Oh man, I am still recovering from a surprisingly exhausting time at MCM Scotland Comic Con yesterday. My feet are aching, my hands are still caked in black hairspray, and the lightness of my wallet is causing me to walk at an angle. Dealing with the aftermath aside, I had an amazing time, and now I’m going to recall my day for you. So pull up a chair, pull up your pants, sit up straight, don’t chew while I’m talking, and enjoy.
The horse mask had had its hair dyed, the trick arrows were tricked out, and the copious amounts of white makeup had finally dried. Myself and two friends were finally ready for Comic Con. Walking with the nervous confidence that can only come from being in costume on public streets we made our way down to the SECC. We had gotten our hands on priority tickets, which would allow us access from 9am, rather than 11am. As we finally came into view of the venue though, our excitement dipped a little, as the type of queue more often seen in a game of Snake came into view. It wound back on itself at least three times, and having been stuck in line for around two hours last year, I certainly wasn’t looking forward to repeating the same feat with my head stuck inside a horse mask. Luckily, the organisers have very obviously learned from last year’s amazing turnout, and we were inside within a quarter hour.
Having struggled to make my way from one end of the hall to the other in under half an hour last year I was pleased to see the Con had grown, but had also moved to a much larger venue within the SECC. With the added benefit of being slightly earlier through the doors we had little trouble moving freely and were able to examine merch without having to get right in a Naruto’s armpit to do so.
And merch was definitely the main driver behind my attendance at the Con. What can I say? This is a material world, and I am a material girl. Ultimately I’m a little torn over this, as for every original Kill Bill figure or Tokyo Toys bag, items which I knew I’d never have physical access to in Glasgow, there were a thousand Pop Vinyl figures which I could walk into Forbidden Planet and grab (or pay for). I think the deciding factor in all of this was my budget. I’ve already collected all the Pop figures I currently want, and my budget doesn’t extend towards some of the truly unique and interesting items on display (Mr Brown action figure, you will be mine. I’ll just have to, like, rob a diamond wholesalers to afford you is all). Every member of my travelling party left with cool merch and some great old comics and variants, and for those of us picking up figures, being able to see them in person always feels a little bit safer than buying online. And until my salary improves it will always be a delight to see these more expensive items, even if you won’t be the one carrying it home.
The friends I attended the Con with helped to balance out my Smaug-like material greed with their greater knowledge of Scotland’s indie comic scene. Despite having already cleared the lovely Neil Slorance’s stall at Glasgow Comic Con, we had to pop by just to say hi, and have hi said back. Next we visited Martin Ferguson and Andrew Docherty of Imperious Press, the writer and artist for the superhero parodies Fatman and Ribbon, and the webcomic Pure Super Pals. Having met them and received hand-made copies of Fatman and Ribbon #0 at the first Glasgow Comic Con it was great to purchase a copy of issue #1 which included #0 as a bonus. And an additional bonus on top of that bonus were the free sketches that came along with any purchase. While struggling to think of a sketch request we were informed that on the previous day somebody had requested RoboCop riding a unicorn. The following image should explain the rest of that conversation.
Everybody in the Comic Village that we had a chance to talk to were all fantastically lovely (especially the artist who realised my costume was Bojack Horseman, not War Horse winning an Oscar).
I can’t speak for the various events and signings that were occurring around the Con, other than that they seemed somewhat poorly advertised, meaning that unless you already knew the entire programme you may be completely unaware of certain panels. I also have to admit that we gave in to our weariness before the Cosplay Masquerade event, but having already seen some truly amazing and inspiring costume work on the show floor we did not leave disappointed. I would have liked to have seen a less serious costume competition, focussed more on characters than actual costume design, but that’s just because I’m bitter and jaded, having worked on a Will Arnett impression all week and not even having the chance to completely fail at doing it on stage.
So all being said, I loved this year’s Con. It felt like a much better organised event than last year, and was a much more easily enjoyable event for it. There really was something for everybody, and the amount of very young fans running around helped to further justify this event’s existence, with younger fans finding more space to run around in, more products aimed at their age, and more heroes and villains to run into than at smaller, more creator-focussed cons. I can’t wait until next year, when I hope to have better funds and a costume which doesn’t hide my beautiful face.
I hope to see you there next year dear reader, now get out of my house.
The Writer of this piece was: Andrew Stevens
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