Monday, 30 May 2011

Slaughterman's Creed FP Belfast Signing

To celebrate the launch of Slaughterman's Creed, the new original graphic novel from Cancertown writer/artist team Cy Dethan and Stephen Downey, Forbidden Planet Belfast will host a signing session on Saturday 11th June from 1 to 3pm. 

Selling and signing copies on the day will be penciller Stephen Downey, inker Andy Brown and cover painter Ryan Brown. There is a FREE sketch with every copy bought on the day and if you've already pre-ordered the book, feel free to bring it along and grab a free sketch. Andy Luke will also be in taking part, signing and giving out FREE print copies of his and Stephen's Absence comic.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

2D is back!

2D, the Northern Ireland Comics Festival, is next weekend!

As ever, it's held in the Verbal Arts Centre and Sandino's Bar in Derry (or Londonderry if you prefer). There's workshops for schools on Thursday and Friday, and then the show begins for the rest of us on Friday evening with a couple of panel discussions at Sandinos, before the big open day on Saturday at the Verbal Arts Centre, with all the guests signing and sketching (the theme this year is robots - I'll have to brush up on my robot drawing skills), workshops, talks and competitions. Finally, there's some more panels in the evening. Guest of honour is the legendary 2000AD art droid Mick McMahon. Most importantly, all events are free! Dowload the programme here. It's always a great event, so I hope we'll see lots of yez there.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Writer looking for artist

Been in touch with a guy called Ian Royle, who's a Belfast-based writer looking for an artist. His story is in the vein of Tolkien or David Gemmell, and in terms of art style he's after something akin to Kick-Ass or Batman. Anybody fancy that? Contact him via Gumtree.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Cormac (1946-2011)

Just found out that Brian Moore, aka Cormac, passed away on 12 March after a short illness. I met him  in January at the Steve Bell talk at the Black Box, and he was booked in for a round table discussion on the Belfast People's Comic for a documentary Andy Luke is making with NVTV, but he couldn't make it, probably due to his illness.

He's best known for drawing the "Notes" cartoon for the Sinn Féin paper An Phoblacht for more than a quarter of a century. I have to admit the subject matter of much of his work makes me profoundly uncomfortable. He was part of the faction of the Belfast republican movement led by Gerry Adams that ultimately led to the IRA ceasefire, but prior to that was quite comfortable with "armed struggle". However, when I met him he was a very funny and personable chap, and, most importantly, he made a significant and influential contribution to our medium in our city.

He started out self-publishing in the small press - ten issues of Resistance Comics between 1975 and 1978 (CAIN have a pdf of issue 4 to dowload), which featured his self-caricature Paddy O'Looney of the Irish section of the sixth intergalactic revolutionary movement, and Red Biddy, who sounds like an Irish Millie Tant. He also drew for the Belfast People's Comic. In 1976 he was hired by Danny Morrison to draw for Republican News, which merged into An Phoblacht a few years later, and he carried on until early 2004. Here's a link to an archive of his later strips for the paper, and here's one from 2000 that shouldn't discomfit anyone (okay, me) politically:

He also drew for British socialist magazines, and scripted "Dog Collars", a regular strip lampooning the clergy drawn by Ian Knox, for Fortnight magazine in the 1980s, played, sang and wrote songs for a republican band called The Men of No Property, and wrote plays. RIP Brian.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Liam de Frinse exhibition

In another bit of last minute news, Liam de Frinse (who used to do comics back in the 70s and 80s) emails me to tell me about a new exhibition he has on at the Engine Room Gallery, 414 Newtownards Road, called "Heroes + Villains + Pricks". It consists of of 150 stencil paintings of the heads of well-known people from all areas of high and low culture, and viewers are invited to vote which ones are heroes, which are villains, and which are pricks. It starts tonight, 7-9.30pm, and continues until 28 May, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm.

Culture NI on the Belfast comics scene

Over at Culture NI, Peter McCaughan has written a nice wee piece on comics in Belfast, talking to Mal Coney about the forthcoming Good Craic Comics #2, The Catalyst Arts guys about their exhibition, and Andy and Stephen on Absence, and even gives this blog a plug. It's called More Than Lycra? Comic Book Artists Make the Case - go and read it!

On the subject of Catalyst, Mark tells me their planned event with Malcy Duff this evening has had to be cancelled for unavoidable reasons. However, Saturday's workshop is still going ahead with Superhilbo! creator Hilary Lawler. It'll be a hands on exploration of what it is to create a comic, focusing on developing ideas into a comic format and getting them down into panels, also touching on skills such as thumb-nailing, character sketching and comic themes. There are still a few places left on the workshop which will run from 11am - 3pm. Lunch will be provided! If you are interested in taking part please email