Upon arrival at the MCM Manchester Comic Con, it was clear that, for the third consecutive year, it was once again going to be a popular event.  Not only was there a large queue, but also several people just hanging around outside in cosplay and socialising.  Throughout the day many took advantage of the glorious weather to pose for photos in their costumes, but that did stop huge crowds making their way inside the air-conditioned Manchester Central for comic, anime and sci-fi goodness.

Fast-track ticket holders had a surprise when the show opened earlier than scheduled and, once in, they were presented with a range of stalls selling everything from figures, DVDs, clothing, posters, comics and much more.  Unfortunately there were once again some stalls selling bootleg merchandise, most notably anime figures, plushies and posters. Although this blights the event and can affect the sale figures of stalls selling genuine merchandise, it is unlikely to change as bootleg merchandise is common at large trade events. If one wishes to fight it, then reporting the stalls selling bootlegs to the organisers is the best course of action.

Once again though, the few bad apples did not spoil the barrel and the genuine merchandise coupled with publisher stalls such as MVM Entertainment and Manga Entertainment more than making up for it.  There were plenty of panels throughout the day also, including actor Warwick Davis discussing his illustrious career, voice actor Michael Mondo talking about his role as Far Cry 3 villain Vaas Montenegro and actors from both Young Dracula and Merlin telling tales of their characters and experiences.  The finale of the main stage was, of course, the always popular cosplay masquerade which played to a packed audience and featured all the great costumes one would expect.

Prior to the event, MCM announced that in 2014 Manchester Comic Con will become a two day event whilst held at the venue.  Although there is no denying that attendance to the event has grown since it started three years ago, we note that similarly sized MCM Telford Comic Con ran for two days some years ago but went back to one day after it was clear the event did not warrant it.  That said attendance to Manchester Comic Con has increased year on-year, so could turn out quite differently to Telford Comic Con.  It will be good if the organisers make better use of floor space next year though, as a large section of the hall was dedicated to seating and a cafe.  Where this

was welcome the area never seemed to fully occupied, with the dealer area becoming absolutely rammed in the afternoon, so could be reduced next time allowing extra space for stage seating, more stalls or even another stage.  We have no doubt that Manchester Comic Con will continue to grow, along with MCM who have just hosted popular first time Scotland Comic Con in Glasgow and will be holding another first time Dublin Comic Con in April 2014.  If the increasing attendance of Manchester Comic Con is anything to go by, than 2014 will be a very good year for MCM indeed.