Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Friday, July 12, 2013

HARRIET WADHAM: London Film and Comic-Con 2013 (or, ‘I Have Returned from My Lengthy Hiatus to Bring You Something You’ll Barely Understand Anyway’)

The sun was concealed behind layers of merciful cloud that morning. I’d prayed that it would remain that way for the whole day, but as anybody would be able to guess, it was not to be so. There was a lot of business in the early hours: zippers being pulled up, makeup being applied and in particular, cosplay essential- wigs being meticulously adjusted and done up. Nobody wants their wig to slip off in the middle of a convention.

Our daring troupe ran down to the bus station, amidst laughs and/or confused stares from the people milling around in Yeovil at quarter-to-eight in the morning, making it in a good amount of time to where we were to meet the rest of our convention group, quite aptly named ‘Geek-fest’ by the organiser. I also discovered that Harry, one of the other guys coming along with us, was going to be Deadpool for the day. I found this to be awesome, and we both ended up talking about comics a lot. My own cosplay was a heavy pink dress, complete with an apron, petticoat, long socks and a long pink wig. Needless to say, I almost fried - not such a good idea, as it turned out that there were virtually no cosplayers from my fandom (this being Hetalia. Jon vaguely knows, I know, Lars doesn’t want to know)! It was probably made worse by the fact I was doing an alternate universe cosplay. I really need to rethink my strategies.

The main amount of cosplayers were from Homestuck. If you don’t know what that is, then here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestuck). If you hate reading things that never seem to end, don’t read Homestuck. If you hate reading altogether then get off this whole website, because there are an awful lot of things to read when it comes to the CFZ!

Anyway, we ended up chilling out with a lovely group of Homestucks, whose cosplays were amazing and totally inspiring, and they were such friendly people. Yes, there are horned grey people. There is also a heartwarming display of self-esteem from Tavros. Can you guess who he is?
 The painful thing was that in the morning I was considering wearing my stuff from Homestuck but  went ahead with the whole Hetalia thing. Please excuse me while I internally berate myself for not seeing what the best decision would have been.

but there’s some charm to being at a convention. I think the highlight, for me, was standing on one of the balconies at the side of the ExCeL center and watching, momentarily, all the people milling about. It was like a wonderfully busy ant colony. I then saw a group of Deadpools dancing about, which was highly entertaining. The worst part was when I saw Slenderman. I have a fear of that thing. AND I AM CONVINCED I’M NOW ON HIS HIT LIST. THERE’S NO HOPE FOR ME ANY MORE.

I, unexpectedly enough, didn’t buy a lot. That’s because I only brought £20 with me, and then bought a little Wolverine plushie, a poster, some badges and a mobile phone charm of Miku Hatsune, and the plushie was ridiculously overpriced, but I have been after him for far too long now. He is small but majestic, which carries on the legacy of Wolverine quite beautifully. As I type, I am snuggling him. Next up, Thor….

One negative thing that has happened was my poster being mercilessly squashed. I have no idea who did it but it certainly was not me. Oh, the inhumanity! For the time being, it’s being professionally pressed back into shape under two books, one big box and my laptop, which is on top of the big box.

Anybody else who has ever had as much fun at a convention as I have will know exactly what I am talking about when they read the words ‘post-con depression’. At this point in time, it’s hitting me hard! So I find that the easiest way to battle this is to plan another cosplay. Expect a Peter Pan costume from me within the next few months.

Here’s a funny story: Whilst journeying around with the Homestucks, we managed to get uncomfortably close to Slenderman again. I was worried for my existence, especially after dear sweet Slendy’s head literally snapped around to stare at me. I wasn’t hard to miss. I then asked a Kankri cosplayer (shh) if we could abscond and Kankri then blew on his unique little whistle, yelling “Trigger warning! Everybody abscond!”

We did abscond indeed, because everyone is lovely like that.

I also narrowly evaded a claustrophobic situation when on the way back Geek-fest were going to go in the lifts to get down to the train station and I realised that the lifts were going to be crammed with people. Fortunately, Harry-Pool took us down the stairs instead.

How awe-inspiring it was on Saturday, though - so many amazing costumes, kind people, and photographs being taken. The most motivating cosplay was this - I am reliably informed that she was the Queen of Hearts from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and I heard her saying that it took her 6 months to make. The price? Ten grand. If that doesn't show how dedicated and brilliant some people are, I don’t know what does.

So to all of the people out there who also went to LFCC: I hope you had a wonderful time because I know I certainly did. If you know anybody in the pictures, please tell me! I would love to be able to credit them!
By the way, do you hear something? It is the sound of writer’s block shrivelling up and dying.
I think I needed to go to Comic-Con more than I realised.

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