Post-MCM Expo

I attended MCM Expo in London, England last weekend as part of the ShiftyLook crew. It was a fun time filled with great social interactions and beautiful sunny weather.

Every convention has its own feel. Some shows are very pop culture-centric, focusing on TV shows, movies and actors, while other shows are all about comics, or video games, or anime.

MCM Expo had a massive turn out dedicated to anime and cosplay. The ratio of people in costume to those not stunned me. Easily 3/4 of the people at the show were dressed up in some fashion and many of those outfits were elaborate and high quality. I’ve been noticing the intense upswing of cosplay culture at conventions I’ve been going to over the past few years. The passionate exhibition of someone’s love for a character, the recognition from other people at the show turning the cosplayer into a minor celebrity and satisfaction people get from the intense escapism of dressing up has propelled it from a fringe aspect to the very core of convention culture.

The cosplay and anime crowd is young, excited and is more than willing to create their own fun. In a world where people are increasingly disillusioned by advertising-laden ideals and overpowering corporate culture, you can’t help but enjoy watching a huge crowd of young people be so exuberant about characters and stories that inspire them. Even when it’s crowded and crazy there’s a playful joy in it that still surprises me.

Namco-Bandai’s ShiftyLook promotion went pretty well and gained momentum over the course of the weekend. The strongest event was Sunday afternoon’s Dig Dug 30th Anniversary game tournament on the show floor. The crowd steadily grew and cheered as each new contestant attempted to beat the high score set by the ShiftyLook creators.

Outside of the show I had a chance to spend time with Marv Wolfman, the legendary comic creator who’s written hundreds of comics from my youth. Getting to know him and talk about the industry as it was and is now was a thrill. I go through phases where I don’t feel connected at all to the mainstream comic business, so getting perspective from someone who’s freelanced longer than I’ve been alive was enlightening and inspiring.

Hanging out with good friends, signing some books for fans of Street Fighter and Skullkickers, having some traditional English pub fare and chilling out a little bit… MCM was a good show. As May wraps up I’m happy to say that the con season has been incredibly strong so far. With major shows like Book Expo America, San Diego Comicon, PAX and Fan Expo Canada still to come before the summer wraps up, I’m hopeful the positive momentum keeps rolling.

Leave a Comment

NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>