MCM Comic Con Comes To Birmingham This Weekend With Anthony Daniels And Sean Astin
by Olly MacNamee
Coming down the convention juggernaut that is MCM is this weekend’s MCM Birmingham on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of December at the NEC, right next to the airport and within spitting distance of great public transport links.
Taking in the media guests’ list, without a doubt, the big name guest has to be Anthony Daniels, C3PO himself. I don’t expect him to drop any tangible spoilers about the forthcoming Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, but I’m sure he’ll regal the audience with many a story, when he hits the main stage on Saturday at 11am. Or at least as many anecdotes he can fit into a very sparse 30 minute interview.
Another big hitter has to be Sean Astin, who may well have a broader appeal amongst the generation of fandom for his roles in both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Stranger Things.
There’s also the likes of Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who), Hattie Hayridge (Red Dwarf) and others.
On the comics front, however, it’s nowhere near as well looked after as it’s London counterpart. A shame really, what with Birmingham being Britain’s second biggest city, and crying out for more comic book guest of the calibre of Frank Miller, George Perez and other luminaries. Here’s hoping they can get this sorted before they return in the Spring.
Having said that, though, they have included a group of comic book creators that make similar types of comics. Dan Parent, from Archie Comics, Troy Little (Rick and Morty vs Dungeons & Dragons), Samantha Glow (Over the Garden Wall) are amongst the creators invited as guests, but there are more.
As ever, there will be the Comic Village that will be showcasing a great deal of indie, self-published comics and their creators. It’s always a great way to find new comics, and talk to the creators behind these hidden gems. Look out for the likes of Mike Garley (Samurai Slasher), Sarah Graley (Rick and Morty) and others.
Of course, there will plenty of cosplay, anime and stalls, where there’s usually a bargain to bag on the Sunday afternoon. After all, no-one wants to lug back too much stock for storage over winter when they can cut prices and offload. It’s served me well over the years when thinking of presents for fellow nerds.
But, the whole show – from media guests to comic book creators – does all feel a little more anaemic than previous offers. Even for this time of year. Maybe with so many MCM shows a year, and two in Birmingham as well as London, and others across the UK, is it time to rethink and regroup? We shall see, I suppose, in time.