Archive for the 'Ness' Category

03rd Dec 2008

Some reviews

In the wake of the Dublin City Comic Con, Some people have been saying nice things about Ness.

Rich Johnson of Lying in the Gutters , reviewing a selection of comics he picked up at the Con (scroll down to “Comics Irish Style”), describes it as “A wonderful period graphic novel” and “Primitive but gripping”.

My tablemate Tommie Kelly, creator of Road Crew, says “This book screams professionalism and dedication”, and suggests if it was translated into Irish it’d make me a millionaire (possibly overestimating the number of Irish speakers who want to read comics, but there you go).

Meanwhile Rol Hirst, despite having been nowhere near Dublin, describes it as “excellent” and praises the “crisp dialogue that doesn’t get all bogged down trying to sound of-the-era” and the “wonderfully expressive artwork”.

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29th Nov 2008

Buy my book online!

The Ulster Cycle: NessFinally, fresh from its triumphant launch at the Dublin City Comic Con last weekend, The Ulster Cycle: Ness is once again available as a book!

When the king of Ulster is powerless to stop a murderous outlaw, his daughter Ness turns outlaw herself to hunt him down. But with war looming between the kingdoms of Ireland, will her father’s house still be there to come back to when the job’s done?

The art has been completely re-scanned and retouched in places, and a few lettering corrections made for the book, which also includes 8 pages of notes identifying sources and providing background.

The book can be bought online via PayPal.  Cover price is £4.99.  Check the drop-down box for price including postage & packing.  Republic of Ireland counts as EU – select EU surface mail.  If you live somewhere that’s not included in the drop-down box, email me and I’ll work it out.

If you don’t want to use PayPal you’re welcome to send me a cheque or money order (payable to Patrick Brown; make sure you include p&p) at 40 Channing Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, BT5 5GP.

Edited to add (2 December 2008)
I’m afraid there’s a problem with the PayPal button – apologies if you can’t get it to work. I’m trying to get it sorted, but in the meantime, if you have a PayPal account you can send money to my email address, If you’re in the UK the price including P&P is £5.99. Europe surface mail is £6.49. Europe air mail is £6.99. USA air mail is £7.49. Apologies again.

Posted by Posted by paddybrown under Filed under Dublin City Comic Con, My Comics, Ness, Publishing Comments 3 Comments »

24th Nov 2008

Con Report

The Dublin City Comic Con went extremely well, after, it has to be said, a fairly shaky start.  I arrived in Dublin on Saturday morning, tried to checkin at the hostel I’d booked a bed in, and when asked for money, discovered I’d left my wallet at home in Belfast.  The con organisers were very understanding and were happy to let me off paying for my half of the table until Sunday, after I’d made the trip home and back again.

First time I’ve been to a con as an exhibitor rather than a punter.  I was extremely lax at taking photos, I’m afraid.  Here’s a shot of my half-a-table taken on Friday:

I was sharing with Tommie Kelly, creator of the excellent webcomic Road Crew, and his glamorous assistant Vanessa:

Met a bunch of people I’d previously only met online, reaquainted myself with some people I’d  met at 2D, and made the acquaintance of a few people who were entirely new to me, and embarrassingly got Stephen and Aidan, who I know from the monthly Belfast comic creator pub meets, mixed up on a couple of occasions (sorry).  Stephen Coffey unveiled his secret weapon, Barry McGowan, who’d painted his comic Rosemary Herbb: The Return in a style that looked like a tighter version of 2000AD‘s Simon Davis.  Declan Shalvey and Andy Winter launched their hilarious one-shot comic Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag, which among other things includes a wicked parody of Garth Ennis’s The Boys and a novel version of what Judge Dredd, sorry, “Magistrate Grudge”, looks like without his helmet.

The launch of the collected edition of The Ulster Cycle: Ness was a great success – I shifted more than half of my initial print run, and several of the people who bought it on Saturday came back on Sunday to say how much they’d enjoyed it.  (The quality of the printing, by The Fallen Angel, was also complimented, deservedly so.  Thanks Mallory.)  I made an impromptu appearance on a panel for newly launched small press books and did it reasonable justice I thought.  I’m not quite ready to launch the book online, but I will shortly once I figure out how much I’ll need for postage and can get a PayPal button sorted.

Edited to add: Tommie’s put up his own report and photos (including one of me looking pregnant).

Edited Tuesday 25 November to add: Declan Shalvey has his report up.

Edited Wednesday 26 November: link to Andy Winter’s impression.

Posted by Posted by paddybrown under Filed under Dublin City Comic Con, Irish comics, Ness, Publishing, Small press comics, Webcomics Comments 3 Comments »

06th Oct 2008

Publishing hiccup

Apologies, but after after issues have arisen in the printing of The Ulster Cycle: Ness, I have withdrawn the book from sale at Lulu.  I’m exploring other options and will keep you posted.  In the meantime, the complete comic remains available to read here on the website.

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13th Sep 2008

The Ulster Cycle: Ness now available as a book!

Edited on 6 October 2008 to add:

I’m afraid that after issues have arisen in the printing of The Ulster Cycle: Ness, I have withdrawn the current edition from sale at Lulu. I am exploring other avenues for publication and will update further when I’m able to.

The Ulster Cycle: Ness, first serialised as a webcomic on this site, is now available as a book!

Ireland, the Iron Age. When the king of Ulster is powerless to stop a murderous outlaw, his daughter Ness turns outlaw herself to hunt him down. But with war looming between the kingdoms of Ireland, will her father’s house still be there to come back to when the job’s done?

Praise for The Ulster Cycle: Ness

What an impressive debut. It’s as though writer/artist Patrick Brown found a window looking into the past, and he decided to smash it and climb on through. Here is a thoroughly modern form of Irish storytelling that makes the past very much the present.

It’s as though he were standing over the still bleeding and battered corpse of Darby O’Gill with the murder weapon in his hand – his weapon of choice a biro. This is not murder. This is a beautiful act of mercy.

Malachy Coney
The Darkness, The Moon Looked Down and Laughed, Good Craic Comics

Finally a comic from Northern Ireland that can be read anywhere – Patrick Brown weaves a wonderful tapestry of rich characters,intertwining centuries-old legends with 21st Century artwork to die for. Wonderful!

Davy Francis
Oink!, Holy Cross, the 4 Fathers

All 72 pages of art have been re-scanned and a few corrections made.  Also includes 8 pages of notes and background material.  Follow this link to buy a copy – only £5.99 for the paperback, £2.99 to download as a pdf!

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25th Jul 2008

Forthcoming comics

The Cattle Raid of Cooley, the next Ulster Cycle comic, is coming along nicely. I’m very aware of the fact that when my house got flooded last summer, there was a long break in updates, so I’ve decided to build myself a bit of a backlog before I start posting, and to post on a regular weekly or twice-weekly (I haven’t decided which yet) schedule rather than whenever I get a page done, so as to stay well ahead of myself.

If you’ve been following my blog since last June you may remember that I’ve been drawing The Ulster Cycle in red biro, but greyscaling it and turning up the contrast a bit to turn it into black and white art. Some of the people I’ve shown the original art to, including fellow creative types Malachy Coney and PJ Holden, have said they prefer it in red, and as I’m publishing it on the web there’s no need to accept the restrictions of print publication.

So I’ve decided to heed their wisdom. The Cattle Raid of Cooley will be published here in red, just the same as I draw it. I’m not going to post any of the art here until I’ve got enough of a backlog built up, but just to let you see how it’ll look I’ve rescanned page 59 from Ness (chosen because the art’s not bad and there’s no lettering to redo). The black and white version, for the sake of comparison, is here.

The Ulster Cycle: Ness page 59 in red

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02nd Feb 2008

The Ulster Cycle – things to come


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23rd Jun 2007

How it’s done

I should be getting back on track shortly. I’ve been running around between work, home and my dad’s house for the last couple of weeks and really had very little time for drawing. Or for thinking about the story, which is probably more important. I don’t have a script. I have a rough idea of the shape of the story, and I try to work a couple of scenes ahead in my head, with events coming into sharper focus the closer I get to drawing them. The flood and clearing up after it have taken up most of my mental energies over the last couple of weeks, so upcoming scenes just haven’t been able to clarify themselves yet.

It occurs to me as I write the above that some of you might be interested in how I go about creating The Ulster Cycle. I have, it has to be said, a fairly peculiar working method.

gridAs I said before, I don’t have a script. I’ve tried writing scripts, but when I have a script I’m happy with I kind of feel “job done” and can’t motivate myself to draw it, and I’m a creative megalomaniac so I don’t trust anyone else to draw it. I also don’t pencil. For some reason my drawings lose a lot of the life and spontaneity the more preparation I put into them. Ever since I started doing life drawings in permanent marker I’ve felt my best drawings are done quickly in indelible media. I did some minicomics in this style about ten years ago and found it liberating. Having spent the last year or so trying to prepare an adaptation of The Cattle Raid of Cooley, the central story of the Ulster Cycle, and getting well and truly blocked on it, I decided to break the mental logjam in this tried and tested way.

My only concession to preparation is a grid drawn in black marker (see left), dividing the page into two, three and four tiers and columns, from which I trace the panel layout onto A4 printer paper in red biro, having given some thought to what note the page starts on, what it finishes on, how many and what size and shape of panels I’ll need to get from one to the other. Then I just start drawing, mainly still using my trusty red biro. If I’m lucky that’ll be the only tool I’ll use, but I usually also have recourse to a bit (or a lot) of Tippex. On occasion, particularly early on, I’ve used a pink highlighter pen for tone, and in one instance finished a panel in black biro because detail and depth were getting lost in red. Dialogue is roughed in as I go. It’s not unheard of, if a panel goes badly, to redraw it on another page and paste it over the original. Below is what the pages look like when they’re drawn.


Then I scan the page in RGB colour, greyscale it, and darken it by adjusting the brightness and contrast in Photoshop. Heavy biro drawing sometimes crinkles up the page and creates shadows on the scan, but these can be removed by deleting the red channel before I convert it to greyscale. The lettering is done in Photoshop using a font I made from my hand lettering using High-Logic Font Creator, and sometimes I’ll take the opportunity to redraft the dialogue.

I decided at the start not to use word balloons, but to connect the dialogue to the characters with a simple tail, like Brian Talbot did in the original version of Luther Arkwright, and Eddie Campbell often does in his autobiographical strips. It’s a stylistic thing that appeals to me for some reason. More artists should do it.

Anyway, that’s how it’s done.

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28th May 2007

The Ulster Cycle page 17, and recommended webcomics part 2

Ireland, the Iron Age.


The Ulster Cycle page 17


(Minor edit on 29/5/07 to add the lettering I forgot about yesterday)

Now for today’s recommended webcomic:

SPQR Blues by Klio

SPQR BluesI’m a sucker for a good ancient historical comic, and that’s what SPQR Blues is. Set in Pompeii not long before Volcano Day, it follows Felix, a disgraced Roman soldier, struggling to do the right thing and keep his own arse covered (usually failing at the latter) in the face of political and family intrigue, and trying not to hope that the wife and child he was told were dead might still be alive.

Klio was apparently once told by Donna Barr that, once she’d done 10,000 drawings, drawing would be a doddle from then on, so she took the suggestion, and since then has published the ongoing SPQR Blues as well as various ad hoc autobiographical strips on the web. The wee number in the bottom right hand corner indicates how many she still has to go. Following Donna Barr’s idiosyncratic example as a path to artistic fulfilment might strike a neutral observer as being about as sensible as following Eddie Campbell‘s How to be an Artist step by step, but what the hell, there are worse people to be influenced by, and the Barr influence is certainly evident in Klio’s drawings. Felix is an engaging character and the setting is well-realised. Read it from the beginning and get drawn in.

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24th May 2007

The Ulster Cycle page 15, Irish comics creators, and Belardinelli

Ireland, the Iron Age.


The Ulster Cycle page 15


Sorry there was no page yesterday. I wasn’t feeling well. Got a note from my mammy and everything. Anyway, here’s page 15. Thanks to Stiof MacAmhalghaidh for suggesting what small game might have been huntable in the Iron Age.

You may have noticed a new category of links in the sidebar down the right (unless you’re reading on Google Reader or some other RSS feed site) – Irish comics creators. I took my lead from my old pal PJ Holden, the 2000AD artist, who’s posted a page on his blog on the same subject. I’ve dug up a few more myself, and hopefully between us we’ll be able to identify the entire Irish comics community. There are handful who don’t seem to have a web presence, so I’ve added a link to page about them. If you’re Irish and involved in making comics, leave a comment and a link if you have one and I’ll add you to the list.

Finally, cartoonist extraordinaire D’Israeli writes an eloquent appreciation of the late 2000AD artist Massimo Belardinelli, whose death has been reported before, but unfortunately this time doesn’t seem to be an exaggeration.

Posted by Posted by paddybrown under Filed under Comics, Irish comics, Ness Comments 1 Comment »

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