I’m a small-town girl and I’ve only ever gone to small town cons. Most of the cons I’ve attended in the last three years haven’t attracted more than a few hundred people, and Leeds Thought Bubble is the biggest convention I’ve ever been to. So, when my best friend Gina told me that she’d bought tickets to MCM London Comic Con for her birthday back in June and asked if I wanted to come with her, I jumped on board straight away! I hadn’t been to London in years, so I was eager to visit the big city again. The days and weeks rolled by fairly slowly, but then before I knew it, it was the week before it kicked off and I had nothing prepared by way of cosplay or outfits. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Royal Mail gods smiled on me that week and I was able to get everything in time. Gina, however, was less lucky! She had ordered a wig from discount Lolita brand Bodyline that never arrived, and the waistcoat that she ordered arrived on the Friday, at which point it was too late.
There was a lot of travelling for Gina and I. I got the train over to Gina’s on Thursday afternoon, after hurriedly packing several minutes before I left, which meant I foolishly left behind my petticoat, the nametag for my cosplay, and a borrowed pair of the Boyfriend Wonder’s glasses. When I got to Gina’s, she let me borrow her mega poofy petticoat and a pair of fake glasses, and we settled in to play Lego Harry Potter and watch Family Guy. Friday morning saw us setting off bright and early at 9AM, with Gina’s Dad kindly driving us all the way to our hotel in a hired car. We eventually reached the Holiday Inn Express at about half one, after travelling for several hours and getting lost on the tricksy London roads! We checked into our hotel, ditched our suitcases and headed down to the ExCeL building. Our hotel was a mere ten minutes walk from the convention centre, which was super lucky for us. There was also a Tesco Express and a few pubs and takeaways dotted around so we definitely didn’t have any problems finding food. After some recon in the area, Gina and I stopped in at a pub for lunch, and then joined the most enormous queue I have ever seen. As Gina had bought us priority weekend tickets, we had entrance to all three days, but that didn’t stop us needing to queue! After queuing for what felt like an eternity, we made it in! As someone who has predominantly lived in a small town, went to college in a slightly larger city, and then moved to a slightly larger city for university, I was not expecting the place to be so big, or for there to be so many stalls and people!
I wish I’d thought in advance to have an outfit prepared for the Friday! Instead, I was just wearing ordinary clothes, and not even a nerdy tee. However, it seemed a lot of people made the same choice, so I didn’t feel too out of place. There weren’t too many people there on the Friday, probably half as many as on the Saturday, and a bit less than Sunday. It was nice that there was less people, as it was a lot easier to navigate the halls and stalls. As well as checking out the myriads of stall and people in cool cosplays, Gina and I also got to play some pretty ace video games and pick up some freebies! I played Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Borderlands the Pre-Sequel. I enjoyed Shadow of Mordor (even if I died almost straight away from a pack of uruks who had it out for me) and loved the fluid combat style and movement. I can see that game being a lot of fun! As for Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, I’ve never really played any of the Borderlands games so I had no idea what to expect. I like FPS games, but it was a bit fast-paced for me and I wasn’t quite ready for it, and so I died pretty promptly. However, I got some pretty ace freebies from both stalls, including a pin, a travel wallet holder and an awesome Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies wristband. I also spent most of the time on Friday scouting out what I wanted to buy, because there was so many stalls! At every stall there was something new, cute and nerdy that I wanted to buy for myself, the Boyfriend Wonder or Daryl. I had to exercise a lot of discipline over myself and my bank account! I could easily have spent three times as much as I had, as there were so many things I wanted. There was stalls selling manga/anime merchandise, video game merchandise, figures, models, replica weapons, J-fashion, nerdy fashions, comic, Japanese snacks… I’m not even scratching the surface! I only bought one thing on the Friday, which was from the Cyanide and Happiness stall. Because Gina and I spent a certain amount of money, he did a sketch for me, which turned out hilarious. I picked out three prompts from a box and got nerds, flappy faces, and corpses. The results speak for themselves…
Exhausted after a long day of window shopping, taking pictures and getting freebies, Gina and I went back to our hotel, via Tesco for snacks, and spent the night watching TV. That is, after we saw a random guy walking around in his underwear on our floor… It wasn’t a quiet night, as we had the misfortune of having a room next to really loud group of people who yelled and bickered through the night, interrupting our Family Guy! Our hotel room was really nice, and we were quite lucky. The bed was nice and comfortable, the bathroom was clean, and the shower ran really hot water.
Saturday morning rolled around and I WAS NOT READY. I was not made for early mornings! As you may have seen pictures in my previous post and on my Facebook, Gina and I cosplayed as Cecil and Carlos from podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and we got recognised a lot throughout the day, which surprised me. Gina was fairly recognisable as Cecil, but I put a slightly more feminine twist on Carlos and still got plenty of compliments and was asked for photos. I spent the Saturday buying up the things I’d seen the day before, and was lucky enough that most of it was still there. However, my main purchases were my World of Warcraft Horde hoodie (Or Hordie as I call it. Review to follow!) and my Fallout 3 bobblehead. I picked up some other pretty good things, but they were my two favourite buys. Again, I saw a lot of things I could have bought, but chose not to. Rent is a bit (only a tiny bit) more important than a replica of Tyrael’s sword from Diablo 3, or a huge alpaca plush. I hit up the Insert Coin clothing stall and picked up a lucky pack too, and lucked out on the warmest Assassin’s Creed hoodie ever (review to follow!) Gina also tried her luck, and got a Killzone tee and some really cool Assassin’s Creed leggings which she instantly fell in love with. I played a few more games on the Saturday, including Persona Q, a cute JRPG for 3DS. As I plan on getting a 3DS for my birthday (it’s almost a month away and I’m getting excited already!) it was nice to play such a classic feeling game. I used to play RPGs all the time when I was younger, and I miss them so much. Persona Q had a really classic turn-based combat system, and downright adorable animations and visuals. Plus, the 3D didn’t hurt my eyes too much, so Persona Q will probably be a purchase in the future. Gina and I also really wanted to play the new Adventure Time game, but every time we walked past it, it was packed to the gills with people. Instead, we played the new Harvest Moon, Dangon Ronpa 2 (which was weird as balls) and the weird new Pac-Man game, based on the animated show. Pac-Man has changed so much! As well as playing video games, buying ALL THE THINGS and taking pictures of awesome cosplayers, Gina and I also attended the Welcome to Night Vale meet-up, which was made up of a pretty big group of cosplayers and we took tonnes of great pictures and met fellow fans. After the meet, we roamed the halls a bit longer, taking regular breaks to rest our feet, and we bought some small alpaca plushies. They’re so cute! Before we knew it, 7PM had rolled around, and it was time for Gina and I to head back to our hotel and rest our tired feet and fall asleep watching Family Guy.
Here comes the next photo spam!
Roll around Sunday morning, a heavenly later start, and Gina and I frilled up in our Lolita finery! I wore my new R Series Luna in the Sea dress and Gina wore her Innocent World dress. We decided that day two would be all about attending panels, as we realised there were quite a few that looked good! First of all, we kicked off Sunday with more window shopping (I was very very very close to buying cute laser cute jewellery from Glitterbomb to go with my Masterball ring) and then went to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries Panel that Gina wanted to go to. I knew very little about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but after attending the panel and seeing the passion that the writers and actors have for the project, I’ll likely give it a watch some time. After the panel had finished, we took a quick lunch break, and I tried to find some cosplayers who were cosplaying Tyrael and a Demon Hunter from Diablo 3, but had no luck. It was as soon as I stopped looking for them that they walked right past me! Gina and I reconvened after lunch, and went on to our next panel, 18 years of Resident Evil, which was partly a playthrough of the new game (a remake of the remake of Resident Evil 1) and a Q&A session with Capcom Community Guru Neil Gorton and the voice of Albert Wesker in RE5, DC Douglas. DC was absolutely hilarious and charming and answered some great questions while going in and out of his Wesker voice. I couldn’t stop laughing! I got some pretty neat RE6 stickers from the panel, and I’ll be working out where to put them now… After the RE panel, we headed out to the Tofu Cute Fashion Walk, but sadly, it got called off. So, after another look at the kawaii stalls around the Tofu Cute stand, Gina and I went to the hall where the Cosplay Masquerade would be… And apparently everyone else decided to go there too. We were lucky to get seats at all, and a lot of people had to stand up. There was less people than there were on the Saturday, but there were still a lot, and it was commonplace for there to be queues for food, cash machines and signings. The Cosplay Masquerade was amazing, even if we had far, far back seats. There was absolutely loads of entrants, and they all looked incredible, and I’m glad the winner of best in show got her award, as she looked amazing. I eventually found the Diablo cosplayers before they went in and got my picture taken with them, as well as nerding out a lot.
Sunday photo spam:
I was very, very sad to see the con go. There was no negativity there, and everyone was friendly. No one minded being asked to stop for pictures, and it became second nature to say, “hey, nice tee!” to people who were wearing cool clothes. It was an absolutely incredible convention and experience, and I would go again in a second. I absolutely plan on going again in May (or again in October next year) and would also love to check out the Birmingham show too! If you ever get the chance to attend MCM, I absolutely recommend it. There’s nothing like it in the world.
Gina also put together an ace video if you wanna check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNSt3xjBpEA&feature=youtu.be