London MCM Expo – the review

All human life and more

Part of me, if not all of me, was dreading this event. Having heard of the madness of the cosplayer hordes, I was convinced I was going to hate it. However, the tables in the “comic village” were a very reasonable price, and as I live less than an hour away from the Excel Centre it seemed foolish to miss out on a chance to shill, especially as organiser Emma Vieceli had gone to some trouble to fit a load of last minute tables for exhibitors into the hall.

As it turned out, I really enjoyed myself: the ladies, gentlemen and undecideds of the cosplayer community were really nice and entertaining (apart from a fat little Naruto who tried to half-inch all my toffee giveaways) and, considering there was a room full of thousands of youngsters who had queued for literally hours to get in, they were surprisingly well-behaved. But oh, the cruelty of spandex! Herds of camels must have been slaughtered for the number of toes on display.
I enjoyed the taiko drumming displays, though I think I was far enough away from it not to suffer from sonic shock that some of the other exhibitors were having to deal with, and I saw the cosplay dancing demonstration enough times to learn all the moves by heart. Performances on request.

Trade felt slow, as might be expected at a games/manga/films-oriented event, but once I’d cashed up I found that financially I’d actually done better than I had at BICS in 2008. Whilst my comics had not sold so well, sales of prints and badges had made up for it. I guess this demonstrates you have to think about who your potential punters are and target your wares accordingly. The crowd were not likely to risk their pennies on something new and were more likely to go with something familiar: I noticed that most people who bought badges were not much bothered as to what was on them, they just wanted something to collect. It’s definitely a place where those with a more ‘showbiz’ attitude to selling will do well.

The usual small press suspects were all present: particular thanks to Sarah and Dave for minding my table whilst I had a break.
Shout-outs to:
Wonderful table neighbours Gary Erskine (I was really impressed by the time he spent talking to his punters) and lovely Kat Nicholson and friends;
the nice people at Supermonko;
the chaps from D-Con, which looks like it might be fun;
and a gentleman called Joseph who wants to turn my pics into 3-d paper sculptures.

I was briefly interviewed by the Geek Syndicate guys and had a longer chat with Dickon Harris from Panel Borders. I keep having flashbacks to the daft things I was saying so I doubt I’ll be able to listen to them in case I die of The Cringe, but if I get details of the broadcasts I’ll post about it.

A great addition to the regular convention circuit. There are already plenty of pics of the mayhem on Flickr.

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