After the show everyone retired to the bar, some for drinks, some to listen to tunes from DJ Mermaid, others to play with the Nintendo 3DSs installed, and other simply to have some serious geek talk. What else do you want from a sci-fi festival, apart from great films, which we have lined up for the rest of the ten days?
Hot spring day, Easter Saturday, first episode of the new series of Doctor Who: not what you want for the opening night of a film festival. Despite those odds and a 5 o’clock start there was an excellent crowd that turned up for the opening event of the tenth edition of SCI-FI-LONDON, and who wouldn’t want to come out to listen to writers Jamie Delano, Peter Milligan and Andy Diggle, along with legendary artist David Lloyd, of V for Vendetta fame, talking about 25 years of Constantine comics. The Q&A was led by Alex Fitch from Panel Borders, the comics radio show on Resonance FM. The conversation got off to a slow start because the artists were feeling a little reticent, but it wasn’t long before they were sharing anecdotes from their quarter century involvement with one of the iconic characters of comic books, and more importantly revealing some of the realities of the world of comic creation with a major publishers. After an hour, the guests were ushered out so we could show Constantine, the movie based on the character they had originally brought to life. The conversation was continued in cinema bar, and also in the VIP suite where Lloyd spoken fervently about the importance of comics, their storytelling and artwork, and also his work teaching this in schools. Of course the conversation covered many more subjects as it organically meandered, and included his thoughts on corruption that inspired his graphic novel Kickback.
The other event of the night was Your Days are Numbered: The Maths of Death, which successfully proved that “life’s a laugh and death’s a joke”, as was sang at the end of The Life of Brian. Screen 4 was almost full as Matt Parker and Timandra Harkness successfully blended the unlikely cocktail of maths, statistics and stand-up comedy, which actually included a bar secreted behind the clock of death as proof that a little alcohol is actually good for you, but a lot is very bad. They also tried to counter the data that no one in Britain is likely die from a shark attack by actually attacking a member of the audience with a shark.