Last weekend, I joined about 130,000 or so other folks and headed off to the 2015 MCM Comic Con London at the Excel.
This was my first ComicCon, and if I am honest I was excited, but wasn’t 100% certain it was going to be for me! I am on the wrong side of 35, most of my time is spent juggling being a mum working too many hours and although I am a massive geek, I find myself annoyed by Anime and wishing DC and Marvel would stop selling their rights to just about anyone to make just about anything (much of which ends up in a toy box in pieces in my house) – But I love anything remotely SciFi, adore Doctor Who with an unending passion and am constantly amazed and impressed by indie comic book artists – so I hoped this would see me through the weekend!
We started off on Friday morning, and being honest the first signs were not great! Like most folks we travelled to the Excel on the DLR and were surrounded by young(er than me!) folks dressed up as all manner of characters (most of which I didn’t recognise!). Kieran, my business partner, long suffering best friend, carrier of bags, taker of pics and supplier of tea, assured me that nope just w
ait! There are those he told me who jump on bandwagons and those who live this stuff, and of course those (like us) who fall somewhere in the middle!
Luckily he was RIGHT, and from the very first moment I was handed my press pass (and I am such a total dork that even though I have had a fair few of these now, I am always impressed and a little skittish about having one), and we headed into the Excel, I loved every single second of Comic Con.
I was glad we started on Friday morning, because it was probably the quietest time, it gradually got busier until by late afternoon, was rammed! With Saturday and Sunday feeling like that from the start!
So, if you haven’t done a Comic Con – what’s there?
A massive area for dealer stalls and merchandise, and folks selling everything you can imagine from Funko Pops to Anime soft toys, even tea bags and Dalek Soap had its place. The first bit of over excitement for me was the presence of the Back to the Future Delorean – so aptly timed considering we have just passed “that date and year” – I can’t quite believe it’s 30 years old! I had to have a picture in the car, and I think the grin then stayed plastered on my face all day!
As we made our way to the Comic Village, we were accosted by zombies! AMC’S Walking Dead had a couple of caged zombies on show and attendees were queuing to get their photo taken, it was only as I was taking some pictures myself that I spun around feeling something touching my hair, to realise I was about to get “turned” by a very real and well-acted zombie!!!
We then met a Dalek on the BBC Doctor Who stall – an everyday occurrence it seems!
The Comic Village was next, and I was instantly impressed by the wealth of talent on show here, everyone was very friendly, happy to chat, have their picture taken and speak with passion about their art and projects! Being a massive Doctor Who fan I fell in love with Grant Perkins’ artwork, (and now have a fabulous print already framed on my wall!). Kieran was pleased to chat with some folks he had already met at Dubin Comic Con, and of course find some comics to purchase and fall in love with (we bought a lot of great indie comics and reviews will be published on KewelWorld.com over the coming weeks). Comic Village is the most “honest” bit of Comic Con, it’s where you really get to meet the artists, writers and creators of some amazing comic books, art, and pop culture “stuff”! People who are not being made rich by what they love to do, but who love it so much they keep on going!
Panels are a big part of Comic Con – on Friday we didn’t attend any of the panels preferring to just try and take in everything, but a real highlight of the day was getting to meet Sylvester McCoy; for me he was the Doctor Who of my childhood, I was devastated when it ended, and never forgot him!!
Saturday and Sunday were the days of panels – Beowulf, Sherlock, Jekyll and Hyde and of course Doctor Who with the usual questions and answers plus the odd splodges of off track fun thrown in!
With Sherlock being the highlight; being both informative and funny even without Benedict Cumberbatch and of course the announcement of Sherlock’s return on January 1st 2016 was welcomed with huge cheers.
There is much more to ComicCon than just comics and the Vidfest and Games sections were proving to be extremely popular with lovers of YouTube and web series’, again you had plenty of panels taking place Ashen, Tomska, Digital Jam and many more all under a rather cool looking inside inflatable dome.
Just over from this you had the Twitch TV screen holding centre stage as gamers competed in the MCM eSports London Invitational Tournament which I have to say I was a little amazed by the number of attendees glued to the rather large screen and running commentary. This was the only area in which my interest each day waned, I am over gaming for the most part, and I found it all rather boring and tbh that area seemed to lack the atmosphere of the rest of the event, I wonder if that is because rather than interacting with each other most folks were watching screens!
I can’t finish this review without mentioning the Cosplayers! So let’s get the little bit of negative out of the way first. Teenagers dressed up as cats mewing at each other just irritated me. There is a lot of screeching at times, mostly high pitched and I don’t understand the free hugs signs held aloft by so many, mainly because there seemed to be virtually no hugging going on.
With that said, let’s get to the good stuff. Cosplayers really do turn a massive event in a boring exhibition centre into a multi coloured beautiful spectre. They are enthusiastic, mostly friendly and without exception delighted to have their picture taken. I loved:
- a friendly borg;
- rather more Thelmas than you would expect;
- people who obviously instantly regretted their costumes (a very sweaty cookie monster stands out);
- skinny super heroes and chubby princesses are the very best and I love that it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, fat or thin you can totally rawk it at Comic Con;
- a weirdly realistic Ewok;
- those who misssed the memo that Comic Con is supposed to be fun andtake it just a little too seriously;
- cardboard guns and swords;
- anything steampunk – it looks amazing;
- a slighty geriatric Batman with saggy knees;
- the moment two Harley Quinn’s meet;
- Joker makeup at the end of the day;
- tired superheroes; and
- my absolute favourite – families. I loved so very much seeing whole families dressed up, it was a beautiful thing seeing fathers and sons dressed up together. It proved to me that Comic Con is for absolutely everybody. So now I hope all the bits of Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk adorning my house, will one day transform into a family day to ComicCon (and then maybe DC and Marvel you will forgiven)!!