Sunday, 17 April 2011

Kapow! 2011

Having had a great time, met a brilliant new author, and finally subscribed to Murky Depths quarterly magazine which I've been meaning to do since last year's EasterCon, I am ashamed not to have written anything at all yet about the Kapow! Comic Con 2011. Pictures probably say it best:

Translation: It was at the Business Design Centre in Islington, and it was big!

Translation: there was a cosplay competition, and these are only a few of the fantastic costumes people had on during the weekend! I personally met a very talkative Jedi knight and a giant rabbit. Myself, I made do with the usual 'vaguely reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell android' biker boots and garishly shiny blue hair.

I got a promising looking non-Japanese Tokyopop manga (soon to be rare now their shutting up shop in the US) called Poison Candy, another 3 volumes of Naoki Urazawa's delightfully meaty and multifaceted near-future 'novel in manga form' 20th Century Boys, a properly nice Manga t-shirt which I am seriously considering wearing to work I like it so much, and evangelised about Self Made Hero and Kiki de Montparnasse to a hardened Marvel fan which seemed to go remarkably well. And...

Ok I admit it. I also raided the CyberCandy stall and am still feasting on 'Amped Apple' favour Super Sour Nerds. Mmmm.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Kiki de Montparnasse

Lots of people know that Kiki de Montparnasse was Man Ray's muse, but I had no idea that she knew and inspired so many others: Mendjisky, Soutine, Modigliani, Matisse are only a few of them. So the fast-moving, lusciously produced, completely addictive, Angouleme prize-winning comic by Jose Louis Bocquet and Catel Muller was educational as well as an absolute pleasure to read.

I like learning about people and events through comics. The story gets so many more chances to come to life when the teller can give you look and the speed of the story visually and in words, and when the two complement each other as well. Always looking for ways to express the relationship between stories and real life, I was particularly taken with a line spoken by Maurice Mendjisky just before he and Kiki fall in love, that 'we're all just tenants in our own stories'. Is that true? Perhaps it is. Do we leave when we can't pay the rent? Is it more about choice - you choose where you are and who have to justify your existence there in some way? Or is it about situation - the walls, the room, don't belong to you, and everything you take with you when you leave doesn't depend on the situation you first got it in?

I had a terrible craving for millionaire's shortbread while I was reading this. I blame that craving on 1) wanting to have as much fun as Kiki but the nearest fun thing being a cake shop and 2) that like millionaire's shortbread the story was surprisingly easy to digest for something so rich. Nonsense? Perhaps.

I learned even more about Kiki in the beautifully illlustrated 4 part guest blog by the authors on the Self Made Hero website. Self Made Hero are on fire at the moment, it seems - next I'll be tucking into the new Lovecraft anthology which has had nothing but good reviews. And I have a copy at home, to boot. Bring it on!