Nearly a month into the new year, Stewart R decides it’s high time to take a look at the first of hopefully a handful of comic conventions that will be attended by the Paradox Comics Group in 2013.
Stewart R: Last year's inaugural London Super Comic Convention was a real highlight of the industry calendar, coming in as the new kid on the UK convention block and instantly bringing with it a big, bold, competent and entertaining experience to push other more established events a little into the shadows. The creators showed up, the exhibitors and retailers showed up, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee showed up and the fans, well they turned up in force. The sight of that Saturday morning queue on a sunny February day in the London Docklands will stay with me for quite some time. Something tells me that a repeat viewing of such a sight may well be on the cards again this year come the weekend of 23rd February!
We are now just a month away from LSCC 2013 and at this time, four weeks from today, I suspect I’ll be elbow deep in a long box, or taking pictures of the various dedicated cosplayers, or if I’m lucky talking shop with some of the great talent who are due to spend the weekend meeting fans and selling their various wares. Setting your stall out with a visit from a legend as huge as Stan Lee is obviously a feat that you will rarely ever get to repeat or equal and so chalking that up to a ‘special treat’ for last year it’s actually reassuring to see that there’s another strong showing from the big writers and artists of the comic book world this time out. Eisner Comic Book Hall-of-Famer, Neal Adams is a big enough legend in his own right to receive top-billing at the ExCel and is sure to draw the longtime fans of DC and Marvel to the show, such has been his influence over a career spanning some 50 years. Danger Girl creator and variant coverist extraordinaire J Scott Campbell is also quite the coup for the show and I’m expecting the queue for his table to be long and snaking for much of the weekend.
|Good crowd last year = Good crowd this?|
The organisers have certainly done a fine job of securing the presence of Amazing/Superior Spider-Man scribe supreme, Dan Slott, at this year's event and with all of the recent buzz and controversy over his transitional plot from one premier Spider-Man title to another I have my fingers crossed that a panel specifically geared for him might be in the offing. With no official presence from the ‘Big Two’ publishers this year - Marvel and DC still don’t seem too keen on packing up the circus and driving into town this side of the pond that often - it’s good to see that we’ll at least have some of their regular talent turning up. The recognisable face of former Uncanny X-Men and current Iron Man and Young Avengers writer, Kieron Gillen, is set to be there, as is his artistic accomplice on Young Avengers, Jamie Mckelvie. I’m also excited to see artists Esad Ribic (Thor: God of Thunder), Matteo Scalera (Secret Avengers) and David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight) make the trip over and might possibly get a commissions sketch book started this year if the timing is right.
While the big publishers haven’t been lured in quite yet - fingers crossed for the next 365 days that they pay attention to the numbers passing through the gates this year and take the punt in 2014 - it’s a very welcome sight indeed to see that Top Cow will be jumping on the plane and staying for the weekend. President and COO Matt Hawkins has been making a big push with Top Cow’s properties over the past year and Think Tank and Cyberforce have found their way onto my pull list with relative ease. I got a chance to have a quick word with Matt in New York last year and he’s an incredibly friendly fellow who truly believes in his product and the company so I’d recommend that you make sure to stop by the Top Cow stand!
Ahh yes, the stands. Where would a comic convention be without a healthy proportion of the floor space being dedicated to our hobby, our passion and expanding our collections? Last year’s horde of retailers was an impressive sight to behold, especially when it came to the number who had travelled over from the US. It looks like the trend of retailers travelling long distance will continue this year as Midtown Comics and High Grade Comics have both announced that they’ll be at LSCC alongside a myriad of top UK exhibitors and longbox specialists only too eager to meet the demand for illustrated goodness from the past 60 years.
With all of these things in place and details of the specific panels and any other special events for the weekend still yet to be confirmed it’s safe to say that LSCC is looking to be an exciting prospect once again. The PCG only made it up for the one day last year and so impressed were we that we’ve elected to make a proper weekend of the trip this time around and truly soak up as much of the convention experience as we can. With Mark Millar’s Kapow being on hiatus currently it seems as if 2013 could be the year for LSCC to really leap into the spotlight for UK comic book conventions and at time of publishing there are still tickets available, so what are you waiting for?