Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nine random thoughts about Kapow!

1. I had a great time at Kapow! on Saturday, only undermined by the fact I was utterly, utterly knackered. I'd just done three late shifts in a row at the day job (night job?) and badly needed to catch up on sleep. It would have been nice to stick around in north London for a drink or two after the con, but I was ready to drop by 4pm.

2. The Business & Design Centre in Islington is a terrific venue - probably the best I've come across for a comics-related event in the UK. It's big, well-lit, easy to find and just looks great inside and out. The rooms in which Kapow! held its panels were similarly impressive, and the fact there were lots of places to buy food on the premises - good food, not just sandwiches - made it pretty much perfect. The only criticism was the lack of air conditioning - I was sweating like an Amazon explorer by noon.

3. Actually, the lack of air conditioning isn't my only criticism. The ticketing arrangements for some of the bigger panels were a bit chaotic and venue - not convention - staff sent us to entirely the wrong place to queue for the Warren Ellis panel. No big deal, though, really.

4. Alas, I didn't take the Petal pitch document with me to show to publishers. There were a couple of art corrections that needed doing and I wanted to work a little more on the content of the pitch itself. Petal will be ready soon, though, very soon...

5. I spent a daft amount of money on comics and graphic novels, including The Slaughterman's Creed and White Knuckle (from Markosia); The Red Wing and The Strange Talent of Luther Strode (Image); Kronos City (Time Bomb Comics); Abasalom: Ghosts of London (Rebellion); Guts, Madam Samurai and Slumdroid (Scar Comics), and Westernoir (Accent UK). I may even review the ones I most enjoyed here over the coming weeks...

6. It was lovely to see my old friend and collaborator Declan Shalvey in such high demand for sketches and autographs from fans of his work on Thunderbolts, Northlanders and 28 Days Later. He also told me he's going to be drawing one of my favourite current books later in the year which is great news.

7. In the end, I only managed to catch a couple of panels. Warren Ellis's Q&A was great fun with a wide variety of questions from the floor about his work. I'm not a great fan of Ellis's online persona but mercifully there was no mention here of whisky, technology or obscure bands from Iceland. Best question of the session came right at the end from the guy who asked: "When your daughter goes off to college, who is going to look after her horse?" Brilliant.

8. Also enjoyed the Storage 24 panel with the film's writer/lead Noel Clarke and director Johannes Roberts. Basically, it's Alien, set not aboard a spaceship but in a London lock-up. The clips and trailer they showed made it all look like rollicking good fun and the only surprise was that they decided to completely give away the look of the alien. Talk about spoilers...

9. Just when I thought the number of comics conventions and related events held in this country had surely peaked, a leaflet I picked up at Kapow! brought news of yet another one. The Northants International Comics Expo (aka NICE) is taking place in Kettering, Northants over the weekend of September 22-23 and boasts Alan Moore as its guest of honour. I wonder how long it's been since Moore fetched up at a UK con? Probably not since that famous UKCAC in the '80s when he turned up wearing a gleaming white suit and complained about someone asking him for an autograph while he was trying to have a pee!

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