CBR's Con Wrap: Kapow! Or Splat?

The first Kapow! Comic Con is over and the dust is settling in London after a raucous weekend. Mark Millar and the show's organizers are already locked away in a Scottish cave planning next years convention, but here at CBR we thought we'd get the reaction of the attendee's, the exhibitors and most importantly, the fans about the weekends events at Kapow!

With a wealth of retailers and exhibitors present at Kapow!, the show had everything under one roof from toys and statues to comics from the Silver age to present day.

Orbital Comics, one of London's premiere comic stores clearly had their marketing plan "squared away" as Lady Deadpool and Domino were helpers at the stand and were amongst the Cosplay stars of the show.

The manager of Orbital's stand at Kapow! at the convention commented, "It's going great! we had an excellent day yesterday, we sold A LOT of stuff. Not what I was expecting to sell as we bought a lot of silver age and vintage stuff but what's been going is the modern stuff, the marvel events and variants. We sold a lot of trades as well. We'll be back next year for sure"!

With so many professionals under one roof, Kapow! attendees were spoiled for choice, with many of the big names at the show making their first or a rare UK appearance. Throughout the weekend, CBR News sought the opinion of some of the artists and writers making an appearance at Kapow!

Marineman creator and Eisner award nominee Ian Churchill told CBR News, "It's going well. It's a very good first convention, I haven't really had a chance to look around, it's been a bit of a whirlwind. I got off the tube, came straight to the show and have been signing and sketching ever since."

Goose to Millar's Maverick (apart from the ejector seat bit), artist Bryan Hitch (Captain America: Reborn) made an appearance on Saturday. Hitch said of the show:

"Well the first impression I had was of walking in the door and Mark dragging me back outside for a gin and tonic. It's small but it's fantastic, I love it. I don't normally do British shows but this has a really nice atmosphere. I got a drink in and I came straight here. It's at capacity and it looks really good fun. I even passed Ridley Scott on the way in."

Superstar artist Leinil Francis Yu (Secret Invasion) came with a genuine entourage to his first UK convention and told CBR, "I'm so impressed, the turn out is crazy, it's really good. It's definitely smaller than San Diego, but the turn out's really good. I'm looking forward to meeting other artists and fans, too. I'd love to be able to take a look around."

"Kate and William" writer and CBR alumni Rich Johnston was on hand to offer his verdict, saying, "It's really, really fun. we have been selling copies of the Royal Wedding comic book -- that's been very popular and we have been close to selling out of those. It's been lots of fun people around. It's a nice venue, it's a beautiful place."

Last but certainly not least, we spoke with the fans. Amongst the thousands who came through the doors of the sellout show, CBR spoke to the lucky few at the head of the line for the much hyped and mysterious "Movie X," which was later revealed to be "Super," starring Rain Wilson.

Katie from Ipswitch

"It's been really good, and the content's good, but the queues are shit. Next year they could make them more organized and have a queueing area."

David from London

"It's been really good. The lineup's been exceptional for a first time [con]. The highlights have been the momentum panel earlier which was really good and hopefully 'Movie X.'"

Ani and Gavin from Glasgow

"it's awesome! The Marvel: Breaking into Comics panel and the Millarworld panel were excellent. The queues could have been better, but other than that it's been quite well organized."

Gemma from Milton Keynes

"I've really enjoyed it, it's been a great line up, a bit stressful in terms of queueing for things, but other than that, it's been good. Being girlie, I really enjoyed the 'Merlin' crowd yesterday and the 'Momentum' panel was really good as well."

So, there you have it. Kapow! feedback from exhibitors and pros was overall positive, with some room for improvement on the part of queueing for the major panels, though fans understood that queueing is a major part of convention going.

What has really set Kapow! apart from other UK conventions and put it on the Euro convention map is without a doubt the movie, TV and gaming presence. In particular, the Hollywood presence that gave Kapow! a program and atmosphere that many UK fans previously only read about from US conventions.

With a presence from Marvel and DC, the show had a "legitimate" feel to it, as though it had been accepted by the monoliths of US comics. This undoubtedly added to the shows appeal, so here's hoping we see an even bigger presence from the big two, next year.

If there is a 'unique selling point' to Kapow! It is that the flavor and atmosphere of a huge US convention has worked in the UK and that everything from the name of the show to the program has bought that taste of US conventions, to our shores.

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