Saturday at the London Super Comic Con

I think this is the first comic book convention I have attended which gave me an actual, not metaphorical, headache at the end of the day; I’m trying to work out if it was because I enjoyed the con too much or if I’m an inexperienced attendee. Despite coming home to pain killers and an early night (I am so old), the London Super Comic Con (or LSComicCon for short, used as the Twitter name) was a lot of fun because it was primarily a convention about comic books. My headache didn’t start until I came home, but it might […]

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Before Watchmen: They Did It 35 Minutes Ago

The news is official: DC will be publishing Before Watchmen, seven prequel mini-series to what is widely regarded as the greatest superhero comic book series of all time (well, so far), the only comic book to make Time’s list of 100 Best Novels. Twenty-five years after the original series was published does seem a little tardy … The internet has reacted as expected – Comics Alliance collects some of the best tweets and Topless Robot has my favourite headline – and there have been reasoned responses (such as Graeme McMillan at Blog@Newsarama [EDIT: sadly, broken link) and extreme reactions (such as Alan […]

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Selecting From The 52 New DC Titles

The first title in the ‘new’ DC universe of titles (I refuse to call it DCnU, which I think is very silly indeed but seems to have caught on) arrived yesterday in stores and online, both legally and unfortunately illegally, so it seemed about time to talk about the titles that interested me sufficiently to pick them up. An aside: I think this is a bold move by DC to try to improve sales of comics, which have been decreasing in a depressing fashion for some time. DC has constantly rebooted its superhero universe, so this isn’t completely unexpected. However, […]

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Book From A Library: The Science Of Superheroes

By Lois Gresh and Robert Weinberg I’ve been reading comic book superheroes for a long time now. An unrelated fact is that I trained as a scientist (I even have a PhD in biochemistry). In all that time, I have never had a problem with the use of science in superhero comic books. Science is for explaining the wonders and mysteries of the universe; comic books exist to entertain me, with a side order of informing me when appropriate. When I saw this book in the library, I wanted to read it because I couldn’t understand quite why it existed […]

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My London Comic Book Mart Experience

The National Collectors Marketplace is a regular mart for comic books, trading cards, books and merchandise related to science fiction, film and TV. According to the website, it is the largest of its sort, hosting 130 tables in the Royal National Hotel near Russell Square in central London. When I arrived on a wet Sunday at the beginning of the month, I could believe the claim to size. The hotel had three large rooms packed with sellers – I recognised Paul Hudson, who owned Comic Showcase (one of the shops I frequented in my youth) until it closed down in 2006, […]

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Book: Comic Creators On X-Men

It seems the right time to talk about this book after my long rambling review of X-Men: First Class. My love of the X-Men might have had some impact in my enjoyment of the film, but that doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the books I read as a teenager nor my affection for the creators of that work. This is a strange book: compiling a collection of interviews with writers and artists who have worked on the X-Men leads to a book that becomes dated the moment it is published, which is perhaps why I found this book for £2.50 […]

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Saturday At The London MCM Expo

I haven’t been to a convention since I attended the London Film and Comic Con in 2008, so it was about time I exposed myself to another celebration of geek culture. Mark Millar’s Kapow! might have been oriented more towards mainstream comic book (matching my tastes), but tickets for that sold out because it was so small (and I’ve started to come out in a rash whenever I read or hear Millar hyping himself and his products) – the MCM Expo is huge, held in the vast ExCel London exhibition centre in the Docklands, so there was no worry about […]

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Experiencing Free Comic Book Day 2011

Although Free Comic Book Day has been going since 2002, this was my first time actually venturing into comic book shops on the day itself. It hasn’t been a big deal here in the UK (I believe that the shipping charges, even for free comics, make it an expensive promotion for shops in the UK), and it was only this year that I got the sense that it was being approached in a manner similar to that in the US. In fact, the advertising in advance must have worked because it was bizarrely mentioned in Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert […]

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How To Make Me Buy A New Comic Book Series: Get The Perfect Writer

Not having a lot of money at the moment to buy new monthly series, I have to be overwhelmed by the prospect of a new book to make me add it to my list. The vast majority of books from the Big Two have to go well out of their way to persuade me to try something (especially because they tend to end up as trade paperbacks). Apart from having my favourite creators working on a title, the best way to guarantee that I can overcome my huge reticence to buy a new series is to have the perfect writer […]

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Book From A Library: Peter & Max (A Fables Novel)

Written by Bill Willingham, with illustrations by Steve Leialoha Fables has been a great comic book since the first issue, so I was looking forward to Willingham’s prose story set in the Fables universe. It concerns characters we haven’t seen in the comic book: Bo Peep and Peter Piper, and Peter’s older brother Max. Willingham sets out the universe of Fables in the first chapter for those readers who haven’t read the comics, but it also provides little extra nuances for those of us who have been there since the beginning. The story concerns the arrival of Max into this […]

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