INTERVIEW: HUGO BOYLAN DISCUSSES COMICJAM48

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ComicJam48 Dublin 2014 is the first in a new series of events aimed at getting aspiring Comic Book creators together in one place to collaborate and publish some comics. I asked one of the organisers, Hugo Boylan, about the event.

What’s the idea behind the event?

With ComicJam48 we really want to start something cool within the comic book scene. Our goal is to get creators working together and collaborating on new and exciting projects.

The first ComicJam48 is set to take place in the Generator Hostel in Smithfield on the 6th & 7th of September. We want to establish a great event that can be replicated by other organisers in other communities around the world. It’s a lot like the StartupWeekend.org movement that has been growing in the tech community over the last 4 years.

Kerrie (Smith) and myself had a chat with Michael Molcher when he was in Dublin last and asked him for his opinion on running such an event and his advice was to run a theme for the work at the event. His reasoning for the theme was so that all the teams can benefit from each other over the course of the weekend, and who are we to argue with Mr. Molcher? Needless to say we took his advice and added our own twist: make sure there’s loads of coffee, and pints on tap for after the event.

In a nutshell, after a kickoff meetup and few drinks at 19.00 on Friday the 5th of September in a private room in Bar Tengu in town teams of 3 (2 artists and 1 writer) will be formed. The goal of each team will be to work together and produce a 3-5 page short story or sizzle reel comic book by 19.00 the Sunday.

Who are some of the people behind it?

The idea for ComicJam48 came, like a lot of great ideas, out of a conversation over a few pints after a creator signing at The Big Bang in Dundrum earlier this year. While Kerrie Smith and myself are both creators ourselves, Chris McNulty and Kevin Yourell while comic fans aren’t the most artistic but wanted to help us create something within the Comic Scene here in Ireland.

Out of that conversation was born two things:

One was ComicJam48 a weekend event where we will provide a really great location in the Generator Hostel in Smithfield, we will feed and water creators to keep them at their creative best, we’ve organised a discount for the hostel for any guest who want to stay there, all this plus T-shirts and a printed copy of the Anthology of the works created at the event.

The second birth was of a Platform that we can talk about in more detail at another time, but I’ll briefly say that together, Kerrie, Chris, Kevin and myself are working on a digital distribution platform that will be solely for indie creator, that will give them a free hosted digital store. We are toying around with the name Collateral Comics for this, and will be looking for people to beta test the platform very soon.

What kind of people are you hoping will attend? (Artists? Levels of experience?)

Honestly we’d love a good mix of experience and inexperience at this event. While we’re planning on having mentors on the day to offer advice and make sure everything runs smoothly, the real goal of this event is collaboration and for people to teach and learn from each other, to share ideas and ask questions.

It will be a great way to share knowledge, learn about making and refining ideas for comics and really bringing out the best teamwork skills. What we’ll be really interested in is seeing how people who’ve never worked together before can collaborate under pressure. It’s going to be exciting, and our hope is that new creative teams will be formed, and ICN will have plenty of new books from Irish talent to review in the future.

There’ll be some creators dropping by to talk about projects and give feedback. Can you give any hints who they might be?

As you know the established creators in the Irish scene are all very busy, but they are also very generous with their time and we’ve gotten positive feedback from everyone we’ve spoken to. As soon as final sign off with people’s diaries are settled we will be announcing some great names you will know well.

There are also prizes to be had for the best story?

Oh yes. While ComicJam48 is mostly about collaboration and working together to create some cool comics, we feel there is nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition. With that in mind we have a Judging Panel lead by Bruno Batista of The Big Bang who will review all teams work on the Sunday evening and pick a best project of the Jam.

I won’t give away what the prize will be as we believe the prize is secondary to work that will be done at the Jam. However, I will say that we are working with the guys in The Big Bang and our other sponsor EventBrite to get some great prizes together for the winning team, and as we are in a generous mood, for the running up team as well.

Regardless of winners, every creator who attends will get a free exclusive t-shirt, a digital and physical copy or the anthology and of course free meals all weekend!

So if you’re a creator in Ireland and want to spend a great weekend meeting new people and making new comics, be sure to check us out right here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/dublin-comicjam48-2014-tickets-11635739811