A tad later than usual, but here it is – my annual Malta Comic-Con post. It turned out to be a super stormy weekend this time round, which gave me happy memories of the very first edition of the Con, back in 2009 if I’m not mistaken. At the time, I wasn’t yet really aware that there was this awesomeness waiting to happen, so I stumbled on the Con pretty accidentally – cut a long story short, we were looking for somewhere to shelter from the torrential rains and a day meandering at St James seemed like a good idea.
It was, and then some more. We bought stuff, we chatted with artists, we watched movies & in general spent a day geeking out happily while the floods gathered outside. Since then, I start looking forward to the Con from the end of October, and this year was no exception – particularly as the guests keep getting better and better every time.
A combination of work, chores and sheer exhaustion kept me away on Saturday, much to my annoyance. Every time anyone uploaded a Con related status or photo online, I was getting a bad case of the green-eyed monster. Sunday, I figured rain or shine I’m there – and I was. And, as always, it was wicked.
I didn’t take as many pix as usual (sorry), mainly cos I needed to catch up fast. And also ‘cos I sort of forgot to charge my battery and my camera died on me halfway through. But yes, I did manage to fit in (almost) everything, except films. My personal highlights:
Meeting Mike Carey, the creator of Lucifer, had to be a personal yay moment. I just love what Carey did with Lucifer Morningstar, an evolution of Neil Gaiman’s creation for The Sandman that is beautifully intriguing and debauched. I’ve always been intrigued by the freewill vs predestination paradox, and Carey builds a totally captivating plotline around it. Much to my shame, I didn’t manage to read The Unwritten before actually meeting him, but it’s next on the list as soon as I finish Joe Hill’s Locke & Key.
Meeting The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard. Of course, this had to take one of the top spots, given TWD is one of my favourite graphic novel series AND television series. Adlard was, of course, pretty much under siege throughout the whole two days of the Con, reportedly barely being left enough time for a quick bite with the amount of sketches and chats being requested. And guess what, being the good sport that he is, not one fan was disappointed.
Witnessing what is probably the first fully-fledged role-playing game that is both created and developed locally – Sanctuary’s Edge, by Mechanimus Studios. From what I understood, the setting is a sci-fi/frontier reclamation one, with quests being based in this ‘harsh and unforgiving’ land. The setting comes with a novel character-creation and rule system, one that should appeal to those who find the traditional methods a tad restrictive.
The launch of Issue II of Genesis, by School of Bitches. By now you’ll have realised that I’m a sucker for (well-told) tales of the apocalypse, and Genesis – with the tagline, “the story of how the world ends” – satisfies on all counts.
The WARS (Wargaming and Role Playing Society) section, by now a staple presence at the Con. Fine, so maybe I’m biased, but I do believe that table-top roleplaying is one of the best ways to stimulate the imagination, develop strategic thinking and socialise with real, honest-to-goodness humans (the latter is something that computer-based MMORPGs don’t actually achieve). Seeing veterans from the WARS society introducing youngsters to the discipline made me go all warm inside.
The exhibitions, in particular the storyboards from HBO’s Game of Thrones television series, which included a guided tour by artist William Simpson.
There was a lot more going on, of course. The cosplayers who didn’t let the bad weather discourage them from going the whole nine yards. All the other artists, patiently drawing sketches and autographing books. The gaming sections, the book section… etc etc. To all these, and to Wicked Comic, who organise the whole event, a massive thank you for making it happen. And let the countdown to the next one start.