Words by Olly MacNamee
Coming this weekend, and closing down the comic-con season in Birmingham for the year, is the return of the memorabilia mammoth that is the MCM Comic Con*.
With it’s usually mix of celebrities, cosplay and comics – and a great opportunity to grab that favourite geek in your life a bostin’ Christmas present (you still say “bostin’” round here, right?) this can be a demanding weekend if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Cosplay catastrophes cancelled: With cosplay being an integral part of the fun to be had at MCM, fear not if you’ve dressed to impress but find a ladder in your tights or a tear in your cape; there are people on hand with their magic box of needles and threads that will help restore you to Justice League standards. Just make sure you’ve used your Wolverine like tracking skills early in the day to seek ‘em out.
Plan ahead: With several cast members of the uber popular Game of Thrones holding court, as well as appearances from Liv Tyler (Sunday only), Maude Hirst (Vikings), Victoria Smurfit and Merrin Dungey (Once Upon A Time) and the Bionic Man himself, Lee Majors, you may want to check with the MCM online guide (available on the day as a floppy copy) to decide on a battle plan. Where are the celebs you want to see, what time are the photo opportunities, and where are the bogs. These are all logistic nightmares if you are keen to get as much out of the weekend as you can.
Bring money. Lots of money: While there is a goddamn awful lot to see, the temptation is to spend like a banker (recklessly) only to find you’ve bankrupted yourself ahead of Sunday. My advice: wait till about 4pm. No one wants to lug unsold products home, so this is the time to swoop in on the many bargains you can pick up, some less than half-price. Then, you can pretend you spent top dollar on your mates’ prezzies and they’ll be none the wiser.
Be ready to be amazed, but keep your hands to yourselves, fanboys: The cosplayers are a friendly lot and always ready to pose for piccies. But regardless of their costume, do not see them as something to manhandle and slobber over. Trust me, it happens.
Go see the Ralph McQuarrie signed Star Wars prints: After 4pm on the Sunday, some lucky bugger will have bid on this one-off collection of Star Wars concept art – donated anonymously, with all money raised going to local charity, Acorns Children’s Hospice. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of Star Wars. If you know who Ralph McQuarrie, then you are a fan. If not, then these aren’t the art prints you are looking for. Move along, move along.
Above all, whether travelling with friends, family or solo, have a great time. It beats the Christmas Market, that’s for sure.
MCM Comic Con is held at the NEC from 21st to 22nd November. For more on MCM Comic Con (Birmingham), visit http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/birmingham/
For more from the NEC Group, visit https://www.necgroup.co.uk/