Tuesday, 26 May 2015

London MCM - Wow.

This year's London MCM had grown into a three day event in an attempt to cater for the huge demand that it has seen in recent years. Last year they added a half day Friday but it wasn't very well attended and so had poor sales. We decided to trust the organisers however and still looked to make the best of the opportunity and be there for all three days.
We also decided that we'd try two tables this time.
We are struggling to get all of the stock on a single table these days and this means that there's really no space for the little extras, like the Lego figures that we've modified for each book, which always get interest from the children passing, but are usually left under the table.
Colin, Scott and Chris took the car down on Thursday, full of boxes of comics and I traveled down with my daughter Jemma on Friday, midday to get the cheaper train tickets. I'd decided to take a large percentage of  Gary Crutchley's great WesterNoir sketches with me, giving Colin only five made up Sketchpacks.
We'd only just arrived in London, at around 1pm, and Colin was texting me to say that he needed more sketches, he'd sold all the packs.
This was a very good start and an encouraging sign.
The queuing at the event seemed to be managed much better than last year and pretty soon Jemma and I were meeting Colin at the entrance and getting our passes.
Colin took the opportunity to show me Accent UK on the Comic Village index board, which was a worryingly large list of very talented and creative people...
and then he took us to our tables.
The tables looked great, and the first thing I did was get the WesterNoir sketches out and start building more sketchpacks.
It wasn't incredibly busy but we did have a good number of customers and putting my boxes of Accent UK Lego characters on the table certainly drew people in. We had a lot of fun helping kids identify the characters on the comics.
I also took the time on the Friday (as it was clear that the next two days would be incredibly busy) to pop over (I say pop over but it took about 10 minutes to navigate the crowds) and say 'Hi' to Andrew Potts. We'd promised him a set of WesterNoir to read when we chatted with him at the Belfast Airport a few weeks ago. He even offered to pose for a photo with the books and my daughter Jemma.
Friday ended and we'd done pretty well, much better than the half day Friday last year. I wondered if a lot of the people who had chosen Friday were actually the comic readers, looking to avoid the Cosplayers on Saturday and Sunday.
We followed the slow stream of reluctant people leaving the event and made our way to Greenwich, where we'd booked an apartment, sharing with TimeBomb's Steve Tanner. On the way we found what looked like Stig standing in a dock.
Nice to see that they're keeping London nice and clean.
Saturday was actually a quieter start than Friday's had been and I began to wonder if my earlier thought was going to prove to be the case, but I needn't have worried. Then afternoon was hectic. We had repeat customers, friends of repeat customers, a load of new customers and people who were just interested in what we were doing and wanted to chat. We saw some fabulous Cosplays, I particularly like the artistry that goes into the Steampunk costumes, for example Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but Steampunk...
I love the rose in the glass case on her back.
We had a tremendous day. Very tiring but very rewarding and were actually relieved when 6pm came around and with it the announcement that the show was over for the day.
We decided we needed some easy food and stopped off for Fish and Chips and a few beers on the way back to the apartment.
Sunday, I predicted, would be somewhere between the two previous days in terms of how busy we would be and how many books we would sell.
And this proved to be the case.
It's quite odd selling comics to people in Cosplay, but a lot of fun. They are really into the whole dressing up thing, and the atmosphere is really positive. Every costume is acknowledged and it's wonderful to see young kids stand in awe as they see their favourite character walk passed.
Things quietened down in the afternoon, as they invariably do, and as the event drew to a close we realised that we had had our best ever Con.
Highlights for me were ;-
1) The returning customers.
2) The guy who bought issue 1 of Westernoir, only to return about an hour later to buy the rest, having read it whilst having his lunch.
3) The guy who bought Stephenson's Robot #1 on Saturday, without the Tarot card, and came over to me on Sunday to buy the Tarot card, as he enjoyed the comic so much and didn't want to miss out.
4) Seeing Jemma's face when Andrew Potts actually did recognise me and greet me warmly.
5) The number of new customers.
A great Con, looking forward to the next one.


  1. John Hankinson26 May 2015 at 14:58

    Sounds like a great success Dave. Hope all well with you and yours.

  2. Thanks John, Things are pretty good at this end, how are you getting on these days ? Hope your family are well and you're enjoying your escape from Barclays.