I recently attended MCM Ireland Comic Con for the second year in a row with a press pass. The event, which takes place every year at the RDS in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, had its latest event on the weekend just gone and I attended yesterday. This was also my third time attending the MCM event in Dublin overall.
Even though I enjoyed the two previous MCMs that I attended I think this show was definitely the best MCM event in Dublin so far. The guest line-up was very strong this year with guests ranging from many different forms of entertainment from TV/film stars like Summer Glau (Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Manu Bennett (Arrow, The Hobbit, Spartacus), Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon, Ted), video-game stars including Nolan North (Uncharted) and Troy Baker (Uncharted, Bioshock) as well as anime guests including Veronica Taylor (Pokemon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Slayers) and Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist). There was also a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers reunion with several cast members meeting fans including Austin St. John (The Red Ranger), Walter Jones (The Black Ranger), David Yost (The Blue Ranger), Karan Ashley (The Yellow Ranger) and David J. Fielding (Zordon). Other guests included Emily Rose (Haven, Uncharted) and Nell Tiger Free (Game of Thrones). I think this line-up was the strongest line-up at a Dublin MCM event so far and most of the guests very busy throughout most of Sunday. Nolan North in particular was kept very busy throughout the day. The only guest I met was Veronica Taylor but I’ll talk about meeting her more below.
On a positive note I thought the atmosphere throughout the event was great. It was very easy to tell that everyone was having a good time and I met up with several friends that were enjoying themselves too. The costumes as ever were great and the fans this year in particular really put a lot of work into their costumes. I watched the costume contest last year and thought a lot of hard work was put in then but I think the bar was raised even higher this year. The quality of the costumes the fans put hard work into for this year was top notch and some of the performances the cosplayers on stage gave were a joy to watch. I might personally be biased in saying my favourites were the Serena and Ash cosplayers from Pokémon (the first time I’d seen someone cosplaying as Serena not to mention a Serena and Ash duo) as Serena is my favourite Pokémon character. Those two should be proud of themselves as should everyone who was in costume.
Speaking of Pokémon, meeting childhood hero Veronica Taylor was definitely the highlight of the event for me (Fun fact: I was born the same year as the first Pokémon games were released so you can say I’ve literally grown up with the franchise). Veronica is one of the nicest people I will probably ever meet and I had the pleasure of interviewing her on the podcast a couple of weeks ago. As I had a press pass I wasn’t supposed to buy autographs (and I didn’t) but my best friend and fellow EGP staff member Graham offered to buy it for me (with my money before anyone asks) which is how I got a nice Ash and Pikachu picture signed. I had promised Veronica after the podcast interview that I would make sure to chat to her at some point during MCM and I finally got the chance when her queue was empty. She is definitely as nice and friendly as everyone hopes their childhood heroes will be (unfortunately not all heroes are like that) but as I’ve already said she’s one of the nicest guests I’ve ever met. We talked about how fun the podcast interview was and took a couple of pictures together- one on my camera and one on her phone. That’s the first time a guest I’ve met has taken a picture of us for themselves. I know I’m not that special as she was doing the same with other fans but it’s still something for me to remember (ha). She also offered me another autograph for free so I got a May picture signed as well. Technically I shouldn’t have again because of the press pass but Veronica offered and none of the MCM crew interfered so I came away very happy.
There are a couple of criticisms I do have about this year’s event though. I feel like the selection of merchandise at the stalls was weak this year. I know that’s outside of the event’s control and is entirely dependent on the stall owners that sign up for the event and the merchandise they decide to bring with them to sell. There was also less stalls than last year’s event. Obviously merchandise (like guest line-ups) and how good it is will always be down to personal taste so I can respect if people thought the merchandise was great this year. I will say I was very excited that some stalls were selling Yu-Gi-Oh! cards (which I’ve recently started buying again) and I bought several packs. I originally intended to buy three packs but one of the nice Forbidden Planet employees offered me four for €10 (I had already picked up three packs at €3 each) so it was nice of him to offer me that. I later went and bought another pack when I realised I had money left-over. I ended up buying four Destiny Soldiers’ packs (Aster Phoenix!) and one Fusion Enforcers’ pack. Really excited for the return of Aster and Destiny Heroes in the dub as you can tell.
That said, less stalls can also be seen as a good thing because it did feel like there was more room to walk around in the event and soak in the atmosphere. I just feel like the merchandise could have been better but the event doesn’t control the stock that stall owners decide to bring with them so I won’t judge the event for that. I was very happy to buy my first Gotham figure (Edward Nygma) as well so it was a good way to start a new collection of figures for me.
My other complaint was the amount of guests that had “No Posed Photos” signs beside their banners. I’ve been attending conventions across Ireland and the UK for years so I’m no stranger to seeing those banners but I don’t like it when I see them when I feel it’s unnecessary (i.e. when a guest isn’t crazy busy all day). The only guests that didn’t have those signs (that I noticed anyway) were the Power Rangers guests and Nell Tiger Free from Game of Thrones. Some of the guests with the sign up (Veronica Taylor obviously I know for definite) were willing to take posed photos with fans anyway but, with the exception of North, none of the others were swamped with fans at the autograph area all day (they were busy but not to that extent as far as I could see) so I feel like agents may have been trying to take advantage of making fans pay for photoshoots. Like with the stalls this isn’t an issue I have with MCM as it’s beyond their control but it doesn’t make for great viewing that at least half of the guests had the signs up. I’ve seen busy guests at other events that legitimately wouldn’t have been able to meet everyone if they posed for pictures with everyone but it didn’t feel like that here. I’ve also witnessed agents trying to take advantage of photoshoots at other events and I felt like that may have been the case with one or two guests at MCM. Again not an issue I have with MCM as it’s out of their control but an issue across conventions I feel that needs to be mentioned. I’m just happy that Veronica was willing to do posed pictures even with that sign up.
In summary, I really enjoyed my time at MCM this year. I think it definitely had the strongest line-up of guests of any MCM show in Dublin so far and I’ll be curious to see if they can top this line-up next year. I only met Veronica Taylor but she is easily one of my favourite guests I’ve ever met. She is one of the nicest people around and all of the other guests seemed in good form too. The fans were all in good form too and the event had a pleasant atmosphere. It was also great to buy my first Gotham figure and add more new Yu-Gi-Oh! cards to my collection. I’m already looking forward to next year’s MCM.
By Ruari Williamson
*Subscribe to our website for updates on the latest news, guest announcements and more. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for more updates.*
*The opinions in this article are those of the writer and do not represent the views of all of the Everything Geek Podcast staff*.
You can watch our footage from MCM Ireland Comic Con below: