So the Kapow! Comic Convention, London (UK) is over for another 12 months, sad times. But hopefully the excitement of the past couple of days will be enough to carry us through until next year. If not, then here a few of the highlights of this year’s convention to keep you going. According to Mark Millar the two girls, Lucy and Sarah I believe, responsible for the organization of this massive event started the whole thing from the basement of his house, making the whole convention twice as impressive. But as with all events like this it’s impossible to get around to everything, but I gave it a damn good go.
First off I am always completely astounded at how nice people are these events. All of the major creators and stars wandering around the stalls and enjoying the sights, more than willing to say hello and sign a book or two. It’s an amazing experience and if you have never been to a convention I strongly recommend you try one out.
So, in no particular order, let’s get to some of the best bits:-
DC All Access
This was a very interesting panel to kick off the weekend and I must say I have never seen a panel of creators look so nervous to be faced with a hall full of their fans. The panel was a chance for DC creators and editors to tell us of upcoming projects in 2012. Dan Didio, Will Dennis and Bob Wayne headed up the panel and were joined by Scott Snyder, Peter Milligan and Mike Carey. And the reason for the collective nerves? Before Watchmen.
This panel mainly consisted of their plans for this eagerly anticipated series and it’s no wonder they were so nervous. Watchmen is such a loved and respected book by both creators and fans alike and some see this new project as sacrilege. In Before Watchmen each of the main characters is given their own four or six issue comic book series, each by a different writer and artist combo, with the characters dipping in and out of each other’s series. There was a sneak preview of some pages from the first issues of each of these comic books and they all look very exciting. Each writer and artist on the individual series were told to bring their own style and creativity to these new works so do not expect carbon copies of the original Watchmen series.
That, along with Vertigo news makes for a very exciting next twelve months in the DC universe. This is without even touching on the new 52 which had its own dedicated panel on the Sunday of the show.
Marvel sent some equally heavy hitters to Kapow! this year. With big names including Joe Quesada, C.B. Cebulski, Kieron Gillen, Oliver Coipel, Sarah Pichelli and Adi Granov all getting in on the two main Marvel panels.
First off was “Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way,” which is basically a forum full all of the above megastars to tell us how they first got into comics in order to help would-be artists and writers do the same. I find the problem with all of these ‘Breaking into’ panels is that you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t with every creator, editor, artist etc. looking for different things. It is good to hear these stories and get the advice from such, but it is easy to get information overload the more people you hear from.
The second of the major Marvel panels was superbly named “Cup O’ Joe,” giving Marvel fans the opportunity to ask chief creative officer Joe Quesada anything they want to about forth coming projects. Obviously most upcoming projects are still tightly under wraps so the information tends to be rather limited, as with everything else at the convention, and the main conversation tended to be aimed along the lines of Marvel movies and who owned the rights to what. Some fans were obviously trying to create their ideal superhero movie and wondering why Spiderman and Wolverine were left out of The Avengers!!!
Bryan Hitch and Jonathan Ross
Image comics brought together the duo of Jonathan Ross (UK TV presenter, comic book writer) and Bryan Hitch (legend) along to talk about their new project America’s Got Powers, now on issue two. This book starts off with a strange glowing light explosion which causes a large number of women to give birth. The subsequent offspring have a myriad of powers and are pitted against one another in aggressive competitions, sort of like a super Olympics. It will be very interesting to see where these books go as, from what I got from the panel, I don’t think even Jonathan or Brian know themselves! This series is well worth a read though.
Millarworld brought along Superstar creators Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons and Frank Quitely to talk about ongoing projects and reveal some exclusive artwork from the latest Secret Service book and the upcoming Jupiter’s Children. They were also joined by Nacho Vigalondo (Director) to talk about the Super Crooks movie.
Dave Gibbons (Watchmen)
Movies at Kapow!
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Those of you who are regulars to WotN could not have missed the recent book club addition to the site, and this month’s reading selection is none other than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Visitors to Kapow! this year were treated to a sneak preview of the forthcoming movie adaptation of said book. The film looks amazing. (Having not read the book, I have no basis for comparison.) After our hero’s mother is killed, Abraham goes out looking for revenge only to find his mother’s killer was a vampire. A friendly neighbourhood know-it-all takes Abe under his wing and teaches him the truth.
The Abraham Lincoln panel consisted of the red band trailer for the movie as well as a few minutes extra footage of what looks to be a very exciting and entertaining film. The footage was also presented by Rufus Sewell who plays the main bad guy in the movie.
We were also lucky enough to see an extended advert for the new adaptation of Total Recall. Thankfully the more I see of this movie the less it looks than the original. I have not yet once heard mention of Mars or mutants, although I cannot say for sure whether they appear or not. The main premise of the movie seems to be the same: secret agent, memory erased, goes to recall for virtual holiday, gets some memories back, kicks some ass, gets all memories back, wins.
Although unfinished the extended trailer looked very impressive.The chase and fight scenes look very fast paced and thrilling. This new vision of a futuristic earth looks just as miserable as I expect it to be.
The Amazing Spiderman
Yet more footage from the next Spidey movie, but this time in 3D. I have to admit the 3D used in the trailer looks better than any other I’ve ever seen! The wide shots of Spiderman swinging through New York looked absolutely incredible. I am very much looking forward to this movie and have officially reached the point where I don’t want to see anything else to avoid spoiling the enjoyment! Having said that, from what was presented at Kapow!, it looks like the 3D version of this movie is a must and will not disappoint.
There was a special advanced showing of one of the summer’s upcoming blockbusters to finish the weekend. I did not stay to see said film and did not know what it was until Monday evening. Apparently it was Iron Sky, the long awaited action flick from Timo Vuorensola, that see’s Nazi’s from the moon invade earth. Yep.
Joe Quesada, Randon Guy, Mark Millar
As I was fortunate enough to have a VIP ticket for this event I was also invited to an hour of lunchtime drinks with a large number of the comic book creators. This is a great opportunity to say hello and shake hands with some massive comic book heroes with all of the major stars of the event showing up for a time. I am sorry to say I did miss the pitch opportunity of a lifetime with Don Didio and Joe Quesada stood at the bar – good thing they didn’t have to split the bill, frosty!
More famous guests
Amongst all of the comic and movie madness, congoers were treated to a few other different and special panels. First off there was the movie directors panel consisting of Gareth Edwards, director of Monsters and the upcoming Godzilla movie, Nacho Vigalondo, director of Timecrimes and the upcoming mill will comic book adaptation of Super Crooks, and a surprise visit from Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow who is in town to start said movie and revealed they were in talks with Chloe Moretz two reprise her role as Hit Girl.
Noel Clarke dropped by to talk about his new movie Storage 24, and Star Wars producer Rick McCallum put in an appearance with David Oyelowo to talk about their newest project, Red Tails, the story of the first black fighter squadron in WWII.
There was an audience with Nick Frost, one half of comedy duo (Simon) Pegg and Frost, in which he came across amazingly well. Nick spoke about his early career and some current projects and came across as very friendly and funny. He apologized for swearing in front of youngsters and even paused to give one lucky audience member a hug and sign a girls t-shirt, all the while dealing with the fact that West Ham (Nick’s favourite football team) were in the playoff final against Blackpool, thankfully winning 2-1.
Jimmy Carr Interviewed Frankie Boyle (both UK stand up comedians) as part of the Clint magazine line-up. The pair chatted about their views on comic books and the world in general, giving an insight into these two comic geniuses that don’t give a flying f@#k about what they say or when they say it. This was one of the most entertaining panels I have ever seen and a great way to finish the weekend.
Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle
I’m sure there are literally hundreds of things I am forgetting to mention so feel free to add as many as you can think of in the comments or Tweet me, @TheJizzo, telling me what a jerk I am for missing your favourite part of the weekend.
It cost me 48 quid two park my car for the weekend and, once parked, I was scared to move my car for fear of having to pay the infamous London Congestion charge repeatedly! Also, every other driver in the centre of London seemed to be out to kill me, nice. And finally, no one gave me a job off the back of my portfolio. None of which are the fault of the Kapow! Comic convention, apart from maybe the last one, and I still managed to get home safe. All in all an amazing weekend and I’m very much looking forward to purchasing my VIP tickets for next year.