Ferguson’s 7 Questions With… Cethan Leahy


I’m finding it amazing how many creators hail from Cork that I am just discovering but this one, at least, I know as I’ve reviewed his work on I’m Awake, I’m Alive. I liked his story a lot. It’s artist Cethan Leahy.

What was the first comic work you did that was published?

The first comic I got published was a comic strip “What is that Noise?” for the Penny Dreadful, a Cork based Literary magazine I have since joined as Assistant Editor. The first half was published in the magazine and the second half was online. It’s about the monster under your bed…

What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
If you are invited to do a reading, a near dialogue free comic is not ideal.

What’s your process for drawing a comic book?

I like to draw the elements separately with pen and ink, scan them and arrange them using Photoshop (Well, in my case, I really use G.I.M.P. but I’m trying to show off for the purposes of this interview). I dislike redrawing since if it went right the first time, it can be a bother to get it again. I rarely sketch out entire pieces, preferring to fiddle around with the various bits and bobs, like arranging a film set.

What is the biggest influence on your work?

Oh, I would say for my comic style, the big influences would be people like Quentin Blake, Bill Watterson and my current favourite drawer, Kate Beaton. I like the simple expressive line over detail, but their style allow for both if they want. Actually, for my piece “Online Dating” in I’m Awake, I’m Alive, I noticed afterwards that it in part resembled something John Porcellino would do for King-Cat Comics. I don’t think I told the writer of the comic Emmet O’Brien. Perhaps I should. Nah, he’ll probably read this. It would be a surprise.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I am working on a YA novel and so no drawing for that! But that won’t last too long as I am going to be working on a sequel to my animation short The Beast of Bath with Jan Hayes, so that will be fun.

What do you out now or coming out next?

I drew the characters for Emmet O’Brien’s new short Same Old Song And Dance with music and animation by David Nelligan. It’s a riff off stiff upper lip romances like Brief Encounter and is lovely. It will be doing the rounds on the festival circuit and hopefully it will be online soon for all to see!

What is your favourite Irish comic?

Can I say I’m Awake, I’m Alive? I’m new to the Irish Comic Book scene and it does serve as a wonderful introduction to a burgeoning comic book scene in Cork. Also it has me in it, and that’s something I (and I assume others) look for in any work.


Cethan Leahy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CethanLeahy
Cethan Leahy on WordPress: https://cethanleahy.wordpress.com/
I’m Awake, I’m Alive: http://www.turncoatpress.com/im-awake-im-alive