ICN Feed: August

I have returned. Like a comic character who met his demise at the end of some crossover, I return with a shiny new costume, well a ring, after an event that I didn’t have anything to do with… let’s say DCC. Anyway, that’s my way of saying that life and a wedding got in the way so I’m going to come at you with things that have happened or I should have covered while I was away as well as some current stuff that’s in the news.

Recent Events

I missed a lot of the more recent events including DCC and Wexworlds which leaves me in the position that I am a bit behind on some comics. Happily, Forbidden Planet is among the shops that is well stocked with Irish stuff so I was able to grab some of the stuff that I missed (living in Dublin again has its perks). Some others are on my list to grab at either Octocon or Comic City Fest (I will note all of this in the usual Now Reading section). I will note that some of the events I did attend including Celtic Con and Small Press Day (both really good shows btw) which did allow me to catch up with a number of folks to see how they are getting on and what is in the pipeline. Nothing that I can really go into here. I am glad that there seems to be an abundance of events countrywide now that are comic centric. ICN won’t be always able to get to all of them but we will be sure to highlight them if you @ us to remind us and we will RT any relevant posts on the Twitter feed.

A more recent event saw the launch of the Neon Skies Kickstarter which was funded, reached its hardcover stretch goal and just keeps going. I was happy to see some Irish Comic Shops get in on the retail backer level. Neon Skies being released as a collection as opposed to single issues does highlight a move by many creators towards trades. I have been talking to a few creators that are moving in that direction as it an easier sell at conventions (people are less likely to buy an issue if you have an issue two but no issue one for example). One creator who has already done this is Ollie Cunningham who, instead of releasing the next issue of his story, released Skunk Ape as a collection (also available, signed, at Forbidden Planet). More on that book later.

I must also note Nate Donnell’s announcement that he is moving away from comics (for now at least). I have always been a fan of his work and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Here are some upcoming events:

Omagh Comic Fest (September 8th)
Octocon (October 19th to 21st)
Comic City Festival (October 27th)

I should be doing a couple of comic centric panels at Octocon so that should be scary / fun. I will also be attending Comic City Festival.

(@ me on Twitter if I am missing some)


Now Reading Pile

I haven’t really read any new Irish books recently apart from The Dead Hand which has Stephen Mooney on art. It is still wonderful and is on course to be my book of 2018 (although there are some upcoming books that may challenge for that title). Writing this, I am reminded that I did read Maura McHugh’s Judge Anderson story (which was a part of 2000AD’s Summer Special). An interesting idea that was very well executed and a story that shows that Maura really knows the character (some of us only picked up the nods to the character’s history having recently read the Judge Dredd Mega Collection volumes). I hope to see her return to the character in a longer story. As mentioned, I picked some books from Forbidden Planet Dublin so Ocean City issue 2, Blood Runs Cold and both issues of The Guards are on my read pile for this week. I have managed to get through all of those. Stephen Ward has already reviewed Ocean City issue 2 and I think I am going to get to a review of The Guards issue 2 this week.

On my radar:

Death Sworn issue 2 by Karl Rowe
Dead Rabbit by John McCrea, Gerry Duggan and Mike Spicer
Neon Skies by Kevin Keane, Ciarán Marcantonio and Cristian Sabarre.

Dark Eyes

One book that I read a good while back but haven’t gotten to review is Skunk Ape by Olly Cunningham. I haven’t reviewed it largely because of being very busy but also because I am unsure what to make of it. It stands out amongst other Irish books as one of the few that delves into the darker side of life and reminds me of some Bob Byrne stuff only more twisted and part of much longer narrative. I had planned an interview with Olly (which got derailed, the fault being on my end) so I think I will go that route. Although difficult to categorise, I have previously compared it to Roddy Doyle for Olly’s use of realistic Dubliners and Irvine Welsh for the tone. Maybe if Roddy and Irvine were characters in a Hunter S Thompson novel.

I think that’s it for August. Please @ me if you want me to include anything in particular in future posts or a separate one on the site. I don’t mind being tagged on social media if it is for a valid reason as I may miss some things.