Writer Paul Cornell, Artist Marika Cresta, and AHOY Comics Present a Decades-Long Satire of the Comic Book Industry and Its Biggest Conventions

Issue 1 Drops in July, Ahead of Comic-Con International

(April 25, 2023) This July, writer Paul Cornell (Doctor Who), artist Marika Cresta (Doctor Aphra), and AHOY Comics will present a fantastic and funny satire of the comic book industry and its biggest conventions. CON & ON is a brand new five-part tragi-comedy which follows a fictional but all-too-familiar ensemble cast of pros and fans down through the decades of America’s most colossal comic book convention: the Vista Al Mar Comics Festival on the California coast. The series debuts on July 12, 2023, ahead of Comic-Con International.

CON & ON is the story of five different years in the life of the Festival—one year per issue, spanning three decades—from the points of view of a diverse bunch of desperate people whose lives revolve around this greatest show on Earth. Meet close friends Eddie and Deja, aspiring young comics talents whose ambitions threaten to tear them apart; Anthony, Don & Finn, brilliant, boozy and bombastic British creators; and all of the crusty veteran editors, forgotten TV stars, and enthusiastic fans who make the convention experience something to revisit year after year.

“CON & ON is the romance of every big convention, the bittersweet journey through time and success, the highs and the lows and the silliness,” said writer Paul Cornell. “It’s the story of every fan and every pro and everyone who’s just trying to make a buck in the midst of extremity. Through the narratives of our large cast of characters we see, in miniature, the story of the last few decades of modern comics: how some things have changed and how some things have stayed exactly the damn same.”

“CON & ON is the real mirror of the panorama of conventions,” said artist Marika Cresta. “Anyone who has ever lived in this comics world will surely find themselves in one of the many characters who animate this story and make it feel alive and unexpectedly real. I loved working on it because it’s a world I live in and I’m passionate about the idea of being able to depict it, both in its positive and negative aspects!”

“I’ve never read a comic quite like CON & ON,” said series editor Tom Peyer. “Paul and Marika expertly balance the pomp and spectacle of a huge convention with small, intimate moments among flesh-and-blood people you’ll be glad to know.”

Here’s what people are saying about CON & ON:

“Funny, smart and sharply observed. Does what every great con does: reminds you that while the medium is obsessed with the superhuman, it’s the human that makes it matter. For better, or for worse.”—Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine)

“Trust Paul Cornell to find the humanity and weirdness in the comics industry and the rise of organized comics fandom. This is one convention you won’t want to miss.”

—Charlie Jane Anders (The City in the Middle of the Night)

“The first issue promises a world of comics history only slightly altered to protect the innocent (and the guilty), with all the charm of a seasoned raconteur propping up the bar of a favorite convention gone by.”—Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk)

“This was a blast. Cornell and Cresta combine their formidable talents to tell a comics-history-infused tale loaded with heart, plenty of winks and nods, lovely art, and memorable wit — creating a page-turner that will keep you wanting more. Readers will want to get a permanent residence in the sharp, funny world they’ve created.”

—Alex Segura (Secret Identity)

“With a cheeky blend of loose comics history and tantalizing look through the eyes of two industry hopefuls at the types of creators that helped make the biz, one can’t help but turn the page to find more clues about how the sequential sausage is made.”

—Cecil Castelluci (Shade the Changing Girl)

“Con & On is a trip. It’s a window into a different time when Comic Shows became COMIC CONS. It’s a satire of the comic cons of yesterday, but it’s a satire with a lot of heart. Can’t wait to see where it goes next.”—Dan Slott (The Amazing Spider-Man)

“To read CON AND ON is to allow Paul Cornell and Marika Cresta to conjure in your mind the vital spirits, sights, sounds, and smells of the last three decades of nerd culture with startling clarity. This is no hagiography of nerd culture, but the real story, with names graciously changed to protect the not-so-innocent. And I should know — I’m pretty sure I’m in it.”

—Jackson Lanzing (Captain America Sentinel of Liberty)

“For anyone who was there at the time it feels… well, like being there at the time. Affectionate, pin-sharp and wickedly funny.”—Mike Carey (Lucifer)

“The total familiarity in this comic is all at once hilarious, heart-warming and excruciating; much like our much-beloved, much-beleaguered industry most of the time. Paul and his team capture so well in these pages characters we all know, sentiments we all share…and also that exhilarating buzz that many of us once felt way back when we first entered the convention space and found ‘our people’. I feel like I’ve met all of these characters, for better or for worse, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been a few of them too.”—Emma Vieceli (Life is Strange)

“A profoundly well-observed waltz through the heart, soul and timeline of a comic convention, packed to the gills with the strange, the sad, the spectacular and the sinister — just like the real thing.  Like some living, breathing meta-biography of an event rather than merely a person or place, these vignettes feel so acutely familiar they both hurt and heal in all the best ways.”—Si Spurrier (X-Force)

“Paul, as always, writes brilliantly and his characters are always totally believable. The commentary track is genius. Like me, you will be simply desperate to read the rest.”—Rachael Smith (Wired Up Wrong)

“In the tradition of the best Robert Altman films, CON AND ON’s multiple points of view all build on one another, together capturing the spirit, nuance and complexities of the comics industry at the first of many pivotal moments. I can’t wait for more!”—Kyle Higgins (Radiant Black)

“A love letter to comic fandom, creators and con-culture. Heartfelt and insightful.”—New York Times Bestseller Cavan Scott (Star Wars: The High Republic)

CON & ON will be published monthly by AHOY Comics and available in stores on July 12, 2022.

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