Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by my table to buy prints or just simply to say hello! I was super ill Saturday and Sunday so if I seemed a little 'off' that's why! I love meeting you all and nerding out about ponies and video games! You were all awesome, as usual! <3
London Comic Con (or MCM Expo, depending on how long you've been attending!) is the largest geek event in the UK. It runs twice a year (May and October) and typically the October event is the largest of the two. I haven't heard official numbers yet, but this one must have been their largest ever.
Normally, I love MCM. The whole thing has a really wonderful feel to it. People go there to have fun and dork out with friends first and foremost. I don't often get to any of the events because the queues are far too long and because I'm usually behind a table selling art in the Comic Village, but the feeling and vibe of the whole place is awesome regardless.
Sadly, this year was really soured for me because I got struck with a horrible cold Saturday morning. I guess I'm glad it hit then and not earlier, because it allowed me time on Friday to bounce around the convention. Friday's my favourite day of the con because it's far quieter and, frankly, more fun. I don't sell on Friday generally because it's my day to actually have fun with the con and I don't feel I'm missing much potential trade. Saturday and Sunday were pretty awful for me, though, health wise, and I ended up leaving Sunday night instead of staying on until Monday like usual. It really made me upset because, heck, I look forward to MCM for months and months and then bam, illness. It made it extra hard because MCM Is my busiest convention in terms of table sales, and I had to be 'on' with customers and friends when all I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and sulk. I even debated not selling on the Sunday because I was feeling so rough. Ugh. But anyway, enough about being ill! More about MCM Expo!
This year, MCM made a huge point of hiring out both sides of the Excel Centre, doubling its size, we thought. It really didn't work out that way, though. The extra halls were entirely ticketing, a huge Yu-Gi-Oh tournament area and a smaller hall dedicated to some signings, the main stage and a few things that just felt shoved out of the way, including the ever popular Steampunk section and Origami workshop. I'd really like to hear feedback about the extra hall because I can't imagine any of the dealers or exhibitors got the exposure they're used to in the main hall.
Having both sides of the hall open for events also created the worst case of crowd management I've ever witnessed at any event. Usually, MCM demonstrates a flow where people are directed in a one way system towards the doors, but this time it just became a manic crush. I'm not one to whine about health and safety nonsense but I absolutely despair to think what would have happened had there been a fire or other emergency while we were crushed in the entrance! I've heard of people being sick and unable to get out, so that must have been really unpleasant. I had a friend leave early on Saturday because he has difficulty walking and couldn't avoid being pushed around. I dread to think how people in wheelchairs or with prams dealt with the Saturday crush. It was absolutely horrible. Even with my exhibitor's badge, it took me a good ten-fifteen minutes of slow shuffle-walking from the doors to my table.
The show itself is great but they really do have to sort out the crowding issues. I don't know if the best option is to either open up more room or limit ticket sales, but I know it can't continue this way. I'm very lucky I can attend Friday (and even Sunday, as that's far less manic, too) but anyone only attending on Saturday must have such a horrible time trying to see or do anything. I've heard of people queuing up for hours for signings only to be turned away. I've even heard that people were told certain celebrities would be doing later signings, only to find out that they weren't (and later heard that those celebrities were in the local pub because they didn't know they'd been scheduled for extra signings!) just lack of communication and organization all over. I'd be surprised if people stick with MCM if it stays like this, and I find that such a shame because, frankly, it's my favourite nerdy event and I'd hate for it to be ruined and soured like this.
Grumbling aside - as I said, Friday and Sunday were actually pretty good days to have a look around and get involved. We managed to play some boardgames, and I ended up buying a copy of Zombie Dice after playing it. Great, simple fun! There were some video game demonstrations we tried out, but nothing really outstanding to me apart from maybe Dark Souls 2, which had a queue a mile long the whole time. I was really disappointed to find out I'd actually missed a Wildstar panel on the Sunday! I'm eagerly anticipating that game and had initially hoped there'd be playable demos at MCM, which there weren't, but I'd have totally attended the panel if I'd known about it! Oh, well! I can't wait for May, when hopefully I won't be ill and I can make up for this one.
Anyway, here are some photos! Mainly of League of Legends cosplayers, because Moose and I tell ourselves every time that we'll join in the League cosplay fun, and maybe someday we actually will!
I love you, MCM, crowds and all. I'll be back in May, in full health and able to make the most of you!
I'm Selena, an artist, blogger and gamer - but maybe not always in that order! Dream Somehow is a blog dedicated to travel, geeky adventures, vintage style and a little bit of Disney Dreaming! If you'd like to learn a little more about me, click here.