Sunday 30 November 2014

MCM London Comic Con Winter 2014

MCM London Comic Con is an event happens two times a year on the last weekend of May and October. The event is held in the Excel Centre in east London. The winter con this year on Friday 24th to Sunday 26th October.

I would say that MCM in many ways is like the London Film and Comic Con but incorporates more of the Japanese culture into their events. You will find manga and anime here which you would scarcely see in LFCC. Like LFCC, MCM has cosplay, video games, television, film, signing and photoshoots and gaming (board and trading card games). The size of this event is on a grand scale with almost no space to manoeuvre once you put a foot through the door. Even with pre-booked tickets it took me just over 45 minutes to get in and I also noticed that the general entry ticket line seems to be non-existent though compared to the pre-booked queue.

I’m no stranger to MCM and started attending two years ago but there have been people there that have been attending years and years. I think I must attended the last year when it was known as MCM London Expo. It just grew massively between the years and the growth does not seem in any way to slow down. When I first attended, they had one hall for queuing and one hall for the whole convention. Now the event is spread out in a double sized hall with a additional hall this time for a Yu-Gi-Oh card tournament and the queuing system is still finding its way in facilitating the increasing amount of attendees that are crossing through the doors.

Here are some of the things that happened in October this year:
  • EuroCosplay – This year marks the 5th anniversary of the EuroCosplay Championships which sees competitors across Europe compete to gain the elusive title and join the ranks of European Cosplay Champions.
  • MCM Theatres – Panels with television and film guests as well as scheduled showing of film trailers.
  • Vidfest – Social media peeps with scheduled panel discussions and Q&A.
  • Pop Asia – An area that dedicates to Asian culture, food, music and fashion.
  • MCM eSports – video gaming tournament with a winning of a cash prize pool and exhibition area of related stalls and shops.
  • MCM Comic Village – comic book artists ranging from indie to mainstream are here for signings, drawings and discussions.

The next ones in May 2015 so I’m waiting in anticipation on how the queuing system will turn out this time round. My geek hat will come on when it comes down to getting that geek loot of comics and merchandise. You can check out MCM’s website to find out of any upcoming news and announcements.

Friday 28 November 2014

London Film and Comic Con Winter 2014

The London Film and Comic Con Winter was held in Earls Court on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th October 2014.

The winter con is much smaller than it is with the summer one in comparison to the scale and amount of people attending which provides a more up and personal experience. It is still not quite marginally near to the fun-filled joyride it was during the summer but give you a chance to explore everything there is to offer compared to the summer event where you can only move an inch of a space every few minutes or so. I noticed a lot of comic book artists and writers decided to give it a miss this time around and even the comic book artists and writers looked quite desolate.

There were not many film and TV stars that I wanted an autograph from but some notable people to mention are Ralph Macchio from The Karate Kid, Carrie Fisher from Star Wars and Ariana Richards from the first Jurassic Park film. Something else worth saying is that not only can you get an autograph from not just one… not just two… but three actors who played Storm Troopers from the Star Wars franchise.
All in all, it was a great event with its toned-down approach giving more of a close and intimate events allowing time to look around and browse without the stress of people looking over your shoulder. I did buy more comic books as a result of this which I found was really difficult in doing at the summer event. I’m looking forwards to the next event in summer 2015.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Open House 2014

Open House is a weekend event in mid-September where London architectures opens their doors to the public to explore. This year it was held on the 20th and 21st September 2014.

First Open House I attended to was the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies which is a collective of flower arranging clubs and societies built together to form a recognised charity. The building contained wall photographs and insights in the organisation with floral exhibits displayed throughout the whole structure. Location address: Osbourne House, 12 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4TE.
 Bishopsgate Institute
The Institute was opened in 1894 by Prime Minister Lord Roseberry. Its aims were to “promote lectures, exhibitions and otherwise the achievement of literature, science and the fine arts” which they still do to this day. The building was designed by Charles Harrison Townsends who employed his own individual approach for the design of the building than to follow in any form of conformity thst were present in previous landmark designs. Location address: 230 Bishopsgate Institute, London EC2M 4QH.

For Open House, there were five main rooms/halls to explore:
  • Boardroom
  • Great Hall
  • Library and Archives
  • Courtyard Room
  • Upper Hall
Bishopsgate Institute holds programmes ranging from talks and discussions to social dances and concerts. They do a range of courses for adults which centred on language, performing arts and culture. The library there is free and open to all to use, with a massive collection on London and political history including archives of Freedom Press and the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA).
To find out more about Open House you can visit their website.