What I did during my weekend at MCM Comic Con in London

One of my favorite moments from this year’s MCM Comic Con in London was a cosplayer dressed as a Los Pollos Hermanos employee, and after praising their costume, he offered me some crystal meth. Don’t panic, the “methamphetamine” was actually sugar in the blue dye, and the cosplayer wasn’t a ruthless drug kingpin. Whichever direction you turn, you’ll see thousands of cosplayers getting their ideas from cartoons, horror movies, superheroes, and video games.

There was an eight-foot-tall Chewbacca, The God of War Kratosa host of Peter Parkers, Bruce Waynes and Diana Princes, Chainsaw Man, Silent Hill’s Pyramid Head, and for those who know The boysand a particularly risque scene from the controversial Herogasm” episode, a cosplayer dressed as Deep with an octopus. This stage. One of the first things you realise, as a Doctor Who cosplayer (queuing for a photoshoot that drained my bank account) is that whether this is your first or fifteenth Comic Con experience, there’s absolutely no shame in this you wear, and no one will judge you on the outfit you chose (within reason).

Let’s break down the weekend a bit more as it has been busy. Initially, I was making the trip for one day. Then I changed my mind and came back on Sunday. I was adamant that I had spent as little money as possible (excluding tickets, travel and expenses such as food and drink – which you will be need). However, I paid for a photoshoot with not one but Three incarnations of Doctor Who Time Lord, so that plan went out the window. When it comes to money, it’s best to plan ahead and, if possible, avoid ATMs. I intended to avoid them too until I didn’t.

MCM Comic Con London Crowds.
My friend is dressed as Spider-Man, he’s here somewhere… (Photo: Matt Bailey).

So I backtracked three times, but in the end, the weekend was a priceless memory. Sentimentality triumphs over overspending. Once you get through half a mile of queues (which can be bypassed pretty quickly as they’re always moving) and get in, especially for newbies reading this, it might take a while to adjust to numbers. Saturday there was millions people, and that’s not an understatement. Sunday, it calmed down a bit, but it was still growing. Unless you have researched and planned your whole day before arriving, for the most part the weekend will be spent walking. You will rack up some serious mileage. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the two main buildings of the Excel Center. The S building and the N building. That’s how I remember it.

They probably have real names, but let’s be honest, nobody thinks about that when you take selfies with Chewbacca. Take the time to get your bearings and explore as much as you can. It’s best not to spend your money on the first stand you find with your favorite items, but to search a little more first. That way, you might find the same thing at a better price. I came home with a few weekend trinkets, from a hoodie to a chameleon pocket watch (Doctor Who fans will know).

My biggest expense of the weekend, as mentioned earlier, was the Saturday afternoon photo shoot with three incarnations of the Doctor of Doctor Who. Without shame to say that I am a super fan and willing to pay (redacted) to meet them. Three out of ten on the list: Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann. Unfortunately, there is a downside to the photo shoot. You will pay a lot of money to stand in line, jump into a booth and hang out with them before your photo is taken. Then you are escorted, and that’s it. Do.

MCM Comic Con London.
I played Halo 3 and it was clunky as hell. (Photo: Matt Bailey).

In my experience, it might be better to get an autograph and pay extra for a photo, which is exactly what I did on Sunday when I met Colin Baker. That’s doctors five through eight on the list. Autographs allow you to actually talk to them, and it’s overall a more direct, intimate, and personal experience. It’s a preferential thing, so it’s best to consider your options before making a decision.

The rest of the weekend was taken up with a lot to walk, catching sight of Tomska (the creator of the ASDF) in the middle of long queues. I took a shot of the TARDIS and new costumes for the 60th anniversary specials and played video games (Halo 3 on Xbox 360 and Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2). If you didn’t know, you can play for free on a range of consoles from Xbox 360, Playstation 2, 3 and Nintendo Gamecube. Get in line, grab a controller of your choice, choose an enclosure, and you’ll be given the disc to play. This is an opportunity to find yourself all nostalgic for the consoles of yesteryear.

If you read till the end, I hope it was entertaining as it was informative. As someone who has never been there, Comic Con is an experience worth having at least once. Most importantly, things to remember would be to spend wisely and budget, drink plenty of water, and have some snacks on hand. Be courteous to other cosplayers if you ask them to take their picture (often people are quite nice and will let you, but ask anyway), and above all, have fun. It all depends on what you take for the day. Here’s to the next one. Did you attend any of this year’s Comic-Con events in London? Let us know if you have, we would love to know what you have made of these experiences, whether this is your first or your tenth.

MCM Comic Con London.
I met a man named Colin Baker. (Photo: Matt Bailey).

Daniel K. Denny