I'm so behind with blogging lately, but May was a super hectic month (three conventions in one month? Aaagh!) but now I've literally nothing on until our holiday in July so it's time to catch up and get active again!
Last weekend was MCM Expo (gosh, was it only last weekend??), which is now called London Comic Con and it's our largest event of its kind. My dad kindly drove Moose and I up to the venue on Thursday, where we settled in before heading out for the evening in Canary Wharf to meet our buddy Kingsley for a meal and some drinks at the local Wetherspoon. The food prices are extortionate around the ExCel so finding a local Wetherspoon is such a bargain!
After dinner, we went for a lovely walk around Canary Wharf. I've never actually mooched around the place before, and with Kingsely as our guide, we explored.
It reminded me so much of New York in a lot of ways, all new and high rise. Which reminds me, I haven't actually blogged about New York yet! So much to talk about! ANYWAY...
London Comic Con / MCM Expo!~
I had a table in the 'Comic Village' area as usual, but this time Comic Village was huge! It spread down half the hall. Unfortunately, the layout was a little disjointed, and I've heard that some people were split up away from the rest of the tables and didn't do the best trade.
I'll be honest... trade on my end was pretty disappointing too. I did well, don't get me wrong! Had it been any other convention I attend I'd probably be bouncing up and down with joy, but in MCM Expo terms? I took literally half what I usually pull at this convention. I've no idea why! I've heard a lot of people also complaining that it was their worst Expo ever, including some big time dealers. But then, I've also heard from some people that it was their very best.
I guess that's the "joy" of freelancing and being self employed, and dealing at conventions. I've taken Expo for granted as a con that helps me out a lot, but that complacency meant I put a lot of purchases on my credit card (art supplies, table supplies and stock) that I can't now pay back entirely! Ouch. Still, I guess it's a harsh lesson to learn. Each con is a gamble and you can't expect them all to pay off just because they "usually do". Like I say, I did well enough that I feel bad even grumbling, but not London-Expo Well. Oh well!
Aside from trader grousing, the convention itself felt so different this time around! They had larger hall space, which was fabulous, but only half of it was full of stalls and exhibits. They purposefully left the far end pretty empty, save for the MCM eSports stages and some food stalls, which I later learned was a condition of obtaining the extra space cheaply. As a result, it meant a crush down one end of the hall, and sparseness on the other end. I'm not sure if they'll repeat that again in October - having somewhere to run away for some space was a good idea, but it felt wasted to me. Why not expand the stalls across the whole hall?
Another big change was how the ticketing worked this time around. Usually tickets are arranged in some sort of holding pen inside the hall, where people queue. This time, the queue was outside, and it was huge. It spanned from the train station, down past the local hotels and snaked back again up the convention hall. It took hours for people to get through. And the queue was outside for most of it, in May. In England. It was a disaster. Rain and a hail storms wrecked people's costumes. They closed the side doors so even those who already had wrist-bands had to queue in a 're-entry' line. In the rain and hail. Yeah. I am so glad I have a dealers pass. It was a literal multi-pass to the convention and we managed to miss all of the weather problems. I feel so bad for people who spent months on cosplays only to be destroyed in the rain. :(
For me, business aside, however, this was the best MCM Expo I've attended! Friday is always a fun social day for me as I don't sell then, so we had time to check out the convention, play on a few games and grab lunch at The Fox Bar. I wore a sort of casual cosplay as an Aurin from Wildstar, my new favourite thing. Nobody recognised me though :( (maybe a little too casual?).
I had so much fun actually attending events this time around. There was a panel on Wildstar on Saturday that Moose and I attended. During that panel, we learned that there was going to be a special community event that evening in Canary Wharf, funded by the guys at Carbine. Suddenly we had evening plans! And they were amazing.
The community event was a semi-private function held in a bar called Corney & Barrow. They had a projector set up playing Wildstar trailers, and provided free beer, wine and food! It was incredible! Chad Moore, creative director (main lore guy!) at Carbine even bought us all tequila shots at the end of the evening! They even gave us a tonne of Rowsdower plushies and t-shirts!
We also got interviewed by MMORPG about Wildstar and our reasons for playing and they featured a photo of me (and my new Rowsdower plushie!) in the article!
The evening was extra cool because we were joined by Anastasia and her mister, Paddy! Anastasia is an amazing artist I've known a little while now, but we hardly ever find time to hang out socially since we mainly meet up at conventions! They're both interested in Wildstar too so I invited them along and we had a great time! Definitely need to hang out more often socially when we're not stuck behind dealer tables.
Sunday was quiet (Sunday always is), so we had another quick chance to look around the hall before MCM was over for another year. I picked up some Magic The Gathering boosters from two dumb sets they released years ago called Unhinged and Unglued. I also treated myself to a TF2 Balloonicorn plushie and a Poro plushie from League of Legends. I don't often buy things for myself at Expo but this year there were lots of things I wanted to buy. I held myself back a lot, believe me!
Sunday evening was lovely. We had dinner, then Moose and I went for a walk around the ExCel in the dark which always has such a wonderful atmosphere - cosplayers just hanging around by the waterfront. I don't get much "alone time" with Moose at conventions so it was a nice ten minutes of peace. :) We had been told that the bottom of the Fox Bar had been hired out by MCM eSports to stream some League of Legends LCS games, so we headed down there for drinks after dinner. It was great! Speaking of MCM eSports, though, I donated a few prints to them for prizes and goodie bags for the tourneys they were running during the convention! :) I heard they went down well, so that's cool!
Okay, well that's about enough of that for a recap I think! All in all it was a really great convention, and a wonderful con for hanging out with people I don't normally get to spend much time with (Anastasia, Archer, Scifox!) Takings were down, sure, but this must be my favourite MCM so far!
So, to close - here's some of the killer cosplay I saw this con! I didn't take many photos (as usual!) and it's mostly League of Legends (as usual!)
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.