ACE Comics were in attendance at KAPOW! last weekend and Biff found the time to type out his thoughts on the day…
“Arrived at 9am on the dot to find a large queue of keen fans waiting to enter. I was fortunate to get immediate entry as I was , along with my daughter Kerrie, helping on Barry Kitson’s table.
Barry got to his table to find a queue of ten people already there. He then spent all Saturday creating head sketches and full water colour illustrations all for free! The fan just had to have the patience to wait. His only respite was when he went to the artist signing area at 5pm and signed for an hour and a half before returning for another sketch before the hall closed at 7pm. What a trooper and all for free.
The event itself was well organised and well laid out. Dealer and publisher tables were on the main floor area while all the artist tables were in the gallery area which went around the main floor. There was also an interview booth on the lower ground floor and a full size wrestling arena . I’m not a wrestling fan and couldn’t see the point of this but there was wrestling all day and quite a few people took the time out to watch.
There weren’t as many back issue comics for sale as I expected and few bargains. My spend was much lower than the wad of cash in my pocket much to the chagrin of the few comic dealers that were there. The feed back from them was that the attendance was much lower than the inaugural year and where they had all moved into profit by 2pm on Saturday last year, this year they struggled to cover the cost of their tables. I could see that this was true as it was the first convention I have been to where I could wander around without having to force my way through at points and I never had to wait to look at the tables.
So attendance down and dealers not happy.
The good news is that the fans were very happy. The talks were full to over flowing for the likes of Warren Ellis, Joe Quesada, Jonathan Ross and all. The artist gallery was full of fans getting sketches and signatures.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I found a few bargains, bought a page of art , caught up with old friends like Harry Markos of Markosia, Brady from Panini, Mike Conroy of Multiverse infamy, Bob Wayne (DC honcho) and of course Barry Kitson.
My helpful criticisms would be to make tickets available on the day ( all tickets were on line only) and improve the tannoy system. I couldn’t make out a single word all day!”