Comic Con seems to be getting more and more popular each year, drawing even more attention from both loyal fans and newcomers. Personally, I'm still quite new to the whole convention business, having only attended one before. Nevertheless, my excitement for MCM Comic Con Birmingham March 2017 could not be understated. After my enthralling visit last year left me hungry for another experience of the magic I had experienced.
Ticket pricing is a massive factor in conventions. Fortunately, MCM Comic Con seem to have got this right though. Ticket pricing is simple and easy, and most importantly, affordable for the majority. I personally purchased a General Access Sunday ticket, which cost me the princely sum of £12, quite reasonable in my opinion. A Priority Access ticket will allow you to enter the convention earlier than General Ticket holder. Whilst I can't give a 100% solid figure of pricing, seeing as I didn't purchase one and the option to buy them is of course gone, I believe the price to be around £17 – £20, not terrible for the advantage of early entry.
When I stepped into my first Comic Con last year, the first thing that hit me was the scale of it. There was no word to describe it other than massive. This year, some of that feeling was lost. When queuing for entry, you enter a large hall and you can see the convention in front of you, and it kind of makes you feel as though the size has been downscaled. Personally, I think the feeling of enormity I had upon entering the convention last year was something that really formulated my opinion on the event, and the fact that that feeling had been somewhat lost this time around was a tad disappointing, and it was easy to think that the convention was much smaller this time around.
However, when you actually get into the convention itself, it only takes a look around to see that the convention is infact bigger than the last one, as the small taste of what is on offer in the first hall spills out and fills up another entire hall. I'd say this convention was at least over half as large as last years, and that feeling of realization nicely replaced the initial feeling of enormity I had last year. In the end, you're presented with so many attractions in both halls that any thoughts of disappointment or confusion at the size of the convention itself are forgotten within minutes.
Variety of attractions
If you were to try to pick faults in a MCM Comic Con convention, variety would not be one. There is a massive myriad of vendors and activities here, with quite literally something for everyone. Almost every sub-culture is catered to, from the mainstream gamers, to manga readers, to steampunk enthusiasts and everything in-between. Culture can and will change at each and every stall. One minute you're enthralled in the world of graphic design, the next you're admiring some truly stunning handmade art pieces, and the next you're sipping on a Japanese soft drink. The variety is mind-boggling.
Personally, I'm a fan of TV, Film, and Gaming clothing, and there is no shortage of that here. From companies like GameTees offering some of the most beautiful and impressive gaming shirt designs I've seen in a long time, to stalls that offer mystery boxes guaranteed to contain shirts, along with mugs, figurines etc. Personally, I purchased a £10 spin on the Mystery Wheel at a Spin to Win stand. Spinning the wheel could result in a myriad of prizes, but I managed to land the bag of three t-shirts, which I was very happy with. Upon opening the bag, I found a Better Call Saul shirt, an Alan Partridge shirt, and a design that I'm not familiar with, but looks great regardless. Each shirt is well made and is definitely something I would wear, and £10 for three shirts is an absolute bargain.
My girlfriend also purchased a £20 Mystery Box, which contained a whole heap of goodies. The major things in the box were a Game of Thrones Stark t-shirt, a Dr. Who notebook, and a Breaking Bad Los Pollos Hermanos bag. The bag was possibly the most impressive, being a large messenger style bag made of faux leather, something which itself could easily be valued at £20, not to mention the other goodies. The box was also full of small memorabilia pieces such as World of Warcraft figurines, DC Comic figurines and more.
Perhaps one of the main attractions to a Comic Con convention is the cosplay element. Whether you're dressing up or just going there as a fan, cosplay is one of the guarantees of the event, and this time was no exception.
Many cosplays are simply amazing. Whilst some are simple and subtle, there are just as many complex, intricate and carefully crafted ones. Whether its Daenerys Targaryen sat upon the Iron Throne, Walter White trading "commodities" with Jack Sparrow, or an extremely impressive Negan cosplay, there is someone or something to be amazed at with every turn. Cosplayers are often extremely friendly and approachable. Being asked for pictures is part and parcel of cosplaying, and these people expect that fully, willing to pose for a picture at any time, in any place.
It is truly amazing to think that some people may spend months and months slaving away on an outfit that may only be used for a few days a year, but that perfectly summarizes the dedication of convention goers, and the love for the hobby. You may not like the character they're playing, or may not even know them, but the effort and dedication on their part is massively impressive.
Overall, the question still needs to be asked, how was it? With this being my second convention, the initial sense of amazement and overwhelming wonder is slightly lost, but this would be the same for everybody that has attended at least one convention before. Where that feeling of amazement is slightly lost, it is more than made up for by the massive community of friendly people in attendance, the approachable and helpful vendors behind the stalls, and the massive variety of cultures available to peruse at ones leisure.
The tickets are great value. Expect to spend a lot of money inside the convention itself, but hey, what else do you expect? Some of the stuff on offer here you would never see elsewhere, and even stuff that you can find online is offered at a cheaper price either per-item, or with a nice multi-buy offer. MCM Comic Con Birmingham March 2017 was a massive success.
The next Birmingham Comic Con is late November, and I will undoubtedly be attending.
To view all of the images I took at MCM Comic Con Birmingham March 2017, click here.