It’s that time of year again – MCM Birmingham Comic Con kicks off the larger convention calendar with their Spring show.
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th March saw the NEC in Birmingham taken over by thousands of pop culture fans, with plenty dressed up in fantastic cosplay, to meet their favourite film, game and TV stars! MCM Comic Con brings their show to Birmingham twice a year and out of all of the convention companies that exhibit here, this has to be the biggest.
The two day convention gives fans an opportunity to meet their favourite stars with photo ops and signing booths available for each guest, a packed schedule of panels to attend and plenty of stalls to visit and buy merch from.
Headlining 2019’s first Birmingham comic con were the stars of Netflix’s hit comic book adaptation The Umbrella Academy – Tom Hopper and Emmy Raver-Lampman! Asa Butterfield, star of Netflix’s Sex Education series also shared top billing, as well as Supernatural’s Felicia Day and Osric Chau.
For all the gaming fans out there Charles Martinet, the iconic voice of Mario, Luigi, & Waluigi was in attendance as well as Veronica Taylor, the voice of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. Also appearing was the first speaking voice of Princess Zelda in Nintendo’s The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Patricia Summersett.
Completing the lineup were a selection of televsion stars including Ian Beattie and Miltos Yerolemou from Game of Thrones, Rupert Young and Alexander Vlahos from Merlin and Mark Ryan from Black Sails.
Once again MCM Birmingham had a packed schedule of panels across the weekend spread over the main stage, live stage and cosplay central stage. Exclusives this year included a screening of new sci-fi film Replicas starring Keanu Reeves, a pre-recorded interview with Hellboy star David Harbour, a special live D&D panel with Oxventure and ‘Sitting Down with the Editors’ a panel featuring pop culture industry editors from Den of Geek, SFX and Sci Fi Now discussing what to look out for this year.
Personal highlights for me included the Umbrella Academy, Sex Education and Supernatural panels.
Things to Do
As well as top guests, photoshoots and a packed schedule of panels, MCM also puts on a whole host of activities to keep pretty much everybody busy. This year wasn’t as packed as usual, but there was lightsabre duelling and demonstrations from Silver Sabres Combat Academy. Game of Thrones fan? Well you could learn the art of the water dance with a 90 minute workshop with Miltos Yerelomou.
New this year was MCM’s Side Quest – a gaming area filled with free play gaming, tournaments and a retro arcade, as well as the usual gaming bus! Also new was a brand new pop up escape room and a dedicated family zone – The Tree House.
Returning as usual was the impressively packed Comic Village and cosplay and steampunk areas. The usual larger stalls also returning included Tokyo Toys, Zavvi and Cineworld, but surprisingly Forbidden Planet didn’t make an appearance.
Thanks to the team at MCM Comic Con we were granted press passes again for the event so joined the following guests, Tom Hopper and Emmy Raver-Lampman of The Umbrella Academy and Ian Beattie and Miltos Yerolemou of Game of Thrones for the following press interviews.
MCM Birmingham Comic Con continues to be a family focused event with plenty of things to do, panels to see and top guests to meet. Personally I really enjoy the panels and this year was no different, with plenty of new and themed talks to see. Lineup wise, it was a little weak compared to the same show last year, as they managed to scoop GOTG stars Sean Gunn and Michael Rooker as well as Deadpool‘s Brianna Hildebrand, although I did really enjoy seeing The Umbrella Academy stars as they were genuinely lovely! I was surprised to see a couple of the main vendors not exhibiting this year, like Build-a-Bear, Forbidden Planet and the Universal stand. Making up for this though was the absolutely amazing cosplayers who consistently impress with their absolutely fantastic costumes! Roll on MCM London Comic Con and Sebastian Stan!