At Comicon. Olympia London 29th July 2017
Life starved of light will often hunger for meaning,
Sometimes paper thin, those things written
Can truly satisfy worlds of men,
Not to mention young women too
At this year’s Comicon exhibition,
Which demonstrates how past cultures, can always,
With will, start again.
Thanks to Christien Anholt’s largesse,
I had been gifted a ticket, travelling there, seeking pleasure,
Having never attended before, I felt blessed.
A Saturday to be spent as Saturdays should;
On adventure, or on exploring the city,
Despite it being cloaked in strange dress.
As I approached Kensington, I started to see them;
Olympians in their costumes gathered on Olympia’s streets
With their swords, as well as their light sabres and guns,
Complete with an incongruous salad,
As if death and glory needed a greater sustenance given
Than that to be granted by a graphic novel’s bright words.
Girls with submarine volumed breasts,
Young children dressed up like Bikers,
For the Comicon’s more than comics, its TV and film, pulp and cult,
Everything under the sun and an alien moon, or a sand dune,
Anything won or conjured within the plastic dreams such fans sculpt.
As I entered the space I was part of densely populated new landscape;
A middle earth now located on the first and second floor, and the third;
An Aircraft hangar of souls, hungering for the flesh of their favour,
As new and former celebrities gathered to legitimise the absurd.
This overcrowding of taste clearly invoked fresh sensations,
As TV shows, films and people associated with fantasy found new skin.
Benedict Cumberbatch, the aforementioned C. Ahholt,
John Cleese, John Rhys Davies, Missi Pyle, Carol Cleeveland,
The wonderful Sarah Douglas, resplendent in blue, new stars too..
Pamela Anderson, looking, it has to be said, quite enchanting,
Appearing at select intervals like a mirage, for those keen and eager
To see if her appeal was still true. At some distance, it was,
As I continued to scour. There were very few actual comics,
Maybe three stalls in all, yet upstairs, practitioners sat, such as
Leah Moore and her husband, John Reppion at the Heavy Metal Stall,
While Marv Wolfman, comics’ artist of old, sat engaged.
Down below, in the throng, there were Wonder Women
In wheelchairs. There were Blades, they were Batman’s
And others simply re-activating their dreams.
There was a reverence here for lost worlds, squandered
Because they never fully existed, so the actors who sat and signed
Became emblems of the shows and films childhood screened.
Childhood is not the childlike; fantasy replicates it,
Removing us from our troubles, so work like this benefits,,
Both the untutored heart and the romantic soaked
In seclusion, there is nothing quite like meeting someone
Who played a character your hopes battle,
Or to whom, in the right lighting, you would more than happily
Now submit. Seeing these people older now,
The weathered and worn are reminded of a long sought desire
Whose hand you can hold and eyes scan; now you can grow
Warm to the cold that once placed these things at a distance,
And so conventions are congress between golden royalty
And the insecure common man. Today, every woman dressed up,
Wanting a speed date with their hero. I watched them preen,
And spend money on the particular chance to confront
Or grow close to someone they prized, and I watched the actors, too,
Worn but greatful for this fresh celebration of all that they themselves
Valued once. Their talents. Their time. And perhaps their partial
Suffering also, as their own lives were affected
By some of the pressures they faced. Although insane,
Here the famed can find the true reason for it;
A plastic dedication which will not yield to the flame.
If preserved, it remains, that thing they once were, making movies,
And maybe still; their diversions over time become fact.
If you can move someone else, or be part of another world
They can move to, or make them laugh, cry, or hard, there’s the glory,
Whether or not the show’s bad. Its what it does to you and its hold,
A result of what the last century gave us; the techniques
To evaluate this one, or any of those after that.
I spent four hours inside, roaming the halls, watching others,
Both the Spendwells and the makeshifts, each seeming to seek
A star’s kiss. I saw an education in tat, and then beautiful books,
Looks and objects. I saw a Grail of Python imitators
And one of about twenty Supermen take a piss.
I saw how the past can return to make an enthusiast’s future.
I saw how a bare space can become a thriving kingdom of souls.
Comicon and its like have become the fresh temples.
The Gods maybe different, or out of tune with the times,
Or they may well be singing the song that provides the new anthem;
These people, unbound, have found something;
The freedom to unearth your own light.
David Erdos 30th July 2017