- Oct 26, 2014 7:31 AM
So yesterday I was at London MCM, a massive convention in the UK that covers most pop culture interests, with focus on movies, comics, anime and games. This was my first time attending a con that big, first time attending a con in the UK and only second time I'd ever been to a con before (well... technically third but... long story) so I'm excited to record my thoughts and experiences for you to read! Let's dive in!
The plan had been to leave at 6am to get to the con at around 9am but thanks to delays and traffic, me and my two friends arrived at the con at about 11am. We were instantly greeted by the sight of hundreds of people wandering around in copslay. A little game was proposed to see who could recognise the most cosplays, but was instantly thrown out the window when it was generally agreed that I'd win by a land slide (neither of my two friends are into anime at all and that made up the bulk of the cosplays). We made our way to registration and were greeted with a huge line of hundreds of people, which worried us at first. Luckily MCM's organisers have their stuff together and were in after about ten minutes of waiting that was mostly made up of walking.
Once in the con, I split off from the other two to check out Artists Alley. After hunting through the aisles and getting some help, I managed to track down some of my fellow UKers on Inkblazers. I met Naniiebim, who was rocking an awesome Ryuko from Kill la Kill cosplay, as well as Petitecreme and YFStudio at their table. I bought the first books and other bits and pieces from each of them, and after learning that Teahermit would be back at her table later, decided to see if I could find my friends.
After taking about two seconds to realise that was a stupid idea to do without calling them given MCM was basically a sea of people all day, I instead checked out some of the retail stalls. I got myself an advanced copy of Kill la Kill Collection 1 at Anime Limited for a really good price. They also gave my some really straight-forward answers on their upcoming release of some series I was looking forward to. Actually this was true of most of the vendors, they were really helpful and didn't mess you around at all. After deciding I needed to get away from the stalls for a bit, I decided to check out guest signings.
I knew some of the Power Rangers actors were going to be there, so I located them. The line for the Red Ranger was HUGE, while the Yellow and Blue rangers had none at all (Blue Ranger didn't even get a cool sign like the other three :/) but there was a small line for the Black Ranger - not Johnny Young Bosch, Walter Jones - who I was most excited to meet (favourite ranger as a kid) so I got in line. He was a really nice guy who did his best to put me at ease when I spoke with him, as it turns out meeting someone you admired as a child is really nerve-wracking. I managed to babble out the usual compliments I'm sure he gets constantly and got my signature. I realised after I walked away that I had been shaking the entire time (I find social interaction daunting at the best of times).
I met up with my friends again for a bit, before diving back into the sea of bodies to look at more stalls. The Pokemon stall was probably the best in my completely bias opinion. It had a place where you could get a free demo for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire where they were playing the trailers, but what was cool was right next to it there were Gameboy Advanced SPs where you could play the original Ruby and Sapphire. That was awesome. There was also a little area behind that which was basically a tiny Pokemon museum. It had all the cards from the currently running TCG expanions on display, as well as a timeline of the various Pokemon regions with production artwork and promitional artwork on display. It was a small thing but it was also really awesome to see.
I wandered around a bit more before getting some food as I was starting to get a little light-headed (I'd barely eaten and slept so... yeah) before going to see if Teahermit was at her table. She was so I chatted to her and bought a copy of her first book (I promise I'll get the rest XD) and tried to meet up with my firends again. They were planning to go to a presentation that I wasn't interested in, so I gave up on that and went to get some more bits and bobs that was interested in buying (Psycho Pass and Pokemon Adventures vol 18 and 19) before spending the last of the money I had put aside for the day. I wandered around a little more and discovered some of the Red Dwarf actors were there (something that was definitely not advertised on the site when I checked so I was godsmacked.)
I frantically called my friends to tell them (and so we could meet up again) before asking a member of staff if we had to pay just meet the guests. Turned out you didn't, but the prospect of another nerve-wracking meeting with some of my favourite entertainers was a bit too daunting for me (plus I'd feel bad about not buying a signature from them) so I gave it a miss. Met up with friends and left singing the con's praises and excited to come back next year.
MCM was lot of fun. While the crowds were a bit much at times, I never felt as uncomfortable as I usually do in crowds. The level of enthusiasm and creativity on display was mind-blowing. From the artists to the cosplayers, there was so much hard work and love put into everything. It's also worth noting how *nice* everyone was. Aside from some lame (kinda sexist) jokes I heard one or two people making in passing, everyone was actually very pleasant. The organisation was great and overall it was just a great experience. I was asked by a couple of people if I'd consider doing a table next year and um... we'll see?
Either way I'm excited to do another con and I will definitely be at London MCM again next year :D
- Just for Fun
- Aug 28, 2014 4:08 PM
Hey wanna see me scream like a little girl for charity?
Then check this out!
Learn more about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as well as donate to this good cause at www.alsa.org/donate
Look forward to seeing your videos Loom and Ashikai :P
Rogo out (and freezing)
- Aug 19, 2014 1:02 PM
Show don’t tell.
If you’ve read anything about storytelling (film-making in particular) then you may be familiar with the expression. It’s a principle that states that it is better to show your audience something than it is to tell them. Now this is a very, very basic idea but it’s one that has times where it’s okay to do the opposite.
So I’m gonna talk about it in a way that hopefully will be interesting and funny.
Let’s start at the beginning;
Why should you show rather than tell?
I think the best way to explain why it’s important is to use a real life example. Have you ever had a friend or family member talk to you about their cat/dog/baby/flying spaghetti monster? Have you ever had to sit there and listen to them go on and on about how cute it is? Tell you lots of funny stories about the things that it does?
If you have, chances are you can remember your reaction was probably somewhere between polite boredom and swinging a bar stool at their head. The reason is because most people cannot relate or empathise with something that they personally have not experienced. They cannot connect with a story about a baby putting a bowl on it’s head being cute, because the cuteness is a visual thing. And we’ve all seen millions of pictures of a baby with a bowl on it’s head.
Now, what about if your friend showed you a picture of their cat/dog/baby/flying spaghetti monster? Yes, you may still have a ‘meh’ reaction, but chances are you at least look at the picture. You see what they’re talking about and if it is cute in your opinion, you react appropriately.
This is what’s going on in storytelling with show don’t tell.
I’m gonna use the recent movie Guardians of the Galaxy as example because it actually succeeds and fails with this with explaining the backstories of it’s characters. Peter Quill’s backstory is shown to us. We see him at this mother’s bedside as she dies from cancer. We see him abducted by aliens. We see that he has a strong connection to his cassette player. The result is we can empathise with him when he does some stupid things (like risking his life to get the player back).
Now on the other side, we have Rocket. We’re told Rocket was experimented on. We’re told Rocket was ‘torn apart then put back together again’. We’re told it traumatised him. The result is that during Rocket’s big emotional scene… it doesn’t work. We’ve not seen how horrible this was, we’ve been told. This goes for Gamora and Drax as well by the way. We’re told what happened to them to make them the way they are, not shown it.
Now I’m not saying that telling is necessarily bad. Sometimes you need to tell rather than show. If you’ve got a big universe with a large cast, sometimes you have to tell. For example, if you have to introduce a character and explain who he is in simple terms, then yes you’ll have to tell rather than show. However even then you should at least show as much as you can. For example in FullMetal Alchemist we’re told who Lin is by his servants, but we also see that he’s a foreigner who has two servants working for him. We can make assumptions about him from there.
One of the most important elements of writing a story is making your audience connect emotionally. Show don’t tell is a powerful weapon in that pursuit. It can force your audience to connect by either showing them what your characters have been through, or force your audience into the mindset of the characters. If you rely too much on telling the audience what’s going on, you’re comic will end up just being another cute story about a baby with a bowl on it’s head.
If you want a good exercise for getting better at show don’t tell, try limiting how much dialogue you can use in a comic. Maybe try to work with a few silent pages. Really push yourself to think about how to communicate without words. You’ll surprise yourself with how effective the results can be.
But that’s just this pop culture nerd’s opinion on show don’t tell - what do you think?
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Hello everyone! The name's Rogo and apparently I'm witty and junk? I live in the UK and am a huge fan of anime and manga, and as such this of course means that I have decided to start my own manga - Gravston.
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