Comic Con never fails to draw in the crowds. From young children to married couples and everything in between, when the convention comes to town, its bound to draw in a huge variety of people from all walks of life. With this being my third Comic Con I've visited, and after the success of the previous convention in March, it was time to see if Comic Con could still offer an interesting and alluring experience the third time around.
Comic Con never fails to be affordable for almost anyone. If you want the premium experience, its not going to cost you an arm and a leg, but if you just want general entry, you're going to be paying a fair price and still getting a whole heap of time to experience the convention and all it has to offer.
Lets be honest, £11 for general entry is not expensive at all, and even at the higher pricing range for weekend priority, £30 is still a decent price for the extra three and a half hours you get at the convention. Priority Entry not only gets you in earlier, but can help you avoid the crowding that happens when general entry opens, which is a good option for those that want to experience the convention in relative peace, at least for the first couple of hours.
Comic Con always seems to push to be bigger and better every year. This year, the convention was even bigger than previously, and clearly had the aim to fill this extra space with an even wider variety of attractions. Whilst the last convention seemed to have lost the feeling of the initial spectacle on entry, this time that feeling was not missing at all. With such a massive amount of space dedicated to the convention, walking through any entrance felt like a wide expanse of attractions opening up in front of you. I think that the feeling of spectacle when first entering a convention is highly important, and Comic Con nailed it this time around.
Variety of Attractions
Comic Con has always offered variety, appealing to not only the regular public, but a large variety of subcultures that frequent the convention. With the extra size, the convention was filled with even more of these niche, subculture-orientated stalls that focus on things like hand-drawn art, trinkets, jewellery, horror b-movies and even more. All of this extra variety helped to bolster both what the convention already offers with more vendor choice, and also, as I've already detailed, more niche vendors.
I personally found myself drawn to stalls like Arrow Video and The Last Shirt on the Left, stalls that focused on the cult horror subculture, and sold a variety of products in that niche. Arrow Video offered a deep variety of blu-ray and DVD re-issues of classic horror/slasher movies, even delving into the realm of foreign language, Japanese "pink" films and video nasties. The Last Shirt on the Left, conveniently placed right next to Arrow Video, are a vendor of high-quality horror clothing and art prints, offering a variety of products that are sure to please any horror fan. Being a massive horror fan myself, I felt that these stalls best appealed to me personally.
Even if you're not a horror fan, the sheer variety of attractions and vendors at Comic Con mean you're sure to find something that you'll love. From absolutely beautiful hand-drawn art, to bizarre comic books, and even to replica bladed weapons, you'll definitely find something at Comic Con that you'll love. The size increase of this year's convention was a great move for ensuring there was something for everyone here.
Another thing that I think is integral to the experience is the people behind the stalls. Every vendor I spoke to seemed genuinely interested in talking about their product, and were more than happy to answer any questions. Not only were they enthusiastic about their wares, but they seemed all too happy to chat about the convention and all that it offered. Whilst availability of products is undoubtedly important, I think its definitely important to have friendly people behind the stalls, and this is one thing that MCM Comic Con always seems to nail. The vendors behind the stalls will always make you feel welcome, and this is definitely very endearing to any potential customer.
Aside from vendors, MCM Comic Con also hosted a variety of celebrities. From the stars of classic sci-fi movies to modern television stars, there's always someone to recognize. At the top of this year's list included David Bradley (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter), Pearl Mackie (Dr Who), and Warwick Davis (Willow, Star Wars, Harry Potter). With stars from such popular movies and TV shows, if you're a fan, meeting one of the stars is bound to make your Comic Con experience even better.
Of course, when you think of Comic Con, you think Cosplay. The two are almost inseparable, and when so many different fans and cultures come together at one event, cosplay is always going to be a big focus. Whilst the past few conventions have had no shortage of both interesting and astounding cosplay, it seemed this year had not only the numbers, but the variety of cosplay too. Of course you had the expected Rick and Morty, Harley Quinn, Deadpool and so on, but then you had the more niche choices. Hogwarts students, Resident Evil's Umbrella agents, The Walking Dead's walkers and even a particularly imposing Jason Voorhees, That just names a few though, there were many cosplayers that took a more subtle or niche approach, which definitely made a change from the usual cosplayers you'd see. Variety is great when it comes to cosplay, and this year's Comic Con definitely had that variety.
Of course you also had some stand-out costumes, the people that clearly spend a massive amount of time and money of their costumes. The Reinhardt cosplayer I saw jumps to mind, someone who had clearly painstakingly constructed Reinhardt's trademark armour, and had even gone to the effort of lighting his helmet. Whilst these cosplays can definitely be seen as some of the best examples of dedication to a character, even the smaller and more subtle costumes never fail to be charming and impressive.
So, to answer the question, how was it? With this being my third convention, I was expecting to see much of what I'd already experienced at the past two conventions, however, Comic Con offered even more variety and continued to build on its past success in both size and customer experience. The community in attendance are always friendly and happy to be there, with vendors behind the stalls being more than happy to help any curious customer. I'd feel safe in saying that anyone of almost any subculture will find something they like here.
The tickets are, as usual, great value. Whilst you can always expect to spend more money inside the convention, the ticket prices are fair and affordable for anyone hoping to attend Comic Con.
The next Birmingham Comic Con is in March next year, and I personally can't wait.
To view all of the images I took at MCM Comic Con Birmingham November 2017, click here.