Enniskillen Comics Fest

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:

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.




(Making) Bottomley – The Brand of Britain

This Friday night, wood, tyres and berries burn in Northireland. The same night, San Diego Comic Con will announce the Eisner Awards, where ‘To End All Wars’ has been nominated, twice.

I’ve felt quite alright about singing my part in the commendation. Although barely ten pages (under 1000 words most likely), I started work on ‘Bottomley – Brand of Britain’ in 2009, when political expenses and public austerity were daily headline news. Even on that trail, I didn’t realise how accurate a reflection of the time Bottomley’s tale was.

Born in 1860, ‘The Chief’ made a stack of cash from hostile takeovers, before moving into the papers. He’s all but forgotten now, but as Pat Mills says, he was a sort of Robert Maxwell of his day. Bottomley launched the Financial Times, and the first UK newspaper called The Sun. He’d be remembered only through his lead paper, ‘John Bull’. You know the icon of the fat hat with the bulldog? That was Horatio Bottomley, art commissioned by Bottomley. That dude was real, ugly.

bottomley on board ship - 1918

The re-telling started as a sub-plot for a graphic novel, but the intensive part-time study called for it to be it’s own piece. Three years later, I was still at it. I’d three drafts together when editors Clode and Clark put out the call for submissions for TEAW, and my script went under another three drafts to tailor it to the collection.

Out of work and out of money, I took a three month Invest NI course to receive a grant, a pittance really, but it would pay the illustrator something. Thankfully, both Ruairi Coleman and letterer John Robbins were on board already. John has been a long time friend, confidante and critic, and he’s probably the best comic book letterer in Ireland.

Ruairi Coleman, I didn’t know quite as well. He were young, always a sure sign of trouble, yet remarkably talented. From the get-go he was everything I hope for in a creative work partner. Ruairi took in the bundles of visual reference I sent, with eagerness, no complaint. He took it on himself to go through a number of articles on Bottomley, and sat through the hour and a half televised 1972 docu-drama featuring Timothy West, with it’s agonising awful cut-aways.

Bottomleys crowds - December 1917

Bottomley’s story is that of the Britain’s major recruiting agent. He sold the war largely through gallons of racism. As editor, publisher and columnist of ‘John Bull’, as well as frequent pieces in The Times, the papers were packed with anti-German sentiment: Germ-huns, bayoneted babies.

Bottomley -witch hunt

The same was true for four years of nationwide speaking tours for which he was handsomely paid. He brought theatre to sacrifice, including a two-part speech in which he staged a mock trial defending Britannia against the Kaiser, dressed as a judge. The photo above is from his earlier performance in Pickwick Papers. Eventually his greed got too much and jail finished him off.

For posterity, here’s a selection of pre-production images by myself and Ruairi Coleman.

Andy Luke - Bottomley - Joining the pieces

Bottomley - andyluke roughs

Bottomley's bobs

Bottomley - The Downfall 2 line pitch

Bottomley05 - Ruairi Coleman thumbs

Bottomley08 - Ruairi Coleman thumbs

BoB-02 - Ruairi Coleman thumbs

You can see more on Ruairi’s blog, and read of his experiences with ”H.B.’

Soaring Penguin Press are taking pre-orders for the soft-cover of ‘To End All Wars’. £1 of every copy sold will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières. 

You can read my newest contribution to an anthology through Kindle. 20% of every copy of the £2 ‘Tense Situations’ collection, goes to Action Cancer.

Publishers boldly enquiring on other creative works of mine, around the Great War, might wish to contact me (link) for a copy of Lord Kitchener’s Shell Crisis board game.

Finally, here’s a select Bottomley bibliography. Because I love you.


Hyman, A. (1972) The Rise and Fall of Horatio Bottomley, Littlehampton Book Services Ltd

Symons, J. (1955) Horatio Bottomley, Cresset Press. Reprinted 2008 by House of Stratus.


AndyMinion (Sept 28, 2010) Horatio Bottomley: A Lesson From History. Retreived at http://lancasteruaf.blogspot.com/2010/09/horatio-bottomley-lesson-from-history.html [Accessed: 8th July 2015]

Anon (June 5, 1933) GREAT BRITAIN: Death Of John Bull, Time. Retrieved at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,745621-1,00.html [Accessed: 8th July 2015]

Anon (Date?) Horatio Bottomley – The Soldier’s Friend, in Crimes of the Times: Law and Order After the War. Archived from http://www.aftermathww1.com/horatio1.asp [Accessed: 23rd October 2010]

Cowling, M. (2005) The Importance of Bottomley (Ch. 2, p.45-60), in The Impact of Labour 1920-1924: The Beginning of Modern British Politics, Cambridge University. Retrieved at Google Books.  [Accessed: 8th July 2015]

Lewis, Roy (Date?) Horatio Bottomley – Champagne & Kippers for breakfast. Archived from http://www.villagepublunches.org.uk/sussex-people-profiles/127-swindles.html [Accessed: 23rd October 2010]

Messinger, G. S. (1992) The Wrong Kind of Immorality: Horatio Bottomley (Ch. 13 pp.200-213), in British propaganda and the State in the First World War, Manchester University Press. Retrieved at Google Books. [Accessed: 8th July 2015]


Mr. Bottomley at Yarmouth (1919) Film. UK: British Pathe Archives. Retrieved at http://www.britishpathe.com/video/mr-bottomley-at-yarmouth [Accessed: 8th July 2015]

The Edwardians, Ep. 7: Horatio Bottomley (2009) Film. Directed by Alan Clarke, UK: Acorn DVDs. Originally broadcast 28 Nov, 1972, BBC.

So, a new Belfast artist collective…

Based out of an un-used but functional building on the Holywood Road, there are eight of us; a crew of writers, photographers, painters, poets, puppeteers and a musician. The core group have circled around one another for a year or two, pulling up chairs at the same open mics or at Dominique’s Bohemian Tales Café Club; so all should go according to plan, of some kind.


29 Holywood Road, BT4 is a two-storey building that’s been vacant since 1998, the same time I began my practice it happens. The rental bill-board advertised a rent free period which is agreeable as the building is roomy, central and in good condition, once cloths and paint started licking it. This month we removed glass, rubble, wood from a large attic workshop, danced as the first sparks of electricity brought heat, kettle and computer to life, run spray and hot cloth over kitchen and bathroom and had one of those boring General Meetings: after a morning of sultana and cherry debauchery I may have wound up as secretary/admin/website guy. The first draft of this was typed at my own desk in the office I share with Dominique.



I put up a Soundcloud interview with Dominique Hoffman a few months ago. Bohemian Tales is the story of an every-man living in the upheaval of Prague, 1967-68. The book has aspects of Euro literary café culture. In a marriage of social-creative event and book promotion, Dom’s monthly Bo Tales Café Club seeks to evoke the spirit of that. ABC is her baby, and the collective are the baby’s family.


She and muso/writer Jim McClean have been arranging plasticine models, frames and toy trains around the place.


On February 7tht we have our first public event, the Café Club. I’m sure we’re not ready yet, but it’s beginning to look the part.


We’re getting there.

You are Cordial Juicily Invited…

Birthdays are a funny thing. I retain a child-like anticipation, but they often fail me like pron. This year seems to be a mutant strain, the aforementioned squib being particularly dry. I’ve been blessed in that Dominique Hoffman is running her Bohemian Tales Café Club; a particularly unique book tour that incorporates all the ingredients of her novel of the same name. Namely, the European literary café; free international tea, cakes, poetry and prose readings. It’s a splash of culture in Northern Ireland’s grey mono-culture eyebrow-meeting splodge. To celebrate Christmas, Dominique (and Crafty Emma Gilles) are running an Arts Fayre which will post Bohemian Tales beyond the exclusive in-the-loopers.

Crafty Manor, Maple Leaf, 41-43 Park Avenue, East Belfast BT4 1PU

It’ll also bring out the work of the new CE Arts Collective which I’ve been invited to join, along with Andy ‘The Hat’ Ward, Jim ‘Comic Nomad Many Hats’ McClean, David Davies, apparently having unusual names is a prerequisite.  David and Andy will perform poetry, Jim will have plasticine and puppets, I’ll have comics and cards, it should be a good afternoon. No, it will be a great afternoon. 11:30-3.

After the post-con home-load, I’ll be opening doors to nearby apartment for a bit of chilling, and we may take a trip to Horatio Todd’s. Then for 9pm, it’s back to Crafty Manor for an event Emma and chums have put together. Honky Tonk #2 boasts some films, live music, a dj set and a cheap bar and you can pay in advance through Eventbrite. Those who know of Emma and Crafty’s work will probably tell us that a fantastic night is in store. I guess I’ll be doing more than alright this year.


birthday invite

(Click to enlarge)

In other news, there’s been a lull in writing due to illness, but it’s not stopped me from working up some new material.

Next March sees the release of Belfast Writer’s Group anthology, which I can’t recall the name of, but it’s got to do with mythological beings. For that I’ve stitched together the long-awaited Spide: The Lost Tribes which bears little resemblance to it’s parents. Those who looked at second drafts two years ago can expect a free copy of the tale on request, in the format of choice. I’m also working up Flesh Mob, a tale I wrote for Uproar Comics in 2012 and was rejected, and revised for Borderline Press in 2013, before the artist stiffed me, and conned the publishers into doing the same.  Skip a year, better luck. Studio NI should have it to you in 2015 as part of their ten year celebration anthology Tense Situations.

I’m toying with a massive over-haul of this site; less pro portfolio, more good old blogging for the sake of it. Check back between now and Christmas, and if you can’t wait, follow me on twitter.com/andrewluke

Next up is a preview of my 24 hour comic and something for the season.

Treading the Boards

If you’re near Glasgow this week you can get along to ‘Guide Gods’, were performer Claire Cunningham explores religious narrative and faith through dance, live music, humour and audio interviews with religious leaders, academics, deaf and disabled people, and me.

Guide Gods

Claire’s website has a list of this week’s dates  and according to Composer Derek Nisbet on his Guide Gods blog, the show “is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and will then travel to London’s South Bank Centre and on to Belfast Festival.”

Recently I’ve struck up rather nice working relationships over Open Mic sessions with musician Jim McClean  and actress Lindsey Mitchell. To this end we’re working on a play together, a condensed Game of Thrones play. We’ll be performing the comic act at the Sunflower Festival, TitanCon and are talking of a screening of the play at a well-known Belfast gallery.

Writing this, I’m surprised that my voice is making the transition to theatre. This last year, it’s been all about the writing. Writing prose over, scriptwriting for comics, feels refreshing and liberating. I feel like I can earn some money if I work hard enough. Unlike comics. a beautiful medium, were grossly underpaid workers are slowly subsumed by a culture of silverfish turned woodworm rot.


Writing prose is enough of a departure from scriptwriting to enthuse: I feel like an amateur who can achieve professionalism and a paycheque. Knowing I have a lot to learn is a great feeling. I’ve been encouraged by the Belfast Writers Group and open mic audiences at Skainos and Lindores. Last month, I applied to return to university on a Creative Writing Masters so I can up my practice.

Parting shot to the world of comics (for now), is the short, Bottomley – Brand of Britain. The product of much research, it’s been adapted with care by artist Ruairi Coleman and letterer John Robbins. Here’s how editor Jonathan Clode pitches it:

Horatio Bottomley, patriot and publisher of John Bull, the newspaper of the people. But behind his rousing public speeches and staunch support of the troops hides a conspiracy that would reveal one of the greatest swindles of WW1.

That’s Bottomley’s mistress, Peggy Primrose, in Panel 4, putting her hat back on after it was knocked off in the squash.

The tale appears in To End All Wars, a remarkable 320 page graphic novel with  stories by a number of established underground comixers. It features the return of the  remarkable Steven Martin of WW1 comics series, Terrible Sunrise, as well as Jenny Linn-Cole, The Pleece Brothers, Sean Michael Wilson, Joe Gordon, Selina Lock, Steve Earles, Robert Brown, John Maybury and shedloads of others.

The book is released on July 17. Copies are available for pre-order now on Amazon or, at the same price, direct from publisher John Anderson at Soaring Penguin Press. Costs £18 all inclusive and proceeds go to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders.

Belfast Writers Group at Tullycarnet YarnSpinners and Prose: The Littlest Internet

I’m just back from a very squee evening with the Belfast Writers Group at Tullycarnet Library, part-home of my teenage years, the christening font of my years in adult work. Bruce Logan, who set the gig up pictured below reading from his adrenalin pumping horror freak-out:


Sweet Ellie Rose McKee, who has a whole lot of web presence:


Folk wizard Lynda Collins:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A member of the Tullycarnet Yarnspinners, Malcolm, who had us all in stitches with the best Paddy jokes I’ve ever heard (and of course the worst)


And myself. I got off a few pieces, including Tenement Tao, and new works Five Scenes, and this one:

The Littlest Internet

The East Rainy Courier and Advertiser was the most important publication, and it was free
too, weekly and probably funded by the NHS. Fourteen year old Alpen Jones knew this, because
manning the route broadened his mind. The job bought him the 1985 Kick! annual and there was
responsibility in it too. All of Old Upper Kingcastleroad Road would have been an island if not for
his diligence.
His parents were unaware that he left at 6 a.m. It was impossible to deliver in one day after
school. As per his calculations, three days were likelier. Rosemorrow Park and Templechurchmore
Road this morning. One side of the Parade marched into the Park while the other stood at a distance,
rolling its deep lanes off the hill, closer together as it got further away into the black mouth lipped
by trees.. It always started easy – three steps for climb-overs , back, then a two-house climb-down,
down the path for a bend of the calf and a copy for Danny Panana and his wife, Mrs. Brianna
Panana. A dog answered a door and he had to go all the way back up the stone path, unhook the
anchor, creak it round, gather it closed (minding his toes) and drop the hook. Leaflets were an extra
half-penny and he spread them on like filler, rolled like a wrap for dinner. Eight, he knew instantly,
down, and to go this side. He looked at his watch again. There was time to finish it before school.
Number Nine was Seventeen, the age of his brother Terry, born in September. This thought never
crossed his mind, though there were many. No. He was mostly concerned with the collection of
garden gnomes, rocking horses, pink windmills, weeping angel statues, cardboard cut-out black cats
on a black metal strip, the plastic sun in the window and the fat spotted three foot big mushroom of
the pensioner he never saw. The mythical pensioner of Templechurchmore. And while you and I
might be thinking of this, with it’s chequerboard path-way bordered at angles by pink plate tiles
fronting plastic weeds, the lad has already slotted the paper and gotten onto Nineteen. There, he’s
minding his fingers around the axe-wielding letterbox. Next door, a loud dog, and angry dog, a dog
that knows you’ve touched the gate-post and you will be caned for it. So Alpen rolled the paper and
rolled it into the rosetta frame of the gate to be found by the dog’s owners on their way to work.
Next door was the friendly house. A pull-back gate, garden path cut friendly for feet and steered just
out of Angry Dog’s X-ray radius. He wondered sometimes if the editor had run a political expose of
that mutt. The paper flapped quietly and the hatch was gently replaced. Next door was were Lydia
Smith lived. She was from school and he liked her, but he wasn’t sure why. They’d never talked. She
wasn’t one of the spide girls. She was even kind of pretty maybe. Their house reminded him of
Christmas (the sofa looked like a labrador), and Lydia’s mum was a jam maker. Twenty-Seven was
Kevin and Devlin, the twins aged eleven who seemed pre-occupied with bread leaven and
unleavened. Their father was a pastor, sometimes radio broadcaster and Terry’s friend Richard said
he was Grant Master. He went to a lodge, not the Wine Lodge were Auntie Phyllis worked but but
one involving owls and something to do with metalwork. Alpen didn’t know what a pastor was: he
could hear the milk-man coming though. In the future, the truth would be past your eyes Grant
Master, he thought. There was nothing special about the letter-box, it was even disappointing.
Aaron wondered if he knew Mr. Withers who had made them make shoe-horns last term. A gate was
closed like cement but if Alpen walked further on, he could do Thirty-One, Twenty-Nine and exit
Thirty-One without ever having to get stuck on the climb-over, and he did these. Across the road,
gates led to Scotland and the longest most gravelly driveway. When he’d been there, the house was
shaped like a castle, and a man who looked Scottish was there. He was Scottish because he had a
Tartan blanket and a large beard like Uncle Bulgaria. He never spoke. That’s all Alpen Jones could
remember, like trying to remember black and white Doctor Who from teevee. The dog he
remembered. It was not of Scotland – it was the smallest, so evil with mechanical butchering jaws,
so unspeakable in it’s ability to hurt – that it didn’t have a name. The lad like so many times before,
made there an exception in his conscience. I’m only telling you about it because the East Rainy
Courier and Advertiser was the most important publication in the world as Alpen Jones maintained,
but most notably the other side of Templechurchmore Road and Rosemorrow Park, every week.

Me at Tullycarnet

Comic Capers With Davy Francis and Chums

Me and the Irish comics scene/industry haven’t been getting along great in the last year. To prevent it shitting in my eye I’ve removed myself from the day-to-day biznit as much as possible. Out in the Cursed Earth wilderness, I’d forgotten how I enjoyed the company of Bobby Best, Ciarans Flanaghan and Marcantonio.

Today’s event marked the end of the Bellylaughs Comedy Festival at The Black Box, a retrospective of Davy Francis’ career. I’d little idea what was going on, so people asking me questions were treated to an uncertain shrug and “I’m just selling these comics, mate”.

Black Panel Comic Capers

There were a few panels  lasting 15-20 minutes at the start and near end of the event. These didn’t go so well. There may be weird personal quirks like every other artist, but you’re not on stage to chat with your mates: you’re there to talk to the audience. 

The centre-piece was a talk by Davy, which ran into a two hour affair. Fortunately, Dave was in performance mode and gave us a tour of his life and entertainingly covered adventures of four decades in comics, with the flair and savvy of a good stand-up. It was an absolute treat so see uncovered gems, hear of Davy’s run-ins with Alan Moore, Sergio Aragones and Frank Quitely and the introduction of Wee Billy Simpson into the narrative had the room in stitches at the outset. In part, the performance had functional similarities with when Steve Bell talked at The Black Box a few years back, and with many of Davy’s family and friends in the room, of so many different ages, it made for a very cosy comiciography.

Tablecloth“We used to always draw on tablecloths”, Davy told us, “And thats why we have pens and crayons on your tables.”

The Belfast Telegraph donated a huge ream of printer paper which I dropped on my foot and Paddy sweated over but eventually we hung it Black Box walls white. Davy drew the first panel of this five foot high four panel strip. Not sure who did second and third, I drew the fourth.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was another panel, this consisting of Ian Knox, Ann Harrison, forgot his name (thanks for the correction,) and Paddy Brown.Again, the audience couldn’t hear and part of the audience’s reaction was to talk over, making it very uncomfortable. It’s part of The Box’s charm that events can go on and people can still talk away to their pals, but there needs to be an established line.



Above: From the wall, by Daryl Shaw, in reference to a great time travel joke Davy made early in the event.


Dunno who Davy Kerr is, kinda want to find out.

Verdict: A pleasant day out.

Davy has depths of storytelling performance wow-some but it’s conceivable this small format event could be repeated (similarly) with Ian Knox or Will Simpson and probably Paddy himself  when he gets a bit older. There hasn’t really been a Belfast comics event like this.


Caption Art Notebooks

Back in 2008, I was curating an exhibition in the Oxford Jam Factory showcasing some of the artists that take part in the yearly comics festival, the ‘Caption Collective’ as we were somehow dubbed. Jeremy Day (nee Dennis) helped me with the running, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey designed us a rather awesome flyer.

About that time I was using Oxford Brookes University print shop for getting my comics reproduced. Mark always managed to deliver exactly what I wanted: a simple A5 booklet with good alignment, stapling and a reasonable price.  Knock off paper and card would be bound together to produce A5 notebooks which sat at the desk for customers, either for free or for a donation to the charity box. I swooped a few ot these and several made their way to Caption.

The first drawing is by Jeremy, the last is signed. I’m not sure who the rest are by. Tell me and I’ll update this. Put in a decent bid and I’ll send you the notebook and send the money to Caption Alternative Comics Art Festival.

Jam Book 01 Jam Book 02 Jam Book 03 Jam Book 04 Jam Book 05 Jam Book 06 Jam Book 07 Jam Book 08 Jam Book 09



Over the next month, I’ll be taking an active part in a few events.

Dublin Zine Fair 2013, 17th-18th August

at The Exchange, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
I’ll be performing words on mic, and selling a new comic book, beside other independent publishers and artists.
Last year, I interviewed six attendees who may re-appear this year. My turn on the mic at the finale, The Bill Have A Gun Siege At Xmas, has been made into a comic for 30p.

Bounce Arts Festival Weekender with Comics Art Workshop, 30 Aug to 1 Sept 2013

at The Baby Grand, Grand Opera House,
Stephen Downey
and I are glad to be presenting a comics workshop on Sunday 1st September for the Arts and Disability Forum at Bounce!
There’s no restrictions on level of talent or ability, as long as you’re willing to make an effort to work with others. Bring your friends and family.
Our event is free, but  there’s a great line-up again this year: a creative writing workshop, a workshop on digital film-making, live music, poetry, sign-singing (which I’m excited about seeing and learning), dance, exhibitions, and theatre, in the form of Wheelchair In My Face. What a great event. [Link to the Festival Portal on Facebook]

It’s £20 for the full weekend pass. You can book these at the Grand Opera House website now.

TitanCon, with Comics Workshop, 6th-8th September

at The Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast


TitanCon is a not-for-profit science fiction and fantasy literature, media and gaming convention in Belfast with an emphasis on HBO and George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones. In the previous two years it’s attracted large crowds.


This year I’ll be presenting a less-labour intensive version of The Magnificent Factory. There will also be a comics panel featuring Paddy Brown and other comixers who have marked the trails of Irish myth and legend. The event features cast and crew members from GoT, and a number of horror and speculative fiction authors including Peadar O’Guilin, possibly the finest panel host known to cat and dog. [Link: The TitanCon website]

Abrams Star Trek

Around Christmas, I’d an art commission as a gift for a Trekkie, who did not like what JJ Abrams did. The brief was for a friendly wind-up: make it look like Abrams was the definitive version, with TOS to Enterprise pale in comparison.

Abrams Star Trek - andy luke


I’m taking a distance from making comics for a while, although you can buy issue 1 of Kick! online.

16 pages of brand new digital comics. Includes The children of Mow Street Mall, The A-Team, Doomlord X and Allergy, another tale about shopping.

Only 30p, available through Paypal.


Galway University of Galway ComicsWest event was due to go ahead next week, but now it’s not, left until the summer. Everybody’s friends, The Emerald Garrison, are running the Heroes and Legends Con on 16th-17th February, at the W5 in Belfast.

Ahead of that, friend to my readers Stephen Downey, is signing his new comic Noe The Savage Boy with writers Mal Coney and Rob Curley at Forbidden Planet Belfast on February 9th, between 1-3pm.

Here’s Mal and Stephen on BBC Radio’s Arts Extra.