Posted: July 29, 2018 by Max Byrne

This year, I decided to take a trip to MCM Comic Con in Manchester, held at the G-Mex Exhibition Centre. It was the first time I had attended the event for 6 years, and after a quite brilliant day there, I will not be missing it ever again!

Being fortunate enough to obtain a press pass for the event, I arrived with high hopes for a great day. Boy, was I not disappointed! Utilising my pass, I was able to get myself into the main hall half an hour before the doors were opened to the public at 9am. This was a great experience, as I was able to walk the floor freely, checking out the exhibitors and stalls as they were in the process of frantically getting set up in time for the onslaught of the con attendees. There was a great variety of stalls to peruse, selling everything from comics, toys, clothing, merchandise, games and delicious food. All the stallholders were extremely friendly and happy to give customers their attention, making it a really enjoyable and pleasant atmosphere.

As is the norm at all conventions, the cosplayers were out in full force. Virtually every character from popular culture was represented here, with DC and Marvel’s finest everywhere you turn, plus a generous selection of Dr Who characters, Walking Dead alumni and WWE superstars. Pictured below is a fine gentleman I met with a spot on Mick Foley costume.

After a couple of hours spent mingling and enjoying the main hall, it was time to get into the signing area. One of the people that I was most keen to meet was Robin Atkin Downes. A highly esteemed voice actor, Robin has played a litany of DC characters in so many animated films/TV shows, including Green Arrow, Alfred Pennyworth, Harvey Bullock and Manchester Black. After a relatively short queuing time, I had my moment. Robin was a really nice, engaging man, making time to chat to everybody. With my time, I asked him what other DC-related projects he had in the pipeline. He couldn’t reveal too much due to various NDA’s that he had signed, but he said that he had lots of them coming out, including an onscreen role coming out in the autumn. Could this be related to the Titans show that will launch with the DC Universe streaming service? We can only speculate but I will be keeping a very close eye on events. Below is the signed picture I got from him, showing his live action portrayal of Doomsday in BvS.

After this encounter, I decided to use my press credentials to my advantage and get myself into the private area of the convention. I was allowed entry into a small room with 6 other people to get 30 minutes interview time with Khary Payton and Cooper Andrews, better known as King Ezekiel and Jerry from The Walking Dead TV show. What friendly, warm and chatty guys they proved to be, answering everybody’s questions with humour and honesty. Amidst the predictable barrage of Walking Dead related questions, I managed to get DC related answers from them, as I asked them both about their upcoming DC projects, as Cooper is starring as Victor Vasquez in next year’s Shazam movie, and Khary is reprising his voice role of Aqualad in the animated series Young Justice, which is being brought back as part of the DC Universe service.

Whilst they had to be predictably tight lipped regarding the tidbits that they were allowed to reveal, we got some information. Cooper was open about the lighter tone of Shazam in comparison to the films already released in the DCEU, and that the stakes are smaller, more intimate and less revolving around an end of the world scenario. Khary was sworn to secrecy regarding any specific plot details of Young Justice, but did let slip that he will be playing new characters over the 26 episode run, in addition to Aqualad. Also, we can expect a lot of surprises and plot twists galore, so now my appetite has been well and truly whetted!

Overall, it was a great day out and one that I would highly recommend to anybody that is considering making the trip next year. Despite the high attendance, everything was well spaced out enough to make sure that it never felt too overcrowded and cramped. With costs not being too high for entry and for autographs, those of us with a limited budget can still enjoy a fun packed day, go for it!

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