Words by Olly MacNamee
And while I am unconvinced that a two day jamboree calling itself the MCM Comic Con Birmingham, at which comics and comic book creators have a minimal presence, is truly a comics focused convention – it is nonetheless a great celebration of all things geek inspired.
And it draws a crowd. If Anime’s your thing, they’ve got it covered. American candy? Ditto. Cool collectibles (or are they really toys for grownups, I wonder?) yep, covered. Comics..? I’ll refer you to my previous statement on that matter.
But there are a lot of indie creators at MCM Comic Con Birmingham this March that will thank you for taking the time to read their self published comics. So look out for local talents such as Sammy Borras – creator of Giant Rhinos In Space and Coventry’s own GeeBees comic series, and support your local artistic talent in the same way we’re often asked to support our local independent stores.
MCM Comic Con Birmingham takes up its two-day NEC spring residency with a high level of TV, film and gaming celebrities (both past and present) in attendance. MCM favourites, Red Dwarf’s Robert Llewellyn and Danny John-Jules, will be there – along with anyone who may have played a Stormtrooper, Jawa, or even farted in Star Wars offering to autograph your photos, collectibles and whatever else you may have with you. For a price, of course.
But the big guest attraction this time round, and trying to top Lee (The Bionic Man) Majors’ appearance back in November, is Lindsay Wagner – TV’s The Bionic Woman. And for the younger audience at MCM Comic Con Birmingham, who might be scratching their head at this point and asking themselves ‘…who?’, there’s also the pull of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate voice star Paul Amos, who lends his voice to Jacob Frye in the game.
The main pull however, for me and for other guests I’ve witnessed, are the cosplayers and their amazing costumes. And watching from afar it is clear they tend to know each other; I have certainly seen the same masked men and maidens doing the rounds up and down the country when covering different comic conventions in the past.
But there is no doubt that the cosplayers add an essential element to the MCM Comic Con Birmingham, one that elevates the event to something more than just a cash cow for the bigger exhibitors. Although, it is debatable how much they spend when there. I mean to say, where would Spider-man or Harley Quinn keep their money? Those costumes are tighter than Scrooge.
So bring your camera (do people still have these, or just phones?) but always ask politely for a snap. And be careful, many of these costumes can be very fragile and could well represent many months of hard work (and financial expense) from the cosplayer for it to look so good.
But overall, my advice would be to go to MCM Comic Con Birmingham on Sunday 21st March if you want to avoid the throngs. It’s also the best time to grab a bargain too.
MCM Comic Con Birmingham comes to the NEC between 19-21st March. For direct event details, including online ticket sales, visit http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/birmingham/
For more from the NEC Group, including links to full event listings across all venues, visit https://www.necgroup.co.uk/