ANNOUNCEMENT: The New Authority

David Ferguson: I’ve been working for ICN for about 18 months (my first day on the job was at a convention in Derry that I can’t mention lest I cause ICN’s resident podcasters to openly weep). In that time, and due to my attendance at most Irish conventions, I have become the “face” of Irish Comic News. This is due to a reduction in our numbers (more on that later) and the fact that Dave O’Leary has more important responsibilities. What with me doing a lot of the heavy lifting, Dave has decided to reward me (or is it curse me?) with the job of Editor-In-Chief so I thought I’d set out my stall here and now.

I will largely continue as I have done attending cons etc. I wanted to let people know that I find these things largely… difficult. I’ll summarise my issue and my thinking on it with a Dylan quote as I think people might “Mistake your shyness for aloofness, your silence for snobbery”. What I mean is that I have somehow managed to become friends with a lot of creators and so I tend to interact with those I already know. So, if I don’t know you, come up and say hello and tell me about your work and I’ll let people know about it. This brings me to another point, I get a lot of the news from Facebook and Twitter so I post what I see. I don’t follow everyone so feel free to add me or follow me and I’ll follow back. Otherwise, you can shoot me a mail and I’ll plug the book for you. It’s our job people.

Back to the dwindling numbers here. We are always looking for new writers. (We recently added a new webcomic reviewer which has turned out great so far as he’s highlighted a lot of books I don’t know about). Being a writer for us doesn’t have to be a regular gig. I have recently posted some one-off pieces by Wayne Talbot, Gavin McCumiskey and Paddy Lynch and hope to get more of the same from other members of the Irish comic scene. So creators, podcasters, comic book people, if you have something on your mind about the creative process or something that is going on in the scene, send it on and I’ll post it. I really want to add more voices to the site especially as my taste doesn’t cover everything and I want to try to do that. (Example: I’m not a horror guys so I mostly don’t like to review those comics because I’m probably not going to enjoy them as much as other people).

Another thing I want to cover is the ICN Awards. I have gotten some feedback on this years and we will be making changes next year. 1) We’ll be adding a category for breakout creator (thanks to Will Sliney for the suggestion) and I’m thinking of adding one for publisher too as I think we have enough of those to warrant it 2) I’ll be keeping a list of books released from now until next year to ensure nobody gets overlooked and 3) we will be issuing a long list in advance so people can suggest additions to the list (this will include being open to suggestion for the HOF which I changed this year but I’ll cover that in the HOF ceremony).

I think that covers most things. In summary, I want people to feel free to come to me with ideas, suggestions or even for help with their work. We’re here promote and help the Irish comic book community.

Dave O’Leary: I’ve been with ICN since the very beginning and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in all its guises. Having taken the reigns from Tommie in 2013 it coincided with a huge upsurge in my time been divided with more real life responsibility and that hurt how much time I could dedicate to ICN. I’m not leaving ICN though but stepping back from the EiC position and letting Dave F. who has been a most dedicated and wonderful person to step up and ensure that you get regular content and are kept up to date with all the goings on in the Irish scene.

I have also stepped away in recent months from contributing to the other sites I also write for which has been a difficult thing to do as I’ve been writing about comics in one form or other for nearly a decade. But ICN is where I feel most comfortable and where I think most good can come of my time. I intend on returning to the core reporting that I did when I first joined ICN and getting to renew past acquaintances and friendships that I let lapse in the last while and present more long form news articles that were the norm for me in the past. I also want to extend a thank you to everyone who has guest contributed this year to help us out with content.

Finally, I want to extend a special thanks to everyone who contributed to the running of the site following our appeal recently. It is our sincere intention to reward your faith in us with a site that reflects fairly and accurately this ever burgeoning market that we call the Irish comic scene and hope to play our part in helping it grow to even new heights in 2015 and beyond.