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Dave Gibbons at Kapow!

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The brand new Kapow! comic convention is hitting London 9-10 April, and in the weeks leading up to it ImagneFX are interviewing some of our favourite comic artists that will be making an appearance.

This week we speak to 2000AD and Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons about setting up at Kapow!, and heading off to the bar…

So where will we be able to find you at the Kapow! convention?
I haven’t got a table but I’m going to do a couple panels. I’m down to do a DC creator’s panel at 12:15 on the Sat, and then a Millar World panel at 14:45, and then a signing on the Sunday from 14:30 to 16:30. No doubt I’ll be wandering about in between, quite possibly in the bar area.

Will you be revealing any new art?
Yeah, we’re going to be unveiling the new project that Mark Millar and I are doing together at the aforementioned Millar World panel, so I’ll be showing off some artwork then… I’m pretty excited to start the ‘excitement’ about that.

Talking of excitement, do you still get excited about cons?
I do! I like going to conventions because I’m quite a sociable, gregarious kind of person, and one of the drawbacks of doing this job is that you spend a lot of time on your own. So cons are a great excuse to go out and see what’s happening, to see what new books and comics are out, but most importantly to catch up with friends and have a drink and a gossip, and find out what’s what.

It’s also really rewarding to meet your readers, and hear what they think about your work. It’s always nice to reinforce the knowledge of what you’re doing on your own in your room does actually have an impact on and interest for people out there in the real world. I always enjoy that contact.

Kapow! wants to be UK’s answer to San Diego Comic Con. Are we behind the US for celebrating (and exploiting) our comic heritage?
Not really, and I think it’s a question of scale. The fact that the US is relatively so vast means they can have such a big convention where everybody that you’d want to meet is going to be there - every comic is going to be there, every computer game, every movie is going to have some kind of a presence there. England, like the other European countries, has smaller events but that doesn’t mean there’s going to be any less enthusiasm.

For many years we’ve had a convention at Bristol and one at Birmingham, and there’s the London MCM Expo that’s held out in Docklands (which I don’t particularly go to, as there’s lots of things there that aren’t of interest to me, plus it takes ages to get to...)

Kapow! is going to be Europe’s answer to San Diego in that it’s going to cover comic-related properties, and other media like movies and games. Plus the fact that it’s a little bit before San Diego means that we’ll be able to get a few scoops, but no, I don’t think we’re behind the US in celebrating our comic heritage.

Got any good comic convention stories?
Well I’ve been going to conventions for many years and there have been all sorts of incidents, drunken and otherwise… getting the chance to interview artists like Will Eisner and Joe Kubert was great. Another really golden moment was at the Chicago Convention in 1984, and in the space of half an hour I’d landed the job of doing the art for Watchmen and also arranged to draw the Superman annual that Alan Moore and I did - For The Man Who Has Everything. Since those were two of my creative peaks, I went to bed with a very big smile on my face that night.

Dave Gibbons will be propping up the bar with ImagineFX at Kapow! comic convention this 9-10 April 2011.

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