First of all, let's check out the loot. I had a great range of purchases and signings at the convention, from personal mementos to some titles that I always knew I should have been reading but never found the budget or time to do so. I even got a piece of artwork from a creator I have respected and adored for some time, but I have to keep quiet about that for the next couple of months!
First of all, the Doctor Who stuff.
All of which are written by Tony Lee, seen below on the left with his artistic partner Dan Boultwood on the right. Both Tony and Dan were incredibly warm and welcoming to a new person at the convention, and they didn't steal my camera when they had the opportunity to do so (always a plus in my book!). If you ever get the chance to meet Tony and Dan, I strongly urge you to do so. The next year looks to be very promising for the two of them, and I can't wait for their upcoming projects The Gloom and The Baker Street Irregulars. The second signature on the trade and the annual is Al Davison, who I talked about on the last blog post.
It wasn't just Tony at the convention with a Doctor Who pedigree. Paul Cornell, the current writer of Action Comics, was a roaming guest, participating in a couple of panels and doing a couple of signing sessions. Now, Paul has just had his fifth issue of Action released, but I've been reading him for about 15 years longer than he's been writing
Oops, I appear to have got my ugly mug a little too close to a Superman writer...
The most famous comics creator at the convention was arguably Chris Claremont. Opinion is widely varied of his work, especially anything he's written in the last 10-15 years (and when we finally get to his brief run on JLA, we're not going to be happy with it), but his X-Men run is unparalleled. I have this on DVD, having imported the Uncanny X-Men DVD a few years ago, but before I got this I bought myself a copy of the Days of Future Past TPB, which covers #138-#143 (the immediate aftermath of the Dark Phoenix saga, the introduction of Kitty Pryde, DoFP and the N'Grai, along with the Dante's Inferno annual). I feel very proud of having his signature on the title page.
Other creators I met, but gained no loot from, included Antony Johnston, David Hine, with whom I discussed his first ever Marvel work, the underrated Daredevil: Redemption mini-series, and Bernard Chang, who I told that my favourite panel of his was his recent Bizarro JLA from Supergirl, which included Bizarro Red Arrow (Arsenal) with a quiver full of dead cats.
As well as all of this, I got to see an extended trailer for Paul, sat in on panels on Warehouse 13 and A Town Called Eureka, got freaked out when I realised just how bloody tall Tony Todd is, got my arse handed to me at both Magic: The Gathering and World of Warcraft: The Collectible Card Game, wondered just why the meme of the con was 'Free Hugs', was distinctly unimpressed by Pocky, drank ridiculously overpriced Mountain Dew and wanted to be gently sick, had an awesome sausage sandwich, marvelled at the ability of 4 Subway employees to royally fuck up an Italian BMT (if the answer to the question 'do you want it toasted' is 'no', then don't put it in the fucking oven!), and walked miles and miles and miles.
As with any con, cosplay was a huge element. In fact, the only time the main theatre was full was when the cosplay championships were on. As most of the cosplayers were characters from manga and videogames, I didn't recognise the majority of people in costume. However, there were a few good comics characters (including the Power Girl in the picture below, whose costume was really rather accurate, if several sizes too big) and a few duff ones, such as the dayglo orange DeathstrokeZatanna and Harley Quinn.
Next on World of Superman: Superman comics! Honestly!