Archive for the 'Webcomics' Category

17th Apr 2009

Bookshop, and The Cattle Raid of Cooley issue 1 launched


I now have a Bookshop!  And as well as The Ulster Cycle: Ness, you can now buy issue 1 of The Cattle Raid of Cooley, collecting the first 24 pages, only £2 plus postage & packing.  Follow the link for details.

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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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26th Mar 2009

On stuff

Firstly, Scott Meyer’s Basic Instructions is bloody good this week.

Secondly, Pádraig Ó Méalóid has posted scans of the complete third issue of Big Numbers!  I believe this is the issue that Bill Sienkiewicz, exhausted from the first two issues, drew in a drastically stripped-down style before quitting the series, rather than the version that Al Columbia (allegedly) painted and then destroyed.  Pádraig has sought, and got, the blessing of the big beardy fellow to post the scans, but it’d be interesting to know what the two artists thought…

Thirdly, Jake Thackray was a genius.  My mum and dad used to listen to him when I was small, and I remember them letting me listen to a song of his called “The Hole” (there weren’t many of his songs suitable for children) and finding it amusing.  So on a whim I purchase his 4-CD set Jake in a Box and his live double CD Live Performance, and by god he was good.  He’s best known for his funny songs, but there’s a whole lot more to him than that.  One I’m quite taken with is “The Little Black Foal”, which on first impression sounds like a rather sweet folk song about a foal clip-clopping along, then becomes a very perceptive song about infatuation, and finally leaves you wondering what the narrator actually did with the girl he met last night whose name he can’t remember, and why he’s so keen to avoid meeting other members of her family.  But it’s not on YouTube, so here’s “The Bull” instead.

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24th Mar 2009

On Things

On Saturday (28 March) I shall be exhibiting at the UK Web and Mini Comix Thing (which I like to think is named after the Old Norse word for an assembly rather than just, well, a thing) at Queen Mary University in London. I’ll have copies of Ness, the first print issue of The Cattle Raid of Cooley, and my 24 Hour Comic to sell, and there’s lots of other interesting and talented cartoonists exhibiting as well – from Sarah McIntyre (Vern & Lettuce) to Paul Rainey (There’s No Time Like the Present) to Kate Beaton (Hark, a Vagrant!) to Rene Engström (Anders Loves Maria) to David O’Connell (Tozo) – and  a healthy Irish contingent, including Patrick Lynch and Katie Blackwood, Ronan Kennedy, Al Nolan and Cliodhna Lyons.  Should be a good show, so if you’re in the vicinity why not come and say hello?

In other news, the great Davy Francis, frighteningly youthful elder statesman of the Belfast cartooning scene, was doing caricatures for Comic Relief the week before last.  Here’s one he did of me.

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04th Feb 2009

Paul Grist webcomic!

Paul Grists Big Cosmic ComicOne of the most truly gifted cartoonists you’ll ever find, Paul Grist, creator of Kane and Jack Staff, illustrator of St Swithin’s Day and Torchwood, is doing a webcomic! Paul Grist’s Big Cosmic Comic, featuring the Eternal Warrior character who’s appeared in Jack Staff, is serialised a page a week as a Facebook group. So you’ll need to sign up for Facebook if you want to read it, which you obviously do.

Well? What are you waiting for?

Edited on 13 February to add:

For those of you not on Facebook, Paul’s also posting it on a blog!

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30th Nov 2008


Just discovered that Jamie Smart, creator of the fabulously demented “Fish Head Steve” in The DFC, is doing a webcomic!  It’s called “Whubble“, and it’s about, if a Jamie Smart comic can be truly said to be “about” anything, a cat who works in an office.  It updates every Wednesday and is marvellous.  Here’s one:



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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.

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21st Nov 2008

The Dublin Comic Con is tomorrow

This weekend I shall be nerd-networking.  I have half a small press table at the Dublin City Comic Con at the Park Inn Hotel in Smithfield Square, Dublin.  Apart from the couple of people who bought copies from Lulu before I withdrew it from sale there, this will be the first opportunity to buy a copy of The Ulster Cycle: Ness in book form!

I’ll be sharing a table with Tommie Kelly, creator of Road Crew (a very funny webcomic about a rock band’s roadies) who’ll also have wares to sell, so if you’re attending, be sure to say hi (and buy stuff).

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14th Nov 2008

Top Five Webcomics

Comixology has posted a list of their top five webcomics of 2008.  Some good choices, some I don’t really get, but obviously tastes differ, so I thought I’d pick it up as a meme and do my own list.  Hopefully lots of people’ll do the same.  In no particular order:

1. Girls With Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto

A comic about sex, and relationships, but mainly about sex, from a female perspective.  And refreshingly, not from a male-hostile female perspective.  It takes what I would call the Calvin & Hobbes format – a strip of four panels or so, with a punchline, every weekday, usually building into longer story arcs.  The two main characters are Hazel – skinny, uptight, redhead journalist – and Jamie – curvy, fun-loving, brunette florist.

Hazel is sexually frustrated, but thinks any man who wants to sleep with her is a pervert who’s only after one thing, so she remains sexually frustrated.  Her current beau is Zach, and she’s very keen to sleep with him, but he’s not ready for that yet, which sets up some amusing role-reversals from the stereotype.  Jamie has plenty of intimate encounters with plenty of men (and one woman), but successfully remains a virgin.  Other characters include Jameson the barista, who makes a mean cup of coffee and wears a bandana under his bandana (“it’s like a bra for my head”), for reasons that have been revealed; Clarice, who works in a porn store but remains a librarian at heart, and of course, McPedro, the allegedly Irish cactus who talks to Hazel, but only when she’s drinking.

2. FreakAngels by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield

Apocalyptic science fiction serial.  Pyschic twenty-somethings use their powers to protect the district of Whitechapel in a flooded future London – but it seems they were somehow responsible for the global cataclysm that caused the flooding.  Ellis has always been the mainstream comics creator most committed to using t’inteweb to get his work out, and now he’s doing it in the most direct way possible.  Artist Paul Duffield does great shadows, and creates a very vivid sense of place.

3. Jesus and Mo by someone who prefers to remain nameless

Jesus and Mohammed have a pint down the pub, share a bed (in Morcambe and Wise stylee), play computer games, read the paper, and inadvertently point out the absurdities in their respective religions.

4. Flatmates by Maeve Clancy

There’s a bittersweet quality to this weekly strip.  Not sure why Paul and Seán are drawn as cartoon dogs while all the other characters are people, but it works.

5. Things Change by Derik A Badman

Contemporary stories inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses (which were themselves Greek myths updated for a Roman audience), with no gods or magic involved.  The earlier stories were mostly interesting experiments in form and irony, but the third book has been utterly compelling reading so far.  A young widower, whose wife’s death was coincidentally linked with his encounter with a beautiful near neighbour, and a teenage boy who has been careless with the affections of his female classmates, seem to be about to share a similar fate.

All the graphics I’ve hotlinked here are of course copyright to their respective creators.  I hope they don’t mind me hotlinking to them, as I’m doing so with the purpose of pointing readers to their work.

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12th Oct 2008

The week in webcomics (5-11 October 2008)

Jesus and Mo discuss what people say about Islam…

The Flatmates eat out…

Lilly MacKenzie shows she’s much better at losing her temper and being violent than Cosmo was…

In FreakAngels, Arkady recalls how it all started…

Scott Meyer explains why PCs are better than Macs, in Basic Instructions

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