McCloud in Belfast, Misfits Mouth, Colin Batman, Absencion


Not yet on his website, but a glance to the Build Design event reveals Scott McCloud, is to come to Belfast.

Many  attendees of the 9th November lecture already have their places at Conor Hall. Hosts, Build design conference, have sold out of tickets which include passes to the Fringe events.

Andy McMillan, organiser of Build, had this to say:

I’ll be making a small amount of tickets available for non-conference pass holders in the next few weeks. I’d recommend signing up to the mailing list (in the footer of the Build website), or adding @buildconf on Twitter, to find out when these tickets will be released, as they’ll likely go quite quickly.

I wonder if he’ll be at Comics Barcamp.


Misfits joins Who, Sherlock, South Park and other cool pop TV with a new series this winter, although we may not be in with such a long wait.

Ben Stoll, Channel 4 script editor, confirmed a ten-minute web-only episode linking Series 2 and 3. He revealed “it won’t appear on TV..and features the departure of one of the cast, who has got tired of the role and wants to move onto other things.”

Stoll didn’t say who, but interwebs gossip consensus reveals it to be Robert Sheehan, who plays Nathan. No word yet on a replacement, though it would seem that Ruth Negga, who plays heart-transplant patient Nikki, is already in position by narrative.

As to how Nathan departs, would he really be so dumb as to test whether his old power and his new power mix?

The conversation was part of a “Drama with the Networks” panel hosted by NI Screen yesterday. Stoll also spoke with pride about the Misfits website, and quite rightly too. It’s dolly mixtures.


Also at the event was author of Divorcing Jack, Colin Bateman. During our brief chat, Colin told me he’s always loved comic books and would love to write a graphic novel. On his bio, Colin says,

“Then it was on to Bangor Grammar School where I managed to shine in no subjects at all, but read a lot of Marvel Comics and Science Fiction.”


Bateman’s work, is to my mind, a globally certifiable reason to be proud of Northern Ireland. A safety net in the crap abyss a bad day. His novels have a dark humour and life-affirming humanity commonly found in the better work of Garth Ennis.

So to see his work in comics would be great. If he survives the experience.

Lap him up.


“It’s a pleasure to read a story that is a fine piece of comic art with a touching, personal aspect to it. Even more importantly, it’s a piece of work that can give comfort and insight to those who struggle with epilepsy.”  – Dan Jurgens on Absence

Jurgens was one of the first high profile comics creators to pick up on Absence, a comic by Stephen Downey and myself, currently enjoying distribution across Northern Ireland. Supported by the grassroots British and Irish scenes when first released last February, Downey’s art has helped it catch the eyes of Mike McMahon, Glenn Fabry and others, who have also had high praise for the work.

They’ve now been joined by Leonard Rifas (most famous for his championing of Barefoot Gen), and Professor Owen Barr of The University of Ulster. The Head of the School of Nursing has included the comic as a recommended resource for students.

You can read Absence in its entirety at

Employers, I’m available for script-writing, and Stephen’s art skills also get better by the day.


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