MCM Birmingham

I don’t go to MCM comicons very often these days, despite living only ten minutes down the road from the Telford event it’s a rare occasion for me to have a weekend off, and they never seem to line up. This month circumstances so happened that I was able to arrange the day off* and so I went with a few friends to Birmingham NEC to get nerdy for a few hours. This does of course mean I’m only just getting through the Punisher, but it’s been worth the wait.

First of all let me say a quick thanks to the admins who corrected my minor screw-up, after accidentally buying a ticket for Sunday I emailed them to ask for a swap, and they had it done by morning. Despite the website saying no refunds or transfers, it was apparently nothing to set me up properly. Cheers guys.

The NEC was host to three events this weekend, and not only did that make for the most crowded train ride I’ve even been on, it also meant MCM was relocated to the far end of the building which is something of a new experience for me, despite having been at the NEC or the nearby Hilton at least a dozen times, I think this weekend was my first experience of the halls at the far end. Perhaps the halls are bigger? Certainly more labyrinthine, usually I can sweep through a comicon twice in in an hour, this year I’m still not sure I saw it all.

Important points, if you’re enjoying the newly rebooted Robot Wars then you might be interested in seeing the season 1 champion Apollo on tour with the robot fighting arena that pops up at every MCM (at least the ones I’ve attended). There are always a host of celebrities to meet, not least of which Warwick Davis and some of the Red Dwarf cast, Ian McElhinney, and Virginia Hey, and those are only the faces I saw. With time and money on the line however, I had to prioritise my Christmas shopping, no time for queues and autographs.

The advantage of having predominantly nerdy friends is that finding something for everyone is easy; the hard part of shopping at an MCM is deciding how much to spend, by and large the answer is too much. I notice this year there has been a distinct upswing in the number of custom Lego minifigures and randomised loot boxes, but sincerely I can’t say that I noticed anything lacking. Anime, comics, memorabilia, video games, film, cosplay… possibly every order of geeky interest is always solidly and massively represented.

I had the opportunity to say hi to a couple of friendly faces, at least one member of the Kitacon committee (Hi Claire!) and an artist friend from work, Faiza, who dropped me off at her stall in the artist’s alley to chat to her sister about D&D. Unexpected for sure, but good conversation is good conversation.

Ok, so the level of engagement is not quite so deep as one of the big anime conventions, but the appeal is universal, and this close to Wales then Birmingham is the biggest and the best.

And I’ve managed to check two more names of the Christmas list. I don’t care that it’s November, more fool you for not starting months ago.

*The caveat being that I’ve lost quite a substantial chunk of my weekly games night just as the campaign is heating up.

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