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The UK Comic Con Phenomena
October 28, 2014 By Holly Clarkson
The UK Comic Con phenomena
by Michael Brocklebank
Last weekend it was Earls court this week the Excel centre in London hosting the second “comic convention” in as weeks in the UK’s Capital. I say “Comic Convention” in the broadest term as to the general public that are in the dark about these events you would surmise that it would be all about comics! well today at the MCM i haven’t seen a single comic stall, the marketing material stating that its “a show of modern pop and culture” is a far more closer, accurate description.
The excitement catches you even before you hit the Excel, through the streets of London people make their way. You know where people are heading with the striking costumes, Ironman, Storm, Captain Americia, Starlord, Batman to name a few. Finally once people arrive at the Excel dependant upon your ticket being a priority or general admission depends when you get in, regardless of what was available all tickets to this event are sold out! I arrive at 9.30 and see the lines look interesting in appearance but they were also moving fast. This weekend show is spread over the majority of the Excel which has seen it grow from just one hall when it started in 1997.
Cartoons, Video games, Toys, Comics are all part of the modern popular culture, with film being the biggest driving force, the ever increasing number of superhero films that keep arriving onto our screens is a sure sign that the appetite for this media is healthy. The creators of video games sit like movie stares signing away and being looked upon like gods.
A very happy atmosphere eclipses the Excel, Individuals, Groups and families are all dressed up and there is a real sense that everyone is nice! everyone’s nice seems a cliche but its true and is appropriate to say in this context. The smiles on peoples faces say it all, even with the heavy costumes the level of optimism is very infectious.
The effort that goes into the costumes is quite astonishing. Cos play being the official title given to this kind of dress up, its not cheap either and a lot of people dedicate not just money but hours perfecting their outfit. Another standard practice at these conventions are photos, As long as they are dressed up people expect to get asked for photos and kind of automatically pose on request.
These are are not just nerdy conventions but serious money spinners for companies and their organisers, the level of professionalism and the level of show from Sony, Game, Xbox etc.. is a clear sign that this is business. For the fans of this “pop culture community” it provides an arena to mix with like minded people who share the same interest.
For two days the fans really create a special world which can only be described as bringing the ‘Disney’ factor to it, the venue and the stands look fantastic, the celebrities from Movies,TV and now Video Games and are doing their signings. One facts remains that these shows would not work without their fans which are all ages, however the MCM with its “modern culture” does seem to attract a lot younger crowd than the previously one held in the city by Showmaster events. They are also very different in approach and would say that the MCM one is more of an active show where the Showmasters show is more of a collectors and purchasing show.
The MCM one this weekend is by far the best one i have have experienced having just been to three so far, 115,000 people over the two days and with that number expected to rise in 2015 for the two that are scheduled for May and October I don’t think that we have seen the peak yet.
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