Jam – Irish Comics Anthology from Dublin School
This week has been an interesting one on Irish Comics News, it’s shown the variety and vibrancy of the Irish comics scene. I think that Tommie has started something really interesting with Irish Comics AppreciationWeek. I hope it gains momentum and we see something even bigger next year. The week has certainly put a few more great Irish comics creators on my radar, and added a few new titles to my buckling IKEA shelves (which I suspect are subsiding my house). One of the most interesting comics I came across this week though wasn’t through the site, it was something a friend gave me; Jam – An anthology of graphic fiction.
Jam is a 120 page softcover anthology produced by the students of Newpark Comprehensive School. It was made with help from Fighting Words, a creative writing centre established by Roddy Doyle and Seán Love. It opened in January 2009 and aims to help students of all ages to develop their writing skills and to explore their love of writing. The launch was previously mentioned on the site here, but I thought given that we’re all looking to discover new Irish comics this week, it was worth looking at in more detail.
I was a little bit skeptical about the project when I first heard about it, but when I saw it, I was blown away by the overall production quality of the book and the standard of work in it.
The students involved in writing and illustrating it range from first year up to sixth (basically 13 year olds through to 18). A lot of the work could sit comfortably in any professional anthology title.
The work on display certainly makes me feel pretty good about the talent waiting in the wings for the Irish comics industry. If we can crack the sort of industry scaling issues that I spoke about at length earlier in the week (maybe using some of the methods Damien Mulley outlined), the future is looking pretty bright.
The book is available from Amazon and directly from Fighting Words here.