Archive for the '2D Festival' Category

28th May 2010

Summer Schedule

Last weekend Kyle Rogers (Fyshbowl Comics) and I had a last minute table at the Bristol Small Press Expo. A few more engagements this summer:

  • Next weekend is the 2D Comics Festival in Derry-Stroke-Londonderry. I’ve been the last two and they were great.  And Pat Mills is going to be there! Hopefully he’s forgotten that business about the Sláine story for the first issue of Zarjaz when he hadn’t given permission for his characters to be used, that was a long time ago…
  • Weekend after that, 12 June is the Point Village Comics Festival in Dublin. Brand new event, never been done before.
  • 24 July is the second annual Summer Edition comic, zine and artist’s book fair at Filmbase in Temple Bar, Dublin. Did that one last year and it was really good.

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13th May 2010

The Black Panel

Over at the Black Panel blog, there’s news of Black Books this Sunday, at which we’ll have Paddy Lynch’s new book and a free preview of Rob Curley & co’s forthcoming horror comic Róisín Dubh on the stall, plus news of 2D and the Point Village Comics Festival, and a link to Andy’s interview with Phil Barrett! Follow the link and read all abaht it!

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13th Jun 2009

Kids’ comics – a challenge to Irish artists

As an afterword to my last post about the 2D Festival, it occurs to me that so many of the punters were children, but so few of the comics were aimed at them – my own comics included. When I was in single figures most comics were aimed at my age-group, but most of them have disappeared. We’ve been so preoccupied with proving that comics can be for grown-ups that we’ve left the kids behind, and that’s a shame.

So I’ve decided that, in time for next year’s festival, I’m going to create at least one comic for children, and I’d like to issue a challenge to other artists who’ll be there to do the same. Adventure, humour, whatever. Think about it – next year’s Tuppence could be full of comics an eight-year-old could pick up and enjoy.

Bam! Pow! Splat! Comics aren’t just for adults anymore!

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11th Jun 2009

Where I’ve been, and where I’ll be

2D, or “Tuppence” as I’ve taken to calling it, in Derry last weekend, was tremendous. Got to meet David Lloyd and Bryan Talbot and D’Israeli, and catch up with Stephen and Andrew and Deirdre and Andy and loads of other people who I hope won’t be offended at my failure to namecheck them. Unlike every other comics show I’ve been to, this one had a lot of children in attendance, which made for a completely different atmosphere – we weren’t all exhibiting for each other for a change.  I loved it.  David Campbell, ably assisted by the efforts of Bridgeen Gillespie and Dec Shalvey, deserve lots of nice things.

They put me on the mezzanine between established pros Will Simpson and Mike Collins, and we barely got to say two words to each other, we were so busy sketching. I’ve no idea how many drawings I ended up doing, but my wrist was sure sore by the end of the day. There was a monster theme, and loads of the kids wanted to be drawn as werewolves and vampires and devils and Frankenstein’s monsters, but I think my favourite drawing I did was of the tiny little girl with the Wednesday Adams stare who wanted to be drawn as a bat.

Here’s a picture taken by Ciaran Flanagan, with me sketching away in the foreground, Mike in the background. I’ve hotlinked it from Facebook, and it seems to work even when I’m logged out, so hopefully you can see it.

Next appearances include the Third International Conference on the Ulster Cycle in Coleraine on 22-25 June, which I’ll be attending as a punter to listen to scholars deliver papers on the linguistic, literary and comparative mythological qualities of the ancient Irish stories I base my comics on, and hopefully turn said scholars onto said comics; and Summer Edition 2009, an artist’s book, comic and zine fair in Temple Bar, Dublin, on 4 July, where I will have a table. If you can make it to either, look me up and say hello.

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01st Jun 2009

2D This Weekend!

Oh yeah. Keep forgetting this is a blog. So I’ll be exhibiting at the 2D Festival at the Verbal Arts Centre in [London]Derry* this weekend. Unfortunately they don’t have a logo that’s hotlinkable, so this post will have to go unillustrated. But David Lloyd’ll be there! And D’Israeli! And Bryan Talbot! And Glenn Fabry! Not to mention lots of Irish artists. And it’s free! If you can come, and don’t, then you’re an eejit. If you can and do, see you there.

*For those of you from outside this benighted corner of a speck in the Atlantic, there are a lot of people for whom whether or not you shorten the name/add a bit to the beginning to the name of Northern Ireland’s** second city is actually important. I heard a story about an American tourist who asked for a train ticket to Derry, and the guy in the ticket window refused to sell them one because there’s no such place. Then there’s all the road signs to “Londonderry” that have had the “London” painted out – and even one where the “Derry” has been painted out, leaving the “London”. I remember when Bill Clinton came over to celebrate the Good Friday Agreement and gave a speech to a huge crowd in front of Belfast City Hall. said he’s been to “Derry City and Londonderry County” – when he said “Derry City” half the crowd visibly bristled, and when he said “Londonderry County” the other half did.

**Never mind.

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09th Jun 2008

2D Comics Festival and small press comics

Got back last night from the second 2D Comics Festival – the first I’d actually been to – in Derry, and a fun and fascinating time was had.  Ireland, north and south, is clearly home to a great deal of comics creativity in the pro and small presses.  But I came out thinking, maybe I’m ahead of the curve?

Back in the 90s I was part of a small press comics scene that was based on a bunch of cartoonists producing little A5 photocopied pamphlets and “selling” them – or at least, exchanging them with each other – by post.  Some of us would go to conventions and actually take money, but I doubt many of us kept count of how many we’d sold and how much we were making.  I know I didn’t.  Our print runs were tiny, and our outlay was also tiny – so even if we made 100% profit it would barely have bought us a round of drinks anyway.  We weren’t, in short, in it for the money.

There are still cartoonists like that.  Some are true amateurs, doing it for the love in formats, genres and styles that will never be commercial, while others hope that, after honing their chops in the non-money-making sector, they might be able to produce a body of work they can parlay into opportunities in pro publishing – just like back then.  Professional printing is now within financial reach, so hand-stapled photocopied booklets are giving way to quality paper and full colour covers, even full colour interiors.  But even a short print run, professionally printed, costs a fair amount of money up-front, and making any of that back involves lots of legwork distributing the thing to shops.  The outlay is bigger, but the expectation is still not to make any immediate money out of it.

The odd thing is how few seem to be considering the web as a way of getting their work seen and read.  A fair few small press cartoonists have websites, but you can’t read any of their comics on them.  But it’s by far the cheapest way to get work out there, to, potentially, a huge audience.  And rss aggregator sites like Google Reader or Bloglines or any number of others, which allow you to keep track in one place of when all your favourite blogs have updated, make it as easy to enjoy long-form serialised comics as one-off gag strips or self-contained short stories.  But people aren’t quite on board with webcomics just yet.

It’s the way forward for small press cartoonists though, I’m convinced of it.  And when a trendsetter like Warren Ellis is throwing his weight behind it – his and Paul Duffield’s excellent ongoing sci-fi series Freakangels – maybe people are going to start paying more attention, and realising the possibilities.  I hope so, anyway.

The other way forward for small press cartoonists is print-on-demand.  In the old days, the set-up costs for printing were so high you needed a substantial print-run to make it worth your while – far too many for one person to be able to sell – and you’d be left stuck with boxes full of unsold comics.  Digital printing has put and end to that.  There are now a number of companies on the web who’ll print you one copy at a time if that’s all you need, and allow readers to buy copies online, only printing as many copies as have been ordered.  The up-front costs are really very small.  When the current storyline of The Ulster Cycle is finished, I’ve long intended to publish it as a book using one of these services (although I haven’t decided which one yet).  It’s a model that suits the small press extremely well.

Aside from all this musing, 2D gave me the opportunity to meet lots of interesting and talented new people (you’ll notice my “Irish comics creators” blogroll down the left hand side of the site is now quite a bit bigger) catch up with some equally interesting and talented people I already knew but hadn’t seen for ages, buy some comics off them and/or watch them draw.  It was only a shame I had to leave so early to catch the train back to Belfast.  I think next year I’ll have to plan it a bit better.

Posted by Posted by paddybrown under Filed under 2D Festival, Irish comics, Small press comics, Webcomics Comments 3 Comments »

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