An amazingly brief trip to Kapow! Comic Con

Tuesday April 12th 2011

Wilfully reinforcing the received wisdom that all comic book fans are pale, socially-inept outcasts, the Kapow! Comic Con was held on the hottest weekend of the year in a building surrounded by parks, sunshine and good times. Against our better judgement, team Ultra Culture (me and a friend) rocked up to Islington’s Business Design Centre at around 11am, ready to explore.

We had special ‘VIP passes’ because we are both ‘very important’ and, when I last checked, ‘people’. In fact, my friend is a female person, and without knowing it, instantly doubled the number of women attending the convention just by walking through the doors.

This is what we found inside:

Araraagahgshjsahh. People. Everywhere. There were stalls set up right across the main level of the BDC, each manned by suspiciously sexy young women who definitely weren’t being employed purely because of their ability to be sexy, young and women. No, they love comics.

We soon realised it wasn’t really going to be ‘our thing’, and while I did buy a nice drawing of a cityscape from a charming man who insisted on rolling it up and putting it in a little bag for me, most of the stuff on offer was aimed pretty squarely at hardcore comic fans. Some people had dressed up for the occasion, which was fun, but even then it wasn’t really the ‘how can this possibly exist?’ spectacle that I imagine the US Comic Con to be.

Still, they did have an authentic replica of Dr. Who’s box!

Dr. Who’s box!

Confused, hot and a little sleepy, we made our way towards the filmy bit, but even there we felt a bit out of it. Here’s a man commentating while another man plays video games in front of some other men:

And here’s two men watching the Source Code trailer in some kind of specially-constructed Attack the Block paddock:

I don’t want to get all LOOK AT THE NERDS on you, because to be honest if it had been more movie-focused I’d probably still be there now, ogling the sexy young women and talking about Scream 4 with likeminded weirdos. But this wasn’t where we’d parked our car and we knew it.

So instead, we ventured out into Islington and had a lovely day. Here’s a pretty door we saw:

I wonder what’s behind it.

By the end of the night we were on a rooftop round the corner gazing out at a view that can’t be adequately conveyed in a shitty iPhone photo, but I’ll have a go all the same:

It was magical, and the general feeling was one of relief that we hadn’t stuck it out.

Sorry Kapow!, I wanted to have a beautiful romance with you but I just don’t think it was meant to be. You need to get rid of that exclamation mark for a start. And cut your hair.