London Super Comic Con 2017 made some changes this year that wasn’t to everyone’s liking. I still had an amazing time and the long weekend went in a flash for me. Many were put off from the date selection. Usually, LSCC is in March, much earlier in the year. However, this year the last weekend in August was selected which happens to be a bank holiday weekend, meaning many are likely to be on holiday. In addition, there were some other popular cons scheduled for the same weekend. This certainly meant lower numbers in attendees which were noticeable when compared to previous years but there were enough attendees to still make the event enjoyable. Another change to LSCC was the venue.
This year was the first time the Excel Centre was not used and instead LSCC found a new home at the Business Design Centre in Islington. In my opinion, both centres have advantages and disadvantages. The Excel is huge, like really huge, and even though LSCC only rents a portion of the hall its great to have everyone in one space. You never feel like you have left the con when you walk around and the footfall around artist alley is fantastic, creating a really nice buzz around the creators. However, when you have a panel you really want to attend and listen to, the best setup they can achieve is to cordon off an area with some panels. Now if you have ever tried to attend a panel, you’ll know that the acoustics are really bad in the excel and sound bounces off everywhere. This makes it really hard to listen to a panel session. This isn’t a problem at the Business Design Centre (BDC) as they have rooms that almost seem built for having panel sessions, allowing attendees to listen with ease. The BDC has an interesting layout. I had only attended this venue once before when Mark Millar had organised Kapow! Comic-Con which I thoroughly enjoyed. Artists for LSCC 2017, had their own space upstairs in a large separate room that spanned over two floors. This separated creators from the main hall and many were disappointed with the selected area. I had even heard that on the first day there were no signs indicating that the artists were upstairs but I had only heard that from another artist. So prior to the con opening its doors to the attendees many had mixed feelings about LSCC.
I was exhausted and the con hadn’t even started. I had previously been flying within Europe for my day job to several locations, which had already left me tired. It was also a mad rush to get my own comic, CATAPULTED, ready in time for LSCC. I had just run a successful Kickstarter and deadlines were very tight in order to get the comic printed in time. After a few sleepless nights working and I had managed to send it off just in time for printing. The books arrived the day before the con and boy was I excited. Holding a comic that I had created and could call my own. But there was no time to stand there googly-eyed. It was a frantic dash to get everything packed. Do I have loose change for customers? Do I take equipment for commissions? Is my newly printed banner packed? So many questions were racing through my mind and in hindsight, although I had a mental list in my head a physical list probably would have helped. Fortunately, I had covered most bases and I don’t think I forgot anything or at least I didn’t notice.
I arrived at the BDC and once checked in, I was taken to my table to set up. Attendees were queuing outside and my table was nowhere near ready. However, it didn’t long to rectify that. There is only so much space for displaying items. A few mins of unpacking and some rearranging and Voila! I had an exhibitors table ready for LSCC.
Speaking to a few of the exhibitors around me over the weekend, many were not selling as much as they had hoped and some were even anticipating loss at the con. However, CATAPULTED seemed to be doing well, with people loving the concept of time comic, especially after seeing a few historic photos of the cats that were part of the French space program. In fact, the response and excitement for the comic from attendees and casual wanderers was the best part of the whole weekend. Issues were selling and people loved the artist print of the cover art. I even had a few offers for the original art. I contemplated it for a few seconds but I knew I would regret selling the original art of my first piece of cover art for my very first comic book. I got to meet lots of people excited to read the comic and gathered lots of email addresses for email newsletters so that I can easily keep people up-to-date with CATAPULTED and the many other ideas I have bouncing around in my head.