Archive for the 'History' Category

Hibernia Comics’ Comic Archive: Beyond 2000AD

Hibernia Comics' Comic Archive: Beyond 2000AD

It’s hard to overstate how much of an influence 2000AD has had on comic readers and creators, Irish as well as British. For those of us who like to look behind the curtain of how the title was created, the people behind it, and the strange twists of fate that made it what it became, […]

FEATURE: A Look At Some Of Ireland’s Pre ICN Comics Part 2 of 10

Rocket Cover

The second comic on this feature whereby we take a look at some of the comics that were available in the years before ICN launched is Rocket by Derry’s Bridgeen Gillespie. Rocket was released in 2005 and was a 16 page black and white comic that was inspired off a Kate Bush song ‘Rocket’s Tail’. The book is currently […]

EVENT:Launch of ‘The Cream of the Milk’ by Pauline Hall and Alan Nolan


EVENT: Launch of ‘The Cream of the Milk’ by Pauline Hall and Alan Nolan The Cream of the Milk,  a new A2 size published limited edition full colour broadsheet celebrating thirteen Irish women from Irish history and mythology who were artists, muses, lovers, warriors and outsiders. It contains original clerihews (short, humorous poems) by Pauline […]

HISTORY: A year in Irish comics – the Belfast Telegraph in 1925

Oscar by Bill Glenn, Belfast Telegraph, 1925

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do with the Irish Comics Wiki is to give the current generation of Irish creators a context other than just contemporary British and American comics, something specific we can bring to the comics we make. Although I’ve unearthed a rich tradition of cartooning and illustration, and a […]

NEWS: Mike Hubbard’s King Solomon’s Mines reprinted

King Solomon's Mines, from The Ranger, 1966

Dublin-born artist Mike Hubbard had a long career in British comics, one of the highlights of which was his full-colour adaptation of H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines in Ranger in 1965 (sample page above). Now, Steve Holland, the internet’s leading historian of British comics, has reprinted it in a handsome new edition, with a […]

HISTORY: Phil Blake’s final resting place

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi by Phil Blake

I’ve made two previous posts about Phil Blake, the Navan-born cartoonist and illustrator who drew political cartoons for the Weekly Freeman around the turn of the 20th century, got namechecked by James Joyce in Ulysses, illustrated a “controversial and scurrilous” novel about Jewish moneylenders in Dublin, and relocated to Sydney, Australia, where he illustrated fashion […]

History: Phil Blake redux

Phil Blake catalogue illustration 1916

You’ll remember back in July I appealed for help in finding out more about Navan-born cartoonist Phil Blake, who drew political cartoons for the Weekly Freeman around the turn of the 20th century. Well, the trail has not gone cold. Thanks to Kelly Mitchell, who left a comment on a related post at the Dublin […]

HISTORY:Will Eisner in The Yellow Press

Will Eisner's "The Solution", The Yellow Press # 11, 1994

Now I knew The Yellow Press was an anthology published in Dublin the early 90s, and featured everyone who was anyone in Irish cartooning at that time. But I didn’t know Will Eisner – Will Eisner! – did a piece for it. Now, thanks to Dougie Devlin’s excellent blog Brand New Retro, whose mission is […]

Hibernia Comics presents One-Eyed Jack and the Death of Valiant

One-Eyed Jack and the Death of Valiant

David McDonald, head (and possibly only) honcho of Hibernia Comics, who brought us such gems as Tales from the Emerald Isle, has set up his own Comicsy Shop, where one of the things he’s selling is One-Eyed Jack and the Death of Valiant. It’s a fascinating historical investigation into John Wagner’s tenure as editor of […]

Today in 1926 – Arthur Booth


86 years ago today, Arthur James Conry Booth died of pneumonia, aged just 35. Four years previously he, along with Charles E. Kelly and Tom Collins, founded Dublin Opinion, a satirical magazine that lasted until the end of the 60s that published cartoons by every cartoonist who was anyone in Ireland during that time, from […]

HISTORY: Appeal for help – Phil Blake (1869-?)


In the Collins Collection of Irish Political Cartoons there are several cartoons from the Weekly Freeman signed by Phil Blake. He seems to have drawn for the Freeman from about 1898 to 1905, and had something of an Art Nouveau style and a prediliction for drawing somewhat butch-looking women. In the cartoon above from 1900 he […]

ART: Mike Hubbard’s The Coral Island on Bear Alley

The Coral Island by Mike Hubbard from Look and Learn, 1966

Steve Holland’s Bear Alley blog, one of the best sources online for stuff about old British comics, is re-presenting Dublin-born artist Mike Hubbard‘s adaptation of the classic children’s novel The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne, originally published in Look and Learn in 1966. Here’s part 1, and here’s part 2. Gorgeous work, I’m sure you’ll agree. […]

HISTORY: One of the “Big Two” UK comics publishers was founded by an Irishman

Comic Cuts

Many of us making comics in Ireland grew up reading British comics like 2000AD, Battle, Action, Eagle, Buster, Whizzer and Chips, Tammy, Misty, and many others published by IPC, formerly Fleetway, formerly the Amalgamated Press, it’s comics publications going back to Comic Cuts in 1890. It and Dundee’s DC Thomson were the “Big Two” of […]

NEWS: a post for St Patrick’s Day

Harry Clarke illustration from Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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), […]

Brand New Retro unearths ZILCH


The fascinating website Brand New Retro, where the pseudonymous Dougie Devlin scans old magazines, fanzines and adverts from his voluminous collection, has found an Irish comic from 1980: Zilch. Published through a bookshop, ABC Books in Talbot Street, Dublin, it featured work by artists like Dave Shields and Paul Ringrose – wonder what they’re up […]

HISTORY: NutScrewsWashersNBolts online!

NSWB 1.indd

Alan Perry, one of the artists behind early 90s Belfast small press anthology NutScrewsWashersNBolts, which also featured work from Paul McCullough, John Farrelly and others, has made the first three issues available as pdf downloads, and the fourth and final issue is on the way. Issue 1 has a strip by Malachy Coney and Seán […]

HISTORY: Comics and cartooning, politics and propaganda


After I wrote this post about the early 80s Belfast small press anthology Ximoc, a conscious attempt to do something apolitical in a politically fraught time, Gar left a comment that “I dream of the day I see a politically engaged small press comic these days”, and Victor Marsillo reminisced about Resistance Comics, an underground […]

HISTORY: Michael Hubbard (1904-1976)

King Solomon's Mines, from The Ranger, 1966

Michael Hubbard, an unsung hero of British comics, was born in Dublin in 1904. Probably his best known work is the Daily Mirror‘s cheesecake strip Jane, which he worked on first as Norman Pett’s assistant, then as the strip’s artist from 1948 to 1959. He started out as an illustrator on The Thriller, a story […]

ART – Cú Chulainn from Our Boys

The Death of Cú Chulainn by Walter C Mills

In place of an instalment of The Cattle Raid of Cooley this week (because my hands wouldn’t do what they were told), some alternative versions of the main character, Cú Chulainn, in illustrations from the Irish story paper Our Boys. The above is by Walter C. Mills and was published in 1921.  

HISTORY: Collating Ximoc

Cartoonists collating Ximoc

David Morris, expat Belfast cartoonist now based in Bristol, sends me this photo of the putting together of Ximoc, a Belfast-based small press anthology of the early 80s. I can see the cover of issue 6 on the table, so this would be 1982. Clockwise from front left, we have Davy Francis with all the hair, the […]