MCM COMIC CON SPRINGS INTO ACTION
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
Superheroes and villains were out in force and Ann Evans went along to Birmingham’s NEC to meet some of them.
The fabulous MCM Comic Con show was back at the NEC during March, bringing with it a real celebration of sci-fi and pop culture with a host of Cosplay fans, dressed as their favourite hero or villain from film, TV, comic and video game. Where else could you bump into Captain Jack Sparrow, Monty Python and a parade of zombies all under one roof?
Comic Con is more than just dressing up and having fun, it has an eclectic array of stalls selling exclusive products that you’ll never find anywhere else. Everything from official merchandising, to hand-crafted items of jewellery, ornaments and collectables of all kinds. There are toys, film props, original artwork and anime.
If steampunk is your thing, there are stalls selling unique clothing and accessories. The Comic Village is crammed with talented artists and writers, some who demonstrate their skills right before your eyes. There are incredible sculptures of sci-fi and comic characters crafting in metal and clay.
The show was the perfect place to try out all the latest video games. Award-winning company SideQuest who specialise in console games had an area all set out for fans to try out their latest games – with just about every seat taken.
There was even a special double decker bus in the hall fitted out for gaming enthusiasts to enjoy. Rogbus.com Republic of Games. The ROG Battle Bus is making appearances all over the UK, so watch out for it at other shows if you’re into getting the very best of gaming gear. The bus is armed with high-end gaming laptops and desktops complimented by ASUS’s own ROG monitors and peripherals. Just the thing if you love gaming.
Something to get you moving was to learn how to fight with light sabres. You could be up there ‘feeling the force’ as another Obi-Wan Kenobi! Silver Sabres training in light sabre fighting were showing all ages what can be achieved at their LED Sabre Combat Academy.
Comic Con is a show for all the family, and it was great to see even the tiniest of tots joining in with mum and dad to dress up for the occasion. And especially for these little superheroes was the new Treehouse interactive area which has face painting, free-play Lego, book readings and Jedi training.
Plus, of course there are the special guests signing autographs and meeting their fans, which this time included: Asa Butterfield, star of new Netflix comedy drama Sex Education; The Umbrella Academy cast members Tom Hopper (Black Sails, Game of Thrones, Merlin) and series breakout star Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton, Wicked); Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario. Martinet has played Nintendo’s iconic mascot in more than 100 videogame titles – a Guinness World Record.
Veronica Taylor (Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and fellow voice actor Patricia Summerset (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild); Supernatural‘s Felicia Day (The Guild, Mystery Science Theater 3000) and Osric Chau (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Kings of Con); Game of Thrones‘ Miltos Yerolemou (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Danish Girl) and Ian Beattie (Alexander, Vikings); and Merlin Alexander Vlahos (Versailles) and Rupert Young (Doc Martin).
Comic Con attracted around 35,000 visitors over the two days. Laura McCrum, MCM’s National Event Manager said, “It’s always a joy to meet so many like-minded fans – many of whom come dressed for the occasion in cool costumes! 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for MCM.”
We were seriously impressed by Metal Art Productions who had come down from Liverpool to exhibit a gleaming array of sci fi characters all hand-crafted from metal including recycled gears, cogs and sparkplugs. Their detailed models can be made in all sizes to order, and currently they range from a 5ft Predator to 15cm Aliens, and lots more besides.
A group of University of Bolton students learning all about special and visual effects were exhibiting some of the items they have made at Bolton Uni’s School of Creative Technologies. Student, Lauren Fry said, “This is all part of our course. Everything we learn at Uni is geared to films, TV and medical simulations, such as making prosthetic limbs and wigs, which as well as used in film can also be used for people who need them.”
One of the many talented artists appearing at the show was Stu Mackay Fine Art who specialises in photorealistic pop-art and surreal paintings in print. Working from his London studio, Stu Mackay is an internationally renowned independent Fine Artist whose visual creations infuse fine art painting with innovative graphic design. His ‘UK Invasion Collection’ featured 12 mash-ups contained within a Dalek format, perfect for Comic Con. As were his ‘Gals with Guns Collection’.
As always, at the end of each day, there was the Cosplay Stage, where Cosplay people could parade their amazing costumes.
So, another fabulous MCM Comic Con. For details of the next show go to: mcmcomiccon.com/birmingham