Toby Johnston writes,
So, after my visit to Nottingham Comic Con last week, I decided to step things up a bit. Quite a bit… So, exactly a week after Notts Comic Con, I found myself at the entrance of the ExCel ready to get into some more Con!
10. So, the first thing I saw, even before getting into the Con was cosplay. Lots and lots of cosplay. From a 1:1 scale Baymax from Big Hero 6 to life-size Tinker Bell, this one had a massive variety of costumes, both in and outside the event. Outside a local Tesco, we found a man in a Charizard onesie on his phone, eating a chicken sandwich, and on the tube back, I came across Zelda standing at Canning Town, waiting to board the Jubilee line. A bit of a scale-up from Notts, where the most cosplay I saw was a few kids dressed as Batman!
9. On the topic of scaling up, this place was huge. It had an entire hall dedicated to signings, and 3-4 halls put together for gaming/films/TV, as well as the same sized area purely for comics and art. Compared to Notts, which, don’t get me wrong, was still pretty big, this was on an entirely new level to me.
8. As soon as I got into the Con, I made a beeline for the Nintendo area, because there was no way I was missing out on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The line was pretty much empty, so I jumped right in (and proceeded to do the same thing for another hour and a half). Man, this game is good… Insane graphics, a faster engine to increase tension in matches, a top-class soundtrack, and none of that’s even mentioning the characters… Even released as-is, the game would pretty much be worth the £50, and we haven’t even got half of it in the demo!
7. Straight after Smash Ultimate, I headed over to the Bandai Namco stand, where I tried out My Hero Academia : One’s Justice, which, on the surface, because of the base mechanics, seems like another Naruto Shippuden game. However, due to the fluidity of combos, as well as high-octane combat and action-packed, adrenaline-filled tone, this game definitely looks like one to get your hands on, especially as it came out on the Friday of the Comic Con.
6. Speaking of games which have already been released, I tried out the Spider-Man demo as well, seeing as I haven’t got the full game yet, and it was a masterpiece. Coming from the decent but somewhat lackluster Spider-Man : Shattered Dimensions, this open-world Spider-Man game was a real eye-opener. From the surprisingly high-quality fight choreography to the bizarrely (for a Spider-Man game, (pizza delivery anyone?)) good voice acting, this was the quality of game I expect from Sony (even though we don’t always reach those expectations!)
5. So, onto the films on show. In S2, there was a small film area which showed non-stop trailers throughout the event, ranging from upcoming thriller Glass, to How To Train Your Dragon 3. This was a great place to sit down and relax for a bit, that is, if you could get a seat!
4. The Grinch was everywhere. Because of the seeming sponsorship deal, the green grimace voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch was hanging from every part of the ExCel this weekend, along with his beaming dog with a gravity-defying quiff, Max. The adverts even spread to our press passes, with one side occupied by the colour green. It felt a bit weird to show someone The Grinch of all things to enter a Comic Con, but I went with it anyway!
3. Throughout the Comic Con, one connection between every part was the focus on goods. From Viking horns to TARDIS backpacks, if you wanted something remotely related to comics, games, card games, films, TV, you name it, it was probably there. I saw stalls offering the original Super Smash Bros. and Ocarina Of Time, right next to Moshi Monsters toys and Yoda dressing gowns.
2. The latter half of my day was spent in Comic Village, going through the immense variety of stuff on sale there, from old GBA games to a Deadpool D&D set… Comic Village also had some of the most extravagant cosplays at the event, including a film-style Beast, a mixed group of Cybermen and Stormtroopers, as well as half of Class A from My Hero Academia. All of the stalls on that side of the con were great as well, with highlights including Jim Cheung and Frazer Irving alongside someone selling teabags!
Games (cheating a bit…) :
- 3. Spider-Man
- 2. My Hero Academia : One’s Justice
- 1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- 3. Baymax — Complete with tape plastered on the arms, there was one ambitious attendee who went all-in with his life-sized Baymax costume, including a “healthcare meter” others could press to indicate how happy they were.
- 2. 4 separate people at the ExCel decided to don their huge multicoloured dinosaur costumes and stomp around the Comic Con. Definitely the cosplay to go for if you need a bit more space when you shop!
- 1. The Incredibles — If you want to take your family to Comic Con, do it the right way! This family took things to another level with a family-themed cosplay, with a Jack-Jack plush as well!
- 3. Jim Cheung — The artist behind Young Avengers, New Avengers : Illuminati and Scion was at MCM, and his artwork was stunning. Even his banner was brilliant, featuring the active Justice League. From black-and white concepts to coloured full-page spreads, from Marvel to DC, this stall wasn’t one to miss
- 2. Viking Drinking Horns — Believe it or not, these seemed to be quite a commodity around Comic Con, with at least 3 stalls selling them. These horns, sterilised for safe drinking, had been taken from cattle and fashioned in the style of a Viking’s cup!
- 1. Pokémon Zoology (Joshua Dunlop) — Having been a fan of Pokémon for about 10 years, I’d seen the work of Pokémon Zoology before, but this was amazing. Basically, this project involves taking Nintendo’s Pokémon series, and transforming them into realistic, 3-D art, which is a great concept by itself, but when that concept is in the hands of Joshua Dunlop, it really (excuse the pun) comes to life! His Patreon is here if anyone wants to support him as well.
Toby Johnston is a student in Nottingham who can only dream of being bitten by a radioactive spider. His exposure to comics, games and geek culture as a whole originated when he met his uncle during his first weeks on the planet. Now, most of his time is spent between trading card games, building some sort of competitive Pokemon team, and devouring as many comics as Uncle Rich can throw at him. He’s also finally catching up with Marvel, DC TV, Doctor Who and “classic” sci-fi films, which could take him a while.