The following is an interview with Paul Cornell regarding the upcoming release of the comic book series, Con & On, through AHOY Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Cornell about how his own experiences at comic conventions fueled the series, why AHOY Comics serves as the perfect home for the project, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of Con & On! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the series’ premise?
Paul Cornell: Across five issues, we cover the tragicomic, satirical trajectories of a large cast whose lives intertwine with those of a major annual comics event. Each issue leaps ahead several years, so we end up covering decades, up to the present day.
BD: The series observantly satires the evolution of a comic convention (and the lives that it impacts) over the course of five different years. How much inspiration did you pull from your own lived experiences as a comic book professional?
PC: Oh, it’s full of my own real experiences and anecdotes heard from fellow professionals. It’s the lore of the enormous conventions made into a comic!
BD: How would you describe your shared creative process in working with artist Marika Cresta to bring the stories and characters to life?
PC: Marika is great at character design, acting, and showing exactly what it feels like to camp in line all night for a panel.
BD: What makes AHOY Comics the perfect home for this series?
PC: AHOY’s thing is comedy, and this takes a satirical, quite biting look at what’s changed in the comics industry over the decades and what damn well hasn’t. We’ve got a ‘commentary track’ in the comic, from the perspective of a future historian, which adds an ironic distance.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that the characters’ intertwined experiences will connect with and impact readers, especially those who may be more connected to the world of comics?
PC: As well as being a satire, it’s all about the love of big conventions and of the comics medium. ‘This con is life’ as one character says in a future issue. If you love comics, if you map your own life markers onto how comics have changed, or indeed if you just follow pop culture in general, this will have a ton to say to you.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
PC: Project: Cryptid is another upcoming AHOY project, an anthology of funny cryptozoological stories in which I have two tales, one about the Mongolian Death Worm and the other featuring Sherlock Holmes vs. the Cottingley Fairies.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Con & On and your other work?
PC: My Linktree!