N.B. before I start, if anyone sees themselves in an image and wants it taken down, or wants me to credit/link them in some way, please just comment below 🙂
This past weekend I was lucky enough to go to Manchester ComicCon. I went for the first time last year, and the event was a lot bigger than I expected, they really need to sort out their crappy website which just doesn’t do the event justice!
The thing I love most about the event is the atmosphere (the small price tag is a great bonus too at only £7.00 entry). When I arrive, I take a deep breath and feel completely at ease, like I’m surrounded by positive feelings, like I’ve come home.
The arrival at the event is a really magical experience, you can pretty much get there without a map just by following the geeks and Cosplayers mingling with the Manchester locals, it’s a beautiful thing, Pikachu onesies, massive colourful manga hair and absurdly large weapons abound!
I wish I had gotten some photos of the Cosplayers outside of their natural habitat (in town) but I was too busy trying to find the way there! So what you have above is a group just about to join the queue.
On the subject of the queue, last year we took one look at it, went for lunch and returned when it has shortened, this year the queue had got so out-of-hand it had been re-directed around the entire complex (with a cheeky snake bit at the back you couldn’t see when you joined) and we looked and thought “this isn’t going to get better” so went ahead and joined it. We were there for about two hours, so lucky it wasn’t the beating sun we’ve had for the past week. Though it went on…
and on and on… it was certainly an entertaining queue, with lots of people-watching and cosplay-admiring opportunities, as you can see from the photo above.
Once inside it’s good to have some money to spend, last year my partner and I were just window shopping, which was interesting but a bit depressing too! This year we both had some birthday money to spend, which was great, but I still only bought a tiny souvenir. I mostly collected business cards and flyers from any table that took my fancy so that I could browse their whole product selection at my leisure online.One of my favourite stalls had to be Alternative Footwear!
The main event really is the professional cosplayers and very keen amateurs who turn up on the day, here is just a little selection of the ones I saw (occasionally accompanied by me (in the top hat))
‘The Captain’ of Online comic Romantically Apocalyptic
The Master Chef (he also had a big spatula) – adapted from the XBox game Halo
Chell and Turret from the computer game Portal
A really epic Star Trek Borg
A Warhammer 40k – I think Space Marine, but please correct me if I’m wrong – and Iron Man in an awesome cross-genre fight scene!
Steampunk versions of characters were very popular this year, behold, Steampunk Joker
Me, my partner and his brother with a Stormtrooper from Star Wars
As many people who came with us commented, ComicCon really is about the people, in fact, if you brought a picnic you could have a perfectly good day just sitting outside the centre watching the weird geeky world go by. And having said that, this year made me realise that coming in a group is very tricky, it’s hard to stay together in the crowded convention centre with more than about three people, so your best bet is to arrange a meeting point, all go off singly or in smaller groups and then meet up to eat or chat then head out again. This way is best especially if you all want to look at different things.
My other tip is that if you really want to enjoy the main events, robot wars, cosplay stage fashion shows and meeting celebrities, best to get there early, these areas have limited seating and by not keeping an eye on the time and only turning up when we heard that something was happening, we missed all of that, but I did get a lovely photo of Warwick Davies with someone else’s kids:
All in all it was a great day, and the fun doesn’t end straight away, because just like the arrival, you get to see wildly incongruous scenes like these: