Not a whole lot of I countries in the world, and today, thanks to the folks at A to Z Challenge1, I decided to go with Ireland. Sorry, no Gaelic here today, folks. Perhaps some southern dialect. As in my use of y’all at times, but that’s about it.
I could not include Ireland in this series due to one specific writer that I’ll discuss later.
Except for the Paddy Brennan images, if you click an image you will be taken either to the publishers site or the creators site or Amazon Author Page. Although I only use images found in the public domain, I will be going to the policy if linking to the people who deserve the credit and perhaps you will find something you like from some great talent.
He was born in Ireland in 193o. When did he die? No one knows, or even if he has. He was a very private man and didn’t give interviews. He wanted to work and that was it. I can’t blame him there. Imagine being able to create and not deal with the headaches to go with it of publicity.
His first published work was Jeff Collins-Crime Reporter for Magno Comics3 in 1946.
Marsman Comics4 came in 1948.
Then his big break. In 1949 when he joined up with D. C. Thomson & Company, Limited5 to which he may or may not owe to his sister sending in samples of his work, depending on if the legends are true. He did Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady in the Lake for People’s Journal, Sir Solomon Snoozer, and Rusty in The Dandy6.
Brennan was also the first artist to draw General Jumbo7 for The Beano8. General Jumbo originally appeared in 1953 and has periodically shown up ever since, even after the end of its series run. The book was basically about a boy who controlled a mechanized army created by a scientist. Why do I go into detail for this one? The influence of the book has been greater than one would have expected. One name in particular should be recognizable, Alan Moore9 of Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen fame. Click for Comic Book Creators of England and Alan Moore
A Dublin man with a busy life, Robert Curley not only is a creator but a comic book shop owner and comic book publisher with Atomic Diner11 as well. That’s a dream right there. I wanted to mention him for a number of reasons. One of course is is writing and creations such as Freakshow, The League of Volunteers12 and The Black Scorpion13, both set in 1940s WWII, as well as many others. All with different genres within comics.
Let me speak about The League of Volunteers for a moment. America has Irish superheroes. They are called stereotypes, and sad ones at that. Rob Curley was tired of it all14. He draws inspiration for the characters from Irish mythology and history. Right up my alley. But why do I mention Curley? Through Atomic Diner he has brought the world great talents.
Part of the way he does this is he gives a plot for a book and hands it off to others to actually write the scripts for. When you have a growing company with success, you need all the talent you can get. Maura McHugh15, writer, and Malachy Coney16 writer and cartoonist are two such writers. Coney has worked on a book called The Darkness17 from Tow Cow/Image Comics18. McHugh works on Róisín Dubh19, another historical comic but with a twist.
How many of you reading this right now that know me can tell I would be subscribing to every book this company has right now if I could? I am truly getting my History teach and comic collector geek on.
I could stop here but I can’t. Why? Because of the next man.
Garth Ennis is a writer from Northern Ireland who began his career in the British anthology Crisis21 by Fleetway22, which is now Egmont23. Crisis was a series that gave the UK audience more of a mature book to read with less of the need to appeal to the younger audience. This is not to ay mature as in sex, but as in intelligent and political.
Ennis wrote Troubled Souls, set in Northern Ireland, for Crisis which led to For a Few Troubles More, and True Faith. True Faith , a religious satire, was pulled from publishing but later found a home in America for Vertigo24.
Ennis’ success led to his being handed the flagship title of Judge Dredd25. Ennis then made the jump to American comics with Hellbazer26, the John Constantine27 book for DC Comics28. Some of you may know this character from the movie with Keanu Reeves called Constantine.
At DC Ennis’ creativity took off as he created Preacher29 and Hitman30. Then came another jump. This one to the competition, Marvel Comics31 and Punisher32. You will notice with Ennis’ title selections to work on, he isn’t much into the traditional superhero vein. He prefers the more realistic and gritty forms of characters. I can see the attraction in finding success through telling stories without gimmicks of powers. Although gimmicks of powers are great as well.
This is one of those that could have gone on for much longer, not only Garth Ennis, but Ireland as well. Surprising? A little. But when you look at the literary history of this country, can we really be surprised?
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