Small Press Day 2017

Just a quick update for anyone in Dublin this weekend: Saturday (the 8th of July) is Small Press Day!

I’ll be exhibiting some of my comics along with Kerrie Smith from 11AM until 6PM, in the Fumbally Exchange (5 Dame Lane, Dublin 2) and because this is a celebration of Small Press Comics, we’ve decided to put out a couple of unmissable Small Press Day Deals! (Have I said Small Press Day enough? Do I sound like a TV salesman yet?)

At our table we’ll be exhibiting the award-winning Girls Like You, the not-award winning Black White and Grey, and the excellent Alterna Comics IF Anthology from 2016! And for the day that’s in it, we’re going to be selling each of these collections for just €10, any two book for €15, or, if like me you just can’t walk away from a ridiculous bargain, we’ll sell you all three book for just €20!

I hope you’ll come along and support the day!

 

 

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FREE COMIC Death By Service

Well it’s been far too long since I’ve updated my website… I guess that means it’s time for you all to enjoy a FREE COMIC!

Well it’s been far too long since I’ve updated my website… I guess that means it’s time for you all to enjoy a FREE COMIC!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Facebook you already know that I’ve not been idle all this time, rather I’ve been doing a lot of writing and there will be more on that soon, but not today. Today is all about Death by Service. I’d love to say that Death by Service started life as an ambitious thought experiment on the disposability of human life, the hazards of war, and the prison industrial complex, and while it might have become that after many hours staring at a computer screen and a scribble filled A4 pad DbS was really born out of my own frustration with another short comic script that wasn’t working. At all.

I wanted to deal with war, yes, and the disposability of human life, but I couldn’t reconcile those themes with my story, my vehicle was broken and I needed a lot of new parts to make it go. Rather than continuing to work on a script that wasn’t going the right way I shelved the project and cannibalised some of the more enticing ideas and used an interesting frame to bring the whole thing together in DbS. What resulted was one of my tightest scripts to date, and a story I feel is up there with anything I’ve put out so far. Saying more would spoil the comic, so I’ll probably do a longer blog about it at some point soon, but in the mean time I’d just like to take a moment to praise Ahmed Rafaat for not only his excellent artwork, but his incredible, infectious enthusiasm for this project. He approached the script with a energy that translated on to the page and brought a great liveliness in the art and storytelling to an otherwise morbid story. I can honestly say he gave it his all and was never shy to suggest a way to improve the pacing of a scene.

OK that’s more than enough from my head.

Art by: Ahmed Rafaat

Letters by: Kerrie Smith

Script by: Some guy

 

FREE COMIC The Hero

It was around this time last year that Eoin Marron and I began to put together an outline for what was to become the Hero. I’ve spoken about the Hero already, so I’ll keep this short so you can get right to the comic. At the time all we really knew was that we wanted to do a short action piece with a twist ending. We’re both readers of 2000AD and both fans of the Future Shock so it seemed like a perfect fit.

Somewhere between our deciding to work together and my starting the script, Eoin got a pretty cool internship, and darnit all if that didn’t push the man to overhaul the layuouts and designs and put together a excellent comic! See that last panel, that very last panel right there at the end? All Eoin.

We were lucky enough to have approached Triona Farrell at the exact right time, with a reasonable enough deadline that she was able to take on the project, and really turn her colours to the storytelling. I believe her first comment on the inks was “this is going to be pinker than you’d expect”, before proceeding to explain a whack of colour theory that pretty much resolved any issues I could have with her pallet choice and storytelling. I think she did a brilliant job, and it broke my heart that this short first saw publication in grey scale.

I’d be remiss to not mention Kerrie Smith who not only lettered the comic and designed the logo but also prepared the final files for both print and digital distribution. I work with Kerrie on quite a few projects and I’m always impressed at how she changes up her lettering from project to project to suit the line-work and colours.

Right so, that’s enough from me. Enjoy the Hero!

COMING TO THOUGHT BUBBLE: BLACK, WHITE AND GREY

I’m delighted to announce that Rapha Lobosco and I will be collecting our short comics in one shiny collection at Thought Bubble! With letters and book design by Kerrie Smith, BLACK, WHITE AND GREY promises to deliver some strange and thoughtful stories!

BLACK, WHITE AND GREY collects the critically acclaimed MURPHY’S DAY, the award-winning HEAVY BLACK, the action packed DAY JOB, a brand new short story DREAMWEAVER and as a bonus a preview for a new Graphic Novel BLACK NEPTUNE.

 

One final thank you has to go out to Comic Printing UK for their outstanding customer service, this book may not have come together without them!

The Hero and the IF Anthology

The Hero is a short comic to be published by Alterna Comics in their upcoming IF Anthology.

With art by the excellent Eoin Marron, colours from the always exciting Triona Farrell and letters by the tireless Kerrie Smith, the Hero is a 4 page comic that asks the question, what makes a hero.

When we sat down to discuss our first collaboration Eoin and I had the very loose idea to make a short comic with a twist. Beyond that, Eoin knew he wanted to see the comic in colour and his first choice for colourist was Tree. Somewhere between agreeing to work together and approaching Tree to lend us her pallet, I started obsessing over the role of the “hero” versus the “protagonist” and got an image stuck in my head of a classic superhero being held captive/interrogated by a paramilitary group.

promo-1-2
What Makes a Hero?

After bouncing ideas around for a little while, we settled on fast paced action piece that would allow us to examine the idea of the hero while building to a twist we could both really enjoy. I won’t go in to too much detail right now, but you should check out the comic to find out more!

In a strange twist all its own, the Hero was fully illustrated, coloured and lettered before we were made aware that the IF Anthology was looking for submissions for superhero stories. This presented us with a very real problem; the IF Anthology is printed in black and white, while the Hero was always intended to be presented in full colour. This was more than a little heartbreaking. Tree’s colours are excellent and deserve to be highlighted, but the IF Anthology seemed like the perfect home for the Hero. Although we agonised over the decision to pitch to Alterna and risk losing a key part of our story in the end we agreed to use Tree’s grey scale shading to bring the inks to life, and trust me they really do come to life! Still, one day soon we’ll get the full colour edition out there!

The IF Anthology features the work of 96 creators over 40 unique and challenging stories and includes the Irish made stories,”Gravity” by writer and letterer Kerrie Smith and artist Hannah Deacon, “We Can Be Heroes” by writer Darrin O’Toole, artist Barry Keegan and letterer Dee Cunniffe, and of course, “the Hero” which you’ve been reading all about.

You can pre-order your copy through the IF Anthology Kickstarter Campaign today!

 

Murphy’s Day Script

Scripted in 2015, for issue 7 of Lightning Strike Presents, Murphy’s Day follows the story of a man whose day is falling apart around him.

I wanted to do something a little different with this script. To this point in my comic making my focus had been on using dialogue and captions to tell a story. I’ve always found dialogue to be the part of writing that comes most naturally to me, but in my mind comics can be about so much more than just the dialogue. For Murphy’s Day I stripped all of that away to present a mostly silent script (the exception being the constantly ticking clock and buzzing phone). I wanted to create a short comic that would invite the reader to give it a second or maybe even a third look, and so I played with the space on the page too, counting down from 10 panels on page 1 to 1 panel on page 10. I’ll go in to more detail of why I wrote the script the way I did, and how the artist and letterer on the book managed to make it all flow together and improve on my script in a later blog post.

 

FREE COMIC Murphy’s Day

First Published in Lightning Strike Presents Issue 7, Murphy’s Day tells the story of the day everything went wrong for the titular Murphy.

Murphy’s Day was an exercise in storytelling and using a comic book format in an interesting way. To this day I believe it remains one of my better scripts and it doesn’t hurt that Rapha’s art and storytelling is just really lovely!

I really hope you enjoy it!

Art by Rapha Lobosco

Letters by Kerrie Smith

Script by Hugo Boylan

 

Keep an eye on the site for updates on this one folks, I’m hoping to do a full script breakdown later this month.