Saturday, March 18, 2017

MCM Comic Con report

Comic conventions! I can't get enough of 'em. Like minds coming together to display their art and talk comics. Therefore, although I wasn't a guest at the MCM Comic Con in Birmingham today I thought I'd drop in for a browse as it wasn't far for me to travel. 
Very busy day with attendees of all ages.
I knew a few of my friends in the comics industry would be there so it'd be a good opportunity to catch up with them. Admittedly, the MCM Comic Con doesn't devote a lot of floor space to actual comics. Most of the tables in the vast hall at the NEC are taken up with dealers selling merchandise related to comics, film, and tv. There's an area called 'Comic Village' where you'll find people who create comics, covering the small press, independents, and full time professionals.
One of the few stands selling U.S. comics.
The MCM events also give priority to guests from film and television, where today you'd see people from Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Red Dwarf and more. And a couple of wrestlers too, which seem to go down well with some attendees.
I've no idea why a wrestler was dressed as the Scarlet Witch.
I know that events such as MCM have been criticised by some for not being "true" comic cons because of their emphasis on actors. Personally, I think there's room for events like this and the smaller, comics-only shows. Talking to friends today echoed that view, and we agreed that these multi-media shows bring in people who wouldn't normally attend a comics-only event and some of them are happy to discover or rediscover comics. (I found this to be very true at ones I was at last year.) Hopefully some of those fans will then check out more events, including the shows dedicated to comics.

Here's a few of the comics creators who were there today...

Steve Tanner, whose Time Bomb Comics company has now been running for ten years. 

Rachael Smith, creator of wonderful books that deserve a place on your bookshelf.

Laura Howell, fellow Beano artist and self-publisher.

It was also great to see Jessica Martin, who as a comic creator and actor was at home in both sides of the hall (, Stuart Gould, who does a fine job printing my comics and those of others (, Adam Cadwell, who produces some amazing comics ( and several other pals from the comics world. 

MCM Comic Con is on all over the weekend, so there's still time to visit on Sunday 19th March if you're in the area. 

Next Saturday, 25th March, I'll be a guest at Robot: Illustration and Creative Arts Convention in Sheffield. See you there! 


Mark West said...

A recent fan of your site (especially with the stuff from the 70s and 80s!), I was at the Comic Con yesterday too (took my 11-year-old). Didn't spend as long in the comic area as I wanted, but rather disappointed to see that most of the stalls seemed to be full of those Funko figures rather than any other memorabilia or toys.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, it has become more of a toy fair in some respects. I personally liked the events when they were the old Memorabilia shows, that had a wide variety of collectables from beermats to old newspapers, and comic guests that were invited (rather than having to pay for their own tables as they do at MCM now). Times change, I guess.

There are other events coming up in Brum though Mark that are dedicated to comics, so they might be of more interest? Birmingham Comics Festival in June, and ICE in September.

Phil Rushton said...

I agree that those weird big-headed Funko figures seemed to be everywhere. Personally I can't quite see the attraction: who on Earth is buying these things? While I didn't wear any kind of costume myself I must admit there were times when I felt rather like the guy I saw dressed as a seven-foot dinosaur! :-/

Mark West said...

Yes, I preferred them better when they were memorabilia led. Might give the June festival a try, thanks for letting me know! :)

Lew Stringer said...

I must admit, Phil, that I bought a Funko figure of the 1966 Batman TV version. And I don't even collect toys! They have some voodoo about 'em compelling us to buy them I tell ya! :)

See you there if you can make it, Mark!

Hedley Williams said...

Lew - did you see any original panels from 1960s or 1970s comics. I have sort of circled the comic con event at the end of October in London but would really appreciate any thoughts on the availability of comic art work.

Hedley in Detroit
Collecting the Lion but chasing the Victor and Hotspur and Valiant and....

Lew Stringer said...

I didn't see anyone selling original art at MCM. It was mainly stalls selling modern day toys and merchandise. (I wouldn't have bothered going if I wasn't seeing some friends there.)

Your best bet for those sort of pages is the London Comic Marts at the Royal National Hotel in London, or check on eBay where some pages are sold. It's not likely you'll find Victor or Hotspur pages though as D.C. Thomson retain their artwork.

Hedley Williams said...

Thanks Lew,

Sourcing original 60s British comic art is quite difficult, especially transatlantic, although I did recently pick up The Spider, Paddy Payne and the ubiquitous Captain Hurricane.

Your blog is great, frequently visited and much appreciated

Hedley in Detroit.

Lew Stringer said...

It sounds like you may have bought those pages from the same seller who attends the London marts as he (or rather a colleague of his) bought all the original art that IPC had left a few years ago.

Thanks for the nice comments about my blog. Your visits are appreciated.

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