London MCM Expo is a biannual event happening in May and October each year however this was my very first time going to this event. Up until now I had only been to the Anime Convention ALCon which seems very small in comparison to this event one being held in a few lecture rooms of a University and MCM being held in an actual Convention Centre. The ExCeL London otherwise known as the Exhibition Centre London London just in case you weren’t sure it is in London, inside there are many exhibition halls but MCM Expo used only two of them, the first being used exclusively for ticket sales and wrist banding and the second for the show itself.
Speaking about the size of the event, this year the shows tagline was “London’s Comic Con” having never been to Comic Con made it a bit hard to make any comparisons as to whether or not this is true but judging by videos from Comic Con of panels and of the show floor that I have seen it does seem to be some way off being as large as Comic Con. At Comic Con you get panels of 10+ people all cast and crew from their respective TV Shows/Films and at MCM you get 3 to 4 people some not even main characters. I’ll except that it’s easy to get them all in one place in America seeing as they live there but then why not bring in some cast and crew from British shows, that being said I don’t know what British shows cast I would really want to go and see. I think it has been said that MCM Expo is one of the biggest events in the UK and I can believe that but “London’s Comic Con” doesn’t really fit yet. I also don’t see why it’s London’s Comic Con and not the UK’s Comic Con, perhaps I’ll have my own event and call it “Illegal Toothpaste – Teignmouth’s Comic Con” or “Illegal Toothpaste – Newton Abbot’s Comic Con” that’ll really put them on the map.
The panels themselves where enjoyable, taking place in the MCM Expo Theatre in the corner of the main show floor. I’m not sure why they had the same panels for both the Saturday and the Sunday but I only went on the Saturday devoting the Sunday to playing Video Games. First we had the Eureka panel or as it’s know in the UK the A Town Called Eureka panel, I don’t know why we needed that distinction for the shows release here but nevertheless I showed up on time for the panel and 3 cast members did not at 11am it was still not too busy but the MC did his best to keep people entertained with freebies. we knew in advance how was going to be there Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Jack Carter), Jordan Hinson (Zoe Carter – Sheriff Jack Carter’s daughter) and Chris Gauthier (Vincent NoSurname of Cafe Diem) and behold at 11:15am they entered stage only 15 minutes late, they had water pistols to squirt the unfortunate fans who desired to sit at the very front of the stage, sitting back far enough we did not have to worry about encountering unexpected water however the view was less than ideal, at the side of the stage were two screens showing a video feed from the cameras at the back so you can see their pores even when you’re right at the back of the room with the cameras, however the screens where on the same level as the stage, I thought the point of these screens was so everyone in the audience could see what was going on but alas they were only marginally higher than the stage so if you’re not tall or have an awkward Cosplay sitting in front of you prepare yourself for an audio-tastic time.
I expect there are people who go to panels just to listen to other peoples questions and the corresponding answers and I would have to put myself in that category although without any of the crew there like producers, there’s not really any point asking the cast anything technical about the show itself, that’s not to say I don’t think they would be able to respond to such questions just that I listened to the cast talk about how much they would love to film the show in other locations because it would be fun for them not necessarily because it would be good for the show to go there and how they would like to do more crossovers with other shows (Since they have done with Warehouse 13 before). But before we knew the time was up at 11:45am they had only been on for 30 minutes obviously their lateness shouldn’t cut into the Warehouse 13 panel at 12:00pm but still how long does it take to add an extra table and chair for the 4 person panel. Anywho once they had left I decided to stick around for the Warehouse 13 panel, as my friend Chris was interested in seeing it, I had only recently watched the pilot episode as I didn’t really know of it’s existence until the aforementioned crossover with Eureka, but it was still interesting hearing the questions and answers and the chat about the show which made me decide to go back and finish watching the rest of season 1 and 2 upon my return home. This panel was a lot more organised with the 3 main cast Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer (Who was also Ted’s brother in the amazing unfortunately cancelled series Better Off Ted), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Saul Rubinek (Artie Nelson) and series executive producer and show runner Jack Kenny helping to answer the questions the cast could not having a better grasp of the whole show, I found it interesting that he had gone back and written back stories for Warehouses 1-12. But all too soon it was time for them to go and time for Lunch.
The ExCeL centre features many eateries including Chozen Noodle and as MCM is heavily influenced by Asia with Cosplay and such it’s unsurprising that people chose to slurp noodles and so did we as our hotel did not include breakfast I had only eaten an apple with a cup of tea that morning so I finished my noodles in record time. I was also very keen to get to the Phoenix Wright Cosplay meet up happening at the very entrance to ExCeL London. You can read more about that in my Phoenix Wright Cosplay Special.
And back to the show at 2:30pm I wanted to go and see John de Lancie none other than Q from Star Trek and most recently he starred in the hit AMC drama series Breaking Bad as Donald Margolis, he had a 15 minute time slot but when we entered the MCM Expo Theatre they announced that he would be on at 3:00pm instead so we stay and chatted while we waited. At last he came on stage and rather then hang back where the previous panels had sat he walked down the Cosplay catwalk to get close to the fans and answer our ridiculous questions. As it is with any famous sci-fi series such as Star Trek or Star Wars you have to wonder whether they are open to talking about these famous franchises or if they will storm of the stage at it’s mere mention, thankfully John de Lancie stayed even after Star Trek was mentioned in a question, I was almost compelled to ask a question but in this not Star Trek related question mine was answered too, as I enjoyed seeing him in Breaking Bad I was interested to hear about his time with Bryan Cranston. He also spoke of a video he had made but was reluctant to put on YouTube so he had sent it to a friend of his who did it for him, he mentioned as it was approaching Halloween he chose to film himself reading The Raven.
For the rest of the day I walked around the main hall looking at what the shops had to offer and the Video Games on display, my fellow hotel room mate and MCM Veteran mentioned that Sunday tended to be less busy with everyone coming on the Saturday so I scouted what I wanted to come back and play on Sunday. I had not yet located Gran Turismo 5 but I did find DDR:UK and Explodemon. I was a bit surprised that the event shut down quite early but I was happy to go back to the hotel room and relax before going out for food. We went to Custom House over the bridge from the DLR Station near the entrance to the convention centre. Although me and my friend Chris couldn’t sit with our room mates and their friends so we sat together and talked geek while we ate and headed back to the hotel room to watch Better Off Ted on my laptop drinking cups of tea till late.