ICN Feed: April

Hello from Viking Meadow, the current headquarters of ICN. Despite evidence to the contrary, this post is not a reaction to this week’s funding kerfuffle as I was always planning to start what I will hope will be a monthly check-in as to the goings on in the Irish Comics scene. However, I would like to thank all those who have sent money to help us keep the lights on and will be working with Stephen Ward and others to come up with new things to keep the content flowing as well as keeping favourites like Irish Comic Art Picks (check out Stephen’s Superman Special here).

Recent Events

We are only a few weeks off a hugely successful Cork Comic Expo and I just want to offer congratulations to Will Sliney and Big Bang Comics for putting the show together. The locals were so interested in everybody’s work and, from speaking to a number of people, I think creators were very happy with how they did on sales. I managed to pick up the Half Past Danger 2 hardcover, which was exclusively on sale for the first time, as well as grabbing a copy of Centipede from Eoin Marron (one of the more original stories I have read but more on that later). It is great being able to interact with creators online but cons are a great place to catch up with people face-to-face (once I’m able to overcome my shyness).

Last Saturday saw three events with Showmasters in Belfast and two “pure comics” shows with Cosmic Rebels Con in Enniscorthy and DCAF in Dublin. CRC saw 3,000 people in total for 2 days and the event raise 1,300 Euro raised for the Jack and Jill Foundation. I managed to briefly drop into DCAF (it was conveniently located 15 mins from my fiancé’s house and past one of my favourite coffee shops). I was unsure of an event being held in a hostel but I was amazed by how nice the space was and I think the organisers are hopeful of holding events there in the future. I had quick chats with Anthea West, Karl O’Rowe and Roddy McCance. All had great books on sale. I have them all of course but got a copy of the second printing of Karl O’Rowe’s Death Sworn as it now sports an ICN Award mention on it. I did pick up some books in North, The Girl and The Glim and Permanent Press.

Here are some upcoming events:

Kingdom Comic Fest (May 6th)
Enniskillen Comic Fest (May 11th – 12th)
Belfast Comic Mart (May 19th)
The Rathdrum International Cartoon Festival (June 2nd – 3rd)
Celtic Con Irelands Midland Comic Convention (June 23rd – 24th)

(@ me on Twitter if I am missing some)

Now Reading

As mentioned, I got my copy of the Half Past Danger 2 and Centipede in Cork. HPD retains the prior volume’s fun, adventurous feel. It is a mad romp that just makes you smile. More dinos! More Nazis! More danger! I discussed Centipede with artist Eoin Marron and colourist Chris O’Halloran in Cork and both said there was some freedom in turning a game with no backstory and very few colours into a comic. It is weird story that just really appealed to me. Stephen Ward reviewed issue one and I interviewed Eoin about the book in case you’re still on the fence. As mentioned earlier, I managed to grab a copy of North and Girl And The Glim (both by India Swift and Michael Doig). There was a lot of buzz about the latter last year but I hadn’t read it. Stephen Ward had reviewed it so it never got to my “desk”. Both books are wonderful and have a delightful animation influenced style. I hope to interview both creators when they have the free time.

My copy of Hound volume 3 recently arrived in the post and it is still my pick for the best put together book on the Irish comic scene. The action gets bloodier and you aren’t given the ending you expect. I thought it was an interesting nod to the story’s past as it has been re-interpreted before namely the Christians shaping into to fit their narrative. Interesting that the Morrigan chooses to do the same thing. I really enjoyed the change. You can get in contact with Paul Bolger and co if you want a copy of any of the volumes. There are also two Irish language versions with a third on the way. You need to pick up volume 2 to see what happens to my character. I got the cameo by backing the Kickstarter but I think Paul gave me a lot more than I paid for.

Always happy to see Irish creators getting to do books with IMAGE and we got two recently with Stephen Mooney on The Dead Hand (which I reviewed and loved) and David O’Sullivan on Analog (which I also enjoyed and hoped to do a review on). Both books had the wonderful Jordie Bellaire on colours. The Big Bang had a launch for both and cleverly had both artists do exclusive variants for the other book. Recent weeks also saw the Judge Dredd Mega Collection volume that covered Michael Carroll’s Every Empire Falls collected in a hardcover for the first time. The volume includes art from PJ Holden. In other Michael Carroll news, he has started blogging on comics. He also edited a recent issue of Journey Planet which focused on Judge Dredd and has some coverage of his Dredd work. Yours truly contributed. Thanks to James Bacon for asking me to provide some words.

On my radar:

Permanent Press by Luke Healy
Dead Rabbit by John McCrea, Gerry Duggan and Mike Spicer
The Prisoner by Colin Lorimer and Peter Milligan
Neon Skies by Kevin Keane, Ciarán Marcantonio and Cristian Sabarre.

Pro Comic Tees

John Cullen recently opened a store selling t-shirts with his comics on them so you can support him by going there. Making his convention return in Cork, Darrin O’Toole is also selling merch, with some Tales From The Void t-shirts. I am also hearing that the Rogue Comics crew are planning to move into the merchandise too. I’m hoping for some pins at some point to go with my Half Past Danger one. Pins and t-shirts are a great way to show support for your favourite creators

Behind The Patreon Wall

I support a number of creators but not everyone does so I thought I’d hint around some of the exclusives that you are missing out on:

John Cullen provides early postings of his comic as well as a progress piece for every comic he posts
Anthea West posts sketch requests for Patreons as well as posts about her comic Fate. Want to see her draw a Dalek? Sign up.
Leeann Hamilton has been recently posting pages from a new comic. She has only posted one page of it publicly.
Iuli Niculescu has been posting pages and WIP from Ship Wrecked volume 3 which hasn’t been posted publicly yet

If you’ve a Patreon, please @ me with some exclusives you’ve been providing and I’ll mention in an upcoming edition or maybe a separate post. We may be starting our own page but I’ll go into more on that when plans are further along.

In funding news, we have enough to cover for the foreseeable future but creator Anna Fitzpatrick needs some funds for this month. You get some beautiful art for your money. Check out my post on it here.

I think that’s it for April. Please @ me if you want me to include anything in particular in future posts or a separate one on site. I don’t mind being tagged on social media if it is for a valid reason as I may miss some things.