Record attendance at London MCM Expo, Comics Village success

MCM Expo, May 2010. Picture: Juliette Crawford

Last weekend’s London MCM Expo was the most successful in the show’s history, with more than 41,000 visitors attending over the two days.

Already established as the top UK entertainment event, the show organisers say the Expo has grown over the past few years to become Europe’s answer to the San Diego Comic Con, with hundreds of exhibitors including major movie studios, acclaimed comic artists and world famous game developers.

Special guests from the world of film and TV at this May’s event included Caprica’s Ron D Moore and Esai Morales; the cast and crew of the BBC’s hit fantasy series Merlin and new horror drama Pulse; Stargate Universe’s Alaina Huffman and Jamil Walker Smith; Fringe’s John Noble and Jasika Nicole; Wizards of Waverly Place star David DeLuise; King of the Hill and Sister Act star Kathy Najimy; top voice artists Kyle Hebert, Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt, and the team behind upcoming feature-length animation Ultramarines.

In addition, the Expo crowds were entertained by live sets from Starman, the fivepiece made famous by SKY1 show Pineapple Dance Studios, and British J-pop artist Bentley Jones, while visitors to the popular Comic Village met with a host of professional comics stars and indie talent, including Warren Ellis; Ben Templesmith; Jamie McKelvie; Kieron Gillen and Paul Cornell.

Elephantmen creator Richard Starkings was also at the event to talk about the new film based on his smash-hit comic universe, revealing he wants a hard edged SF tale to result.

“I had offers for standard cell animations, but I didn’t want it to be dumbed down,” he told Digital Spy. “I wanted it presented as a heavy, science fiction, futuristic, dark fantasy.

“It’s in my contract that I get to write the story treatment. I didn’t really want to write a screenplay because I’m so involved with putting out the comic book and I didn’t want it to slow me down.”

Meanwhile, the games presence at Expo has continued to go from strength to strength, with top publishers such as Nintendo, Activision, Namco Bandai, Tecmo Koei, Ubisoft and Rising Star Games all present. The weekend also saw Konami crown winners at its national Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and DS National Championships as well as Turtle Entertainment host a series of professional gaming tournaments as part of the Electronic Sports League’s UK Pro Series.

Oh, and there was the little matter of setting a new Guinness World Record, with gamers gathering to participate in what is officially the largest handheld game console party ever!

Visitors to the show were also treated to some amazing cosplay. The inaugural UK Euro Cosplay Qualifiers showcased some truly fantastic outfits, while our Cosplay Masquerade once again proved a hit with the many cosplayers who came along – and they’ll be back again for the Euro Cosplay finals at October’s MCM Expo.

Other popular attractions included all the UK’s major anime distributors; an exhibition by the Victorian Steampunk Society; the JapanEX area, which gave visitors the chance to sample Japanese culture and lifestyle; and an exciting series of matches arranged by FWA Wrestling.

• The London MCM Expo returns to Excel on 30-31 October 2010 for another celebration of all that’s best in sci-fi, gaming, anime and manga, cosplay and cult entertainment. More info: www.londonexpo.com

• Pictured above: MCM Expo, May 2010. Picture: Juliette Crawford

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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