SF/fantasy festival Collectormania comes to Milton Keynes on the weekend of May 28. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to attend such an event, or if you're curious about the sort of people who enjoy spending the day dressed as Stormtroopers, allow Sabotage Times to prepare you for the nearest thing to a nerd Olympiad
Unsure what to expect at Collectormania? Allow the following films to fill you in
i) Trekkies - Roger Nygard's documentary is a hysterical if tragic study of the people whose love of Star Trek series sees them attend festivals the world over and - in some cases - even go to work in full Starfleet regalia. Blimey, one woman even does jury service in a Shatner-style jumpsuit.
ii) Galaxy Quest - In Dean Parisot's top comedy, the cast of a forgotten TV series are visited by aliens convinced the washed-up actors are genuine warriors. Special mention must go to Alan Rickman whose Alexander Dane represents a real festival stalwart - the once-brilliant actor reduced to making B-movies.
iii) Paul - The Simon Pegg/Nick Frost road movie opens at the San Diego Comic-Con where our heroes meet arrogant Stephen King-esque author Adam Shadowchild (Larry Sanders' Jeffrey Tambor), have their pictures taken with forgotten SF stars and contemplate purchasing overpriced movie-related merchandise.
iv) Mallrats - Kevin Smith's shopping centre celebration includes a signing session with Marvel legend Stan Lee. Cue fanboy Jeremy London bombarding the comic-book kingpin with questions about superhero sex organs ("The Thing! Is his dork made out of orange rock like the rest of his body?").
v) Chasing Amy - Smith again, who kicks off his idiosyncratic romcom with a panel discussion about racism in the Star Wars universe ("What's a Nubian?") and a stand-off between Jason Lee's comic book inker and the 'fan' who thinks he's really little more than a tracer ("You're mother's a tracer!")
Your cutout-and-keep Collectormania eye-spy census
Award yourself a point if you see any of the following:
i) A man overheating in a Stormtropper uniform drinking through a straw to avoid breaking character
ii) A parent looking mortified that their child would rather attend a convention than, say, a football match
iii) A dwarf having a go at a child who's several inches taller than they are
iv) Members of rival Star Trek species making-out in a secluded corner
v) The guy out of that thing that only aired once some 30 years ago shouting "Don't you know who I am?!"
vi) Someone paying well over the odds for merchandise allegedly signed by Doug McClure
vii) Guys dressed as Boba Fett asking one another what their rocket packs are made out of
viii) A down-on-his-luck performer trying to sell a clearly self-published autobiography
ix) A parent refusing to let their child play with a recent purchase on the grounds that "it's not a toy"
x) A fan annoying an actor by constantly referring to him/her by his/her character's name
A man overheating in a Stormtropper uniform drinking through a straw to avoid breaking character
Getting Into Character
What you'll need if you're planning to attend Collectormania as...
i) Shaun Riley, Shaun Of The Dead
* A white shirt
* Black slacks
* Black loafers
* A cricket bat
* A name tag
* Some red on you
ii) Tyler Durden, Fight Club
* Sun glasses
* The tackiest charity shop T-shirt you can find
* The sort of jeans a man could go 15 rounds in
* Charisma to spare
iii) Frodo Baggins, The Lord Of The Rings
* A curly brown wig
* A blowsy shirt (or failing that, some sort of tabard or smock)
* Three quarter-length trousers
* Bare feet (preferably hairy)
* No social life
iv) Clark Kent, Superman
* A grey suit
* NHS specs
* Little imagination
* A pair of red swimming trunks
* A red picnic blanket
* Red wellies
* Yards of blue spandex
* Lots of help from your mum
This year's event takes place between 16th - 18th May