It was another busy day for Mark Millar, who is quickly becoming the Oprah Winfrey of comics, using his success in one platform to become a worldwide mogul of cross-platform entertainment. Not content just to script best selling comics that turn into successful movies, he’s launched a magazine and now…a comic-con: Kapow! Comic Con, which will be held April 9-10 at the ￼London Business Design Centre in Islington, a venue which holds about 5000 people a day.
The show will be an attempt to bring a San Diego-type entertainment extravaganza to London, Millar says, and will play host to the first ever Stan Lee Awards honoring people who need to be honored. Initial guests include Dave Gibbons, Franky Quitely, Leinil Francis Yu, Andy Diggle and so on. Gibbons makes a starring appearance in the Kapow! Comic Con trailer, above, and later in the day it was revealed that he and Millar are collaborating on a secret project which will be announced at the Kapow! Comic Con.
Event planning is not for faint of heart, but in an interview with CBR, Millar revealed his secret weapon: his wife runs an event management company. Between the two of them, they had the contacts to pull it off. Millar expanded on his thought:
The idea behind Kapow! is to bring the San Diego experience to Central London. I love going out to SDCC, but it’s so far away for Brits and this is something Matthew Vaughn and I were complaining about last year as we trekked all those thousands of miles to California for a single afternoon of “Kick-Ass” promotion. All the studios have a massive presence here in the UK, dozens of the world’s biggest comic creators are here and most of the comic-book movie adaptations are being filmed just up the road. I’m fortunate to have friends in both industries, and when I started making calls, everybody got really excited. The studios here were delighted because it gives them a base for their European campaigns for 2011, and the comic-book guys are delighted because it means we’re all going to be in the same place for the first time in well over a decade. The London Business and Design Centre is also an incredible location. It’s elegant enough that the movie studios knew we meant business and central enough that you can pay a couple of quid to get there on the bus instead of chartering a flight to California. There’s never been anything this ambitious in the UK before in terms of content, all the studios and comic book companies really getting behind this.
Personally speaking we’re not fans of a) Kapow! as a brand, even though it was probably meant satirically or b) using San Diego-style celebrity stalking as a business plan. PLUS 5,000 is a pretty modest size, so San Diego style sellouts might be a possibility should the lineup of celebrities warrant it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.