Yesterday was the first Cardiff International Comic Expo, the first comic convention I’ve ever attended. I had a great time, saw some cool stuff and spent a little more than I expected!
Here’s a quick rundown of the highlights for me…
I’ve only read the Tom Jones story (Dai Hard) so far, but 10thology seems to be an outstanding collection of local comic book talent.
One of the few comics I knew to expect was Stiffs, written by PJ Montgomery, with art by Adam Cadwell. It’s another entry into the (very lively) Zombie sub-genre, but with some twists. The world that has been revealed so far isn’t a post-apocalypse where society has broken down, but one one where life continues, albeit with a slight undead inconvenience. There’s also a talking monkey, who based on the cover art I had imagined would communicate through pictograms somehow. Instead he’s actually really talkative. The comic only hints at the origins of his gift of the gab, but I suspect this will be explored more later.
The Etherington Brothers
Though I was not familiar with him before, I am now a huge fan of Lorenzo of The Etherington Brothers. I bought his El Sketchbook Lorenzo, Deluxe Edition, which is huge and full to the brim with highly original and detailed artwork.
He even did a signed sketch inside.
I’ll have to ask myself why I don’t have a job drawing spaceships for a living!
Mat Irvine and Mike Tucker gave a talk about their time working for the BBC Visual Effects department. I think most people were hoping for more of a ‘how we did effect X’, but instead it was a potted history of the department, illustrated with some fascinating rare pictures they were unable to fit into the book.
I particularly enjoyed having a short chat with Mike afterwards about his thoughts on computer generated effects and using software like After Effects to enhance his miniature work. I could ask these guys questions for hours…
The best panels of the three panels I attended was with Matthew Savage, a concept artist who has worked on the new incarnation of Doctor Who (his first job there was to revamp the Daleks – can you imagine?), Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, plus the forthcoming X-Men: First Class and the Alien prequel (or whatever that turns out to be).
Less compelling was the team behind the Ultramarines CG movie. I was very interested to hear about their experiences, but sadly they just sounded like they were bored by the whole thing.
It was awesome to finally meet Stacey Jenkins who I’ve been following on Twitter for some time now. She had some very slick promotional postcards showcasing her artwork. Perhaps next year she will have a stall of her own! (The Hire a Dalek card is nothing to do with stacey, I just thought it was funny!)
Speaking of next year, I hear that the Expo will be a bigger two-day event. I’ll be there!