In Pictures: Cardiff Independent Comic Expo 2018

Saucy design by Iz and Rich McAuliffe and a dragon by the mighty Gavin Mitchell

Saucy design by Iz and Rich McAuliffe and a dragon by the mighty Gavin Mitchell

Well. That was a blooming good Comic Convention!

The Cardiff Independent Comic Expo was a big deal for a couple of personal reasons. Myself and my Awesome Comics Podcast buddies, Vince Hunt and Dan Butcher (including the mighty Nick Prolix) were launching the second issue of our anthology series. We are having a blast with this series and it was great to get some really nice feedback from punters who came back for another helping.

If you fancy a copy then head over to (£1 for a digital copy and only £3 for a physical copy!)

Cardiff Independent Comic Expo - Awesome Comics Podcast

The second reason was that over the last couple of years we’ve become pals with Iz McAuliffe, who continues to run one of the best and smoothest conventions I’ve been to. From getting to the hotel on the Friday afternoon right until the breaking down of the tables on the Saturday she makes you feel like a valued member of the community.

This is a comic convention about the creation of art and comics. The focus is on the creative arts, the real comics, the beautiful details and not the short lived rush of the next/ newest movie/ toy/ costume/ fart.

Here’s a shot of Iz running the raffle like a boss!

In charge at the Cardiff Independent Comic Expo: Iz McAuliffe

In charge at the Cardiff Independent Comic Expo: Iz McAuliffe

I arrived the afternoon before and was staying in the Convention hotel. I met with Iz and helpers in the bar and she gave me a tour of the venue. It was an airy and high ceilinged ballroom with loads of space between tables and large windows down one side.

In the tradition of all good UK comic conventions we then hit a number of bars and grubby pubs. I met up with the artistic good and great who were visiting and/or resided in the city. In the grand tradition of Slang Pictorial myself, Nick, Russell and Emily Olsen went to a Jazz Club and ate a late dinner! Then back to the bar and more drinks!

I hit the sack the wrong side of 2.00am and was back up at 7.00am to meet with Mr Hunt to prep our table.

Vince Hunt. With banana. Secret identity?

Vince Hunt. With banana. Secret identity?

I’m now sitting on the train back to London and wondering where the day went! I have spent the day chatting to customers and creators. Here are a few of the highlights.

Laura Trinder and Christian Wildgoose. Saucy!

Laura Trinder and Christian Wildgoose. Saucy!

I got to hang out with the super talented Improper Books people. Matt Gibbs, Sara Dunkerton, Chris Wildgoose and Laura Trinder. This team is putting out some amazing comics. Chris has just come off his critically acclaimed Batgirl run and is now on a Batman project with DC. So good!

Head over to or follow them on Twitter @Improperbooks

Martin Simmonds

Martin Simmonds

I got to catch up with Martin Simmonds who is currently killing it on Punks Not Dead with IDW/ Black Crown. If you are not reading this cracking series, you are really missing out! I got some signed copies for my son.

This guy is about five minutes from being on everyone’s lips at the big comic companies. We also bagged him as a future guest on the podcast.

Head over to and follow him on Twitter @Martin_Simmonds and Black Crown at or @blackcrownhq

Bald by John Tucker - Cover

It was also great to finally meet John Tucker. I got to review his comic Bald a few months ago on my own blog and here on downthetubes and he is as funny in real life as you would expect from his great comics. These are highly recommended. Cardiff was only John’s second convention and he seemed to be busy all day.

Experience the beauty that is John’s banner at and follow him on Twitter @johntuckerart

Scarlett and Sophie Rickard  from Gluepot Books

Scarlett and Sophie Rickard  from Gluepot Books

I also got to catch up with Scarlett and Sophie Rickard  from Gluepot Books.

Man’s Best Friend has been one of my favourite graphic novels for ages and they have some really exciting news in the pipeline. Watch out for them as future guests on the pod! They are a couple of creators who really love the medium and have their heads screwed on.

Find more about these great creators at and on Twitter @GluepotBooks

Chris and Susie Gander getting their hands on the good stuff from Mr Prolix!

Chris and Susie Gander getting their hands on the good stuff from Mr Prolix!

My comics making compadre Nick Prolix and I got to spend time chatting and planning. As well as working on Cockney Kung Fu as the artist, Nick is also on board with his amazing hand lettering with Coffee House Barbarians, with myself writing and kick ass art from Susie Gander. Watch this space. The script for Issue One is complete and Susie is now into drawing the pages. really looking forward to seeing this finished.

Find Nick on Twitter @nickprolix and Susie @SusieGander

Vince interviews the Mighty Milmo! - aka Sarah Millman

Vince interviews the Mighty Milmo! – aka Sarah Millman

Always at the top of my list is spending time with Vince and Dan. Sadly, Dan couldn’t make Cardiff but myself and Vince had an outstanding time. We sold a load of comics, laughed our socks off and still had time to get some interviewing in the bag.

Listen out to the next Awesome Comics Podcast show for some mishaps and comics talk!

(Dan, you were sorely missed!)

Chocosaurus - chocolate dealers

Chocosaurus – chocolate dealers

PS If you see these gangsters (Dani and Ian) from Chocosaurus selling comics shaped treats buy some! They are pretty ruddy good!

Find them at or @thechocosaurus

A big shout to all our pals who we met (Special mention to John Ottawa, who looked after the table and kept me company at scary Cardiff Train Station – have you seen those seagulls there?).

I’m still feeling a little frazzle, so I won’t list everyone here. Just know that we love you all! And especially Stuart Mulrain and Andy Hanks, who came in their red Ferrari!

Cardiff remains one of the best days on the calendar and I loved every single minute of it!

Many thanks for reading!

Find my own blog at Never Iron Anything | Listen to the Awesome Comics Podcast

Here’s Episode 152 of the Awesome Comics Podcast featuring interviews from Cardiff Independent Comics Expo

All event photos © 2018 Tony Esmond. Art featured © respective creators or publishers

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