London MCM Expo Oct 2008
Report by Jonathan Cullinane (nert) posted Tuesday 9th December 2008
Another October, another MCM Expo. With attendance sky-rocketing and a cosplay world record attempt on the agenda, there was certainly a big red ring around this calendar date!
8am Saturday morning, and the queues already reached the end of the entire ExCeL centre, by opening time they'd reached the first end again. By the time the queue was moved outside, it stretched all the way around the entire building! There's no doubt this has become the largest cosplay event in the UK, and one expo hall simply cannot contain them all. The grounds outside were just as packed as inside and at least two cash machines had run out of money by the end of day one.
So it was busy - which by itself isn't exactly a selling point - but what was it like to attend? Queuing aside, the experience is a lot less sardine-tinned than previous years have been, mainly due to the hall expanding yet again, and many more spending a lot of their time out in the sunshine for photoshoots. Lots more was on offer from dealers, independent and guest artists and commercial vendors alike, so having the space to browse them was very welcome!
All well and good, but what was the cosplay like?
The bar raises itself every time, and with so many in attendance there isn't physically enough time to photograph them all!
With the Most People in Game-related Costumes World Record Attempt going on the overwhelming theme was obvious, with remarkable entries from Samurai Warriors, Halo, Touhou, Soul Calibur, Guilty Gear, Final Fantasy, The World Ends With You, and more Zelda costumes than you could shake a entire forest's worth of sticks at. The attempt was a success with entrants filling the entire ExCeL centre steps with close to 400 cosplayers!
Not to be outdone, anime costumes were in no short supply either. There were major groups for Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach and Sailor Moon, while this year's newest popular choice seems to have been the new series Soul Eater, while most original costume to me had to have been the Catbus from My Neighbour Totoro! Light-up eyes and all.
Being an Expo rather than an anime convention, there were plenty of non-anime/game related costumes to witness too, with a stunning Warhammer 40k costume sweeping first place on the Sunday, sharing a stage with an entire steampunk group, while Ghostbusters, XMen, Thundercats, many a Disney Princess and even a Mary Poppins roamed the expo floor. An independent report also counted no less than 18 Jokers over the weekend.
Many thanks to all those who stopped by the Cosplay@Expo desk, especially those offering a helping hand - it's always appreciated! Hope to see you all again at the next Expo which is slated for the 23rd and 24th of May!