Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Fandom: MCM Comic Con London – Oct 2013

As titled this is more of a fandom account of the event rather than much of anything else…

About two weeks ago a trip I was taking was cancelled and I wanted to find something else to do. I randomly found out that MCM Comic Con London was taking place at ExCel in the same time period (25-27 Oct 13). I ended up booking tickets for myself and a friend. I’ve never been to a Comic Con before – I should probably make you aware of that now! I was determined though to go in cosplay as I thought I might as well go the whole-hog if I was going…why do something by halves? And thus for the last couple of weeks I’ve been spending all my free time creating my costume...

The Geek Train

On Friday the 25 we arrived by train to Waterloo and made our way across London to where we were staying. It was an interesting thing as even before we got on the tube we were already asked if we were going to Comic Con. We were dressed in civis – not cosplay – but that heightened out spirits more. We boarded our DLR service which had been dubbed by us the “sky train” because it’s the Docklands Light Railway and that name really sucks…anyway it got renamed again after that “the Geek Train in the Sky” because basically it was full of people going to Comic Con. After dumping all our stuff at the hotel we took the train back along the line to ExCel and arrived at the Con. It wasn’t too busy, because we had other plans we were just checking in that day and picking up our wrist bands so we didn’t have to queue the next day. It was alright – there were quite a few people in awesome cosplays already! We only queued for about 40 mins or so – compared to people saying the next day they queued for about 2-3 hours – we realised we made the right choice! We both resisted the urge to enter the Con and continued on our business that day.

The queue

The entrance

The morning of Saturday 26 arrived and we donned our cosplay and headed across Docklands to the ExCel...

Me as Janos Audron from the Legacy of Kain series*

– we had to walk along the river ‘cause the Geek Train wasn’t working and we had to go by bus but following loads of characters along the River Thames was pretty awesome! When we arrived I can’t put into words how cool it was – I was never expecting that many people – let alone 90% of them being all cosplayed up!

Early morning as the place just opened

After spending a few moments taking in the sights – we eagerly entered inside the ExCel. It was absolutely heaving – I wasn’t expecting it to be that manic – you basically were shuffling long the hallway to the main centre – once you got out of the main part it wasn’t as bad though. We followed the crowd and entered into the main hall which was full of stalls selling everything from comics, dvds, clothing, jewellery, cuddly toys, games, collectables, cards, art work and loads of other cool stuff…even weapons! There were a couple of areas here with talks going on too, as well as celebrities signing stuff, movie trailers playing and games demos you could get your hands dirty on. I was like a kid in a candy store and didn’t really know where to look, what to buy, what to do – but it was amazing! I got to meet Alexis Cruz...for those who don’t know he played Skaara/Klorel in Stargate and SG1 *faint* and got a signed photo and a picture with him – once I walked away I basically had what my friend dubbed a "geekgasm" as I screamed, jumped up and down and freaked out in the middle of the Con.

Me and Alexis Cruz

After that my next highlight was playing Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 on the PS3 (see previous article for my review on it). We then wandered around and shopped. I bought an awesome Dexter shopping bag which has a serial killer shopping list on the back and an assassin’s creed bracelet. Yay!

View from the steps

We stepped outside a couple of times for a breath of fresh air and to get a little space – outside was pretty packed too – there were cosplayers and things happening everywhere – a massive big screen playing trailers – music playing – people dancing and fighting their character enemies. It was epic!!!!! The time come for us to leave for the day and we headed back to the hotel.

We got freshened up and decided what to wear for the evening – we had tickets to the Comic Con Party – the options for dress was smart or cosplay. My friend wanted to wear a dress and I wanted to go in cosplay…at a stale mate we looked at the flyer again and accessed the options – in the end we decided to go in “smart-cosplay” yep this meant cosplay in a smart dress – which was pretty amusing! So Destiny Tiva Xarin got to make an appearance at Comic Con too.

DTX in a dress!!

We arrived at the Novotel Docklands and the party wasn’t much – it was mainly people in cosplay though. As more and more people arrived and drinks were had the party got going…even though the venue probably had the smallest dance floor on record! The DJs were two guys called Baka Punk – which were fantastic – EBM with game/anime/movie music mixed in – which was damn awesome – either that or I had had a bit too much to drink *cough* me…never – would I! The night was a surreal experience – it was like being at a party but being in a movie/TV show at the same time – so strange and fun – and because everyone there was for the same reason there was no trouble and everyone was lovely.


We met some great people at the party and once we were all kicked out we ended up hanging out with them…drinking more of course! Somehow we managed to get a taxi back thanks to the reception staff at the hotel…it was a silver Mercedes – I really don’t think the driver was thinking he was going to be picking up an Ancient Vampire and the She Hulk lol. We ended up getting back to the hotel in one piece to the reception staff reminding us the clocks went back…umm and extra hour in bed!

Then in not too long a time Sunday 27 arrived – we got up…and well got up – and got ready into our cosplay ready to hit the Comic Con again…much less enthusiastic today due to the most massive hangover ever – we checked out our hotel and dragged our sorry selves across Docklands again to ExCel. I think I was more of a dishevelled Janos Audron this day and spent most of the day groaning and feeling sorry for myself. Anyway after a bit of food we went and had a look around some more and realised the ExCel was even bigger than we first thought – we found more food places we didn't know existed and two more halls – one for table top gaming and card competitions and another where the main talks/panels were taking place with some more stalls selling stuff. We went tried to get our hands on some of the free stuff in a give-a-way in the break between panels (not successful – yep jumping up and down with the Soul Reaver in the air still doesn’t get you £120 worth of free Star Wars goodies!). We made ourselves comfortable for the Warehouse 13 panel we had come to see. (I wanted to see the Lost Girl one too but that was before we arrived – which blowed). Anyway they showed a gag-reel and then came on and talked for a good 20-30 minutes answering questions and telling stories.

Warehouse 13 panel

This was really cool – they were all super awesome. After this we headed outside and I got to meet up with a couple of friends which was unexpected but amazing none-the-less (even though it was only for about 5 minutes each – it was good to see them). After this we crammed in the last bit of shopping until over the tannoy came that it was time to get the hell out of there. We headed outside and got the bus to the tube station…I have never seen a tube station full of people…especially those in cosplay – once again a really strange experience – it was like something out of a cartoon. We arrived back safely at Waterloo to wait for our train…still in costume…I ended up grabbing us some snacks and then we hung about. We crammed on the train home – which was heaving…and got some very strange looks – not as bad as those when we got back home though!

People outside ExCel

Overall it was an awesome and epic weekend – I definitely will be going again next year and will probably make sure I can spend all three days there this time because there was so much to do. I would definitely recommend it to anyone because it is an amazing experience…even if just to sight see!

*I can’t believe people recognised who I was…there were a good 10-15 people who stopped and I had LoK conversations with about how awesome the games are, what they loved, then about Nosgoth and even people saying they so wanted to do an LoK cosplay themselves. There were more though who recognised the costume and I didn’t get chance to speak to. I was pleased with this as I thought the series may have been long forgotten...or the younger generation wouldn't know about it – but obviously not! LONG LIVE LOK!!!

For Nosgoth!

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