There may be a lightweight offering of reviews this weekend as the Paradox Comics Group are heading to the Big Smoke to assemble for the inaugural London Super Comic Convention. Below, Stewart R and Matt C offer some thoughts on what to expect:
Stewart R: This year is speeding on at a relentless pace and so we find ourselves on the verge of the new comic convention in town opening its doors to the willing public. This will be only my second new convention experience after the Bristol Comic Expo and the prospect of the early morning coach trip – in the company of the mighty Paradox Comics Group – up to the capital for the London Super Comic Convention is a mouthwatering one. The ExCel Centre looks to be a huge venue capable of holding many a comic box, commission-drawing artist and costumed fan, and I'm looking forward to doing the whirlwind tour amongst them all.
Matt C: I went to the ExCel back in 2007 for the Star Wars Celebration Europe and it certainly is a big place, so hopefully it’ll be rammed with fantastic merchandise, top creators and back issues galore. I’ve been a regular attendee of the Bristol Expo for the past decade but as that has started to diminish over the last few years there have been several new players arriving on the scene, but it’s taken the appearance of the London Super Comic Convention to convince me I need to expand my convention horizons. Beyond the fact that it’s only a couple of hours away what really swung it was the rather impressive guest list the organisers have rustled up. To be fair, some guys I would have liked to have seen (Rick Remender, Steve Epting) have dropped out, but considering a lot of UK conventions only manage to draw a handful of creators over from the States, the number that are showing up this weekend suggests the people behind the LSCC have a fair bit of clout. That’s highlighted by what’s undoubtedly their greatest coup: the attendance of Stan ‘The Man’ Lee!
Stewart R: The presence of Stan Lee at the show really does instantly elevate the LSCC into the premier league of British, nay, International comic conventions and the organisers have done the sensible thing of focusing much of their marketing push towards the attendance of the Marvel legend to raise the profile of the event. The first UK attendance for the revered writer in 40 years really is something special and it’s given the prelude to the show a really exciting boost. Some may baulk at the commercialised aspect of the priced VIP ‘Tier’ system that has been employed to allow those fans with the desire and the relative green to see the man himself the ability to do so, but it does make perfect sense and should allow the visit of one of the industry’s true greats to proceed with sufficient fanfare without everything being about the queuing in order to see him - if you don’t have the additional ticket you can just carry on and immerse yourself in the rest of the awesomeness knowing that your chance of bumping into the living legend is pretty minimal. There’s no way that’ll ruin your day with everything else that’s going on.
Matt C: As is always the way with these things, it’s worth having a budget and a general idea of what you’re after, merchandise and back issue wise. If it is back issues you’re looking for, believe me when I say it’s definitely worth bringing some sort of list with you. I can’t count the occasions I’ve returned home to find I’ve picked up copies of comics I already have. It helps save a few pennies! If it’s signatures you’re after, there’s a wide selection of creators, from old timers to current favourites, so I guess you can say there’s something (someone?) for everyone. Personally I’m not usually one to queue up for signatures, but I notice David Petersen is making an appearance, and I wouldn’t say no to his scrawl across my copy of the debut issue of Mouse Guard! Other than that, I’m going to play things by ear and see what’s on offer, hopefully avoiding parting with too much cash, and just having a grand old time with the Paradox crew submerging myself in my favourite hobby!
Stewart R: I for one love the fact that the organisers have managed to lure Stan the Man over the pond, but there are plenty of other creators I’m looking forward to seeing, maybe to get a signing from and a shake of the hand. Transformers UK royalty Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman are top of the list and I’ll certainly be dusting off an issue or two of one of my all-time favourite series for the trip up to London on the off-chance that they might grace a cover with their signatures. I’ll also be looking forward to seeing their involvement with IDW this weekend and it’s good to see at least one of the top publishers has seen fit to send a decent contingent over to sell their wares to the comic loving public. As for back-issues, I’ve a few gaps here and there that I know need attention - I’ve patchy collections of Scalped, Green Lantern Corps and Silver Surfer Vol 2 that could do with filling out - but in some ways the fact that I’ll be limited in terms of volume I can carry should free to just enjoy the atmosphere and soak in the day!