As we entered the lobby for our second morning of MCM London 2015 I heard a girl behind us proclaim I’m home which really summed up the day. This set the tone for the day ahead I really felt a sense of community between the attendees, vendors and guests. Saturday as ever was the busiest day, all the tickets were sold out and the lobby was filling quickly. Brilliantly though there was no queue unlike previous years where I’ve been stuck outside trying to get in, even with a weekend wristband, so I was really impressed with how well the organizers have mastered entry! Hooray for MCM!
We began the day by checking out the Steampunk stand which we appeared to have missed the first day. My mate Helen had no idea what Steampunk was which was funny as I just consider it a given that everyone is familiar with this genre. Steampunk is essentially a what if steam power was the main source to power, with Victorian stylings. The Steam Punk stand is great, they have a small stage for talks, a big selection of models, crafts and a small selection of stalls.
There were even more cosplayers out and about today, it was cool to see the 501st UK Star Wars Garrison in attendance. I’ve seen them at lots of events but I don’t recall seeing the Emperor with them so that was fun. Although I wasn’t quick enough to snap a picture there was a great moment when Austin Powers and Doctor Evil (in character) had their picture with the Emperor and his Storm Troopers. We continued walking the floor making a couple of purchases before heading to our first talk of the day.
Our first panel was Felicia Day which I had been really looking forward to. I’m mostly a fan of Felicia from the Guild and her channel Geek and Sundry. This turned out to be a highlight of the weekend. It was a great talk Felicia came across as very funny, charismatic but was honest and open about herself and her experiences. I did wonder what she would be like considering her success and geek status. It would be easy to come across as self involved or big-headed but she proved to be friendly and very down to earth. She always spoke in a glowing way about the people she worked with and everything being a group contribution rather than taking all the credit. There were problems with questions which contained spoilers for Supernatural (I don’t watch this so it wasn’t an issue for me) which was a shame. I really liked her reaction to receiving a fan gift, she was genuinely pleased and appreciative of a fan who had done a drawing of her. The fan went onto the stage to give her a hug and present her gift.
We stayed for the Arrow panel which featured Willa Holland (Thea), Karl Yune (Maseo) and Rila Fukushima (Tatsu). I like Arrow and got into it after starting to watch the Flash. This panel started well with Willa taking the lead on the questions. She was really good, giving funny and interesting answers. Karl and Rila did answer questions but were a little less chatty. Rila had a translator with her and did struggle answering some questions (I wouldn’t want to do a panel in front of a 1000 people in another language) so good effort. The question askers had glowing things to say about Season 3 remarking that it’s the best yet. I disagree Season 3 had its moments but 1 and 2 were definitely superior. Again there were problems with thoughtless spoilers (not an issue for me as I’ve already watched S3) When they first started announcing some of the Arrow cast were going to be in attendance (like most people I suspect) I was hoping to see The Arrow himself or John Diggle. I was pleasantly surprised, I enjoyed the majority of this panel and I would happily watch a panel with Willa Holland again.
My mate Helen is a big fan of NCSI, I’ve never watched it but was happy to go along. The were Panelists Emily Wickersham (Ellie), Barrett Foa (Eric) and Renee Felice Smith(Nell). (I’ve no idea if they are good guests to have or not). An enjoyable panel, there was a nice chemistry between the guests. The panel left me with the impression that being on NCSI is different feeling from a show like Shield or Arrow. They have a strict shooting schedule that they stick to and never run over which is obviously good for them. It made me imagine that NCSI is made on a factory production line than the I shows mentioned felt like they were made with real heart and family at their core. It has left me at least curious to check out the show as they definitely made it sound like a fun program to watch. I ducked out early as I wanted to see the World Premier of Predator Dark Ages in the Vidfest dome.
I made it just in time to see the introduction and the film. The tent was packed so I had to stand at the back but I had a good spot. It’s maybe a bit bright in the Vidfest dome especially for a dark film like Predator. I would have liked to have maybe had more of an introduction before the film. A bit of history about the film and the kickstarter. The film was cool, it definitely had the feeling of a big budget Hollywood film. It was a simple story with some nice action and left me wanting to see more. The film was followed by an audience Q&A.
From here we headed to the Agents of Shield talk. We had a short wait until the panel began, in which the time was expertly filled by Stuart the host. The between panel wait time is normally passed with giveaways, this was the best wait I have had for a panel. There was an impromptu catwalk from an audience member who won some cat tights and then wore them (good sport). A dance off from two Star Lords which proved to be surprisingly funny. A happy birthday sing song for a young fan and lots of fun audience banter. This set up the awesome Agents of Shield panel nicely.
The Agent of Shield talk proved to be a winner with an unexpectedly huge turn out at least as big as the Felicia Day panel. I didn’t think it would be small but I’m always hearing people moan saying the show is not very good (these people are wrong AOS is great!) or is unpopular. The panel was made up of Iain De Caestecker (Fitz) and Nick Blood (Hunter). It was a brilliant talk as both guests proved to be very funny and good humoured. There was a real chemistry between the two of them making the show feel like a really fun place to work. Iain and Nick seemed like really nice people coming off the stage to give a fan a hug (the fan had a T-Shirt saying “free hugs”). They also led a happy birthday sing song to a fan who didn’t get to meet them earlier due to the big queues. This tied with Felicia Day as my favourite panel of the weekend.
The day culminated in the Euro Cosplay Qualifier hosted by Granny Gertrude who was really on form. I’d like to give a mention to the audience members on the front row who gave up their seats for a wheel chair user. It was good to see and made the weekend feel all the more inclusive. The Cosplay started with Granny Gertrude introducing a junior Cosplayer and presenting them with a goody bag as encouragement. As always the Cosplay show was fantastic, my favourites were the all the winners, the Prince Adam violinist and the big group of Pink Girls. I don’t know what they were meant to be (an anime? probably) but they were really good. The eventual finalist the Lich King from World of Warcraft was truly the standout but the overall standard was phenomenal.
Saturday was such a fun day, it ranks as one of my all time favourite Comic Con days, not just for the talks but the feeling it created. MCM has really made fans the focal point of the talks via having them drive the talks, initially intimidating to ask questions but once everyone became accustomed to the new format let them take control of the event. Audience participation was far better than ever, now that the speakers can really see who they are talking to we had all sorts of exchanges.
A truly inclusive event, involving young, old, different needs, interests, people were united not just in their love of Geekdom but of one another. Saturday was a great fueled by inspiring guests, community, unity, humour and most importantly the fans. I’ve attended many comic cons but today more than any other felt like a day filled with great moments and memories provided by the fans coming together.