MCM Manchester Comic Con 2015
Here it is! A visitor’s experience for the north’s answer to geek celebration!
We went to our first comic con last year, which happened to be the one in Manchester. The event was a little too cramped for my anti-social tastes, which was held at Manchester Central (Formerly The GMEX). There was just something so darned attractive about the entire affair though. For me it was getting the chance to be a part of the cosplay scene. Long-time admirer, first time plunge. I decided to play it (fairly) safe and opted to go as one of my favourite comic book characters “The Comedian”.
My costume felt like it was held together with a lick and a prayer in places, but overall I was pretty chuffed with how it looked. It turned out you could buy some fantastic wigs off Amazon at cheapish prices so I was a very happy bunny. E-bay was my best friend too (If you want tutorials I suggest to you to peruse Youtube for your cosplay conundrums! some excellent advice on there).
I fell in love with the cosplay atmosphere once I was at the convention, It’s incredibly positive because no matter what shape, size or skill level your costume is, there is very little criticism to be heard. I also loved people coming up to me to ask for my picture, it was pretty sweet. Having made my own costume, I knew how much effort had gone in to everyone else’s so the appreciation levels flying around were sky high. With this sentiment, (where I normally shy away from crowded locations) I decided to venture forth into battle once again this year.
This year we’d convinced my boyfriend’s brother and girlfriend to come along, and it was their first time at a convention. The bonus with this being I didn’t have to drive through Manchester! The centre has been pretty dug out with roadworks for a couple of years, which the satnav doesn’t give a flying hoot about. The highlight was going down a one way street with cars coming straight for me, which did nothing for my stress levels last year!
We got there in one piece and finished off the costumes in the car park. It turns out bringing extra Velcro and a pair of scissors is a life saver! Then, there’s that self-conscious walk of giddy nerves as your troupe of comic book characters walk half a mile through Manchester to get to the destination – they don’t tell you about that in the pro cosplayers YouTube videos! You only start to relax as the people around you begin to resemble fellow cosplayers, and you know you’re with “your people” now.
This year’s MCM Manchester Comic Con apparently had 36,363 visitors attend the weekend of the 25th & 26th of July, which played host to everything from movies, video games and comic books to anime, manga and cosplay. There were some “celebs” (I didn’t know anyone except a Dr. Who) from Arrow & The Last Ship, as well as the voice of Naruto, Maile Flanagan. Oh, and Sean Kelly from Storage Hunters (I’m not sure why either. I guess he was filming nearby). So not exactly attracting the likes to which frequent London Comic Cons, but I’m not sure anyone that went to Manchester went specifically to see the celebs on show.
We got the early bird tickets for Sunday, and I think it was well worth it. It was still super busy, but you could walk around much easier. The stalls on show were very similar to last year, a mixture of geek loot, artists and video game merch. One of my favourite stalls again was Tokyo Toys – sadly because I really liked the carrier bags. I got myself some nifty Totoro tights from here. There was a distinct dearth of food variety again this year, though the choice of “hotdog” had an alternative “pasty” for 2015. The main area was where the stalls and robot wars took place. Through some side doors was a large seating area where much of the cosplay photography and appreciation took place. Tucked away towards the back is where the guest signature folk were kept, and a there were a couple of game tables in here too (possibly LOL, I didn’t take much notice because it looked like a bit of a throwaway gesture area). It felt incredibly claustrophobic after a few hours, I’d love to see it at a bigger location in the future. Because of course I’ll be going back. I’m just not sure who to be for 2016?! I’ve managed two years in a row as being the only person to go as the Comedian and Mera, I’d love to keep it that way. I guess in that respect I’m a bit of a cosplay hipster?
There were some fantastic cosplaying on show as usual. Highlights for me included an Alien, a Dr. Doom, and a Princess Mononoke. For five year old MiniCorrupter, he was slightly starstruck when some excellent looking Power Rangers walked past and acknowledged him. Unfortunately the heavens opened as we were leaving, although for Aquaman and Mera I guess it should have been water off a sea heroes’ back. If you see yourself below let me know!