Four years ago, his previous boss who he worked for started the London Super Comic Convention (LSCC). The years i have been going have provided a lot of fun with millions of comics being sold, celebrity stars such as Jonathan Ross and Stan Lee and all the famous writers and artists of the comic book world.
Add to this, the hundreds of people who enter into cosplay (costume play) and the photo opportunities are limitless. The LSCC is getting bigger and bigger and fit over a few halls in the London Excel sees in excess of 20,000 people. It is back on in February 2012 for two days and I interviewed one of the owners to see what the plan was for the LSCC, his highlights over the year and what fans can expect in 2016.
Who should go and who will be there?
LSCC is a comic convention that focuses on comics. It should seem redundant to need to emphasise this point but many "comic conventions" focus on celebrities with comic as an after-thought. If you are a comic reader, collector or want to see what comics are about this is the convention to come to:
- LSCC is the UK's comic convention that provides access to many of the industry's best artists and writers and in quantities that no over UK convention can match. LSCC has always focused on bringing creators to the UK that have not been here before. This year we have already announced 28 creators including Frank Cho, Humberto Ramos, Marv Wolfman and Mike Zeck with many more to come.
- For collectors, LSCC is the only show that the main US convention circuit comic dealers come to. This provides collectors with the opportunity to find comics that they can't find elsewhere in the UK.
- For cosplayers, LSCC provides a wide variety of activities from participating in the London Super Costume Championship for the skilled cosplayer to the more relaxed Sneaky Zebra Open Masquerade, to meeting guests who are rarely seen on the UK and a variety of panels focusing on the various elements of cosplay.
- For those looking at comics for the first time there are a wide variety of exhibitors providing access to a wide variety of comic related items from comics, graphic novels, toys, games, jewellery, etc. with items for everyone's budget.
What will be the key events over the two days?
While it may seem that LSCC has a narrow focus it is actually much wider than you can imagine.
- Artist Alley is a must visit with over 130 creators from industry greats such as to self-published writers and artists. You will be able to sample the diverse panorama of the modern comics universe that includes super-heroes, crime noir and many other genres so that there is always something new whether you are a seasoned reader or new to comics.
- A visit to the Exhibitor section is a must. You will find dealers that offer comics for less than £1 to a dealer than has sold an Action #1 for $3.2 million. There will be something for everyone.
- Check the Panel listing. With 3 panel rooms and LSCC's guest list there are panels that provide a rare insight into the world of comics and cosplay.
Our plan was to ensure that LSCC focused for the first 5 years on its core principles – building a comic convention that celebrates both the quality and diversity of comics. Our convention floor reflect this. To take the convention to the next level we need to expand the opportunity to sample the comic medium to those who haven't been aware of how much the medium has grown. The current focus on super-hero films has made the greater population more aware of comic characters but it is our job to ensure that they are aware of the history of comics and their present focus. To do that we will need to grow. New York Comic Convention ("NYCC") is a template for the type of convention we hope LSCC grows into.
Why London and comics?
An easy question at last. Why comics? We are all comic fans. We have been reading and collecting comics for many years. I personally have been reading comics for over 35 years and collecting for over 25 years. To organise a comic convention successfully I believe to have to love the medium. The organisers have been going to comic convention in the US for over 10 years. We decided to create LSCC when we were in a pub discussing which US conventions we would be going to the following year. Conversation went on to why there was a UK convention that matched the US style conventions we enjoyed going to. Unlike the usual pub conversation we decided to do something about it. Why London? To be similar to a US convention you need space to grow and a transport and hotel infrastructure that can manage the substantial number of attendees that will come to the show from the UK and abroad. When looking at locations the ExCel Centre and London was the obvious location if we want to grow to NYCC proportions.
Which edition of the show has been your favourite?
I've enjoyed all 4 renditions to date. I don't particularly have a favourite.
- In 2012 I enjoyed spending the weekend with Stan Lee and seeing that we were right in thinking that the UK has the appetite for a US style convention
- 2013 further reinforced the view that the UK wanted a US style convention as a broader range of creators, exhibitors and publishers came to the show.
- The key for us is seeing that our attendees enjoy the show and that as we continue to grow the show that we ensure that we plan things as efficiently as possible so that our attendees continue to enjoy the show. Long queues don't make happy attendees so good communication, friendly staff and a willingness to help attendees enjoy the show has always been our focus. 2014 and 2015 demonstrated this and the enjoyment we see in our attendees whether adults or children at the end of the day is what makes us do this year on year.