So at the beginning of July I was lucky enough to be at London Film and Comic Con, pimping Tourmaline. Since it's about parallel worlds communicating with each other through dreams and dissociative mental states I had this idea whereby I'd make a fancy, vaguely steampunk-looking dream diary and invite passers-by to write in it - the plan being that once I'd collected enough I'd pick one at random and write it into the sequel to Tourmaline. (There's a picture of it at the bottom of this post). If nothing else it gave me a few days of good, solid work-avoidance.
The other ridiculously lucky thing was where I'd been put in the room. LFCC was in Earl's Court 2, which is basically shaped like a huge aircraft hangar. The front half of it was taken up with all the dealers' tables - toys, merchandise, movie-themed bondage gear, you know the kind of thing - and the second half was full of all the celebs, their autographing tables and photo rooms. Between the two was this big open space where people were milling around; most of them were 'normal' members of the public but lots of them were cos-players who were strutting their costumed stuff for all to see.
Some of them were truly amazing. You really need to watch this now:
Others... well, let's just say there's an argument in favour of the case for some people needing a licence to wear spandex.
My table was right on the edge of this big open space. I say 'mine'; I was sharing a table with the legend that is Robert Rankin, so let's be honest, it was his. I was hovering in awe on the sidelines. Anyway, there was a lot of passing trade, costumed and non-costumed. Most of them were interested in Mr Rankin, but enough people stopped to peer at this diary I'd made - and a few even wrote their dreams in it.
And here's the funny thing. By and large, the weirdest-looking people were the most reluctant to write anything down. It was the ordinary-looking folks who were happy to grab a pen and scribble down their dreamwrack from the previous night. A few said 'Oh, I don't dream,' which earned them some sideways looks from their partners, who I suspect had first-hand experience of their nocturnal twitchings and mumblings. Virtually EVERYBODY said 'Oh no, you don't want to hear about MY dream - it's far too pornographic,' and then once they'd read what the brave souls before them had written kind of shrugged and went 'Meh, maybe I will after all...' and picked up the pen. My favourite is the one from the person who dreamed they were a boiled egg. Not that that's pornographic. Unless you think it is, in which case that's on you.
My wise and original conclusions from this episode are therefore a) everybody thinks they are weird, but we're all just as weird as each other, in which case weird is actually just normal; and b) the weirdness wants OUT. Whether you wear it or write it, the weirdness doesn't care.
Also c) I'm never dressing up for one of these events. Probably best for all concerned.