Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Thursday November 13, 2014

Two comics related events on Thursday.

Belfast - Cult Fiction, the debut art show by aspiring graphic novelist Helen Gomez at the Banjo & Bakery, 353 Ormeau Road. Event is from 7pm.
Helen counts among her influences computer games, saturday cartoons, Spiegelman, Gaiman, McCloud and Gilliam. She says of the exhibit, "Each canvas is a self-contained story with the narrative power of a panel" [ Facebook link here]

Banbridge - THE Will Simpson gives a public interview about his work as THE Game of Thrones storyboard artist. Cost is £7.50, though students get in for £2.50 and Friends of the F.E.McWilliams Gallery are asked for a £5. The event is at the Old Town Hall, 1 Scarva Street, beginning 7:30pm sharp.
[More details at Creative Change NI.]

And if you're stuck at home Following The Nerd broadcasts Thursday from 9pm, talking blockbuster comics culture, and maybe some comics too. []

Also the less-contentious home of our friends at the 2dcast.[link]

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley appear tomorrow night (Friday) to launch their paintings exhibition. Zombie Bunny Ink, 127A Stranmillis Road, BT95AJ Belfast from 7:30 to Saturday. Details here.

This weekend is Belfast Film & Comic Con. [Website here] Wonderful array of guests from Doctor Who and Star Wars. It is organised by Mike Conroy of many comicsy comics cons and he's bringing in PJ Holden, David Lloyd, James O' Barr, The 2d Podcast, Stephen Downey and Atomic Diner. Cool, eh?

Bangor Community Radio talks to Andy Luke, Stephen Downey and Paddy Brown about their comics, and gets Will Simpson's opinion on late night arts.

Belfast has a new comic book store in Unit 4, The Spires, Fisherwick Place.
Today is late openings, photos show a clean relaxing area and here's a link to their facebook page. 
The website for the shop is

PJ Holden is taking part in Cross - a political satire anthology on Kickstarter which looks rather good. Runs until Saturday 8 November.

Finally, 24 hour comics weekend results!

The Adventures of Captain Customer Service - Ellie Rose McKee
Occupied - Andy Luke
A Personal Narrative - Paddy Brown (with photos and bloggery)
Barry the Space Prawn - PJ Holden

Sunday, 28 September 2014

24 Hour Comics 2014

This Wednesday lunchtime (1pm) a free event at the Linenhall Library as John Killen presents a talk on sature and political cartooning in Ulster. More details on this page.

On Sunday, Farset Labs are hosting 24-Hour Comics Day: Personal Narratives in Belfast this weekend coming. I can't think of a better venue.

Thats Saturday October 4th-October 5th 11am-11am. You can register for a free ticket at Eventbrite and access the Faceybook page here.

Bangor Community Radio 107.9 FM are broadcasting a 24 Hour Comics Show, this Thursday October 2nd from 6pm to 7. Host Ellie Rose McKee and myself will be talking to Paddy Brown and Stephen Downey about  the 24 Hour experiment and their work in comics in general.

During enquiries, we managed to uncover news Stephen has a strip in the Flash Gordon Holiday Special 2014, alongside creators from The Daily Show and the hit podcast, The Flop House. Stephen confirmed the news on Sunday, following the announcement he's also drawing Turok: Dinosaur Hunter with local comixer Ruairi Coleman, for Dynamite. Arts Hour can be heard live on the internet and the show will be published on Ellie's Soundcloud the following Monday.

Friday, 8 August 2014

To End All Wars

To End All Wars is now available from Forbidden Planet International, Waterstones, Amazon and other good bookshops. A 320 page collection, it features 27 tales from comixers of 13 different countries. Well researched, it tells untold tales of the Great War.

 Representing Ireland are Andy Luke (Belfast), Ruairi Coleman (Lurgan) and John Robbins (Dublin) on 'Bottomley - Brand of Britain', and Steve Earles (Newmarket-on-Fergus) and Johnny McMonagle (Kildare) on 'The Bitter Harvest'.

 It also features Brit luminaries such as Brick (New Internationalist), Selina Lock (The Girly Comic), Sean Michael Wilson (Operation Iraq Corporate Takeover), Arthur Goodman (Favourite Crayon Stories) and Joe Gordon (Forbidden Planet International Blog)

 Interested press are welcome to contact Andy Luke and publishers, Soaring Penguin Press, for details.


Links: Forbidden Planet International, AmazonBBC News, The Independent

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Belfast Barge Comics Event Postponed

"Comics on the Barge" has been postponed "to September or October" says Patrick Brown, citing costs involved in funding. He goes on to say, "I'd also be looking to delegate a bit more so the whole organisation of the thing is less dependent on me, and getting a few more speakers/activities involved so more of the time is organised." The event was due to follow this weekend's Comic Con. The Barge is apparently seeking funding to make costs more viable.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Comic Con Season is On

Northern Ireland Creative Hitech Expo features many guest speakers: animators, games developers, musicians and digital storytellers. From the world of comics there are Will Simpson, Mike Collins, Phil Winslade, Stephen Downey and Paul Trimble. It's happening in Enniskillen this weekend, it's free and you will need to register a place as soon as possible. [Linked]

The first Belfast Comic Con comics guests have been announced and they're British trad heavy-weights. Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry and John McCrea weigh into the Kings Hall on 7-8 June along with probably a fist load of indie comics artists and three stars of Red Dwarf. Tickets start from £6 a day for a child and £8 for an adult, with discounts. 

14-15 June sees a smaller and free family fun day Comics event set upon the River Lagan. Guests include Davy Francis, Andy Luke, Paddy Brown and Kevin Logue, with more to be confirmed. The Belfast Barge is to be converted to house a historical timeline of Belfast Comics ahd host DIY workshops and panel events. It's looking like a good day out. Watch this space for more details.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Cartoonist Stephen Millar's painting exhibition up

A reminder you can catch 's The Jazz Of Shapes to Come at The Waterfront up before Monday 31st.

More details here.

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

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.

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.

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 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)