Last weekend I attended MCM Expo at London Excel centre, with 100,000 attendees it is the biggest convention in the UK; heavy rain and hailstones didn’t stop attendees exhibiting an array of fantastic cosplays from a range of anime, film and comics! MCM may have its flaws, but it is a great way to catch up with old friends and make some new ones!
Highlights from the weekend included meeting the lovely Eve Beauregard who travelled all the way from Australia. Eve was assisting Sonesh Joshi on his Kuruz comic stall along with Giada Robin and Stacey Rebecca! This made up for the fact that sadly Jessica Nigri could not attend, (although it looks likely she will be at MCM in October!) it is so great to see so many international cosplayers attending our cons!
I usually don’t bother to much with celebrity autographs, but there was a couple of anime voice actors who I quite wanted to meet, Wendee Lee and Phil La Marr. These autographs and photos were free with the latest issue of MyM, which I happened to have. As a Wolverine and the X-Men fan, I was delighted to meet Phil LaMarr who voices Gambit and Trask in the series, he was a lovely man who signed my WATX DVD and even did a voice from the series! I was also luckily enough to catch Wendee Lee before she jetted off back to the USA, she sadly had to leave early due to a family emergency.
A main part of MCM for me is photographing all the amazing cosplayers at the event! I particularly enjoyed attending the organised community meets and socialising with new cosplayers and photographers alike, especially the lovely people at Studio Ghibli Cosplay UK and Sailor Moon United groups.
As mentioned above, MCM have one consistent flaw – the queueing system – which is one of the reasons I always attend Friday to pick up my wristband! However, on Friday, everything seemed OK – virtually no waiting time to get wristbands, the east entrance was open and security were letting people re-enter through the front, but then Saturday arrived and everything went to pot! I exited the train and was caught in congestion on the bridge, no one was able to move, or knew what to do/where to go! When we eventually could move, I found that we were no longer able to enter through the front and the east entrance was blocked off! Personally, I also found it quite insulting and tasteless that despite peoples complaints about the queues and the ridiculous long waiting times attendees suffered to get wristbands and tickets, MCM filmed and wrote a boastful article about the queues on their MCM Buzz website. I understand they want to boast about the conventions popularity, but that was not the way to do it! Although I did not encounter it myself at this event, I know countlless people had problems with Excel security staff, I can only hope that this improves next con!
With such a BIG event it is impossible to get everything right, perhaps next time they will get it spot on! I remain optimistic that one day they will get it right!
Overall, it was a great weekend with great people and I look forward to the October event!
Photo credits: Wendee Lee photo by Big Guy Slim