If you asked me to describe the MCM London Comic Con, the answer would be ‘massive’. I have been to Rezzed two years in a row, and that’s a very intimate event, but even the big daddy of European gaming conventions, EGX, is tiny compared to the MCM Comic Con. There are so many people there, from organisers, artists, cosplayers and everyone else. It is absolutely massive.
This was my first Comic Con and not only was it a fantastic personal experience and I geeked out like I never have before, but it was also a monumental experience as runner/editor/writer of The Mental Attic. Why? Because I attended the MCM London Comic Con as Press.
When I first heard that the MCM London Comic Con was coming around, I decided to apply as Press, knowing that the likelihood of getting a pass was slim to none. I mean, Comic Con is the big leagues, so to speak, and you see only people from large outlets. Random bloggers don’t make it there…and I did. It feels amazing for me, though to be honest I don’t know how big it actually is. Maybe I’m overthinking it, which wouldn’t be unusual.
But the people there, the other journalists, seemed to echo this sentiment. Whenever they asked who I was with—meaning outlet—and I said I was on my own, from my site, they seemed genuinely impressed.
Because of work, I couldn’t attend on Friday but I was there on Saturday, the same day I had the interviews with the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and another with the Sleepy Hollow protagonist, Tom Mison, but I’ll talk about those in other articles. I was planning to attend on Sunday as well, to take pictures of the cosplayers, since there were so many of them with phenomenal costumes, but after the long day on Saturday my feet hurt so badly I could barely walk. When I woke and felt a stabbing pain every other step, I decided that maybe another day at Comic Con wasn’t the best idea.
The MCM London Comic Con took place in the ExCel and it took over the place. Wherever you turned you found booths for games, artists and events. There were comic books on sale, memorabilia and clothing. There was food, craft and art in equal measure and I was sad not to have enough money to buy anything, but with the move here, my funds are a bit tight. There were queues that coiled around themselves to meet, greet and take a snapshot with actors and other celebrities and I saw so many of my favourite stars in the flesh.
I also discovered that I don’t get star-struck. To me these were people, talented of course and portraying fantastic roles, but still people. I stood face to face with one of my all-time favourite actors, John Noble, and didn’t lose all control of my faculties and blabbed about being a big fan. No, not me. But I won’t deny that inside I was jumping for joy at looking at Dr. Walter Bishop in the face. But he wasn’t the only one I saw. I saw Katrina Law and Willa Holland from Arrow and said “Hi” to the former in the most casual way as possible. She simply smiled and said “Hey.” Willa passed me by on her way to an interview, with a cap on to hide her features…not very successfully to be honest. I saw a lot of actors and with the exception of a couple of them, most actually seemed to enjoy being at Comic Con. But I’ll keep the identity of the other two to myself!
I saw one of the EGX regular was there, a booth selling shirts and other geeky clothing, different from all the others by their Street Fighter II arcade. They always had people at the booth, both playing and buying. It was great seeing them.
The vendors had some amazing things. Sure, there were way too many selling the same shirts and hoodies, but when you really explored the place you found some hidden gems. There was the booth selling Steampunk gear, with a considerable selection on goggles. But the artists at the back of the place were the best for me, superimposing comic book characters on classic paintings and photographs. There were indie comic book artists as well, selling their comics and as much as I wanted to get all the issues available, I really had no funds.
Finally, the cosplayers. I will say there was an excessive amount of Deadpools, Jokers and Harley Quinns. Too many, and the cheap kind, bought in some random store. I’m not knocking it, just stating facts. But there were also so many amazing suits, from the ones you realise were of cheaper materials but with a lot of heart in them, to those where you can’t help but wonder how long it took the cosplayer to put the suit together. Because of my love for The Legend of Zelda, my favourite was the last cosplayer I saw at Comic Con on Saturday, a lovely girl crossplaying as Link. Her costume had such gorgeous detail it blew me away. But the rest were also top of the line, at least the majority were, from the myriad of Warhammer Space Marines to the classics, like Naruto and Bleach characters, a staple of most cons.
What always amazes me of cosplayers is how they light up when you give them a compliment on their suit. If you tell an actor, a celebrity how you think they’re talented, they will never look at you with the same look of pure unabashed joy as the cosplayers will. And beyond that, I love how ready they are for you to take a photo of them. You just have to ask, and they’ll strike a pose and wait for you to take a photo. If you ever go to a con, perhaps the October MCM London Comic Con, then walk up to a cosplayer whose suit you like and tell them what you think of it. I promise you, they’ll show you one of the purest looks of joy in the world. But do ask before you take a photo of them, just out of courtesy.
I didn’t get as many cosplayer photos as I would’ve liked. I didn’t go on Sunday as I mentioned, but below I’ll leave you with a gallery of some of the best stuff I saw at the MCM London Comic Con. Tomorrow I’ll be back with the interview on the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, then the interview with Tom Mison before closing it all up on Thursday with the gaming sections of the comic con.