Having joined Turnaround in August, I had never been to an MCM Comic Con event, nor did I have much knowledge about comics (there were a few ‘fake it till you make it’ moments…). I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to go, so I’d like to share it with you! Here is a record of my two days at the exhibition:
Day 1: The Build
After an early start on the DRL, I arrived at the London ExCel Centre unsure of what to expect.
Having never been to the ExCel Centre before, I couldn’t quite believe how huge it was. Comic Con happens in two large spaces in the ExCel, and the room Turnaround was based in was so manic and large that I didn’t notice the other half of the venue at first. I certainly can now see why hardcore fans attend all three days of the event – there really is so much to do (and LOTS of money to spent on comics of all kinds…).
This Exhibitor pass made my day. Though, it was time to learn about the stock Turnaround was selling with a 20% discount. Time for an education on manga and comics published by Kodansha, Vertical, and Dark Horse. Thanks to Turnaround’s resident comic-genius, Leo, this was no problem.
Now came the task of setting up Turnaround’s stand. Considering that Turnaround is a distributor to the book trade, I don’t think I’d ever been surrounded by SO many books. The photo above is a polished result after hours of organisation – let’s just say the initial unpacking of our titles was traumatic enough for us to send for back-up (Clare) to come down to help. Also, it turns out that young women carrying heavy boxes is still a perplexing concept for some men…
After about 10 hours, it was time to head home and rest before the opening day.
Day 2: The Opening Day
This is the day I was most excited for. The stand was looking sleek with no evidence of the wreckage from the day before and hoards of people were making their way to indulge in Turnaround’s comics.
This was something I made for social media. The Art of Overwatch was definitely the sell of the day – they were going like there was no tomorrow. However, my personal highlight with selling was managing to shift one of the Akira box sets, selling at the exhibition for £140 per unit.
I got the chance to explore for a moment, though I felt like I had to practically run around to see just a fraction of what was on offer! I managed to get some wonderful food at a Japanese stall.
This was the stall next to us – it’s safe to say that the hearing the Mr. Sandman song on repeat throughout the day was a challenge in itself. Leo’s love for Back To The Future was put to the test, as was mine and Lan’s sanity.
Another personal highlight for me was all the weird and wonderful costumes floating around. Someone did a great Avatar, and I spoke to another man who had a different costume prepared for each day of the event(!) There was such a friendly vibe brought about by the costumes as strangers interacted as they recognised the various characters portrayed.
Comic Con fell on the weekend of Halloween parties. Forget Halloween costumes – the cosplay outfits I saw won hands down.
Overall, my first Comic Con experience was a great one. Fun, tiring, and exciting. It’s definitely something worth experiencing, and if you do, remember to drop by at Turnaround’s stand.