My name is Luke, A. I live on the second floor.

Hello from Ballyhackamore cafe suburb, where the gale left behind a winter sun.

FOR LOVE is out. Sixteen lines of vital matter and maybe my finest poetic achievement. It’s on the Patreon Researcher tier and almost doesn’t have to be interviewed for my first collection.

GREENWICH MEAN TIME is the flip-side. Two thousand words of scary sci-fi, nasty horror and twisted romance. Speaking of which, the FUCK THE DUP SKETCHBOOK is finito in three months. Both come with being at a Ordained Preacher tier.

On the side I’m promoting MIXED JAM again. The open mic night run by Inspire, Inside/Out and Dee Brannigan. It aims at getting people with mental health problems to express their creativity. So, disability as universal spectrum, pretty much everyone. I want to see it draw the crowds of Poetry NI and the old Bookfinders readings. Each Jam is themed. For Valentines month we have JAM PAREE, and it’s hosted at Farset Labs, on Saturday 16th from 2-5pm. Bring a donation. We won’t turf you if you can’t.  https://www.facebook.com/events/309093043131373

Inspire and author Roddy McCance teamed up on THE BURNING MEMORY graphic novel. It examines wayss in which we can survive mental illness. It was released on Thursday, but by Saturday he’d launched his TALES OF FRACTURED WORLDS at Coffee & Heroes. Peter Duncan, always good company, was there and got excited about the CTHULU KIDS COSMIC CATASTROPHE CARDS. I got a comp set and they’re sweet.

That’s art by Andrew Pawley, and the two of them have Issue 2 of the comic nearly ready. They just can’t sloth.

The income based jobhunt continues. It’s mainly tutoring, and transcribing; PA work, and I write content too. I also draw. Please spread the word.

I do have a few worthy art commissions lined up. A MCR-related poem, a cartoon for a Zagreb coffee shop where I’d a chance meeting with Dado Kovacevic. Dado has asked me to contribute to the 10th OSCARfest International Cartoon Exhibition on the Croatian island of Cres.

The Croatians really like to celebrate the New Year. Everything shuts for two days. The view from the balcony at night is something.

My other voluntary bit is running the dealer’s room and artist’s alley for EUROCON 2019. Inevitably, there’s more comics and comics programming as well as gold for Game of Thrones fandom and substantial representation from NI arts, media and culture. Tickets for the three day event went on sale today. Prices rise on Feb 26th and I’m privvy to info that makes me think that’s the day they’ll sell out. Consider this your tip-off and henceforth book at http://titancon.com/2019/membership.php

Shuffling towards my head from the bookshelf is a line lead by Naomi Klein’s NO LOGO, A BOOK OF ENGLISH POETRY by G.B. Harrison, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SCRIPTWRITING by. J. Michael Straczynski, OPTIMUS PRIME by John Barber and Kei Zama, and RESIDENT ALIEN by Steve Parkhouse and Peter Hogan. I review on Goodreads and you can find these in the sidebar of andy-luke.com. The surprise thrill of last season was THE MAN WITH NO LIBIDO by Jason Browne and Steve Kearney. It’s sweet, funny and inspires dancing: a graphic novel that shouldn’t work. In print at Amazon, and cheap digital from the publisher. http://quiethell.com/man-libido/

Oh, SPIDE: THE LOST TRIBES is in print. According to Chris McAuley, Pat Mills liked it, which tickles me mightily.

There’s an insightful Twitter thread from an ex-Google developer on Youtube un-recommending flat earth videos. It’s been on my mind again as Eileen Walsh has just sent over details of THE GREAT BIG NAKED CONSPIRACY NIGHT. That’s at McHughs, Belfast, part of the NI Science Festival at the end of March. Richard Barr, Alex Jones/Axel America co-creator, and I will be judging the audience’s best conspiracy theories and perhaps coming up with some of our own. With panels and guests galore #nakedconspiracy looks to be an entertaining night.

I was pleased to hear Richard’s words are coming to esteemed journal, The Honest Ulsterman. One step closer to the high profile he deserves.

MONEY HEIST, the Spanish drama, is fast-paced and compelling. Turn on the English subtitles and dubbing for multi-narratives. TV viewing fills up my weekends. I’ve been watching ENTERPRISE for the first time and it does the 90s Trek thing fairly. ROWAN J. COLEMAN mainly reviews Trek and Battlestar:the jubilant Scot delivers my SF comments fix. Last week he sent a patron preview of his Firefly video and it looks good. SAMUEL DAVIS makes Doctor Who videos with a passion and candid cheeky tones. I loved MOVIEBOB’s recent piece on the world before Star Wars. Then there’s THE TAKE BY SCREEN PRISM, consistently offering excellent analysis of  a broad range of shows including Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and more.

And that’s it. All blogged out. Have a care and take the care. Thanks for the money. It keeps me warm and fed. Talk soon.

Andy,
Writer who draws.

Condensed Game of Thrones

Four seasons, five actors, 15-20 minutes.

Season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones makes use of  an excellent compressed version of the Joffrey arc.

I wrote one too, and it seems a bit redundant now. I tried to produce it for Titancon in 2014, and again in 2015, with two different casts. I think the best thing is just to put it out there. Read it, enjoy it, if you want to perform it (including edits), I’d be happy to hear how you get on.

I should note thanks to Jim McClean, Wendy Duly, Cat Jones and Alex Groves, each of whom suggested a few lines.

Download PDF version  /   Download .doc version

Game of Throneses c. George R.R. Martin and HBO respectively

TitanCon 2014 Comics

Titancon 2014

Cat Jones there, and second artist, name misremembered. These are from the 2014 workshop hosted by myself, Paddy Brown and Rich Clements. This is my entry.

Andy Luke - King Missile - Cheesecake Truck - Titancon 2014A few of us were working on the theme of music. This may be Paddy Brown’s? He’s got a Jeremy Day style going on.

Paddy Brown - Titancon 2014Jon Pot…

Jon - Supergrass - We Are Young - TitanCon

TitanCon is back this year, and with any luck, Cat and I will be appearing in a rather special play what I’ve wrote.

Treading the Boards

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

Guide Gods

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

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

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

Ahem…

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

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

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


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

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

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

Wanna Hear a Joke? [TitanCon Comics]

During TitanCon, I hosted a paired down version of the Magnificent ComicBook Factory with the assistance of Rich Clements and Paddy Brown.

We were up against an all-star Game of Thrones panel in the first slot of the day. I’d no plan, hardly anyone showed up so there was a fair bit of stress and slack. As it happens, that’s a good combination.

First up, the lovely Siobhan McKenna:

BEAKERS by Siobhan McKenna

 

Jon Pot,

FART JOKE by Jon Pot

 

Paddy Brown:RUNNING MESSAGES by Paddy Brown (1) Rich ClementsTHE INTERVIEW by Rich Clements

May CheungTWO FISH by May Cheung WHY DID THE CHICKEN by Andy Luke

 

The Ten Minutes Ballad

Following is the poem composed on the TitanCon coach tour. It was written about chairperson Phil Lowles, though also a thank-you to tour planner Doreen/Silverjaine, the courageous Ian Lawther, Jackie, Lis and all the volunteers too.

1. They took us down
To the end of a long and narrow road
That’s as far as it would go
The coach, it would stay
And don’t worry, said Phil,
It’s only ten minutes away

2. We were walkin’, ten minutes,
Along the stony grounds of the ‘wold
The wall, it came between us
And kingdom’s grass, wet and cold

3. And the sun did set, and the sun did rise
And we lifted berries to survive,
From the road-side
The little ones yearned for caffeine
Ten minutes of moors, valleys, rivers
Ten minute miles of mountainside

4. We were getting skeptical
And we feared it was a trap
Phil The Second by the gate said,
“No it’s only ten minutes
I can prove it with this map.”

5. We’d gone too far away from The Wellie
My beard had grown to my belly

6As we climbed our great height
We could see horizon to horizon
And our coach was not in sight.

7. And our fathers and our mothers
Told us tales of a picnic spot
Crippl’d we buried them by cow-piles
Oh, they dreamed of Westeros props

8. Struggles, slouching uphill
Visions – of those past
Telling us to look for dragons
We were good for plaster cast

9. And we reached a ruined abbey
Ten hundred years on
Manuscripts, they spoke of Sat’erday
Ancestral memories, something called
TitanCon

10. Don’t worry, said Phil
I can still save the day
We can go back to the bus
It’s only ten minutes
Away

c. 2013 by Andy Luke, Cat Jones and Stephen de Meulemeester

Thanks all the con goers for sharing the love, and a reminder I’m trying to create something new each day here. Don’t be a stranger!

Birthdays Today: TitanCon Showrunner, Nordie Shore actor.

Ian 1

I’ve been giving a bit of a hand to Ian Lawther, the on-the-ground showrunner of TitanCon. With three weeks to go, Ian is, I think scheduled for some fairly major surgery, so trying to organise a major Game of Thrones and pop art media festival must be a royal pain in the hole.

Ian has a good heart, so cool and mannerly that I’m fairly sure he might just be one of the Legion of Doom. He has helped me outof a few pits this year and made me feel very welcome in among a new group of friends.

Ian has a history of con-running being involved in salvaging the last few MeCon events.

TitanCon is running from Friday September 6th this year at the Wellington Park Hotel in Belfast. I’ve been invited to do a comics workshops and I’m pleased to announce here there’s a comics panel on adapting Irish myth featuring Paddy Brown, Will Simpson and special guest Rich Clements.  It’s a great programme (I’ve sneaked a peek), and features many Games of Thrones guests and crew, panels. There are a lot of progressive local authors attending too, including publisher Blackstaff House, who opened their doors across genre earlier in the year.

Give Ian and TitanCon your support and you’ll get looked after in return. 

Ian 2

 

Jordan Dunbar

 

How do I know Jordan? How do I know Jordan? A fast food coffee, a friend of a friend? Jordan plays Dean, the in-your-face, animated pox, STD-riddled, alpha male antagonist chav/spide in Nordie Shore.  Oh eck.

Northern Irish sitcoms have a track record of being badly managed, bottom-feeders. The BBC wouldn’t invest and UTV would only market the Julian Simmons ‘family uncle queen’ type. (Much as Julian does it brilliantly, it was not something to base all original programming on) Shows trying to appeal to all, but appealing to none and inspiring as much hate as they seek to soothe. Nordie Shore was a different beast. Sure, it used the reality show pleaser at it’s base, but Nordie Shore: funny.  A barrage of comic gags, mini-stories, freakshow exhibits, surrealist trips, capturing the yobbish under-class of Belfast (or any major city), relatable to as had never been related before; oddly. Nordie Shore has that Uber-Viz-like quality that’s not to everyone’s taste: at times it’s like being in a whorehouse with a flooding toilet.

Past the excessive crudeness  there’s a good work there and a hint of the grass-roots comedy resurgence springing up around the city.

Hinkin a happy birday m8.