The Daniel O’ Donnell Podcast – Episode 2

New main image tb edited

Two scatter-brained friends on the roads of County Donegal review the sights they’ve seen, and verbalise excrement as the sun shines out of their asses. In this episode, Sarah and Andy recount the wild ghostly village of Glencolmcille and majestic Glenveagh National Park.

I messed up the footage from Glenveagh, but there’s a gallery and video for your viewing pleasure.

Part 1 – 12 minutes

Download Part 1(right click and save)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Part 2 – 8 minutes

Download Part 2 (right click and save)


Read Andy’s review of Ionad Siuil accommodation over on Trip Advisor.

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.



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]

Irish Comics For Sale Now

Today I’ve been re-building a website for The Black Panel, the Irish comics distribution service Paddy B. and I ran. For a few years we lugged boxes down to The Black Box Club once a month, and sat behind a table, dreaming of selling enough of our own books for pizza and coffee. Oh, those were the days. Well, I intended to re-create those days – first through tempting speciality retailers with local product, and when they didn’t move, I thought maybe readers would.

So, now YOU can see and buy most of our stock at

Some links require de-kinking and I’ll update later in the week.

BLACK PANEL 2 black panel

On Sale Here! Best of Irish Comics – Courageous Mayhem

Courageous Mayhem is a boy’s own adventure style compendium, a veritable who’s who of the Irish comics scene and I’m pleased to host the first website to offer this marvelous comic for sale.

Cover Courageous Mayhem




btnbuynow_s DIGITAL DOWNLOAD  3 EURO / £2.53 UK


My new strip ‘Underwater Billiards’ sits in the eighty-four pages alongside the critically acclaimed Paddy Lynch (Big Jim), Alan Nolan (And The Blood Flowed Green), Phil Barrett (Where’s Larry?) and Patrick Brown (The Cattle Raid of Cooley). There are the adept mystics of comicking like John Robbins (The Well Below), designer Archie Templar (The Pants Of), and editor/publisher Gar Shanley, author of Fugger, one of Ireland’s best comedy blogs.

Like any good adventure comic, Courageous has true facts and wild fantasies above and below the waves, in the streets and the fields. There’s bicycles, bombs, biplanes and bikes and The Bible. You can see the full-listing of contents at the Irish Comics Wikia page.

Order now though, your country is depending on you!



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.




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.”



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.”


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.


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.


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.”


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.



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.

Morrison Symposium: Part 1/2 – Mayhem

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. Greene (UCD) and Dr.  Roddy (Trinity) In the first of a two part column, tutor and transcriber Andy Luke plucks a series of references from his rowdy notes. Turn back now if you only want to read the words,

 “This stuff, it’s fookin easy!” 

Powerpoints were loaded, the hosts welcomed us, and Dr. Greene decided he would forego the accent to read a surprise welcome from the big yin of zen who wished us a scholasticism interesting and entertaining through to sore sat butts, in keeping with the the best university conferences.




Arno Bogaert’s opener, ‘From Superfolks to Supergods’ raced through US comics history: from the war-time golden-age of good Vs evil, Captain America Vs Hitler, in defense of the normal, to preserve society; to the silver age, were Lee’s The Thing indicated being a superhero isn’t always something some-one would want. The hyper-history reminded me to read Robert Meyer’s Super-Folks, and proposed a theory of interest.Arno suggested that DC’s characters were age-less, while Marvel’s characters did age, until sometime in the mid 1980s. This was the Watchmen era were superheroes became more realistic and pro-active, whichArno noted was “a slippery slope”.
I found that latter pro-Morrison conclusion contentious: certainly some aspects of early Animal Man stories would be in emotive discord with it.Arno interestingly suggested Morrison’s role at the end of the series was akin to an anthropologist and cited other views of authors in their work. Lee and Kirby’s comics’ appearances were among them: the Marvel offices in the pages of Fantastic Four as “constituting an embassy of deities”.Philip Bevin of Kingston University examined the portrait All-Star Superman and stories of Action Comics, as part of DC’s New 52. In these, Morrison creates a spectrum of Superman/men and the villains become different hyper-states of Superman with their own perspectives. In All-Star, Superman tries to get his enemies (and friends) to change their outlooks (to be more like him.) Action contains a more pro-active, socialist ‘blue collar rough and ready’ Superman. Not a re-boot, but rather a re-packaging of established authorial ideas, and as ‘Superman Beyond Binaries’ effectively suggested, seems to be a valuable case study in brand Morrison at DC Comics. Bogaert and Bevin created interesting primers, laying out many of the themes and areas key to the conference.

Ulster-man Dr. Keith Scott of de Montfort Uni inLeicesterwas an active talker through much of the event, and I was all the richer for it. His was the cleverly titled, ‘Let me slip into someone more comfortable: Fiction suits/Semantic shamanism and Meta-Linguistic Magic.’ The work primarily took in The Invisibles and Gnosticism. I didn’t understand much of what was said but learned. There was talk of McKenna, Philip K. Dick and Michel Bertiaux. Morrison’s works concern meta-, inter- and trans- and The Invisibles contains all three aplenty, “stretching potential in expressing philosophy, AND IT’S FUN!” It’s ludic, designed to be re-read over read. A Karl Rove quote on journalists and the nature of reality is similar to the villainous Sir Miles. The alphabet of Invisibles has sixty-four letters, and Keith ended by comparing it with the alphabet of Dr. Seuss.






Dr. Darragh Greene presented “The Jungian Stuff”, examining the solar Christ Clark/Kal-el God of humanity and divinity, and his death and resurrection in All-Star Superman. The ego (neo-consciousness) transcending being the point, cut short by death but the addition of that transcending death, beats, trumps it. Superheroes in an envelope (Flex Mentallo) Dan Jurgens’The Death of Superman also came up in comparison, as did Furman’s returning resurrections of Optimus Prime,  the shameless Transformers fan that Darragh is.

Co-host Dr. Kate Roddy presented a piece on Morrison and Bathos entitled, ‘Screw Symbolism and Let’s Go Home’. Bathos was Alexander Pope’s attempt to shame the poetic bunglers of his day, often used by accident. When used consciously by a writer it can expand the limits of a genre and test reader expectations. Kate measured Animal Man and the Dadaist and absurdistDoom Patrol in relation to Morrison’s feelings towards post-Crisis editors, before looking at the less pervasive use of bathos in All-Star and Batman RIP, which Kate considered more up-lifting and conclusively, sublime. Therefore, Morrison, meaningfully challenges Pope.




The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Chris Murray from the Universityof Dundee. Chris pointed out that recursion is a central motif in Moz’s comics, allowing him to explore linguistics (Chomsky), and the recursive patterns of fractal geometry (Benoit Mandelbrot), which develops recursively natural structures, moving us between time and space to collapse and reform distance. This was related to Morrison’s playing up of his identity as part of the ‘acid house culture of comics creators (Peter Milligan, Brendan McCarthy etc, those appearing in Deadlineand Revolver particularly) Douglas Hofstadter’s “strange loops”  disappear hierarchy into heterarchy – these overlaps, repetition, multiple and divergent relations were originally part of Warren McCullough’s 1945 studies in neurology and revolutionised cybernetics. Murray spoke then of a work by Groensteen called A System of Comics (1999) Groensteen talks about not just page recursivity, but one narrative-based. Panels braid or weave together, a metaphor for how the reading of comics works. Morrison manipulates space-time of the multi-frame (or hyper-frame), using immersive strategies, a recurring motif being that of a character looking at their own hand. Another was The Droste Effect of an image within an image within an image (mise en abyme) Recursion links the physical world (fractal geometry), with cognition and communication theory. Using Hofstader, Godel, Escher and Bach, we get an eternal golden braid, to enjoy logic and abstract maths. Murray concluded showing us some cool pictures of other fractals, such as the Fibonacci Spiral and Sierpinski Triangle.

morrison-fractals system of comics


The wine reception was held in the the upstairs Ideas Space, which Keith suggested might be more of aMoorething than Morrison. I suggested referring to it as Ideas Pace might be more appropriate.


(Sidenote: When I was in a crappy teenage band I wrote a song called ‘Ideaspace’, summarising the conceptual consciousness and it’s universality of access by all of us through synchronistical claiming. I later discovered that at the same time,Moorehit upon the same name and properties independently of me. I’m never sure if anyone believes me – perhaps they originated the name and properties independent of both of us?)

I couldn’t stay though, as my man arrived. Two nights in Dublin were spent with Gar Shanley, the funniest blogger in Ireland, and writer-producer behind Foxes, a short film which won a 2011 O’Emmy type award and is touring internationally. We left for a walk and talked about Morrison’s relationship to recurrence and to what extent he was guilty of plagiarism. I recounted what I’d learned about Morrison’s approach to Zenith, that of a DJ, mixing panels from other strips into a new narrative.  But the real reason Gar didn’t like Moz? The DisinfoCon lectures,

“This stuff, it’s fookin easy. It’s easy like. Magic is easy, anyone can do it. It fookin works!”

“It works! It works!”

A restaurant meal: cheap, suave and secret. Then, Pub. Going away party for Elida Maiques, of Slow, and Irish comics anthology Romantic Mayhem, which Gar edited and published, and won a milky bar and rave reviews. Other Irish comics alumni were out: Archie ‘Layout King/Forger’ Templar, Phil ‘The Cap’ Barrett, Paddy ‘Listener’ Lynch, and Katie Chaos Blackwood. Katie demanded to find out what was on at the Van Morrison Symposium. Elida’s pizza ended up on my list of abstracts, making this a very real possibility. The night ended in another bar with Paddy and I trying to retcon Katie and Gar’s versions of historical learnings in a Crisis on Infinite Irelands.

Andy Luke only wrote this because Elida Maiques and Will Brooker told him to. “Lightning”, the second part of the report is much shorter, and appears later this week. Andy would like 1,000+ readers to check out his great comic, Optimus and Me. In return he’ll publish the beautiful colour sequel, The Moods of Prime on his website, for free.  Like a meme machine.

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?

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.

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

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

What are you looking forward to most about the event?

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.

Anything you’re dreading?

not having any change is a bit dreadful 😦

Jane’s artist book, Truth is My Identity

Jane’s artist book, Truth is My Identity


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:
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.


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.

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.

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

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.

This weekend, what are you looking forward to most?

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.

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

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.


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?

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!

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, 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

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


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?

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.


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

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

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.


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)

What are you looking forward to most next weekend?

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.

Anything you’re dreading?

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

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?

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.


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.