It's MCM London Comic Con time! I haven't done one of these for two years. Not since Thought Bubble in 2019. The jittery, juddery, blurred take on a Comic-Con, travelling at speed around the show floor nooks and crannies, pausing for waves, for cosplay and sticker shock. Welcome to another long-awaited From One Side Of The Show To The Other video for MCM London Comic Con.
This weekend the London ExCel Centre is hosting the MCM London Comic Con, part of the Reed POP family of comic conventions around the world. It's a smaller affair, the big studios and comics publishers aren't in evidence, but all the Comics Village tables have been upgraded to booths with walls (leaving some who had paid for booths with walls a little narked). This is a Friday, so it was always going to be quiet, but it was very quiet for the VIP first two hours, before general admittance at noon. At which point, it got a lot less quiet. There was a much greater spacing of booths, which made it difficult for some vendors to appeal to passers-by. And it seems the lack of carpet, a regular MCM feature that sets it apart from other shows, was surprisingly absent to the organisers as it was to the vendors and attendees, which meant for some sore feet. It looks like this may have been an error. There were always going to be a niggle or two for a convention returning after so long, but when you have so many people, so much cosplay, so many comics to choose from, it's hard to have a bad show. And this was a very fun Friday. Our old friend Joe Glass was surprised to sell out of all The Pride Omnibuses he brought to the show on the first day. On the Friday. Alison Sampson was delighted to discover that her issue of The Department Of Truth as a guest artist had been announced. And I found myself, last-minute on a panel about cryptocurrency and NFTs, talking about the danger they can bring. And told I was on the "Dark Side" of the panel. I'll take it. There were so many smiles, so much laughter; it has been a long time without comic cons for everyone. Mask wearing was not mandatory, and was being observed by around a third of people. There were meant to be vaccine checks on entry but did not seem to have been carried out with any rigour. It was a lot more relaxed than may have been expected, but the high ceilings and notable ventilation may have helped settle some of the more worried. While infection numbers are up in this country, hospitalisations are still in hand, the vaccines are holding, and a fair few folks at the show had been triple jabbed for the day. It was only last year that the whole ExCel Centre became Britain's first Nightingale Centre for hospital overspill. That we can now have a comic convention here underlines how much better things are. And now to the bar!