Last weekend was Manchester MCM! I've never attended Manchester MCM before, much less sold there, but this year was the first time the convention ran for two days, which finally made it worth the long journey up from Dorset!
The original plan was to get there by 6pm Friday evening so we could set up (and avoid the early morning set up on Saturday!) but Friday traffic had other ideas! I picked Moose and Luke up in Bristol and set off a little later than usual. Then we ended up at the very start (fortunately) of a standstill jam on the M6. It was quite fun in an admitting-defeat kind of way! Once we realised we absolutely were not going to get to Manchester before the 8pm set up close, I was able to relax, embrace the journey, and eat my melted McFlurry while standing on the motorway with hundreds of other people (who did not have ice creams, and therefore weren't as merry as I.)
The plan in Manchester was to stay with some very old friends of mine who moved up there a long time ago. I rarely get a chance to see them anymore, so when they offered their couches I jumped at the chance! We spent Friday evening nomming spaghetti kindly cooked by my old uni buddy Matt, playing Amplitude on the PS2 (my game, that I left at Katy's house in Manchester about seven years ago and never got back, until now!) and introducing the gang to Space Dandy. The 7 hour drive must have taken its toll on me though because I zonked out half way through the third episode, which is just as well, I suppose, because Saturday morning was con-time!
Manchester MCM is held at Manchester Central, a lovely old venue just a ten minute walk from where our friends live. It's way, way smaller than its London counterpart, but that was actually a giant plus in my books, because the whole event felt so relaxed and calm and... nice. I love London MCM, don't get me wrong, but the event is a crush. This one was a much slower pace, still busy and full but on a much more toned down scale.
One thing I did notice lacking was a gaming section. They had a dedicated eSports area devoted to League of Legends, which is always lovely, but there was no DDR-UK which I pretty much assumed was a staple at these conventions. They had plenty of room to put in a couple of machines, and I don't know if other Manchster MCMs have had them in the past, but it seemed like a pretty large oversight.
Table wise, I did pretty decently! The crowd seemed a lot younger than at London, probably due to the fact it's an inner city convention people can easily travel to without the stress of a big trip into London, and I think that always affects sales a little bit. It had the same feel as the old Bristol Comic Con days, similar venue too, before Bristol moved to a tiny hotel and stopped on the door entry. Sigh.
One thing that hugely inspired me was that I actually sold some original artwork! Most of my stuff is pop culture parody fandom silliness, because I'm a huge advocate of draw what you love and I love all of the video games. However, I do have a few original pieces, mostly old furry fantasy stuff or cute animals being adorable, and this time I decided to put them out on display since I'm finally using folders and figured I had no reason not to. And they sold! I have spent the week after Manchester brimming with inspiration to create more cute, adorable fantasy animal stuff, because it's where my original art passion used to be. I'm working artwork for BUCK now, but between that and certainly after, I'll be trying out some of my old ideas that I've always had and never made real. So that's nice! Yay inspiration!
Saturday evening, we met up with our TF2 friend Fillin and my buddy Ollie and headed into Manchester for food and drinks. On Ollie's recommendation, we went to an amazing buffet called Tops that served char siu buns so it was an instant winner in my books. We spent the evening playing a dumb drawing game in a pub, so the usual standard, really.
Sunday was much of the same at the con, we watched the mini League of Legends cosplay masquarade, went for a wonder, walked into a panel Warwick Davis was on, and I bought art supplies! Sunday night is usually DnD night at the house we were staying in, but because we were about, Matt changed it to 'generic game night'! I'd brought along Netrunner and Cards Against Humanity and Katy had a copy of Avalon she wanted to try out. It was a riot! Seriously, between Cards Against Humanity and Avalon, a game of deception and deduction where you try to work out who the two bad guys are in your group, I was sure Moose was going to get kicked out of the house! We all learned a lot about each other that night - mostly which of us has a horrible sense of humour and who lies entirely too convincingly for comfort! I'd never played Avalon before but it was genuinely very fun and easy to pick up, even if I ended the last game early by accidentally putting down the wrong card, causing my side to lose. Oops. It was late! I was tired! Honest!
On Monday morning, Moose and I played some Netrunner, we all grabbed breakfast and it was time to head home! This time, without Friday traffic, car fires and accidents on the road, we did incredibly good time and got back to Bristol in just over three hours, so that was good.
Here's a small selection of photos from the convention! I really do need to get better at taking photos of amazing cosplay!
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.