MCM Birmingham Comic Con 2017 – Part 2

NEC Birmingham

18/19 November 2017

Here’s Part 2 of my trip to MCM Comic Con in Birmingham recently.  I took plenty of photos – far too many for one blog post – which meant that a second chapter was required!

As I said last time, there were dozens and dozens of Cosplayers at this event.  They covered characters from many different genres, be it superheroes, science fiction, fantasy and horror.

There were DC and Marvel characters; horror monsters and fantasy heroes; Disney Princesses and Star Wars characters.  You name it, you would probably have seen a costume from it.

From well known characters to the obscure; from old classics to the latest creations, there were fantastic cosplay examples of all types.  Some resembled totally authentic movie replicas and some were novel, original reinterpretations of the familiar.

All of the people that I photographed were, as always, incredibly gracious and happy to have their photo taken.  My thanks to every single one of them.

These photos are a tribute to the talent and craft, research and dedication that these people put into their hobby.

Is there anything else to say about the day?  Well I wish I had won the lottery, so I could spend a ton of money on all the goodies I saw.  Books, comics, magazines, DVDs, toys, posters – simply too much stuff to list or discuss here.

I was lucky to pick up Grandpa Munster Funko Pop for a nice cheap price (he can keep Lily Munster company on my shelf).  Unfortunately I couldn’t afford the Bride of Frankenstein Funko though – she was far too expensive.

The day was finished off nicely with the Q&A session with Anthony Daniels.  If you need me to tell you who he is, what are you doing reading this blog?!  I’ll tell you anyway.  Anthony Daniels is, of course, the golden worry pot C-3PO in all the Star Wars movies.

Mr Daniel’s Q&A was highly entertaining, covering many stories from his experiences in a galaxy far, far away.  His anecdotes were both amusing and enlightening, and his delivery kept the audience enthralled.  Sheer gold.

At the end, we set off on our journey home several pounds lighter (cash wise) and having had a great day out.  MCM Comic Con Birmingham is highly recommended to all.  The next one is March 2018 – hopefully see you there!

The MCM Birmingham website is here.

Looks like a Part 3 might be required for this Comic Con – quite a few more pics to post.  Stay tuned…

MCM Birmingham Comic Con – Part 2

NEC Birmingham

19/20 November 2016 

I have loads of photos to share from my recent trip to Birmingham NEC, so thought I’d share some more.  As I mentioned previously, there were loads of fantastic Cosplay costumes being worn – so here are some additional pics.

In fact, it seemed to me that there were even more costumed attendees than ever!  MCM Birmingham is the biggest and best Comic Con I’ve been to (I’ve not made it to London), and the number of cosplayers seemed to be higher than ever.

There were some truly amazing outfits. Whether film or TV, book or comic book – it seemed like hundreds of heroes (and villains) were walking the halls.

Maybe it was just the abundance of Harley Quinns, but it seemed like there were many more females dressing as characters this time.  Nothing wrong with that, as comics and science fiction have always been more of a boys club.  Nice to see the ladies being involved and doing things so well.  No offence to the Harleys, by the way – the more the merrier!

There were some classic costumes from the boys this year too, though.  Deadpool and the Joker seemed quite popular, and were represented well with some superb renditions.

In my opinion, when I was last here Marvel characters slightly out weighed DC.  This November, DC were definitely fighting back!

Lots of Walking Dead, too.  I mentioned last time the amazing Daryl Dixon who I photographed, but messed up the picture.  Probably for the best, Mrs Platinum Al would be drooling forever.

There was also a Negan, who was an amazing look a like.  He should get some stunt double work on the show, he was so good!

Another dead ringer was Breaking Bad’s Walter White look a like – an amazing resemblance!  Check him out at @walterwhitelike on Twitter.

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All in all a superb day was enjoyed by all.  Thanks to all the various cosplayers who gave me permission to take their photo.  Everyone was really kind, gracious and friendly – I thank you for your patience.

Now I’m looking forward to a return to MCM Comic Con at the NEC in March 2017!

Hallowe’en Horror Fest Shadows

Dark Shadows (2012)

Tim Burton and – who else? – Johnny Depp bring us Dark Shadows, based on the cult late ’60’s TV show of the same name.  It’s a mix of horror, comedy and drama that is happy to lurk in Gothic darkness, but also offers a campy humour. dark

Barnabas Collins (Depp), heir to the wealthy Collins clan fortune, makes the mistake of spurning the love of Angelique (Eva Green).  Angelique happens to be a witch who curses Barnabas to become a vampire.  After being imprisoned for 200 years, Collins is awoken and finds himself in the year 1972.  A man – or vampire – considerably out of his time, Barnabas returns to the family home with the intention of restoring the Collins family to both wealth and harmony.  Aided by matriarch Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer), Barnabas faces Angelique once more; whilst also attempting to help his family and win the love of his life.

Does that sound like fun to you?  It did to me.  Which is why I’m surprised that some people didn’t dig this retro gem.  The mixing of genres may have confused some audiences, but to me Dark Shadows is a delightfully ghoulish confection in the spirit of the Addams Family and The Munsters.

I enjoyed the comedy elements, and there’s enough blood to tick the horror box.  Most of all though, I love the 1970’s setting – obviously inspired (again) by Hammer, there are cool cars and an exceptional soundtrack.  Alice Cooper even has a cameo as himself, for goodness sake – playing two classic Coop tracks!

Great cast, cool atmosphere – it all adds up to a winner in my book.

9/10

The Return of Hallowe’en Horror Fest

Another October, another Hallowe’en Horror Fest!  As per last year, the Virtual Hot Tub will become a horror themed heaven – or hell – right on through to Hallowe’en.

Here’s this years first horror film mini review…

Pet Sematary (1989)

A family move to a new house, by a busy road, which is also near to the Pet Sematary of the title.  It is here that the local kids bury their beloved, sadly departed pets.  Cursed ground nearby, however, can revive the dead; though the dead come back not as they once were…  Inevitably the busy road takes it’s toll, and the struggle with grief leads to unnatural choices. Pet_sematary_poster

I had seen this adaptation of the Stephen King novel many years ago.  First time around I wasn’t massively impressed, but the film did entertain.  Watching Pet Sematary again after two decades, I was far more enthralled.  I now found some of the tale quite uncomfortable, as a parent.  Though that’s where King excels, taking our everyday fears and exploiting them, creating something quite unnerving.  This movie version manages to retain that dread and convey it well to the audience.

Pet Sematary is slightly dated, and the course of events slightly obvious, but there’s enough chilling imagery to make this film worth watching.

Plus this film picks up bonus points for two things:

  1. It features the late, great Fred Gwynne in a non-Herman Munster role
  2. It also features two Ramones songs (“Sheena is a Punk Rocker” and the title track) in a rare, early example of that fine band invading popular culture.  King is, of course, a big fan.

8/10

The Munsters

It’s that old question: what’s the best – The Munsters or The Addams Family?  I love both programmes and have watched them since as far back as I can remember.  My favourite, though, is The Munsters.  I guess because they’re a family of actual monsters, whereas the Addams family are just, well… weird.  No disrespect to the Addams family, that’s a great show too, but the residents of 1313 Mockingbird Lane are my personal choice. 2991642-munsters

Herman (Fred Gwynne)  is the father, a Frankenstein’s monster whose bumbling antics create a great deal of the plot in their misadventures.  Yvonne De Carlo plays his wife, Lily – a vampire keeping the family on track.  Her father, Grandpa (Al Lewis) is Count Dracula, with a nice sideline in magic and mad science, in his laboratory basement.  Young Eddie (Butch Patrick) is the son, who’s also a werewolf.  Cousin Marilyn (Pat Priest) is the black sheep of the family, as she’s the only one that looks normal.  All of them are bemused why the world is so surprised at their appearance.

The Munsters is a classic TV show.  Though some of the gags and plots are a little dated now, this series oozes charm.  It reminds me of my Halloween celebrations many years ago, also evoking an innocent American age of the early 60’s (whether that’s real or imaginary).  No, it’s not scary, but it is enormous family fun.

And yes, I always had a crush on Yvonne De Carlo as Lily Munster…