Thursday, 4 November 2010

[402] MCM Expo: Eagle Awards Report

I still need to write a general post (with a swag shot) about the MCM Expo. It was, as usual, pretty fun. Likewise, it was hectic and tiring. In the meantime, here's my report on the Eagle Awards for Den of Geek - which was quite a mixed-up affair.

The MCM Expo seems to get bigger every time, somehow finding more cosplay-obsessed teens to stuff into the Excel Centre in London's Docklands (now approaching 47,000 attendees). This time around, the Expo certainly beefed up its videogame representation, in partnership with the London Games Festival, and a number of tantalising gameplay demos of the likes of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

However, the comics village, always our favourite area of the Expo, also landed a symbolic coup in becoming the new home of the Eagles,an annual, fan selected series of awards that, despite being quite a big deal in its heyday, had fallen by the wayside in recent years.

And although the new surroundings, and new logo, suggested that the Eagles would be stepping up to fulfill its position as the British answer to the Eisner and Harvey Awards, this first ceremony was not without its awkward mishaps.

The most immediate problem? The event was almost empty. Apart from the guests, there was barely more than a dozen punters in the audience. The MCM main stage area becomes mightily cavernous without bodies in the room and the sound of 50-odd people applauding starts to undercut the importance of it all after a while.

Considering the attendance numbers the Expo attracts over the weekend, this is a little discouraging, even if the manga, anime and cosplay types won't know their 2000AD from their BPRD. The scheduling of the ceremony for the Friday night could be a problem. It was slotted at the end of this first day of play, which was only open to weekend pass holders.

Another big issue presented itself as the evening unfolded, powered by plates of Pringles, Doritos and Pocky (and, if you could get your hands on them, bottles of beer). Many of the award winners weren't there. By our count, only two or three were present to pick up their stylish little glass trophies. Sure, many of those nominated were American, but a fair proportion are UK-based.

If the Eagles is trying to position itself as an ongoing concern, it isn't much of a vote of confidence that those nominated won't make the trip down. Some, it seems, were unable to attend due to illness, so hopefully this will be less of a problem in the future.

Read the full article here.

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