Kapow Diary 2: What we didn’t see…

Inevitably as an exhibitioner, even one doing the wander around – you miss things inevitably and there was a hell of line up over the course of the weekend. The day was high end and everyone involved (from IGN, Millarworld, Clint and the Business Design Centre) – had pulled out all the stops. Behind us was Markosia, run by Harry Markos. Markosia is effectively the mainstay of the independent comic book scene. I’d been lucky enough to meet up with Harry once before. We didn’t realise he was behind us until half way through the first day. I arrived at the 2000AD stand too late for a portfolio review because I hadn’t had a chance to find out where it was. The way to define a convention is not just by what you see but what you miss. Turns out, after a little scraping away it becomes clear there were some genuine diamonds just out of sight (if heavily sign posted).

Of course, Mark Millar was present but was effectively operating on an entirely different level to the rest of the place. Like a machiavellian god with Postman Pat hair he was only spotted by us once throughout the entire event. News I had back however was that he was friendly, cordial and helpful about the place. Millar is on a pedestal in an industry populated by people who are often happier being ashamed of themselves and both myself and Dan, when presented with an opportunity to meet him – didn’t want to bother him – advice I could’ve given myself earlier in the day (more on that in another blog). It was inevitable that Millar was going to take some flak across the bows for having the gall to elevate comic books above the level it has been stuck at over the last ten years. Regardless of his intentions or reasons, Kapow was a massive success with things popping out of woodwork all over the joint if you were looking.

Jonathan Ross reportedly nailed a show over on one side of the room while Quitely and Leinil Yu quietly began the proceedings on the Guiness World Record attempt to involve the most people in a single comic book in one day on the opposite side, down by the IGN stand (something I managed to be involved in). The sheer scale of what was taking place was enormous. Chris Hemsworth was in the building at some point for the Thor launch and there was talk of a mystery movie – which clearly was so unimpressive that we still don’t know what it was. Highlighted as Movie X, myself and Dan distracted ourselves from the replaying Batman/ Green Lantern game promos playing repeatedly in front of us by taking guesses as to what it’d be about.

X-Men: First Class? Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (Jonathan Ross’ wife) have close connections with Millar following Kick Ass last year. Thor? Chris Hemsworth in place you’d think they wouldn’t bother flying him over for that one if they could preview the film. Kick Ass 2 was suggested at one point though the liklihood that messrs Vaughn and Goldman knocked out a major sequel quietly with no PR or evidence of production seemed a little far fetched. Things turned again when it was revealed (by a bloke somewhere) that it was an 18 and involved a guy in cape. At that point we gave up. If anybody’d taken a look at the Kapowcomiccon site it clearly said there was preview footage of Hobo with a Gun. Starring Rutger Hauer as the aforementioned hobo it looks like a breakneck ‘Braindead’/ ‘Bad Taste’ mash up. Someone even lets ol’ Rutger do a little ‘burning off the orion belt’ ad libbing while staring at a baby. Nobody expected this? This looks like a great movie! Why don’t they just call it Rutger Hauer is a vengeful tramp! You wouldf have had to have chained me to something to stop me from kicking the doors down to see it!

But there was bigger news in that the Green Lantern movie looks like its back on track. 8 minutes were played of the film – in excess of the 4 available online and everyone was turned as a result. CG more intact, tone a little heavier and more intelligent and obscure images from the original trailer resolved in the new material. This is good news as we here at the Bunker had dismissed the Green Lantern movie as a disappointer of the masses based on the previous output but right now we’ve got the focus back on. I’ll admit Geoffrey Rush as Tomar Re took me by surprise. The whole thing is

Also out there was Attack the Block’s writer and first time director Joe Cornish of Adam and Joe who was doing signings and photos at the IGN stand while I was drawing. The crowd was being ‘entertained’ by a guy who looked and sounded like he’d be happier at the X-Games than a comic convention and locked onto the idea that Spider-man 3 was shit to exactly one person’s noisy agreement. Meanwhile, pleasant man-child Joe Cornish (responsible for my favourite Radio 6 show by the way) was out of sight making geeks happy. Attack the Block is the story of hoodies battling Aliens in South London and was inspired by Joe getting mugged. The empathy of that man is astonishing. But it looks fukkin’ bo muvver! Bare Good! Check it out.

There were folks from Misfits (Iwan Rheon (Simon) and Lauren Socha (Kelly)), Merlin (Colin Morgan (Merlin)), Bradley James (Arthur), Angel Coulby (Gwen) and Katie McGrath (Morgana) as well as folks (Dakota Blue Richards (Franky), Sean Teale (Nick) and Jessica Sula (Grace)) from Skins, World Exclusive Pilot of Falling Skies and Toby Whithouse, the creator of Being Human. Games previews for Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Nintendo 3DS, Lego Star Wars 3, Operation: Flashpoint and Dirt 3 from Codemasters.

Present were Mark Gatiss, Lienil Yu, John Romita Jr, Bryan Hitch, Simon Bisley (which was so last minute I couldn’t find him) Olivier Coipel (apparently), Kevin O’Neill, Paul Cornell (sporting a comedy beard for charity much to his own embarrassment), Noel Clarke, Mick McMahon, Brett Ewins, Brian Bolland, David Lloyd, Andy Diggle, Liam Sharp, Sean Philips, Adi Granov, Chris Weston and Eric Stephenson. Not one of these people I saw.

The important thing is who I did….

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Kapow! Moon Joins The Walking Dead, True Blood & Kick Ass at the UK’s Hottest New Con!

BTB is extremely proud to announce that we will be bringing Moon to Kapow! Comic Con this coming April. Dubbed “London’s answer to San Diego” Kapow! is gathering a simply staggering number of big names together from the world of comics, film and TV. Misfits, Being Human, Marvel, DC, they’re all going to be there in force and standing right front and center (if not by an act of booking then an act of gravity) will be BTB’s big Moony detective!

Kapow promises to be something special. Not only do they have the big names but they’re promising major announcements from top studios, a world premier of an as-yet-undisclosed comic movie and the first ever “Stan Lee Awards“. Better yet, all you pay for the day is the cost of entry. Once you’re in then all the panels, guests and other assorted high-jinx won’t cost you a silver dime.

We’ll be there with limited edition, individually numbered and signed copies of Moon #1. We’re also working on having a few copies of Fallen Heroes #1 for sale as well (but no guarantees on that as the demand for copies is currently far in excess of the number available). If you want a copy of FH then get to us early! There’s even been a rumour that Moon himself may make an appearance in the flesh/rock!

Tickets for the event can be bought from THE KAPOW! WEBSITE and we strongly suggest that you pre-book yours as they will almost certainly all be sold out by the time the event rolls around.

We have more live dates in the pipeline that we shall be announcing soon. Bur for now, enjoy the Kapow! trailer, buy a TICKET FOR THE BTB LAUNCH PARTY and beware of hands bearing coke refills!

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Kapow TV Guests Announced!

Heya chaps,

Apologies for the rather scrappy nature of this post up (I’m having to post it from my iPhone as my Internet shan’t be connected for a few days) but we wanted to get this news up as soon as it broke as we know a lot of you are thinking of buying Kapow tickets. Well the TV panels were announced today and if you’re a fan of True Blood or The Walking Dead then you’re about to be a very happy bunny/vampire. Home grown heroes such as Being Human, Skins, Merlin and Bunker favourite Misfits will also be there so there’s a little something for everyone.

Actual guests remain unconfirmed (watch this space) but from the US representatives for True Blood, Walking Dead and Dexter. This year the event can’t afford to fund attendees travel costs so that would lead us to believe that this will either be part of a publicity tour or be members of the cast or crew based in the UK. So Andrew Lincoln (Officer Rick Grimes from Walking Dead) is a greater possibility than the show’s writer Frank Darabont. We also know that Aidan Turner of BBC3’s cult supernatural comedy thriller Being Human is unlikely to be in attendance because he’s playing a Dwarf in the Hobbit.

Full details can be found here:

http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/114/1149493p1.html

Mr Millar still has an announcement to make about the movie guests so keep your eyes on the Bunker for that update. We live in exciting TV times.

Now, where’s the publish button on this bloody phone?

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Stan Lee Awards 2011 (part 2)

We’re back for the second part of our speculation on the 2011 Stan Lee Awards. Yesterday we covered the first six categories, but there are still six more to get through, so let’s get to it!

Best Comic Hero

Scott Pilgrim

Iron Man

Green Lantern

Batman

Ok so this is a straight out fanboy race. It just depends on who is voting. I found myself casting my vote for Pilgrim because I felt bad about not plugging for him in the movie category and I have a feeling that I may not be alone in that thought process. If I had to pick an outsider I think I’d go for Green Lantern, he’s got a movie coming out and Blackest Night was a pretty big deal but seriously, who really likes Hal Jordan? Really? You’re lying.

BTB Pick for Best Comic Hero - Scott Pilgrim

Best Newcomer

Nick Spencer

Rob Guillory

Kieron Gillen

Jonathan Ross

The newcomer category paints a rather rosy picture about the future of comics and there is some quite wonderful work to be seen if you look up any of the names you see here. Obviously the big name power of Jonathan Ross gives him a bit of an edge when it comes to casual fans, but to be fair on the guy Turf is one hell of a first book and the fact that he’s willing to put his name on the line to support initiatives like Clint shows that he’s far more serious about comics than some might think.

Kieron Gillen’s work on the critically acclaimed SWORD gives him a pretty good shot but I think I’m going to have to go out on a limb and give it to Rob Guillory. Chew is one of my favorite new books and Guillory’s art is absolutely central to what makes it so good. His skill at combining the horrible and the hilarious have impressed me since the first page of that book and it’d be great to see him pull in a big award like this for his work.

BTB Pick for Best Newcomer - Rob Guillory

Best Publisher

Image

Marvel

DC

Vertigo

Image has had a hell of year in so many regards. As the big two have struggled to keep hold of readers, Image has seen its readership go from strength to strength as it leads the pack of smaller publishers chasing up behind the big dogs. The decision to embrace day and date digital distribution with books like Walking Dead was, to my mind, a master stroke. It puts Image clearly at the front of the digital revolution of comics and makes DC and Marvel seem sluggish by comparison. Yes, the big two still have more fans and so in a public vote, a smaller publisher will always struggle to overcome them, but it’s far from the certainty it would have been a couple of years ago. This could well be the year that DC and Marvel get their rears handed to them by the Indys and in honesty it could be the best thing to happen to them in years. Nothing breeds creativity like competition and for that reason I really hope Image walks away with this one.

BTB Pick for Best Publisher - Image

Best TV Show

Misfits

Boardwalk Empire

The Walking Dead

Doctor Who

I’m inclined to lean towards Dr Who on this one because it’s the only one that I’ve had a chance to really get into watching but I know how much Steve adores Misfits so I’ll place our official Bunker seal of approval with them. Realistically I think Dr Who probably has too big and too passionate a fan base to allow the other nominees a look in and, to be fair, Matt Smith is a bloody good Doctor. But it would be nice to see Misfits pull off the upset.

I have absolutely no idea why Boardwalk Empire is on this list. It looks amazing, sure. But why is it being nominated for an award at a comic book convention? I guess while it’s been a great year for geek movies, it’s been somewhat less of one for geek TV.

BTB Pick for Best TV Show - Misfits

Best Game or Toy

Red Dead Redemption

Halo: Reach

NBA 2K11

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Gotta feel a bit sorry for NBA 2K11 in this category, I’m pretty sure that the people who frequent the Kapow website aren’t the sort of people who play a tonne of Basketball games. I don’t mean to question the game’s quality, it might be fantastic, but I wouldn’t know because I’m the sort of person that frequents the Kapow website.

Honestly I think Red Dead will probably take this one. It was hands down one of the best games of last year and was one of the only things to put any kind of dent in my near religious World of Warcraft schedule. Reach has a fantastic (if clichéd as hell) story but you can see pretty much everything that’s worth seeing in the game in about a day. Black Ops is the heavy hitter of the pack in terms of sales and it does have a hardcore base of fans, but Red Dead is just a better game with a more mainstream appeal.

BTB Pick for Best Game or Toy - Red Dead Redemption

Man or Woman of the Year

Matthew Vaughn

Stan Lee

Robert Kirkman

Joe Quesada

Mark Millar may feel awkward about being nominated in his own awards ceremony but it seems Stan Lee has no such qualms and why not, eh? In actuality, Stan the Man has actually had a pretty influential year and probably does warrant a place on this list beyond the usual “because he’s Stan Lee!” ones. His work with Boom Studios on the “Stan Lee Presents” line has produced some really good work and helped to highlight that while Stan’s writing style may seem a little dated nowadays, as a pure ideas man he really is still one of the best in the business. I have a feeling that he may well walk away with this one largely because of the aforementioned “because he’s Stan Lee!” reason, but if he does then it’ll be a relatively well deserved win.

Vaughn is the clear outsider here for me. Kick Ass was a major event and the fact that Kapow attendees are likely to be fans of that film will probably help his chances a bit, but he’s just not the comic book powerhouse that the others are. X-Men First Class hasn’t been receiving a warm reception from comics fans as of late and while he thoroughly deserves his spot in the nominees list, I just don’t see him pulling off a win.

Were it not a public poll then I’d put my money on Quesada. Whatever you may think of some of his editorial decisions there’s no denying that he made Marvel what it is today and since he’s stepping down this year, it’s probably a good time for an award of some kind to recognise that.

Kirkman would be a fantastic winner for me. 2010/11 really was the year of digital comics and next to Mark Millar himself, he’s probably about the biggest creator in that particular arena. Throw in the Walking Dead TV series and it’s been a pretty solid year. I’d hesitate to put money on him winning, but I’d go nuts if he did.

BTB Pick for Man or Woman of The Year - Stan Lee

Well that’s the lot of them. We’re very curious to know what you dear bunkerites (do you want to be called bunkerites? I think you want to be called bunkerites) think of the list, so please do jump on the comments section and let us know your hot tips so that we can all be proved wrong together when Ant and Dec are announced as winners.

Excelsior!

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