BLOG Cardiff International Comic Expo

The lightest, brightest con in the UK, apparently…

This weekend saw the very first Cardiff International Comic Expo, a one-day event held in the Welsh capital, brought to us by the team behind the long-running Bristol Comics Expo, and their expertise was evident all over this spectacular day.

From the easy and efficient registration process, to the interesting and smooth-running panels, there is little to find fault with and lots to praise. For example; there were tannoy announcements five minutes before panels started which, for the forgetful and erm, chatty of us was incredibly handy. The dealer room had floor to ceiling windows, this is the most light I have ever seen at a convention and really made a difference – the forethought of the organisers to put the artists in this area so they could actually see what they were doing was a good ’un too! There was a nice mix of artists, writers, small press and dealers in the hall, plenty to look at and buy, as well as Daleks wandering around collecting for Help For Heroes .

I attended a few panels: the launch of Fallen Heroes , a comic adaptation of the fantasy novel written by Barry Nugent (of Geek Syndicate fame). This was an interesting panel hosted by the guys from the fabulous Sidekick cast podcast, which catalogued the trials and tribulations of this comic coming into being after their original publisher ceased trading. The artist, Steve Penfold along with Barry entertained the audience with an almost “how not” to do it, and despite their difficulties their first issue sold out within an hour!

I also attended a panel called “Creating Who? Tales And Relative Drawing In Space (good eh?)” which consisted of artists from the Doctor Who Magazine – Mike Collins, David Roach, John Ross – and writers from the Big Finish audio books – Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie. I particularly liked listening to the artists talk about the rigorous screening process their art goes through at every stage before being passed for the Magazine . All of the guests were funny and engaging and incredibly patient with the children in the audience.

I was roped into doing a little round table podcasting as well, which was great fun. With representatives from the small and independent press alongside the podcasters, we discussed, in detail, the UK comic convention scene and our thoughts on the Kapow! Convention in particular – look out for that coming soon, if you’re interested here.

There was great 2000AD presence and I think this may have been the only trick missed – a 2000AD panel would have been brilliant! As a big fangirl I was pleased as punch to be able to pick up sketches from Dylan Teague, Neil Roberts and Simon Davis as well as buy some beautiful Savage pages from Patrick Goddard.

It was wonderful, as always, to hang out with my podcasting mates, all the guys on the Geek Syndicate Network/forum, The Sidekicks and the ECBT2000AD’ers and 2000AD forum guys, The A Man, you all rock. A special mention to the last folk standing in the bar – we lifted our feet up so the cleaner could vacuum – the rather fabulous Rob Davies, Simon Gane, Dylan Teague and John Ross.

All in all, a fantastic, well thought out convention held in a hotel with great facilities in a good location. Many congratulations to the organisers, who have already let slip they will be back and bigger next year with a two day convention. Book me in for that with bells on!

Where you there this weekend? What did you think, what were your high or even low lights?

Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.