FAN-TASTIC FUN AT MCM COMIC CON
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
Ann Evans provides a roundup of the MCM Comic Con show held recently at the Birmingham NEC
The MCM Comic Con clocked up yet another successful event at the Birmingham NEC in November. Thousands of fans of TV, film, games, comics, cosplay, manga and other genres were out in force over the two days, many dressed up as their favourite character.
The show was brimming with stalls selling all kinds of merchandise and collectables, including Cosplay costume and accessories, Manga merchandise, T-shirts, hats, caps and wigs, hand-made jewellery, posters, comics, books, original artwork, sculptures and figurines, plus a whole myriad of other goodies.
There were plenty of big names from TV, film and the video game world signing autographs and talking at the live theatre events. The atmosphere of the show was relaxed and friendly, with everyone enjoying the effort put in by the costumed Cosplay attendees.
Comic Con is a great day out for all ages, and very often entire families turn out dressed as their favourite characters of film, comic, game or book, having gone to incredible lengths to be original and amazing. Then there’s Steampunk where there’s no bounds to their originality. For most visitors, half the fun is seeing the effort and attention to detail that so many Cosplayers have put into their costumes.
It’s always interesting to meet the talented stall holders who sell their own hand-made merchandise, such as Beth Robinson from Southampton who creates unique notebooks, bookmarks and other stationery. The covers of her notebooks have been customised with pieces of jewellery or hand-crafted artwork. Beth explained, “I wanted to make something that was useful as well as ornamental. So, I get bits of old jewellery which I take apart to incorporate into the designs on the covers of the notebooks.”
Comic Con always provides an area for video game enthusiasts to try out new games, but also at the November event there was something special for fans of board games. Chance and Counters is a new board game café which has recently opened in the heart of the Custard Factory in Digbeth. It’s a place where you can enjoy craft beer and locally sourced food – and play board games for free, with around 500 different games to choose from.
This is Chance and Counters’ third café, with the first opening in Bristol in 2016, the second in Cardiff in 2018 and now the Birmingham café. Chance and Counters is the brainchild of three pals Luke, Steve and Richard, who initially came up with the idea over a few beers. Gradually their pipedream became a reality and after a successful Kickstarter project in 2016 allowed them to open their first café, which has now been successfully followed by two more.
Displaying some incredible sculpting skills was sculptor Jon Berry. Barely stopping his work, to chat, he said, “I have a YouTube channel where you’ll find videos on my sculptures, costumes, props, digital work and other strange things on. It’s called: youtube.com/claypolygon. I hope it inspires people to get creative and build something awesome.”
While MCM Comic Con is over for this year, the organisers are busy planning the March 2020 show. For the first time ever, Pop Asia will be at Birmingham. This is a fusion of Japanese, Korean and Asian culture, and promises to be a brand-new hub for fashion, food, and merchandise.
The ever-popular Comic Village will be back featuring comic book artists, writers and publishers. The Tree House is the area especially for youngsters where there will be face painting and even a Reading Corner if you want a break from all the hustle and bustle. Incidentally MCM kids aged 10 and under, go free. The offer is restricted to a maximum of two children per paying adult.
On the MCM Main Stage there will be talks and question time with special star guests. Cosplay Central stage will have a host of panels talking and answering questions on everything to do with cosplay. Plus, there’s the Masquerade to show off your amazing costumes, or the Casual Cosplay Showcase for anyone not taking their Cosplay role quite so seriously. And lots, lots more.
For more information visit: https://www.mcmcomiccon.com/