ICN Hall Of Fame Class Of 2019: Stephen Thompson
One of the first, if not the first, books that made me realise that Irish people actually made comics was Atomic Diner’s Freakshow. By extension, one of first artists I would have noticed was Stephen Thompson, who worked on the book along with Stephen Mooney. I’ve kind of dubbed Stephen Thomspon as the George Harrison of the Ecletic Micks. If you don’t know: the Eclectic Micks was a group of artists who banded together to do daily art blog with a different team each week. Each artist had their own day. Stephen Thompson had Thursday. I say George Harrison as he seems to be “the quiet one” who just works on his craft producing stuff that other creators envy. Anyway, I think he’s long overdue a place in the ICN Hall Of Fame. To induct him we have his co-artist on Freakshow, Stephen Mooney.
“Ever since we were teenagers I always wished I could draw as well as Thompson. He made the stuff that used to take me hours of trial and error look annoyingly effortless. We grew up around the corner from one another in Bayside, Dublin, and from the ages of 15 to maybe 25 all we did every day, -*every* day- was draw for countless hours to the dulcet strains of Atlantic 252 and then cleanse our palettes with a few rounds of Mario Kart (Nintendo 64 vintage, though the DS version got some serious play, too).
“Good times and a great learning environment. I don’t know if I’d be able to put in the twelve hour days consistently now if I hadn’t had that pseudo apprenticeship in the trenches with Thompson. We were determined to become pro comic book artists, and we did.
“For my money, Thompson is the best draftsperson the Irish comic community has produced. He can draw pretty much anything in an entirely cool and convincing manner and just like when we were kids, he makes it all look pretty effortless. Bastard.
“I think my stuff is okay for the most part, but I’m of the opinion that Thompson’s work is on the next level to most of his peers, and his comic output, whilst sporadic, is legitimately top-tier. He deserves his spot on such an illustrious list of Irish industry alumni (try saying that three times fast) and then some.
“I still beat the bejaysus out’ve him in Mario Kart, though.”
Stephen Thompson’s next project will be Star Trek: Year Five with IDW Publishing so I thought I’d end this induction by showing off his talent.