Dave McKean, Esad Ribic, among first guests announced for Portsmouth Comic Con 2023

Some of the greatest creators from the worlds of comic and film will come together at Portsmouth Comic Con 2023 (3rd – 4th June) and the first wave of names set to appear in the stellar Artist Alley line-up are now announced.

Esad Ribic © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons
Esad Ribic © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

From his home in Croatia, Esad Ribic has drawn some of the most momentous and ground-breaking Marvel comics of the last 20 years including The Ultimates, with writer Jonathan Hickman, and The Eternals with Keiron Gillen. His run on Thor, alongside Jason Aaron, is justly considered one of the most successful in the character’s 60 year history and was recently immortalised in the blockbuster film Thor: Love and Thunder.

José Luis Martínez-Larraz Solís, known as Pepe Larraz

Joining Esad will be José Luis Martínez-Larraz Solís, known as Pepe Larraz. Like many artists, Pepe began his career in fanzines before going on to combine advertising illustration with comic book works before making the leap to the US and Marvel in 2010 to draw New Avengers: Luke Cage. Since then, Pepe has been developing his career as a penciler and inker exclusively for Marvel in other collections such as Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, The Mighty Thor, Wolverine and the X-Men and Star Wars: Kanan, The Last Padawan. In 2018 he was selected by Marvel to participate in the ‘Young Gun’ programme which highlights the best emerging artists in the comics industry, and after revitalising the mutant universe with the House of X mini-series alongside Jonathan Hickman, he is currently working together with Mark Millar on the Big Game series, the first event of the Millarworld imprint for Netflix’s comics division.

Dave McKean. Photo: Allen Amato
Dave McKean. Photo: Allen Amato

Also announced is a living legend in the landscape of British comics and beyond, Dave McKean. Dave’s work encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, digital and collage. As well as creating the cover to every single The Sandman comic, he has also worked with writers like Grant Morrison on the hugely successful Arkham Asylum, and Heston Blumenthal on The Fat Duck Cookbook, written and drawn his own ground-breaking graphic novels, Cages, Black Dog, Raptor, directed films including Mirrormask with a script by Neil Gaiman, Luna and The Gospel of Us, and written and performed a song cycle, Nine Lives, at the Sydney Opera House.

Anna Morozova

New to Portsmouth for 2023 is Anna Morozova. A comic artist and illustrator who is currently working for 2000 AD and the Treasury of British Comics in the UK plus Glarien in the US.

Her published work includes Future Shocks, Terror Tales, Tales from the Black Museum, Judge Anderson, Viva Forever, Lowborn High and Rocky of the Rovers for Rebellion, plus the creator owned “Star-Nav”, written by Alan Hebden and published in the Pandora comic anthology.

Gary Erskine
Gary Erskine

Also returning to Artists Alley will be fan favourite Gary Erskine, who has worked in the industry for over 30 years with Marvel, DC Comics, 2000AD, Dark Horse, IMAGE, IDW and many others on titles including Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, Doctor Who and Terminator; Portsmouth-based writer and cartoonist, Andy Fanton who has worked for The Beano, Dandy, Viz and Private Eye; and illustrator, cartoonist and artist Laura Watton-Davies of PinkAppleJam who returns with special sessions for artists starting out in the industry including “How to sell your work at a UK Comic Con” and “How to earn income as a working artist”.

While Artists Alley is an important part of Portsmouth Comic Con there is plenty more to keep comic, film, TV and pop culture fans of all ages entertained including panels, displays, exhibitions, immersive experiences, cosplay parades, gaming, steampunk, merch and much more. If you’re serious about comics, love Marvel/DC and cult series, or are simply looking for a fun day out for all the family – this is the event for you!

A sell-out event in previous years, tickets will sell quickly so get yours while you can.

• Portsmouth Comic Con 2023, Saturday 3rd – Sunday 4th June 2023, Portsmouth Guildhall – More information and tickets on sale now from www.portsmouthcomiccon.com | Follow Portsmouth Comic Con on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



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