It was precisely a year ago when I first went to my first MCM Birmingham. It was a new experience, not the experience I had expected but a satisfactory one. I remember enjoying the experience but left underwhelmed with the lack of variety and ways to spend your time.
Visiting again a year later I was curious as to how could the event be different? How do you take this yearly event and make it refreshing each year? Well, I can tell you now that I felt this year was an improvement for MCM.
The variety was certainly much more apparent this year with the whole event feeling bigger because of it. This year there felt to be much less stalls of action figures with instead a broader set of stalls ranging from manga to trading cards, games to comic books there was pretty much a bit of everything.
The same with the guests too. With bigger names than last year, the walking dead cast was given the main spotlight with an exclusive panel with Q&A session. With guests from both the current series and past it was interesting to gather different experiences of the hit show. Closer to home was everyone’s favourite Ewok Warwick Davis, cutting the celebratory cake of the event. On the gaming side we had Quinton Flynn who sadly I didn’t get a chance to see despite him being a lead in my favourite gaming series (metal gear solid).
A highlight for me is always the comic village, also appearing to of expanded in size this year. It was nice to some fresh artists along with veterans such as Lee Townsend. Each artist had such passion and using both traditional and digital ways to create their work. Don’t tell anyone but I may have spent a cheeky half hour having a go at the draw the undead competition.
I do feel that I miss a big part of the experience through going alone. What brings MCM to life is the community. How many places can you go to where strangers will stop and chat purely because of them are dressed as the joker? What grabbed my attention today was the number of families attending MCM and the experience they were all getting. To see the kids (and parents) meet their heroes was a joy, making me wish I was 13ish years younger. Who couldn’t feel utter delight at seeing a six-year-old storm trooper on patrol with fellow soldiers?
The cosplay is at the core of this sense of community. Cosplayers really outdone themselves this year. Star-Lord seemed a popular newcomers this year amongst the many jokers, Harley Quinn’s and Brian Cranston’s. As an avid who fan I was disappointed to see so few Doctors, especially when it came to Capaldi. The winner to me of cosplayers over the weekend was easily Lego batman. At 7 foot high this was a marvellous piece to see and needed patience from the wearer to even move. Other notable cosplayers go to Groot, bumblebee and black widow.
Sadly space is still the problem when it comes to MCM. Getting in for 9AM the first two hours wasn’t too bad. By noon though you could barely move and had to just follow the general movement and dodge bumping into batman or standing in the way of photos. If you aren’t a collector or don’t see the point in spending to see celebrities then this is fine with the fun and excitement only lasting an hour or two once you’re inside. For hunters of memorabilia though who want to spend their time hunting for gold it really does become quite difficult. With MCM so popular and growing in popularity hopefully we can see them expand even more in years to come.
Hopefully, MCM will continue to focus in on this community and find new and exciting ways for everyone to interact. Who wouldn’t want to see a duelling stand with lightsabers or wands? A panel of hard-core fans debating theories and plotlines. More events and more interaction please MCM for all of us fans to remember.