IN LIEU OF A REVIEW OR WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING LATELY (AGAIN)

There are not enough hours in the day or reviewers on this site (seriously send help) to cover the number of comics I need to review so I am going to give a general overview of some of the stuff I’ve been reading in the last month with helpful links to where you can buy them in certain cases. I have reviewed some of them.

Little oddities and major successes
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Coming up to Cork Expo, Kerrie Smith sent on her new book, CLING, which I really enjoyed (and reviewed). I like something that’s a bit different and what appealed to me about that book, along with it being something off the beaten track, was the atmosphere that Kerrie, and artist Brian Burke, created.
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Kerrie also had the first collection of her co-written (with Hugo Boylan) webcomic SUPERHERO HELPDESK on sale (some of the first season was reviewed here). The book boasted lots of extras including process sketches from artist Triona Farrell.
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Triona had a print version of her own webcomic series AZURE CAPRICORN (which we also reviewed here) on sale. It looks just as good in print. Beautiful colours.
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Another book that I received before Cork (but haven’t had a chance to review), was DJINN TALES: A LIFE UP TOP, by writer/artist Brian Naughton (edited by Sean Northridge). “Daily the Grass Hopper work’s away in the shoemakers loft. But at night, He Dreams. He dreams of dancing, he dreams of a Woman and his past life. He Dreams…Of Being Human.” It’s a strange little story which kind of reminded me of an old fairytale (pre Disney white washing type) with what looks to me Manga influenced art (at least when it comes to the shading and layouts). I have been led to believe that there will be more which I was glad to hear. You can check it out on the Kindle amongst other places. I thought it was very interesting.
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I used the train journey to Cork for the Expo to work on my review of Paul Bolger’s The Hound. Unquestionably the best thing that’s been published in Ireland, it sold out over the weekend but you can still pick it up on The Hound website.

Cork Comic overflow
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The Expo itself boasted quite a few new books most notably being Cork’s own Cork Sci-fi Comic which had a launch the night before with entertaining talks from Eoin Coveney and Michael Carroll. The book sold out over the weekend but you can pick up a digital copy here. It had a great mix of stories. Some serious sci-fi that had something interesting to say about society (P45 and THE INVISIBLE HEART), some fun superhero stuff (A RIVER FLIES THROUGH IT) and a comedy strip that poked fun at the water charge issue (DROUGHT). The book gave me a lot of what I want out of science fiction – it was fun, it was interesting and it had something to say. I liked how Cork centric some of the stories were too. Also, Damian Duncan nailed the cover in my opinion. A good mix of creators I know like Kevin Keane, Emmet O’Brien and Dylan Fitzgerald and new guys I hadn’t heard of yet but will be keeping an eye out for. Interestingly, if I had to pick something I’d like to see more of, I’d say that someone needs to remind me to ask Emmet O’Brien for more from the A RIVER FLIES THROUGH IT characters. Odd as I seemed to have drifted from the superhero genre in recent years. Cork is certainly going to give the rest of Ireland a run for its money when it comes to producing up and coming creators.
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Anthea West launched the second issue of FATE at the con too. What I like about her work, and what is quite evident from the this book, is that she has obviously built a world for these characters and she is in the process of navigating us through the most interesting (and sometimes dangerous) parts. She manages to pack even more story into this issue than the last without it seeming rushed. She also comes up with the strangest characters with another interesting creature debuting in this comic. You can pick up a copy at Anthea’s Etsy store.
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Another I almost overlooked was THIMBLE (which I have reviewed) which is the latest book from Buttonpress. I had an interesting chat with creator Jason Browne about the review and the idea behind the character which I obviously won’t be going into but needless to say there is some interesting stuff going on with this book and a lot of thought has gone into it. Copies are on sale at Forbidden Planet in Dublin.

and AZURE CAPRICORN

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One book I missed at the Expo was Debbie Jenkinson’s REMORSE. Luckily, I grabbed a copy of this at Sub City on Dame Street (you can also grab a copy online). It is the story of an office worker and if you, like me, have experienced that world, this is a harsh reminder of how emotionally disheartening that world can be. Don’t let that warn you off the book. It is extremely well written and beautifully rendered story and it captures the experience so well, it may well make you relive some of your own experiences and perhaps make you take you reevaluate some of them.