Originally published September 5 2018. Updated for 2019.
Introducing an in-depth guide to the ins and outs of MCM Manchester Comic Con by Alice Isted of Arisu Cosplay
What is MCM Manchester Comic Con?
MCM Manchester Comic Con is a family-friendly two day event hosted in the heart of Manchester. It is a celebration of all things pop culture: anime, comics, gaming, movies and youtube. To aid this celebration there are a variety of stalls, shows, panels, meet and greets and competitions including a cosplay masquerade across the two days.
Who runs MCM Manchester Comic Con?
MCM Comic Con is a UK-wide brand of conventions. They have one every month in a different city in the UK and Ireland and are a force of geekiness. It was recently acquired by Reedpop who put on a variety of events round the world including PAX East, Twitchcon and Comic Cons of all kinds. We don’t yet know what this means for the future of MCM but here’s the low down of 2018.
Where is MCM Manchester Comic Con?
The event is held in the heart of Manchester at Manchester Central Convention Centre located on Windmill Street (M2 3GX)
The centre very easy to get to, only a 10 minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station.
Parking is available on site and can be booked via NPC for £22 and is available for 24hr parking however cheaper alternatives are available if you don’t mind a small walk to your car.
How much is MCM Manchester Comic Con?
The price of the tickets vary depending upon the ticket purchased and can be seen below. But remember kids go free with certain tickets. Enjoy the KidZone and costumes!
|Day||Advanced||On the door||Opening / closing times|
|Saturday Priority||£17.50||£20||9am – 6pm|
|Saturday General||£13.50||£16||11am – 6pm|
|Sunday Priority||£15||£18||10am – 5pm|
|Sunday general||£11||£14||12 – 5pm|
You can find more information about tickets and purchase them here
You can apply for an accessibility pass here
Upon purchasing your ticket you will be sent a electronic pdf ticket – so you can download your ticket in pdf format on a mobile device and show your ticket electronically!.
Once you have your ticket, you will be directed on where to queue up, once you have queued your ticket’s barcode will be scanned you will be issued a wristband if you posses a weekend ticket which must be kept on for the duration of the comic con. Those who have a day ticket may be issued a wrist band or will be offered a stamp on the hand when exiting the show to allow re-entry .
The MCM Manchester Comic Con show guide is usually online about 2 weeks before the convention, and you can collect a physical show guide free at the event. They also have a REALLY handy app for your phone or tablet to keep track of the ever-expanding panels, autograph sessions, events and more, with live updates throughout the event.
Food and Drink
With MCM being in the heart of Manchester there are a variety of places you can grab some food from either within the convention food court or outside the comic con. However it is always advised to bring your own if you intend to save money (or spend more on collectable, limited edition merchandise…!!)
While at Manchester, I honestly didn’t see a public cloakroom only the small store area over at the cosplay desk for cosplayers to store their suitcases and bags which held their costumes. However it is believed that there will be a cloak room in the future.
How do you survive MCM Manchester Comic Con?
Overall MCM Manchester Comic Con was very busy, especially on Saturday specially between 11am and 1pm. Expect long queues for autographs. However it was less busy on the Sunday as clearly most people decide to just go for one day.
Quiet spaces were few and far between . There were some areas if the halls that were fairly quiet, the best place to go for a Quiet area is actually the theatre. This is because most of the Q&A sessions take place in the theatre, so the audience is generally quiet.
Within the centre there are various facilities which include both males, female and disabled toilets.
While at MCM Manchester there was no charging facilities so I do advise that you grab a power bank so you can charge your phone on the go.
Cosplay at MCM Manchester Comic Con
Cosplay is simply a abbreviation of the term “costume and play” . When taking part in cosplay individuals will dress as their favourite character from a show, book or film. While some buy their outfits, many make their own and put hours of crafting into their outfit.
There are a variety of cosplay meets held by other cosplayers which is a perfect place to meet people into the same things as you , make friends ( which may end up as your future significant other – that’s what happened to me!) and memories that will last a life time!
There are also competitions you can enter to show off a costume or performance, with the chance you win some prizes but for these you must register in advance.
But the best thing about cosplay is anyone can cosplay!
Where to Get Help?
Lets be honest, sometimes we need a bit of help when we get stuck in a sticky situation. Fortunately for most situations the show organizers or security are easy to locate as they walk around the venue and can be found at the entrance or exit of the convention.
However if you are finding it difficult to find someone don’t be afraid to open up the app and you can click on “anti -harassment area”. Submit your form and someone will come find you and help the best they can.
My verdict of MCM Manchester Comic Con.
Overall MCM Manchester was a lovely event to attend, there was lot of stalls to look at, people to talk to, guests to meet and panels to go to.
It is an event tailored to all age groups including young children (the Kidszone for children includes face painting, colouring and games.)
Attending a panel is definitely something I recommend to everyone because they can be so informative. I was given the chance to ask a few questions at various panels and was able to talk face to face with guests such as Jennifer Hale (voice of Cinderella) , Lucie Poole (voice of Mercy in overwatch), Gaku Space (voice of Genji in overwatch) and Charlot Chung (voice of D.V.A in Overwatch).
My personal favourite thing about the weekend is that I had the chance to meet and talk to Charlot Chung in my cosplay of D.v.a which was extremely exciting because she said “hey Dva” in the characters the moment she saw me and thanked me for coming to see her.
My top tips for MCM Comic Cons:
- Stay hydrated! – The halls can get very warm and with the crazy summer we are having , its important to keep our fluids up .
- Plan your day – At MCM Manchester there was just so much I wanted to see and do ! , I found that planning in advance allowed me to get to all the things I wanted to done with out having to stress out about possibly missing anything . I found that using the app really helped with this because I could have notifications pop up about 10 minutes before where I wanted to be
- Attend panels- Panels really are the best thing at MCM Manchester , its perfect because not only can you sit down and grab a drink or bit to eat , but you can also get to learn about your favorite actors or actresses
- Have fun!!! – The whole purpose of these events is to have fun , so make sure to engage in activities you will enjoy whether they be attending a panel , shopping to you drop or just making new friends.
Just make sure you enjoy yourself!
I am excited to see what the future holds for MCM Comic Con and their events. I have no doubt that it will develop and thrive, continuing to bring us new and exciting experiences in future.
Alice Isted – Your Trusty Convention Guide
See her beauty and cosmetics at Dream Away Boutique with Alice