When I first walked into a Manchester convention, especially one of the first set inside the Gmex, it felt like you were walking into Bilbo’s living-room. Cramped, sweaty, people trying to move around, grinding against each other. When I walked into the entrance this year, I felt like I was walking into the Great Hall. Spacious, welcoming, dangerous (on the wallet; so much shiny); I really felt like I could relax, without the unrequited touching of humans. I was overwhelmed with the amount of space MCM had this year, and it wasn’t just filled with random, repeating stuff. I happily wandered around, even during its busiest periods, and I didn’t feel rushed or crowded. It was just right, and it had many an offering to provide to the newbie, and the veteran, of MCM.
The weather was great across the weekend, and even when Manchester brought its inevitable deluge of water, it didn’t dampen spirits. I absolutely loved the level of Cosplay Manchester has to offer now, it really has upped its game, it was fantastic. Although the number Cosplayers were vast, the EuroCosplay competition is steam-rolling towards it’s conclusion. The competition was fierce, with several Cosplayers looking amazing (check more pics out HERE), however Bryony Harris, of Kaldorei Cosplay, smashed all opposition to become crowned MCM’s winner.
She will now go on to represent at London’s final in a little under three months time (GO MOTH BABIES!). What makes me proud to be a geek, and I am not afraid to admit it, its the acceptance to just be stopped and photographed. I love it, it makes everyone’s day when they get a picture with their “Hero”, so thank you everyone who Cosplays!
The atmosphere at the event was great, the air was filled with excitement and enjoyment, no negativity, just a relaxed sense of being. The main hall was a buzz, filled with not only the stalls of people looking to sell their wares, but it was rife with demonstrations for everyone to try. Esdevium Games brought up their many games for us to try, and I happily watched (and assisted with sound effects) a game of Star Wars: Armada! Those guys worked tirelessly all weekend to bring great games to life for those of us who have never tried them before.
Konami also had an area for those of us who are also new to Yu-Gi-Oh collectable card game, informing us all about the competitions that are held around the UK. Gamemania had a stand for those of us who are console gamers, sadly I never got a chance to try any of the games out, so let me know what you thought. Finally we saw some amazing PC builds at the Gladiator Computers stand, water cooled machines of excellence! These masterful machines are hand built to perfection, and showcased some seriously hardcore games, at amazing levels of performance. Definitely be saving up to purchase one of their builds, as I need a new PC.
Also in the hall, hidden away, were Redshirt Films, a great Independent Film company based out of York. Some of their great work includes “I am Tim” a web series based around Tim Helsing, the last descendant of Van Helsing. “Nights of the Round Table” a short web-series based around the mishaps of a group of role players. Finally their up and coming film “The Away Mission” is about two Red shirts left behind on a planet, and although not out yet, is something I am looking forward to watching (Trekkie here!). We were lucky to get an interview with Jaime and James, both writers and stars of Red-shirt Films, check it out here.
One of the reasons we go to events is to meet the stars, and we did manage to meet a couple. Katrina Law and Karl Yune were in Manchester to talk about Arrow, and although it was cool to see them, man they were swamped! Maile Flanagan was situated in the main hall, talking about her voicing Naruto and generally being around most of the day for people to get photos and autographs. Robert Llewellyn was around on Saturday discussing Red Dwarf, but again he was packed with fans vying for his attention. We don’t like taking fans away from their Geek out moments. However we did manage to catch Sylvester McCoy, one of the most famous Doctor Who’s, and grab some words with him, check that interview out here. Finally we managed to out bid all other Geeks and grab some time with Sean Kelly of Storage Hunters, talking about his upcoming comedy tour around the UK.
To wrap the weekend off I took a walk around the… “….The Comic Village. You will never find a more talented hive of artists and writers. We must be cautious.” Okay, it was a bad play on words, but amongst this well placed crowd of tables are some of the United Kingdoms best talent to date. The famous UK award winning illustrator and comic book artist John McCrea was present, displaying his work from DC & Marvel. Lee Bradley, a UK based artist who has drawn Spider-man & Transformers, and is currently working with Marvel. Jack Lawrence, creator of Darkham Vale, whose other work has blessed the pages of 2000AD, Dark Horse & Image Comics. Romantically Apocalyptic were present, with their stand seriously representing “Zee Captain”, a great web-series comic that is well worth your time. Lastly, but definitely not least, “Metal Made Flesh“, which was funded through a Kickstarter a while ago. A Cyberpunk illustrated book, written by Jeremy Biggs and drawn by Simeon Aston, this is a collection of three short stories. Brought together by great writing, and beautiful artwork, this is a labour of love. It was a great pleasure to meet Jeremy, and the book is outstanding.
So overall I had a great weekend, MCM was fantastic! Since its origins it has come so, so far, creating a place where Geeks in and around Greater Manchester, can be themselves. The Cosplay, the atmosphere, the space, the offerings; all of it has come together to create a great convention! If things can only get better, then Manchester is going to be setting benchmarks. I had such a good time, I even forgot to write about the only negative part of MCM, but I can save that for another article. I do not think it fair, nor right, to sully the great weekend. If you get a chance to go to the next one, I would definitely advise for you to buy a ticket and just enjoy yourself. Embrace the inner Geek, dress up, and rock out at MCM 2016. See you there.
Check out more pics of the event HERE on our facebook