Ferguson’s 7 Questions With… Colin O’Mahoney
What was the first comic work you did that was published?
That was a four page story for a Grayhaven anthology. The theme of the anthology was ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, and I did an Arabian Nights style story, with art by Kell Smith. Not all that long ago, really, it came out in 2013. I had always wanted to write comics, I had just been terrible at making time for myself, and writing comics meant so much to me that the fear of not being good enough kept me from submitting for far too long.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
That I can only get better at writing by writing. There is no substitute for that, and really, that is the best advice I could give to any aspiring writer. Just write.
What’s your process for writing a comic book?
An idea for a story might be gestating in my mind for months before I put pen to paper. It needs to have a good hook, to be a story that I would want to read before I’m happy to start working on it. Once this has clicked with me, I’ll generally start making notes on paper. I’m big on notebooks, and realised recently that I was carrying up to 5 around with me at any one time. Which may be obsessive. Anyway, I will write out key scenes, crucial dialogue, then fill in the gaps, and work my way up to a story outline and page breakdown this way. Only after I have that much down on paper will I start typing. When I get to a stage where I am happy with the story I like to send it to some people I trust for feedback/editing. After that, it’s time for find an artist…
What is the biggest influence on your work?
Aaron Sorkin, Joss Whedon, Brian Michael Bendis, Garth Ennis, Robert Kirkman, Alan Moore, Raymond Carver -all writers I have huge admiration for, all people who write the kind of stories I aspire to.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working with Alan Corbett on wrapping up the proofreading phase of the Cork Sci-Fi Comic, so it can get to print. I’m about to start lettering a couple of stories for Life Signs, which is Turncoat Press’s next book, and when I find a minute I will be emailing Emmet O’ Brien so we can put our heads together on some scripting for the Turncoat Press book after Life Signs, which doesn’t yet have a title, but will be coming out towards the end of the year. Oh, and I need to write a blog post for next week’s Tiny Wooden Pieces and write a script for the week after.
What do you out now or coming out next?
Up next is the Cork Sci-fi comic, launching on April 24th in the Cork City Library. I was the story editor on that book, and did some lettering. It’s a book put together by the Cork Comic Creators in conjunction with Cork World Book Festival. After that is Life Signs, a science fiction anthology from Turncoat Press. I have one 8 page story in that book, with incredible art by Kevin Keane. It’s going to be launching sometime early in June. And you can always find my work on Tiny Wooden Pieces, a weekly webcomic I make with Aileen Cudmore about board gaming.
What is your favourite Irish comic?
I have the most admiration for anything Tommie Kelly puts out. He always produces unique, standout work, and doesn’t even try to emulate anyone else. He writes the kind of stories he wants to tell, and doesn’t compromise on that.
I should also mention Stuart McCune here. He is quietly producing some of the most remarkable work I’ve seen come out of Ireland, and won’t remain unnoticed for long. Check out Mack & Mondo on Comixology and you’ll see what I mean. Again, he is someone carving out their own niche, and making stories that stand out for being different.