaction, and to see knowledge and at times watch on, and see incredible bargains. 

My purchase of the day was a Silver Age Captain America for a £1. 

Everyone was just so nice, so grateful to be back, elbow knocks were to greet people, not to sharply squeeze in and look at comics, everyone thankful for being there, well, and of course enjoying the browse, the hunt, the chase, ticking off the wants,  and taking in the comics. The outdoor bar filled up after lunch, and many like myself, moved on, headed off when it was time to do so, not hanging around unnecessarily.

The next Comic Mart is scheduled for 22nd of August, but the same team, Showmasters, will be bringing London Film and Comic Con to the Olympia in July, and with Christopher Eccelston and Fiona Shaw leading the dozens of TV and film guests, that is expected to be the next major event, in London. The full Showmasters team were here, welcoming and observing, taking it in, and It was nice to hear about future plans and the National Film and Sci-Fi Museum, which will open this summer. 

 A lovely day altogether, and great to get back.