Monday, November 08, 2010

London MCM Expo

So I went along to London MCM Expo last week - it was good and bad.

We arrived about 12.30, got lunch then went to buy tickets. We queued for about 2 hours.  Next time, I'll be buying my tickets in advance.  I'd forgotten how much I get frustrated by queuing.  And this was a relatively fast moving queue!

Lots of people were in costume, most of them being anime/manga/videogame costumes.  The only other DC characters I saw were 2 other (teenage) Supergirls (both in a store bought modern version of the costume) and one Batgirl who had a very casual costume on - black jeans, yellow bat logo t shirt and an eye mask.  I saw one or two Wonder Woman t-shirts being worn, and 2 Wolverines, 1 Iron Man, 1 Spiderman, a Rorschach and various doctors.  The lack of DC love made me a bit sad.  The crowd was very young - mostly teenagers - who were obviously there for the manga aspects of the show.  Many girls (and a few boys) had free hugs signs, which I found more than a little bizarre.  I declined the offers of free hugs.

Once inside the venue, I realised it was going to be almost exactly like work conferences I'd been to, except with comics and games instead.  It felt like a big shop, selling all the crap you could want, and mostly crap you could get on the internet anyway.  The yaoi/yuri stand could have been interesting but the books being sold weren't really books like I understand them - there was no back blurb, they were all in plastic, all had horrible generic looking covers and there was no way to have a look inside.  If i'm gonna buy porn I want to see what I'm getting.

The independent aisles were mostly selling cutesy, crafty, generic things.  Not really what me and the boyfriend had in mind.

But I did get to meet Bernard Chang!  Which made my day and made the whole trip worthwhile. :)
First I watched him sketch a Sabretooth and Nightcrawler for another lady - that was really interesting, particularly when he added the inks.  He made it look so simple.  Then I asked him to sign my Supergirl issue (#57 that he drew), and we had a chat as I asked him various questions.

First I asked why he wanted to draw Supergirl  - he said he she's fun to draw, he likes what Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle have done with the character, he likes drawing single characters (as opposed to team up books) and he thought he'd enjoy the job.  He wants to continue and build upon what Jamal and Sterling have done.

He doesn't know why the S shield is pink for number 60 or how long it will remain pink for - I get the impression that the artists/writers aren't privy to these decisions.   He did say he has no plans to change the costumer - and he showed me a splash page from number 60 - very nice, and Kara's still got shorts (whew!).  He also had a sketchbook there which had the pencils from #57 and Bizarro JLA in it.  I asked why Arsenal had the cats and he explained, which was nice.  He said it was Sterling's idea to include the cats to homage the Arsenal series and he (Sterling) kept changing his mind about whether to keep them in or not.

I mumbled that I'd facebooked him and he did remember and said that I'd mentioned I'd has some questions.  At which I went even redder and felt like an inquisitor.  I don't like that feeling - I don't want to be all fan entitlement-y at creators.  They're just doing their job, I don't have to like it.
I then said that some net friends wanted to ask if Kara would become a supertorso again (which isn't quite how folks put it, but I don't like and refuse to use slut, so I made boob/hippy shapes with my hands.  I wish more people signed).
He said the Supergirl cover he did (can anyone tell me what number this is?) before was meant to echo Ian Churchill's art inside the book.  He believes the cover should be linked to and represent the art inside the book.

Chang made clear that he is very aware of Supergirl fans' passion for the character.  I mentioned the Supergirl Comic Box Commentary but he hadn't heard of it/been on it.  Sorry Anj.  But I think he's well aware of the internet's reactions to Gates and Igle leaving and I imagine he's probably feeling  a bit apprehensive of fan's reactions to his work.

He also said Nick Spencer might be there at Expo but I couldn't hang around and stalk for him.  Also, I don't know what Spencer looks like, so it could have been very embarrassing.  Last thing I asked was if Kara would stay on the JlA or rejoin the Teen Titans - I then followed this question by saying but I don't suppose you can tell me that.  He can't.

Overall he came over very well, his art was good, he was friendly, respectful and courteous.  I just hope I was too.  Part of the reason int he delay for writing this up is cos I facebooked him again to ask if he minded if I blogged our conversation, to which he said of course he doesn't mind.

Unfortunately we left before I got to meet Andy Diggle or Jock, but to be honest, I was happy enough meeting Chang, having a chat and getting my comic signed.


Anj said...

Glad you got to meet Chang and that he said a lot of good things.

He did 3 supergirl covers in the late teens/twenties when Tony Bedard was writing the Countdown crossovers. His art looks very different now.

And thank you so much for name-dropping the blog! I owe you!

Anonymous said...

He said the Supergirl cover he did (can anyone tell me what number this is?) before was meant to echo Ian Churchill's art inside the book. He believes the cover should be linked to and represent the art inside the book.
Which sounds great... except it was Renato Guedes' art inside those issues, and the covers really ruined what would have been a happy comic buying experience for me.

(What, grudge holding, me?)

Saranga said...

@anj: I think your site came up cos I was talking about fan reactions to #57 on SCBC,and I mentioned that Gates/Igle etc have dropped by.

@oddity: Hmm, I must say I couldn't recall an ian churchill issue/chang cover. Maybe the issues were originally planned to have Churchill doing the art?

I've now found the issues in question - 20, 21 and 22. To be fair, I thought the splash page from #60 is not like those issues.

Anonymous said...

Chang is keeping the shorts? Then I'm not buying. Too bad, after issues 20-present were almost all terrible, I was hoping all the Supergirl only restrictions would go away.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing about issues 20-22 were Chang's covers. Guedes' Supergirl was terrible. The proportions were all off. Her legs were way too short and fat.

I wish DC would downplay Superboy's sex appeal the way Guedes did to Supergirl.

Saranga said...

Dear anonymous,

Your sentiments and writing style echos that of anonymous over at the Supergirl Comic Box Commentary.

In regards to your comment about Superboy's sex appeal, may I direct you towards this feminism 101 blog:

My blog is a feminist blog and I will not be too happy about any derailing comments concerning the sex appeal of male superheroes. Please think about whether your comments are really linked to the topic in question (or give yourself a name).