2019 Dublin Comic Con (Summer Edition)
We’re back with the fourth in this series of gathering Irish Writers and Comic Creatives to speak about their craft and process at Dublin Comic Con. This being the fourth, a training montage would have been appropriate… but it was out of budget (“,)
On stage during DCC Summer 2019 were:
Damien has produced Graphic Novels on Irish History and Mythology over the years and has had his work published through O’Brien Press, Glenn is an Independent Comic Creator from Belfast who sells his work through Comixology Submit and Anthea is a long time Irish Comic Convention fixture, self publishing her web comic series Fate since November 2017.
Literally down the road from the Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay, Damien’s inspiration needed no introduction. Damien had prepared a number of slides showcasing his research through historical books and imagery in preparation for work on his Graphic Novel. Images were set against finished pages from the comic to see how the inspiration was realized.
Publishing through O’Brien Press, Damien was also able to speak about the process of working with an Editor and the cutting-room floor, where there are differing views on how pages are crafted and must be worked through. In the case of Black’47, Damien spoke a little about the final page, it’s original concept and the finished piece.
Writing for a Visual Medium
As the combined workforce of Writer, Illustrator, Colourist and Letterer, Anthea was able to give great insight into the visual medium process. With quite a workload to draw on over the years, Anthea was able to provided fitting side-by-side screens of research images she sought for particular scenes with the finished page to accompany. Her commentary here was fantastic as she was able to go through her initial concept for pages, what she sought and what changed along the way.
Of particular interest were some pages Anthea showed that were reworked at different stages. The images above feature a published piece that was redone when colouring was later introduced. Anthea spoke about what she was initially unhappy with about the original page and her decision to put more work upon herself to improve an already finished piece. This was an important reminder that creating comics is a passionate project and Anthea’s body of work certainly shows her own love and enjoyment of the craft.
Creator Specific Questions
Of the three gathered on the Panel, Glenn was the only Writer who did not provide his own illustration and needed to seek out other Creative Partners to collaborate with. This work in finding Collaborators can be as difficult as writing a comic itself.
Two issues of Sparks have been created so far, with #1 appearing in 2014! Glenn eventually sought a new collaborator through Twitter and began work with Irish Illustrator Kate Fleming who provided her pencils for the second issue. Released in early 2019, Glenn then spoke about the difficult task Independent Creators have in promoting their own work. Local Comic Book Shops are often a great help in providing shelf space for Irish Creative projects and Glenn went a step further and placed his work on the World’s largest platform for Digital Comics, Comixology. Glenn reported that this brought a whole new learning curve for him in terms of understanding the production and design process to meet the platform’s needs.
That’s the Group Photo you’re posting?
As always, it’s nice to get a group photo at the end but when one of the Panelists brings a box of free comics to distribute to the Audience… the stage gets flooded and that plan goes out the window. Still, Attendees got to learn about making comics and then took some home so we can forgive that… this time (“,)
Left to right, Damien Goodfellow, Glenn Matchett and Anthea West
What did I get at the Show?
One should not leave a Comic Convention empty handed. Not a massive haul this year but some choice pick ups.
Can’t get enough 90s Spidy Comics with Scarlet Spider. I’ve lost count (and the ability to track) of the number of Skottie Young Marvel Baby Variants that I’ve picked up from the super sound Folks at Comic Book Guys. Their Spidy / Harland & Wolfe print by Tara O’Connor was a must and will actually be an appropriate fit back in the office. Finally Paul Carroll’s anthology Plexus was a Kickstarter backed project which I collected at the show.
See y’all in March 2020 (“,)
– Seamus Kavanagh