Another weekend and another comic convention. This time it was the almighty MCM London Comic Con. There were really high expectations after last weekend’s London Film and Comic Con, and sadly this one at the Expo centre. Yet, there are many things to be talked about and many exciting things to be looking forward to in the coming year.
Here are the top five things we can take away from this weekend:
1. The Power Rangers are still amazing
A lot of people still really love the Power Rangers, and I mean really.
The Rangers were a huge part of my childhood. My sister and I used to play in our old pool and pretend to fight Rita and Goldar. That was many, many years ago and I have since given up hopes of becoming the Pink Ranger. While it took me a while to remember references like “zords” and “Bulk and Skull”, many many people hadn’t forgotten. The four rangers who made an appearance (red ranger Austin St. John, blue ranger David Yody, yellow ranger Karan Ashley, black ranger Walter Emanuel Jones) were so down to earth and thankful for the fan base that allowed them to savor their years on the popular television show. The four of them had personality for days. And the Q&A was the most feverish that I had seen so far.
There was one moment that was so incredible and genuine that it brought tears to my eyes. Strangely it wasn’t from any of the fans telling their stories, but from blue ranger David Yost. The actors were asked what it was like after the show ended, and Yost told of his struggle with his identy. He told his story of how he had come out gay, but had tried to suppress who he was. Eventually he suffered a mental breakdown and moved to Mexico for year. You could feel the truth hang in every word when he said that, like in the show, being yourself is important. It was truly the most important moment of the weekend.
2. Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons are one of the great pairs of the comic world
The world is currently bloated with super hero films and comic book adaptions, so something different from that world is truly a breath of fresh air. Guardians of the Galaxy is possibly the most recent example of offering audiences characters they might not be familiar with. The Secret Service might just be the sequel to that success. Creators Mark Millar (Kickass) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) sat on a panel to introduce their newest project – a new comic series will be adapted into a companion film – Kingsman: The Secret Service. The story follows a chavy London boy who is taken in to become a spy. The two were had plenty of excitement to go around about the story. They promised plenty of light-hearted and old-school style spy stories that include exploding pens and plenty of household items that aren’t what they seem.
The film stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and newcomer Taron Egerton. The film is set for a February 2015 release date and will certainly pack a lot of punch.
3. Welcome to Purgatory will be next year’s more ridiculous film – in the best way possible
This upcoming film is about three people who travel together to purgatory, only to discover that Heaven and Hell have been destroyed. Their adventure to set things right will be the catalyst for the rest of the movie. The panel was filled with cast members and crew like Jack O’Halloran (Superman I & II) and director Gene Fallaize. They had plenty of surprises set for the crowd including pre-recorded cast videos from the ever chin-tastic Bruce Campbell and James Buckley (The Inbetweeners) and a . With such an eclectic cast, it’s promising to be one of the most interesting off-the-wall films made next year.
Oh, and there was a special cast announcement. The grandiose Brian Blessed will be joining the cast as the guardian Paul, and there really was quite a fanfare when he came on stage. The entire cast seemed to drive the point home that they were really looking forward to their work on set. Welcome to Purgatory is still in pre-production with a release date set for late 2015.
4. Daniel Radcliffe is an amazing gentleman
Now Radcliffe was the main draw for many people this weekend. The actor’s appearance was announced only earlier in the month as a sort of last-minute surprise to promote his upcoming film Horns. His stay was really short, but he made an impact even on a quick panel. Most of the early questions focused on his new work, but when the Q&A was opened to the crowd, the questions went in a thousand and one directions. Radcliffe kept his composure and was able to answer even the silliest of questions (what is your favourite animal from Harry Potter) with grace and great thoughtfulness (the basilisk because it reminded him of when his father read him the book when he was young).
The young actor has proved himself time and time again to be not only an enjoyable actor to watch, but a talent worth listening to.
5. Amber Benson might just be a vampire
Morganville: The Series is a new project that might be the future of how many people consume media. It is a YouTube-based webseries that adapts the popular Morganville Vampire series to the small screen, or the computer screen rather. You know that book series you loved as a kid and always hoped it would be adapted? Thanks to platforms like YouTube and sites like Kickstarter, projects that were once faint dreams can come to fruition, and that is the story behind the success of Morganville.
Possibly the most astounding things about this project is how damn beautiful Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) has remained. She plays the head vampire in the series, and I’m not too sure if she’s not a real vampire herself. The first episode of Morganville: the Series airs October 27th on Geek & Sundry.
6. It’s time for Japan to move on to bigger and better things
Now I understand fandoms. They’re a great thing, but there is a time and season for everything. One of the biggest faults with this weekend’s convention was that there was simply too many things trying to go on at once: video games, video makers, comics, nostalgia signings, regular signings, manga, anime, cosplay, films. All great things with massive fan bases, but it was almost too much of a good thing.
While the organisers tried to make the stalls sectioned off, much of the merchandise was mixed together. That doesn’t exactly make things easy for people only interested in one thing. The crowds were massive on Saturday and it was very difficult to maneuver around. Queues for signings were in the way of getting to the main theatres. I had to crawl past loads of manga before I even got to what I was interested in looking at. There was a specific area for Asian works. I think anime and the like has just gotten so popular it is time for a separate convention (perhaps there already is one, so enlighten me). There was a whole lot less “comic” and a lot more…of everything else.
For the summer round of comic cons, I’d would greatly recommend the London Film and Comic Con (which will be moving to Olympia from their home in Earls Court), but depending on the guests – I would say skip MCM London unless you’re prepared for a younger crowd and enjoy getting your eyes poked at with fairy wings which surprisingly happens a lot. This is a convention on a bigger scale and it seems to be struggling with the crowds.