Sunday, 24 May 2009

London MCM Expo 2009 - Afterthoughts

Yesterday I attended the bi-yearly London MCM Expo at the Excel centre.

I've attended for the last few years, quite a few of those times with Dark Knight, and it's usually a worthwhile experience. I have to say that this time though it was a bit of a letdown due to a number of reasons.

First off we've attended the last few using industry passes (given to me because of work) and we've always got in around 8:30am and been able to walk around the event while people are setting up their stands and eye up where everything is before the event opens at 9am. Usually it's for us to know where the big guests will be sitting so that we can get to them first and sort out our autographs early on to then be able to walk around and enjoy the rest afterwards. Unfortunately this time we got told (for the first time I might add) that industry passes don't allow access before 9am only exhibitor passes do... So DK and I were a little miffed to say the least, seeing as we arrived there at 8am! Anyway that didn't really matter too much because as it happens we had someone on the inside who had two spare exhibitor passes for us so we managed to get in early regardless. It was just the way that we were told and the attitude that went with it which p'd us right off and kinda ruined the start of the event for us.

The MCM event is always worth a visit and that's always been because the exhibitors are quite unique, the guests are usually quite prolific and don't attend other UK events that often, and it's in London which is only a short drive for us Essex boys. But the May event this year just wasn't that good... There weren't that many guests this year that piqued our interest (we ended up only getting Linda Hamilton's autograph in the end) but I know people like Tony Curtis and Lindsay Wagner etc were big for others. The 'smileys' or 'autograph tokens' have now gone up a fiver to £20 each. And generally the whole thing felt a bit soulless and lacking in positive atmosphere. Even poor old Craig Charles looked so depressed to be sitting there at his table (why the hell was he plonked over on that crappy little desk with Gareth David Lloyd???) that he probably could have taken his own life quite easily with a paper cut from a torn out page of the £15 Red Dwarf book that was being flogged (which was just one of the items you 'had' to buy to get his auto, no smileys for him or Gareth). I'm hoping he cheers up for the 'Better than life' Red Dwarf con in Bedford next month as I've paid a lot of money for the Gold Pass for that one!

I know that other people were having fun (and there were a hell of a lot of people there this time) and The Emerald Knight and The Crimson Blur really seemed to enjoy it, but I guess DK and I just didn't get a hell of a lot out of it. Having diabetes and arthritis in my lower body I was already bloody hungry and bloody knackered by the time Linda turned up to sign at 10:30am (I felt like killing the dude who got like 20 autos and knocked over Linda's coffee!) and I had my daughter's 6th birthday party to go to at 4pm (which nearly frickin killed me I'll tell you!) so I was running on empty by the time we left around 1pm. I hope that those of you that did attend enjoyed it. If you're reading this and want to comment on your experience there this weekend please do so, I'd love to hear what you thought.

I'd like to add something to this post which loads of people post about on the event forums and there's always so much debate on... Cosplayers and free huggers...

I have nothing against cosplayers, this is not a negative comment towards them in general, I've attended events dressed in off-world black Stargate SG-1 gear myself once or twice, but my god there are some strange people out there. A lot of the cosplayers this year were pretty good, and a few were fantastically unique but there are a good few who are just plain psychotic and downright annoying when dressed up and DK and I actually quite enjoy laughing at these few ( I know that sounds evil). It's not cruel and I'm not ribbing them for dressing up, I'm simply saying that you few give cosplayers a bad name when you're running around screaming and waving cardboard weapons in people's faces. I feel like buying a tazer for next time just to zap the next git that gets in my face with a cosplay scythe or sword!

Oh and the 'Free Hugs' people: This is not the day and age to be doing that crap anymore guys and girls. It's just too weird... I saw one teenage guy actually just standing there with a piece of cardboard above his head, with free hugs written on it, with the scariest smile I think I've ever seen... What's with that anyway? Free hugs is not something people should be encouraged to indulge in with strangers at any age, I don't care what anyone says. I'm a dad of 2 girls and I would never allow them to do something like that, I'd be f'ing mortified if they did. You may think it's all harmless and very social but at the end of the day it's not something that should be happening at a public event no matter how innocent the motives are. I've never seen that at a Showmasters event like Film and Comic Con or Collectormainia... Maybe it's just an MCM thing?

Anyway nothing I say on my little blog will change anything, and really why should it? It's teenagers having fun. I'm just 31 going on 60 with a strict fatherly view on things like that. But I warn you now, if you try to offer a free hug to the big guy with the mohican at the next event you'll find my forehead planted neatly in your teeth... only kidding... kinda...

Oh and by the way, from what I played of Arkham Asylum (the PS3 version) it seemed like crap! Such a hyped game and yet such basic boring gameplay. I admit it was literally a demo for you to beat seven shades of shite out of a handful of thugs but still it did not, in any way or form, rock my world. Hope the full game is much better!

Below are a few pics from the event

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