So, this post has been a while in coming, but March was crazy busy, hence the delay. But, finally, I’m happy to present a little review of my weekend at this year’s Liverpool MCM ComicCon at the city’s Waterfront Exhibition Centre.
2016 was the first time the event had visited Liverpool, and although that was brilliant (see my post about it here), this year there was a real feeling of the event’s foothold in the city strengthening, and evolving, and indeed the event is scheduled to return annually until at least 2020 (does happy dance). This year’s event was bigger, extending into new areas of the Exhibition Centre, and dare I say it, attracted guests that wouldn’t be out of place at any of the larger and more established conventions.
Alas, the scheduled appearance by Billie Piper never materialised (do you see what I did there?) but there were so many awesome guests, including Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, Flash Gordon actor Sam Jones, and stars of the 70s classic Starsky and Hutch, Paul Michael Glaser, David Soul and Antonio Fargas, as well as many others (Chris Barrie of Red Dwarf, Louise Brierley of Sherlock, Andrew Lee Potts from Primeval). So, so many. I managed to catch some of the Q&A sessions with the guests, and all of them were fun.
Once one got past the traditional MCM display (guarded here by Mandalorians and Judges – more about one of them later) and the MAGNIFICENT Iron Man statue at the entrance, there were many awesome displays at the event. There was the famous Ford Gran Torino from Starsky and Hutch (I’m not an expert so I have no idea if it’s the 1975 or 1976 version) and also a Landspeeder as seen in Star Wars: A New Hope (although strangely, we never got to see under the bonnet of that vehicle).
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Game of Thrones fans could have themselves professionally photographed seated upon the mighty throne, and as most visitors appeared to be in cosplay, it wasn’t unusual to pass by the exhibit and find a Harley Quinn or a Deadpool claiming it as their own.
Two items I loved were the giant inflatable Minion casting a watchful gaze of the event’s Kid Zone, and this t-shirt. There were a couple of Trump cosplayers in among the crowds, and far be it from me to question his place among the supervillainous likes of Lex Luthor and The Joker …
One of my favourite displays from last year was the Steampunk Star Wars exhibit, and that returned this year bigger and more inventive than ever. Check out the Ewok rug!!!
I bought a couple of Steampunk accessories from the stalls, and given my fondness for waistcoats and pocket watches, I might be trying out a little bit of a tattooed Victorian inventor cosplay in the very near future …
Speaking of pocket watches, I did of course get my mitts on some geek booty … and also bought some pocket watches! Hahaha! So anyway, this is basically what I harvested over the two days …
THREE pocket watches – a Deadpool one, and you might recognise the brass and silver designs as the Gallifreyan font used in the modern series of Doctor Who.
Keeping with the Deadpool theme, I also got this FANTASTIC hoodie, and yes, I CAN see through the eye-coverings! Unfortunately, I can’t wear it with these BOSS Iron Man cufflinks (alas, they don’t make hoodies for cufflinks … yet).
Some might say that writers and/or geeks live in a fantasy land anyway, but given my enthusiasm for both of those pursuits, this Virtual Reality headset seems like a sound investment. But a word of warning, if you’re taking a walk across your living room while wearing it, happily traversing some exotic virtual desert, it’s probably a good idea to clear the living room floor of any twelve-inch remote control Daleks. Boy, did I learn that the hard way!
Rather wonderfully, I did meet someone AMAZING at the con, who surprised and delighted me by bringing some gifts for me to the meeting. I have to keep her (somewhat famous) identity a secret, but she very kindly agreed to let me show off what she brought.
I love all of it, but yes, they ARE Marvel shoelaces, and you can just IMAGINE how big my smile was when I saw them. So, thank you, secret famous lady xx
As always, there was some amazing cosplay at the event, ranging from the funny approximations to the admirably accurate, but ALL of it infused with love and dedication, as it should be. And it DEFINITELY made spotting Pokémon easier than usual!
Of course, if there’s a chance to get my derpy face in there with a cosplayer, I’m on it like a car bonnet, and this weekend was no exception.
I was unable to avoid Imperial entanglements, and you see that Emperor Guard in the second to last picture? This was Day Two, and on Day One I’d already enjoyed her company in the guise of a Special Judicial Judge (You can see her in the earlier MCM logo pic, the black and silver helmet standing next to Boba Fett). Rather wonderfully, she wore different coloured contact lenses for both days (the red ones for the Emperor Guard were especially striking) and as Day Two drew to a close, she was forced to swap her leather boots for the more comfortable Pokémon slippers. She was a delight, and I look forward to being arrested by her again at some future event.
The Silent Hill Nurses were epic, so much so that I got pics on both days, and the variety of cosplay was astounding (She-Ra and Visitors and Link! Oh my!)
The battle for awesomeness was DEFINTELY on between the Marvel and DC cosplayers, although I have to single out three favourite moments as being:
1. Attempting to match Spidey for tone and flexibility.
2. Wonder Woman INSISTING on a Silly-Face Selfie
3. And a certain Winter Soldier, who’s actually epic enough to wear her cyborg arm when she’s NOT cosplaying …
It was a great weekend, and I can’t wait for next year. Something I found particularly lovely was the kind of genre mashups sported by some of the child cosplayers. It wasn’t unusual to see Iron Man wielding a lightsabre, or a Power Ranger carrying Captain America’s shield. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE. This is how it was for any of us geeks when we started on this mad and brilliant journey, before we started fretting about canon and continuity and expanded universes, back when we had our Spiderman action figures battling a couple of Stormtroopers or whatever. These are times of terrible division and uncertainty and prejudice, and it was wonderful to see that purity of imagination on display, that unity.
Geekery isn’t like politics, or religion, or some sports. It isn’t a mad scramble for victory at the expense of dignity or feelings or other people’s beliefs.
We’re better than that, and I think pretty much everyone at these events gets that. Those kids had it right, and if society is truly looking for A New Hope, then that Next Gen of young open minds is probably where they’ll find it.
Anyway, if you made it this far, thanks for reading!