London Super Comic Con was held at the Excel Centre in the Docklands again this year and is fast becoming one of my favourite comic events. I popped in for Day One of the weekend and had a absolute blast. The event was jam packed on both days with comic creators from across the globe, cosplayers, celebrities (including Jonathan Ross and 2000AD fan Johnny Vegas) and social media has already been awash with photographs and ‘snapshots’ of encounters like the one below (that’s the famous comic artist Mike Collins on the right).
— Johnny Vegas (@JohnnyVegasReal) March 14, 2015
It’s a real mix of the mainstream and the small press, all mingling together. Spread out through one of the huge halls it never felt over packed and I couldn’t speak more highly of the organsiers and helpers. All the big named guests gave more than generously with their time.
I got a chance to stop by and chat to some DownTheTubes favourites and some new faces. The event is massive and we can’t name check everyone, but here’s my selection…
Dean Beattie (pictured here with his always hilarious wife Victoria) is the creator of the excellent Randon Trials series. Self published by Dean he is well into drawing his third issue of experimental super powers, chav bashing heroes and creepy goings on. He tells me that he is tackling his first ever double page spread in Issue Three and he teased with some very cool story details. We reviewed the second issue last November here and I personally cannot wait to see what he comes up with next.
It was also great to meet Sarah Millman who I got to write a piece on her and her new project, Heart of Time, just a few short days ago. This is a web series that she’s collecting into a trade with some really interesting extra material. Currently running on Kickstarter, I urge you to pop over and pledge your support.
Artist Dave Stokes (he wouldn’t let me take a photo of him as he is an old pal of mine and too suspicious of my often creepy motives) has been a well kept secret of the comics industry for years. A really talented artist, he has been plugging away at projects of his own for years and is finally breaking into the big time, working with Mike Norton on one of Marvel’s upcoming Secret Wars titles. He hinted to me at some upcoming X-Men related action he is working on and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with. Dave has a brilliant eye for anatomy and character and should be on everyones watch list (not like that).
It was great to meet artist Racheal Stott, her recent work on the Boom/IDW project Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Prime Directive has been blowing mine and everyone’s socks of over the last couple of months. Straight out of the gate Racheal is really showing she has the chops for some Marvel or DC books in my humble opinion. This was her first convention as an exhibitor and she seemed to be really taking it in her stride.
I bumped into the always hilarious (and a little bit laconic) Redshift Press guys. After the triumph of their horror anthology title Dark Matter (reviewed here) that launched at Thoughtbubble Comic Festival last November it was great to hear that the second volume is well under way and they have a few other projects well on their way to completion. Grab yourself a copy of Dark Matter while you can.
Dave Wachter is the creator of The Guns of Shadow Valley series and the artist on IDW’s Godzilla and Dark Horse’s Breath of Bones (along with a whole lot more). I first got to know about his work through the podcast, 11 o’clock Comics. This was his first time visiting the UK and he was fresh for a chat after his first go at Fish and Chips in London’s hipster East End. He has an exquisite line and really epic scope for his work. I grabbed a hardback and a sketch straightaway for just £10 !
I had a really great time chatting to the guys from DieGo Publishing. Publisher Giuseppe Pennestri explained how busy they are as a newish company. They have both new and translated titles on their way and released that look exceptional. I bagged copies of the murderous mystical mystery series Desdemona from them and the mythical love story Adam 2.0.
DieGo are based in London but are using their links to Italy and elsewhere in Europe to bring us some incredible work not seen here before – really magnificent stuff.
I got to have a great chat with Matt Rooke from the ever busy Apes ‘n’ Capes group. Matt was also the artist on the horror/toy anthology Torsobear, which we had a look at last year.
The Apes series is now up to Issue Four and is “a tale of primates – naked and hairy – set in an alternate universe where our evolutionary ancestors are intelligent, underestimated beings on a journey to becoming so much more. But as with other stories there are certain humans out there who have other plans….”
This series has some really interesting and fresh ideas and is well worth a look.
I finally got to meet American artist J. K. Woodward, the artist on books such as Fallen Angel, Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation and X-Men: Origins, who is becoming a regular at this London show. Hugely popular with attendees, he also helped run the charity art auction on the Saturday night for The American Cancer Society along with the people from the podcast Comic Geek Speak, who sadly lost a friend to this illness recently.
JK has a superb realistic style that has worked perfectly in the Star Trek/Doctor Who books and is a great guy to chat to. Pop over and say hello to him on Twitter @JK_Woodward
The guys from Planet Jimbot were on fine form and launching their excellent trade paperback collection of Amongst the Stars (reviewed by us here). They have some big doings on the horizon and always full of ideas.
Amongst the Stars is available now and if you like Old School Science Fiction it’s a must buy.
Dead Universe (the shop and the publishing empire) were out in force this weekend. I got to catch up with Brett Uren the creator and writer of the aforementioned Torsobear, busiest man in comics Jon Scrivens and (out of picture above) Patrick Cline, writer of recently reviewed Toots Malloy: Blues Ninja (reviewed here).
Dead Universe is due to move to newer larger premises in Aylesbury very soon and the guys are all hugely enthusiatic for upcoming projects and events. Keep an eye out on here for updates.
Markosia were out in force again at the LSCC this year with two large tables. I had a great chat with head honcho Harry Markos and he said he has got a bus-load of great new books out this year. It was also great to catch up with Martin Hayes and Chris Askham from Markosia’s brilliant horror graphic novel Abominable Glory (reviewed here). They refused to be drawn on ‘Yeti Blowjobgate’ (as I am now calling it) and joked that it may just be in my mind (I am not so sure?). I really look forward to seeing what both these guys come up with next.
As I mentioned above, London Super Comic Con was a star studded affair this year with Dave Gibbons, John McCrea, Michael Avon Oeming, David Mack, Art Adams, Ian Churchill and many, many more. But the award for best guest must surely go again to this guy pictured above – Bill Sienkiewicz, who signed and chatted non-stop for the whole of Saturday. His sketchbook was full of some astounding work, not least of all a little portrait of some meerkats! A real gent!
And just because a comic report wouldn’t be the same without some CosPlay action here are some tired heroes taking a rest. Thanks for the candid photo guys.
Overall this year, the London Super Comic Con has been my favourite event so far. The team have really got their act together and everything was run smoothly. I didn’t see any pushing or overcrowding and nearly every table was busy throughout the day. In an era where many ‘Comic Conventions’ have very little actual comics this was a real breath of fresh air.
In this humble writer’s opinion, London Super Comic Con is getting the feel of the UKCACs of the 1980s and 1990s. A real sense of community and enthusiasm. Nicely done.
• We’ve assembled a “FlipBoard” of some of the articles and tweets and other social media postings here; these Flipboards are best viewed on tablets and mobile devices. We’ll be adding to this as reports come in and trying to tidy it into some semblance of order as we go!
Many thanks for reading.