The last weekend in October can mean only one thing!!! MCM London Comic Con at the Excel Centre.
I think there was a collective sigh of relief when the sun came out, and the breeze dropped, leaving a rather lovely sunny day – you could at times pretend it might even be late summer! This of course means the Con grows, as more and more people flood outside to stretch their legs, enjoy the weather and take advantage of some more space to take some pictures of the amazing Cosplay on show. Rather a lot of picnicking and chilling seemed to be occurring with an ice cream not out of place!!
Inside the Excel gets busier and busier each year, and despite the signs telling everyone bags would be searched, ours were not!! There did appear to be a more visible security presence, the police being there, both inside and outside the venue. However I didn’t see much more than that, and as someone who is always a little concerned, I am actually rather chilled at the Excel for ComicCon, because my beady eyes have more than once taken in men and women talking to their wrists whilst mingling – this leads me to believe it’s there and all around us, even if we can’t always be sure where…..
On Saturday, inside, there were a couple of bottlenecks, where walking became impossible, at times I found this rather uncomfortable, and cannot imagine what would have happened should someone have fallen or been in trouble. Back on Sunday however, and it was nowhere near as busy, but still buzzing and great fun, and so therefore if you like me, sometimes find crowds overwhelming, perhaps considering Sunday (or Friday) is a good idea!!
The layout often changes for MCM Cons with some areas taking precedence over others and this year the Marvel and POP Asia areas were the stars of the show.
Of course I am a massive Marvel fan, so I really did enjoy the Marvel Zone – really well set out, it had a stylish look, and at times you could forget where you were almost, it had that much of an installation/exhibition feel to it, it seemed not just simply there to part me and my money, however I did part with some cash and bought a Spiderman night light for my son, which was met with great excitement and kudos to me.
I found Asia Pop was just a little too crowded, feeling like a collection of stalls flogging goods! However it was full and buzzing the whole time, I think it has become a really welcome addition in the past few years and is obviously enjoyed by many who love the genres it represents.
I always try and head to Artist’s Alley first, keen to see who is new on the alley, and to make connections again with those who we always see!! It is one area that never fails to impress, regardless of where it is situated! The array of independent artists and writers is always impressive, going for a quick wander and a chat ends up whiling away hours. The talented folks behind their wooden tables are always happy to stop and have a chat, ask them the right questions and you will have a friend for life!!!
On the subject of artists, and authors! Comedian Joe Pasquale was a fixture all weekend long, selling his newly released book – Deadknobs and Broomsticks (is a collection of twelve illustrated short horror stories. Ranging from the darkly bizarre to the horrifically surreal, many of the stories are laced with a theme of bullying and bullies) – we stopped for a chat, were persuaded to buy a book, and what a friendly chap! One of the nicest people have met at a Comic Con, happy to stop and chat, sign pictures and have his picture taken with people!
Formany the guests are the main attraction and London did not disappoint! In the week leading up, it is always great to see the line-up and this year didn’t disappoint, the main attraction of course was Anthony Mackie – Falcoln in the Avengers!, along with Hayley Attwell, AKA Agent Carter. However for me, as a massive fan of Sherlock, I was most excited to see Jim Moriarty himself!!!, the fabulous actor – Andrew Scott. ComicCon regulars Warwick Davis, the cast of Red Dwarf and Peter Davison also looked like they were having a great time chatting to fans.
The catering areas have steadily grown over the last few years, with large portions of the Excel being given over to the sale of food and its consumption! However, as a veteran, the best piece of advice I can give, is to leave all the overpriced (and often appalling) overcrowded eating places in the Excel, and take a break heading for one of the restaurants in spitting distance. We always plump for the rather nice Italian, where a glass of Prosecco and a delicious fresh pizza or pasta dish will set you about the same as a meal purchased in the venue – but the surroundings are lovely and the hour of calmness away from the crazy is a great way to refuel and re-energise!
The weather stayed decent all day, and this meant that so much time was spent outside which, can only, mean Cosplayers, who will all gather in the best places to have their photos taken, and despite the dodgy light at times, outside was without a doubt favourite, inside the Excel, it is almost impossible! Cosplayers in my opinion make a Con, from the amateurs having a laugh, to those for whom it is almost a lifestyle!! Care is taken, looks are planned, others are scrutinised, but ultimately each achieves amazing looks. We absolutely love taking photographs, and most Cosplayers are more than very happy to oblige! For some of the more popular, and best dressed, it can become a bit of a bun fight with rather a lot of young men with cameras for Christmas vie for that HarleyQuinn shot!!
The whole weekend whizzed by so quickly and I found myself nursing a pint of cider at the Fox, next door to the Excel before we knew it, and what a welcome drink it was, all the walking and snapping definitely takes it toll, with body and mind knowing the next morning is going to a little painful – but until then, it was time for another drink, and to wave goodbye to MCM London until May 2018.
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