Monday, December 29, 2008

Irish Discworld Convention 2009

Hi there. Well the New Year is nearly upon us and hopefully ye all will have a good one. There is a lot to look forward to in the next twelve months but one of the things I am looking forward to most of all is the upcoming Irish Discworld Convention which will be on next November in the Fall's Hotel in Ennistymon.

I have been a Terry Pratchett fan for almost ten years now and this is something I think will be big next year. The first I heard of the convention was when two ladies kept calling into my place of work telling me of how they were Mr. Pratchett's No. 1 and No. 2 Irish fan's (of which there is a massive debate I would say every evening in their household). Their names are Mary-Ellen and Nicola. They also told me they were in the Colour of Magic tv movie, attending the Discworld convention in Birmingham every year and had acquired a lot of Mr. Pratchett's memrobilia. The long and the short of it is they are nuts for the man in the hat with the incredible series of Discworld books. I do not even come close to their dedication but I do seriously love his stuff and he is one of the very few authors I will buy in hardback (about eight months before the paperback comes out).

These two ladies have set up Ireland's first Discworld Convention that will be on next November in Ennistymon, in the Fall's Hotel. For those of you who don't know Ennistymon is in County Clare not very far from Ennis and I am doing what every person in the world is doing right now pointing you to Wikipedia for info on the town: or you might want to check out the official town site:

Now that you know all about Ennistymon check out the website they have set up regarding this I am sure that it will be updated soon: Email them as I am sure they would like to know what you think about all this. Also give the Fall's Hotel a tinkle as they mightn't know what exactly is happening yet but they would have information as to when it is on and what rooms are available. They also have a forum you can check out here: and they have updates on guests there as well as other info.

Now there will be guests and I have been informed that the man himself (health permitting) will be there too. So it's something that we can not afford to miss as this is something that never happens in Ireland really not to mention the fact that the convention is probably one of the few that has ever happened outside of Dublin. For those of you abroad Shannon airport is about 40 minutes (less maybe) drive away so there is no excuse. Tell your mates. Inform your librarian. Bring your Luggage! Send the info by clacks! It doesn't matter Irish fans of Discworld is getting it's first Discworld Convention bloody brilliant.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Books I am Enjoying Part 1

At work I have a big pile of 'to be bought' stuff and I think it's time I looked over my collection of books that needs whittling down. You see I have just started adding more to the pile and cartoonists/comic publishers are starting to do those omnibus editions that are really class but take up so much space. I love 'em though!

I just bought the 'Complete K Chronicles' which is by American cartoonist Keith Knight which is brilliant. He created this weekly semi-autobiographical comic strip that has been featured in several publications and online his home site to name one. I used to check out his stuff every few months online but now I have this massive edition Dark Horse put together that I can take almost everywhere with me. Ryanair flights probably won't let it on as carry-on but I don't care it's friggin' hilarious.

I have a funny feeling I won't be whittling down my book pile anytime soon but I might just add books I like to this every now and again.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stuff I've done in the past!!!

Well I suppose I better use this bit to show what I've been doing over the past number of years. Um, here goes. At nineteen I worked for the Evening Echo in Cork for six months while in art college drawing full page strips based on people's jokes that they sent in on a weekly basis. We had two problems with that.

1) People didn't send in any jokes (I still managed to get jokes from sources and put fake names and addresses to them for six months).

2) I was nineteen which meant I was a silly boy.

Anyway here are two such beauties by a nineteen year old just making the deadlines and probably scribbled together in about an hour:

I was let go from said position and ploughed through art college till I left. I did get a few odd jobs here and there like this one from the French News an English language magazine based in the south of France. They wanted a stereo typical French man. Really they did!

A year after leaving art college I applied to every newspaper in Ireland there was to apply to. Then every magazine. They all said no so I got a notion I could do religious cartoons and sent them to the Irish Catholic our weekly catholic newspaper here in Ireland. What was done as a bit of craic and with no notion of getting a yes turned out to be a position that kept me scribbling for a year and a half.

After that I managed to get a small job with the Clare People one of the newspapers here in County Clare where I was told to read Arlene Harris's column about motherhood and provide her column with a strip (or illustration but we made it a strip in the end). I also was sometimes called upon to do illustrations for feature articles.

Then I managed to get a small job with a monthly commercial fishing magazine doing a short-lived strip called Crew Cuts. I am first to admit the puns I used probably scuttled the strip (get it!! Do you see what I did there!!!).

I also managed to get a job with the Irish language newspaper Lá doing panel gag cartoons. The panel was called 'Agus Sin Sin' which in English was called 'And That's That.'

After that I went backpacking in Canada and came back a year later back where I started with no illustration work but had a short story on BBC Radio 4 for 15 minutes which was nice. Then I started submitting to Phoenix Magazine which is almost like Private Eye in the United Kingdom.

Lately though I have been mostly doing work for the Irish Times and their supplements designing characters and drawing colouring in pics of scenes for their Art in the Classroom supplement which has been fun.

But the main thing that excites me is the fact that we are bringing out an Irish language comic anthology in the next few months with help from Forás na Gaeilge. We have a great bunch of people involved like Bob Byrne, Declan Shalvey, Ian Whelan, Alan Nolan, Mike Lynch, Ian Cullen, Stephen Downey, a few other Irish cartoonists and two French comic strips translated for the first time into Irish. We also have a a very talented graphic designer on board called Muireann Lalor and Malachaí Mac Amhlaoibh is our brilliant Irish translator. We also have confirmed that we will be assisted by Gabriel Rosenstock who is one of Ireland's top writers 'as gaeilge.' I have started a company called Coimicí Gael and we have put together an eight page sample for people to look at. I drew the cover but the layout was by Muireann (who did a great job on designing the whole thing).

And that's me in a nutshell really as far as the cartoonist side of things goes. There have been other projects but these are the main things I have been involved in.


Well it seems that nearly everyone these days has a blog and here is mine. I will fingers crossed be posting work and stuff I'm doing or stuff that has been put together by meself. God, I'm actually a bit nervous about this. Anyway hopefully over the next few weeks I will be updating this on a regular basis. That's enough from me. Move on! Nothing more to see here!