Event Guide (Mania.com)

By:Matt Kamen
Date: Saturday, August 25, 2007

With the hangovers from Amecon fading, the pangs of longing kick in for the next convention where you can drain your wallet and damage your liver. With that in mind, let's take a look ahead at what the rest of the year promises in terms of cons and events.
 
September:
 
Alcon 2007 – 7-9 September, De Montfort University, Leicester
 
Springing hot on Amecon's heels, another anime convention aims to bring hordes of scary cosplayers to Leicester's streets. Another fan-run event, this one will be decidedly smaller than Amecon but still offer the usual array of dealers, cosplay, anime and booze that attendees demand.
 
Midlands MCM Expo – 15-16 September, International Centre, Telford
 
Expanding to a two-day event following February's one-day trial show, MCM returns to the Midlands with the best-priced entertainment show running in the UK. Amber Benson (Tara, of Buffy The Vampire Slayer) is confirmed as a guest already, with more to be announced. It's worth remembering that the venue has NO cash machines, so make sure you're flush with money upon arrival or it's a trek into the city for you.
 
Golden Demon – 23 September, NEC, Birmingham
 
Technically, it's Games Day, the yearly sabbatical for fans of Games Workshop's desktop roleplaying games and SF/fantasy universes - Golden Demon is the painting and modelling competition run there, a display of amazing miniature painting and skill. The main event offers players new and experienced a chance to compete and learn the games, in addition to acquiring exclusive models.
 
October:
 
Birmingham International Comics Show – 13-14 October, Thinktank, Birmingham
 
Now with added pre-show party! Invites are strictly limited to comics professionals and pre-registered attendees, so get your bookings in soon. The guest list continues to expand as the days go by, with well over 60 creators already confirmed as showing up. Events include panels and interviews with guests, portfolio reviews for artists and pitching sessions for writers. Usual convention fare including dealers room will run throughout. Check the site for more info, as some events need to be registered for in advance due to limited spaces.
 
London MCM Expo – 20-21 October, ExCeL, London
 
The next of the successful and popular 'main' MCM expos returns to the Exhibition Centre London with more of the guests, activities and stores people have enjoyed so much in the past. Economical to attend and with more to do than at many other shows of its kind, London Expo is a highly recommended day out. Guests will begin to be announced following the Midlands Expo.
 
November:
 
Memorabilia – 24-25 November, NEC, Birmingham
 
One of the longest running shows in the UK, but unfortunately one of the most expensive. Recent years have seen the star guest lists dwindle to a repetitive few while entry tickets skyrocket in price. The last few shows have attempted to diversify into music and wrestling, alongside the long-running sports memorabilia sideline but such attempts may end up diluting what people go there for, rather than enhancing the experience.
 
New UK DVD Picks for 27/08/2007
 
.hack//Roots – Volume 2 Collector's Edition
 
Another excellent showing from Beez that doesn't merely replicate the American release. The second volume of the newest entry in the .hack world comes with an art box for the second half of the series, a soundtrack CD and a cell phone strap.
 
Sunshine
 
Director Danny Boyle's gripping sci-fi action movie hits DVD, packing with it a bonus short film, production diary shorts, director commentary, deleted scenes and perhaps most interestingly, an alternate ending. Only given a limited release in the US, the film tells of a small crew's mission to reignite our sun – a mission dangerous enough in itself even before things start going wrong. Accidents, murder and sabotage abound, and the crew are 149m kilometres from help…
 
The Zombie Diaries
 
Blair Witch meets Night of the Living Dead in this handycam anthology movie of an undead apocalypse. A group of documentary makers, a married couple and a group of disparate survivors are the focus amidst a zombie plague bringing the end of humanity. Bonus features are to be confirmed but it's promised to be a two-disc special edition.
 
That’s it for this week. Thoughts? Comments? Hatemail? Contact me at mattkamen@gmail.com