• Galway

    electric hugs and spinning

    Last weekend I went to a Silent Disco in the Big Top – a venue that’s erected for the Galway Arts Festival every year. The premise is that everyone is given a pair of wireless headphones, and there are two channels where different DJs compete for the crowd’s affections. At first I thought it would be quite weird, but it turned out to be great fun. It’s a strange combination of feeling liberated by wearing headphones and yet being part of a crowd experience. It’s interesting to watch the dynamics of the responses in the crowd as one DJ falls out of favour and another one catches on. There was…

  • Galway

    festival season

    This trio of buskers were offering up beautiful music on High Street in Galway on Saturday. It was a hot, sunny day, and the start of festival season in Galway. Actually, from about March onwards Galway is the host of festival after festival, but it reaches its cultural peak during July. Tomorrow sees the start of the Galway Film Fleadh, an internationally-famous film festival that’s an important marker on the Irish film calendar. The city can’t even hitch in a breath before the two-week Arts Festival descends, and then it’s the annual Galway Races. Before you know it it’s August and the summer is sliding away and the Oyster festivals…

  • Conventions

    bound for Squarebound

    This Saturday, 18 June 2011 there is a one-day Irish comic book creators’ convention going on in the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin called Squarebound. The Guest of Honour is Gerry Hunt (In Dublin City, Blood Upon the Rose), and there is a €5 Entrance Fee for the entire day. Here’s the schedule of events: 10.00 Comic Cast Panel: Liam Geraghty, Craig O’Connor 11.00 Atomic Diner Panel: Robert Curley, Barry Keegan, Maura McHugh 12.00 Michael Carroll: How to Write for 2000AD 13.00 Lunch Break 14.00 Gerry Hunt Interview 15.00 Alfonso Zapico 16.00 O’Brien Press Panel: Ivan O’Brien & Alan Nolan 17.00 Irish Small Press Comics Creators’ Panel I’ll be there…

  • comic books

    2% is not equality

    The comic book blogosphere has been obsessed by one topic of conversation lately: the reboot of the DC Comics Universe that’s coming in September. All the forthcoming 52 titles will be reset to number 1, which (theoretically) will leave the creative teams free to forge new identities for the characters. Information has been released to the fans about the forthcoming changes in a slow-drip fashion. It’s a cunning PR strategy to inflame interest and discussion about the direction DC is taking. They’ll also be offering digital downloads of the comics on the same day as the print release, which is a big indicator of where they think the market is…

  • Conventions

    here comes the sun

    It’s a goregeous summer day and I’ll be spending a chunk of it travelling up to the 2-D Comic Book Festival in Derry. I’m looking forward to showing the first issue of Róisín Dubh to a new audience, and meeting old friends and new. It’s a bank holiday weekend in Ireland so I hope the sunshine lasts to warm up our bones over the next three days. Enjoy it while we have it!

  • comic books,  Conventions

    going up north

    This weekend I’m heading up north to Derry’s 2-D Comic Book Festival. It’s my first time attending, but I’ve heard really positive things about the event, so I’m looking forward it to (but not the 5 1/2 hour bus journey!). It’s taking place from the Thursday, 2nd June – Saturday, 4th of June, and is completely free. The Guests of Honour are Mark Chiarello, Mick McMahon and Glen Fabry. The guest list includes both Irish and International comic book writers and artists, including Stephen Downey who is the artist on the other Atomic Diner title I’m writing, Jennifer Wilde. I’ll be attending from Friday evening just in time to catch the panels that…

  • Ireland

    dynamic trio

    I utterly failed to post images last week, as I promised, so I’m endeavouring to do better this week. This dynamic trio is Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Hawk Girl, and was a small splurge on my part while I was in Dublin last week. I was smitten with the expression on Hawk Girl’s face in particular. There is also a Harley Quinn in this set, but alas she sold out first (no surprise). I was up in Dublin last week for the 2011 ZeBBie Awards Ceremony, the annual awards voted upon by the members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild. It’s an event that honours Irish writers of radio,…

  • Conventions

    A day out

    That’s an action shot – taken using my mobile phone – of the delightful Naomi Bomb, dressed as Harley Quinn, giving her bearded antagonist what for during UCD’s FanSciCon on Friday. The event was a good day out for meeting my fellow comic book creators. In particular it was great chatting to Hilary Lawler and Deirdre de Barra. After months of correspondence it was brilliant to meet Jennifer Wilde artist Stephen Downey for the first time. I got to see the physical inked and pencilled pages of Jennifer Wilde, as thus far it’s all been virtual. As lovely as it is to see the artwork online, it’s another experience to…

  • Conventions

    FanSciCon 2011

    University College Dublin is hosting a new sf/f convention called FanSciCon, which will be taking place all-day on Friday, April 15th. The convention is free to enter, and the poster gives you an idea of the kinds of events that will be taking place. Guests listed are: Robert Curley, Stephen Doweny, Alan Nolan, Barry Keegan, Paddy Lynch, CE Murphy, Micheal Carroll, Deirdre de Barra, Hilary Lawler, Gar Shanley, and me. The event is in aid of Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team, which is a great cause, and members of the Team will be attending (as long as nobody gets lost up a mountain!). It looks like it will be a…

  • Ireland

    brilliant

    It’s the end of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, a day of celebrations and parades all over the country. It’s turning into a fun holiday, far from the pitiful parades of yore, which involved tractors with ghetto-blasters strapped to their sides blaring out The Clancy Brothers, dingy floats advertising the local supermarket, shivering school bands wearing beige blazers and plaid skirts marching in grim formation and people wrapped up in raincoats and scarves waving plastic tricolours with scant enthusiasm. Later, after we’d breathed life back into our blue fingers, we’d watch the parades in New York, Paris and Sydney on telly and wish we had something that colourful and interesting…