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.
Itching for something truly geeky to do this coming March? If so, you may be pleased to hear that Bristol is about to become even more geeky, so if you’re from the South-West of England, now’s the time for you to get your cosplays planned! Bristol Comicon and Gaming Festival is coming to the City Academy Sports Centre soon. But hold your horses there folks – You don’t even know anything about this event yet! Buckle up and read on:
What a day.
I must admit I’ve not really had much by way of inspiration to write today, I’ve been focussed on one thing and one thing only. At 19:00 registrations opened for Amecon 2016. And at 19:33 all one thousand places had gone!
Kita 2015 was consumed in seventy three minutes, Ame has more than halved that record, and for good reason. The Warwick Arts Centre is quite possibly the most perfect location for a convention, the auditorium, lecture halls, screening rooms, on site facilities, and beautiful spots for photo-taking. Ame is going to have it all, and so will one thousand (and two) of us for the first time since the tragic passing of the late great Ayacon in 2013, where Tim and I first began our journey, both through the con-scene that has supported and driven us, but together in this venture.
So many people even now despair at the arrival of christmas on the high-street, slowly but inexorably worming tinsel-tendrils into our collective awareness, ushering winter behind it. “No!” they cry, “Too soon to be thinking of Christmas!” while we fall over ourselves, practically tearing each other limb-from-limb to get into an event that’s at the end of July next year, without even knowing what guests we can expect.
Too soon would be ALcon. That’s at the end of this week, and I have to say it rather snuck up on me. I’ve been booked into it for months now, and while I’m looking forward to it, I still wasn’t expecting it so soon. I guess I’ll see many of you soon, bring a Magic deck and dice, and be ready for practically anything if you see me, I’m in an unpredictable mood.
In 2013 I attended my first convention. Last year I attended both Kita and AL, this weekend AL will be my third convention of the year. In keeping with my current pattern, I’m planning on a fourth convention for 2016, I just need to work out how to squeeze one into an already packed schedule, and I have ambitions of getting into an MCM or maybe Cardiff Comicon (even bigger ones of getting in as a press-member).
As a final comment, we want to thank you for your continued support. We fell three views shy of 4000 for the first time ever this August. You never cease to amaze us, and we’re continuing to work hard towards bringing you amazing new content with our traditional “flare” (read “bumbling enthusiasm”) and as we build towards a conventionless winter, we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our Bristol MeetUps and at Shrewsbury games events.
So another San-Diego Comicon comes and goes, and the lucky few have had their chance to wait in mile after mile of queues to discover what the future of nerd-marketed-media holds, and right now there’s three big titles on everyone’s mind:
Batman vs. Superman
Recently leaked, and even more recently given a full release – because let’s face it, it was never going to stay SDCC exclusive for long – the Dawn of Justice trailer shows a fuller set up for the conflict, and shows us a clear shot of Wonder Woman in action, and even hints at Aquaman’s origins (it’s subtle, but it’s there). We also get a very thorough idea of how Jesse Eisenberg will be playing Lex Luther, and that’s where I want to start:
Jesse is a small bloke, maybe lacking the kind of gravitas that Superman’s greatest enemy usually comes with, but here we see a very different interpretation, one that I regard with the same kind of optimism as Heath Ledger’s Joker. He looks to have a subtle kind of manipulation, insidiously polite and jovial, I can see all kinds of villainy, and he absolutely has my curiosity. I’d also like to say that Jeremy Irons is an excellent casting for Alfred.
That’s about as positive as I can get for BvS: DoJ. Seriously, another Batman origin story is being crammed into this? We have two JLA characters being shoehorned in without an origins film, this is all getting out of hand. We get that you’re trying hard to play catch-up with Marvel, but this is not something you can rush.
In short, I can hardly contain my lack of enthusiasm. I’ve made my opinion of Zack Snyder very clear, but that’s really besides the point. The trailer has enough positive points that I can’t just right this film off. The true tragedy here is that Affleck is going to be playing Batman twice in the same year without nerd approval…
Now here’s the first DC project in a long time I’ve actually looked forward to for a while, right up until I saw the Joker. From that point on, everything else I’ve seen has increased my concern that this could be another failure. And yet…
The Joker is the biggest question mark for me. With both the loss of Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill retiring from the role with the completion of Arkham City, whoever takes up the role next is going to have a hard time of it, and Jared Leto has certainly weathered the scrutiny on his design. It has its’ prose and cons, he seems to have a decent voice for the job, but I remain unconvinced.
Harley Quinn and Deadshot are the central roles here, Margot Robbie especially seems to be occupying centre stage which makes sense if the Joker is the major villain. I generally have no problem with that so long as the other villains get a decent look in at the action. There are some big names here: Katana, Killer Croc, and Captain Boomerang.
In short, I’m back on the fence about Suicide Squad, which is a positive, but ultimately mediocre shift. The credentials of the director seem heavy on the low-brow action, but this trailer makes me wonder if he’s finally been given the chance to show what he can do.
Couple of things before you click play: 1) Sony have not given up and released the trailer properly yet so this is still “leaked footage”. Get it while it’s hot! 2) This is the Deadpool movie we asked for, so if you can hear it you’ll be hearing strong language.
Well, this certainly sets the tone! Plenty of fourth-wall breaks, a dig at Green Lantern, and just a whole bunch of cool stuff. Not a lot of story though. Not glimpse of the villains who could well be Ajax and Copycat, who are both cast. Could just as easily be Deadpool himself, let’s rule nothing out here.
This, alone amongst the trailers here is a film I am looking forward to, but this trailer doesn’t give us much except renewed hope, and I can’t say much more than that. Marvel have always played their cards a little closer to their chests, and Sony look to be keeping up the business model. Ryan Reynolds is the real driving force behind this film, he’s a nerd in a position of great power within this production, and after last year he has the burden of countless nerdy hopes on his shoulders.