EVENT REVIEW: MCM LONDON COMIC CON Day 2

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The MCM LONDON COMIC CON is always a fixed event in the convention calendar and every year it gets bigger but does this mean better?

Running from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 October this is not a convention for just one area of geekdom but covers all areas including film, TV, Anime, video games, card games, web series, collectables and of course comics. This means it is a veritable melting pot of stands, guests, stalls, talks and companies.

This year’s convention was the biggest one yet going from 76,000 visitors in May to 88,000 this October but this also had an unfortunate effect on the event which I will go into later.

During the three days there were various talks, signings and screenings from shows such as Lost Girl, Game of Thrones, Primeval, Haven, Warehouse 13, By Any Means, Under The Dom, Young Dracula, Torchwood, Red Dwarf and more.

Arriving at the Excel Centre the familiar site of hundreds of Cosplayers walking around brought smiles to people’s faces and it is always interesting to see what theme has won out on the day. I have to say that this year on the Saturday it was the Anime theme that totally won out for outfits.

Once inside the hall after a terrible wait to get tickets our spirits were slightly dampened but still held out hope to enjoy ourselves. As always huge banners hung from the ceilings advertising the latest films, games and more. There was also a thirty foot high minion from Despicable Me 2 overlooking over the hall.

Talking of halls it is worth noting that this year the organisers spread the actual event over two sides of the Excel Centre with the main one on one side and then a huge Yu Gi Oh tournament on the other side. The tournament seemed to be quite full for most of the day so I guess that “fad” is still going strong.

One area that I found cool was the Anime village which did not just have the stalls selling merchandise  but there were also food stalls offering various far eastern delicacies. This really brought the flavour of the section to life.

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As ever the video games were out in full force with some of the big coming soon releases available to play like Lego Marvel Heroes. I was surprised that the queues were not longer for those waiting to play.

Another side of gaming now is the table or board games section and this year Esdevium Games were on hand with a large playing area where there were numerous games being demoed . The area was pretty busy the entire time I was there.

So there are some good things about MCM London Comic Con but with the larger numbers I think they have made a glaring mistake. This year I decided to bring my two boys who were really excited about attending but as a result of their experiences both have said they will never go again. Why you ask? Well when we arrived we got in line to buy tickets even though I already had mine I was not about to leave my sons in the queue. It took about forty five minutes from the entrance of the Excel to get to the actual ticket hall and when we got there we were even more deflated when we saw the size the queue still ahead of us. After two hours and forty minutes we were about twenty yards away from the ticket booth but by this time my sons had both had enough and were in a foul mood and to a certain degree so was I. We were then forced into about eight lines for the ticket booths but it was only when you got about ten feet away that you saw the signs that said cash only. I was pretty relived that I had enough cash on me otherwise I would have to get into another line and queue for another twenty five minutes.

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The queue in the background was 2 hours long and then you have all this empty space once you have your ticket?

So my advice to the organisers are that if you don’t want to get on the wrong side of your paying guests sort the ticket system out. The ticket hall was huge yet there were eight booths for thousands of people. Get more booths or tables. To a degree it felt as if are visitors who did not get tickets in advance online were being penalised. I missed three talks because of queuing for that long. To waste three hours in a queue is nearly half a day and that is totally unacceptable.

Overall a good convention that has established itself as a must attend on the convention calendar but it needs to change how it works if it wants to be as great as it can be.

Reporter: Montoya

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