According to their website, MCM Comic Con events are the UK and Ireland’s most exciting pop culture shows and bring together a broad scope of popular culture categories including gaming, movies, anime, comics and more. My other-half and I have taken my stepson Ethan for the past couple of years now and he always really enjoys it; and last time we even managed to rope Pete into doing a bit of cosplay himself.
Last weekend we made our way to the ExCeL centre in London and immediately noticed how many more people were there this year. We also realised there seemed to be fewer attendees in costume; it now appeared like a more even split between cosplay and casual clothes. It almost felt as though this event which had previously appealed mostly to cosplayers was now focusing its sights on a much larger crowd.
The higher number of attendees gave the venue more of an atmosphere but came with some downsides. The size of the event hadn’t increased along with the ticket sales so not only did this make it harder to get around due to the crowds, it also gave the impression there was less to actually do. Most of the space was dedicated to stand of merchandise of various quality, along with autograph signing and photograph areas.
Speaking of merchandise, Ethan once again came away with several bags under his arm and not much pocket-money left in his wallet: he bought himself a Harry Potter wand, two Funko Pop! figures and a Fortnite t-shirt. I even came away with a little something myself and am now the owner of a ‘cat lady’ t-shirt (because the stepkid charmingly thought it was ‘both funny and true’).
The highlight of the day was seeing Pete’s expression when he realised the person standing behind one of the tables at the convention was Danny John-Jules. He’s from that generation who grew up quoting lines from Red Dwarf and so getting to see the Cat in person was a pretty big deal for him. Pete wouldn’t speak to him and wouldn’t let me take photographs because he was too starstruck – I’ve never seen him get like that before.
Sadly we didn’t do too well with the photographs this year and there aren’t so many in the gallery below. The sheer number of attendees made it harder to spot those in costume and it was difficult to stop people walking through the shot when there was a photo opportunity. As much as Ethan doesn’t look as though he wants to be in any of the pictures, it’s usually him screaming at me to grab the camera as soon as he sees a costume he likes!
Although we had a great afternoon, we’re reconsidering whether to go to the next one in October and may wait until next May instead. Perhaps we’ll have more luck at PLAY Expo in August; and we might also give Rapture, a gaming festival we found out about while at Comic Con, a try in July. Do let us know if you’re going to be at either of those events!