I started going to comic cons when I went to university. I joined the comic book society and our main social of the year would be to go to MCM Expo in London. I’ve been to MCM Expo multiple times now and I enjoy it. I think it’s a good event and I believe it’s been improving in terms of security, mostly. I also went to WinCon in March and it was a superb event, especially considering it was it’s first year.
This year was the first time I’ve been to London Film And Comic Con, and I’m not sure I will go back.
Initially, I was very impressed. After getting off of the Overground outside the Olympia venue, there were staff directing us and making sure everyone was safe. Lots of people were complaining, however, I was reassured considering recent events. However, as I found out that the crowd were just being shuffled around the venue in small groups, I started to feel suspicious. When I eventually got into the venue I found one small table with security barely checking bags and a couple of people scanning tickets. I felt that the queues outside were overlong for no reason, and the waiting times could have been significantly lessened if there were more people manning the entrance and letting people in.
I did enjoy the main event. Olympia is a great venue for an event like this as there’s so much space for stages and panels etc. There were also so many stalls, however, a lot of the stalls seemed to be more generic and selling a lot of the same things, whereas at other cons I’ve seen a lot of independent sellers, although I did pick up some great independent comics and art.
What I thought this con does better than MCM Expo is the range of guests. There was a brilliant amount and range of celebrity guests, and my sister and I decided to get a photo with James and Oliver Phelps, who play Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter series. This worked quite well, and even though it was brief, I really enjoyed the experience. I wish I had taken more time to see guests at their tables, although this entire area was understaffed and needed to be more organised.
Overall, while this isn’t a bad event, I feel that a lot more organisation is needed in this event and a lot more staff were needed. I thought they were great but massively overstretched, which was not fair on them. The other reason I doubt I’d visit again is because I feel MCM had a better vibe than this con, which I’m wondering if because I already was not happy with certain aspects. However, the range and amount of guests is amazing and I loved that photo experience.