In 2013 the MCM organisation severely underestimated the level of interest in their MCM Scotland Comic Con and the queues to get in on its single day reached near legendary status, as well as the BBC News. This year things were very different with MCM taking over the majority of the vast SECC venue in central Glasgow for the two days of Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September. The SECC’s biggest hall, number 4, was the main trading area with connections opened up to Hall 5 for queuing and to Hall 3 which had tables and chairs for a ‘break’ area, something that I have not seen at any of these sort of events before but something that was both welcome and highly popular.
After the good work done in years past by people such as Emma Vieceli, MCM understands that these type of events are more than capable of sustaining a specific Comics Village section. For Glasgow this was 70 tables strong and officially sold-out. Indeed I saw tables of small press creators outside of the formal Comic Village area suggesting that even 70 tables wasn’t enough. Talking to various creators on the comics stalls on the Sunday morning the general consensus was that they were very pleased with the way their sales were going.
Gary Erskine’s Dan Dare artwork featured prominently on the MCM website in the months leading up to the show however it was his popular Star Wars prints and his creator-owned Roller Grrrls roller derby comic concept that dominated his table. You can learn more about Roller Grrrls on the Tumblr and Facebook pages and if you like what you see then you can go along to the Patreon site and support the project financially.
As writer/publishers Jim Alexander and Ed Murphy were sharing a table they had mutated their Planet Jimbot and Rough Cut Comics into ‘Planet Roughbot’ on various social media before MCM and were still on something of a high after winning the True Believers Award for Favourite British Black and White Comic with their title Good Cop Bad Cop, written by Jim and published by Ed. Jim writes and publishes a selection of comics such as the excellent Savant and you can find on his Twitter feed. In addition to Good Cop Bad Cop, Ed publishes the Rose Black vampiric graphic novels and the Soviet homage to 1960s Marvel superheroes The Freedom Collective and you can more details on the Rough Cut Comics website.
Fresh from appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival running Phoenix comic workshops and talking about his work on the IDP:2043 graphic novel that the Book Festival had commissioned, writer/artist Adam Murphy was at MCM with copies of his The Phoenix Presents: Corpse Talk Season 1 which he was signing and sketching in. Published weekly in the Phoenix comic Corpse Talk features Adam digging up the bodies of famous people from history and interviewing them about their lives. Grave robbing and educational zombies for kids just sounds wrong but it works brilliantly and is my favourite strip in the Phoenix. There are more details of Adam’s work on his website and more details of Corpse Talk on the Phoenix website.
Showing that there is a lot of interconnectivity within the Glasgow comics community Eli Winter who was editor on Good Cop Bad Cop and was on the Ganjaman table with the character’s creator Jim Stewart. Jim and his drug themed superhero are a mainstay of the Glasgow comics scene with the character appearing both in Jim’s own Ganjaman Presents publications as well as Alan Grant’s ill-fated Wasted anthology. There are more details of Ganjaman Presents on the title’s website (which unsurprisingly comes with an adult content warning).
Team Girl Comic have made a name for themselves over the last few years with their main TGC title now having reached an impressive ten issues. Editor/creator Gill Hatcher and creator Claire Yvette were at MCM on Sunday with a large selection of TGC back issues along with Gill’s new book The Beginners Guide To Being Outside which has just been released by Avery Hill Publishing. There are more details of Team Girl Comic on the TGC website and more details of The Beginners Guide To Being Outside on the Avery Hill website.
Some Scottish creators ventured over to Northern Ireland for the MCM Belfast Comic Con in June so it was good to see Londonderry’s Uproar Comics return the favour in Glasgow. Artists Kevin Logue and Michael Arbuthnot were sketching attendees as zombies to tie-in with Uproar’s main on-going title Zombies Hi that has now reached issue 11 which writer Danny McLaughlin was showing off along with the first standard issue of their ongoing science-fiction title Leap. There are more details of Zombies Hi, Leap and Uproar’s other titles on the Uproar Comics website.
And finally, Jeremy Biggs of Subversive Comics was at MCM with both his zombie teddy bear title Bearlands and the illustrated science-fiction novella series Metal Made Flesh. Subversive is currently running a Kickstarter to fund the completion of the first Bearlands story with issue 6 which we featured on downthetubes here and which is currently 80% of the way to its funding target after less than 2 weeks. There are more details of both Bearlands and Metal Made Flesh on the Subversive Comics website and Facebook page.
Being there on the Sunday meant that perhaps the crowd wasn’t as big as the day before but from my perspective it was always busy, with apparently a lot of happy people parting with a lot of cash. There were many calls on social media after the event for the MCM organisation to confirm that it would be back in 2015 and, given that they put the number of attendees through the doors over the two days at an impressive 26,000, unsurprisingly they already have.
News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus DC Thomson’s The Art Of Ian Kennedy, Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.