This weekend it’s the London Comic Con MCM Expo in London’s Excel Centre at the Royal Victoria Dock.
I’ve been to conventions. Mostly comics. But I’ve also turned up at the occasional Science Fiction Convention and not a few Doctor Who Conventions over the years. This is my first time at Expo and nothing prepared me for the sheer scale of the thing.
And today is just the Press and Trade Preview Day. Not much in the way of special events, or organised shows and exhibitions. Mostly just the exhibitors setting up and we Professional Convention Attendees struggling to fill the cavernous space.
It took me ages to do a slow circuit of the show, checking out each stand and getting a feel for where everything is. I’m sensing that there are several key areas to this thing.
There’s Comic Village, which is the area where my interests lie. Several avenues of comic creators from mainstream guys like Gary Eskine and Hunt Emerson to anime and Manga creators and a few brave souls who are self-publishing their own graphic novels. There’s more comics pros due to attend tomorrow and Sunday.
Then there’s the whole anime and manga culture stuff, offering all kinds of stuffed toys and other spin-off merchandise from famous Manga series like Sailor Moon (just about the only one I recognised).
Cosplay (that’s “costume play”) was invented by Famous Monsters of Filmland editor Forrest Ackerman at the 1939 New York Science Fiction Convention and by now it’s pretty much out of control. Most of the cosplayers at Expo base their outfits around Manga or Gaming characters though there are a few Western comic book characters too. I saw DC Comics’ Harley Quinn enjoying a computer game. You can either buy your costume from one of the many vendors or, for more props, make your own.
And, yes, Computer Gaming is also featured heavily, not an interest of mine but all the major games producers have a presence.
Tomorrow I’ll be reporting in more detail on some of the events and on the TV and Movie celebs who’ll be turning up to sign autographs for their fans. If this sounds like your kind of thing, or you just like watching other people from other worlds enjoying themselves in their own special way, you could do worse than spend a couple of hours at London MCM Expo.
Adult (15+) £10
Child (11-14) £5
Child (10 and under) free accompanied by adult
Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm