MCM Comic Con – Why I Took My Parents

Today, my parents visited. They claimed to be at a loose end. I know they were lying. They visited because they’re horrified at my current squatting arrangements. They also wanted to find out exactly what I’ve been doing.

Turns out that pulling wings off flies and not showering isn’t good enough for them anymore.

That’s how we ended up at MCM Comic Con.

Enthusiastic crowds entering MGM Comic Con

How we arrived at MCM Comic Con

Dragged off my bare mattress at 10:50, I spent the following hour listening to my mother’s half term shenanigans. As a man of leisure, I had very little to contribute, but related to her current ‘lack of direction’.

Dialogue options were exhausted quickly, and I soon started to perceive my flatmates’ agitation about the number of empty wine bottles in plain view.

I had to get them out of the house.

But what could we do? It was raining and I really didn’t want to go to the Tate Modern. So like any lazy and extremely ungrateful son, I checked Time Out.

Despite suggesting every listing in Great Things To Do On Saturday (in a very spooky voice), my mother wasn’t interested in visiting either the Science Gallery’s Anxiety Exhibition or the Hello Kitty 45th Year Anniversary Pop Up.

So, remembering all of those awful ‘It’s On Like Comic Con’ posters, I suggested that we should go to MCM Comic Con.

My father was delighted. Not because he likes comics. He just watches the Big Bang Theory a lot. So we set off to one of the capital’s hellscape, ExCeL London.

Little did my parents know, I’d suggested the destination with redemption in mind.

Does MCM Comic Con Spell Redemption?

Sure. At least that’s what I figured.

Last year’s event included everyone’s favourite sexual harasser, Vic Mignogna, as a special guest. Having not checked this year’s rosta, I assumed it would be just as inappropriate. And everyone knows severe underachievement trumps sexual harassment!

More seriously, I was convinced that wandering around Dockside, gaping at cosplayers and looking at lots of overpriced crap, would help my parents appreciate how lucky they are.

Yes, although they had a completely dysfunctional son, at least he didn’t like comics.

Could there have been a more perfect plan?!

Probably not. At least that’s what my imagination told me.

Before we’d even set off, I could feel the fat wad of cash my parents were going to give to me for being so damn great.

Getting to MCM Comic Con

Homerton to Prince Regent. Citymapper said it was a breeze, and it was. The carriages were rammed so I didn’t have to make conversation.

Even better, while on the DLR, I almost achieved my objective early.

Standing in the rear carriage, I listened to a student, proudly wearing a Sesame Street T-Shirt, recount a story to his mother.

It was about how his recent trip to the pub was derailed. Apparently, when he was leaving his house, a false widow descended from the ceiling and mauled his flatmate.

It went something like this:

It was on her face, and she was like, screaming. But like, she wasn’t scared. Even though she got bitten. Afterwards she said she’d hoped it would turn her into a spiderthing, but it just gave her anaphylactic shock. It’s true. She went to the doctor this week and he said it was lucky that she was already on anti-anxiety meds, as if not, it would have been certain death by swelling.

Student wearing a Sesame Street T-shirt on the DLR. If you want to hear more reiveting stories, he lives in Canning Town

I was delighted.

Surely this idiot was going to MCM Comic Con. That’d show my parents that they’d never had it so good. Better yet, my mother could hear him!

The icing was that my mother used to be an arachnologist, and would know his story was complete bollocks.

While this guy continued to gibber at his mother, I could only smile as MY mother’s face contorted.

I knew then that she must be concluding that her wonderful and definitely not lazy son, knew more about spiders than this student. Even better, she could see that I was still able to leave the house unaccompanied. No moral support from Big Bird necessary.

Low and behold, as the train stopped at Canning Town, he got off. Damn, he wasn’t going to MCM Comic Con.

Then the cosplayers started swarming. The train must have realised, choosing to bypass the two remaining stops, straight to Prince Regent station.

Entering the ExCeL Centre

Escaping the DLR, we were met by Dave the DLR Driver and, er, I dunno, Dorene the Senior Customer Services Advisor.

Dave and Dorene. The only reason the DLR’s still running.

From what I deduced, these are the DLR Danger Duo, everyone’s favourite TFL Superheroes.

In their latest issue they stopped Greedy McReady, the dirty fare evader, from getting to work. Then heroically looked on as a self-driving DLR train stopped when the despicable Dr Extinction Rebellion managed to glue innocent passengers onto the top of a carriage instead of himself. The hilarity!

Dorene tried to give me a high five. Playing it cool, I looked the other way.

Then we walked on to ExCeL London.

The journey presented a great opportunity for my parents to watch cosplayers in the harsh light of day.

That’s why I coaxed my father to have at least two cigarettes before we joined the queue.

It sort of worked. My father gaped at the low cut blouses, fishnet tights and endless folds of flesh.

Henry, everyone’s dressed like schoolgirls. Big boobs, short skirts. Have all these women come as Daisy Duke, or is it Mariner Moon? What happens if I bing Mariner Moon on my Windows Phone?

Henry’s Father musing about life

My mother chastised him.

It’s always great when they’re uncomfortable.

But it didn’t last long. At some point we’d have to go inside.

We hadn’t bought tickets, so we shuffled around the ExCeL Centre. Fortunately, the queue wasn’t too long.

I was also relieved to learn that while evading the shower this morning hadn’t been the right decision, it wasn’t necessarily the wrong one.

Why Is It Still Called MGM Comic Con? Visiting Comic Villiage

Inside, well, inside I was surprised.

All the attendees seemed to be really into the food court. Costumes were also limited.

Maybe cosplayers got special memos saying they were only allowed to come as specific videogame characters (Generic Soldier, Enzo from Assassin’s Creed or something from Borderlands – bleugh), Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker or Spiderman.

Damn. The Joker. Why didn’t I think of that?!

Costumes aside though, I was really impressed by this dude who just bought a red t-shirt and joggers and used a sharpie to transform it into a spiderman costume.

I wanted to get out of the foodcourt, so we headed straight for Comic Village.

It should have been called the Comic Hamlet.

Why? Because MGM Comic Con attendees don’t give a shit about comics.

Wandering around, all the reasonably famous artists, writers and inkers sat alone at their picnic tables. They looked heartbroken.

Yes, no one was asking Glenn Fabry whether Garth Ennis had asked him to insert U2 references into the Preacher cover art for issues 1-66. Attendees didn’t question John Wager on whether the Judge Child’s birthmark was meant to be a backwards elephant instead of an eagle. The crowds were even avoiding asking Sandman inker, Mark Buckingham, whether he purposefully ruined Bryan Talbot’s sketches.

As a son who definitely doesn’t like comics, it really surprised me.

Where the hell was everybody?!

What Do MCM Comic Con Attendees Go To See?

It was still crowded. Attendees were just elsewhere.

After a quick stroll, I deduced that there are four reasons why people go to MCM Comic Con:

  1. Pop in a Box – Funko Pop Vinyls
  2. Marvel Stuff
  3. Each Other
  4. Because they love cats

Yes, everyone was milling around the Funko stand.

Apparently lots of grown people love dolls with big heads. Maybe they fight with them. Maybe they use them impress girls. Or maybe they’re just all strange.

Apparently, attendees also like to buy signed Marvel movie scripts. At MCM Comic Con, you could get three for £30. Crazy.

It’s probably because they love the writing so much. I can’t blame them, what’s better than the final scene of every recent Marvel movie. You know, the one where all the superheroes stand in an awkward pose at the end. It’s like a teaser for the next movie or whatever. Subtle, outstanding dialogue and definitely not formulaic.

Strangely, there were also a load of booths advertising charities for cats.

Look at that head of hair! I’ll never have to worry about balding.

But I guess the biggest reveal was that these people actually seemed to enjoy each other’s company.

While I could laugh at bobbleheads, a love of marvel and cat charities, I couldn’t laugh at friendship.

I think my parents realised that too.

Everyone else there was enjoying themselves. They were having a nice day out. They weren’t sociopaths who hated everything.

By taking my parents to MCM Comic Con, I’d helped them realise that their beloved son was actually a misguided dimwit. It hurt.

Den of Geek – Enjoying the Moment

Self understanding hurts. But only for so long.

That is until someone passes you a free copy of Den of Geek! Thankfully, this happened to me. I skipped straight to page 66 to read the final article, ‘Enjoying the Moment‘.

It was a guide on how to really enjoy MCM Comic Con.

There were five actionable pieces of sage advice. Get ready, this is how you do MCM Comic Con right:

  1. Look at the cosplayers (boobs)
  2. Eat yummy food (yes, a panini from Costa constitutes ‘YUMMY FOOD’)
  3. Remember that the art stands are free exhibitions
  4. Smile at people
  5. Have a good, long sit down

I’m not even joking. Here’s the article:

Den of Geek, Enjoying the Moment – The Definitive Guide to Enjoying MGM Comic Con

Hell, it wasn’t my fault I hadn’t enjoyed MGM Comic Con. I just wasn’t doing it right.

Immediately I knew I had to go next year.

Maybe I’d even take my girlfriend.

We could stare at boobs, eat paninis and smile at people, while sitting down – together.

NB: To my dearest and only readers, Mum and Dad, thanks in advance for understanding why I write such horrible things. And for taking me out today. I’ll try and get a job soon.