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London Comic Con MCM Expo May 2011 report

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There's not been a gathering (of geeks) like this in our lifetime...

London Comic Con MCM Expo May 2011

Shadowlocked was at the MCM Expo at the ExCeL Convention Centre in London last Bank Holiday weekend (27-29 May), and there was plenty of geeky goodness to be had, with studio presentations from Universal and Warner Brothers (featuring world-exclusive footage from Immortals and Green Lantern respectively), and panels on the likes of X-Men: First Class, the popular web series Simon’s Cat, the upcoming web series Splott Division, voice acting, and how to be a sci-fi journalist, by SFX magazine.

Personally, it was the first proper comic book convention I’d been to, with Empire’s awesome Movie Con (soon to turn into a proper convention as Empire Presents Big Screen! this summer) being the closest thing to this, but still not quite the same, since it was essentially one thing where everybody sat and watched the same series of trailers, screenings, and filmmaker panels.

The London Comic Con MCM Expo, on the other hand, was much bigger and more free-ranging, with a huge convention hall filled with stalls devoted to all kinds of comics, videogames, and various other geektastic miscellany. It was packed with people (reportedly almost 60,000 people over the weekend, a record-breaking number), many of whom were cosplaying; that is, in full costume, which made my geek heart do the Dance of Joy. Real life doesn’t have nearly enough characters from movies, TV shows, videogames, and comics, even if there are some cool exceptions.

There were some amazingly detailed costumes, such as people dressed in full Halo body armour, and many other videogame characters I didn’t recognise. Where else are you likely to happen upon the wonderfully bizarre sight of Voldemort flanked by Griffindor students and soldiers of the Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil?

However, it would have been meta-textually amusing to see someone dressed Bigfoot from Sanctuary (an abnormal who goes to Comic Con because it’s the only place he fits in). And being a huge Star Wars fan, I’d be pretty much bound to say this in any case (it is my destiny), but there weren’t enough Jedi. Stupid Order 66…

Also, I don’t remember seeing any Silence from Doctor Who, but then of course I’d say that…

There were various places to eat situated around the convention centre, but mostly on the expensive side, and none of them geek-themed as far as I could tell. These are not the eateries you’re looking for…

This seems like a missed opportunity. Organisers, take note. You could have:

Lembas bread restaurant—the best value for money at the con—one bite keeps you going all day—and they could offer an all you can eat option at a minimal cost

Binks’—where all the waiters are so clumsy that you don’t know if you’ll get the order for a different table, or if at all

The Matrix-themed restaurant—“Really good noodles…”

Clouseau’s Burgers—where you have to mispronounce your order if you want to be served (“I woood like to buy a damburg-errr…”)

Overall, it was a wonderful experience, being surrounded by fellow geeks and geekiness of all kinds. There was so much going on, it was kind of sensory overload.  I felt like Alice in Wonderland: ‘geekier and geekier’…

Over the next few days, we’ll be posting our thoughts on some of the various panels from the con, so check back for updates. Keep an eye on this tag for all our coverage.

Official site: http://www.londonexpo.com/

The next MCM Expo is in Manchester on 30 July 2011, and it next returns to London for the weekend of 28-30 October 2011.

See also:

Jedi Junkies Review

London Comic Con -- X-Men: First Class panel

And from previous cons, check out Shadowlocked's videogame coverage of the last London MCM Expo in November 2010, as well as our coverage of the New York Comic Con in October 2010.


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