The Don of Comic-Con

Do you love fancy dress parties but wish you could take it that little step further? Do you like seeing the latest games and comics before the bulk of your friends? Or do you have a ridiculously extensive Pop Vinyl collection and need Olaf to complete your Frozen collection? Then you should’ve been at Comic-Con this May. Upon arriving at the ExCel Centre in London recently, I felt completely underdressed in my Adventure Time t-shirt while I was rubbing shoulders with a man in a giant Pikachu outfit, a troupe of Ghostbusters and a handful of Anime characters I didn’t even know existed! 

This was only day one as well. Cosplay isn’t exactly my forte, and I’d never be able to create a costume as elaborate or striking as 80% of those in attendance, but the first round of MCM Comic-Con 2016 managed to treat my eyes to a visual feast of well-known characters from every aspect of the geek chic media outlets. 

I spent the majority of my two days at the event trying to squeeze my way past the vast crowds who showed up in full force this year. With celebrities from the big and small screen such as Warwick Davies and Gotham’s own Barbara Gordon to the YouTube and Vine wonders that are Tomska and Stuggy, there was almost too many people to meet! As a Comic-Con n00b, I managed to get excited by the smallest of things there were to do. Being able to play the latest Tekken game before it hits the shelves was probably the highlight of my time there but also having small moments such as walking past a photographer, the spitting image of Heisenberg cracking a grin at some randoms drinking coffee.

For a first-timer, the experience was a tad overwhelming. With so much to do in such a short weekend, I decided to have a browse among the hundreds of stalls lined up in the Centre. From collectibles to rare Pokemon cards, I reckon I geeked out more than I thought possible. What I must recommend is that, if you visit the event in October this year, make sure you bring some cash! So many times, I found myself hating the fact that I was broke on payday weekend and couldn’t buy anything. Browsing through the comic village would be up there regarding excitement as I managed to meet a real gent who’s written for the Beano and the Dandy which lined my bookshelf as a kid. 
Now about that cosplay… I guess I saw over 30 different Harley Quinn/Joker couples throughout the two days varying from high-quality costumes slung onto a guy, and a girl who probably hit the gym more than I believe is possible, to some chubby dude dressed as a really poor quality Finn from Adventure Time. Not to mention bumping into a guy at the shop in full Gandalf character telling people who could pass. Let’s just say some people take their costume a tiny bit more literally than others. 

The experience was a tad overwhelming rubbing shoulders with a man in a giant Pikachu outfit

Comic-Con is best enjoyed with friends. And in costume, if you have the time. Seemingly, the more elaborate, the better! Meeting characters from The Avengers (I saw some dude dressed as Iron Man with a fully functioning helmet that was rad as hell!), you can assume that most people just want to have their photo taken. And why not! The groups of smartly thought out character choices (Payday, Cats, Zombies) mean that you can come with a group of your mates and have people begging to have their picture taken with you. It’s a bit bewildering from the outside looking in, but I can only guess that on the other side, it must feel cool. 
Make sure you do your research! Having no time to prepare for this year’s Con, I went in blind on my first day with no idea of what to do! This kind of event takes some serious planning if you want to buy something specific or attend the Fallout 4 costume competition. There is something for everyone with yours truly witnessing a few hopefuls trying out their vocal chords to a bunch of Japanese TV show theme tunes… and hurting my ears too! I can almost imagine a child viewing it as a similar experience to Disney Land with the amount of costumes on display. 
So if you’re thinking about going to the next Comic-Con this October, make sure you’re ready! Get yourself a rad costume (beware of the obvious choices… Deadpool and Harley Quinn must’ve won the ‘most picked costume competition’. There’s ALWAYS going to be someone with a better outfit), save up your pennies for the collectibles and get your camera batteries fully charged!
Words by Elliot stubbings