Monday, 30 August 2010

Belfast comics creators pub meet this Thursday

This Thursday is the first Thursday of September, which means it's time for the monthly comics creators pub meet in the Garrick on Chichester Street. If you've never come before, we normally start arriving about 9. If the back bar's free, we'll be in there, because they've got nice big square tables we can put our art out on, but if it's not free will be in the front bar trying to perch our drinks and drawings on the wee round ones. Here's what it looks like:

And here's the Google map:

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Thursday, 26 August 2010

PJ in 2000AD

Pick up this week's 2000AD (prog 1699), because the Judge Dredd strip is drawn by Belfast's PJ Holden!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Steve Graham mails me about a comic he flyered around the city, no doubt a valiant attempt in combatting the dreadful pop art litterbuster pieces that have gone up.

400 Facts: A Short Vignette About A Big Love is a really lovely one so go and read it.

This week, Andy Luke (that's me!) posted some out-of-print material. Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Cantina (2003), The Party (1999-2008), The 2004 Guitar Festival 80s TV Special and the short George W Bush story.

New Malachy Coney strip on Tales of The...

There's a new comic strip by Malachy Coney, "The Coney Express", on Tales of The... today. Malachy's been making comics in Belfast since the late 80s, most of that time as a writer (many of the comics in Seán Doran's Necrocomicon are written by him, and he also wrote for Crisis in the UK and Fantagraphics and Image in the US), and in more recent years as a writer-artist - a regular strip called "Ouija Board, Ouija Board" in Fortnight magazine, and his own Good Craic Comics, the second issue of which is apparently on the way. He doesn't have much of a web presence as far as I know, so here's his bio on the Irish Comics Wiki.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

New on the Irish Comics Wiki: Belfast artist John Campbell (1883-1962)

There's a new article of Belfast interest on the Irish Comics Wiki, on John Campbell (1883-1962), an illustrator and theatre designer of the Irish Revival who also drew political cartoons and caricatures for magazines like Nomad's Weekly and newspapers like Bulmer Hobson's The Republic. Here's one of his illustrations from a book of Irish folktales.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The return of Seán Doran

Back in the early 1990s, when I first started thinking of doing my own comics, the Belfast comics scene was basically Malachy Coney and Seán Doran, who created the outrageous gay superhero strip Major Power and Spunky, starting out as a locally-published photocopied small press booklet and going on to be published by Fantagraphics' Eros imprint in America in about 1994. Mal's still about, and working on the long-awaited second issue of Good Craic Comics, but Seán's been living in London and working in illustration and computer animation in recent years. But he's back, at least for a while, and has added an archive of his old comics to his website.

So far he's posted his 1991 Star Wars parody Bug Wars, and the Major Power spin-off Quiteaguy, whose main character will be oddly familiar to anyone who shops at the Belfast Forbidden Planet, which features possibly the most outrageous device to break your fall from a high building in comics history, and which might not be entirely safe for work. There are empty pages for other comics, including Major Power, Catholic Lad, Nick Elephant and Misfits, which hopefully he'll be uploading before too long.

All we need now is for him to draw some new comics...

Friday, 13 August 2010

Pledge money for anthology by former Insomnia creators

Insomnia Publications, a Scottish comics publisher, has, over the last couple of years, signed contracts with loads of writers and artists to create new graphic novels, and said writers and artists set to work. Unfortunately, Insomnia are going out of business, and the Comic Book Alliance are helping the writers and artists get our of their contracts so they can publish their work elsewhere. In return, a bunch of them have put together an 192-page anthology of short comics called Sleepless Phoenix Survival Stories, proceeds of which will go to the Comic Book Alliance.

They're doing this through Kickstarter, the online platform for funding creative projects. To cover the up-front costs of publication they need $3,600. There's a sliding scale for pledges - $5 you get an ebook of the anthology, $15 you get a printed copy of the book, and various points above that you get the book plus bonuses like a signed art print or an original page of artwork. You'll also get the knowledge that you helped free up Andrew Croskery's Kronos City, Bryan Coyle's Babble, Rich Clements' Corvus, Barry McGowan's Oz: Fall of the Scarecrow King, and many other exciting graphic novels, to be completed and published. Worthy cause I think.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Exhibition by Belfast artists

Local artists Dale Mawhinney (Drawn Out) and Andy Brown (The Dead) have an exhibition opening on 24 August at La Boca restaurant on Fountain Street, at 7pm, before the open mic music night. There's a Facebook group.

Here's an example of what Dale does:

And one by Andy:

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Dave McElfatrick denied a Visa to the USA

Dave McElfatrick, late of Coleraine and I believe based in Belfast these days, is one of four cartoonists, and the only non-American one, who produce the cynical stickman webcomic Cyanide and Happiness. He wants to go to America to work on some animated shorts with his co-creators - but they won't give him a Visa, apparently because they don't think he's an important enough artist. There's a petition set up, so if you want Dave to go to America, go and sign it!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Lingua Comica

Fionnuala Doran announces that Lingua Comica: Graphic Novels from Asia and Europe is now available to buy. It's a big book, the result of a project by the Asia-Europe Foundation which puts together pairs of artists, one from Asia and one from Europe, to create a comic between them, and it includes Fionnuala's collaboration with Malasian artist Sarah-Joan Mokhtar, among others.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Belfast Comics in ImagineFX Mag

ImagineFX article
The Belfast comic creators made an appearance in last month's ImagineFX magazine with a few sketches and photo's from one of the Garrick meetups making the 'Sketch Jam' sidebar. 

There were plenty of photo's and doodles from that night, and here are a few that of the extras that weren't in the magazine:

Electro by Mal Coney
Frog Thor by Andrew Croskery
Paddy Brown, PJ Holden. Mal Coney
Daredevil by Stephen Downey
Clockwise from 12. Ann Harrison, Stephen Downey, Andrew Croskery, Paddy Brown, PJ Holden, Mal Coney
Andrew Croskery, Sean Boyle, Paddy Brown