MCM Comic Con ~ Birmingham, NEC

Tis the season! Autumn geek heaven for my family and I…

Which basically means photographs with awesome cosplays, hearing amazing panel talks with stars of the small and big screen, plenty of gaming opportunities and of course that all important C word… Crimes of Griswald? No, CHRISTMAS. If Santa should be directed anywhere to fulfill my Christmas wish list, it’s Comic Con. Mission completed!

This time we mixed it up a bit, spending Saturday being led by our 4 year old, doing what he wanted to do and the Sunday enjoying the convention the way we wanted to – as much as the 4 year old would allow!

MCM know how to do a large-scale Comic Con and the Cosplayers were out in force, we felt under-dressed for not being in costume. So many fandoms represented by attendees, the atmosphere was buzzing and footfall appeared to be on the up.

Here are 4 year old Connor’s highlights of the Saturday:

  • The Grinch ~ The Grinch is on trend again this festive season with the new animated movie having landed on the big screen. I was already a fan of the original film starring the incomparable Jim Carrey, however the smallest member of our family is now taking an active interest in the character. You can imagine his excitement when early in his comic con experience he was confronted with a giant snow globe featuring the miserly green creature! The queues were never too long for this festive treat which meant we were clambering in beside the Grinch and getting covered in snowflake-like paper on both days of the con. Great fun!
  • SPIDERMAN! ~ suspended from the ceiling and hanging upside down. Not the real thing but close enough and a feature which held Connor’s interest and helped him to know where about in the hall he was too.
  • Storm Troopers ~ we always have to make a beeline for UK Garrison if their members are not already marching towards us. Connor’s main request of the weekend was that he saw and high fived the Storm Troopers and located Chewbacca. His wishes were granted and the traditions of MCM Comic Con were upheld!
  • Super Mario ~ Nintendo were a prominent feature in the gaming areas and extremely attractive to our young lad, especially given that he’s newly discovered the Wii.
  • TOYS ~ the temptation to pick up everything in sight and within reach at the numerous stalls was almost too much for a 4 year old convention attendee to cope with! Overwhelmed sums it up and had we not already got Christmas covered, we could have easily done ALL the Christmas shopping in that hall and had a very happy believer on Christmas morning after Santa had done his job.

Here are the highlights from a 39 year old and 46 year old who are old enough to know better but would rather not(!):

  • Talks/Panels ~ so many to choose from and plenty of different stages with something going on over the weekend. We particularly enjoyed listening to and learning from the talented artist, Mark Kistler who taught us how to draw a cartoon fish. On the main stage there was a Star Wars panel and the wonderful Mary McDonnell was also a star feature.
  • Cosplay ~ there seemed to be an increased number of costumed attendees and the sheer attention to detail that goes in to some of the cosplays is nothing short of incredible. There are some super-talented super-fans out there.
  • Props ~ props from our favourite movies and television shows are always a winner and you can always rely on UK Garrison to recreate memories from Star Wars. The Cybermen were also fascinating to look at, that’s the closest I’ll ever be getting to one at any rate!
  • Christmas Shopping ~ my husband pretty much got Christmas wrapped up for me – everything on my wish list was on display at the wide range of stalls and all budgets were catered for too. From commercial to rarer items, if you have a Christmas list from a geek, Comic Con is the place to shop at.

Do you want to see what all the buzz is about? Then why not check out MCM’s website and book tickets for one of their many awesome events next year: MCM Comic Con

 

 

 

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Coventry Comic Con ~ Review

Comic Cons are one of mine and my family’s favourite things to go to together and Coventry Comic Con offered every opportunity for some fantastic memorabilia and nostalgia in the company of cosplayers and a number of celebrities.

The venue, Sports Connexion was the perfect venue for an easy and effective layout. Plenty of space between the stalls and no shoving and pushing to have a look at the all important merchandise (yes, I came home with not one but TWO bags to satisfy my loud and proud geeky side). There were stars at every turn signing autographs and enjoying selfie time! Notably, David Prowse (Darth Vader… DARTH VADER!!) was present and Sylvester McCoy, my Doctor, was also in attendance with his companion, Ace (Sophie Aldred). Patricia Quinn of Rocky Horror fame was also looking resplendent as ever and loads more cult television series and movies were represented – it was an impressive line up.

The piece de resistance was the panel talks – well organised, a good range of guests and I loved listening to Sylvester McCoy, everyone should hear him talk about Doctor Who and anything else for that matter.

Comic Cons are great fun, where else can fans walk around in costume with the only form of judgement being the cosplay competition they can enter. There are so many to choose from and if you’re taking young children, the smaller-scale events are often a better starter – not so overwhelming but still generating excitement in the little ‘uns. Our three year old is still talking about Coventry’s.

Want to know amore about this fantastic event for all the family? You can read more about it here: Coventry Comic Con

 

MCM Comic Con ~ Birmingham ~ 19th & 20th March 2016

March madness descended upon NEC, Birmingham on 19th and 20th of the month and a myriad of Cosplayers were out in force to seek out their desired goodies from the massive range of stalls available. The layout seemed much improved with fewer bottle necks and easy access for a family with a buggy (aka us!). I found it easier to find a space to treasure hunt at the stalls and there was an excellent variety of dealers on hand, The Sword Stall and Stateside Stills proving particularly popular.

The number of guests signing in the memorabilia area was phenomenal, ranging from Carry On Stars, to Star Wars actors, to Primeval favourites as well as the ever popular Red Dwarf contingent. UK Garrison are a regular feature at Comic Con and they had their usual storm troopers doing the rounds as well as Darth Vader, Princess Leia and Wicket the Ewok in residence. They had brought along an interesting display of trooper helmets and the famous pod-racer was also a highlight. A good array of photo sessions were also on offer with a variety of stars present over the weekend.

A superb line-up of panel sessions took place in the theatre, Warwick Davies was by far, top of the bill, but there was also a fantastically lively panel with the Red Dwarf cast.

The cosplayers never fail to impress with their magnificent costumes, it was interesting to see some different characters make an appearance this time. The attention to detail with some of the costumes is faultless. The quality and organisation of MCM’s comic cons gets better at every event and I can’t wait for November!

 

MCM Expo Comic Con ~ NEC, Birmingham

Reviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams

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MCM Expo presented comic con and memorabilia at its best on 21st and 22nd March at Birmingham’s NEC. Easily our favourite venue for this event, the halls were buzzing and the tills appeared to be ringing as some stalls were more than ten deep at frequent periods during the weekend.

UK Garrison and Rebel Legion had brought along their best storm troopers as usual, with a wide variety of characters from the ‘Star Wars’ franchise available for photo opportunities. Actor, Warwick Davis was also present, with a lengthy queue of fans at his table and it was a fortuitous time for him to be there as UK Garrison celebrated their 15 year anniversary. Congratulations to you from Break A Leg Review.

Funko Pop seems to be one of the ‘must have’ items this year, we saw many dealers with a huge array of the figures and stock appeared to be flying off the shelves. As Disney fans, we can appreciate the draw of them and long may they reign!

Cosplay is always such a key element at comic cons and on this occasion we saw many Disney characters strolling around, there were particularly impressive ‘Sleeping Beauties’, perfect Captain Jack Sparrows and a superb Zarina (the pirate fairy) from the ‘Tinkerbell’ films. We never cease to be amazed by the effort that cosplayers put into their costumes and we have been fortunate enough to interview two regular con-goers who are cosplayers, themselves. Their interviews can be found here: https://breakalegreviewblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/break-a-leg-review-interview-ian-blyth/ and here: https://breakalegreviewblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/break-a-leg-review-interview-samantha-kent/

For the first time, this year we caught the cosplay parade, and we were impressed with the confidence that all of the participants displayed. It’s an inspired way for enthusiasts to showcase their ‘talent’ and we will look out for the parade again at future cons.

The next Birmingham events is 21st to 22nd November and you can buy tickets in advance here when they become available:  http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/birmingham/

The next MCM Expo will be on 22nd to 24th May and the venue is Excel in London, advance tickets can be purchased here: http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london/

 

 

 

 

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