I’ve told less than ten people this month, and now I can reveal I’ll be interviewing Alan Grant, the Guest of Honour at the first Enniskillen Comics Festival. Phew! Alan, is of course, a massive influence on comics, having co-written most classic Judge Dredd stories, thirty years, about ten years on the US Batman comics. He’s the author of some of my favourites: The Bogie Man; the House of Daemon, Manix and Doomlord for Eagle. He’s written Lobo and L.E.G.I.O.N. and JLA for DC, but it’s 2000AD for which he’s best known, on Strontium Dog, Ace Trucking, Robo Hunter and Judge Anderson.
Massive, massive honour. I expected to be the last person to be called on, never having been with the Class of ’77 hardcore 2000AD fans. The organisers, gods bless their mad, mad minds, think I’m a unique choice. Well, you could say that. I’m giving this my best and hope to do Alan and yourselves proud.
Closer to my comfort zone is the self-publishing panel I’ve been asked to host. I’ve been on ten of these and hosted a few. This time I’m putting together something with a lot of pizzazz and I’d really like attendees to put their heads through the door. I’m pleased to announce those joining me are Una Gallagher (Two Lives, Faust, Something in the Tae), Austin Flanagan (The Revenants), Jenika Ioffreda (Vampire Freestyle, Midnight Tea), Danny McLaughlin (Zombies Hi, Andrew’s Comic, Revolve Comics.) and…oh, I couldn’t possibly say. We’ll be talking about more than the boring copy-shop slog, we’ll be talking character and story, ghouls and tea. Please come by.
The Enniskillen Comics Fest is the first such event in the town. It’s a free event with an all-ages focus and a wise choice by the Arts Council funding body. It’s on May 6th-7th, at the McArthur Hall, Wesley Street, and Enniskillen Library on Halls Lane, just five minutes walk. Just look at who they’ve got:
- PJ Holden (Judge Dredd, Department of Monsterology)
Phil Winslade (Daredevil, Wonder Woman, Lawless)
Michael Carroll (Judge Dredd, Jennifer Blood, Quantum Prophecy)
Ryan Brown (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tower Chronicles, Judge Dredd)
Eoin Coveney (The Alienist, Judge Dredd, Ireland: A Graphic History)
Clint Langley (ABC Warriors, Slaine, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Patrick Goddard (Judge Dredd, Savage, Warhammer)
Peter Doherty (Judge Dredd, Grendel, Shaolin Cowboy)
Lew Stringer (The Beano, Viz, Dr. Who Magazine)
Steve Yeowell (Zenith, The Invisibles, Skull Kill Krew, Red Seas)
Glenn Fabry (Slaine, Batman/Judge Dredd, Preacher)
Laura Howell (The Beano, Toxic, Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert and Sullivan)
Ian Edgington (Batman/Aliens, Brass Sun, Hinterkind, Red Seas)
D’Israeli (Lowlife, Judge Dredd, Stickleback, Ordinary)
Davy Francis (Monster Fun, Oink!, Ciderman)
Hunt Emerson (Calculus Cat, Hot Jazz, Casanova’s Last Stand)
Una Gallagher (Two Lives, Faust: Passing Days, Something in the Tea)
Katie O’ Kane (Film-maker, Manga artist)
Jenika Ioffreda (Vampire Freestyle, Midnight Tea)
All that linkage! No biggie, I had all the info to hand for posting to their Twitter account, which you can search for. My friends at The Comic City podcast are doing a feature on the Fest in the next few days so keep an eye out for that, or visit the #EknComicFest Facebook page for more details.