It's MCM time. Or it will be soon. Mike Negin, owner of Aw Yeah Comics in New York, is also the Global Comic Talent Manager for ReedPop. And he has just announced a rather big change to the comic book side of the MCM London show returning from the 22nd of October and the MCM Birmingham show returning from the 14th of November. There will be no Comic Village area. Instead, it will be replaced with an Artist's Alley, which will lose the comics and comic storytelling focus which was previously 95% of Comic Village.
Comic Village was an area at MCM formerly curated by comics creator Emma Vieceli and, over the years, grew a strong familial bond inside a show that was far more interested in movie, TV, gaming, and cosplay stars. It featured rows of creators and publishers working cheek by jowl and grew in provenance over the years. An Artist's Alley threatens to change all that. Mike Negin states "For those familiar with MCM, you'll know that the area known as 'Comic Village' is at the heart of our show, and we're excited to let you know that this will now be better than ever. We want to make it clear to creators and fans that this feature is not just limited to comics but inclusive of artists from every corner of the artistic world! That's why we've made a decision to rebrand 'Comic Village', and we hope you're as excited as us to welcome 'Artist Alley' to our shows from 2021. We look forward to seeing your creativity in all its forms!"
There are plenty of people who would argue with Negin's statement that Comic Village was ever at the heart of the MCM shows, but its existence did enable comics creators to maybe bat above their weight, bordered by the likes of Nintendo, Hasbro and Warner Bros. He may need to sell the benefits a little stronger. Negin also writes "I will be taking care of Artist Alley for both MCM London and MCM Birmingham. For over a decade I have worked with creators at New York Comic Con, C2E2 and Emerald City Comic Con and I'm thrilled to add these two amazing events to that list. I truly look forward to working with so many of you!"
Negin also let possible vendors know that they will be introducing a new application process for Artists Alley which will launch in the coming days, and also that "Artist Alley will no longer be first-come, first-served; we will be curating Artist Alley and each application will be reviewed by committee in a juried process. After a registration period, we will review all applications and let you know if we are able to offer you a table; the order that we receive applications does not have an impact on whether you receive a table – each application will be reviewed equally." And that the email application will be sent out on Monday, the 28th of June. You can find their new terms here.