So far I’ve been to every Manchester MCM Comic con since it started and each year it has gotten gradually bigger in terms of turn out and overall awesome things to do over the weekend.
This year was no exception to that growth as the convention sold out on pre sale tickets weeks before the event and has been the biggest family event the city has seen in a long time.
Like most conventions it didn’t get off to a great start, many people were disappointed that they couldn’t buy tickets on the door as it had sold out online prior to the event. There was also a few problems at the start which meant some people who brought priority tickets to get into the event at 9am were left in a stand still queue until after 10am due to just being forgotten about.
Even with a bad start it was good weather all day and once people did get in there wasn’t much to complain about. MCM Expo had listened to previous requests about putting on more food / drinks places and compared to a lot of conventions I’ve been to there was a good amount of space to move about, if you had a wheelchair or baby pram to push along making it was fairly easy to get about. Overall a very comfortable convention to spend the weekend at.
One thing I’ve come away from this convention with is the thought that it’s not just the organisers or the special guests who make a convention great but the people who go. If you have a good bunch of visitors going there is overall a good vibe in the air. Everyone at the Manchester comic con this year was very friendly, the cosplayers were more than happy to have their pictures taken. Nobody seems to be pushing around and were very polite when moving about which took a lot of stress away which you often see at conventions.
This years cosplay was also really impressive, not just the quality of some of the costumes but the fact that 90% of the people who went tried some sort of cosplay even if it was just wearing a mask or hat. The ratio of cosplay to none cosplay goes up every year at Manchester MCM Expo and this year it must have reached some sort of peak. You also know a good cosplay convention when Tabitha Lyons from Atyfakes turns up. I first saw her at Thought Bubble years ago and she’s probably the UK’s most talented and well known cosplayers at the moment . You might have seen the Dragon her team made which went on sale not long ago.
Shopping wise there was a lot of selection stores which were a mix of official merchandise and custom made props and memorabilia from shoes to t-shirts and cosplay weapons. A few of the big comic shops turned up like Travelling Man and some of my favorite shops in the UK Japan:Cool and Gundam Mad both of which had an amazing selection of Gundam kits and was more than happy to take most of my money for the weekend.
The comic village had some of the best UK indie publishers and artists around but like all the MCM comic cons it missed out the big comic artist guests which conventions like Thought Bubble pull in. Getting some big name comic artists in would be cool but I don’t think it’s what MCM Expo are about and it works well for them. Although comics are a big part of MCM Manchester they are just one of the attractions of the show and I think they had enough to keep everyone happy.
The special guests got really good this year with Katrina Law and Karl Yune from Arrow along with Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker from Doctor Who plus many more. They may not seem as big as some of the guests at the London or state side conventions but they were great to see at Manchester this year. Autographs started at £15 and photo sessions costed about £20 and they seemed to be a lot more popular this year. I wish MCM had more of a deal with them so autographs or at least a quick selfie would be free. It is common at conventions to pay for autographs but it is still a bit strange to me. You buy tickets for a convention to see special guests but then have to pay extra to actually shake their hands. I also missed having Vic Mignogna there at the con, he’s been to Manchester for the last few years and always done great talks but wasn’t at this years event.
Overall it was a great weekend, Manchester is the perfect location for a comic con as it has the space, lots of transport links, cheap hotels and a lot to do outside the convention too like going to visit one of the local comic or toy shops, it even had a cinema next door.
If you are planning on going next year remember to preorder tickets online and I still highly recommend the early bird weekend tickets to make the most out of the weekend.
Posted by Adi Mursec on July 25, 2015
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