It is, of course, St Patrick’s Day, and, rather than serve up the same recycled bloody article on “Irish” comic characters like Daredevil and Banshee like all the other sites are probably going to do again, I thought about doing something on Irish characters in British comics (like “Paddy McGinty’s Goat” in Jet in 1971), but thought better of it. Instead, something a bit more authentic.
Today is also the birthday of Harry Clarke (1889-1931), an Irish artist who, while he never actually drew comics, was a fantastic book illustrator that any comic artist would do well to look at. Above is one of his illustrations from Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination from 1919. Check out this site, which collects his illustrations from that book, Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (1916, colour and black and white) and Goethe’s Faust (1925), and this one, which has illustrations from Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault (1922) as well as the Hans Christian Andersen one. And marvel.
On a more strictly comics note, it’s also the birthday of Paddy Nevin (1912-1995), a Ballymena man who drew for the Eagle, Girl, Swift, the Boy’s Own Paper and TV Comic in the 50s and 60s, and painted motor racing scenes for Classic Car magazine in the 70s.
And on a more strictly St. Patrick note, there’s always An Sclábhaí (“the slave”) and An Teachtaire (“the messenger”), a pair of Irish language graphic novels from Cló Mhaigh Eo, written by Colmán Ó Raghallaigh and drawn by none other than Secret of Kells director Tomm Moore. Here’s a page from An Sclábhaí: