London Super Comic Convention Interview

11 January 2013
imports_CCGB_keys-pic_92522.jpg London Super Comic Convention Interview
We find out all about the comic con, which is taking place on February 23rd and 24th ...
London Super Comic Convention Interview Images

London Super Comic Convention is the UK's biggest and most exciting comic con. The show pays host to the latest and greatest in comics, comic-related memorabilia, superheroes and graphic novels. There are also panels and autograph sessions that give fans a chance to interact with their favourite creators, along with a large amount of comic items on sale from numerous exhibitors and comic book publishers. Ahead of the 2nd London Super Comic Convention on 23rd and 24th February, we spoke to the organisers to find out about the collectables and rare comics on offer at the show. And remember, you can order your tickets for the event now from the LSCC website.

How long has the show been running and why did you feel there was a need for a comic convention in the UK?

The organisers were a number of comic industry experts and collectors that had to travel to the US to experience large scale comic conventions, where not only could we meet US comic creators and publishers, but also find a substantial dealer presence that offered comics from the most collectable to modern items. After years of complaining about the lack of depth in the UK we decided to set up our own convention. We have endeavoured to bring:
a)    Over 60 creators from the US, UK and Europe
b)    A location where US, UK and European publishers can meet their UK audience
c)    A selection of comics not previously gathered in the UK

What can people expect to see when they come to the show? For example, are there any particularly famous writers or illustrators they can hunt down for autographs?

When selecting creators to invite to the convention we have focused on a blend of past and current creators who have provided significant contributions to the comic industry.
Creators attending this year include:

  • The legendary Neal Adams
  • J Scott Campbell
  • Brain Bolland
  • Carlos Ezquerra (Creator of Judge Dredd)
  • David Finch
  • Bob Layton
  • David Lloyd (V for Vendetta)
  • George Perez
  • Roy Thomas
  • John Wagner

On the exhibitor side attending the show are a selection of the best comic dealers in the world.  No other show in the UK has attracted a number of the largest US Comic dealers to attend.  Collectors will be able to buy comics costing from 50p to tens of thousands of pounds. Metropolis Collectables and its sister company, for example, is a US dealer that achieved the world record price for a comic book - $2.16M for a CGC graded 9.0 Action Comics #1 (first Superman). From the UK, ComicanaDirect (an internet dealer that does not attend any other UK conventions) will be attending with a selection of some of the best comics from the 1960s and 1970s. There will be over 200 exhibitors selling comics and comic rated paraphernalia.

Any idea how many comics are on sale at the convention?

I’d expect there to be over 100,000 comics at the show this year.

Do you expect any particularly rare comics to be on sale at the convention? Do you know if any expensive ones were sold last time?

There will be rare and expensive comics available at the show.  As the organisers have collected comics for many years they had established strong relationships with American comic dealers in the US and UK.  The show last year demonstrated that there is demand in the UK for both rare and expensive comic books and dealers have flocked to the show accordingly. These are likely to range from Amazing Fantasy #15 featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man, to Tales of Suspense #39 featuring the first appearance of Iron Man, and pretty much most other key issues.

On a more general point, do you think it’s tougher or easier to release a new comic now? And have digital comics had any impact on the market, a bit like the Kindle has made it much easier for new authors?

Digital comics have made comics more available to the general reading population.  Unless there was a comic shop close to you, availability was always limited.  This has meant that readers are now able to sample a wider expanse of the comic universe from the comfort of their homes or offices. As readers generally migrate to collecting comic books this bodes well for the comic market.

Do you think in general that comics are becoming more popular and moving into the mainstream, rather than being seen as a ‘fringe’ hobby? For example, in our office it’s amazing the amount of general comic book information people have gathered from watching Big Bang Theory!

The popularity of comic characters through shows like the Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead and films (Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor etc) has reinforced the comic book hobby.  It should be borne in mind that three of the most iconic images throughout the world are Batman, Superman and Spider-Man as such people are willing to look at the hobby.  The quality of writing currently is such that reader numbers are increasing.

Alongside the comics, what kind of collectables will be on offer at the convention? Do you have a lot of vintage items as well?

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There will be original artwork, toys (vintage and modern), prints, clothing and many other items.

Also, do you think collectables inspired by comics are growing in popularity too?

Comic collectables have always gone hand in hand with comics, from way back when the first Superman merchandise was launched back in 1940. As collectors mature, they always look for a piece of their past and with comic collectors, the world of merchandising really took a foothold when companies like DC and Marvel began advertising the collectables that they were producing within the comics  themselves. Today with the advent of the films and cartoons, comic merchandise is everywhere, but we will need to wait and see if today’s merchandise becomes tomorrows collectable.

On a kind of related note, in the world of collectables, people are viewing vintage Star Wars or LEGO (for example) as an investment, rather than putting money in the bank. Is this something you see happening in comics as well? Is a classic comic a decent investment... if you have the cash?

Vintage comics (1930s -1970s) are very much a collectible investment.  Focus has been very much on key comics (first appearances of major characters) and value is very much condition focused.  High grade copies of Action Comics #1 (first Superman), Detective Comics #27 (first Batman) and Amazing Fantasy #15 (first Spider-man) have sold for $1M+.  Lower graded copies can sell for substantially less.  There are many comics with a value over $10,000. Key comics in the last 5 years have generally retained their value and many have increased in value. As with any investment a collector needs to understand the market before spending large sums.


Are you a comic book collector yourself? If so, any idea how many you’ve got?

I am a collector.  I currently own around 2,000 books. I generally focus on 1930s to 1940s DC Comics and 1960s Marvel Comics.

Any advice for those attending the convention for the first time? Should they dust off their cosplay costumes?

If they have a cosplay outfit they should go for it.  Cosplay has definitely added colour to the show. We like all our attendees to have fun so if you prefer to attend in more casual attire that’s fine too.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Only to say that if you were a fan of comics at some point in the past, make your way down to the show and hopefully reignite your passion for a piece of your nostalgic past.