James R: At last year's Melksham Comic Con, founder of the convention Haley Spencer spoke to Matt C and myself and said that 2016 might see the con taking a break, Glastonbury-stylee. If she had decided to recharge the batteries it would have been totally understandable - as the driving force behind the convention with her army of Brians she has established MCC as one of the best cons in the UK, and that's no easy task. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when the news broke that not only would MCC be returning in 2016, it would be arguably bigger than ever.
Over the past few years we've written a lot about what makes Melksham special, and all of those factors will be in place - the location, the aforementioned Brians, and the hugely friendly and inclusive atmosphere that represents the best elements of fandom and convention-going. I'm personally looking forward to tasting the convention's first ever dedicated beer - Brew's Wayne, no less! And I'm really excited to team up with Matt and Big Punch Studios to provide the after-party entertainment on Saturday night. I know the highlight of the weekend for me will be what it has been for the last two years - when we inflict another round of Comics In Just A Minute. That said, there's a slew of great panels on this weekend, and if I can tear myself away from the stalls and creators booths, then that's definitely where I'll be.
Matt C: Melksham Comic Con reaches it's fifth birthday this weekend. This will be the PCG's fourth appearance at the event and we do feel a definite kinship with the Brians who've allowed us to not only embarrass ourselves with our Comics In Just A Minute panel but also ushered us behind the decks last year to entertain the exhausted mix of Brians, fans and creative types with some premier grade tunage alongside our pals from Big Punch Studios. We must have done something right as they've asked us to do it again this Saturday night (and this time the general public will be welcomed in to see us do our thing)! So yes, we love that a little bit of attention comes our way but it doesn't overshadow the absolute blast we have checking out the stalls, attending the panels, chatting to all manner of folks about our most cherished hobby, and generally enjoying ourselves.
I've been to a few conventions now (I'm getting on a bit!) and I can safely say I've never attended one as friendly and inclusive as MCC. It's an absolute pleasure to be involved in it, but more than that, it's an absolute pleasure just to be there and soak up all the positive vibes that fill the Melksham Assembly Hall and beyond. It's easy to get jaded with comics and fandom these days with all the negativity that often lingers far too close to the surface, but then you go to Melksham Comic Con, where none of that negativity is in evidence, and it provides you with a huge reminder why you love this medium/hobby so much. If you're within a hundred mile radius (or more?) then you owe it to yourself to make the trip and experience those positive vibes for yourself.