Third time's a charm at Comic Con
If you’re following me anywhere on social media, then you’ll know that last weekend I popped along for round three of MCM London Comic Con. And (as expected) it was just as weird and wonderful as it has always been.
The last few times I’ve swung by this event, I’ve had a huge focus on the panels and content. This time, I wanted to explore the venue more, and get an idea for the community feel that the event has. I got to know the ‘street-side’ of Comic Con, chatting to various people and learning more about the various traditions and cultures that are associated with this juggernaut of a weekend.
Let me also preface this post with the fact that this time, I planned out my cosplay a little more in advanced than previous times (flashback to me frantically sticking yellow duct tape to a bright blue morph suit the night before May Comic Con for my Fallout Cosplay). I’d sat thinking about something that I could wear that wouldn’t break the bank, but still look badass. And with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald scheduled for release very soon, it seemed only fitting to go as a genderbent Newt Scamander.
Female Newt? That's me!
Hufflepuff scarf from Primark, blouse from Ebay, waistcoat from Rosegal, skirt from Zara, coat from New Look, wig from Amazon, and wand from Hamleys.
What I adore about this cosplay is the fact that I can recycle a lot of the items as standalone pieces in my everyday wardrobe. The blouse will look adorable with a pair of jeans, the skirt I can dress up or down with whatever I choose, and the coat I wear everyday regardless, it just so happened to fit the outfit.
...Having said that, the waistcoat is a medium mens size, so I probably won’t wear that again. Dagnabbit.
I also wanted to channel Newt’s fuzzy hair with a feminine twist, and so picked up the multi-tonal blonde curly wig from Amazon. Now, this is the first time that I’ve worn a wig for a full day, and let me tell you. It was NOT easy. I had to keep adjusting the headpiece to sit properly on my head, brushing my fringe into place. Plus, by the end of the day my head felt like it had been stupified one too many times.
But it looked sick AF, so who cares?!
So donned in my Newt getup - and with my earphones firmly in - I made the long and arduous journey towards the ExCeL. It was a little exposing going across London in full cosplay. Luckily, my coat covered up most of the details, so I could still feel slightly incognito. I also was grateful for Londoners inability to say anything to strangers - no matter how weird they look - for once.
The magical section dedicated to Fantastic Beasts. Isn't it be-a-u-tiful? Photo credit to @MCMComicCon
When I arrived, I headed straight for the toilets. Now, you may be wondering why I’m including this detail in this post (TMI maybe?!), but there’s a reason for this. As I was coming out of the cubical, I bumped into non-other than finalist from the Great British Bake Off, Kim-Joy! I didn’t want to bother her for a photo. Instead, I activated my fangirl mode, telling her that she was my absolute favourite baker and that she looked AMAZING in her long blue wig.
Talk about a start to the event, huh?!
Starstruck, I wandered off to meet up with my usual con buddy, Amy, and her good friend Rosanna. The three of us did our usual meandering around around the con floor, checking out the wares of all the vendors. There was of course the usual haunts, like the live lightsaber class and Pop Asia stage, but they’ve also had a rejig of some of the elements of the convention.
This year, they included Creatorscape: a place dedicated to creators, where all the bloggers, youtubers, artists and more could get up and talk about their experiences in the geek world. There was a also a bigger focus on the heart of Comic Con, with an extended version of the classic Comic Village. This took up about a quarter of the whole convention, and it’s safe to say it went down a treat with fans!
There was even a whole section dedicated to tattoos. That's right. MCM had called in some of the best in the ink business, and were specialising in geek tattoos for all attendees. My friend Robin from Coaching for Geeks even went for one! I very briefly entertained the idea, but alas I chickened out. Maybe next time...
My room is gradually turning into a Potter shrine
Tattoo or not, I couldn’t go to Comic Con and come away empty-handed. I bought myself a wonderful piece of watercolour Hogwarts artwork from Cowzinga that fits perfectly with my magical bedroom theme. The stall had pieces themed around Disney, Marvel and more. I love unique art like this, and I’m glad to finally have my hands on one of my own. And it was an absolute bargain, priced at just four pounds. Not bad eh?
After munching on some greasy food, I wandered off to go to a Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts cosplay meetup. There, I bumped into HP fanatic Kelsey Ellison, who I interviewed not too long ago! I also partook in a very surreal photoshoot with some absolutely unbelievable cosplayers. They all made me feel very welcome, and there were a LOT of inside Potter jokes going on.
If you are considering cosplaying at a future con, I cannot recommend it highly enough. The more you do it, the more confident you become. You also start to get more creative with your outfit choices, always aiming to better your attempt on the time before. Plus, meetups are a place where everyone new is welcome, and you can bond with fellow con-goers about your fandom.
And you can get a little photoshoot in along the side. Bonus!
Spot the Hannah! (and check out all these phenomenal cosplayers?!) Photo credit to Hope Kilbey-Hay from Harry Potter Comic Con Meet Ups.
Following this I reunited with my old school friend Nat, and her pals Sophie and Sam who were trialling the new Kingdom Hearts game (got some positive feedback on that from them!). The three of us had another wander of the con hall, admiring some of the cosplays along the way. Since they were taking such an interest in the outfits, I thought it was a good time to introduce them to something they’d never seen before.
That’s right. I took them to the EuroCosplay Championship finals.
Now admittedly, I’ve only ever attended the masquerades for these types of events, so the sheer scale and production value of this show was a massive step up from what I’m used to. It can only compare it to the likes of Eurovision - except for Cosplay. And that’s ace, because I bloody adore Eurovision.
If you’ve ever read my reviews of these before, you’ll know that I pay more attention to the performance of participants as opposed to the small details of the outfit. I know that the latter is what truly wins you the contest, but I come from a theatrical background. Presenting in a flamboyant way is kind of in my blood. So of course I’m going to be looking for those that stand out.
For me, this was Ailyta with her performance of Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn. She had very clearly choreographed the piece down to the last detail, and had a real command of the stage. Plus her comedic timing was INCREDIBLE. She was also picked out as a judge's favourite. For me, the act only comes alive if the cosplayer performs like they mean it. Own the stage, like Tom Holland did in lip-sync battle.
Nothing but respect for my Rihanna.
So with that, after yanking off my wig of course due to the ever-growing headache, my third Comic Con came to a close! I have to admit, there weren’t as many panels that jumped out to me this year. It was a real bummer that Dave Bautista pulled out of the event, as I was DESPERATE for some form of MCU panel… mainly to try and get the goss on Avengers 4. Guilty.
However, I did enjoy thoroughly exploring the venue, and I really love the new elements that they’ve now introduced. I especially think that Creatorscape can be a game changer for MCM. There could be workshops on how to get started on live streaming, or writing masterclasses, or live podcasts… there’s so many wonderful geek creators out there who deserve a shot in the spotlight, and this zone could be that perfect opportunity for them!
MCM London is the gift that keeps on giving. And if you’re wondering whether you’ll see me again next spring, then I can almost guarantee my answer will be "hell yeah!".
Did anyone else make it along to Comic Con? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time, old friend. Photo credit to @MCMComicCon