It’s St Patrick’s Day, the perfect chance to celebrate Irish culture and folklore. And what better chance to do that than to talk to one of the newer members of the Irish comic community, Peter Harte, writer of the new series, Balor. Issue #2 is currently on Kickstarter, with a St Patrick’s Day exclusive cover (check it out below!) available for one day only!
Comix Ireland: For the people who don’t know, who are you, and what is Balor?
Peter Harte: My name is Peter Harte, I’m 28 years old, and an Aquarius?
I’m just some bloke who grew up a bit different to his family. They were all honest hardworking grafters and I always had my head in the clouds.
Balor is a modern mythological superhero mystery comic book (a mouthful). It is based in Ireland and follows 18 year old Sean James as he attempts to come to terms with his brother’s murder at the hands of the drug gangs of Dublin.
To try stop his obsessing, Sean’s mother takes him on a trip to Loch Na Suil. It’s here that Sean stumbles upon the Shrine of Balor and is gifted with mythical powers including a very powerful energy blast.
Armed with new powers Sean begins his quest for vengeance, but when he arrives to a drug shipment only to find a room of bodies, energy residue, and a uniform patch with the letters SCMP… his quest for vengeance becomes a quest for answers.
CI: You’ve been running your own podcast for a little while now; did you always plan to write comics on the back of that?
PH: Honest answer? I have always loved writing and I have always loved comics, but I never thought to put the two together. When I started the podcast it was a college project and I used it to tackle some social anxiety. After the first episode I loved it and kept it going. The more industry pros I interviewed, the more I longed for something else within comics, but I never put my finger on what. It was only when a member of a group I am part of on Twitter said he was writing his own comic (Leaders of The Free World, it’s awesome, there’s a corgi) that I realised it was possible and I began plotting my own.
CI: What made you choose Balor as the subject of your series?
PH: I have always been a huge Irish mythology and folklore nerd. Add that on to my love of superheroes and you get Balor. I wanted to bring forth the coolest parts of Ireland and make them modern. Balor being this massively powerful and evil part of Irish mythology made him very intriguing to me. The very first thought for Balor was “What if I put this insanely powerful and evil energy inside a good but flawed character?”
CI: Who is the series for?
PH: This series is for anyone who loves the powerful but flawed hero.
The mythology aspect should draw in fans of not just Irish folklore.
It has something for the fan of the high adrenaline, as well as something for those who enjoy intimate moments between characters.
My favourite writers are Kelly Thompson, Al Ewing, and Donny Cates, so if you see similarities to their style, I won’t complain.
CI: The Balor series seems to be just getting started; what are your plans for going forward?
PH: I have a tendency to hyper fixate so anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I have Balor mapped out up to issue 20 so far. We are currently in volume 1 which is focused on Sean’s personal journey, it’s basically an origin storyline. The plans for volume 2 are to open up a whole world of mythically powered people and build allies as well as a rogues gallery for Balor.
CI: You launched Balor in the middle of the pandemic; have you had a chance to get to know the Irish comic community yet?
PH: I haven’t unfortunately. I have had the opportunity to talk to Irish creators through the podcast such as Declan Shalvey and Will Sliney, but as of yet I haven’t had the honour of getting to know the extended community. I do look forward to getting to know everyone very soon now that conventions are back.
CI: Do you have anything else lined up for the future?
PH: I have actually laser focused in on making Balor the beginning to an extended universe so there are some solo books for new characters and potentially even a team up book swimming around in this muddled mess I call a brain.
Check out the Balor #2 Kickstarter campaign today to pick up the exclusive St Patrick’s Day cover of the book.
And be sure to check out Peter on social media!
Keep with the Balor series on Twitter, too!