MCM Comic Con has returned to Dublin for its third year in a row, based again in the RDS (The Royal Dublin Society) centre in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Bringing with them a varying selection of guests from the likes of Game of Thrones, Flash Gordon, film, TV, video games and voice acting. Although there are numerous conventions around the country that bring guests from around the world to our beautiful Emerald Isle, MCM is run more as a business; this makes them very professional, and they definitely know how to do quick photoshoots. However, this unfortunately comes at the cost of losing that personal experience and charm associated with small, college based fan-run conventions.
I travelled up from Tipperary with a few friends for just a day visit to the Con. There was no question in going once I heard Vic Mignogna was appearing, an actor I have been wanting to meet for the past eight years! The layout of the event has changed since its first Dublin show in 2015, with two separate entry ways, one for Priority tickets/Press and the other for General Entry. Walking in the doors, you were greeted with a large MCM sign where attendees gathered to take pictures. Behind this was the Comic Village. To the right was a seating area in full view of two TV screens, showing the latest Universal Studios trailers. This was surrounded by dozens of stalls, including GameStop, Forbidden Planet and Sub City Comics. Located at the back of the main hall, was the Signing Area with guests appearing there throughout the day when they were not at a panel or photoshoot. The Main Stage was located to the right, but was the only stage available for panels (meaning some panels were only 30-45 minutes long, which was a bit of a disappointment). To the left of the main entrance, behind the food hall, we had the Photoshoot area, KidZone, Wrestling stage and the Cosplay changing rooms. This included a life size Lightning McQueen display, promoting Cars 3. There was definitely something for every age group at the event!
The stalls ranged from those based in Ireland and some that travelled over from the UK. Funko Pops were everywhere, and there was no shortage of characters available to buy. There was plenty of merchandise to purchase, including statues, messenger bags, board games, shirts, handmade figurines, jewelry etc. from the most famous shows, games and anime. Unlike MCM events held in the UK, we missed out on having any of the Anime Distribution companies like Manga UK, Anime Limited, MVM Entertainment and Animatsu in attendance. Although the extra cost of travelling over was probably too much with the amount of stock they would have to bring, their presence was sorely missed. There were many familiar stallholders at the event, whom I have seen at other Irish cons, including Minihouse Chen, The Chaos Exchange and the ladies at Jokers Journal (http://www.jokersjournal.com/). For anyone who is interested, all of these stallholders can be found on Facebook. If that wasn’t enough there were also stalls selling Japanese bowls, food and even advertising Paintballing in Dublin. For afterwards, when money started to dwindle, there were plenty of free activities to see and partake in. You could watch a live Wrestling show over in Hall 2, play football by using small robots with live commentary by the Ref, take a picture with a giant blow up Minion, selfies in the Lorax forest, relax with a book in the KidZone or play computer games all in the same location. This was a great place to take a breather before you venture out the back doors to an enclosed outdoor food area, with food trucks and an ice cream van to choose from. Last but not least, let us not forget the six-foot-tall Wookie walking around, with some Storm Troopers & Jedi mingling amongst the crowd.
Amongst the Comic Village was T Pub Comics, who had a very interesting challenge for everyone who passed by their stall; pick up just one of their books and read the first chapter. If you enjoyed it, then read the second chapter. Hooked? Good, you have just purchased your first book by Neil Gibson (known for their brilliant comedy, according to their volunteer Ross). I read extracts from Twisted Dark Volume 1, a horror/thriller with very dark, realistic look into life. I will certainly be reviewing their comics in the near future, so watch this space! You can find all their social media links, comics and latest news over on their website (http://tpubstore.co.uk/).
With numerous guests in attendance from across various media, it was certainly a must attend event this weekend. The highlight for the majority of those that attended, was certainly meeting five cast members from 90’s classic – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Bringing back even more nostalgia, we had Sam J. Jones – Flash, the saviour of the Universe! Even getting a taxi over to the convention centre after getting off the train, I still ended up missing the Veronica Taylor (original Ash Ketchum from Pokémon) panel. Thankfully, there was another opportunity to catch her over on her signing table. Veronica was full of chat, another hero from my childhood. No event this size nowadays could happen without a guest from Game of Thrones, and for this con it was Nell Tiger Free who plays Myrcella Baratheon. You could even have your own Game of Thrones experience by paying a small fee to sit on the throne with a few replica props from the show. For me though, the highlight was meeting Vic Mignogna, known for both his singing and acting talent, both onscreen and in a recording booth.
With only one stage available for all panels and Cosplay events, many panels were on the short side for individual guests. Thankfully, the Power Rangers panel was a full 60 minutes and the hall filled up fast. There was a huge variety of questions from the host and audience about the weirdest piece of memorabilia they have had to sign, their favourite episodes and monsters, do they still practice martial arts, etc. They also revealed a project they are all working on together with a few other memorable Power Rangers cast members from throughout the years. Together they are crowdfunding to produce a film called The Order, see the official blurb below:
“The Order is an action-packed movie that follows a covert group of vigilantes. This group is the shadow to organisations like the FBI and CIA. The men and women of The Order, are trained, living weapons. They operate in secret, and they have dedicated their lives to eliminating violent threats and imminent disasters. Their one focus is to fight to keep humanity safe from complete societal breakdown and maintain world order. The Order has faced the worst of enemies, but are crippled by the discovery that this world assault they now face, is being led by some of their very own. Throw everything you thought you knew out the window, you won’t know the good guys from the bad!”
Certainly, a production worth following and supporting. Find out more over on their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/TheOrderTheMovie/
Following straight after the Power Ranger panel, we had the pleasure of Vic Mignogna. Overflowing with stories from working in voice acting, attending conventions, the infamous ‘Donut’ story and telling us about his passion project – Star Trek Continues. (http://www.startrekcontinues.com/). When filming the first scene dressed as Captain Kirk, he became overwhelmed with the idea of playing his childhood hero in his version of the last three unfilmed years of the original five-year mission. Retelling this story and that of recording his final lines as Edward Elric on the hit Fullmetal Alchemist anime, all the audience could see this charming man holding back the tears. This was truly a panel and guest that would remain in people’s minds untouched for years.
With many memorable experiences, tasty Japanese goodies, merch, comics, a few autographs in my backpack, I had one last conversation with Neil of TPub Comics, and I headed off past all the cosplayers, fellow fans and happy kids towards the exit. Farwell MCM, it’s time for me to get in my Megazord and get on home.
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