A reader reports back from the autumn MCM Comic Con in London, where he got to play the latest game and meet voiceover legend Nolan North.
This past weekend saw the return of the hugely popular MCM Comic Con, held at the London Excel Centre between the 26th and 28th October. It was my sixth visit to the con and it always astounds me just how big the event is, covering two huge halls of the Excel.
Having attended this exhibition twice yearly for the last four years I can safely say this is one of the most enjoyable places to be, if you have a love for the world held inside. A celebration of all things geek and a coming together of like-minded people to share and enjoy their passions. As always, I will highlight a few of my favourite parts of this experience.
As is very evident from the name of the event itself, comics play a huge role in not only what is available at the event but also why so many people flock to it. Not only can you get your hands on, what seems like, every type of comic or graphic novel out there but you can also get the chance to meet popular and respected authors and artists, but also those that are up and coming. A chance to get ahead of the curve and get hold of those gems yet to be discovered.
For myself, I was able to meet respected author Neil Gibson, the writer and creator of the Twisted Dark series, which is hugely popular worldwide. For those who are yet to experience his work, think Black Mirror meets The Twilight Zone. Dark and creepy stories, usually short but interrelated to the other tales in the series, that have incredible twists to their end. They are certainly not for the faint of heart, and I would advise having a pillow nearby to hug into for the final pages of each tale.
The newest tale in the set is called The Theory, which has elements set around time travel. The first issue is free to read, along with an assortment of other tales to give you a taste of his writing style. I myself have loved each one that I have read so far, having discovered the author earlier this year, and would highly recommend giving them a go.
Being at this event reminded me of a post I saw on social media that read People who love to cosplay and get dressed up are more socially outgoing and this could not be more evident at MCM. Having met and talked to many cosplayers over the years it seems to be that being in character allows a person to tap into confidence and social skills they sometimes dont think they have.
I truly believe apathy is one of the biggest enemies of this age. The meh mentality can be seen in all day to day life, but here people care, and they really do care about their passions. And I think it is just amazing to see people enthusiastic about anything. Plus, it is just such a nice community of people that come together to celebrate the love they have for their favourite movies, shows, games, or even unique characters they have created themselves. It truly is a moving thing to witness.
Some key highlights at this years MCM include a Monkey D. Luffy and full season one crew from One Piece, a near identical Wonder Woman to Gal Gadot, Old Man Logan, and Red XIII from Final Fantasy VII, amongst the many, many, many Spider-Men, Deadpools, and Supergirls. But for me the best of the lot and my cosplayers of the weekend goes to Earthworm Jim and Princess Whats-Her-Name (Yes for those of you not old enough to remember, that is her actual name).
Whilst not known for a strong gaming presence, this show actually had a good amount of new and upcoming games to play. Nintendo had a large corner dedicated to not only pods for players to get their hands on titles such as Mario Tennis Aces, Mario Kart 8, and Super Mario Party and the new Lets Go series from Pokémon. Regular on stage tournaments were also held, with plenty of spectator interactions and cheering for the players on stage.
Away from Nintendo there was two very big (For MCM) areas set up for play-testing the new Kingdom Hearts III game, which featured the same demo I played and reviewed at EGX back in September, so it was great to have another go, building more hype for January when the game releases.
Also featured on the day was Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4, and who doesnt love web-slinging through New York on this game. It just feels so fluid and natural. The demo was 15 minutes and either allowed for general exploration and mini-map side quests, or to take on popular Spider-Man villain Shocker who is fresh out of prison escape and found taking apart a banks security. As always though, Spider-Man was at hand and up to the task of capturing this foe, despite the hefty bill the destruction of the inside of the bank may have caused to its shareholders (possibly more than the loss of whatever Shocker would have stolen).
From a different gaming perspective there was also a great opportunity for streamers new and old to connect with one another. With Twitch and YouTube being more popular than ever these days, having a place for people who enjoy streaming to connect was very refreshing. Enter Streamers Connected who you may come to see at many future events, not only in the UK but also worldwide.
Having started streaming on Twitch myself earlier this year, it was great to meet people either in the same early part of their Twitch journey, but also those looking to give help and guidance for those seeking it. Streaming pods had been set up for members of their community (which has no cost or terms to be a part of) to be able to stream live on and game stations to be able to sit down and enjoy a game of Fortnite or GRIP, plus a lounge area for just sitting and chatting.
Now to those not interested in this world, it might not seem like a big deal, but for those looking to be part of a community, but also want something in real-life, not just a chat room/Discord, this was just the ticket and I met some great new friends.
For me I definitely had an epic fan boy moment. I was invited to a room away from the main hall to take part in group interviews with actors such as Ray Santiago (Ash vs. The Evil Dead), Melinda Clarke (The O.C./Nikita), and duo Steve Cardenas and Catherine Sutherland (Power Rangers) who have all starred in some of my favourite shows and were very generous with their time and lovely to meet. But then walked in the hero of the day, Mr Nathan Drake himself, Nolan North.
I can tell you I have never met somebody who is more instantly likeable and charismatic. He instantly had the room in stitches as he recounted tales of the Uncharted days, along with Richard McGonagle (Sully – Uncharted) who was also in attendance. What was great about this duo, in particular for Uncharted fans, is that their natural voice is what they use for Nate and Sully, so it literally felt like their characters were in the room, especially when they name-dropped characters such as Elena. I am waiting on the Uncharted 5 announcement and will never give up hope.
I asked him about his own YouTube show, which he co-presents with fellow voiceover heavyweight Troy Baker called Retro Replay and the future it holds. If you havent seen any of their uploaded videos I highly suggest checking them out. The duo play fantastic games from yesteryear and have such a great amount of chemistry and banter between them. They even took the show live at MCM in Scotland earlier this year and have plans for more live shows and many more retro games to feature on the channel.
Before leaving I was also able to get a very memorable photo with the man himself, who took my phone from me to take a great awkward selfie that I will always treasure and laugh about in equal measure.
With many more highlights I could discuss, those were the top for me. It is always a fun experience to attend events such as these, and if you are yet to experience one for yourself, I really suggest you do, as it is hard to not have a good time. Thank you to GameCentral for allowing me to cover the event. MCM will return to London between 25th and 27th May 2019, once again at the London Excel Centre and I hope to see you there.
By reader Wickenbreux (gamertag/PSN ID/Instagram/Twitch)
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