Story by: Various
Art by: Various
Cover by: Aidan Courtney
Publisher: Comici Gael
Cover Price: €2.50
Clare based Irish language publisher Coimicí released its third issue of Rírá recently after a prolonged absence from the shelves. Combining some of Ireland’s best comic talent inside one book this new offering is chock full of fun ideas and beautifully executed art. Gone this time out, are the foreign strips like Leo Passion Rugby and instead we see more home grown strips with some great young and upcoming talent.
Included in the issue are 6 multi page stories and two one page cartoons. Highlights of the issue include a brand new story from ICNA winning creator Alan Nolan whose tale revolves around Liam and a miniature Leprechaun. This strip was a highlight of the issue but was not the only one. Alma O’Carroll’s story about a pair of school friends was a fun read as was Bob Byrne’s Finkle and Crumbert. The one aspect of the book though in which I can praise it at its highest is the fact that you learn as much as you enjoy. The back cover dictionary was a big help to me as my less than stellar grasp of our national tongue was found wanting on more than one occasion but I quickly caught up and multiple readings of the book later courtesy of my daughter’s love of the issue ensure that the book stays fresh long after your first reading. At the end of the day, isn’t that the aim of any comic?
The eclectic mix of art styles is mesmerising. From the rawness of youth in Luke Fallon’s strip to the practiced hands of Maeve Clancy’s great little strip the book is a visual feast from page one to page last.
Editor Aidan Courtney hands publishing debuts to Agata Romanska and Dwayne Moloney whose story is penned by ICNA winner Mike Lynch. Romanska’s minimalist approach to telling her story failed to deter from an absorbing story with a style that wouldn’t be out of place at a future Akumakon. Moloney is one artist in the issue whose work I would like to see more of. With a more practiced hand he should see his profile rise fast as his talent in the book is obvious to see.
2012 aims to be a big year for Coimicí Gael and its imprint Abandoned Comics in which several issue of new titles will be released. The next issue of Rira is also eagerly awaited as its appeal to a younger audience is a great selling point as well as its educational benifits and like O’Brien Press’ push of their younger focused books it is something we would like to see more of.