As the UK’s big three-weekend rolling convention rolls on, Kapow! is the big multimedia/Big Two and Image/mancave convention, with movie premiere stuff, Joe Quesada, Dan DiDio, Eric Stephenson, Jonathan Ross, and even Warren Ellis and Peter Serafinowitz. The show is being held at the fairly intimate London Business Design Centre—total capacity is about 6500 people—and all tickets are already sold out, meaning there will be no walk-up tickets at all—so mastermind Mark Millar’s wish to give the UK a mini San Diego has come true.
Meanwhile, the “Why are there no girls at Kapow!?” controversy was addressed in a profile of show runners Lucy and Sarah Unwin,, the “Women who run the show” that Millar has mentioned every time the controversy came up. The Unwins seem to have more of a background in film, which explains some of the comments:
But there are only nine female guest speakers out of a guest list of 57 comic creators. “We ourselves as women organising the show have been accused of misogyny because of the obviously male guest list, but there is just this lack of female creators and it’s the nature of the industry. There’s no point in taking it to heart because I don’t employ the creators. I would love there to be more women at the show in terms of guests.”
Holding her six-month-old baby Matilda in her lap as she speaks, Lucy talks about the snide remarks and internet trolling she has experienced – almost all of it suggesting that she’s just a front for Millar. She says: “It’s not very pleasant but I just ignore it. I don’t have such a huge ego, I do know it’s my show.”
[snip] Unwin believes that the male/female landscape of comics is set to change. She says: “We do portfolio reviews at Kapow! and everyone can hand in their artwork and it will be looked at by DC, Marvel and Image. There’s a potential for a commission. The hope is that women will feel equally able to hand in stuff. Who knows, maybe we will find the next great female creator this weekend.”
Which is just a reminder that if you’re going to concentrate on the Big Two (and Image), you are going to end up with a male-dominated industry, unlike the other shows we’e been to where we’ve seen anywhere from 25-50% female participation. Get with the program, Big Two!
Anyway, as for Kapow!, Beat correspondents Steve Morris and Jimmy Aquino will both be on the scene, so be sure to buy them a pint and give them some dish.
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.