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]

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.

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.

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?
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.
What sort of relationship do you have with your punters and fans?
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.
What are you looking forward to most about the event?
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.
Anything you’re dreading?


Honestly, it’s hard to dread an event filled with great artists and attended by great people!
And finally – any message for the people out there, reading this, wishing that they too were a smooth, relevant and attractive comics creator?
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 and check out his comics and illustrations at

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.


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?

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.



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.

What are you looking forward to most about the event?


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


Anything you’re dreading?

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.

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

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 at and keep a look out for them this weekend.


Click through for website

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


Dublin’s New Cultural Venue Launches With Grassroots Comics Festival

A re-blog from the archives of my regular column for (now extinct) Alltern8; Comicking.

Point Village Comic Festival 2010 will be introduced in the Point Village Market on the 12th June. It has been created by Hilary Lawler (creator of Superhilbo!) & Kate Farnon (Events Manager) from VSC Events to help promote comic book creators in Ireland. The stalls at this event are free for comic creators, artists and illustrators and the promotion and organization has been widely supported by the small press community. Hilary hopes this event will highlight further to the Irish public, what talents and wonderful publications are available to them. Often at events relating to comics, the cost of a table or stall hire can have a negative impact on the independent publishers pocket, so she hopes this event gives people a chance to network, promote and sell their comics and art.point village official poster

I asked Hilary for a few more details on the event.

Andy Luke: How many creators have you lined up?

Hilary Lawler: At present there are 35 people who are confirmed for the Point Village Comic Festival event. These range from comic creators to illustrators, animators and artists. All are involved in publishing a range of artistic endeavours from stand alone pieces, webcomics to regular volumes of work.

AL: Who’s attending? I notice a few names not local…

HL: From the list (off the top of my head and in no particular order) there are familiar names in comics such as Longstone Comics, Sancho, Road Crew and Atomic Diner, but there are also some names that may be new for most people such as Neptune Factory and Pinback. Either way it is proving to be a healthy mix of the great range of talents in Ireland.

AL: What can you tell us about the venue at this point?

HL: As the Point Village Market will be opening on the 29th May, it is difficult to give an exact description of the venue. As such the venue can be described, based on the images used for its promotion so far, to be a modern, open plan market with the intention of developing the market into the same vibe as Covent Garden. The Point Village Comic Festival will be an event that runs alongside the market for Saturday 12th June.

AL: Will comics creators be accompanied by other arts stallholders, eg. Camden, Belfast Black Market or Dublin Co-Op Independent’s Day?

HL: To the best of my knowledge the stalls in the market for each weekend will range from food to arts & crafts. The Point Village Comic Festival event is specifically aimed at those in the small press that can’t avail of a regular stall. This opportunity to sell your creations without having the cost of stall hire, is directly aimed at supporting the Irish small press. A creative expression in the form of a comic can be a costly affair, so at least anything sold remains a profit in this instance. It is aimed as a comic event but it is open to artists and illustrators in all areas.

AL: When is the event open from and to?

HL: It runs on the Saturday, 12th June – opening times are to be confirmed and stall holders will be notified closer to the time. The market opening times are advertised as 8.30am -5.30pm. However, the Point Village Comic Festival event time will open a little later in the morning to allow for setting up.

Hilary: It is a free event and some details are still being confirmed regarding workshops and panels. There is an exhibition on for the day so anyone is welcome to avail of the chance to exhibit their work. We welcome anyone who wants to take a free stall still, just email me at:
longstonecomics (at) to register your details (blogspot, contact/mobile, website).
It is something I really hope will positively impact comic creators as it is an artistic path that I’m passionate about and love to promote. Seeing how many fantastic Irish creators there are out there, just persevering through the highs and lows of creating, really makes me want to ensure events like this help elevate them further. I know from my own experience that it takes a lot of dedication, commitment and perseverance to keep going in this industry. What does help is having the chance to see the public respond positively to your work, and that can only happen if we encourage and support events like this one.

Ger Hankey Point Village

The Venue: Point Village Centre, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1, Ireland
The Where: Saturday 12th June 2010, 11am-5pm (Stallholders from 10am)
How to get there: Luas Red Line (straight to venue), The Dart, Buses are Regular (esp. the 15)

Last bus: appears to be around 11pm. More info at (also the name of a good comic by Paddy Lynch)
Driving: Look for the 02 Arena out by Dublin port.
If you’re lost: Phone for directions at 086 827 4839
Parking available at various spots nearby.
Entrance Cost: There is not such a thing.


The accompanying flyer designed by Ger Hankey is shareware and is available from Ger, Hilary, myself or any stallholders involved with the event. Why not put a screen grab on your website? These are available at the Facebook Events page too.

Ger is premiering the print edition of the second issue of “Short Sharp Socks“. As revealed on Alltern8 last monthPhil Barrett may also be premiering a new comic. I’ll have a second edition of “Absence” ready. There’s also the welcome visit of guests such as the creator of Vampire Free Style, Jenika Ioffreda. Well, with a blow away roster like that, even by MS Paint challenged skills couldn’t resist tinkering with a poster design. My attempts are below, complete with graphics from creator’s websites and the venue brochure.

poster muckabout

poster muckabout 2


Related news: Readers may also be interested to learn of Edition Book Arts Summer Edition 2010: Artists’ Book, Comic and Zine Fair on Saturday 24th July from 11am – 5pm at Filmbase, Temple Bar, Dublin. Details on that at

Comics Pub Meets: Ireland

A re-blog from the archives of my regular column for Alltern8; Comicking.

In the second of a four part article on creative and social networking and fandom across the UK, we’re going to turn our attention towards Ireland.

After hearing about the success of pub meets in Birmingham in 1997 I fly-postered around local comic shops in Belfast for a monthly meet. Numbers were small, four to six creatives amid ramshackle crowd noise. It did serve as an opportunity to compare reading tastes and art tips and nurtured a few good friendships. Busy workloads meant the group drifted apart as many do. When I returned in 2009, I was welcomed into a new group, which was larger and better organised. The Belfast Comics Pub Meet takes place on the First Thursday of the month at the Garrick Cloth Ear from around 9pm or so. For further details, drop myself or Paddy Brown a wee line.

belfast comics pub meet


“That’s not Ron!” screamed his missus in block caps.

Dr. Sketchys has been replaced by Real Sketchys, which runs at The Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast on the first Thursday of every month from 9pm. The Drink n Draw also offers artists the chance to sell their work. Contact point might be Adam Turkington (@AdamTurks)and Seedhead Arts, here on 

belfast sf


Eugene Doherty runs the Belfast SF Group at the Errigle Inn, Ormeau Rd, Belfast on alternate Thursdays. There’s an emphasis on hard science word has it, but also a bit of craic. Contact Eugene for more details.

“The Other Ones” is a younger (20s-30s) SF,  Fantasy and gaming group meeting alternate Wednesdays at the Metro Bar, Botanic. Their emphasis is largely on the social, those misfits, and their Facebook group is here.

The Dublin Comics Jam is well attended by a colourful bunch, and held around the 3rd Thursday of the month at Lord Edward (opposite Christchurch), Dame Street. This has Drink and Draw aspects although I’d wager a lot of networking and friendship goes on too.  I’m told Kyle Rogers is a good contact, though they have a mailing list which you can join at dublincomicjam (at) gmail(dot)com for updates.

Out on the remote coastline of Galway, Donal Fallon sends me news of the Galway Pub Scrawl,

“The Pub Scrawl started in response to the Drink & Draw in Cork. We get about 10 people or so every week, with more some weeks. We’ve been hanging out in McSwiggans, which is kind of small and dark, so I guess if I got the numbers up we could get some bigger, brighter pub to make provisions for us. It’s fairly informal, we just chat & draw and mess around. Some of the guys (including myself) are into comic book work, but we haven’t discussed it much here. The NUIG Art Society do a comic class of some kind at the moment. I’d have to search around to get you more details, but some of those guys come to the Pub Scrawl. If you see Ruth Campion’s name in the Pub Scrawl group, she’d be in the loop about that kind of thing.”

UPDATE: Since writing this I’ve been invited twice to ComicsWest, a great comics festival run by the Comic Book Society at the University of Galway. They’re dedicated and it’s likely they run a pub meet or two. Here’s the link to ComicsWest facebook page.

“You can certainly list me as the contact, but there’s no formality or leadership. It’s more an exercise in getting people to draw who might not, or getting those who do to share their skills/approaches in a comfortable setting. I’m hoping to get it up to 30 or 40 people over the next few months. Considering we have an Art School and a Comic Shop here in Galway, there should be the audience!”

Galway Pub Scrawl happens weekly in McSwiggans between 8:30-11:30. You can contact Donal or others and get more information through the Facebook group.

The Cork Drink n Draw Cork Donal mentions are indeed on Facebook

Drink safe!

Omitted from the original article: Dr. Sketchys, which no longer runs at the Menagerie. Here’s the original graphic for posterity.


Comicking: Small Faire

This was my first column for the now defunct, dated December 9th 2009

Pete Gravett stood facing the map of the British Isles on photo glass, ten by twenty wide in his study suite. Electron Orange lights illuminated the cities of London, Birmingham, Bristol and Palookaville. Technology to be proud of, live internet feeds delivering realtime updates to his 4D comics arts events calendar. He’d noticed the constellation change these last months, spread out to smaller areas in Exeter, in Telford, Leicester, Richmond and Inverness. This had been going on before that, he thought, accelerating since the Sean Olilamden’s stint at Camden market. The celebrity endorsements and music videos made the Camden set a YouTube sensation and their handmade comics led to them being mobbed by teenagers in a manner reserved for Jagger and Lennon. That populist wave continued with Jimi Gherkin, a folk singer, who would recruit an entire picturebook festival as his onstage accompaniment.

“Point of Sales Mode. Increase parameters to Maximum View”, requested Gravett.
“POS View is in Beta Mode. Buffering…”

The lights flickered briefly. From those representing monthly marts, SciFi, Fantasy and RPG Cons, a manifestation outward, multiplying in number. Recognisably mapping out the number of speciality stores, bookstores, libraries, then all over the NASA hardware display, a swarming. A church basement here, a pub there. His palm hovered over the screen for details on new locations. A workers’ co-operative, a market stall in a northern industrial town, car boot sale and a village fete. The whole country was filled with lights. As it began to map out the PubCons, the machine threatened to overheat.

“Shazam”, he uttered. “Its like some crazy Socialist revolution.”

The internet makes available once again the populist comics form for a mass readership. Through access to news and reviews we can determine ordering printed matter. Or find a bookstore or a comics festival within travelling distance. In recent years, the prices for self-publishing cartoonists selling their wares at these venues accelerated well above the £30 mark. The following Table Prices Controversy led to a split between cartoonists among a class income lines, resulting in an official boycott and numerous unofficial non-participation acts. Some self-publishers saw that one of the solutions was small fairs. In 2008, the collective London Underground Comics sold small press comics at Camden Lock Market almost every Saturday of the year. In 2009, Jimi Gherkin’s Alternative Press held a week long fair, three one-day events and ‘twinned’ with eleven or more other events within the community. Unsubstantiated reports have reached me that Gez Kelly of Golden Orbit, distributor at some of the monthly marts of four-colour boxed backing board comics, has begun to specialise in independent products. Add this to the news that a wing of Forbidden Planet International is running a trial small press section in its Birmingham store and access to original new British comics is increasingly fitter.

As a cartoonist and promoter of the form this gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. In the last fortnight, I presented at two small fairs and saw a lovely selection of comics from independent producers.

Dublin Zine Fair 2009

When I left Ireland in 2005, there was a ragtag of sporadic comics publications and an occassional event, little to call it a ‘scene’. By the time I returned, it was more public, more pro-active. Last weekend, I accompanied Paddy Brown, author of partwork mythology, The Ulster Cycle, from Belfast to Dublin. We were attending the second yearly Independents Day in The Co-Operative Food Building in the Newmarket area.

Publicity-shy cartoonist and ex-reviewer John Robbins briefly made his second festival appearance in a decade and help us set up our stall. I met lots of active small pressers whose names I didnt know, which I’m inclined to think is a good thing. Differing from the cosplayers of traditional Comicon standard, the venue was populated by sexy anarcho socialist feminist zinesters with dreads and piercings and tarots and woolens. Behind my swearing robot comix collections was a Vegan cake stall and next to us, the sale of Palestinian hand crafted items by the Irish Solidarity Group. Not a Stormtrooper in sight! This gave me happy memories of Camden, dealing comics to a varied crowd who hadn’t necessarrilly come in search of them. I was selling around ten comics an hour and my voice became hoarse.

Some local self-publishers I met included Gar Shanley, Luke Fallon, and Deirdre De Barra whose ‘Found’ deserves special mention: a beautiful silent comic about isolation, connection and ascension which delivers love straight to the reader. I also picked up the American “Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf: A sex education comic book” which has a responsible and friendly attitude and an illustration style rooted in zines. Long-running Irish punk zinesters Loserdom were there, and they’d managed to get Jimi Gherkin’s Zine Collective stock on their table. Convention afficionado Cliodhna Lyons even appeared for fifteen minutes to pass on some stock, having flown from attendance at the Leeds Thought Bubble comics event the same day.

With a few copies exchanged at days end, Paddy and I packed up and drove out to Belfast for Phase 2 of our plan.

black box market 2009

The Black Box is a pub and nightclub on Hill Street in Belfast, which once a month opens its doors to a market. Exhibiting is free, though donations are expected. Organisers Helen and Ryan Darragh state,

“we have limited space. So we really have to work it out on the day. We try to do our best by each stall holder.”

Paddy and I laid out our comics and those given to us in Dublin, such as the works of Edition Book Arts, a collective made up of Paddy Lynch, Katie Blackwood and Phil Barrett. We attracted a crowd who were delighted to learn there were so many Irish cartoonists producing their own wares.

A cornucopia of wares presented browsers with varied choices. One exhibitor had Playmobil and Star Wars figures dangling from key rings. Local poet Christine Morrow manned a table were bus route images had become badges and Happy Mondays gig posters showed up on sustainable carry bags and mugs. The Handmade Brigade sold tea-towels with stitched in obscenities, which in their own way were quite amusing. Across from us a vinyl record seller told me he enjoyed the welcome opportunity, his usual sales route through Ebay having begun to dry up. Next to him Dale Mawhinney, a local painter who adapted some of his poems into comics. Across, an Anarchist collective who had Spain Rodriguez’s graphic novel, Che, proudly displayed under Karl Marx’s Capital. About ten of the twenty tables sold a few comics. None were quite so concentrated on the form as ours or the traditional collectors stall manned by Scott, Ron and Karen from The Sunnyside Comics Podcast.

During the day Davy Francis stopped for a chat. Davy worked on Oink! And his round and squiggly humour strips such as Cowpat County were an inspiration to me growing up. We were also joined by Danny Pongo, my co-writer over the last month on humour piece, Santa: The White Paper. As it was my birthday, Paddy and Danny took me for drinks after we’d packed up and we admired the unveiling of a new mural-in-progress nearby of celebrity caricatures.

black box market 2009a

As I write this, my email box dances with chatter about the next Black Box Comics Market, an accompanying website and a mini-comic collection to give out free to interested parties. In addition to the market on the first Sunday of the month, theres an additional date on January 17th there withBlack Books, as part of the Out To Lunch Arts Festival in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. In England, Jimi Gherkin has already confirmed the similar 2010 Alternative Press Fair for February 13th from noon to midnight at the St. Aloysius social club, Phoenix Road, London.

Theres a thing about the buzz of so many different people at these small fairs that gets my enthusiasm rising. It happens in a way I don’t get at comics conventions were the public have paid an entry fee and are surrounded by four-colour noise. I like the variety of zines
and baked cakes and comics just fitting in with other stuff, rather than isolated to a hall of their own. Where theres nothing special about comics, theres everything special about comics.
Further comics events throughout the year can be found at Paul Gravett’s always excellent Events list.