By Dean Haspiel
Jet-lagged and bedazzled, I resurrected in NYC having enjoyed a ShiftyLook camaraderie that formed from my London trip to MCM Expo to promote THE FIVE-DIMENSIONAL ADVENTURES OF DIRK DAVIES last weekend. I was glad to meet/get-to-know publisher Rob Pereyda and the ShiftyLook crew [Tim & Cory], and Hollie Bennett and the Japanese Namco Bandai executives, who were super kind.
I didn’t get to see London proper [except for a posh dinner at Simpson's in the Strand the last night of the show] but the cosplay was mesmerizing. Their kind is a committed strain of human being and they dance to throbbing electronica [of the Rave persuasion?] with the verve of a thousand leaping samurai which thrilled me! I think 85% of the fans were 14-year old girls and boys dressed up in fantasy dreams. No way their parents let them out of the “flat” looking like that. There was some serious switch and jail bait happening in the “tubes” and toilets to have this mass quantity of garters, mini-skirts, and paper swords parading around. Everyone looked like a living doll. Thanks to a life-time of ugly American puritanical brainwashing, I kept thinking I was going to be arrested for being age inappropriate at the con. I was a bit befuddled. See, MCM Expo is NOT a comic-con, proper, although I got to meet some of the guys responsible for the excellent NoBrow publications and the folks who organize The Leeds Comic Art Festival. MCM Expo was strictly Gamers and Manga members only! At least you knew who the creators were because we all wore dark t-shirts and jeans. It was like we were inside some kind of reality TV game-show beta/chemistry test: black dotted “blokes” swirling about a sea of sweet pink and milky white human eye candy while avoiding moral judgment at every level with a brief Danny Devito intermission [he was there to promote his new LORAX movie]. At least, that’s how it felt for me. Maybe I need to get out of the house or the country more often. The DIG DUG tournament was a blast as the 30-year old game ruled the crowd.
Comix God, Marv Wolfman, was a generous, educational, and inspiring man [he wrote the first issue of The Fantastic Four I ever read, FF #197]. The Udon cats were hella cool [Jim, Matt, Dax: that's how you rock a studio!], and I met Wallace & Gromit! Fer reelz. Ben McCool? What can I say — he is a gentleman, a scholar, a great collaborator, and a champion drinker. I truly don’t know how he does it.
[Dean Haspiel and Marv Wolfman in London]