Filed under: Events | Tags: Adi Granov, Art Adams, Charlie Adlard, Dan Slott, Fiona Watson Photography, Frank Cho, Gary Frank, Howard Chaykin, Jon Lock, Jonathan Ross, Lou Scannon, LSCC 2014, Peter David, Revenge, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man 2099, Superior Spider-Man
With the flashbacks of last year’s bus journey to London for LSCC, I’m pleased to say that Comics Anonymous, comprising me and our official photographer (My wife Fiona), had the train/hotel organized well in advance. The process for press passes may have become more involved with a formal application but we were lucky enough to receive two for the event and last weekend (15th & 16th March) saw the event kick-off the con calendar in style.
Thankfully, the con organizers have continued their consistency in the calibre of guest attending the con with the likes of Dan Slott, Adi Granov, Gary Frank and more, making a welcome return. That in itself is a fairly high bar for the con to raise but they smashed through that by adding Art Adams, Jonathan Ross, a VERY busy Charlie Adlard, Frank Cho, Ethan Van Skiver and many others to clearly set out their intent to fill the weekend with artists & writers that are both recognizable and crowd pleasing. In among those guests was Peter David who pulled out of last year’s con following a heart attack…..yet here a mere 15 months later he’s back on his feet…..in top form and in London for the Con. Great to meet a legend like Peter and a struggle to control my urge to hug him and thank him as I totally geeked out at his sheer presence…..Spider-Man 2099 from Peter has been a fairly significant piece of work from him that’s shaped my interest in comics in general. Turning a like of reading them into an obsession and a true passion……I love comics because of this guy and the weekend was worth it just to talk to him briefly and shake his hand.
Personal geek-outs aside, I got the chance to speak with Dan Slott about his phenomenal work on Superior Spider-Man and his promise that the end of the series will “break my heart” had me worried & excited all at once. Similarly his talk of Silver Surfer was intriguing and definitely warrants it’s place on my pull list…..a notion that would be confirmed even further during his panel on the Sunday where we got to see the true excitement in his face when a Spider-Man fan gets the chance to write Spider-man and shake things up BIG style with his latest run.
Similarly, I got a brief chance to chat with Jonathon Ross on the Saturday (the only day he was attending) and we chewed the fat over his current release, Revenge (reviewed here) and some of his previous work like Turf and The Rocketeer Adventures story he had written. These were both projects he had worked on with Tommy Lee Edwards and he spoke of “Golden Age” that he had started but never finished with the artist. He also gave a quick hint on other projects he has in mind, with a barbarian story, a supernatural thriller…..and maybe even an all-ages Spongebob-like release that all sound like they could be BIG projects if all things go well.
Guests, guests, guests had pretty much ensured that my case would be made up of about 90% comics/hardbacks for signing…..and that truly was the way things turned out……and I’m thankful to say that the organizers had taken a new approach to queuing as they passed out numbered tickets that confirmed your chance of getting those prized issues signed. A marked improvement on previous years and helped me plan and speak to more people than maybe I would’ve got the chance to in previous years.
The two day con also doubled it’s panel options with two rooms set aside for a heady mix of creators, publishers and cosplayers taking over the stages and filling the seats with ease. The addition of a panel on insuring the collectibles we all hold so dear was also a smart thing to add as it’s something I hadn’t really considered before…..but as collections become larger and they gain more and more signatures…..the costs to replace them becomes a much more specialized thing to try and achieve. Learning something at a con…..who’d have thought it in my over-hyped state 😀
The layout of the con was pretty much the same as last year (with that extra panel room being the most obvious change) but it flowed smoothly as it did last year and the ability to mingle through the crowd and search through long-boxes or catch-up with the indie creators about their latest release. This all helped build on a much more laid back and less hectic atmosphere than I’ve seen in the previous two years. If anything, this is one of the best cons I’ve been to and LSCC has virtually confirmed it’s place as a regular fixture on my events calendar for next year……and that’s just a few days after I’ve been.
The main hope for me is that they can continue their consistency on the guests they can attract…..and given it’s success I can’t see why that wouldn’t be the case. Initially I thought the event was quieter (particularly on the Saturday) but speaking with a lot of the regular con folks, they saw it as being busier than last year…..it’s possible that the comic book excitement went to my head on that one. Another improvement on previous years was the management of ticket allocations as the staff worked the queue to give out the weekend or daily passes and setting out a separate location to give out the press passes would make things even smoother. The one criticism I would have from that point of view would be that press access still doesn’t grant early access…..a chance to scope out the layout, get in early to schedule interviews or even grab a quick interview before the day really kicks off. A minor quibble as the queue system worked so well…..and even that allowed enough time (in certain cases) to ask some questions and even just chat in general with the key creators in attendance…..although popularity would increase that queue size and limit the time you could take up.
Artist Alley was another key area for me, as it has been in other years too, as it gave me a great chance to catch up with the likes of Jon Lock, The Lou Scannon gang and many others……as well as get a chance to chat with other creators, pick up a host of new releases to read/review……and generally mix with a venue full of like-minded people…..FUN TIMES!
Big thanks to Fiona Watson Photography for ALL the AMAZING images from the weekend…..I was too excited to think about photo’s 😀
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