Hold The Phones, It’s Alex Jones! (Re-release)

myebookalexI’ve been watching Alex Jones on and off for nearly a decade now, and I think this is the first time I’ve seen the one-man media corp trend on Twitter. Unfortunately, for nothing good. I’ve not seen the clip yet but I’d imagine it’s one dubiously opinionated a-hole scream at an opinionated dubious a-hole.

A year ago, I got together with five other comics creators to release a sitcom-spiracy based around Alex’s domestic life. In some respects, it was a success, with the fourteen page preview amassing well over 10,000 views, most of those on Myebook. From another view, we’ve sold not a single copy of the PDF, and I’m beginning to suspect somethings a little awry. Conspiracy? I’ve moved the Myebook sales back to my own control, just to be sure.

For the record, I think guns are the tools of aggressors, be they government or citizen. So it might seem callous of me to take advantage of the #trend to $cash in on Nutjob Vs Nutjob. Still, giving me your traffic and cash is better than giving it to anyone who promotes those two right now.

Hold the Phones

The pitch:

Follow the father of 911 Truth as he travels in time through American history, faces vaccination and innoculation, resists the attempts of big media to hypnotise his kids and join him. See him advertise water filters and gold seeds, fight enemies foreign and domestic: including Alex’s wife, their son Constitution, daughter Wrench, 1776 the family dog and Orwell, their deceased cat.

Co-created by Andy Luke and Professor Octagon
Includes: Swimming Pool of Death, Declaration of the Co-Dependents, Beck Vs Jones, Anger Management, Good Constitution Hunting and You Want Answers?
The Winged Head of Alan Watt and Alex’s Personal Guarantee! by Ben Stone
Super Bowl of Fascism by Geoffrey Wessel and Sean Duffield
Co-Opted! by Professor Octagon and Bisson
The Sound, The Fury and Alex Jones! by Luke and Bisson.

A bumper 44 pages of conspiracy comedy!

You can buy the PDF for the bargain price of 98 Cents (US) through Paypal by clicking on this link

You can also get the print edition of the comics mag through Indyplanet – costly 10 dollars or so when the postage is in, tho they’ve done a lovely job.

Here’s previews.

BONUS FEATURES

Columns on comics from the old Alltern8.com here 

ComicsWest convention in Galway (8th-10th February)

Heroes and Legends con in Belfast the following weekend.

More details in a while.

Gift 2

The Belfast Comics Fayre took place on Sunday, and as this week in Belfast would have it, was hampered by the bullcrap foisted on us by a small minority of troublemakers. People preferred to stay in, rather than risk travel being halted by little boys with dangerous toys. In a time where the rights of British-Ireland are called into question by international eejits, I can think of no way that the province’s status could be more sorely damaged than the violence of fleg-fighters. It’s a shame they devalued the identity of “being Northern Irish”. If only they’d take the short cut by actually shooting themselves in the foot, they’d save all of us bar the nurses some trouble.

For the guests that turned out we recouped something. We had some great craic with Bobby Best (The 2dcast), Stephen Downey (Noe The Savage Boy), Derm McGuigan (Potato Vampires) and I’m told Lightning Strike Comics Presents and Darrin O’Toole’s Tales From The Void are now on sale at FPI Belfast. Issue 7 of Paddy Brown’s Cattle Raid of Cooley is likely on his website bookshop any day now. 

A future event is planned.

The ADF’s annual open show is again dedicated to seasonal gifts made by disabled artists, enabling you to spend for Christmas with a conscience! The artists have supplied small-scale work of all kinds with a modest price range, and I’ve work in there along with Alice Burns, Andrew Cooke, Andrew Gahan, Jennifer Hanley, Johanna Lodge, Rachel McBride, Niall McCormack, Sinead O’Donnell, Roisin O’Hagan, Keith Sheppard, Deirdre Ward and Trevor Wray. December opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am–4pm, with occasional extensions. The Arts & Disability Forum are based on the ground floor of 109-113 Royal Avenue (opposite the Mace), Belfast BT1. You can invite friends on Facebook and there’s a special seasonal celebration from 5-7pm on Thursday 20th

Here are some photos I took at the opening.

GIFT 2 - ADF 01 GIFT 2 - ADF 02 GIFT 2 - ADF 03 GIFT 2 - ADF 04 GIFT 2 - ADF 05 GIFT 2 - ADF 06 GIFT 2 - ADF 07 GIFT 2 - ADF 08 GIFT 2 - ADF 09 GIFT 2 - ADF 10

You can buy Issue 1 of my new digital comic, Kick! It includes The children of Mow Street Mall, The A-Team, Doomlord X and Allergy, another tale about shopping.

ONLY thirtie englishe pennies!

I’ll be stripblogging my new Xmas card comic here a few days before Christmas. In the meantime, you can buy it from the ADF, or the online shop.

Belfast Comics Fayre

This Sunday, December 9th, in Haymarket Arcade, off Royal Avenue, the Comics Fayre comes to Belfast.

Orchestrated by Avalon Arts with some arrangement from yours truly, the event is billed as a family fun day with FREE admission. There are exhibitions of comics art, workshops, comics launches, panels, talks, face painting, fancy dress, a cafe and a bar.
We’ve a few special guests from across the border: Darrin O’Toole (Writer, Tales from the Void), Eoin McAuley (Editor, Lightning Strike), Ciaran Marcantonio (Writer, ‘A Clockwork Universe’ for Lightning Strike), Daryl Cox (Artist, ‘Monkey of Oz’ for Lightning Strike) as well as Belfast’s very own Patrick Brown (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) Odds are good other home-town comics pros are making surprise guest appearances.
The market, which usually hosts local crafts, will push a surge of comics and geek ephemera such as tables recovered in comics strips, gamer badges and knitted trinkets.
The Stack comics store will be there with a range of graphic novels, and partaking in the re-launch of The Black Panel, an initiative to bring Northern and Southern Irish comics to the viewing public. I’ll be hosting The Magnificent One Day ComicBook Factory. There are also a series of short talks, and I’m pleased to announce that Eoin McAuley will be speaking on developing a small press comic from an idea to publication.

[Facebook Event link]

BELFAST COMICS FAYRE 2012

My christmas card range and new comics will also be showing at the Arts and Disability Forum’s Gift 2 exhibition, (on Royal Avenue) until December 20th. There’s also a special “Seasonal Celebration” wrap soiree on the 20th, with details on Facebook.

Dawn Lennox, Norma Thierfelder & Andy Luke Do Magnificent!

On September 22nd the Games of Thrones-centric Titancon held at The Europa, Belfast, hosted the debut of Andy Luke’s Magnificent One Day Comic Book Factory, raising £25 for Action Cancer producing and selling  small run mini-comic that same afternoon. With the authors permission, we re-present three of the strips drawn in an hour more-or-less.

DAWN LENNOX (BELFAST)

Dawn Lennox

 

NORMA THIERFELDER (GERMANY)

norma-744x1024

 

ANDY LUKE (BELFAST)

Andy-744x1024

 

You can see two other strips of The Titancon Factory Sessions from PJ Holden and Patrick Brown here.

My TitanCon report is on Livejournal, including Flickr pics of the Titancon at The Giant’s Causeway.

EVENT REVIEW: Morrison’s Superhero Renaissance, Academic Conference 2/2: Lightning

Grant Morrison And The Superhero Renaissance was an academic symposium held at Trinity College Dublin on 14-15 September 2012. The conference was organised by Dr. Darragh Greene (UCD) and Dr. Kate Roddy (Trinity) In the second of a two part column, the Andy Lukes of different timelines commune to call forth their notes and  memories of the experience. You can read the first part of the report here.

Katie Chaos’s Joker-like rampage across Dublin betides woeful hangovers upon those who accompanied her trail. It was 4am when we got in. I went to sleep resigned to missing the early presentations, and remembered Gar Shanley told me foxes congregated outside the room were I slept and cried like babies. Gar lives almost entirely on boiled eggs, and so restored me to health, fit to return to the Long Room Hub for the second day of the conference.

Morrisonposter

GOOD AND EVIL

 

Muireann O’ Sullivan’s ‘God is Dead: Long Live Superman!’ discussed the sociology of fan culture. It looked at the relationships between gods, man and superheroes to find an inverse relationship between the first two and latter two. The talk apparently looked at Morrisonian characters in terms of faith, (“these heroes are creations in man’s image, rather than humanity being created in God’s), and belief, and why the superhero genre is so magnetic while rejecting conventional religion.

O’ Sullivan’s peer at Trinity, Nicholas Galante looked at the author’s use of Christian religious symbolism in ‘Our Father, Who Art in Gotham.’ It seems to have been largely a study of Arkham Asylum, looking at character shifts relating to each situation within the chaotic, illogical environment that the book examines.

Dr. Will Brooker (Kingston University London) was good enough to forward me his paper, ‘The Return of the Repressed: Grant Morrison’s Batman RIP’ . It describes a particularly stimulating work of collection (52 worlds), and integration: Morrison sews together the differing tones, including 1950s and 1960s stories Batman might like to forget. Tales of The Dark Knight encountering pink tentacled monsters, UFO aliens, The Joker with his helicopter which looks just like him, Bat-Mite, and others, in a manner which would probably have turned Frederic Werthram onto cannabis. Brooker informs that sometimes these came as dreams or hallucinations or X-Files adventures, but have been re-pushed by Morrison to sit alongside the inter-weave of the works by Miller, Moore, Grant and O’Neil, and create a new conservatism. Just as with the ‘Spectrum of Supermen’ discussed by Will’s student Philip Bevin on Day 1, Morrison treats Batman to a “Prismatic Age”, as suggested by Duncan Falconer. This was a great paper, so I’m going to take the opportunity to quote from it some.

“Morrison returns Batman and Joker not to a single earlier era, but to something more complex: a matrix, a network, a conversation between past and present…… Rather than containing him, neutralising, deadening and dampening his meanings, as the title Batman Rest in Peace initially suggests, Morrison digs up the character’s past and encourages a sense of unrest, of activity, diversity, carnival and liberating uncertainty. The story’s central protagonist is still a Dark Knight and grim vigilante, but we – and Batman – are never allowed to forget the rest, the repressed: the rest of the Batmen, shattered, scattered and surrounding him, in every rainbow shade of the spectrum, like ghosts from alternate earths and other histories, like fragments of a magic mirror, in a halo of mosaic pieces.”

RainbowBatman

HUMANITY AND SUPERHUMANITY

Two more papers on All-Star Superman: Jennifer Harwood Smith looked at the narrative were solar poisoning saw the man-hero make farewells to his loved ones, intertwining the senses of the personal and the epic.  The Trinity speaker also spoke of Superman and history and how this informed relationships as death approaches.

Shaun Treat from the University of North Texas explored the supermythos ret-con in myth and commodity, as “a quasimystical medium for expanding consciousness, altering perceived reality and exploring themes central to the human condition.” Morrison’s Utopian MystiFiction in the “holy alien trinity of Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman.” This was a gripping piece, and I think it addressed my problems with Arno Bogaert’s notion on Day 1 that realistic, pro-active superheroes are on “a slippery slope.”

“the holy alien trinity of Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman operates as a global Lacanian fantasy wherein the power of the story ennobling humanity to being/becoming/be stronger than we think ourselves to be also demands we accept and channel our inner-Ubermensch. Because Superman is a fictional meditation upon the Nietzschean and Fascistic potentialities of the Ubermensch fantasy, a desirous circuit that is inspired by rather than inspiring the ambivalences of the human condition for what Henry Jenkins finds is a multiplicity of ‘becoming’. Morrison invents a fantasy that inverts and mystically re-shapes our conditions for ‘reality’ as a ritual enactment of invented fictions. In short, within this Utopian Mystifiction of Morrison, readers are invited to become participant co-authors with a SuperGod who is dreaming the promise and perils of all humanity…and ourselves.”

INTERLUDE: LUNCH

There was a great camaraderie amongst the twenty odd attendees, and a sharing of tales and tips. I perched myself on the sidelines though, having broken the rule of Con gatherings: Don’t drink heavily on the night of Day 1. Darrin O’Toole mentioned a local group of comic creators were having a launch party: the Lightning Strike people, and I’d promised to look in, so the two of us took to the streets.

lightningstrike cover

After twenty minutes of maze-work we hit upon the art space/shop type venue, marked out by beautiful girlfriends, Victorian adventurers (hello, Ciaran Marcantonio), and storm-troopers. Large comics arts pages graced the walls by a fellow who might
give the super-improved Stephen Downey a run for his money, and I discussed a project I was pitching, and our mutual plans on distribution and profile-building. A quick goodbye inside, yelling at Ger Hankey, “You and Me For IDW” before returning to the conference. Ger talks about his contribution, Hybrid, and the launch, in interview with Ciaran Flanagan on the great 2dcast earlier this week. Ger’s art featured heavily in the promo material, re-interpreting the Lightning Strike character collection for publicity. Although I adore his 1980s-ish Transformers stuff, his approach of mostly drawing with ten year olds in aim doesn’t appeal to me. Lightning Strike looks to be an incredibly diverse anthology with painted Vertigo Hellblazer stylings of intrigue, steampunk people riding dinosaurs, and monkeys, just because. So yes, toss aside your scepticism and pick up a copy.

MASCULINE IDENTITIES

And so I managed to miss most of the second leg of Day 2 as well. I was really looking forward to hearing from Tim Pilcher, an ex-editor for DC Comics when they were operating in Londonduring the 90s. A friend of Grant, we’d swapped our own Morrison stories, and some of these may have been recounted in his talk on the author’s use of playing multiple personalities when in front of the media lens. ‘Transvestitism, Transgenderism and Transformative Personalities in the Life and Work of Grant Morrison’ also looked at ‘liquid personality’ and a malleable sense of self across his characters, manipulated by internal or external forces, including Morrison for use on himself, as noted above.

morrison-fluid-personalities

Dr. David Coughlan from the University of Limerick gave us From Shame Into Glory. The subject was the hyper-masculine; armoured against the feminine, yet read as expressing shame and inadequacy. Coughlan spoke of “the idea of diffusing the hard body” present in Animal Man andFlex Mentallo, and the life defined by shame, guilt, fear and hatred in the character of Ned Slade in The Filth. Slade’s secret identity is that of a paedophile, but he is a super-cleansing hero dedicated to his cat. The Filth, according to Coughlan, examines the superhero’s part in redeeming man from shame “through the interactions of perversion and policing.”

META

Charles Stephens from Texas A & M University presented Morrison Meta-Continuity Within the DC Universe: Creativity as the Ultimate Superpower. Touching upon many of the themes of the conference so far, he also brought in more view to Seven Soldiers and Final Crisis, and the subject of continuity. Charles looked at the subject of Grant’s metafiction avatars, and the movement by other authors and contemporaries to do likewise. My memories of this are hazy – this may be when we discussed John Byrne’s run on She-Hulk (around the same time as Animal Man #26), but my notes tell only that I should read the book on Jerry Siegel, ‘Men of Tomorrow’and Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine, which picks up where Dawkins left off on The Selfish Gene.

Clare Pitkethly (New Zealand?) presented Alienated in the pages of a Comic, on the subjection of his characters to comic book textuality. Inhabited by alien discourse are his characters, while Morrison in his comic assumes the role of language himself (through means of his proxies and signifiers) The characters and their environments take on “self-reflexivity” qualities recurring.  acquiring “a distance from the illusory worlds around them”, yet become aware of this. Language speaks the speaker (written from somewhere else), and characters are spoken by the author.

The final talk was by Roy Cook of the Universityof Minnesota. Royis the author of The Art of Comics which we should  for in paperback shortly, and a contributor to Pencil, Panel, Page a comics theory blog. His talk sounded frivolous, but in fact was fun and infectiously brain-occupying. The Writer and The Writer guided us through The Death of The Author in Suicide Squad #58. Written by John Ostrander, the Squad was joined on three or four pages by Grant Morrison, as visualised in Animal Man #26, with the power of prophecy, events unfolding on his word processor. Until blown up. Cook’s theory is that Old School Ostrander is having some fun poking at the young hipster writers with their kooky ideas and fancy literary foppery. But, he remarks, here’s where it gets interesting. “This issue forces us to re-conceptualise the relationships between the author as creator and the author as meta-fictional construct within his own creation, at least when this creation is a massively fictional universe like the DC continuity.” Rob then goes on to lay out five universes:

1. Wily E. Coyote, Road Runner cartoons

2. Crafty, Wily E’s Animal Man avatar and Chas Truog, who precedes Morrison and appears by paintbrush.

3. Grant as The Writer, along with his house, nearby parks and paths (visualised through Truog’s interpretation of course), appearing in Animal Man #25-26.

4. The Writer’s appearance in Suicide Squad. Technically,John Ostrander’s avatars for Grant and Chas, filtered his own perspective.

5. Our world, were everybody above and everything mentioned exists.

The-Writer

Closing

Dr. Chris Murray summed up the conference was  “a rich view of Morrison’s oeuvre and his techniques.”

Someone suggested Moore was a guru, but yet an old school teacher standing at the front and instructing, while Morrison was an escatonic new ‘we’ll all be friends’ teacher.

There was chatter about the rise of writers along Morrisonian lines.

Speculation we would yet see a diverged Superman, and coalesced Batman.

Consensus: to learn about continuity, go to Morrison.

Two things we didn’t talk about at all: the Kathmandu experience, and Quitely and Morrison’s conversation with the stranger who dressed and looked exactly like Superman.

Two things we did talk about: The Black Zoid saga, and what Grant might have thought of all this – that he’d be interested, surprised, but mostly amused.

It was a fantastic few days of thinking, learning and cooking academic esteem.  I’m really glad it happened.

I got back to Gar’s place and we had a good old bitch, while eating more healthy boiled eggs. We watched his award-winning Foxes, which was fantastic and very creepy, and I enjoyed my first views of Cloverfield, and The Mist.

Thanks to Darragh, Kate, Gar and everyone who worked so hard for such a unique weekend. I hope Dublin has another comics barcamp or conference in 2013.

Andy Luke would like 1,000 readers to check out his great comic, Optimus and Me, so he can justify  publishing the beautiful colour sequel, The Moods of Prime, on his website for free. He’s currently working on strips for Courageous Mayhem, including ‘Underwater Billiards: A True Story’, due out in Winter 2013.

Jane O’ Sullivan – Countdown to Dublin Zine Fair (Minus 24 hrs)

This weekend I’ve been interrupting artists at work as they prepare for the Dublin Zine Fair at 6 Grand Street Street (near Capel), in the Smithfield are of Dublin. And as you read this, I’ll probably be in transit with my chauffeur Mr. Brown, a man who resembles Bill Bailey’s actual Klingon pure bloodline, but has the romantic soul of The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon. Transmitting two places at once, myself and exhibiting artist Jane O’ Sullivan decided to see if we couldn’t project some directions.

‘All of Me’, an excerpt from ‘the only truth is love’, Jane’s new book made specially for the zine fair.

‘All of Me’, an excerpt from ‘the only truth is love’, Jane’s new book made specially for the zine fair.

Hi Jane. You’re attending the Fair next weekend at the SupaFast Building in Smithfield. How would you introduce yourself and your work to someone at the event who has never heard of you before?

Jane:
well it always feels a real an honour to be on the outside so to speak. My work comes from a very contemplative sort of private world and in the main I would not have been in the position to actually meet people , having shown in a gallery context before..
There is an isolation one can find themselves in within the fine art world, which made me want to make some of my work more accesible work.So I started to make artists books and zines to bring the innerworld ……OUTSIDE !

My main medium is drawing ,occasionally short films and limited edition books and zines.
I address the pain ,the awe inspiringness,the beauty and the wonder of life ,the inbetween moments , the bits you can never quite remember from a dream.

Gods and Monsters of Tomorrow from kaiju on Vimeo.

Andy:
What can you tell us about your experience with these fairs and your relationship with the punters?

Jane:
Straight off there is a completely underworld , sort of secret magic forest vibe to the atmostphere and aesthetics to both the dublin zine fair and the independants day fair, that is not commercial or hierarchical.
Its inclusive, challenging and hard to define (all great qualities)
The punters are superb people as they come and support all the artists and make our day by being totally receptive and love us loads(also they love to be part of something original , and bring something handmade and inspiring home with them)
It is a great relationship and lots of cool contacts are made as most of the punters are open toand involved themselves in the whole d.i.y aesthetic.

Forthcoming book, Words from Dolls

Forthcoming book, Words from Dolls

Andy:
What are you looking forward to most about the event?

Jane:
meeting other artists that I admire and I work with collaboratively(eg.elida maiques)
Mostly its the random chance meetings with people who see something in my work and that reminds me why I am an artist.
My need to communicate something that is beyond words…..when a person is moved , I am humbled and gladdened no end.
The work must have a meaning outside of the artist , it must fly.

Andy:
Anything you’re dreading?

Jane:
not having any change is a bit dreadful 😦

Jane’s artist book, Truth is My Identity

Jane’s artist book, Truth is My Identity

Andy:

And finally – any message for the people out there, reading this, wishing that they too were a young, cool and sexy visual artist?

 Jane:Andy …you are having a laugh ! Lets just say that you just keep making your work , fail , fail , fail , and keep going . It is an artists role to be brave , to not fear mistakes,you turn up , tune in and get on with it. Finally always remember , life is short , it is happening (now)

More of Jane’s work at: www.janeosullivan.blogspot.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/queenjaneosullivan/
http://www.facebook.com/janeosullivanart
Gods and Monsters of Tomorrow

I’ve been your host Andy Luke, a writer who draws, and I’ll be at the event making available my new work, The Moods of Prime. Come and get a copy, or have me bless your children.

Dublin-Zine-Fair

The Dublin Zine Fair is managed by Sarah Bracken. Clicking on the image above will take you through to her website, Baby Beef Art Press.

Paddy Lynch – Countdown to Dublin Zine Fair (1)

In the run up to the two-day event taking place at The SupaFast Building near Capel Street starting Saturday, I decided to have a chat with a man well known on both the comics and zine scene, the interesting Paddy Lynch.

Page 11, Issue 1 of Lynch’s Last Bus

Page 11, Issue 1 of Lynch’s Last Bus

Patrick, hope you’re well! It’s an exciting time to be you so it seems. Big Jim, (your book about the infamous trade unionist leader), Stray Lines (a cutting edge anthology with the Hughes brothers, the Judge brothers and the Barrett man) How would you introduce yourself and your work to someone at the Dublin Zine Fair who has never heard of you before? Y’know. If I’m sitting on the other side of the room.

Paddy:
Hi Andrew. I’m very well thank you -very excited about those two projects that you mentioned. It’s been a good while since I’ve released anything substantial so I’m very much looking forward to getting these books in front of peoples eyes.

Generally I would introduce myself as Paddy Lynch, and if I’m asked to describe my work I would usually say it’s ‘observational slice of life fiction’ or perhaps ‘kitchen-sink tragicomic character studies without the tragedy, or comedy’. Is that too evasive? I guess I’m quite interested in how people reveal the flaws and weaknesses that unite us all through their actions, despite whatever outward impression they may give off. That’s a theme that seems to keep coming up again and again in my work.

Andy:
You’ve done quite a few of these fairs now. How would you define your relationship with the punters?

Paddy:
Andy, you should know better than to ask me to define anything. I don’t think I’ve ever had a fight with a punter, so I imagine our relationship is pretty solid. That hardest thing I find about this is battling preconceptions of what ‘comics’ are, but I find people at zine fairs are usually quite open-minded and very receptive to the type of work I produce. I often do better at these events than I do at the more traditional comic convention.

Last Bus by Paddy Lynch

Last Bus by Paddy Lynch

StrayLines, A Comic Book Anthology from Paddy Lynch on Vimeo.

Andy:
This weekend, what are you looking forward to most?

Paddy:
Meeting punters, chatting to them and other zine/comic makers and the general inspirational boost you get from this. Hopefully seeing new work from people such as Elida Maiques, Colm Wood, Phil Barrett, Deridre deBarra.

Andy:
Anything you’re dreading? You’re not allergic to nuts are you?

Paddy:
The inevitable question – “so what new material do you have?” Unfortunately I have no new books ready (Stray Lines is set to launch in late September, and Big Jim will be out in early 2013). But it will be a good chance for people to pick up the various mini comics that I don’t sell online.

LARKIN !‘Big Jim’, written by Rory McConville and published through O’Brien Press.

LARKIN !‘Big Jim’, written by Rory McConville and published through O’Brien Press.

 

Andy:
And finally – any message for the people out there reading this thinking, I’d love to be able to be adored for my version of Bat-Man / recipe for anti-government brownies, and wondering how to get there?

Paddy:
Don’t wait on someone else’s approval to do it. Making and self-publishing a zine/comic/whatever is an incredibly rewarding and empowering thing to experience.

Thanks for the chat Andy- see you on Saturday!

Andy:
My fingers are covered with printer ink and my bag has four things in it. Plenty of room for comics and zines then.

Stray-Lines-217x300 (1)

You can find out more about Paddy’s work at his website, http://www.patrickl.net/ including updates from the Big Jim project.  (Which respectfully, ICN ran an exclusive on in February) You can learn more about Stray Lines via the website or go direct to  http://www.fundit.ie/project/stray-lines-a-comic-book-anthology

The Zine Fair is managed by Sarah Bracken. Click through the image below to go to her website. 

Dublin-Zine-Fair

The questions in this interview were built from models supplied by London’s bounciest superhero, David Baillie.

 

Karen Browett – Countdown to Dublin Zine Fair (2)

This week I’m interviewing a number of comics and zine creators in preparation for the two-day free Dublin Zine Fair at the SupaFast Building, near Capel Street. Today, Karen Browett.

Hi Karen, hope you’re well! I know you’re the comixer behind Astro Chimp and have made some band posters in the past, but besides that I haven’t a clue. I’m out of touch you see, made old by reading too much of Sir Rich Moorisselller’s unisex power fantasy comic The Midgey, published by Coke. Patrick Lynch said I should talk to you, and he’s really cool. How would you introduce yourself and your work to someone at The SupaFast Building next Saturday?

Karen:
Your right, Paddy is awesome! I would introduce myself by a high 5 I guess? It’s my favorite hello.

I am a picture maker and appreciator. For the zine fair, Im representing Wereworms (Tumblr,Facebook) which is a four person art collective. We generally work in the independent music scene, making gig posters, screen printed merch and album covers, but also make art for arts sake together and have put together things like zines, prints of personal work and more. It’s great getting to work with such talented people. The idea was to form a design group of different styled but similarly minded artists that could be contacted by bands, promoters etc when they needed artwork or merch, and that they would be able to either send us a general commission, or personally pick one of our artists from the portfolios. We also sell our work through a growing number of outlets, so we are playing with the idea that we could offer a cheaper price on bulk merch etc if the band wanted us to distribute and sell a certain amount of the work ourselves. Beyond that, we just love working together, so we keep on making stuff anyway, and can often be found at stalls at gigs and independent media events selling personal and commissioned work. It’s a very open and free group with little boundries on what we do which I absolutely love.

werewormslogo-1024x1024

The work I do with Wereworms tends to fall somewhat into the darker/psychedelic/more for adults brackets of art, and I get to grapple with graphic design and creative typography allot. This differs from the other side of my work which is largely as an illustrator. My style of illustration is more suited to children’s books and goofy comics, and is largely based on my stupid sense of humour. Astro Chimp was a really fun comic to do, and you have reminded me that issue 3 is long overdue. It’s about a monkey who was kidnapped and sent to space. Very literary.

A page from Karen Browett’s Astro Chimp –  Wow

A page from Karen Browett’s Astro Chimp – Wow

For my personal illustration work I would love to get more editorial work or a strip in a magazine, but at the moment am focused on a short story I am trying to finish illustrating. My Grandpa ‘Pop’ was an artist for The Dandy and lots of newspaper comic strips and children’s books, and growing up around him I decided that it was the best job ever, so I put myself through endless poverty on the quest to be able to do this full time too! Here is my blog of illustration work, and my general portfolio is up on behance here

Andy:
You’ve just gotten back from another festival. What sort of relationship do you have with your punters?

Karen:
I like to be as involved as possible. Especially since so much of the work Im involved in is to some kind of commission/brief. With Wereworms I feel it’s really important to keep up a presence by having stalls at gigs, markets and other events. With the gig scene, ourselves and the bands we create work for would work very closely and generally be very familiar with each other. We want people to be comfortable approaching us and able to be involved in the creative process. They can openly talk to us and view our work, and we can watch the bands and chat to the promoters, and therefore have a full comprehension of what they want. The art and aesthetics of a band are important and should tie together with the sound, and when a group of people have put so much talent and creativity in to such a personal and unique thing as a band, they usually have a vision of how they picture it on paper. You need to be able to pick up on where they are coming from and what they are trying to put across. Being an active part of the music scene that you work in is vital in that instance to understanding those you work with.

wormywormsmall

I come from the D.I.Y. punk scene, which has grown over the years to encapsulate a lot more than that, but has always been a really healthy, connected, creative and highly supportive scene. The message has always been that you can do things for yourself. If you love music, pick up an instrument and play it, if you love to draw or write, make some zines and put them out there. Whatever you want to do there is a network of people who are all tentatively finding their feet doing something they are interested in and love. Whatever you can offer or do is supported and encouraged, and people don’t need to worry about not being ‘good enough’ or being held back by external factors such as money for example. In the scene I grew up in, if you want to do something, you really just learn to do it. I wanted to screen print so I looked up plans online and build the equipment. Thats how I learnt what I know, no way I could afford the real stuff and there was no specific training about it at the time in terms of courses, and I couldn’t have afforded established studios I could have joined. Of course I was crap at it for a time, and the equipment I built had tons of unforeseen problems, but thats the only way to learn, and people are largely there to support that, not take you down. The D.I.Y. and generally the independent music scene as a whole is more of a community than anything else and it’s essential be be on both sides of it, to produce/create and appreciate/support. The work we make feeds directly from all thats around us and I hope can feed others in return. An artist who stays in the studio all the time is as useful as a guitar virtuoso who is to afraid to join a band. I believe that you have to continue to participate, or you allow yourself to stagnate and become full of ideas of things you would have liked to have done with people, work you would have liked to have been chosen for if you only were more involved with people. In short, without the people my work would cease to be valid and would stop growing creatively. So talking with people and being involved is essential.

Karen Browett – Astro Chimp (2010)

Karen Browett – Astro Chimp (2010)

Andy:
What are you looking forward to most next weekend?

Karen:
Seeing all the other tables. Im always amazed by the amount of talent at zine fairs and independent markets. Especially since in the various underground scenes, there is so much going on that you might not be aware of. Since the internet really took over, I find that while you can build connections fast online, lots of things become lost within groups of friends on social networking media. For example, a gig could happen where your favorite band might come over, but if you aren’t online friends with the promoter or one of the support bands, you might not even hear about it. Social networking is great, but people don’t promote things at as grassroots a level anymore, its more ‘sure I whacked it up on facebook/tumbr etc so people know about it.’ I see less physical zines, posters, stickers, freesheets etc around the place as the internet becomes more and more the platform for peoples work. Im really really looking forward to seeing all the new work and new artists and writers. I’m one of those odd people who when they like art or zines, they want to touch them, smell the ink, feel what paper was chosen etc. The physical heart and soul of the work really comes through when you get to hold, look at and leaf through peoples zines and art.

Im also really just looking forward to being able to talk to people into the same things and have a good buzz, there’s some really great heads involved, incredibly hard workers too who I have a lot of respect for.

Andy:
Anything you’re dreading?

Karen:
Counting. I hate that bit of stalls! Counting and change. It’s cold sweat territory when someone wants more than one thing, despite how used to this I should be! I’ll fill up on coffee and change and bring a calculator this time just to be sure of everything! If you end up trying to get anything from me, be patient with me if I look like I’ve had a lobotomy when you ask how much it is!

Karen Browett – The Road -part of a project drawing a page of comics from a page of film script

Karen Browett – The Road -part of a project drawing a page of comics from a page of film script

Andy:
And finally – any message for the people out there, reading this, wishing that they too were a fashionable publisher, yet personally creative; cool and developing?

Karen:
haha I don’t know about that! Honestly though, what you do is in your own hands. If you want to draw, print, write, publish etc, just find a way to do it. Don’t procrastinate or get caught up in the finer details and the things that hold you back. If no one will publish you, publish yourself as a zine or art book, contact people and send it out, bring it to small shops and events, do all you can with it. Don’t be precious about it. If its something you love doing, its not the only thing you’ll ever produce, so throw it out there and then keep throwing out more stuff again and again as you make it. There is no such thing as ‘not able to’ or ‘no point’ when it comes to having a desire to being creative. Subjecting yourself to those restrictions is usually a way of making personal excuses not to push yourself. To use a cliche, the world is yours. Try as hard as you can to spend as much time in it striving to do what makes you happy. If you want to be an artist as a hobby or a way of spending your free time, just do it, get it out there. If you want it as a sustainable career, work your absolute balls off. Live it breath it be it, because a billion other people do too, but if you put everything you have consistently into what you want to do, it will pay off. What starts small, if its worked on with all your heart and pushed, does go further and further every time you do it. Slowly but surely.

If anyone is interested in illustrating, specifically, I did a hnd in Illustration in B.C.F.E., co-ordinated by illustrator Margaret Anne Suggs, and honestly is was the most amazing course. It’s so encouraging, and the tutors are so full of knowledge, advice and guidance. It’s more like a family than a college there, and I grew about 5 years in terms of my work over the 2 years of the course. By the end you will have a full portfolio to show people and it’s well worth a look if your serious about trying to become a commercial artist in some capacity.

Thanks Karen. You can check out the awesome of Astro Chimp at Karen’s blog, and the WereWorms collective on Tumblr and Facebook.

Dublin-Zine-Fair

The Zine Fair is managed by Sarah Bracken. Click through to her website.

The questions in this interview were built from models
supplied by London’s bounciest superhero, David Baillie.

Colm Wood – Countdown to Dublin Zine Fair (3)

The Dublin Zine Fair takes place at the Scooby-Doo SupaFast building this weekend in Great Strand Street (just off Capel Street)
It’s a weird looking place going by the exterior photo. I imagine it as being in an alcho alley, painted with wet smoked tobacco. Inside though, bright open spaces, the essential scenesters, an accumulation of entrepreneurial energies in their crossings, trailing in distantly observed alien cultures to create a patchwork planet. With complimentary olives.This week I’m talking to those comic creators attending the Fair, and today I sat down with London visual artist, Colm Wood.

Andy:
Hi Colm,  You’re an English  comixer crossing the Irish Sea to Dublin for The 2012 Zine Fair. That sounds like a big deal.  How would you introduce yourself and your work to someone at next weekend’s event in the Smithfield area, who has never heard of you before?
Colm:
Im not sure, actually. My comics dont tend to be long stories, just short, often rude bursts of nothing, which often make no sense to others, so I try to make them look nice. I find I enjoy illustrating, and comics is one way of doing that, so I try and vary what I draw on or what I make. I would tell people to expect a mess that they will hopefully like.
Colm-Wood-Twitter
Andy:
What sort of relationship do you have with your punters and fans?
Colm:
Not really anything to be honest! Im very bad at keeping up with people, I tend to involve myself alot with work, most of which never sees the light of day. Im hoping to improve on that.
Andy:
What are you looking forward to most about the event?
 Colm:
Well, I’ve been working on other projects not relating to comic work, so I’m just looking forward to being at an event again! Also its meant I’ve forced myself to spend more time working on illustrations, and that’s always nice.
Colm-Wood-300x203
Colm-Wood-Donkey-Boy
Andy:
Anything you’re dreading?

 

 Colm:
Honestly, it’s hard to dread an event filled with great artists and attended by great people!
 Andy:
And finally – any message for the people out there, reading this, wishing that they too were a smooth, relevant and attractive comics creator?
 Colm:
Kind of you to say, I’m probably not the one to ask! But most people I know that illustrate or produce work tend to illustrate or produce work for its own sake. There’s a chance they don’t realise that they too are smooth, relevant and attractive.
Colm Wood – The Scientist

Colm Wood – The Scientist

 You can view more of Colm’s shapes at http://kidgorgeous.com/ and check out his comics and illustrations at http://www.colmwood.com/
Dublin-Zine-Fair

Click through for website.

The questions in this interview were built from models
supplied by London’s bounciest superhero, David Baillie.

Anto Dillon – Countdown to Dublin Zine Fair (4)

In preparation for the great self-publishing fair this weekend (11th-12th August), I’m running a series of interviews counting down to the event. I’ll be talking to comics creatives and publishers who don’t grab the headlines, but continue to produce quality regularly.

Cycling-In-Dublin-Anto-McFly-212x300

Two (reformed) pages from Cycling in Dublin, drawn by Anto McFly.

Hi Anto, hope you’re well!
I don’t really know you. Everyone I know, knows you.  ”Loserdom,” some say, “it’s been running for twenty years and it’s brill. And you Andy, you still spend too much time masturbating over your Zoids collection.” Bearing in mind there are others out there who masturbate while thinking about Zoids, Brevilles and Sinclair C5s….ah no wait. I’ll start that sentence again. How would you introduce yourself and your work to someone at the SupaFast Building next weekend, someone who has never heard of you before? Does it has comix?

Anto:
My name is Anto I produce Loserdom zine with my brother Eugene. We produced the first issue in June 1996. The production schedule is fairly sporadic, we’ve produced 22 issues of Loserdom altogether. We’re working on the next issue at the moment. Loserdom is a punk zine espousing the do-it-yourself philosophy, it features stories, articles, interviews with bands or different people who we like, find inspiring or might have something interesting to say.

I do most of the writing, while Eugene does the artwork and comics. There are comics in Loserdom they mostly feature the adventures of the Loser Bros (Anto and Eugene), either true life experiences or skits of various films. The last issue #22 featured a 28 page comic called The Punk Connection.

Loserdom-covers-300x223

 

Andy:
What can you tell us about your experience with these fairs and your relationship with the punters?

Anto:I’ve had stalls at various fairs over the last few years: the last Dublin Zine Fair, the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair, the Independents’ Day fair (which I’m involved in organising), Summer Edition, London Zine Symposium and a fair in Belfast. Doing stalls at fairs like these is a very enjoyable way to meet fellow zine and comic producers as well as people who might be interested in reading and buying Loserdom.

The Effects of Planet Of The Apes, by brother Eugene Dillon.

The Effects of Planet Of The Apes, by brother Eugene Dillon.

Andy:
What are you looking forward to most about the event?

Anto:

I’m looking forward to picking up new issues by other zine and comic producers, discovering new zines hopefully as well as meeting up with friends who I’ve known over the years of producing Loserdom, fellow producers themselves or perhaps enthusiasts/ supporters of D.I.Y./independent press.

 

Losercore Anarchy by Euguene

Losercore Anarchy by Euguene

 

Andy:
Anything you’re dreading?

Anto:
Nothing about the fair itself that I’m dreading, but I’m gonna miss my fifteen month old son Seán who I’m usually with every weekend and who won’t be in Dublin this weekend.

Andy:
And finally – any message for the people out there, reading this, wishing that they too were a young, cool and sexy zinester?

Anto:
Just do it! If you’re interested in producing comics or writing a zine, go ahead and do it. Don’t wait to perfect the first issue, spending months, years on it. The best thing is to get it out there, learn from it and get working on the next one.

You can read some of the Dillon Bros’ articles, comics and funny odds n ends athttp://www.loserdomzine.com and keep a look out for them this weekend.

Dublin-Zine-Fair

Click through for website

The questions in this interview were built from models supplied by London’s bounciest superhero, David Baillie.