London’s MCM Comic Con is by far of the UK’s biggest comic cons, attracting cosplayers and fans from all around. This was my third time visiting the Excel centre for the con and the first time going on a Friday. I have to say, as with most cons with a three day weekend, visiting on a Friday will usually mean a few things.
1) It’s usually less crowded so cosplayers tend to where their bigger costumes on these days in the hopes there will be less people they accidentally hit with a worbla weapon, or extended tail. This makes for great photos.
2) Prices will generally be a little less than they are on the Saturday, cheapest on Sunday.
3) You may have less wait time in queues for photos/autographs with guests and celebrities.
Despite the mess that is our current train service here in the UK, more than 131,000 visitors made the trip to Excel. I personally managed to get to MCM relatively unscathed and because I went later, didn’t even need to queue for entry. I was most surprised at this, I’ll be making a mental note for the future. In total, 131,308 fans of film, sci-fi, gaming, anime, manga, online video, comic books and cosplay came along to the comic con – slightly up on the 130,560 figure for October 2015’s show, which already positioned the London event as the third largest comic con in the world.
Special guests this year included stars from brand new Doctor Who spin-off Class; the second series of hit sci-fi show Humans; Hooten And The Lady leads Michael Landes and Ophelia Lovibond; and UK rapper Akala, there with a world exclusive reading of his new graphic novel.
Other guests meeting fans included The Flash’s Violett Beane; Agent Carter’s Enver Gjokaj; Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber; Star Wars’ Warwick Davis; Rooster Teeth founder Geoff Ramsey; Adventure Time head writer Kent Osborne; videogame legend Suda51; Artemis Fowlauthor Eoin Colfer, and anime aces Takeshi Honda and Naoyoshi Shiotani, not to mention a host of super-talented YouTubers, comic artists, writers and voice actors.
In all honesty, I didn’t have much to do with the staff of this years event because believe it or not we weren’t given press passes! MCM continues to grow each year of course so this is understandable to some degree. There was something however that happened that I couldn’t understand. Now I had to exit the centre on the west side to meet up with our wonderful collegue Tabitha and her cosplaying friends for interviews. However, when I tried to enter back in the way I’d come we were told that because we had priority entry tickets we had to walk all the way back around again. This wouldn’t have been a problem if it wasn’t a walk and a half and I was accompanied by someone who was still recovering from a foot injury. I suppose I should have explained and perhaps the security would have been kind enough to let us through but as my friend wasn’t actually displaying any visible signs of injury I’m not sure they would have bought it. It was a stupidly long way for people to take just because they had priority tickets and I have no idea why they were insisting we walked round.
The cosplay at MCM was fairly impressive considering I went on a Friday and I even got to see our beloved Baymax waddling around. But my personal favourites were of course the Pokemon Cosplays of our own Tabitha Hastie, AKA Demora Fairy Cosplay, and her friends! Their cosplays were Jigglypuff, Blissey and Shiny Mega Ampharos! They totally pulled it off!
Thank you also to these lovely ladies for being my interview subjects! (The videos of which will up soon!) You can find their pages here-
www.facebook.com/DemoraFairyCosplay(Blissey on the left!)
www.facebook.com/Alittlebitenvyious (Mega Ampharos in the middle!)
www.facebook.com/kallimackcosplay (Jigglypuff on the right!)
Vendors included fan favourites CEX, and plenty of candy stall stocked with international sweets and drinks. MyGeekBox was also present handing out boxes for five pounds each but we were disappointed upon opening our boxes to find that we’d received exactly the same items. This in itself is almost excusable because companies obviously want to make money and spend very little so they give you cheap items. But it was most upsetting that not even all the items seemed totally suitable for a ‘geek box’ – (one of which was a plastic chilli sauce squeezy bottle in the shape of a chilli pepper. Bit poor don’t you think?)
Though food is always provided at MCM, and variety is everywhere, every year price is an issue. There are countless vendors supplying drinks, international sweets, and of course our favourite comfort food. But if I were to give any advice for future visitors, it would be either pack yourself a lunch, or nip to the Tescos down the road where you’ll find a chorus of anime characters, DC villains and film stars queuing for their dinner.
Although I didn’t attend the events personally, they are always popular with visitors. Events at the show ranged from the UK Premiere of The Hurt Business and Japanese fashion shows to eSports competitions and the Eurocosplay finals. Many fans of the genres adored the events and rumor has it that even better events await con goers next year!
London’s MCM Comic Con continues to be as popular as ever even on a Friday. (But without the absoulutely heaving crowds and gigantic line for the loo.) That being said it’s always good to remember to bring cash with you and avoid that line for the ATM! I would like to experience MCM without the lengthy travel I always have to go through, and which of course impacts my opinion a little. But that being said, MCM is likely to remain a fan favourite for many years to come and continues to grow with its exclusive gaming event launching next year. Geek Lyfe will see you there!
(A BIG BIG SHOUTOUT to Scott Carruthers Photography for supplying these photos last minute!)