Filed under: Events | Tags: AlanGrant, FrankQuitely, Glasgow Comic Con, GrantMorrison, JamesDevlin, JimStarlin, JimStewart, JohnFarman, JohnWagner, ShaNazir
Here at Comics Anonymous we travel round the country throughout the year to get our fix of comic conventions – so it makes a nice change to be able to roll out of bed on a Saturday morning and only spend 20 minutes in the car getting to this weekend’s Glasgow Comic Con. It also means that after a long day of conning, posts like these can be done from the comfort of your own sofa, and not holed up in a hotel room – bliss! Here are Craig and Gary’s views on Day 1.
Now in only its second year of existence since Sha Nazir and John Farman brought back the Glasgow convention, they promised an even bigger event this year with more venues and an extra day. The main venue stayed the same as last year’s with the Mackintosh Church hosting the main proceedings, however the local community hall across the road was used to free up some space and held additional vendors and guests. Although the main church hall does well to hold a large capacity audience for the panels, it’s not the ideal location for a comic convention – space is tight throughout the building, leaving little room for hanging around and as soon as a queue forms for a signing, it’s almost impossible to get past it. Improvements have been made on last year, including a better sound system and more space for the vendor back room, but I feel like a complete change of venue is needed for future years.
There was plenty on offer throughout the day from panels to signings, sketches and browsing the many indie press and vendors stalls. First up we grabbed the Glasgow Boys Panel, hosted by organiser Sha it was gentle way to ease into the day posing questions to local talents Jim Stewart, Frank Quitely, Dave Alexander and James Devlin. Starting with a bit about how each of them got into comics, Quitely commenting on how unaware of the whole Glasgow small press scene he was until he started doing Electric Soup, while Devlin spoke about his involvement in the long running Blackfriars meet up. Discussions moved from the changes in printing options and prices, to personal influences (no surprises for guessing Quitely’s – Dudley Watkins!) and ended up with what each is working on currently. The strangest question of the panel got some interesting answers – ‘What would you be doing if you didn’t work in comics?’ While Devlin was fairly ambitious with his answer of astronaut, Frank Quitely said he would like to have some kind of driving job, since it involved sitting down and listening to the radio.
Like any good music festival, you need to have a good headliner – and Glasgow Comic Con managed to pull one out of the bag in the form of Mr Grant Morrison. Invited up for the final panel alongside his best buddy Frank Quitely, it was by far the highlight of the day and probably the reason most people had come along to the con in the first place. Having seen both talk before separately, it was amusing to see the pair turn into a couple of giggling school boys when in the presence of each other’s company – feeding off of each other in the same way I expect their comic collaborations work. The panel mainly dealt with their history together, starting with Flex Mentallo, with Morrison citing Frank’s work on Electric Soup as what appealed to him to have him involved on the Vertigo title, with that idea of American superheroes being drawn in a Dudley Watkins style. The pair spoke about how since then their collaboration has worked so well, with no ideas being repeated and a fresh thought processing going into each new title. While Grant will give Frank a view of what ideas he’s working on to see if he’s interested in drawing any, he also mentions that there were some books, like WE3 and All Star Superman that he couldn’t see being drawn by anyone else.
Looking ahead at their future collaborations, much was spoken about long awaited Multiversity series that Grant is writing for DC, dealing with the many parallel universes and characters. He’s spoken about the project for many years now, but assured us that we’d see the final product next year ( barring any Mayan apocalypse that might happen before then) promising a complicated title that’s like a mathematical puzzle – “Imagine a murder scene and a murder investigation happening simultaneously across the background, but across three different time periods…”. While Quitely will be providing art for one of the titles in the series, Pax Americana, Morrison briefly spoke about the other titles in the series, including the main Multiversity title which is the framing for the whole series, Society of Superheroes (or S.O.S for short) a pulp version of the DC characters, The Just – set on a world of celebrity youngsters, Thunder World – a Captain Marvel book, and finally Mastermen – which includes a fascist version of the Justice League.
Wrapping up the panel, the last few questions came from the audience, the highlights of which included Morrison confirming he’s working on a “musical piece” with My Chemical Romance front man and Umbrella Academy writer Gerard Way as part of the Las Vegas Morrisoncon later in the year. He also confirmed that the current run on Batman Incorporated is his final piece of his Batman epic and that he may consider doing another novel in the future, possibly fiction this time. Morrison’s best answers of the panel though were his advice to new writers – “KILL YOURSELF!” and what his philosophy in life was – “Don’t eat guys that look like Aquaman if they wash up on the beach” – excellent!
We’ve still got another day of comic fun to go with Glasgow Comic Con, but today certainly brought some highs. Check back soon for our report on day 2.
Craig – @hastiecraig
A rainy/sunny day in Glasgow saw the 2nd Glasgow Comic Con kick-off with an impressive line-up of guests. With the buzz around the Glasgow indy scene growing and growing, it’s as much a chance to pick up the latest self-published titles as it is to rub shoulders with some comic legends. That being said, an impressive turnout gathered as the last-minute announcements came out – top of the bill being Grant Morrison. A BIG draw for the comic book fans in Glasgow and beyond but hopefully a good chance for the word to be spread about the smaller titles that make up the heart of the local comic scene.
Panel after panel took shape in the main venue – as the likes of Frank Quitely, Jim Devlin, Dave Stewart, John Wagner, Alan Grant, Jim Starlin and Grant Morrison graced the stage with their presence – funny one-liners and anecdotes from their careers so far kept the mixed audience of newbies and devout fans engrossed and the main venue proved it’s worth during the panels. The addition of the 2nd venue helped ease congestion around the signing/sketch sessions and even allowed these to be split across the two – although it’s still not the “perfect” venue and if anything that’s the only quibble I’d have with it so far. The big names we saw on day one demand a more accessible and functional venue, but they just don’t quite get that.
Gary – @gjwatson85
2 Comments so far
Leave a comment