Where MCM excels at its sheer scale and London Film and Comic Con at the stars it brings to the hall, Kapow claims the crown for the magnitude of comic creative genius in one place.
Mark Millar, one of the convention’s organisers is a huge name in comics and is currently very influential in the Avengers movie and its tie-in/build up films for his creation of the Ultimates comic with Bryan Hitch. His own line of creator owned titles is also extremely popular at the moment.
But the three biggest names at last week’s convention were the guys at the top of the chain at Marvel, DC and Image, Joe Quesada, Dan DiDio and Eric Stephenson respectively. All of them held panels, along with others from their houses on upcoming news, previews or just creative expertise on their brands.
I attended the DC 52 panel and was impressed with how sincere Dan DiDio is about the success of the New 52. They are committed to delivering books on time as he recognised it was something fans are passionate about, getting their comic on a regular basis, so “we’re very happy to say that in the last 12 months, out of 52 books a month, we’ve only shipped two issues one week late.”
Kapow, now in its second year appeared quieter than the previous year, despite selling out of tickets. This added to my enjoyment of this year’s Kapow as fighting through the crowds at the stalls on the Saturday of Kapow 2011 was hard work and the queuing system was a nightmare. But the organisers have gone a way to sorting the queues for panels, but some further work still needs to be done.
I’m still partially shocked by the choice of venue for the second year. The Business Design Centre London is a lovely building and with its high ceiling, it remains cooler than the Excel during MCM, but it isn’t designed for the crowds, queues or size of the panels. The auditorium, with a capacity of 350, held the Audience with Nick Frost and was full not long after the queue opened at 13:00.
I have only praise for the three panels I attended, but as a member of the public, you have little chance of being able to see any back to back panels, meaning you have to carefully consider your day and use some of it to queue.
The highlight of the weekend for me was the Cosplay Competition, and a full gallery of the Cosplayers can be seen here. Further albums for Cosplayers each day can be found here.
I was pleased to see that they made use of the space in the balconies for an Artist’s Alley, where I found plenty of original and impressive independent comics.
Kapow 2012 was an improvement on 2011 and you could tell the organisers had learnt from the previous year. I hope it continues to improve, Mark Millar was suitably happy with the event and said as much on his own forum.
My initial report on the news from Sat can be found here, with one alteration. Seven Psycopaths is not in fact a sequel, just made and produced by the same team.
IGN and SFX have fully covered all panels at Kapow, their coverage can be read by clicking on the following links:
IGN Kapow Coverage
SFX Kapow Coverage
For an extensive Kapow cosplay gallery, visit my Facebook page and click on photos. I have a gallery for each day and one for the Cosplay Competition on the Sunday.
For more details on Kapow itself, please visit the official website.
Did you go to Kapow this year or last year? What did you think? What was your favourite panel?