From the train journey to actually entering the NEC and the unique gathering that is MCM Comic Con Birmingham it’s very obvious even to the common observer that geeks, enthusiasts and fans descended on Birmingham en-masse at the weekend. his weekend’s comic con just so happens to fall upon the same day as national common courtesy day (don’t ask why I know that) so it was of particular interest to see if the crowds do as most of us have been raised to do and turned the other cheek.
Excited con goers lined up well before 9am on Saturday to be one of the first to enter the halls that the convention was held in this year. I was lucky enough to get in before with my press pass but I felt for those in particularly large and hot cosplays who were waiting in line and would have to potentially put up with crowds all day long.
Having got in before the crowds I could immediately see the difference in the space and when they did start coming in there was still a lot of space to move. Comparing it to my experience in November there was significantly more space. The theatre where the talks were held was also crowd friendly and situated away from bottlenecks so crowds were again not an issue.
However as the day went on crowds became worse which did make it a little more difficult to get around but as with any convention this is to be expected. I’d say the organisers at MCM did a fantastic job this convention in organising the flow of people which made for a pleasant experience by all.
The steampunk cosplay was one of the main attractions of the con this year. The pieces on display included Darth Vader and Dr Who baddies. Some of the artists themselves were there selling their creations including, paintings, prints, clothing and jewellery. All of them were wearing some form of steampunk accessory showing their love and mastery for their craft.
There were also an incredible range of cosplayers visiting the convention, from ever popular characters such as Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn, The Avengers, and The Guardians of the Galaxy, to the more obscure anime and game characters. Here are some of the best.
My top five include Whiplash from Iron Man, Batman, Beast from the X-Men, Garra from Naruto and the parents from Rugrats. All five clearly put a lot of thought into their cosplays for them to stand out from the crowd and while some did take longer than others to put on (Beast) there were others that were too unique not to mention (Rugrats).
The comic village is now a regular feature of many comic conventions and at MCM Birmingham it brought a variety of artists to an audience who may not have heard of them yet.
All those exhibiting were very open to talking about their work and how they were inspired. Some were selling one-of-a-kind drawings and sketches and offered convention goers a unique and personalised souvenir from the convention.
A small section of the village was set aside for an art competition that anyone of any age could enter. Entrants were asked to draw the undead in any medium that was available to them. With paper, pens, pencils and markers provided. I put my hand to it as I had a quick minute and check out my entry below!
Having missed out on this the last time I came to MCM Comic Con I was really looking forward to some mechanised mayhem. I was not disappointed and was treated to some bot-on-bot action as they crushed, flipped and bashed each other. Getting a seat for one of the scheduled events was hard but getting out was ever harder as I was not alone in wanting to see some robotic mayhem.
As with all conventions, there was a wide variety of guests to meet with for photos and signings. Some of the bigger guests included: Warwick Davis, Tyler James Williams, Christian Serratos, Laurie Holden, Neil Jackson, Tom Mison, Colm Meaney and Chris Gorham.
They were all extremely friendly and probably gave more time than they had originally allotted because of the amount of people that wanted to see them. The Walking Dead guests especially had huge queues of people waiting to meet them. Even then after all that extra time they were still the nicest people and made some time to be interviewed answering all our questions.
I only attended the Walking Dead talk but having attended them before I knew how open they are to getting questions asked by fans which meant that there were some very unique and personal questions being asked which in turn produced some fantastic answers. The three Walking Dead cast members in attendance handled them all like the pros mixing in humour to lighten some of the more difficult questions.
Tyler and Christian bounced off each other fantastically as did Laura. There were some great answers such as their “death dinner” revelation. When their character is going to die they get a death dinner in a restaurant under the pretence it’s someone’s birthday. It made me extremely curious about what exactly they’d order as a last meal…guess I’ll never know (I forgot to ask).
The convention was a fantastic experience and well worth the early trip and long day. If you ever get a chance to go to any of MCM Expo’s other upcoming events then definitely make the journey. They can be inexpensive and fun for all the family if planned right.
Did you visit MCM Birmingham? Let us know your favourite bits from the weekend!