London, England – Cosplayers, comic nerds and creative fans swarmed to the ExCel Centre, London for Day Two of Comic Con. Only around Comic Con time will you see Spiderman and a Minecraft Ender Dragon riding the London tubes. Thousands of people crowded around the venue eagerly waiting to be let in. As 9am struck, the doors opened and the tsunami of creative cosplays who had priority tickets formed large queues inside to get their passes. The 100,000m2 of the venue was packed full of panels, stages, trading stalls and photo ops with celebs. With so much to see and do a carefully planned list had to be put into place.
The first panel we were graced access to was ‘The Sunday Film Club Presents: Behind The Scenes With Indie Filmmakers’. The incredible lineup included Michael Clayton Jr. – a sound recordist who has worked on many projects including for the NHS, Peugeot, Facebook and many more, Domingos Coxi – the founder of The Sunday Film Club and writer for ‘The Hollywood News Source’, Valentina D’Annunzio – photographer and video editor, Ros Gilman – award-winning film composer, musician, producer and conductor, Gabrielle Wood– script supervisor, director, filmmaker and editor who has worked on projects such as Luther, Reebok, The Score and many more, and Darryl Ley – senior editor at ‘The Hollywood News Source’ and designer for DVL Apparel. With such a mixture of talent and expertise, it was no wonder the panel was so insightful. Incredible advice came from everyone on topics such as networking, agents and getting opportunities in the industry. For anyone eager to get into the creative industry, this panel was a must-see. As is when you’re having fun, time flew by so quickly and it was already time to end. As the panel said goodbye, the audience was invited to come up to the panelists and ask any questions. I spoke to Gilman about the relationship between photographers and musicians, gaining some powerful insight, and also spoke with Coxi, who gave some remarkable advice on making a switch to paid work and networking. All fantastic people and it was great to get the chance to hear their stories and pick their brains.
Straight after we got the chance to hear from award-winning Irish actor, Robert Sheehan, on the Main Stage. Sheehan’s fame has grown wildly since becoming Klaus Hargreaves in Gerard Way’s Umbrella academy but also has notable performances in Misfits as Nathan Young and Darren Treacy in Love/Hate. As Sheehan took to the stage, along with interviewer, Claire Lim (Wee Claire), the crowd went wild; not only did he answer Lim’s questions the floor was opened up for the audience to ask questions.
As the new season of Umbrella Academy is due out soon, it was the main focus of the questions at the show: How it was filmed with Covid restrictions, the differences between Nathan and Klaus, Klaus’ pronouns, and Sheehan’s favourite breakfast cereal and opinion on pineapple on pizza were a select few of the questions the fantastically dressed audience asked (for anyone curious, “cornflakes” and “no” were the answers to the last two). A deaf interpreter took to the stage with Sheehan and Lim which was great to see, MCM is a very accessible friendly event.
With a bit of time before the next panel, we took a look around the stalls. The Artist Alley was filled with unbelievable artwork and creations, which everyone couldn’t help but stop by to admire and purchase. Stalls of gaming products, anime collectables and handmade items filled the halls attracting thousands of people to stop. By far the most popular stalls drawing in the most people were the Funko Pops, small vinyl figures of popular characters/people.
The short break ran out quickly as it was time to head to the creator stage. Thomas (TomSka) Ridgewell – a comedy YouTuber who has reached almost 2 billion views across his videos, Stuart Ashens – a ‘British idiot in an ill-fitting suit’ who makes comedy, tech reviews on YouTube, and Dicebreaker – a tabletop gaming YouTube group comprised of Michael Whelan, Olivia Kennedy, Maddie Cullen and Alex Meehan, took to the stage to play ‘The Resistance’, a game where spies play against other team members to sabotage missions in order to win the game. The crowd where hooked, who would win? The panelists kept everyone on the edge of their seats their for the full hour, tensions rose as the final round was played. The cards were flipped over one by one, and all seemed well until the last card, ‘fail’, the spies had won! The crowd where in disbelief, how could this have happened? A fun panel of great people that kept everyone entertained, what more could you ask for?
A quick dash to the ‘Casual Cosplay’ stage was made by many. People flowed out from the seating area onto the floor blocking pathways, everyone wanted to see cosplays being shown off. The time came and the host entered the stage. ‘We have some technical issues’, he announced. A sigh fell through the crowd, a little longer to wait. Whilst we waited, the host won over those gathered by throwing handfuls of Maoam sweets into the crowd. One impressive person right at the back of the seating area caught one one-handed; everyone became very excited. Finally, it was time, as one after the other marvelous cosplays strutted onto the stage. The crowd was in awe of the hard work and talent that had been put into the costumes.
Next up was a frantic rush out of the venue to the ‘Fringe Stage’ located on the grass outside. Joy arose as Tidal Rave took to the stage. A Synthpop-Rock, pop punktronic, ravecore, Brighton-born band ‘with the set purpose of dissolving humanity’s destructive insanity with a more heightened and whimsical insanity!’. A high energy, fluorescently dressed four-piece band formed of Nathan Elliot (Raveman) on vocals and electronics, Sanchez Davis (Raveheart) on guitar, Jaz Tidy (ƎVAЯRAVE) on bass and Tom Holmes (Tyrannosaurus Rave) on drums; strutted and danced around the stage with power and confidence giving a fun twist to their performance. As the band continued playing great songs back to back, Nathan left the stage to join the crowd, dancing, singing and bringing joy to everyone watching. A calm audience quickly livened up, resulting in a conga line. An incredible fun band to see live.
MCM Comic Con is an incredible event for people of all backgrounds to enjoy a day (or three) dressed up as their favourite character and see some incredible panels, buy some fantastic art and great products whilst also enjoying good food. The atmosphere is impeccable all across the venue and everyone, event-goers and staff alike, are incredibly helpful and friendly. A great weekend out for anyone.
Event Date: May 28, 2022 (Day Two)