Held at Manchester Central (formerly GMEX) every July since 2011, the Manchester Comic Con is becoming ever more popular each year, with 30,000 people showing up compared to last years 11,000 – there were so many people in fact that there was a 2 hour queue to get in, and there was still a queue when I left at 4pm.
This was my third year at the Con and it seems to get better every year – the stalls were great, the atmosphere was amazing and you didn’t even need to go inside to enjoy the convention, as the buzz extended to the area outside the GMEX, and even the graduates across the road got in on the action; coming up for pictures whilst still in their graduation robes.
Inside the GMEX it was a total sweatbox, even with the powerful AC on full blast. I guess that’s what happens though when you try and squeeze that many people into a confined space when it’s 26 degrees outside. Nonetheless, they did a good job with the layout, the staging was cordoned off unlike last year which meant that people crowding round to see the guest speakers didn’t get in the way of the stalls and comic village which was a major gripe last year. My only complaint was that it was quite hard to get from one end to another, which tended to leave people a little grumpy – not what you want when you’ve spent hours on a cosplay and some stroppy con-goer decides to barge past you. There was a lot of unused space at the other end of the venue too – last year this was used as a place to sit down and congregate, but this year it was mostly empty all day.
From a cosplayers perspective, everyone taking pictures was well mannered and generally speaking asked permission for photos (one guy came up to ask for a picture, clearly lost his bottle and stood there saying “Shiny” at me before running away again, bless) and other cosplayers were more than happy to pose and have their photo taken too. I went down with photographer Matt Denton to see the sights and find the best cosplay’s out there and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the outfits – especially by some of the kids cosplay outfits that we saw.
Here are a selection of my favourite cosplays of the day, see if you can spot yourself.