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01st Aug 2008

The Cattle Raid of Cooley – announcement

Here’s a sneak preview of a couple of panels (not from the same page) from The Cattle Raid of Cooley, which I can now announce will begin serialisation on Wednesday 6 August 2008! It’ll be updated once a week, every Wednesday.

The Cattle Raid of Cooley is my adaptation of Táin Bó Cúailnge, the nearest thing medieval Ireland produced to an epic. The earliest surviving version dates to the 10th or 11th century, and is a compilation of episodes mostly written in the 8th and 9th. Certain plot elements and characters are alluded to in a poem by Luccreth moccu Chiara, Conailla Medb michuru or “Medb enjoined illegal contracts”, which dates to about AD 600. Luccreth calls this material sen-eolas or “ancient knowledge”, so it would appear to belong to a tradition even older than that.

It’s set about forty years after my previous Ulster Cycle comic, Ness, and features a few characters who made appearances there. Of the three characters seen above, one was a significant supporting character in Ness, another made a brief cameo, and the third is a descendant of Ness. The main character, who isn’t shown above, is Ness’s grandson.

This isn’t the first time the Táin has been adapted to comics. Mayo publishers Cló Mhaigh Eó have an Irish-language adaptation, An Táin, written by Colmán Ó Raghallaigh, drawn by Barry Reynolds and coloured by Adrien Merigeau. The source material is public domain and open to all sorts of interpretations, and I’m happy that our approaches are different enough that there’s room for both versions.

Ó Raghallaigh and Reynolds' Irish language version, An Táin. Click to visit the publisher's website.

One Response to “The Cattle Raid of Cooley – announcement”

  1. Gunnar Says:

    Think I prefer your version! And thanks for doing this!

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