Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Missed Marvel UK creators at Cons this year? This may help.

Two things that I have regretted this year, whilst moving house and working ridiculous hours, is that I haven't been able to get out to as many Cons as I'd initially planned. Especially this year, when I knew that in at least two instances there was going to be appearances made by certain Marvel UK creators whom I have not yet had a chance to meet. Firstly, I'd seen fliers stating that Captain Britain creator Chris Claremont was going to be at Bristol Comics Expo. Now even in this day and age, that was a pretty big deal. How often does he come to the UK, these days? I had to make that. It was in May. I could do that...

Yeah. I failed to make Bristol...

I'd also been hearing really good things about Sci-Fi London. I'd been hearing names like Gary Erskine (Artist on Knights of Pendragon and Warheads), Dez Skinn (Former Head Editor of Marvel UK, in the 70s), John Freeman (Former Group Editor of Marvel UK, editor on Doctor Who Weekly, and writer on the Real Ghostbusters comic), Simon Furman (Creator of Death's Head and UK Transformers legend),  and Dan Abnett (Death's Head II and Knights of Pendragon). There was word of a proper Marvel UK Panel! How could I miss that?

Yeah. That was in May, too. Didn't make that either...

Luckily for me (And if you missed them, for you also) there is some consolation here. Alex Fitch presents a weekly radio show about comics, on London's Resonance 104.4 FM, by the name of Panel Borders. Not being a London resident I can't pick it up live, but Alex does also put out his shows as Podcasts. And in recent times there have actually been several of those which will probably be of quite a bit of interest to regular readers.

For one, Alex managed to get an interview with Chris Claremont at Bristol. You can find that one HERE.
It's quite an interesting interview. A little guarded from Claremont, but it does touch on his British roots, Captain Britain, and also his continuing want to work with Alan Davis. Well worth a listen. Many of you might have read interviews with Claremont before, but hearing him actually speaking, certainly for me, adds a different dimension to some of his past interview comments. Take a listen.

Alex also chaired the Marvel UK panel at Sci-Fi London! And therefore the whole panel has been recorded, split into two Podcasts, available HERE and HERE. It's a really good panel, which discusses Marvel UK right across the three decades of its existence. One very interesting dimension discussed here though, and which I don't tend to cover as much on this Blog, is Marvel UK's licensed titles from the 1980s. I don't tend to cover those as much, because their characters are not so transferable into the present, and aren't strictly speaking the property of Marvel UK. But it cannot be denied that titles like Transformers, Thundercats and even The Real Ghostbusters, were huge sellers. Certainly larger sellers than the vast majority of titles in the modern American market, that's for sure. I cannot recommend listening to this panel enough.

Other Podcasts available from the Archive, which you might be interested in from a Marvel UK standpoint, include, a great spotlight on Captain Britain, from last year, which includes interviews with both Paul Cornell and Alan Davis, interviews with David Lloyd (Artist on V for Vendetta, ad Night Raven),  Mark Buckingham (Mortigan Goth: Immortalis, Marvelman and Fables) and another interview with Paul Cornell and David Hine which technicaly is rooted in their work for DC, but is also worth a listen.

So, that's three days and four Blogs. I'm getting there guys, but please bear with me... :)


  1. "There was word of a proper Marvel UK Panel! How could I miss that?" Dunno, but I missed it too!

    -- Dez Skinn

  2. Hello Dez,

    Welcome to my humble blog, and thank you for dropping by.

    It would have been great to have had you on that panel. Your own perspective on the beginnings of Marvel UK would have been interesting to hear.

    As regular readers of this Blog are probably aware, the majority of my site concentrates on Marvel UK properties from the 80s onwards. But that really is only half the story.

    I would certainly recommend that readers checked out the Marvel UK section of Dez's own website, at:

    which goes into a lot more detail of how things were shaped into the Marvel UK inherited by others in the 1980s.

    A very interesting read.


  3. Yeah, it's kind of my fault Dez wasn't there as I forgot to remind him of the day closer to the date... Will be more on the ball next year!

    If I hadn't just started a new job, I'd have organised a comics panel at the Sci-Fi London Oktoberfesr too.

    Thanks for all the plugs, you're a star! (ahem, today's interview with Charles Vess about illustrating Spider-Man: Spirits of the Earth, Stardust and Sandman: A Midsummer night's dream might be of interest to your readers too)