Archive for the 'Irish comics' Category

11th Nov 2009

Henry Brocas and “The Loves of the Fox and the Badger”

When writing my history of pre-20th century Irish comics, I came across an article called “The Brocas Family, Notable Dublin Artists” by P. J. Raftery from the journal Dublin Historical Record Vol 17 issue 1 in 1958.  It said of Henry Brocas, who I’d already discovered drew cartoons of British atrocities during the 1798 rebellion for the Irish Magazine in the early 1800s:

One of the earliest efforts of Henry Brocas, Senior, was a political
caricature ” The Loves of the Fox and the Badger
” a rude
etching, which was published in ” Exshaw’s Magazine
” for 1784.

One of the earliest efforts of Henry Brocas, Senior, was a political caricature ” The Loves of the Fox and the Badger” a rude etching, which was published in “Exshaw’s Magazine” for 1784.

I’ve since come across a cartoon of the same name and date, credited to the British caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson – and the only online copy of it I’ve found bears Rowlandson’s signature.

However, another source, a catalogue of items in Princeton University Library, credits it to Brocas. Perhaps there are two cartoons of the same name, one by Rowlandson and one by Brocas. Perhaps Brocas did a copy, or Rowlandson drew it and Brocas engraved it – Brocas was, after all, an engraver. I don’t know. I’ve added a caveat to the article, and would welcome any correction by anyone knowledgeable on the subject who might be reading.

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21st Oct 2009

No Cattle Raid of Cooley, but you get to hear what I sound like

I’m afraid that, thanks to my creative exertions at the weekend, it will be quite impossible to bring you your scheduled page of The Cattle Raid of Cooley this week. But! The Comic Cast’s podcast of the panel discussion on self-publishing and webcomics, featuring me, Hilary Lawler and Phil Barrett, along with contributions from the floor by Tommie Kelly, Gar Shandley and Maeve Clancy, is now available to listen to. I must warn you, however, that if you don’t make or want to make comics you may find our discussion of the techniques and logistics of producing a comic a little esoteric. Plus, I had no idea that’s what I sounded like.

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13th Sep 2009

24 Hour Comics Day is coming

We’re just over a month short of this years 24 Hour Comics event, held at the Central Hotel in Dublin on the 17th/18th October.  The main feature, as ever, is the 24 Hour Comic marathon, where participants have 24 hours (starting at 11am on Saturday 17th, finishing the same time on Sunday 18th) to create a 24 page comic – here’s the one I did last year, and a load of others from the last three years. If you want to take part, it’s free – just show up. You’ll need to bring your own paper and drawing utensils.

But this year there’s a difference. It’s bigger. The event is being run in conjunction with Children’s Books Ireland and the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and on the Saturday there’ll also be workshops and other activities for kids, including:

  • 11:30-12:30 – a giant comic jam where young participants (7 and under) can collectively create one huge comic
  • 12:30 – 1:30 – a pop-up book workshop (6 and over) with animator and illustrator Maeve Clancy
  • 2:00 – 3:00 – a make-your-own-mini-comic workshop (for 8-12s) with small press cartoonists Bridgeen Gillespie and Phil Barrett
  • 3:00 – 4:00 – a workshop with manga artist Tsuyoshi Ogawa (pre-teens, under 10s need to be accompanied by an adult)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 – the same for teens and up
  • 5:30 – 6:30 – a workshop on creating monsters with children’s illustrator Sarah McIntyre (all ages)

Places are limited, so if you are or have a kid with artistic tendencies who’d like to take part, email Cliodhna and sign up – it’s free!

At 7pm there’ll be a panel discussion, hosted by Craig O’Connor and Liam Geraghty of The Comic Cast, on getting started in comics, focusing on self-publishing in print and on the web. Barring unforeseen circumstances I’ll be on the panel – a treat for my hordes of fans!

So if you can make it to Dublin that weekend, even if you don’t  fancy you have the stamina to create a 24 hours comic, why not put your head round the door and say hello?

All due kudos as ever to the indefatigable Cliodhna Lyons for organising the thing, and drawing the gorgeous graphics.

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16th Aug 2009

Addition to the History of Irish Comics

The week before last I posted the first part of my History of Irish Comics, covering the 18th and 19th centuries.  I’ve made a little addition to the article today, as I’ve discovered another anti-O’Connell Irish cartoonist: R. J. Hamerton, originally from County Longford, who moved to London, went native, and drew for Punch in the 1840s, sometimes under the pseudonym “Shallaballa”.

One of the most depressing things about researching cartoons relating to Ireland was the focus on the simian stereotype of the Irish in 19th century English cartoons. It’s even more depressing to find an Irish cartoonist who cleaved to that stereotype, but there you go. Here’s one he did of O’Connell as an ogre growing fat on the Irish “pisantry” in 1843.

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06th Aug 2009

A history of Irish comics part 1: before the 20th century

The new issue of RedEye, a pdf magazine about comics, includes an article by Niall Kitson called “Deferred Gratification: a secret history of Irish comics”.  It’s good and informative as far as it goes, but it’s more a primer for the current Irish comics scene than a “secret history”.  I figured, as the main contributor to the Irish Comics Wiki, I might be able to go back a little further. Click here to read what I’ve discovered.

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18th Jul 2009

Tommie Kelly interviewed

Another link for yez. Tommie Kelly, creator of the excellent webcomic Road Crew, is interviewed at drop-d.

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15th Jul 2009

Comic Cast party

I don’t think I’ll be able to go, but anybody reading who’s into Irish comics and can make it to Dublin on Friday might be interested to know that the Comic Cast, Ireland’s No. 1 comics podcast, is having a party.  It’s at Twisted Pepper, on Middle Abbey Street, doors open at 9pm and admission is free from then til 11, and 5 euros thereafter.  Don’t let the fact that Liam and Craig don’t know the difference between the words “too” and “to” put you off: they’ve got bands and DJs and a stand-up comedian, and Liam Geraghty and Phil Barrett have done a special comic for the occasion.

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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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27th Mar 2009

Webcomic accessories

Two top Irish webcomics have announced spin-offs.

In Tommie Kelly’s Road Crew, Jim Soundman has been hired as a producer (because they heard he was cheap) by a band called George in India.  The band have a website, and you can even hear their debut single, “Very Wrong”, as produced by Jim, on it!  That’s dedication to the total webcomic experience.

Meanwhile, Maeve Clancy’s Flatmates has reached it’s first birthday, and to celebrate, Maeve’s offering a signed poster to the first ten people to email her their address.  She first made the offer seven hours ago, so I don’t know how many’ll be left, but if you’re not in you can’t win.

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18th Mar 2009

Eclectic Micks

I’ve been meaning to post a link to this new blog. Eclectic Micks is a collective sketch blog by a gang of Irish professional comics artists – namely, Stephen Mooney (Angel), Stephen Thompson (Presidential Material: John McCain), P.J. Holden (2000AD), Nick Roche (Doctor Who), Will Sliney (Farscape), Bob Byrne (Mr. Amperduke) and Dec Shalvey (Classical Comics’ Frankenstein) – and Will’s given me the perfect excuse, by doing his own version of Cú Chulainn:

So be sure to add the Eclectic Micks to your rss reader!

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