Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Round-Up: Fraud, Commissions, Vine, Spidey, Sketch Clubs, Downey on Comixology, Cu Chulainn and Pat Mills on WW1

Ex-Belfast HUNT webcomsic illustrater, Matthew H Smyth, has for over a year dodged requests for completion on his comics commission from myself, Andrew Luke. The commission came from an award given to me by Belfast City Council and Workwest's business entreprenuers fund. A loophole in the program meant Smyth did not need to provide evidence of signing any contract. A willed program of neglect and avoidance coupled with Smyth's capitalising on social currency from his relationship with me brings me to the decision: his work should be boycotted until such a time as he agrees to return the money. Here Endeth Matthew Smyth.

Belfast comics poetry artist Dale Mawhinney was one of those considered for the job. Dale writes that he's taking commissions for painted work. You can see Dale's beautiful gear at http://www.dalemawhinneyart.co.uk/

Miguel Martin is becoming a bit of a Vine funster supreme lately. Last month, he opened his tweet-stream up to drawing requests. For your viewing pleasure, here is some Maggie Thatcher shotgun and some Jeremy Kyle bowel incapacity
And yes, actually: he's been painting Lavery's Bar too. 

Stephen Maurice Graham brings us his version of Spiderman : it's a keeper, @400facts.

PJ is Holden a sketch club at the W5 on Sunday 29 March from 2-4pm with models costumed fantasy characters. As far as I know it's free.

A reminder too, that while the Belfast Comics Group no longer meets on the first Thursday of the month, Seedhead Arts' Real Sketchys do. The event is fairly unstructured, a bit of fun and held in the warm environment of The Black Box, just after 9.

Issue 1 of Jennifer Wilde is now available from Comixology at only 69p. It's the first of Atomic Diner's range, presumably others will follow.

The Comics Journal reviews Cu Chulainn in a comparison of Paddy Brown's Cattle Raid of Cooley and MK Reed's About A Bull.

There's a bit of praise from Britcomics impressario Pat Mills on "Bottomley - Brand of Britain", In his introduction, the work by myself, Ruairi Coleman and John Robbins is "valuable" with 'excellent research'. The book "To End All Wars" is up for pre-order on Amazon.

It's due out in July, just ahead of the Belfast Comic Con. 

Finally, an Exclusive!
Rumour mill has it that Fermanagh College (Enniskillen) are organising a convention focussing on "Games Development/ tv and films/Effects and Comics" happening on 9th-10th May. We're waiting for the college to put out an official notification. More definite is that a weekly group meet around these interests happens in The Townhall Street Wetherspoons most Saturdays from 11:30am to 2pm-ish.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Young Belfast Artist Passes: Plea to Complete His Comic After Death From Cancer.

Belfast Comics scripter and fan, Andrew Fitzsimmons has died at the young age of 23, from cancer.

He was working with Uproar Comics group in Derry to create a piece about his life, for circulation across Northern Ireland. His parents are accepting donations to meet the production costs of the piece. Donations can be sent to: The Fitzsimmons Family, 31 Bruce Street, Belfast, BT2 7JD.

The Belfast Telegraph is carrying the full story. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/comics-fanatic-andrew-died-at-23-help-fulfil-his-wish-to-comfort-other-cancer-sufferers-30035860.html

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

No Diamond description, Just Belfast Comics

The Black Panel reaches it's half year anniversary in offering Irish comics through mail order. There are nearly sixty titles available in print and digital. The service is offered to the UK and contains links for European shoppers.  There are whispers it might not make this time next year, so do support the artists. http://theblackpanel.blogspot.co.uk/

Last week when the DUP forbid the Condensed Shakespeare company from presenting "The Bible" to Carnmoney, Twitter responded by trending #ThouShaltNotLaugh. The play is back now. Amid the hilarity, academic illustrator Patrick Sanders produced some clever pieces.

Portrait artist and Comixer Daryl Shaw's upbeat page has been published by Love Belfast.

Belfast: It's Your Choice

The work was produced under the tutelage of Stephen Downey & Malachy Coney.

The Belfast Telegraph carries a video report about the goings-on of animators in the city circa 1901. Compelling viewing.


New management at Derry's Verbal Arts Centre have cancelled the 2d Comics Festival. Sometime shortly after, popular chairperson Dave Campbell resigned from the post he'd held there for several years.

"The creative team of the 2D Northern Ireland Comics Festival are no longer associated with the Verbal Arts Centre. This year’s festival will not proceed under the originally planned format. Please stay tuned for further news and developments from the team. Please contact us on 2dcomicsfest@gmail.com with any queries or questions. Thank you for your continued support."

The Verbal Arts center called this incorrect, a claim the 2d creatives refute. I would speculate that it's very likely 2d will continue without Verbal Arts Derry. A new name, and hundreds of happy families: there's too much goodwill that new management can't take down.

The Belfast Comic Con has confirmed it's new dates of 7-8 June at the Kings Hall. Priority tickets are now available online at £12 a day or £20 for the weekend.

Whisperings are about of a week-long exhibition at the Belfast Barge, the week before or after the event.

Other whisperings about TitanCon returning the second weekend of September have come my way. I'm also hearing tales of an increased comics presence at that.

This post brought to you by Andy Luke, though sure to be ripped off by ICN (Cyanogen iodide)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Free Comics Workshop at Grand Opera House

The creatives behind Northern Ireland’s largest published comicbook are to reunite for their popular comics workshop.
‘Absence’ creators Andy Luke and Stephen Downey have been invited to host a workshop at the ADF’s Bounce! festival when it returns to Belfast this weekend and Andy and Stephen .Bounce! offers a selection of punk folk, rock, theatre and cabaret but also workshops on filmmaking and creative writing. The Absence comixers will be presenting from the Shakespeare Room in the sumptuous Grand Opera House.  All levels of ability are welcome to attend and make a mini-comic, which the ADF are keen to publish after the event.
Previous events have saw participants work on the quirky Beneath The Tide’, and ‘Bacon Sammich of Doom, both available at Andy’s website, andy-luke.com.

Stephen Downey is best known for the cult series Jennifer Wilde and Noe The Savage Boy with Atomic Diner. His other comics workshop with Cinemagic should be released online next year. For the past few months Andy Luke has been updating his website daily with comics, doodles, photos and short stories to both stave off depression, and celebrate his 40th birthday. His next planned comics project will be a workshop at TitanCon and for Christmas, a Belfast zombie tale, published by Phil Hall, editor of Borderline Press and the late Comics International.

The Comix Workshop runs Saturday 31st August at the Grand Opera House, Belfast. The event is free, but booking is required. To book contact the ADF at info@adf.ie or call (028) 9023 9450.

Access all areas festival tickets cost £20

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

100th Post: Comics, Comix, Comics

Happy anniversary Belfast Comics. The first post to this blog was set up by Paddy Brown on 3rd July 2009. Get us ones some cake.

First up, The Black Panel and Avalon Arts. From Wednesday Feb 27th, Irish independent comics and strip-zines will begin making their way into displays at the Haymarket Arcade craft shop. First up are Tales From The Void, My First Festival and Downpour, and Belfast comixers in among the pages of Don't Panic!, Romantic Mayhem and Lightning Strike. The permanent display is part of a local authors section and I'll be carrying Belfast Writer's The Ghost In The Glass and Other Stories horror anthology, the poetry of Jim 'Cosmic Nomad' McClean and Southerner Peter Loftus' Survival In A Void. Over 60 titles will be carried on weekly rotation with more on the way. If you're an Ulster author and would like your work stocked, mail drew.luke at gmail, or call in on a Wednesday. [MAP]


Next up, Will Simpson at the W5 for two months.

"This exhibition showcases some of William's incredible concept artwork for film and television. His original pencil drawings will be on display in our level 5 gallery and the exhibition gives visitors of all ages and backgrounds a truly unique opportunity to see these wonderful images up close."
Read more about it at the W5 website.

Banbridge-based radio show Following The Nerd are an occasional favourite. When presenting content, they've a good track on interviews with international TV and film crews as well as local creative types. The show transmits on a Wednesday night between 9-11pm, with the recording usually going up the week after. Last week they talked to Paul J Holden, and that interview should be in their bountiful archives shortly.

If you can't wait, 'Peej' has a column "on getting the best from the iPad drawing app Procreate" at Infinity, the free digital comics magazine sponsored by Panel Nine. You can download Infinity through here.

Stephen Downey writes about how he is taking part in Creator Owned Day, which is this Friday 1st March. And on Malachy Coney's blog there are some photos of the recent Noe The Savage Boy signing. Paddy Brown grows closer to Page 200 of his epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley in the usual place, and Andy Luke or me releases three issues of digital comic Kick! for sale at 25p each.

Dual identities are commonly exercised by the Northern Irish, so expect a flurry of activity around March, which has been designated Irish comics month. The next Belfast Comics Pub Meet takes place on Thursday 7th at The Cloth Ear from 9pm onwards. You're welcome.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Belfast Convention this weekend

Heroes and Legends takes place at the W5 this weekend. Organised by every convention's favourites, The Emerald Garrison. Guests from the world of comics include PJ Holden, Stephen Downey and John Paul Bove. (Dr. Who, TMNT, GI Joe)
 Will Simpson will also be there, for the beginning of a month long exhibition of his work.
 There's a screening of 'Judge Minty', lots of props, cosplay, Q & As, and Optimus Prime will be doing the rounds talking.
 Admission is standard W5 prices: £7.90 for an adult, £5.90 for a child. I believe that's per day, but there are concessions available for families and season ticket holders.
The con has an SF&F cinema agenda, with some obscure though presumably fan-friendly actors and special effects people. The website contains more on the ten guests and schedule details, although there's a bit of a last minute gather about it. Not as up to the billing of last year's, which a lot of people were kicking themselves for missing.