I have a small history in comics. A few years ago, I got my hands on some X-Men stories that I thought would be interesting. Age of Apocalypse. House of M. Contained ARCs. I had developed a sort of fascination with the X-Men growing up, watching the 90s cartoon adaptation, along with similar cartoons like Spider-Man, and later the Justice League cartoon. I had grown up reading the Dandy and Beano annuals when my nanny would pick them up for us at Christmas.
It’s only relatively recently that I’ve really loved small press comics. I’ve had a friend work on them since I was in my teens. I found out about a few others in the meantime, but mostly they were something other people did, that I couldn’t do. In May, I decided that I wanted to start working on some comics. I had some ideas. I had become friends with an artist. I figured I could give it a try.
Lately, I had a look for some scripts I’d written. Just scripts – not for comics. I have an inkling they can adapted in a sense, particularly given the fact that the dialogue is all there. After some searching, I finally have my hands on the scripts for:
1. The Rest is Silence (60-minute stage play, dealing with depression, suicide, identity crises)
2. Love at First Date (audio drama set in Dublin, recorded and produced for my multimedia course)
3. Plan B (my own plan B in case I had to rearrange recording for Love at First Sight, also an audio drama in Dublin – shares a character with LaFD)
4. Dead Dreams (20-minute movie script written when I was in Mater Dei, telling the story of a zombie romance)
5. The Jerry Davidson Show (20-minute, two-part stage play that crosses The Nativity with Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle, asking the most important question: is Joseph the father?)
The really fun part will be turning all five of these into comic scripts! (And finding artists for them!)
Here’s my thinking: 2015 was when I first got into the Irish comic scene. I did my thesis on it. I met a fair few awesome people.
2016, I finally got properly involved in the community. I wrote about the comics. I met even more awesome people. I even began work on a solo documentary about it all. I got my first shot at having a comic made out of a script I wrote.
2017 is the year I really want to dive in as a creator. Comics are a fun medium to write for. There are different elements to take into consideration to bring a story to life, including the style of illustration that an artist brings to the table.
I’ve got a few new projects I’m working on, as an aside to these five scripts, but I thinking working with these finished pieces will help as a means of developing my style of writing for comics. If nothing else, if no one wants to illustrate them at all, I’ll at least have figured out better ways of working on scripts to get a point across. And that’ll pay off in my other writing, too.
2017 is also the year I’ll be taking part in a comic and graphic novel course, which will be fun! I think it’ll be an interesting way of developing some experience in the field in a relatively short period of time. I’m going to attempt to develop even some basic illustration skills before the course begins, even if I can just get myself used to drawing anything again. (I did Technical Graphics in school for 5 out of my 6 years there. I should be able to draw something after all that time.)
Next year, I’ll be updating Comix Ireland with a new logo (illustrated by the artist for Tomte: The Warrior Elf, Jason Browne), as well as launching my documentary. For those who missed the announcement on social media in November, it’s a film about the creation of an Irish comic, Project Crossroads, which features work from several of Ireland’s best and brightest up-and-coming writers and artists. (And I personally know at least twice as many other creators whose work I admire, without putting any thought into it. The Irish comic community is pretty damn awesome.)
After a difficult year creatively and personally, I want to work on something that, by its nature, is more often than not a collaborative experience. I want to make comics with friends. I want to see my stories come alive in a new way. I want to work on my books, too, and I’m hopeful that 2017 will be the time to get that work done in a way that leaves me satisfied.