Finishing Kapow! 2012 marks the completion of the fourth stop of my six stops of cons this year.
Right now I’m boarding between an ecstatic high and a physically drained low, where a sense of euphoria over the results I’ve achieved these past few weeks has collided with the anger of not having more energy to do more than I’d like.
Hey, ho. If you can’t have an argument with yourself, who can you argue with?
Kudos has to go the Kapow! organisers: the event was well promoted, with strong headline guests to draw in the footfall, ample room to amble and an array of comics-related goodness to keep people engaged.
Having attended the event last year, I was surprised that a lot of returning guests remembered me and were keen to get the latest issue. Kapow! is such a large event and a year had passed, so to meet recurring people who liked and remembered the books they purchased last year was very warming indeed.
Outnumbering the returning customers though were the new ones. Lots of people picking up bundles of issues 1,2 and 4 which means new people discovering the comics. Always good that.
Saturday was the busiest, with Sunday being a bit slower (natch). The timings worked better though: an extended Saturday finishing at 7pm with a much shorter Sunday finishing at 3pm allowed punters enough time to browse and grant them enough grace on a Sunday to make the last minute purchase.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Kapow! evolves as a convention. At the moment there’s the right mix of back issues, small press, mainstream heavy hitters and panels and interviews that strive a chord with people while remaining manageable for the punter to see in a day.
A few of the people I spoke to said they had travelled a fair way down to the event in London, leading me to believe that punters are really facing an either or choice when it comes to the conventions they’re able to attend.
Food and lodging ain’t cheap and unless cons next year are more spread out I fear we’ll continue to see a trend where one event absorbs the potential audience from another where they sit within weeks of one another.
There’s room enough for all types of conventions and it would be a shame to see the power of pulling a crowd rest in one organiser’s hands. I don’t know. Maybe we need a UN of UK comics convention or something.
Anyway, next week I’m at MCM Expo in the Excel Centre, the penultimate convention before ThoughtBubble in November. Pop along if you get ten. You might see scenes like this one:
Carnage Loves London Horror. OK, so it's not, Ladies Love Cool James, but, y'know, it has a nice rhythm to it.