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  1.  (7070.1)
    Thoughts or comments on the show? Got photos? Want to follow up with other Whitechapelers you met? Messages for any of the Whitechapel comics creators and publishers you met? Right here, please.
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2009 edited
    I don't know if I'm going to go to MCM again. It should be relabled the Mostly Manga and Comic Expo :p

    The problem is that the part that I'm interested in (comics) is so small compared to the overwhelming ridiculousness that is the Manga/Other Random Crap for sale. Additionally, I could most likely see many of the small press people somewhere else in London during the year (Webcomix thing in March, for example). I think if the comics could have a larger presence (not like epic SDCC presence but something with a bit more gravitas) it would be more interesting and more of a draw. It is very nice to see lovely writers/artists that you wouldn't necessarily see at the smaller events (ie The Avatar Cohort, Templesmith and Mr. Ellis last MCM), but this is basically the only draw for me now.

    Possibly this opinion is based entirely on the fact that I'm a spoiled Londoner and everything happens here and that the MCM is a good event for people coming in from outside the city. But being surrounded by people most of the time, paying £13 to stand in line, barely be able to move and spend maybe 1 hour at the Expo, it seems a bit silly.

    I might be careening right towards curmudgeonhood though, so perhaps I'm in the minority.

    It is delightfully fun to careen around and see all the comics folks, but yeah, I can do that in smaller events and have an equally good time. (May have also been spoiled by SDCC now forever)
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2009
    As I've done for the past six or seven MCM Expos, I went this afternoon with Phil. Unfortunately, only got there around 2 so couldn't spend as much time as I'd have liked. Although it was - apparently - less busy than yesterday, everyone seemed to enjoy it, and there were smiles aplenty. Seemed to be substantially more people dressed in costume, and far fewer "free hugs" being offered.

    Phil enjoyed the video games, and I enjoyed seeing old friends... and it was fun just wandering around the floor people-watching.

    Particularly nice to see WIll C from Avatar; saw him at Big Apple Con last weekend, so it was twice in a week, after not seeing each other for about six years.

    Met Jacen Burrows which was unexpected, and delightful.

    And got to watch several friends making fools of themselves in the ComicVillage Showdown - very nice indeed.

    Congrats to all the organisers, didn't hear anything but praise for them.

    (Only less than delightful moment - those bloody drummers. Was bad enough as a guest, lord knows what it was like for those in the comic village all the time.)
    • CommentAuthorDee_Noir
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2009
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    It was an absolutely brilliant day. Paul Duffield and Kate Brown are ridiculously funny and really friendly people. I met so many artists whom I admire, it was almost surreal. After fulfilling my big Expo ambition (nay quest), of getting my hands on a FA vol.3, I stumbled across Ilya (illustrator and editor of Best New Manga) - and we got chatting about the challenges of adapting Shakespeare into manga. It was so weird to finally be able to put a face to a name which I knew so well. Later on I met another brilliant illustrator, Laura Howell (author of 'The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan'), who is absolutely brilliant and did a wonderful sketch of me! It was fantastic to meet so many artists from the community, Philip Spence (Ninja Bunny), P.B. Rainey (Book of Lists), Daniel Goodbrey (Necessary Monesters), Tpcat (Prick and Toiletpaper Life), just to name a few from a whole pile of talent. The atmosphere was surprisingly laid back and familial and everyone seemed to be in no hurry; this was Sunday I should add, though. The costumes, the cosplayers were simply inspired... It was astounding to see the effort some people had gone to in making their gear. Oh, and one of things which best encapsulates the eclectic spirit of the event for me was this cute little stall selling handmade wallets, jewellery and plushies, run by these three really enterprising sixth-form girls: it was great to see young independent people doing it for themselves ( I think that's what was best about the MCM, big multinational companies alongside tiny independent artists, self publishing their brilliant inspiring comics, and no one cared because the public seemed to be hungry for fresh ideas, and fresh talent and fresh perspectives. Going to the MCM has provided me with a great deal of inspiration and enthusiasm for the future of British comics and my own future as a (aspiring) working writer. To finish this, thanks to Paul and Kate for being so bloody cool, and for giving me that extra dose of a delightfully sneering Luke. Until the next Expo then... !

    One last thing - what was with all the 'FREE HUGS' signs, t-shirts and placards? By the end I relented my scepticism and started hugging random strangers, which for a suspicious Londoner such as myself, is a particularly difficult thing to do. Still, met some nice friendly cosplayers... and some of them might even have exceeded the AOC. Woo-hoo :P Seriously though, some kind of isolated meme, maybe? Hah, and the event lingo was brilliant; I heard a cosplayer refer to a big group of Naruto characters as 'Narutards'. Almost made me drop my furry cat-hat in laughter.
    • CommentAuthorElddaw
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2009
    I was confused by all the free hugs signs aswell and the hole place was to full I dont mind crowds but there are crowds and there are what the hell. it wasnt as general a convention as I would have liked it just seamed to be mostly manga, anime and games. I got all the autographs I wanted and got to meet paul which was great wish I hadnt already ordered my volume 3 or I would have got 1 there and got it signed but it was good that I got paul to see my tattoo it would have been better if both him and warren had been there but meeting paul was cool
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2009
    Without having been to the MCM or knowing the people in question, I'd hazard a guess it has something to do with this:
    Free Hugs Video
    It was all over the internet 3 years back, and landed the guy in the video on Oprah shortly thereafter. 'Juan' has now stopped giving out free hugs in Sydney, but others are still into it, apparently.
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009
    I had a brilliant time both days. I sort of don't want to, but I like the Expo for everything it has - I like anime & manga & sci-fi & japanese culture AND comics. And I cosplay! Sometimes anime characters (as I was last time when I met Warren & Paul), sometimes not - this time I was a dia de los muertos / day of the dead celebrant, as was my hubby - though my 5 year old was just a skeleton really. I spent the majority of my time both days in the comic village, and it was just about large enough to do that. The free huggers have been getting more and more annoying over the last few years at the Expo but I thought there was less of them this year, or maybe they just bothered me less because of the face paint.

    I have two comic stores within 10 miles and none of them any good, so to me I LOVE the Expo. I bought a lot from Avatar as that was the main reason I went - Black Summer, FreakAngels Vol 3 (and got 2 & 3 signed), A HUGE FreakAngels bag with SOOOOO MANY pockets - I've now missed 6 phone calls and counting, but one day I'll learn which pocket I put the phone in. Also Frankenstein's Womb - as recommended by Paul Duffield himself! Crossed 7 (exclusive cover!)- and my nephew bought his first comic purchase ever of Chronicles of Wormwood. I then also picked up three comics from Insomnia Publishing a couple of stalls up which was a lot of fun just to pick up and browse and have the guys on the stall talk to me about them and everything, that's one of the cool things about Expo I think.

    Paul was lovely, Kate was lovely, Jacen was lovely, and William was lovely, and they all made me and my family feel very welcome and very...I dunno...important as a customer. I also got to see Jacen drawing a 'crossed' bunny (awesome!) and surprised Paul with the copy of his early winning manga from the 'Rising Stars' to sign. I hope Avatar come back every time! :D (also we promised Jacen we'd cosplay 'crossed' next October if they do come back).

    At the pub afterwards, Kieron Gillen misheard my nephews cosplay description of himself as 'Borat' as 'Poirrot' which would be an entertaining cosplay to say the least.
  2.  (7070.8)
    Thanks to everyone that dropped by, it was a great event, and everyone who I talked to made it even better ^_^

    @Silly Punk
    MCM really started out as a sort of media convention, with Sci-fi retailers and movie ties as far as I know. The massive growth in popularity over the last 5 or so years is mostly down to the addition of a lot of anime, manga and video games stuff, and the proliferation of cosplayers.
    The comics presence (which used to be almost invisible) has only really expanded to the size it was this time in the last few events, and it'd be great if it could get bigger :) MCM is the UK's only convention that combines such a massive range of stuff in one place, and to be honest, even if you stripped away every non-comics stand in the place, the remaining stalls would still challenge (and probably beat) the other major UK comic conventions in terms of number and diversity. I think it'd be a big shame to write it off just because the comics presence is still new and overshadowed by the parts of the convention that are already well established.
  3.  (7070.9)
    Had a smashing time, the fans in London are just fantastic. A really friendly bunch of folks. It was great to meet clairefun, elddaw's tattoo was amazing (a FA logo on his arm!), catching up with Budgie is always a treat, and of course getting to see all my other British friends. Thanks to all who stopped by and I hope we can do it again soon!
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009
    @Paul Duffield.

    Ahhhhh. Well it makes a lot more sense now. I like to support all the small press guys (they have all the best badges). Hopefully the comics presence will get larger in the coming years. It's too bad the MCM and the Webcomix Thing can't combine and join force. Lots of the Webcomic people are at both but it would at least beef up the comics area :p
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009 edited
    Yeah - pretty much what Paul said (thanks, paul *hug*). I'm sorry it wasn't quite to your tastes, the show won't be for everyone, as we've always said, but considering that this was only the second appearance of the ComicVillage section proper, I'm pretty darn proud of the results. We'll keep striving to grow it as long as people want to come I hope we can work towards making it a better show for you ^_^
    The expo has a lot to thank the anime and manga presence for - it really expanded the event beyond being a film and TV show...but now we're working hard to balance it all out. The addition of Games, ComicVillage and now Steampunk are hopefully making some large steps to that.

    Thanks SO much everyone!! As a creator myself, I'm not the most - um - organised person in the world, ehehe, so to take on something as mahusive as the ComicVillage is a hell of a challenge for me, but one I'm always happy to do in the name of COMICS! WOOOOT! I am SO grateful as always to every exhibitor, creator and enthusiast who came along and made the weekend special. I'm very sorry if you saw me and I looked like a zombie...I kind of was '^_^

    Big thanks to William, Jacen, Paul, Kate and everyone at the Avatar booth for having such a great presence there. You made waves, and they were good.

    *big hugs all round*

    Thanks guys! Your feedback makes me smile this: ^__________________________^
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009
    @emsie ha ha, i feel like i'm being the downer in all this.

    It is good to have a better perspective on what it was, as I'm more likely to go again (though maybe not to both in one year :p) and add support to the area i like in hopes that it'll get bigger. Again, I'm fairly spoiled in that I see a lot of the comics guys throughout the year at other events in London.

    I only went to my first one last year because a friend was going (so this was my third one) and had no idea it really existed.
  4.  (7070.13)
    The problem is that the part that I'm interested in (comics) is so small compared to the overwhelming ridiculousness that is the Manga/Other Random Crap for sale

    Manga IS comics, you fool.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009
    Here's a repost of the one decent photo I managed to get (I need to practise doing indoor stuff with my camera, almost everything I took is blurred to fuck).

    Avatar's prescence at MCM

    As my first non-trade-only convention I'm not really sure I'm that qualified to critique, but I felt that the videogaming side of the conference was too dominant over the rest of it. The sci-fi and movies aspects seemed pretty tiny as well. I guess it reflects what's popular, videogaming and the anime/manga culture are pretty huge at the moment in the UK compared to comics (where I am in the UK it's far easier to pick up manga than any other kind of comic, especially singles, but that's a discussion for another thread)

    Us games companies have a particular way of doing shows that basically comes down to 'look at us! you can't avoid us cause we're being LOUDER and HUGER than everyone else', and I felt that it was an approach that doesn't really fit in with an 'inclusive, we're all friends' con like this. We're not used to playing nice with everyone around us at a show, we're used to it being a competition.
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009
    "Manga IS comics, you fool. "

    Hear the man! ^_^
    Sequential art = comics = shiny.

    @sillypunk - haha, don't worry! All feedback is good. :)

    We'll keep striving to make the show better and better guys, thanks for the support and feedback! ^_^

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