AICN COMICS Q&@: Russ Sheath talks to the organizers of this weekend’s London Super Comic Convention!
@’s by London Super Comic Convention!!!
Industry legends such as Neil Adams and J. Scott Campbell join fan favorites Simone Bianchi, Gabriele Dell Otto as well as convention favorites such as Ian Churchill and Simon Furman to name but a few. Add to the list industry giants such as Matt Hawkins and Ron Marz from Top Cow and its easy to see that the show is shaping up to be the UK convention to attend in 2013. Russ Sheath spoke to convention organiser 'George' about what fans can expect at the show.
RUSS SHEATH (RS): This is your second London Super Convention - what were your aims for this year following last years show?
GEORGE: Last year's show demonstrated to us that the UK and Europe had a comic following that would come out in numbers for a strong creator list and to sample the broad comic spectrum from mainstream publishers to small press to back issues. We decided, therefore, that rather than focus on one headline guest we would focus on offering attendees as wide a choice as possible.
We believe we have done this by having approx 70 mainstream creators, an additional 75 creators from mainstream to small press in Artist Alley, Publishers including Top Cow, Zenescope and Arcana attending and over 250 tables of merchandise from back issues to toys.
RS: Convention in the UK, especially in the last 2-3 years have taken off, how is Super Convention different to the other UK shows?
GEORGE: The size and scale of our show (100,000 sqft) allows us to offer attendees a broader comic experience than any other UK convention. We have the strongest creator list in terms of quality and quantity ever put together in thr UK. Attending the show are a plethora of US, European and British creators, whose experience has had an impact on the comic market from the 1960s to today. I don't think there is another UK convention where an attendee could, for example, get sketches from Neal Adams, Mahmud Asrar, Lee Bermejo, David Finch, Bob Layton, Kevin Maguire, George Perez, Bill Sienkiewiz and Tim Seeley. The breadth and diversity of back issues available to attendees at our convention is stronger than at other UK conventions, as we have attracted the US's leading players in that field. Amongst those attending are Metropolis Comics, Midtown Comics, High Grade Comics, Harley Yee, Terry's Comics, Gary Dolgoff Comics and Heritage and for comic supplies, Hotflips. When you include the strong UK comic dealer presence there will be a selection of comics not available anywhere else.
RS: Last year you had the legendary Stan Lee as guest of honour - who do you have as guests this year?
George: Too many to list then all (please check our website) but as a sample:
Neal Adams, J Scott Campbell, Mahmud Asrar, Jeremy Bastian, Brian Bolland, Mark Buckingham, Carlos Ezquerra, David Finch, Kieron Gillen, David Hine, Mariah Huehner, Klaus Janson, Bob Layton, David Lloys, David Mack, Kevin Maguire, George Perez, Tim Seeley, Dan Slott, Roy Thomas, Hernb Trimpe, John Wagner
RS: It's impossible not to be impressed at the comics talent you have attending Super-Con. Was it your intent from the outset to make this a comics orientated show? As opposed to movies, TV and the like.
GEORGE: We decided on day one that this would be a comics focused convention. While the other elements of some US conventions add variety to the show we decided that we wanted to build a strong foundation for our show based on the fundamentals - great creators and publishers and a fantastic selection of comics and comic-related merchandise.
RS: How do you choose who you approach to attend?
GEORGE: We look for a strong blend of creators (both writers and artists) across the 60's to modern day comics. One of our key aims is to offer our attendees the opportunity to meet creators that haven't been to a UK convention before. We take on board suggestions from the UK comic community and particularly our Facebook friends. Our conversations with creators is very much an ongoing process and it does give us the excuse to go to as many US conventions as possible.
RS: There are quite a few first time attendees this year. Top Cow's Matt Hawkins and J. Scott Campbell to name but two. What is it that US names like Matt and Jeff bring to a show such as Super-Con?
GEORGE: The talent at the show provides attendees with the opportunity to talk to and listen to the most experienced members of the comic industry. Matt will be doing portfolio reviews where his insight may help attendees improve their chances of working for a major publisher. Meeting creators such as J. Scott and the rest gives attendees the opportunity to see their work close hand.
RS: I take it Cosplay is a large part of the Super-Con experience?
GEORGE: Cosplay provides colour and atmosphere to a convention and as such we have always encouraged it. I've always been impressed by the work and attention to detail that cosplayers put into the costumes. It is way beyond anything I could attempt.
RS: So, other than the opportunity to meet comics talent what else does Super-Con have to offer?
GEORGE: In addition to the creator talent attendees will be able to:
- attend panels
- have their portfolios reviewed by mainstream publishers
- buy comics from the widest selection of comics available (from moderns to silver age key issues)
- buy many other comic-related paraphanelia
- meet many similar comic loving attendees and enjoy conversing with them about comics.
RS: Any hints or tips for the convention attendee?
GEORGE: Buy your ticket earlier rather than later to ensure availability and tickets purchased on the website are cheaper than buying on the door. If interested in sketches from the most popular artists then an Early Entrance Weekend pass will improve your chance of getting on their sketch lists. Get to the convention early as tickets are processed on a first come basis.
RS: The show runs 23 - 24th of February at the ExCel Centre in London. Can attendees still buy tickets?
GEORGE: Tickets can still be bought from the website.
RS: Are tickets available on the door?
GEORGE: There will be tickets available on the door, although these are more expensive than purchasing in advance on our web site.
RS: Thanks to George for taking the time to tell us about the event. If you see me at the show do come over and say 'Hi'.
You can follow Russ Sheath's blog Russwords here and @russellsheath on Twitter here.
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G
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