This past weekend saw the return of MCM to the London Excel centre, and in many respects what a triumphant return it was. I’m going to give you a few of my own personal highlights, as well as showing off some of the wonderful cosplay on display over the weekend. Plus, stay tuned for some interviews from the Comics Village over the coming days!
On the subject of Comics Village, let’s start there, as I always do when I visit a convention. This time, there were some very big names to be seen, although for reasons that never really became clear to me, they were segregated in a little section all of their own. This meant that the likes of Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, and Amanda Conner were split off from the rest of the creators. Despite this, it still took upwards of two hours to get around the main part of Comics Village. If anyone is worried about the state of comics, then I would say even ten minutes in this area of the show would have reassured them that the UK comics scene is alive and well, and breaking moulds left, right and centre. From horror comics filled with cryptids, to a capes and cowls book featuring a range of LGBTQ superheroes, to a cat and a meringue travelling in a boat (ten points to the first person that works out the pun), there was something for everyone here – although to be fair these examples are three books that I picked up for myself!
I met some lovely folks, fans and creators both, who reinforced my belief that comics people are the best people. Everyone that I spoke to was enthusiastic about their craft, their fandoms, and the very fact of being at MCM. Some of the most enthusiastic fans were from the Critical Role fandom – the Critters – who had their own maps of Comics Village with Critter-friendly creators such as Tess Fowler and Anemone Tea marked on them. A huge number of them had dressed up for the occasion, and the entire show was flooded with Critical Role cosplay for the entire weekend. Despite my not being one of their crowd – although I will now get around to watching some episodes – they were friendly and welcoming, eager to share their love for the creators.
One of the highlights of the entire weekend for me was something that I had never experienced before, a singalong film showing, in this case of The Greatest Showman. Now I know that this film is problematic for a number of reasons, but having never seen it before the sheer love of the fans present blew me away. The Greatest Showman cosplayers at the showing were more than willing to jump up on stage under the screen and treat us to some live renditions of the dance routines, which just added to the sensation of the event! There is something to be said about a room full of cosplayers, nerds, and geeks, belting out the signature tune “This Is Me”, a song about society accepting who you are, and not being afraid to show your true colours.
There was a huge range of panels, talks and showings across the weekend, including sneak peeks into the new Peter Jackson vehicle, Mortal Engines, and the forthcoming Marvel feature length animation Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I managed to catch some of the panels on the comics stage over the weekend, and have to say that every panel that Amanda Conner was on she utterly stole from the other panelist’s, thanks to her bubbly joie de vivre and genuine love of the comics medium.
There was plenty for the non-comics fans too, with the actual genuine TARDIS as used by the Thirteenth Doctor taking centre stage, with fans flocking to have photos taken with it, or even just to touch it and feel like the Doctor for a moment. There were also large interactive stands for upcoming movies such as The Grinch, and Mandy. An incongruous combination I know, but the fans seemed to love it! The TV shows were out in force too, with some random combinations of cosplay and an Iron Throne causing amusement over the weekend, although the exhibitors nearby could probably have done without listening to the Game of Thrones theme tune on repeat for eight hours a day…
There will be a few interviews coming up over the next week or so, but I hope that I’ve given you a small idea of how the weekend was, and maybe even encouraged you to join me there at the next event, already scheduled for next May!