Reviews

Review: Swift

With Thought Bubble’s comic convention on its way this weekend, Aaron Fever (Ship WreckedFrozen WasteArtos) is launching Swift, the latest interpretation of the superhero genre from an Irish writer. The creative team involved gathers a lot of experience and talent in one issue, with line art by George Kambadais, colours by Rebecca Nalty, letters by Hassan Ostmane-Elhaou, and Declan Shalvey as Editor. I was fortunate enough to get a digital copy sent to me by Fever for the sake of this review.

Swift is a classic coming of age story, about a wheelchair bound teenager waking up on the sixteenth birthday to discover he has a superpower, and needing to figure out his place in the world with this sudden change. (That’s all you get out of me on that; aside from a no-spoiler policy, I’m not here to summarise the book for you!)

Compared to other superhero books by small press creators, it makes a delightful change. We’re not given a world-saving hero in Swift, but a real, human boy who just wants to paint. We’re not given a star athlete turned Superman-knock-off, or a team of eclectic Irishness in spandez. Fever uses the genre to tell a story about how a boy finds his place in his family, and in the world.

Kambadais and Nalty perform excellently together, giving us a charming family tale with the spark of Marketing Buzz that the heroes of Swift seem to demand. There’s a lot of movement throughout the comic, with the feel of a montage rippling through the pages, loud splashes of colour making up for the silence of paper (or the whirr of my laptop fan.) With the additional of Ostmane-Elhaou’s letters, the comic guides us through one of the more difficult times in a person’s life (growing up; not all of us go through superhero training at the age of sixteen) with all the excitement of possibility, and the dread of change, blended in a way only comics can achieve.

I adored this book. There are no other words for it. Perhaps it’s the superhero fan in me, or the Young-Adult-obsessed reader that’s yet to give up on the classic coming-of-age narrative, but I didn’t want to stop reading the book once I’d started, and wanted to go back and read it again once I’d finished. It doesn’t bury itself in unnecessary complexity; Swift is an honest story, packed with wit and humour. If you’re fortunate enough to get to Thought Bubble this weekend, this is one for your shopping list.

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Community | CO/MIX Episode 3

From the outside, the comic book community looks like one big, happy family. A closer look reveals the relationships between the various sub­-communities in Ireland, the nature of the people involved in bringing together the comic book community as a whole, and explores the notion of just how different the Irish comic book scene is to its American counterparts. From drink­-and-­draws at a local pub, to large­scale conventions across the country, to a small port village in Cork, the community in Ireland is spread far and wide.

Paddy Lynch / Cardboard Press / Dublin Comic Jam / Stray Lines

Paddy is an illustrator and sequential artist based in Dublin. He hosts the Dublin Comic Jam, and co­founded the Comic Labs. He illustrated ‘Big Jim’ (The O’Brien Press) and is co-­owner of The Cardboard Press.

http://www.patrickl.net/

Anthea West

Anthea is a sequential artist and cartoonist from Dublin. Her debut graphic novel, ‘The Earthbound God’, was published in 2013. She is currently producing ‘Fate’.

http://dustbunny-studios.com/

Triona ‘Tree’ Farrell

Tree is a sequential artist and freelance illustrator from Dublin. She is a former member of the Superhero Help Desk, and has produced two comic books; ‘Swords & Sisters’, and ‘Azure Capricorn’.

http://treedesigns.portfoliobox.me/

Stephen Lynch & Tina Branigan

Stephen, AKA Widdle Wade, is a voice­-actor by trade, as well as costume and prop­-maker. A regular to the convention scene in Ireland, he is also a member of the Emerald Garrison. Tina, AKA Cyanide Kisses, is an alternative model and cosplayer, and coordinator of volunteers at Dublin Comic Con.

https://www.facebook.com/WadesWiddleWorkshop

https://www.facebook.com/CyanideKissesCosplay

Will Sliney

Will Sliney is a Cork based artist currently working on Marvel Comics’ ‘Spider­Man 2099’ with Peter David. He has previously worked on ‘Fearless Defenders’ (Marvel) and ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ (Egmont/Titan). He published his debut graphic novel, ‘Celtic Warrior’, with The O’Brien Press in 2013.

http://sliney.blogspot.ie/

 

CO/MIX was produced as part of the M.Sc. in Multimedia in DCU, 2014-2015, by Matthew Ashe, Paul Carroll, Darragh O’Riordan, and Ciarán Byrne.

Matt: Matt is a Fine Art graduate from IADT, experienced in video exhibitions, visual effects and 3D animation. He worked as Director of CO/MIX. He runs The VR Agency as its lead producer and editor.

https://ie.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-ashe/70/769/970

http://www.thevragency.co/

Paul: Paul is an English graduate from Mater Dei, and a freelance writer and multimedia producer. He worked as Producer of CO/MIX. He runs Comix Ireland, and assists in the organisation of the Geek-Mart.

https://ie.linkedin.com/in/paulcarroll1

http://paulcarrollwriter.com

http://comixireland.com

Darragh: Darragh is a Marketing graduate from DIT, and worked as web developer in Javascript on the CO/MIX project.

https://ie.linkedin.com/in/darragh11

Ciarán: Ciarán is an experienced graphic designer and sound designer. He led the sound engineering and graphic elements of CO/MIX.

https://ie.linkedin.com/in/mrciaranbyrne

http://soundcloud.com/adeyhawke

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Comic book relationships are a thing of wonder, especially in the increasingly complicated universe produced by Marvel Comics and DC, but just how much do these romantic notions compare with the reality of the readers’ lives? A look into the lives of three couples on the convention scene reveals how deep a connection can be made, and how much that connection plays a toll on the lives of those involved.

Stephen Lynch & Tina Branigan

Stephen, AKA Widdle Wade, is a voice­-actor by trade, as well as costume and prop­-maker. A regular to the convention scene in Ireland, he is also a member of the Emerald Garrison. Tina, AKA Cyanide Kisses, is an alternative model and cosplayer, and coordinator of volunteers at Dublin Comic Con.

https://www.facebook.com/WadesWiddleWorkshop

https://www.facebook.com/CyanideKissesCosplay

 

Ryan Wade & Danielle Smyth

Ryan and Danielle met as Belfast Batman and Carrick Batman, with multiple cosplays to their names. The couple work the streets of Belfast as real-­life superheroes, helping the poor and the homeless. Cosplay led to their engagement.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Wade-Show-1610223062629011/

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Paul Raven & Louise Higgins

Paul and ­Louise are a cosplay couple, attending conventions as the Joker and Harley, and as Daredevil and Elektra.

 

CO/MIX was produced as part of the M.Sc. in Multimedia in DCU, 2014-2015, by Matthew Ashe, Paul Carroll, Darragh O’Riordan, and Ciarán Byrne.

Matt: Matt is a Fine Art graduate from IADT, experienced in video exhibitions, visual effects and 3D animation. He worked as Director of CO/MIX. He runs The VR Agency as its lead producer and editor.

https://ie.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-ashe/70/769/970

http://www.thevragency.co/

Paul: Paul is an English graduate from Mater Dei, and a freelance writer and multimedia producer. He worked as Producer of CO/MIX. He runs Comix Ireland, and assists in the organisation of the Geek-Mart.

https://ie.linkedin.com/in/paulcarroll1

http://paulcarrollwriter.com

http://comixireland.com

Darragh: Darragh is a Marketing graduate from DIT, and worked as web developer in Javascript on the CO/MIX project.

https://ie.linkedin.com/in/darragh11

Ciarán: Ciarán is an experienced graphic designer and sound designer. He led the sound engineering and graphic elements of CO/MIX.

https://ie.linkedin.com/in/mrciaranbyrne

http://soundcloud.com/adeyhawke