So it only just over 2 weeks since MCM but already feels like a life time ago. London MCM May is one of the biggest dates in the comic con diary. This has many advantages and disadvantages so lets talk about some of them and what we this was great about this MCM or what can be improved.
MCM is now owned by ReedPOP (has been for a while but this time it was very obvious) so POP’s was a huge thing this year and while popular with many of the attendees it could do with a little more diversity. this was the first year without the sword stall what for me was a blessing and a annoyance. Yes I like my swords it was a blessing because it meant I didn’t buy another sword but an annoyance because I do like to look at the swords. More crafting stalls would have been good too but I think the price of a table at MCM stops a lot of the smaller business from considering selling at MCM. But some was there and as friendly as ever.
Being a press pass holder I personally did have to deal with the ticket queues but from the feedback I have had this was a bit messy and security was generally not great but others have said they had a great experience with both the ticket queue and security but I think the problem day was Saturday so everyone that came on the Friday had a good experience. That being said this is said every year and any event of this size is going to be hard to manage but that doesn’t mean this is not something that MCM/ReedPOP can’t list to feed back and try to improve.
One of everyone moans about Con has always been the food we all end up eating rubbish but this year the food was much improved (Personally I live on Kispy Kreme Donuts at con so I didn’t try any of the other food) but for some people the food was even what they considered the highlight. tasty food at good prices this is a huge improvement for MCM. My only complaint was the Kispy Kreme van was quite late opening on the Sunday and well that caused a panic in the Toneagraphy Camp I can tell you a Day at con where Tony doesn’t get donuts is never going to be good but the day was saved when they opened and donuts was supplied.
This year the free water fountain was a huge plus other years I had spent a lot of money on water but this year we was able to fill our bottles as often as we wanted with safe clean water. I don’t think the importance of this can be underrated especially for May comic con where it is generally hot and was again this year although not as hot as previous years. Please wearing cosplay and even the general public keeping hydrated without having to take out a mortgage is important.
For me the big part of the event is the outside bit and for a couple of years they had a small stage outside playing music and doing fun stuff. this wasn’t there this year and while the music can be quite loud and makes chatting talking it did help promote a party feeling to the outside of the con that personally I feel was missing so maybe the answer is a half way house with the music not being so loud but for there to be music.
In general the cosplayers was amazing as every this for me is a great chance to see friends and meet new cosplayers to shoot with both at Con’s and outside. Cosplaying is become more mainstream and while I am not going to debate the pro and con of that I will just say there is a lot of both.
ReedPOP have done a lot of marketing of MCM this year what is great but to me it seems to attract a lot more GWC and people attending Con for the first time especially on the Saturday and also photographers trying to make a quick buck out of cosplayers rather than integrating with the community. The scrums around the more sexy cosplayers was the same as ever and to be honest I just feel sorry for the cosplayers who will probably never see half the pictures taken of them. there was a lot of snipers this year and I had a wonderful moment when some idiot tried to snipe over my shoulder and when turn and look the idiot still had lens cap on. I have heard some photographers was quite rude but this can work both way to be honest I also have heard of one group of cosplayers expecting to be paid for having there photograph taken and while I believe that a model has as much right to be paid as a photographer this isn’t really in the spirit of MCM and while there are specific rules (often ignored) against Photographers charging without a Licence from MCM (£500) there is not rule the other way around I am going to talk about this is another article that is more general about photography charging. On both sides a polite no thanks is all that’s is required. I personally think ReedPOP can do a lot to help with this more signs advising people to ask for pictures first before taking them and just some notices explaining the etiquette that’s should be followed rather than just tucked away on the T&C
Totally unrelated to ReedPOP the after parties in the fox was a complete mess this year and had a a huge knock on effect on the hotel bars and the fox security was very rude in my view. I was there Thursday and Sunday night and to me the party was lacking. The ticket system really didn’t work and people that had purchased a VIP ticket was leaving felt ripped off as they seemed to abandon the whole system at one point because they was losing money
Over all I personally had a very good Con experience despite still getting over the flu. It was amazing to see so many old face and friends while meeting some amazing new people and for me that’s what i enjoy about con they are hard work for the Toneagraphy team but equally rewarding. I have to give a big shout out to my team who did an amazing jobs. it wasn’t perfect and we have learn’t a lot from it we would also like to thank the cosplayers and other attendees that’s took the time to come and say hello and those that booked to shoot with us.
Just to give you an idea of the amount of work that a big con like MCM generates. this year we was able to offer 139 time slots shooting during the day at con and in the evening outside of the con
I took 2500 shots in a 30 hours of shooting time from Thursday evening thought to Sunday night. two weeks later I have already supplied over 160 images back to cosplayers and i am still working on Friday images and we did all this in the name of fun
We do have a Kofi account so if you shot with us over the weekend and want to help keep Toneagraphy coming back to con’s then please feel free to donate to us but equally this is not why we do it it just helps cover some of our cost like travel hotels food i.e. Donuts !!! 🙂
So to sum it up MCM was the normal mixed bag of good and bad but in general its my favorite normal con in the dairy due to the weather and the sheer number of people I get to see. location wise it a tricky con to shoot at and will always be but that is the nature of Comic Con. At the end of the day what will keep me coming back over and over is not the Stalls, its not the Food or the location its the people. This is feel is the most important element of any Comic Con for a lot of us this is about community and having fun.