Category Archives: Experience

That time I went to Comic Con and didn’t have to leave the country

This was my first time attending MCM Comic Con in Glasgow even though it isn’t exactly new here anymore, this just happened to be the first time I managed to book the day off work – and it was so worth it.

My usual partner in crime accompanied me (thank goodness for wee cousins – I slipped on the footbridge and would have gone down if not for her – she saved my life guys!!!) and we managed to see pretty much everything we wanted thanks to previous con experience. We’re pros at this now.

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On first impressions the event is much smaller than its London counterpart, which is understandable as it is still a new addition to the MCM lineup, but it is very well organised and the layout works very nicely with plenty of room to move between stalls even when it got really busy (once general admission crowds had gained entry). There were still plenty of areas in the exhibition centre left unused by the event so hopefully in the years to come we may see some expansion – perhaps a larger eSports or Vidfest UK area or a Pop Asia addition?

As always our first goal was the comic village. Pro tip: going here first allows you to peruse stalls without pushing through swarms of people, gives you a chance to have a conversation with the artists themselves without them feeling they are ignoring potential customers/fans, and also means that you may be the first sale for a new release which can be pretty special. I came prepared with a list of artists I knew I had to visit and managed to see all of them plus met some new artists who caught my attention with some really amazing work. There is something for everyone in the comic village so even if you don’t read comics or indies the huge variety of art styles and trinkets on offer might find a fan in you.

IMG_0001.JPG[I have a soft spot for zombie teddies – they need love too!]

I am particularly fond of buying mystery packs when I see them – not everyone has them on offer, but the artists that do usually pack a nice selection of goodies into a little bag for around £5-10 and they are always more than worth it. This year I bought 2. The first was from Katie White Art and had some super cute A5 prints, a sticker and a badge.

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The second was from AnythingComic (my go-to for mystery pack goodness) and as always it was cram-packed with 2 A3 prints, 2 A5 prints, a handful of mini prints and stickers and a lil bag of haribo. There’s a good reason I try to find this stall every con.

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While walking around the convention we noticed a lot of people carrying boxes – MyGeekboxes and Zboxes primarily. It took us a while to find the stall but when we did it seemed like everyone had cleaned them out already until the guys told us they were in the process of re-stocking. Some kind directions and a little patience later and we too were walking around carrying boxes. As I already recieve the MyGeekbox I opted for the Zbox, curated by Zavvi. These were really good value at £5 a box and although not filled with the same amount of goodies the monthly box would have they were a nice surprise.

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Now time for the panels. Sometimes at Comic Con there are lots of panels we want to go to that overlap and end up with us splitting up and meeting later, others there are no panels that tickle our fancy and we just wait for the masquerade. This was almost one of the latter occasions but one sounded interesting enough to give a try. We arrived a little early and caught the last half of the Reo Kurosu panel which was a nice insight into anime production and the difficulties of editing for different regions. The Building Better Dreams and Nightmares panel was an informative talk with 3 authors about where scifi and fantasy genres can go next. They had some great advice for budding writers on the pitfalls of self-publishing, also they agreed that technology is so far advanced now it’s quite easy to predict what might be possible in the next 20/30 years making it much easier for writers to create very realistic worlds. This panel probably wasn’t to everyones taste (someone behind me seemed bewildered why we were just listening to three people talking about writing books), but I did enjoy it and I now have a couple of books added to my to-read list.

It’s almost tradition now that we stay to watch the Cosplay Masquerade at the end of the day, we were already in our seats from the last panel and had a pretty good view. Glasgow has some very talented cosplayers and lots of them took to the stage – there were also far more performances and skits than we are used to at the London con, it was a real treat.

masqueradewinners.jpg[sorry for quality, took this one on my phone]

The nice thing about going to a con in your own city is that you can go home straight after, play with all the cool stuff you got and collapse into your own bed for a well earned rest (after you’ve tidied up all the stuff you got).

Here is my haul from this year, mostly comics and art again.

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If you want to check out some of these artists or comic books here’s where to find them:

Kelly Angel – AnythingComic

Katie White Art

Naniiebim

Lyndon White

Card Shark Comics

Tpub comics

Accent UK Comics

 

That time I went to comic con and barely bought anything.

It has been two weeks since London MCM Comic Con so before the con blues set in fully I’d like to share about my time there and why it’s something I look forward to.

This past con will have been my 4th and I really wish I had been going longer because the atmosphere is amazing, I guess I’m pretty thankful for having an actual job now that allows me to do things I love. The dream is, and always will be, to go to San Diego Comic-Con or NY Comic-Con but until then London is the big event.

Going to comic con is a full weekend affair for us (my cousin and I). We’ve done the Saturday only stint and while we had great fun it really sapped us since we travelled on the over-night bus service. It just makes sense to attend for the full weekend so we can plan what panels we want to see, roam the halls and just take it all in at a leisurely pace. With the improvements in queuing and layout at May’s event we were really looking forward to our October trip. I of course left cosplay plans to last minute and decided to keep it simple with my good old Hufflepuff uniform – although if I hadn’t been so lazy I would have returned in my Choji cosplay from May (it was a matter of wig styling). Here’s what that would have looked like:

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(also happens to be my profile pic on practically everything)

I have to say this con was probably the best so far. Entrance/queuing and re-entry was a breeze and the layout was great – I barely got walked into or stepped on the entire time thanks to the wider aisles. There were some really good panels too – we sat in on The Walking Dead’s panel (and then caught Ross Marquand and Greg Nicotero hanging out with the zombies at the Fox stand) and also the Game of Thrones panel, both of which were really funny and pretty interesting while giving no clues as to what might be happening in the shows. Not even the tiniest hint. Oh and not to forget a chance to view the pilot episode of Mr.Robot concluding in free hoodies thanks to Amazon Prime.

October’s Comic Con was so well organised this year that the Euro-Cosplay finals actually ran pretty smoothly. I’m kinda glad they managed to work out all the kinks because the cosplayers put in a lot of time and hard work into their outfits and skits and it takes so much guts to get up on a stage in front of all those people. I must say this is a huge draw for me: I love seeing cosplayers and recognising my favourite characters from shows and video games, it not only brings them to life but its great to see so many others with the same enthusiasm and passion for these characters. It’s also a pretty freeing experience. I don’t know about anyone else who cosplays but the last few times that I’ve made an effort to I actually had this overwhelming feeling of “fitting in” – it just felt so normal. I have never once felt normal in my entire life, I’m always sort-of the odd one out and don’t get me wrong I kinda like it that way, but it’s a really nice feeling to walk through a place and be able to be 100% geek and not worry about randomly spouting quotes from anime or a movie thinking you’re the only one that gets the joke (and laughs alone at it) – because it’s a good bet that half the people there ‘get it’ too. I pretty much enter Comic Con thinking “these are my people”.

I also tend to leave the con with rather a lot more luggage than I came with. Budgets start off with good intentions then totally get thrown to the wind on the Sunday when you pass the Gundam Mad stall for the third time and think “I could fit a small one in my case”. Which I totally did. Thank goodness for expanding suitcases. To be fair though I kept mostly to my list this time and a lot of what I got was cool artsy things and comic books from some of my favourite stalls in the comic village. Great tip – if you visit the stalls on the Friday you’re more likely to get your hands on any goody-bags some of the artists sell since they only tend to make a small number and they will have the good sweets out (sweets also run out fast). Also try to return to the comic village a few times over the weekend, a few of the stall holders are joint-ventures and they really like when you return to make sure you meet everyone involved, it shows that you really appreciate what they do.

The most important thing about going to any con is pretty much – enjoy yourself. I always promise to take lots of pictures before I go and people get dissapointed that when I come back I haven’t taken that many and my only real reason is just that I was far too busy having fun.

And now I sit and count the days til I can go again.

I also go through the things that came home with me and reminisce.

Here are some of those things.

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(see, it’s mostly art . . . it kinda fit in my case . . . it’s not like I bought a giant alpaca . . . . soon though . . . soon)