Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Kapow! Comic Con - Part Two

Kapow was held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, North London which happens to be Matt's childhood neighbourhood! It was a fine venue when you consider Warner Bros UK are based nearby and many of the vendors and sponsors like Cyber Candy and Forbidden Planet are a stone's throw (or a few tube stops) away. Still, we Cheeseminters couldn't help but wonder why on Earth it didn't have a bigger venue. The BDC is great and all but with a 5000 capacity it was pushing it.

Our journey begins...

All but the elusive mint met outside the Chapman's residence at...6am! (We then picked up Charlie on the way)

Despite it being so early, the sky looked mighty pretty.
I was so tired I'd passed being tired and coupled with the excitement ahead was now quite hyper. It was evident the rest of the 'mints were's how we passed time in the car...

When we arrived we encountered a huge queue and realised that VIP tickets may have been money well spent after all - damn! Still, it gave us time to scope out the cool cosplayers - of which there were quite a few and very impresive at that! It made me determined to go in costume next year. And yes, I will pay out for VIP tickets!

Once inside it was a little overwhelming, I wanted to be everywhere at once. When you enter you're in the IGN arena, it was set up with a small stage and lots of upcoming games to sample...the one that caught my eye was PORTAL 2! Despite my excitement, I decided against playing mainly due to fear of looking bad in front of lots of people but partly because I wanted to go and start queueing for the Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way Panel...however I as slightly disappointed that C.B. Cebulski wasn't in attendance, apparently he was ill *sadface* Still, it was a great panel to begin the day. After the panel I went up to talk to some of the panellists and had a quick chat with Kieron Gillen and Leinil Yu (turns out that Leinil is a funny guy!) I also sheepishly handed out Unlocked postcards, although they all seemed pleased that I was promoting a web series and not asking them to take my business card or give them a job like the rest.

I'm not one for hassling people, especially people I admire and so didn't have my photo taken with anyone or queue up for any of the signings. That's why I took a picture of Mr Millar from a weird stalker.

Another reason I don't like hassling people is because I just enjoy meeting people, one of my favourite parts of the convention was during the Marvel Movies: The Mighty Thor screening which I didn't go to. This was because Georgie and I wanted to go to the Attack the Block Q&A with Joe Cornish and the queueing time of Thor meant it clashed. This left us with a few hours to wander around the stalls and meet all of the vendors. We handed out cards at chatted to lots of people including Doctor Geof, RetroGT, GenkiGear, InsertCoinTees and lots of artists. During this time we also met a fan of the web series, Evonne. She's been a fan of Cheesemint since the beginning and it was lovely to meet her. She just so happened to be helping out with the Guinness World Records stuff in the IGN arena collecting all the comic panels. She let me have a sneak peek of some of the pages, including Frank Quitely's page!

Me and Evonne (look closely and you can see Frank Quitely's panel!)

It was a really great idea too; all day, writers and artists added their own personal touches to the comic book in the form of a panel each. Mark Millar began the story and Leinil Yu designed the cover and around 10 hours in two records had already been set; the “Fastest Production of a Comic Book” and the “Most Contributors to a Comic Book”. I met the artist who completed the final panel later that day, Adrian. He showed me some work and it was pretty awesome. I made the mistake of not asking his last name though so I can't search any of his work out...Oops!

Anyhow, the finished comic book is going to be printed and distributed through Icon, an offshoot of Marvel, it's lovely because all the royalties are going to be donated to the charity, Yorkhill Children’s Foundation. The Comic Book Alliance were also in attendance, if you aren't aware, they are a non-profit organisation run by volunteers. They do charitable work involving comics and dedicate themselves to the promotion of British comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. It turned out they were the reason that a big part of the exhibition floor space was allocated to indie comics and their creators. One in particular, who Georgie and I were chatting to for some time was Geof Banyard - his character Fetishman is hilarious and the humour very much reminded me of Jamie turns out that they are friends! It made me want to have our very own Cheesemint table next year!

During day one of the convention, all of the 'mints were able to go an enjoy lunch outside together and despite my hatred of hot weather, I found it rather pleasant. Plus, it was great to just hang out with the rest of the group. That, and it was a joy to just look around and see people wearing geek culture t-shirts. It was like a calling card and among them we noticed a Browncoat tee! Islington had become a geek-haven for a weekend and it was so great to be around fellow geeks and comic fans.

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