With the UK con scene beginning to wrap up for the year, MCM revisits London for its usual bi-annual convention at the ExCel Centre. With an estimated 130,000 visitors gracing the grounds across the weekend, the halls were brimming with attendees. Headlining guests of Simon Pegg, Tara Strong, Wyatt Oleff, and acclaimed comic book talent of George Perez, David Hine and Ian Churchill to name a few.
A new addition to our experience this time attending was the MCM Comicon phone app. My first time using this as recommended by staff, it’s nice to see the convention stepping away from physical guide books only. It provides everything from timetables, being able to search for panels, checking on buying promos with the guests to helping find booths you’re interested in. The app did leave a small amount to be desired, sometimes it would be difficult to find what you were after (most of the cosplay events were not listed very well, and searching for ‘cosplay’ often did not yield very efficient results) but it’s great to see more conventions taking up this more accessible route for information. This was super helpful for locating the exclusive MCM merch and our free pin for attending.
Never a quiet moment inside with a pleasant selection of stalls, vendors, and exhibits. Some popular favourites returned – the extremely popular Funko, with seemingly endless queues for the MCM Exclusive Pops, CEX with their usual giveaways and competitions and Tokyo Toys.
Lots of entertainment where you could try new games or join in fun events with Cyberpunk, BBC Doctor Who and Steampunk emporium to name a few of the vibrant booths.
There was an immense amount of panels running across the weekend across 7 stages, from Larp 101 on the live stage, How to make big costumes on the cosplay central stage and The adventures of Tara Strong on the Live Stage. I was impressed by a wider variety of genres being brought to the table, from anime, K-pop, games and comic creation along with the cosplay championships and masquerades.
Some fantastic props and sets have been dotted about the event made for a pleasant new addition for cosplayers and attendees looking to get those perfect selfies. Situated in The Studio, MCM’s dedicated media area aimed at streamers, YouTubers and influencers, and around their main rest area, The Tree House, an American style dinner, cherry blossom trees, a life-sized unicorn and dragon perfect for your snaps.
As an avid cosplayer, it was great to see MCM had been adding more workshops and events into their time tables to get cosplayers more involved in their community and help them grow with another platform to learn on. Excited to give this a go, I and Demorafairy signed up for one of the masterclasses run by the international cosplay guests. Excited to see some of these masters and learn from the best, it was an easy application to sign up, dropping an email to ensure your booking on the course, reminded that if you failed to turn up, you would not be allowed to sign up for these workshops in the future.
Unfortunately on the day of our chosen workshop, Cosplay Masterclass: Creating Cosplay Performances, we had not received any updates as to where to workshops where being held and very few of the staff even seem to have any idea they were on. We were escorted by staff into the bowels of the building almost missing the start of the slot. Considering the warning that was provided, more information as to where to attend would be beneficial.
The panel itself was fabulous, and well done to the Binkxy who held such an informative workshop, even when limited by the equipment provided.
The highlight of my weekend personally is the Eurocosplay Championship, live-streamed out, and organised fabulously, the stage runners and contestants put on an amazing show, congratulations to the winners: Marudashi Cosplay from Denmark, Maija from Finland and Abi of Family Cosplay from the UK!
Pros: accessibility, more doors and ways to enter and excite the building.
A wider variety of panels than usual, stepping into more workshops.
Cons: Staff didn’t always seem to be aware of what was going on and where workshops need better organisation.
The weather (It was rubbish but I know you can’t fix that!)