I have ineffably fond memories of last year’s UK Games Expo… if only because it was part of the tail-end of 2016 before Britain lost its fucking mind and fell for complete and utter bullshit. Right, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can get onto the actual convention.
As far as I can recall, there are two things I’ve never done at the Expo: booked in the full three days, and done a full day of roleplaying. The reasons were mostly logistical (it’s a good 40-60 minutes from my place to the NEC by train), but after using up some annual leave and 20 minutes on Trivago, I managed to get a three-day ticket and two nights at the Yardley Travelodge, a mere 20 minutes by bus to my destination. Continue reading
I make my way out of Birmingham International Airport, having just touched down after a few hours flying from Malaga. After stopping for a mediocre egg mayonnaise sandwich from Spar, I make my way to the NEC via the airport’s Air-Rail Link. Making my way down the escalator and past an overpriced Wetherspoons, I catch sight of those three little words that always set my heart aflutter…
Expo. Continue reading
By the time this comes out, the juggernaut that is The MCM Group will have left the NEC once again, only to return in Autumn. Last time I attended the convention, I got rather huffy over of going on a Saturday (the very idea!) as the last time I did it was far too noisy for my delicate sensibilities. Well, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go there yesterday (I considered going on both days, but my wallet protested most vociferously).
Well, it seems my fears were (mostly) unfounded. True, there were a few times where the aisle I happened to be in resembled Spaghetti Junction in the late afternoon, but for the most part the crowds stayed on the right side of “busy”, and everyone was having a good time, which is as it should be. As for the price hike in tickets, that was ameliorated by simply buying one online – this meant I “only” spent £11, instead of the downright extortionate £15 I had to fork over last time. Continue reading
While it’s perhaps the most well-known geeky convention in the West Midlands (local press showing up to photograph the best cosplayers doesn’t hurt) Birmingham Comic Con can be a victim of its own success; they’ve had to rent out a nearby hall just so people can queue to get in. On top of that, I’ve had to stop going on Saturdays, because frankly it’s just too busy on its first day for an old duffer like me. In my defence, the last time I went on a Saturday I was in a human traffic jam for the majority of my visit.
However, I’m not being entirely fair to MCM. They’ve clearly revised their layout plans since then to give far more room for congoers to walk about, without sacrificing floor space for vendors of neat stuff that actually comes from Japan, you guys. Continue reading