Archive for the 'Comics' Category

16th Dec 2012

New Bookshop on Comicsy!

If you click any of the “bookshop” links on the left-hand bar or in any of the Cattle Raid of Cooley pages, you’ll now be taken to my new Comicsy bookshop. This should simplify the whole buying comics through PayPal thing. You can also now buy issue 7 – here’s what the cover looks like.

The Cattle Raid of Cooley issue 7

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08th Dec 2012

Belfast Comics Fayre in the Haymarket Arcade tomorrow

Belfast Comics Fayre

Tomorrow, Sunday 9 December 2012, there’ll be a Comic Book and Collectors’ Fayre at Avalon Arts in the Haymarket Arcade at the top of Royal Avenue. Entrance is free, and it runs from 12 noon to 6.30. In attendance will be such luminaries as myself, Andy Luke (who made the above poster), and editor Eoin McAuley, writer Ciaran Marcantonio and artist Daryl Cox from the Dublin-based anthology Lightning Strike Presents, as well as hopefully a few surprise guests. Oh, and I’ll be launching issue 7 of The Cattle Raid of Cooley. Don’t, as the immortal Jim Megaw might say, you miss it.

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02nd Nov 2012

Vote for me!

The second annual Irish Comic News awards are upon us. I neglected to promote the nomination stage, but the nominations are in and you can now cast your votes.

Normally I rail against “hall of fame” awards, especially since they’re always given to people who are still active rather than someone with a whole career of achievement behind them. But The Cattle Raid of Cooley is nominated for the Hall of Fame (comic) award, so I won’t say any of that, or rant about the folly of nominating a book that isn’t even finished for such an award, and instead urge you to vote for it. My ego needs the stroking.

Other nominations I have some connection with: The Irish Comics Wiki, which I write for, is nominated for Best Irish Comic Related Blog/Website, and Lightning Strike Presents, for which I’ve done some lettering, is nominated for Best Irish Indy Comic. You may wish to vote for these, or you may wish to vote for other nominees. But I’d urge you to vote – the more votes, the more representative the results.

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17th Oct 2012

The Cattle Raid of Cooley skips a week

Sadly, real life intrudes yet again. My bathroom is being redone. Two walls have been stripped back to the brick and will soon be replastered and retiled. I was also required to watch Northern Ireland come within a whisker of beating Portugal in Portugal, and it’s hard to draw when you’re holding your breath. With all this going on, I won’t be able to bring you your scheduled weekly update of The Cattle Raid of Cooley this week, I’m afraid. Normal service will hopefully be resumed in due course. In the meantime, Irish Comic News have opened nominations for the 2012 ICN Awards, so if you’d like to nominate me in any of the relevant categories, I’d be absolutely delighted.

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29th Sep 2012

Recent things

A few things I probably ought to draw your attention to. A couple of weeks ago I appeared, being interviewed by Ciaran Flanagan, on the 2D Festival Podcast episode 11. We had a nice long chat about my work, the Ulster Cycle, improvisational comics,  Hergé and so on, which went on so long that the standard questions Ciaran asks all his guests had to be cut.

One question whose loss I think is a shame is my favourite individual comic ever, which is an issue of Stinz by Donna Barr. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Stinz is a series set in an alternative world reminiscent of the early 20th century, the principal point of difference from our world being that there’s a community of centaurs in rural Germany. Stinz Löwhard is one of these “half-horses”, as they’re known. There are stories of his youth, and stories when he’s a mature farmer and mayor of his community, and there are stories of him as a young man when he joined the army and went to war. “On A Pale Horse” is one of those. The war’s just started, and Stinz and his comrades, just out of basic training, none of them having fired a shot in anger, are on their way to the front, when the unit’s horses get sick and have to be put down. It makes me cry every time I read it – it’s the It’s a Wonderful Life of comics. And Donna has been putting her comics online, so you can read it for free at this link. Here’s a sample:

Stinz: On a Pale Horse

The other thing I’ve been doing lately is appearing at TitanCon, the science fiction, fantasy and in particular Game of Thrones convention at the Europa Hotel last Saturday. I and PJ Holden assisted with The Magnificent One Day Comic Book Factory, run by Andy Luke (who’s also done an interview with Ciaran on the 2D Cast), in which participants created a comic from scratch over the course of an hour, which was then printed up as a limited edition and and sold in aid of Action Cancer. It went really well I thought. Here’s the two pages I did for it. Bit of nonsense, made up as I went, but came out all right.

The Magnificent One Day Comics Factory page 1

The Magnificent One Day Comics Factory page 2

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04th Aug 2012

One week to Dublin Zine Fair, launch of The Cattle Raid of Cooley issue 6

Dublin Zine Fair 2012

Next weekend I’ll be at the Dublin Zine Fair, a two-day event organised by Sarah Bracken of Baby Beef Art Press. I’m printing frantically and should have the first copies print edition of The Cattle Raid of Cooley issue 6 for sale!

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31st May 2012

Romantic Mayhem in the Comics Journal!

Rob Clough has written a Survey of International Small Press Comics on the Comics Journal website, and one of the comics he reviews is Romantic Mayhem, the Irish anthology I did a strip for recently. Not only is it the most prestigious organ to review anything I’ve been involved with, it’s a pretty glowing review as well, and describes my effort as “a spectacular Alex Toth approximation” (I was aiming for something along the lines of Jesús Redondo or Santiago Hernández, but if you’re going to compare me to Alex Toth I reserve the right to be seriously chuffed.

The article also covers comics from Germany, Poland, Latvia (with contributions from a cosmopolitan gang of international artists), Holland, Turkey and Britain – lots of interesting artists to learn about.

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14th May 2012

Tommie Kelly’s The Holy Numbers

A new webcomic starts today: Tommie Kelly’s The Holy Numbers! It’s about a guy who wakes up with a vision of enlightenment and sets out to change the world. Is he a guru or a fraud? What happens when a movement overtakes its founder? The comic launches with six episodes in one go, and will update Monday to Friday from now on. You’ll want to follow this one. (If you’re at work or have a problem with that sort of thing, there’s some nudity and bad language.)

The Holy Numbers by Tommie Kelly

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25th Apr 2012

The Cattle Raid of Cooley needs a breather

I forgot to mention, but last week’s page of The Cattle Raid of Cooley was the final page of chapter 6, and you may have noticed that production of pages has slowed to a trickle lately. I’ve been at this since August 2008, over three and a half years, and I think I need a wee bit of a rest. So I’m going to take a few weeks off to do something different, recharge my batteries, and then come back and plunge into chapter seven with renewed vigour. I hope you’ll indulge me.

In the meantime, may I suggest you subscribe to the rss feed, the easiest way to follow webcomics, particularly serial ones, and most particularly serial ones with slightly unreliable update schedules? Here’s a link to an article I wrote for Irish Comic News on how to follow webcomics using rss feeds via Google Reader. If you’re interested in webcomics and don’t know about this, you will thank me.

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22nd Apr 2012

Romantic Mayhem!

Romantic Mayhem

Cover art by Tommie Kelly

Romantic Mayhem, the new anthology from National Tragedy, is out! Edited by Gar Shanley, with a cover by Tommie Kelly, it’s full of fabulous satirical romance strips by the leading talents in Irish comics – including Alan Nolan, Deirdre de BarraArchie Templar, Elida Maiques, John Robbins, Hilary Lawler, Davy Francis, Ian Pettitt – and me!

What's Roy Thinking?

A detail from "What's Roy Thinking?", the first strip in the book, written by Gar Shanley and illustrated by meself. I've tried to imitate the style used by the great Spanish artists who drew British girls' comics in the 60s and 70s, people like Jesus Redondo, Purita Campos and Santiago Hernández.

The standard version was launched in Dublin last weekend and will be onsale at zine fairs and the like across the country, including Independents Day in Dublin this afternoon. There’s also a deluxe edition designed by Archie Templar, available in hardback and softcover from, including an 11-page online preview.

There’s also an interview with Gar about the book on Irish Comic News if you’d like to know more.

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