02nd Feb 2009

Belfast artist Stephen Downey

CancertownStephen Downey, a Belfast comics artist and a mate from the monthly Belfast comics creator meetups in the Garrick bar, has been working on Cancertown for what seems like forever. It was originally going to be a limited series before the publishers decided that was commercial suicide, and it’ll be going direct to graphic novel when it’s done.  It’s a sort of supernatural horror fantasy thing written by a guy called Cy Dethan, and we’ve been getting previews of the pages as they’re drawn.

From what I can gather the main character has a foot in two worlds, the real one (drawn in ink) and another one full of grotesques, monsters and giant eyeballs (drawn in pencil). I was particularly impressed by the sequence where the writer, as comics writers do, asked Stephen to draw a character becoming a whirlwind of daggers – not metaphorically, actually turn into a spiral storm made up of countless pointy metal weapons – and Stephen not only did it, but did it so you went “wow”.  Stephen draws in a kind of heightened realist style that would fit in quite nicely at places like Vertigo, teaches Irish traditional music, and talks faster than the human mind can comfortably process.

And he’s done an interview about his process and inspirations over at Red Eye, his publisher’s blog, and he’s been good enough to give me a wee plug. Favour returned, and I’ll keep you posted when the book comes out.

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