10 Years of MCM London Comic Con!

ExCeL.jpg

Alas, like perpetual clockwork another London MCM Comic Con event has come and gone from 26th to 28th of May. However, this year’s comic con festivities is a rather special one because 2017 marks my 10th year anniversary of when I first started attending! Which means a celebratory post to brag about my honourable achievement with an opening image combining all the photos I took of the ExCeL Center entrance over the years is something that must be done.

If you’ve been following my blog for a looooong time (we’re talking 2009 here) you may had noticed the odd London MCM Expo post here and there I wrote back in the day. 

First attending on a whim as an underageb& whippersnapper who was still fresh to the whole idea of anime, London MCM Comic Con (originally called London MCM Expo to probably cash in on the Comic Con trend stateside) is the UK’s largest convention for comics, media, anime, games and all things pop culture. It is undoubtedly the event to go to if you’re into all kinds of things nerd.

I will never forget the magical feeling I felt when I took my first step into the ExCeL center. Hundreds of people in costume dressed up as characters from your Narutos and Dragon Balls to Marvels and DCs. Rows and rows of dealers selling all kinds of absurdly priced anime figurines, vintage comic books, signed and framed photographs of Z-list celebrities and more. Buzzing industry booths scattered across the showfloor handing out badges and flyers to show off the hottest latest thing they had on display on 2006-era HD television screens. It was nothing like I had ever experienced before in my entire life thus far. Going to MCM for the first time made me realise that there are other real people who are into this sort of thing as I am.

It’s really amazing to see just how exponential MCM Comic Con has grown. For perspective the May 2007 event only took up a single square unit of space in the ExCeL Center while other events were happening during the day. Fast forward to this May of our lord and saviour’s year of 2017 the event took up the entire floor space in the exhibition center – effectively occupying the whole ExCeL center in a half-mile radius!

map_2007
Event Map in 2007
map_2017_1
Event Map in 2017- HOT DAMN LOOK AT THAT SIZE
map_2017_2
WOW WALKING ROUND MCM IN 2017 IS LIKE PLAYING A GAME OF SNAKE

The core and spirit of MCM Comic Con in 2017 remains the same as it did back in 2007, while at the same time it is anything but. Over the years as MCM grew larger and bigger the management staff couldn’t keep up and suffered a crowd control crisis; too many people showed up and the events staff couldn’t handle the load causing cramped and tight event halls with little to no space to move nor breathe. The organisers from then on continuously revised the crowd flow plan for an efficient system to handle the demand which always seemed to change from one year to another but has at least been improving in recent years. For better or for worse, MCM also became increasingly commercialised bringing in dozens more of industry booths and mildly high profile guests while battling itself at the same time balancing between being a healthy convention and a glorified dealers market. Ticket prices as well have soared since its pocket-change-like pricing in 2007 much to the dismay of regular attendees.

To compare 10 years of progression here’s a comparison between the show guides from May 2007’s event and May 2017…

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Back and Front Cover (2007)
cover_2017
Back and Front Cover (2017)
intro_2007-2017
Introduction Paragraph (Left: 2007, Right: 2017)
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List of exhibitors (2007)
exhibitors_2017
List of exhibitors (2017)
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NEO Magazine Advert (Left: 2007, Right: 2017)
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Sweatdrop Advert (Left: 2007, Right: 2017)

While old convention trends die and bite the dust- the Hare Hare Yukai dance, yaoi paddles and ‘Free Hugs’ signs to name a few – new trends memes appear such as organised fringe festivals, mass homogenous cosplay gatherings and ‘Free High Fives’ signs – and others remain going strong and no one knows why, like Pocky.

What makes attending conventions so great at the end of the day is the people the you go with -whether it’d be in cosplay or regular attire – and the people you meet at the event to create fun and ever-lasting memories. Honestly if it it weren’t for the amazing people and community I’ve met online and real life I probably would’ve stopped caring around 2011 when my sister decided to stop going. Mad shout outs to all the people I met and made my time at MCM the whole lot better in these past 10 years!

And now a gallery of pics I took (some photos are from friends) at MCM over the last decade with photos from the recent event at the end! Apologies in advance for the shaky photos from the earlier years.

(((Note that I never actually took photos in 2007 but I swear I genuinely did attend I just wasn’t into taking photographs as I am now *sweats*…)))

2008

Giant Mr Stay Puft blow-up balloon advertising the Ghostbusters Video Game from MCM Expo May 2008.

I’m glad yaoi/yuri/etc paddles aren’t a thing anymore.

👀

Only real 90s kids will understand this.

Walked past Colin Morgan and the rest of the cast of Merlin at an open signing!

2009

Sums up the hottest animes of 2007-2009.

Remember when swine flu was the spiciest meme?

2010

Back then when MCM was relatively small; promotional posters/tat galore.

2011

Nyan Cat was the hottest meme cosplay of 2010.

Vic Mignogna was everywhere, haven’t seen him at UK cons as of late.

Stumbled upon a giant Final Fantasy cosplay shoot

Striking while the iron was hot I cosplayed for the first time ever in 2011 as the Maddo Scientisto himself Hououin Kyouma and did plenty of cosplay photo ops with a bunch of Steins;Gate cosplayers!

2012

Didn’t attend MCM in 2012 because I was feeling a bit burnt out and so instead attended Hyper Japan that year! So here’s a pic of a sleeping Hiroyuki Nishimura at the NicoNico booth who were live streaming which which you can watch here (sadly without the dank niconico comments)!

2013

Manga UK had a ping pong table at their stand for some reason.

Weiss!

Hey guys remember Wakanim? Hahaha me neither…

One of the hottest UK anime merch of 2013, I remember Manga UK in their panel trying to make a big deal out of this…

2014

How to spot Fairy Tail nerds.

👀

Remember when Nature Valley was a thing?

Everybody loves Jerome.

Found someone cosplaying me!

I feel the same.

👀

2015

Fake anime merch unfortunately still a thing…

Big Bang Theory is my favourite anime.

An event called MCM Loves Anime took place on the Saturday of MCM Comic Con in October 2015 – a special spin-off of Scotland Loves Anime where they showcased a selection of anime films throughout the day. I managed to get hold a ticket to watch the Love Live! The School Idol Movie and Empire of Corpses!

2016

I love Battleborn.

One Punch Man!

👀👀

Crunchyroll’s first debut in MCM Comic Con in May 2016!

Oh shit dat boi.

2017

And now finally here are some photos I took at this May’s London MCM Comic Con!

mcm10thanniversary_082

Everybody loves Dave

Giant Your Name wall display advertising the IMAX screenings this August in the UK!

Anime Limited’s booth was just darn beautiful, they had a dedicated area showcasing the films they’ve picked up to premiere in the UK in the past year and previewed what is to come in the future!

A Silent Voice!

Timeline of anime movie premieres in the UK.

Is this what hell looks like?

Won a Touken Ranbu minifig at the Good Smile Company panel after winning relentless rounds of jan-ken-pon!

Went to watch Anime Limited’s Fairy Tail Dragon Cry panel where the movie’s director Tatsuma Minamikawa pronounced his love for sashimi and producer Yohei Ito confessing his shenanigans at an all-girls university.

#nocontextrequired

Me in anime tiddy heaven.

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My loot from this May’s MCM Comic Con!

To wrap things up, it’s absolutely mad to think I’ve been going to MCM for 10 years now and I am amazed to see it quickly grow to what it is today. As much as for the irks about MCM that I’m not too keen on, I appreciate its existence for it has allowed me and lots of other people to meet and chill with like-minded peeps who will always be there to crack a dandy Chinese cartoon joke.

Here’s for another 10 years of anime con shenanigans!

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