Adam headed off to the MCM Comic Con Expo in London this weekend. This is what he saw.
This weekend I’ve headed across the city to London Comic Con at the Excel centre. As soon as you hit Bank on the tube during a Comic Con weekend (a biannual event in May and October), you slowly start to see more and more brightly coloured wigs, cosplayers and generally individuals that I look at and think that I probably have a few things in common with (Nerds. They look like nerds. Like me). This wasn’t my first rodeo (though it was the first time I took a day off work for said rodeo), but every time I’ve been to the MCM Expo the scale of the event tends to get exponentially larger. This first day being a Friday, the actual number of people attending and the general queues were far lower than I was used to. I used this opportunity to wander around, get a bit of a lay of the land and figure out everything I wanted to cover over the weekend, because the other two days are likely to be far, far more busy!
Throughout the day I checked out all of the stalls selling a plethora of memorabilia from various films, comic books, video games and anime. At MCM Comic Con there is a huge retailer focus, and there is an insane selection of clothing, props, signed photos, posters, toys, board games, various card games, both new and retro video games, manga, anime, swords (actual metal swords), strap-on tails (not a typo), boob-cushion mouse pads (also not a typo), imported snacks, long boxes full of discounted comic books, and gorgeous but fairly expensive figures. This all presents a situation I always feel I need to be careful with. For example, although I’ve only ever bought two figures that I would consider to be extravagant (a Kotobukiya Jim Lee inspired Batman and a POP Roronoa Zoro from the One Piece Strong World Movie) I know full well that if left unchecked I could allow it to spiral out of control, as I would with any of the other items on sale. Left unchecked, I would spend a ridiculous amount of money. Unfortunately, as I went to the event alone, I was left unchecked. And despite that I managed to hold off. There was one item that was much cheaper than I was expecting, and when I sent a photo of it to people they all told me to buy it. They failed to check me. So I’ll be buying it on Saturday. Try and guess what it’s going to be!
There are always films that have either just come out or are coming out soon that have a big presence at Expo. When I first came about 4 years ago Green Lantern was coming out that summer, and I remember looking up at all the banners and saying to the guys with me (I want to say James, Ian and Kit…) “I really hope Green Lantern doesn’t suck”.
It was a more hopeful time.
At this Comic Con, there was a big deal being made about the upcoming Despicable Me spin-off ‘Minions’ (an obsession I do not understand or find particularly amusing, but plenty of people like to share things on Facebook with them in it), so they even had them on my press pass (I’m on ‘Team Kevin’ apparently). They also had a lot of posters up for Mad Max Fury Road, which to my shame I haven’t actually seen yet and will hopefully get round to it next week. But if I wasn’t already looking forward to it, this beast would have changed that regardless.
There was also a great deal of pretty excellent cosplay going on. There is a big leaning towards anime characters when it comes to cosplay in general, and I’ve found that while there are certainly a decent number of comic book, film and video game characters at London Comic Con the ratio is still in favour of the brightly coloured anime. I went through a stage in my uni days where I dressed up as a few characters when attending anime conventions, with Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist), Mugen (Samurai Champloo), Nicholas D. Wolfwood (Trigun) and Grimmjow Jeagerjaques (Bleach) being the ones I was happiest with. I think I stopped because I couldn’t really spare the time, money or effort into actually doing it well, and I didn’t really want to do it half-heartedly. So that being said, while I know a few people that tend to look down on it, I think the lengths some people go to to dress up like their favourite characters is always impressive. I enjoy seeing the way trends go too, based on what is popular or in vogue at the moment. The scouts from Attack on Titan are still going strong, if a little diminished as it has been a couple of years now, and there was a huge number of Harley Quinns too. And I preferred every single one of them to the costume in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie too. I’m planning on taking a few more cosplay photos over the weekend, but this one was my favourite from Friday hands down.
Around this point I realised I needed to start pacing myself. Usually when I attend Comic Con I go for one day, and I’m knackered by the end from all the walking around, the crowds and the over stimulation and effort of trying to avoid spending all my money. If I was going to survive three days I needed to chill out for a bit, so I decided to head to the various video game areas to check out a few upcoming games. In the next article you can read about what I thought of a few of them!
London MCM Comic Con is open until Sunday, so if you’ve been thinking about it come on down to the Excel centre for some geeky goodness either today or tomorrow!
Edit – Don’t do that, Saturday and weekend tickets are sold out. But come along on Sunday!