London Super Comic Con: Organiser Interview


London Super Comic Con is coming up fast folks (March 15th & 16th). There have been signing announcements and guests galore to look forward too, but we’ve always been curious about the actual event itself. So, we’ve had a chat with one of the organisers about how they actually managed to get this great convention off the ground in the first place.

The convention takes place in London’s Excel centre and there are still tickets available here. They start from just £18 for a day ticket! We’d like to thank the organisers for taking time out from their very busy schedules to talk to us.

Geek Syndicate: What made you decide to organise a comics convention here in London?
London Super Comic Con :We (the organisers) had been going to comic conventions in the UK and US for over 20 years and had bemoaned the lack of a US style comic convention in the UK.  i.e. a convention where publishers, creators and exhibitors (whether comic dealers or comic paraphernalia) attended in sufficient numbers for attendees to have the opportunity to meet in person those who create comics and purchase items that they can’t purchase elsewhere.
GS: What do you think makes L.S.C.C. stand out from any of the other larger London conventions?
L.S.C.C:Its focus on comics as the core of the convention.  L.S.C.C. is a comic convention and the attendance of U.S., U.K. and European comic publishers, creators and exhibitors reflects this.  Our aim is to provide those with the love of comics an experience tailored to their needs.  Other conventions are either film and TV celebrity focused or Japanese anime focused.   They therefore concentrate the vast majority of their resources on non-comic items.  We believe that comic fans should not be an afterthought.
GS: We’re really interested in the logistics of such a huge event. Can you tell us a little bit about your event planning process? Do you book guests first? 
L.S.C.C:We start planning the next convention almost as soon as the last convention has ended. L.S.C.C. consists of a variety of different moving parts that need to be continually adjusted.
Our aim is to provide a convention that provides attendees an experience that they cannot get from any other UK convention while keeping it fresh and therefore different from past LSCC events.
The key is to have a blend of creators, publishers and exhibitors that provides the best possible experience for attendees.
To balance this you need to have a blend of resources and space to meet objectives.
We could easily fill the convention floor twice over with exhibitors, double artist alley or invite many publishers but it is our responsibility to ensure that the experience for our attendees is not diluted.
On the creator side you have a continuing evolving process as work schedules and personal circumstances change making it difficult to confirm details early.  We generally have these confirmed in principle by the end of October but don’t announce names until confident that the creator’s schedule is clear.  You can’t of course anticipate changes in personal circumstances and we were glad to announce Peter David’s attendance this year after he had to cancel last year’s appearance when he suffered a stroke.
GS: How many staff do you have working on the convention throughout the year? And how many floor staff are on over the actual weekend?
L.S.C.C:Staff numbers change depending on the time of the year.  During the early stages of planning the organisers and the creator team are in action.  As we get further along the road the Exhibitor team start their discussions and as we start making announcement 6 months out, the PR team and Professional team are brought on board.  Then of course a couple of months prior to the convention the Floor team leaders and then convention floor staff are updated.
So we go from an initial stage of just 6 core members, to the full convention staff of 80.
GS: What’s been your highlight from the last two conventions?
L.S.C.C:Seeing the reaction of the attendees.  The smiles and laughter of attendees confirms that our planning has come to fruition.  We are comic fans so we hope that are attendees enjoy the L.S.C.C. experience.
GS: Who have been your favourite guests so far?
L.S.C.C:George Perez is a great guy and one of the most genuine people you could ever meet.  I am looking forward to spending time with Arthur Adams, Frank Cho, Max Brooks (author of World War Z) and Jonathan Ross this year.
GS: Who else would you like to add to your guest list for future conventions?
L.S.C.C:Steve Ditko.
L.S.C.C:There are too many to mention.  We always try to keep our creator line up fresh.  It is hard to match up schedules with all creators and there are many that we have spoken to that we are always discussing future attendance with.
GS: Would you ever consider doing other similar cons across other parts of the UK?
L.S.C.C:It seems like a new comic convention is being announced every other week.  We deem this to be a positive experience for the U.K. comic scene.  We hope that others have seen our success and decided that they too can create a successful convention according to their own scale and resources.  We wouldn’t want to create an event where it impacted other fellow comic fans.  If there was a demand that wasn’t being accommodated by another convention we would look at it.

Source: London Super Comic Convention
Reporter: Sara Westrop

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