MCM London Comic Con 2016Culture
Held twice annually, MCM London Comic Con is the biggest event of its kind in the UK. This weekend, over 120,000 cult comic, film, TV, and video game fans are expected to pack out the twin halls of Victoria Dock’s ExCel centre. There, a wealth of marvels is on offer in over a dozen arenas and performance areas, as well as at hundreds of trade stalls and dealer stands offering wares as diverse as Viking swords and obscure Japanese confectionery (and yes, also comic books). We strapped on a pair of pointy ears and fired up our DeLorean to bring you a roundup of the best of Saturday’s action.
One of the main attractions for Comic Con attendees is the opportunity to meet and greet their heroes in the autograph and photoshoot arenas. The galaxy of talent on display was a wonder to behold, with fantasy and sci-fi movie stalwart Warwick Davis joined by a pair of Dr Whos (Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy), the cast of Red Dwarf (Chris Barry, Danny John Jules, and Hattie Hayridge), and a host of representatives from international TV smash Game of Thrones. There was also the chance to get up close and personal with some non-human stars, as iconic vehicles from movies such as The Blues Brothers, Back to the Future, and Transformers were in attendance.
The prospect of getting one’s hands on some of the latest entertainment tech was always likely to appeal to the Comic Con demographic, and huge queues snaked through the exhibition hall from a special installation from VR experts Daydream, offering a preview of the virtual reality experience they have built to coincide with the release of upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
While Comic Con is not usually renowned for attracting legends from the urban music scene, this weekend’s event pulled off a coup by attracting spoken word legend and UK hip-hop’s man of the moment Akala to the MCM Gold Arena. The local hero wowed the crowds with an immersive performance, reading from his debut graphic novel Visions, a semi-autobiographical work charting the evolution of rap music.
In the eSports Arena, audiences had the opportunity to watch the elite of the international professional video games circuit battle it out to be crowned champion over the course of a varied schedule of events. Contemporary titles, such as Rocket League and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, were joined by retro classics like Street Fighter II and Super Smash Bros. in the furious tournament competition.
Outside of the virtual arena, the rivalries were also fierce (yet always impeccably well mannered) in the Gold Theatre, where the final of the European Cosplay championships took place. The standard of entries was tremendously high, but after much deliberation, top prize was awarded to Czech pro-gamer Germia, resplendent in steel blue body armour in the guise of Pharah, star of hit multiplayer shooter Overwatch.
As always, a huge number of regular punters embraced the spirit of cosplay to add to the vibrant festival setting, and a host of colourful characters were waiting to be discovered among the crowds. Check out our photo coverage for a look at some of the best, and to get a flavour of the atmosphere at the UK’s premier celebration of cult culture.
Photos: Daniel Donovan
MCM London Comic Con was at The ExCel Centre from 28th until 30th October 2016, for further information visit here.