The London Super Comic Convention For February 2012

The London Super Comic Convention For February 2012

The London Super Comic Convention is a new London-based comic book convention set for February 2012, using the same location at the biannual MCM, the ExCel Centre in the East End of London.

The organisers are a mysterious lot, the most I could find out was through the website being registered to a doctor operating in Essex, although that ID has now been masked. I thought that was a good place to start. Through Harry Markos of Markosia Productions, who also seems involved in some nefarious way, I threw some questions into the ether, and got some statements back. Some of them even related to the questions asked, slightly.

1. How does a GP in Essex come to start a major comic book convention?

London Super Comic Convention is being organised by a number of people that have been brought together for the express purpose of providing what the UK has been lacking – a comic convention with not just 2 or 3 American guests, but with a substantial amount of American creators spanning the decades, from 60's through to present day. As such and given the enormity of the task, the collective encompasses individuals from both the UK and US, who have both financial acumen and experience in different fields, with one common denominator – All are comic fans, who want nothing more than to have a UK show that can go toe to toe on a guest list basis with the larger American Shows, and have a show that truly rivals its American counterparts..

Note the actual people running the show are still not mentioned.

2. Choosing the same location as the biannual MCM has caused some consternation I understand. You aren't even allowed to all yourself a Comic Con in public. Are there any other venues you could have chosen? Earl's Court would have been really handy for me…

To provide an American style convention one needs to have the space and facilities to host and grow the show. The Excel centre is London's most viable venue, and although we did look at other sites in London, the Excel centre provides the best facilities for both attendees and exhibitors. In addition, the 5 hotels and numerous restaurants congregated around the Excel centre will hopefully allow attendees to continue the convention experience even after the show has closed for each day.

We have the greatest respect for MCM and as MCM Expo is geared mainly to Manga and Gaming we do not see our comic convention being in competition with them, in so much as we see it complementing them.

We decided to call ourselves a comic convention rather than use the term "comic-con" as San Diego has trademarked the term throughout Europe.  We respect San Diego's trademark and therefore have not used the term "comic-con".

Also of course the ExCel won't allow them to use the word "Comic Con" as the present biannual MCM also use it. Also, the MCM definitely see the London Super Comic Whatever as competing with them.

3. How will your show be different, say, to KaPow?

Our aim is to bring an American style comic convention to the UK in terms of attending guests and centered to a much larger extent around comics. Much like Heroes Con or Emerald City Con who are both also geared primarily towards the focus of comic books, we aim to achieve this with a large blend of American, British and European creators as well as importantly a plethora of American Exhibitors to the show.  Unlike Ka-pow, we will not be having movies or games as a primary or even secondary focus as we believe our unique selling point will be our ability to attract fan recognisable names to a show that they would never otherwise attend, marking the LondonSuperComicConvention a must place to go for American creators and fans alike.

Whatever criticism there was of KaPow, you couldn't really criticise it for not being based around comics, or not having American creators.

4. A show can live or die by the quality of the guests it brings in, especially people who fans may not have seen or met before. Can you drop any names this early out?

We agree entirely, which is why we have put together a guest list that we believe encompasses a wide range of creators from the Silver Age of comics to present. Unlike some of the UK's other shows, we are not constrained by the financial elements that have restricted the UK conventions up until this point, and I'm certain that with the monthly roll out of attending creators on our web site, the fans will see how much thought and effort has gone into bringing a diverse and populous list of American creators to the UK.

The initial headlining wave of 9 creators is being announced imminently on our web site with names from fan favourite George Perez to artist extraordinaire Bernie Wrightson. Every month leading up to our February 2012 show, we will announce additional creators, with the UK creator list likely to be updated next month, followed by another 9 American creators the following month and so forth.Additionally we will be announcing our oversees Exhibitors next month and people should look forward to seeing some recognisable and surprise names therein.

Rob Guillory, Bernie Wrightson, Howard Chaykin, Rick Remender, David Petersen, Tony Moore, Bob Layton, Phil Jimenez… and George Perez, then.

5. I understand that this won't be a show for TV and movie stars, nor wrestlers, reality show stars or disgraced politicians. But what if a comic book creator is one of those things anyway?

The one area of the US convention experience that has always seemed out of place to us has been the attendance of celebrities that are not linked to the comic business. As such if there are any wrestlers or disgraced politicians with their own comic books they are welcome to exhibit, but otherwise we are keeping the event to its roots of comic books and comic book creators and publishers.

However this is generally not the experience of British comic book conventions…

6. Do you expect to have any presence from the DC and Marvel publishers?

Whilst we would love to have DC, Marvel or any of the other major US publishers exhibit, the cost implications for them to do so are substantial. We are in talks with most of the publishers, to see what can be done about this, and will be making an announcement in the coming months with another first for a UK convention.

7. What will we get from your show that we can't get from MCM, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds or Kapow?

MCM, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and Kapow are great shows, but what will differentiate us is primarily the guest list, and the pure square footage being given over to comics (roughly 4 times that of Ka-Pow). As an event in the premier venue in one of the largest cities in the world, it provides a great staging ground for a convention focused on the hobby that we love, run by fans for other fans. Providing  a chance for people to meet some of the biggest creators in the hobby from several era's and to actually experience a true American convention guest list in the a city that can attract fans from Europe and beyond, is something that we all have dreamed of.

With the Excel centre as our venue, we have the capabilities to hold a comic convention on a scale that has not been put on in the UK before. London's transport system, accommodation and facilities allow comic fans throughout UK and Europe to congregate at a show that will provide attendees with the opportunities to:·

Meet the legends in the comic book industry at a show that is not constrained by space issues.

Purchase the broadest range of comics (Golden Age to Modern to modern day trades) from a wider range of exhibitors than ever before, from Europe to America and the UK.
See and participate in panels that are relevant to the present and history of comics.
Have Publishers present from America and Europe that would never attend otherwise.
And of course the one big advantage about using the London ExCel Centre, is that thanks to the MCM, we all know how to get there. Even when the Docklands Light Railway is down…

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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