It’s Friday, and despite the fact that the ExCel Station is closed this isn’t deterring commuters from taking the DLR to MCM London this May. The train was packed with a collection of colourful cosplays, featuring people dressed from top to toe in their choice of clothing. Over the course of three days, the London ExCel Centre would find itself heaving with vendors and customers alike, all looking to celebrate their interests and all-in-all have a good time.
The weather for the most of it seemed to favour the visitors, with only the typical English weather rearing it’s grey and murky head on the Sunday to provide the intermittent shower.
Heading into the ExCel Centre, it seemed that this year would certainly be as busy as previous years, with each area providing an update to the world of Geekdom. Over by the Gold Theatre, DC Comics had taken over a small section of the convention to advertise their upcoming Wonder Woman film, with an opportunity to take a photograph as the titular character herself and take a closer look at some of the props and costumes used in the production. Additionally, they dedicated a smaller section for the just released Injustice 2, where con-goers were given the opportunity to play the game with a friend.
Heading further into the convention, there is so much more to explore and take part in. An entire section dedicated to autographs and photographs with your favourite stars, which this year featured the talent of the original Power Rangers, Manu Bennett fresh from the island on the CW’s Arrow, the original Hulk Lou Ferrignox and Flash Gordon Sam J. Jones and so many more. Scattered throughout the event – hosted either in grand sectioned-off Theatres or in interviews on the hall itself – were special panels and events interviewing these stars, giving their fans a more open area to ask their burning questions.
Vendors were also out in full-force, selling their wares at various prices; as usual, you had to balance taking a walk around the various stalls to find the perfect price, whilst making sure that you didn’t actually miss out on any of the goodies before they were bought by another lucky con-goer!
The Esports area was back, providing a stage not just for competitive gameplay but also for relaxing and interactive stages hosted by the likes of Tekken – showing off their as-yet unreleased seventh installment in the fighting series – and Nintendo – who were out in force to advertise the oncoming storm of Nintendo Switch games that would be coming soon!
Inside and out the fans were as excited as ever, gathering in various groups of fandoms for collective shoots and general discussions outside. Over the course of the event, dozens of meet-ups were arranged in the MCM Fringe Festival, allowing cosplayers to gather in their various fandoms to show off their skillfully designed cosplays and discuss the latest episodes and whatnot.
It should also be said that the security at MCM did a fantastic job, considering the security measures that were put in place following the recent attacks in both London and Manchester. There was some discussion about treatment of props, though nothing too serious arose from this. All in all, the security team did a top job in ensuring that all visitors to the event had a safe time!
There was some thoughts about how the con could do better – there was a large unexplained abundance of space in the Vidfest UK section, which ideally could have provided a stage or extra space for the content-creators to share and utilise for various creative projects. There were also some issues with timings, though this is to be expected from an event of this scale – although there were delays with talks, sometimes leading to cancellations in panels, it was widely considered that the staff handled the situation well (especially considering some of the cancellations happened at the last minute, which is enough to send even the most veteran of organisers into a tailspin sometimes).
All in all, the event served as an opportunity for like-minded people who shared similar interests to socialise and enjoy a number of experiences. Whilst the weather on the final day was something to be desired, the experience as a whole was enjoyable for geeks of all ages.