I would like to welcome Ennis writer Mike Lynch to ICN in this interview that I carried out with him last night. Mike is an Eagle Award nominated writer of Black Star which saw print in Irish language anthology Ri Ra. With a plate full of ideas and projects I caught up with him to see what he is up to.
David O’Leary: Hey Mike, thanks for joining us for a chat here on ICN.
Mike Lynch: Cheers for having me.
DO’L: You got your break into comics on Irish language anthology Rira. Can you tell us how you ended up working on the book?
ML: I started out writing screenplays and I got the chance to make one or two short films but it was Aidan Courtney that got me into comics. He told me he was putting together a new book and I asked him if I could submit a one page story to it. I was working with John Cullen at the time so we got together and came up with a one page sci-fi story for the zero issue.             
DO’L: Your strip in the book, Blackstar, garnered a fair bit of attention and there was talk of spinning it off into its own series. Is there any news on that?
ML: Yeah, the idea was to tell the rest of that story in a one shot. It was an ongoing story and I think we felt it would work better if it was all collected into one but sadly at the    minute there are no plans to finish it. Never say never though I had great fun creating those characters and with the right artist onboard I’d love to finish it.  
DO’L: Your work on Rira also got you an Eagle Award nomination. Does that kind of attention put on any extra pressure to produce?
ML: The Eagle Award nomination kinda came out of the blue. I still feel like I’m only starting out so there is a pressure there to try and get better and just make entertaining stories. The attention was pretty cool though, any day you’re mentioned in the same breath as Al Ewing and Jonathan Hickman is excellent in my book.
DO’L: With Rira #3 being worked on, can you tell us anything about your contribution?
ML: Sure, I’m working with an artist from Limerick called Dwayne Moloney on a three page strip called ‘The Hood’ which is a fairytale story with a twist.
DO’L: You are scripting a comic from an idea by Martin Greene. What can you tell us about the story?
ML: The comic is called Wire and Gas and it is an anthology based on stories from World War One. Coimici Gael the company behind Ri Ra is going to published it and it will be their first English language comic.
DO’L: How much leeway do you have to put in your own ideas within the plot that Martin had? 
ML: Martin is good in that respect once the initial ideas are sorted out, he lets me pretty much do what I want with the story. He trusts me enough not to go too far away from the original idea.
DO’L: What can you tell us about the artists?
ML: We’ve been really lucky with this one. We’ve got three very talented artists working on the strips. For Mike Ball and Anthony O Neill this will be their first time being published. We also have Aidan Courtney who works for the Irish Times.
DO’L: Any idea at this stage of a release date?
ML: We are hoping to have it all wrapped up in time for the end of July. A lot of the artwork is complete and we are just putting the finishing touches to it now.
DO’L: What can you tell us about your Judge Dredd story for Zarjaz?
ML: It’s a Black Museum story and it’s being drawn by Owen Watts. I’ve been a huge Judge Dredd fan for years and to get the chance to create a story that has Dredd and Anderson in it was brilliant.
DO’L: You are based in Clare where there is a burgeoning comics movement providing many writers, artists etc. It’s hard to put a reason on the why of it, any ideas as to why Clare stands out?
ML: True, it is hard to put a reason on it. We just seem to have a very active group of creators. I think the one thing that we do have is something we can all rally behind which is Coimici Gael. It’s given a few of us our first chance to have work published. I know for myself and John Cullen it gave us an incredible opportunity that otherwise we would have never got.
DO’L: Is there anything else on the horizon that you are working on right now?
ML: Yeah there are one or two other projects in the works at the minute. We have plans for a horror anthology some point next year but the next thing I’m working on is a comic called Nestor. It is based on another story of Martin’s and it will be drawn by Anthony O’ Neill and Mike Ball. We plan to have that ready for Halloween.
DO’L: Mike, thanks for your time, take care.
ML: No problem, anytime.
I’m sure that Mike will become a staple of ICN in the future. I want to thank Mike for his time in speaking with us and wish him all the best with his projects.