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MCM Comic Con

Running a Table at MCM London Comic Con

Regular readers will know that I am a bit of a convention nut, and have been to MCM London Comic Con (almost) more times than I can count.  Unfortunately for the past year or two I’ve been unable to attend, so I was thrilled to be invited along by artist Sugar Coated Emi to assist her in running a Comic Village table.

I’d never been on the other side of MCM before.  I’d never considered the logistics of pulling together such a huge event – in May 2016, over 130,000 attended the convention over the weekend (I can’t find stats for May 2017, possibly less due to current events in London).  We were right next to the entrance, and the sheer volume of people moving through was phenomenal.

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, with its fair share of highs and lows.  Here’s a few things I learnt from being behind the table:

  1. Set up on Thursday – we arrived to find that as we were a late booking, our table had been missed.  Cue one hour of chaos and frantic searching, until a very kind member of staff appeared with a table for us!  We were relieved to have this happen to us on the Thursday, rather than an hour before doors opened on Friday.
  2. Sweets on the table are a great ice-breaker – they didn’t always result in sales, but it was a good way of initiating conversation, and meeting some awesome people.
  3. Artists are some of the nicest people – there was so, so much kindness shown to us by the other artists.  Sweets were shared and comics exchanged!
  4. It is as much to do with networking as sales – we spoke to a lot of customers who were artists themselves, and so much of the interactions we had were about exchanging details and sharing upcoming projects.
  5. If you can, have an assistant to help at the table – and with MCM, a second exhibitor’s pass is included in the table price!  Assistants are great (even if I do say so myself) for fetching food and drink, and for manning the table during toilet breaks and con-exploration.

Fortunately, I still had lots of time to explore the exhibits, and for much of this could probably be found eating strawberries and cream doriyaki by the Pop Asia stage.

Pop Asia

I also discovered that I love the intensity of live gaming tournaments, particularly Tekken!

MCM

MCM Tron

Bike envy.

Being a retailer at MCM made me really appreciate how hard artists work, so I didn’t hold back in showing my appreciation and expanding my art collection:

MCM Purchases

Money well spent!

I also did a little bit of doodling of my own.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have my own convention table:

MCM drawing

Did anyone else attend MCM London Comic Con this May?

You can check out MCM’s next convention on their website: http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

June 8, 2017
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MCM Madness 2015

I’ve just arrived home after a weekend at the London MCM Comic Con.  I am exhausted, but feeling triumphant; I survived another con.  I did it, and I have the dark circles under my eyes and Totoro t-shirt to prove it.  Anyone thinking “MCM what?” should have a quick look at this post I did earlier in the year, where I raved merrily about the joys of comic conventions.

Due to O’s work (curse you real world commitments!), we ended up travelling on the Friday night, and having the Saturday and Sunday at the con.  On both days we didn’t have to queue to get in at all, which is a first, and something I would be happy to get used to!  We went with a group of friends, and the roars of laughter in the hotel you heard this year probably belonged to us.  We spent the evenings playing an old favourite – Cards Against Humanity – and some new games we picked up at the con, Bucket of Doom and One Night Ultimate Werewolf (which I ended up reviewing here).

I made a vow this year not to buy useless junk, and if I did buy any, it had to be some kind of Christmas or birthday present for someone else.  I managed to stick to this really well, and any presents to myself were pieces of art to add to my growing collection.  Behold, where my precious pennies went this year:

The con was divided into two distinctive halves this year, with video gaming on one half, and stalls on the other.  I was thrilled that The Comic Village was bigger than ever; it has always been my favourite part of MCM.  Here are a few of the amazing artists I bought prints from:

 

Countless vendors offered every kind of food you could hope for.

I spent a fair portion of the time in the Pop Asia area, which I usually only delve into for the food; to those who haven’t already tried them, I highly recommend the chicken skewers and the chocolate Dorayaki.  As for the music, I wouldn’t say K-Pop is my all-time favourite genre, but the songs are just so upbeat, and watching the singing and dancing was good fun.

 

We were determined to get photos of Kakashi from Naruto this year!

I am embarrassed to admit that I made a rookie error on the Sunday, and realised that my appalling budgeting skills had left my purse nearly empty.  I ended up splashing out a crippling £2.50 to take some money out in the con (to save the half an hour queue the free machines all seemed to have).  Honestly, will I never learn?

So, after an overindulgent weekend of food, friends and fun, I think a nap is in order… zzz…

Did anyone else go to MCM this weekend?

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

October 26, 2015
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The MCM Comic Con Guide

MCM Outside

Travelling, they say, is good for the soul, and I have found that it is certainly good for mine.  Even small trips – a long weekend, or even one night away – can be exciting.  One of my favourite trips to take is to London to MCM Comic Con.  I live in England, and this is one of the biggest comic conventions run here, if not the biggest, with over 100,000 attendees (and over 130,000 in May 2016!).  I’d absolutely love to one day attend the San Diego Comic Con in America (well I can dream, can’t I?).

I try to go to London MCM Comic Con once a year, as it is always a blast, and is seaming with creativity – costumes, artwork, and music are just some of the things to experience.  Over the years I’ve met hundreds of artists and writers, I have watched previews of new films, attended talks by actors or famous Internet personalities, tried delicious foreign foods, and spent a lot of money (my bank account weeps whenever it hears the words ‘comic con’).

If you have never been to a big (or even small) comic convention before, I recommend that you add it to your bucket list.  Make sure you go with an open mind – try new food, explore all the different areas, accept all the freebies!  As I’m a bit of a spoilsport, I draw the line at free hugs, but the con experience really is whatever you want to make it.

One of the most distinctive elements of a comic convention for me are the cosplayers.  The range of costumes include characters from anime, comics, films, games (RPGs, horror, classic Nintendo); the list is endless…

The most memorable moment of my first comic convention was being passed by an eight-foot tall Pyramid Head from Silent Hill who was chillingly realistic.

Tip: It is best to check the website before you attend the convention; make sure none of your favourite stars have cancelled, so you aren’t disappointed on the day.  Also, extra guests may have been added in the weeks leading up to the con.  I find it helpful to arrive with a clear idea in mind about which artists I want to check out, or which talks I want to go to.  I have missed both Daniel Radcliffe and Matt Smith in the past due to not being organised!

My personal favourite part of MCM Comic Con: the Comic Village.  For many artists, the money made at comic conventions pays their bills, so it feels very satisfying to support them.  Plus, they are usually really friendly and happy to chat – some even hand out free sweets!  I ended up buying my Wacom graphics tablet last year only because I liked the style of one particular artist and asked her what tablet she used.

Many artists will do commissions for an average price of £5-£8 each for one person/character.  If you do want a commission done, head to the Comic Village as early as you can on the first day of the convention, as it has been known that an artist can get completely booked up for an entire weekend with commission requests!  (If this does happen, some artists are happy to mail your finished commission after the con has ended).  Two of my favourite frequenting artists are Girl In The Rain and Cakes With Faces – check them out if you see they are attending!

Tip: Arrive each day at the event with enough cash already in your purse to see you through the entire day.  Queues for cash machines can be tediously long, and I can recall that recently some of them had actually run out of cash by the afternoon.  Many of the stalls inside will not accept card, so make sure you go in prepared!  Obviously, as tens of thousands of people attend MCM over the weekend, if you are walking around with a lot of cash, keep a careful eye on your bag!

And of course, have fun.  If you have a limited budget, just find a seat and enjoy the atmosphere.  There is always something going on to watch or listen to, whether it be a gathering of Pikachus or a dance-off between two of your favourite superheroes…

To U.K. readers:

If you do not live near London, or are just interested in other conventions, MCM do a number of other events throughout the year: http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/

Alternatively, I have heard that the Cardiff Film and Comic Con is very good!

In May 2017, I helped run a Comic Village table at London MCM! You can read about that incredibly surreal experience right here.

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

April 27, 2015
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