MCM Belfast Comic Con 2014 Review

Posted: June 8, 2014 in Comics and Cosplay
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here you go guys, the eagerly anticipated MCM Belfast Comic Con Review…and yes that’s already a plus, the fact that I mentioned the Convention as a Comic Con and not a retail expo. Now please bear in mind that I attended this con on my own terms and with my own money, in costume and not as a journalist. But I did keep a very watchful eye over all the proceedings and let me say they did their homework and did improve since Dublin MCM.

First things first, one thing I want to get off my chest, it was raining, very very heavily, not much we could do about that, but to have the queue go on for so long just seemed a little much. Although they could not do much for the weather I’m sure there was some precautions to take to assist the general admission line, open another door, remove the zigzag patterns, to make it flow easier. So that was a bit of a dampner to the start of the day, but alas not much can be done about the weather.

But then you get inside and BANG!  The heat is unbearable in places, and I got comments on my Dublin MCM Review saying stuff like you can’t blame them for the heat, yes and no! I can’t blame them for the crowds, but you can blame them for not opening more doors to let the heat out! It took quite a while before they finally opened up another door to let the heat out, and at this point there was already a mass of cosplayers lying on the con floor. Either resting from the excitement of meeting some guests or having the need to lie on the floor to cool off from the heat, sadly I think the latter may be more realistic option. The fact that the people coming in were drenched from the heavy downpour of rain really gave the con a very high humidity rate which did leave a few cosplayers, including myself, a little bit worse for wear!

Courtesy of Owen Quinn of TimeWarriors.com

Now onto some positives, and I will say this, MCM if you are reading this send me an email and let me know. Because everything that I pointed out as bad in the Dublin review they seemed to have rectified, in one way or another. For example I said they needed more photo ops, they had just that with the help from a Delorean from Back to the Future, a huge Transformers cut out (wouldn’t class as a photo op, but I’m trying to be positive here,) a stall for the 501st Ireland Garrison with R2D2, stuff like this turns a retail expo into a Comic Con, and they finally did it. It could have been better, but it’s a start!

The venue was huge, as is all MCM venues, and that isn’t always a good thing. It was split up into the usual categories or Gaming, Comic, Trade and Cosplay all of which seemed really jammed in to their own little segment of the convention hall. The gaming tables were squeezed into the middle of the trade hall, the esports (I still don’t class it as esports until the include more games other that LoL, it’s like having a venue called a sports arena where you only play football!) the Esports had their own dedicated section with the help of some other console games, which lacked variety, just a chance to play the Lego Hobbit game. I got reports from other journalists and congoers that the artists in the comic village felt that they were lost amongest the trade hall, because they were placed smack bang in the middle of the veune. There was a bar for the over 18’s which I was quite pleased to see, that was a nice touch MCM!  But in a way it still seemed to be a bit of a mess, not as organised as I hoped but they definitely have improved since their Dublin MCM.

I will admit that I did not get a chance to meet the guests, and to be perfectly honest I had no idea who the majority were, I knew DC Douglas but we couldn’t find him anywhere which was a disappointment. But from speaking to other journalists and Congoers, the guests really didn’t seem to be the hit with the majority of the crowd, some niches perhaps, but the nerd culture is so diverse it’s almost impossible to be able to know everything about the vast splendour that is nerdism. I also didn’t like that fact that each charged £15 pound for signings, which is a little crazy and a reason why I didn’t even bother. Granted it was €15 at Dublin MCM so by fair means it should be around £10 or so, and come on let’s be honest they were definitely not short on customers for the first day.

 

Courtesy of Owen Quinn of TimeWarriors.com

So right now I’m on the fence, is it better or worse, very much better so far, not the best or up to the standard of some other cons but certainly an improvement. So I was happy, it was a gigantic nerdy oven but that’s to be expected. And then it hit me, my one major pet peeve of MCM. The artwork on sale.

I may be slammed for this but on the car ride back we were talking about what does MCM actually stand for, Movies Comics and Manga perhaps, but from what I’ve seen throughout the two conventions I felt it was satisfactory to say I would class it as More Copied Material. 2-3 stalls had the exact same posters for sale, then another stall had them on canvases. And there were getting more popularity then the artists in the Comic Village, and that is still my one pet peeve. MCM should really do their research and find out what stalls will sell what and make sure they don’t overlap like that. I can understand figures and such but to see 3 or 4 of the same Breaking Bad posters in individual stalls just seems like they’ve not got much choice for vendors and in my opinion can seem kinda sloppy.

Courtesy of Owen Quinn of TimeWarriors.com

Overall there were good points and bad points but thankfully I will admit I had a good time, it was hot as hell but I came prepared and managed to survive with only mild heat exhaustion. I didn’t feel the need to purchase anything since the majority of the stalls were the exact same as the one in Dublin so my wallet was happy,and the addition of a bar was great, to be able to sit down and have a beer or cider with fellow journalists and friends was a real plus. You’re not quite in the ranks of Dublin Comic Con or Arcade Con just yet MCM, but keep listening to the fans and you may be able to compete.

Sadly I can only attend one day so things may improve or worsen, but for my initial opinion on the place, slightly better then Dublin but they still have a few kinks to work out.

But fear not fellow nerds and geeks, there is plenty more cons to keep you entertained, there is Arcade Con in July, and then straight into Dublin Comic Con and Nom-Con at the start of August so there is plenty of fun to be had in the coming months, and then even more to come later in the year.

 

Adam.

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Comments
  1. D.C. Douglas says:

    Sorry we didn’t meet! Perhaps Manchester or Glasgow (or London one day).

  2. At least this one didn’t smell of so many unwashed youths and the staff reminded people to bathe lol

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