MCM Comic Con Birmingham Spring 2014
The weekend of March 22nd /23rd 2014 saw the MCM group take their popular Comic Con to Birmingham's NEC ( a regular and twice yearly event now) We have covered the London Shows for the past three years either here or on our sister site Kickeminttheghoulies.
So we decided to to venture out on the morning of 22nd March before the world was up ,or so you think, do you know how many people are about at 5.30am in the morning in London ? .
Well if you don't know it's a lot and it was a Saturday.
Now choosing to go in Cosplay was something not decided till the night before. With little or no funds to spare for new costumes it was down to one of the ones I had worn before.
Now I did Remy from Street fighter at October's London MCM in 2013, I was going to go as him again as it was easy to do. But I thought I could go as Agito Girl Seven from Final Fantasy 8 though it would be a challenge as i'm not one for carrying bags with costumes in.
I sent my colleague and friend email to ask him as he would have to walk about with me and he said surprise me. So I decided on Agito Girl.
The challenge of course is being dressed as the opposite sex and having to catch a train into London then the train to Birmingham.
But I thought that's OK I have a long lightweight coat which will cover most and I can put away once there. . Of course the coat was no over long showing of my legs in my tights and Long boots, maybe I should have just gone with the outfit on show as now I looked like a crazy flasher. ..
Once at Euston in London for our train ( which we cut fine due to other problems) it was easy as once on the train Birmingham NEC was just over a hour away.
We got there early before the show opened and the crowds where gathering ,i went to do my wig and face and reappear from the Gents as Agito Girl Seven, to which my friend says hell I did not recognise you it 's amazing.
Agito Girl N0'7
Now I must say in London at events it's very common for crossplay ,even with the guys. But it seemed not so many where daring in Birmingham.
We got our hands stamped and waited for the doors to open with a thousand other people in various costumes.
The time came and we where in , it was quite a large hall with space to move ,but then we where the early birds..
With a quick peruse around the stalls I decided we should check out the games as later on we won't get on them once the general entry ticket holders arrive.
Well lo and behold we where a bit let down by the lack of gaming ,unlike the London shows which have more games then you can shake a leg at. Only Bandai Namco where there ,and as it was so early they where not ready and nothing was turned on.
This was later ,games turned on,now we had to wait to play -not long though
So of to the stalls we went, browsing the many toys or should I say collectables, there are some great little trinkets to be had from plush toys,models ,pocket watches,badges and more.
I often buy a T-shirt at these events ,but as I have so many I decided against spending another fifteen quid on T-shirt to go with all the others I have. Though there where a couple I did like.
Predator's , everywhere you go!
A lot of the other trinkets on sale though tempting just because your there I can actually get cheaper, I was going round thinking I can get these , I could sell them and make a profit. .. Who knows I may have a stall at a future event .
Now the big draw of these events are the stars who lend there time to meet the fans, who can get a signed photo of there idol and grab a photo with the star if he or she obliges.
Actor James Cosmo - portrayed Jeor Mormont in Game of Thrones
James Cosmo as Jeor Mormont in Game of Thrones (above)
Being a fan of films like Ninja,Expendables 2 and Undisputed 2 &3 with Scott Adkins .it was cool to get to meet the man who was back in his home town for the show.
There where also a host of other stars from TV and film including three or four members from Game of Thrones. One of whom thought I was rocking in my costume ,but then I did have to explain who I was dressed as he thought I was from St Trinians. ..
I must admit I did not recognise a lot of stars in what was very laid back event , it was easy to just walk up and see if you know them by face , but in most cases I did not have a clue. But this just means I'm not watching what other people are I suppose.
My friend noticed a female star named Lysette Anthony ( born Lysette Chodzko) , Lysette was the face of the 80's and appeared in many films and TV series. She appeared in Krull ( 1983) with Ken Marshall,Robbie Coltrane and Liam Neeson.
Actress Lysette Anthoney
Fan's of Auf Wiedersehen Pet will know her from the first series, if you like your horror ,then films like Jack the Ripper (1988) ,Tale of the Mummy (1998) and Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde.
Lysette Anthoney on the poster for KRULL
Of note for ''KRULL' Lysette Anthony was dubbed by American actress Lindsay Crouse, what was all that about then?
I kept saying to my friend go say hi , get photo. I actually ended up snapping a few shots from where I was standing.
The only other star I new was Paul McGann ( Dr Who, HornBlower, Waking the Dead) ) who had a the largest waiting time to see at the event. .
Being up early we needed to eat ,we got some nosh in the eatery ,not easy eating a full English breakfast wearing a wig. So much more hair to deal with and I did not want beans down my costume.
The Star Wars clan was out in force at MCM
Now of course the main reason to go to MCM is for the Cosplay, people like to dress up as characters they like ( I think it's great fun) some have the nerve to strut their stuff in the cosparade . Something which always entertains.
With a while to go till the parade we ventured the stalls again and at the same time capturing some photos of some of the cosplayers at the show.
We also sat in on a Manga Video and Namco announcement and Q&A panel where we where treated to previews of forthcoming releases from Manga Video , Anime is a big part of Comic Con now as many choose to portray in Cosplay many Anime characters.
It's actually a big market in the West now ,bigger then many may think it is.
Bandai Namco also showed their game , JoJo's All Star Battle which is coming to PS3 , we later got to have goon the game which we found fun. I might have to invest . The other big news from Manga and Bandai ( I say news ,but it was announced in January ,but it was shown and playable at MCM) is the collaboration between Bandai Namco ,Suda 51's Ranko Tsukigime and Katsuhiro Otmo (AKIRA) , Ranko Tsukigime's ''Longest Day '' is a 2d side scrolling action game that is actually the fifth part to Katsuhiro Otomo's new Anime anthology 'Short Piece'' . Releasing in both the USA and Europe this Spring.
A box set will comprise the four short films which make up ''Short Piece'' and the the fourth part will conclude in Suda 51's game , we actually got to view a trailer of the Anime and actually play a demo of the game ,it's fast paced game with a emphasis on speed and score attack with some gorgeous visuals and it's exclusive to PS3.
Ranko Tsukigimes Game plays well,a score attack type of feeling to it
So if your into your Anime ,in fact where Katsuhiro Otomo is concerned ,just buy it. The game has a very Manga and Japanese feel to it so fans will love it.
Now the Cosplay show was nearing ,but we still had a bit more time, well staying seated we stayed for a panel with the director/writer and producer of new British SCI-FI film ''The Machine, treated to a trailer of the film and later on the first five minutes of the film. ,just to wet our appetites.
Now where still to see the film ,but it is out and readily available on DVD,Bluray and on the Apple store as a download. A limited cinema release is imminent.
The Machine Q&A with Caradog James and John Giwa Amu
Set in a dystopia future it evolves around two computer programmers who connect through their work on the worlds first self aware artificial Intelligence.. Starring Toby Stephens and Caity Lotz and directed by Caradog W James.
The Machine was shot on a budget of around a million pounds which from the clip we saw looks well done. Look out for a review on site shortly .
Well the time had arrived and people gathered for the cosplay show, with only costumes allowed which are actually made by the entrants, the numbers for the parade where not overly high ,also not everyone has the nerve to strut there stuff on stage .
With around thirty to forty entrants our host got the ball rolling quickly with a minuscule two entrants in the Junior category. On with the adults ,there was a good selection of costumes from Game of Thrones ( always popular at the moment) another firm favourite your sure to see are characters from the game and Anime ''Bleach'' and yes we where not let down.
Game of Thrones
One thing I have noticed at the London shows last year was the extent of popularity Anime ''Attack on Titan'' is having, this military based Anime brings out barrages of similar clad cosplayers at the events. Birmingham may have been short on having a platoon but I did spot a few around and yes one actually entered the parade.
Attack on Titan
We had a couple of dancing entrants who performed a short skit ,quite enjoyable (one I recognised from MCM London last October) Thor brought his hammer and a scantily clad young lady in a original outfit heated up the men in the audience.
Thor meets his adversaries
It all finished of with a song performance from a young girl who sang her heart out. (she was not bad at all ) impressed that she could just get on stage and go for it.
I was tired watching this young Lady
There was one young man that had a bit of stage fright by the looks of it, he came on and just froze ,but got through it in the end.
Our young Dr Who was very confident and brash with it,the crowd liked it.
It may have not had the same kind of impact as say the Hyper Japan events say in London ,but all did well to get up and go to Birmingham and strut their stuff.
It was time for us to go and me dressed in my skirt and boots had to contend with the London Underground once I got back to London that was.
MCM Birmingham was good show ,of course we new it would not be like London ,but would have liked a few more of the game companies to have appeared with their wares to fill out the show. I can not believe Sony did not want to show of the PS4 and Nintendo is usually a supporter of quite a few events ,even with smaller stands at times.
Maybe knowing their be at London they thought they would save the money ,but hey not everyone gets to London and maybe they should try and go to the people not expect the people go to them all the time.
Enjoy the photo's below and the few in our photo gallery and facebook page which are also linked below.
We hope to see you all in London in May ,who knows what I will be wearing ,I'm sure I can dig something out of my selection . Depends how cold it is , London usually has a good amount outside going on in May if the weathers nice I may just wear pants and paint my body yellow.
Review Date : April 4th 2014.