Gallery & Video: Comic Con, NEC

From whole families decked out in home-moulded rubber Batman costumes to Thor swinging his famous hammer - hoards of dedicated fans descended on the Comic Con and Memorabilia Show at the NEC.

Months of effort went into many fans' costumes, including that of Lewis Hill, a chef at Nando's at Bentley Bridge - who styled himself after Tony Stark in Iron Man.

He created a replica of the fictional arc reactor in Mr Stark's chest in the comics - which powers his armour and a magnet keeping sharpnel out of his heart at the same time.

The 22-year-old Mr Hill, of High Street, Wednesfield, fashioned it out of a sink strainer, a travel mug and installing his own LED lights, and he also used scrap he bought from ACS Metals on Stafford Road, Wolverhampton, for £4 to make his own Iron Man arm.

He said: "I spent a couple of months researching how to make the replicas and I think they've probably cost me around £50.

"I did not so much start going to conventions for that in itself, I just really enjoy building things and I am a massive Iron Man fan."

Not only did Mr Lewis style his clothes and costumes after Mr Stark but he even crafted his facial hair into the same iconic beard - a look he said was preferred by his girlfriend Katherine Hemmings, who also attended the NEC show dressed as Tinkerbell from the Peter Pan stories.

Miss Hemmings, a broadcast journalism student at the University of Wolverhampton, also made her own costume and was taking another leaf out of Disney's book with an Alice in Wonderland costume for Sunday's convention.

Credit controller Jerry Cannon-Moore worked on his Captain Hook costume from April until November last year, on and off, with his partner Terry, a hairdresser sewing on each Ostrich feather onto his pirate hat individually as well as ironing the velvet carefully into place.

Mr Cannon-Moore, from Lower-Gornal, aged 50, said: "I always like dressing as the villains really."

Terry Moore, meanwhile came as Flynn Rider from Disney film Tangled, and added: "It's great to meet people who enjoy similar things and you chat to them all for months after the shows."

Some fans travelled for hours to make the event, including Burleque dancer Mojo Jones, from Exeter, whose costume was a hybrid of Poison Ivy from DC Comics and the Sith Lords from Star Wars.

Miss Jones, 31, said was brave enough to take the train to the event in costume, adding: "There were plenty of others in costume so it was fine."

Ryan Cooper, a sheet metal engineer, meanwhile drove down from Manchester, albeit he could not fit in his car wearing his giant costume of so-called Daedric Armour from action roll playing game  The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Professional costume maker Paul Wares, who runs Hero Wares, also travelled from Wilshire to attend his first event together with his family - all in various Batman character costumes.

His partner Claire Deeble said they made a fine double act as she did the sewing while he casted the masks for all four of them - including Keaton Wares, aged nine, and Isla Deeble, also nine - out of polyurethane rubber.

A host of famous names also appeared at this weekend's Birmingham Comic Con and Memorabilia show, including Louise Jameson, who played Leela, the barbarian companion of Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor Who, as well as starring in Bergerac and Eastenders as well as John Leeson, best known as the voice of the series’ robotic dog, K9.

Ms Jameson admitted she had met some fans for whom she was a teenage crush during the convention, and that one mother had also shared a heart-warming story with her.

She added: "I spoke to a woman whose son was autistic and did not speak until he was seven and his first word was Dalek because he saw one on the television.

"Since then he has found speech. His mother said the show had peeled something away in his brain and made him able to communicate."

Her next project will be playing Miss Marple in a run starting in May in Belfast, but in the meantime she continues to work with Mr Leeson voicing Doctor Who audio tapes with a company called Big Finish Productions.

Mr Leeson said of Comic Con: "Everybody seems to have a go with their costumes and the most amazing thing is people watching.

"The most extraordinary thing for me is when young children came past me and they don't know me from Adam but they recognise photos of K9 behind me and I do the voice - I get the most amazing reaction and it's a wonderful feeling. You just can't put that in the bank."

Also signing photographs and posing for pictures with fans was Jenny Hanley, who appeared in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service with George Lazenby, as well as in television series Magpie and the movie Scars of Dracula with Christopher Lee.

She said: "I think these conventions are wonderful. It really shows dedication  a huge nod to those people they admire.

"Of course you meet fans who remember you for different projects but I've spent most of my time sitting alongside Ray Brooks so people keep reminding me of a wonderfully awful film we made together called The Flesh and Blood Show so that's been fun too."

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