MCM returns to ExCel London 22-24 October for an epic three day celebration of popular culture and most importantly…..cosplay! It’s been two years since cosplayers assembled at the ExCel. There is sure the fear of Covid, the overwhelm of being around so many people, the anxiety of being in crowds, and the concern of how different things might be.
|Picture by Cosplay By Pedro|
In terms of covid precautions you were asked to show your NHS App QR code for the covid pass upon entry and given a covid wrist band once its seen. When you enter and leave the building you need to show this band along with your entry pass. This worked well in theory however most security wasn’t scanning or checking the actual QR codes. You could have literally shown any screen shot of a QR code and been given the ok. I know some who didn’t need to show anything and were let in. I think personally you should be able to show your pass and show a negative lateral flow test as even if your double vaccinated you can still carry covid.
The stalls were very spaced out, reduced capacity and social distancing were in place. This may well be to the detriment of the whole event consequently. More space meant less to see and do. When there is less to see and do it make for a lesser con experience overall. The ticket pricing wasn’t reduced yet the convention experience was reduced.
There were times walking around the halls people forgot themselves and social distancing went out the window. This was also the case when con goers asked for photographs with cosplayers, they usually stood right next to the cosplayer without a mask for photos. Generally speaking, you felt safe.
Due to reduced capacity, we noticed the missing retailers both large and small from previous years, the missing artists that would normally be attending and the lack of things such as movie props, cars, big stalls, interactive areas.
There was the MCM London
Comic Con App you can download which really helps to plan the weekend. Pro tip
would be to download this before you attend so you can plan your panels and
make sure you don’t miss anything. If you’re a family with children this is a
must to save the aimless wandering of busy halls trying to figure out what’s
available to keep the kids entertained.
I did enjoy the Official MCM Merch store. I personally picked up a zip up hoody and a Captain Carter T-Shirt. It was very busy every time I walked past all weekend. By the Saturday morning there was already items sold out which was disappointing. They had offered pre orders and with how busy the stand was there just wasn’t enough of certain items. I was impressed with the range of items and the quality on offer. In future I would order in advance so not to miss out, however this time I needed to work out my size which you need to do in person.
There were a huge number of panels running all weekend including celebrity panels. There was of course a list of top celebrities in attendance with the top name of the weekend being Tom Hiddleston. Therefore, there was so many Loki cosplayers in attendance. There is always the photo and autograph opportunities you can book and pay for with the special guests. There was also SideQuest gaming station, The Treehouse interactive station.
There was also a lot going on in Cosplay Central with cosplay panels, casual cosplay showcase, selfie stations/photo sets, cosplay masquerade and the cosplay hospital for repairs.
We did attend the Wheel
of Time Amazon Prime UK stand. This stand had an interactive green screen and 4
video clips from the series before its released on the 19th November.
On the 19th of November there will be 3 episodes released and then
one a week until Christmas Eve. As I haven’t read the books, I was going into
it blind. From what I saw the clips gave a Game of Thrones meets Lord of the
Rings vibe. It certainly looks magical, mystical, and full of adventure. The poster that was used in the image above gives a very Harry Potter/teen adventure style vibe with this floating looking 'death eater' looking creature. It looks somewhere between something from Harry Potter and something from Vikings. Apparently this is a cause of major controversy and upset amongst the WOT fan community as its a misrepresentation and certainly gives a different impression than the clips watched and other artwork for the show.
The costumes look insane and something to keep an eye on as I’m sure come May there will be many cosplays coming! I was with Zoe from @wheeloftimecommunity @weavesofthewheel and I feature in their interview after watching the video clip so be sure to check out their pages and MCM videos!
My personal favourite things to check out are the independent shop stalls such as small business/Etsy sellers you wouldn't normally be able to meet and checking out Artist Alley. I love meeting all the independent artists and seeing the variety and different types of work available. I noticed that some of my favourite artists were missing. I think so many have been worried about how the con will go before committing. I personally didn’t get any artwork this time. I am hoping more artists return for future conventions.
|Saturday Black Widow|
No matter what is happening on the inside of the convention, the cosplayers revel in the chance to meet on the outside. Being at those stairs, under the trees, on the green, hang outs at The Fox, at the surrounding hotels all are such a huge part of the cosplay experience at MCM London. Socializing and photo opportunities are usually the biggest part of what the cosplayers go for, and I think even with a lack of stalls and features for the convention they will always keep the cosplay attendees purely due to the opportunity it gives.
|Picture of Sumisu Cosplay|
Now I’m sure we will see the post con depression/blues and the post con flu kick in across nerds everywhere. So, take your Lemsips and con crunch away over the next few weeks.
on MCM Birmingham 13th-14th just around the corner!
See you there!
* All photos taken by myself unless otherwise stated.
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