My Current Reading List - Wayne Talbot

No matter what part of the Comic Book industry you are hoping to break into, there is always one piece of advice that I hear from Comic Book professionals more than anything else. "In order to create Comics, you need to be reading Comics". I think its probably the truest piece of advice out there.  When writing, drawing or colouring a book I try to absorb as much as I can from creators I admire. So for this article I am going to take a look at some of my favourite Comic Books that I am currently reading and more importantly, learning from.

Head Lopper & The Island or A Plague of beasts

Andrew MacLean - Writer, Artist. Colourist, Letterer

Mike Spicer - Colourist

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Head Lopper follows the blood soaked exploits of the warrior Norgal and his unlikely traveling companion the severed head of Agatha the Blue Witch. Its publication history is that of an Indie book done good. Originally MacLean self published the title, until it was picked up by Image Comics in 2015. Head Lopper is a very unique entry into the Sword & Sorcery genre. MacLean's art style might fool the reader at first with its cartoon like line, but once you sink your eyeballs deeper into the book it reveals itself to be an intriguing tale, dripping with as much dark humour and mystery as it is with gore and violence. 

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MacLean's story telling is top notch. You can't help but be drawn into Norgal and Agatha's adventures as they make their way through the Island realm of Barra, This is a fantasy world that arrives fully formed, containing as much intrigue and wonder as it does giant sea creatures, monstrous wolves. wood elves and giant spectres, seriously this book has sword wielding ghost giants and they look awesome.

MacLean's creature design is a thing of beauty, it goes from images constructed with just a few pen strokes, to highly detailed rendering accompanied by Mike Spicers brilliant job on colours. The palette of Head Lopper sells the world to you. For me as a reader there is a distinct 70/80s  Dungeons and Dragons feel to the way the book is coloured, now this may be my own skewed idea of Sword & Sorcery stories feeding into how I perceive the books, but when I looked at panels like the one below, my mind immediately jumped back to hours spent dungeon crawling in DnD, or to an episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. 

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I have only read the first volume of Head Lopper, the second volume is at the very top future reading list. I am excited to get to it for many reasons, the foremost of which is the fact the Queen of Colours Jordie Bellaire steps in as colourist for the second arc. As a creator, reading this book has shown me a lot about story telling, and how a page flows in order to move the narrative forward. This is a book of all killer no filler, with each page as important as the one that has come before it. Even when there are quiet moments with Norgal and Agatha seated around a campfire, or in Agatha's case resting her neck stump on a log, there is something to absorb.

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Head Lopper is currently available in two Graphic Novel Volumes at your local Comic Book store. I urge you to go and pick them up. Its one of those Comic Books that you want to tell everyone about. 

 

Redlands 

Written & Co-Created - Jordie Bellaire & Vanessa Del Ray

Artist -  Vanessa Del Ray 

Colours - Jordie Bellaire

Letters- Clayton Cowles

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Redlands is a book that serves up something I think is lacking in Comics as a whole, Pure Horror done right. From the creative team of Jordie Bellaire and Vanessa Del Ray. It is a tale of witchcraft and mystery set in a small town in Florida. From its opening salvo, that harkens back to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13, but with a supernatural twist I was all in. This book literally casts a spell on you as a reader. Vanessa's artwork is free flowing and alive, and suits this type of tale perfectly. Its also bolstered even further with Jordie's colour work. The first issue builds to a finale that sets the scene for the series as a whole, and leaves you wanting to know where this story is going to go. 

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As the story unfolds we get to delve deeper into the world of Redlands, and it is a world steeped in folklore, murder and magic. Each issue of this series offers something different that complements the story arc as a whole. There are nods and links to real life, with one plot thread tipping its hat to the Zodiac killer, while in the same breath the tale of one character delves into the lore of the Florida swamps. Redlands is a rich tapestry of storytelling, well crafted and beautifully put together by its creative team. Something I learned from this book is that when you are writing horror that you hope will chill the reader you need to focus on the pacing and panel layout, and not to just blast the reader with image after image of in your face gore. More can be achieved with just a suggestion that something is amiss, building the moment slowly before the final reveal for greater impact. 

I am currently writing two separate books that contain strong horror elements and on more than one occasion after reading an issue of Redlands I have had moments of clarity when it came to storytelling that have enabled me to write pages in a new light that really help push the narrative forward. This is the importance of reading as many Comic Books as possible. In the same vein of the Glengarry Glen Ross' well known phrase "Always be selling" If you are an aspiring creator like myself you should "Always be reading" 

Redlands at its core is a solid character driven story. Its core group are an intriguing complex coven of diversity, and that in itself is something that every creator needs to pay attention to. The ability to be able to write believable characters that speak to a wide variety of audience is something that doesn't always land for some. Redlands is pretty much the guide on how to achieve this across artwork, colour and writing. I would be remiss in not mentioning the the amount of work that went into the additional material in the back of each issue. Fakes Articles, adverts and profiles that help build the idea of the world that the story is taking place in. Another aspect to creating a book that just wraps its arms around the reader and drags them in.  Each of the first six issues are adorned with hauntingly beautiful covers that all seem part of a larger spell. The covers are gorgeous in he own individual way, but viewed together they create a sort of visual portmanteau of horror that both intrigues and disturbs in equal measure.

Redlands Volume 1 is published by IMAGE Comics and is available now from your local Comic Book store. I highly recommend checking this book out. Its a beaut of a book. 

 

Mister Miracle 

Writer - Tom King

Art & Colours - Mitch Gerads

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If you had told me a year ago that a book about Mister Miracle was coming out that would have me tearing up with equal parts joy and sadness I would've told you, you were a crazy person, but here we are, eight issues into King and Gerad's run on this wondrous take on Jack Kirby's NEW GODS and I am completely hooked. This book is unreal. I will admit that i was late to the party on this one, but thanks to my local Comic Book store heroes at Dublin City Comics i was able to gather all of the first six issue run together and absorb its majesty into my eyeballs in one fell swoop. There are many things about this book that I adore. It has some of the best written characters in Comics. The storytelling from both writer and artist is second to none. Moments of destruction and violence are punctuated with moments of comedic gold, but if there was one thing that I gleaned from Mister Miracle its the correct use and layout of the page to tell a story, and tell it well. Bar the first three pages, which give readers a recap of who Mister Miracle is. Each page of the book is broken down into nine panel grid, but this doesn't constrict the storytelling in any way. In fact personally I thinks its as much as part of the plot as every other aspect of this book. This storytelling technique has inspired me in such a way that I have written sequence based on its style in the upcoming book A Town Called Killed as a homage. 

King and Gerads have created beautifully unique book in every aspect with Mister Miracle. They humanise the central cast beautifully, showing sides of the idea of a Superhero that we don't often see. These are put in juxtaposition to moments of bombastic action and violence that occur within a page of each other. Every details of this book matters, prompting the reader to revisit pages they've just read in order to make sure you did actually read what you just read. They also portray one of DCs major villains in a way that makes he seem more powerful and bogeyman like that he has ever been portrayed before, so much so that he has only appeared in one panel so far in the eight issue run and that panel was enough to make me have a sharp intake of breath when it happens. 

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The story is still unfolding, and is currently at its eight issue, with issue nine due next week. So far it has shown Scott Free aka Mister miracle to be a man divided on many fronts. The creative team's combined abilities to show so many aspects of one character is fantastic and something that anyone hoping to create their own books should pay close attention to. The story of mister miracle is multifaceted and is also filled with mystery about where Scott's loyalties and life will take him and those he holds most dear. on a personal note it also deals with the arrival of his and Big Barda's child and how he is dealing with fatherhood. I've just become a father myself and when you can feel a personal connection to a book at that level it obviously increases the enjoyment and the investment you're going to give it. 

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Mister miracle is a rare book from DC comics, in so far as its both a big bombastic superhero story and an extremely personal one as well. it has bit of everything contained within its pages. the teaming of King and Gerads has proven to be a match made in heaven. Volume one collects issues one to six of this series and is available now from your local Comic Book store , with the series being published ongoing every month. 

 

Thats it for now, I could go on an on about numerous other titles I am currently reading, but I will save them for a future Rogue Comics blog post. If you want to find me on social media links to my twitter and Instagram feeds are listed below. If you want to check out some of my current work you can find The Broker in the Rogue Comics store. Thanks for reading folks. 

 

Twitter - @WayneTalbot

Instagram - waynetalbot37 

 

 

 

 

Going Rogue at Cork Comic Expo 2

Photo Credit Bruno Batista

When King Will Sliney (Irish Comics Superstar) and Bruno Batista from Big Bang Comics (Hand of the King) invite you to take part in a massive free comics event in Cork, you say yes and bend the knee!

So with that in mind this past weekend the Rogue Comics Crew as well as an abundance of amazing comics creators from around the country hit the road and headed to Mahon Point Shopping Centre for Cork Comics Expo 2 affectionately known as "Slineycon".

In attendance from Rogue Comics were Wayne Talbot (Creative Director), Ciarán Marcantonio (Editor-In-Chief), Gill Dempsey (Editor), Cork's own prince Kevin Keane (Art Director), Clare Foley (Artist), Cormac Hughes (Artist), Ellen (Rogue Roadie), Robert Carey (Artist) and even surprise appearences from Brian Corcoran (Artist) and Alice Coleman (Graphic Designer). We brought along our entire range of Comics and our Artists were well stocked with new prints to sell.

We arrived at the centre with a rough idea of what to expect, a good crowd, the opportunity to see some portfolios and hopefully we make some sales. But as the day progressed expectations were thoroughly exceeded as from 9:30am to 7:00pm every table (of which there were many) was busy from start to finish with an audience of people excited to talk about comics.

Now that would be normal for any comic convention right? Well that's where Cork Comics Expo is different to every other con I've attended this wasn't your normal convention audience. The main attendee's were the everyday shoppers of Mahon Point, made up mainly of families that wouldn't necessarily have any interest in attending such an event. But here it is right in front of them as they go for their weekly shop. That provided the entire Irish comics community with a wonderful opportunity. The chance to show our work to a completely new home grown audience. 

BEHOLD... Our Stuff!

So that's exactly what we did! With our table stocked with the full range of books from the Rogues Gallery of titles we proceeded to sell our wares to the good people of Cork. But selling isn't all we did, our own Kevin Keane took the time to host an art class for local children who aspire to be the next generation of budding comics artists in Cork.

Back at our table Wayne, Ciarán and Rob took the time to review portfolios of some of the local artists who had brought along their work. We were blown away by some of the talent on show and there may even be some future Rogues among these up and coming young artists, writers and colourists.

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We have to give a special shout out to a wonderful comic - The Mitchelstown Library Teen Anthology "My Life In Strips". This awesome project was put together to encourage teens to be creative and the results speak for themselves. A lot of the creators involved swung by our table to ask what we thought of their book. Honestly we were blown away, the book shows a level of talent in these teenagers that far surpasses the comic abilities anyone from Rogue had at their age... we may all be out of a job soon. If you're interested in finding out more about this project contact the books editor Fiona Boniwell.

The day was full of great interactions but one more Kevin Keane moment springs to mind that really was a heart warmer. Totally unexpectedly a man by the name of Paul Philpott came to the table asking for Kevin, upon meeting him he presented Kevin with a huge canvas print of a recent commission Kevin had done for him of his son. As you can see by Kevin's face he was really happy with it. Its these kind of moments where people really connect with an artist and their art in such a way that they feel the need to express such gratitude for the work involved that really make conventions worth while, you can't put a value on that kind of experience.

Overall the day was a huge success and we can't thank Will Sliney, Bruno Batista, Big Bang Comics and Mahon Point Shopping Centre enough for having us. If such an event rolls around again we'll be sure to be there. These events are so important to the Irish Comics Community for building ties to a local audience and talent pool that they cant be missed.

There were more tales from this epic trip but most of those took place in Barcadia with drink taken... and that's where they will stay! 

One last thought. You can't spell Sliney without line... Hail to the King!

Ocean City Sells Out At Forbidden Planet Launch Event!

Howdy folks, 

Yesterday was unreal and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came out to Forbidden Planet Dublin in support of Rogue Comics as we launched #OceanCity by Colm Griffin and Alice Coleman. 

We are delighted to say that thanks to your support our first launch event was a great success and the book SOLD OUT its entire first print run on launch night! 

It was fantastic to see that the event was a huge success for IDW Artist Simone D'Armini as his brand new book #TheSpiderKing was also sold out by the end of the night. Congratulations to Simone who dutifully spent the event signing and doing amazing sketches for everyone in attendance and thanks for letting us co-launch a book with him. 

As the editor for #OceanCity I want to take this opportunity to say a huge congratulations to Colm & Alice for putting out a book Rogue Comics is proud to call one of our own. I also owe a huge thanks to the man behind the event Mr. Scott Adair of Forbidden Planet Dublin without whom there would not have been a launch.

Finally I want to give a quick update for people trying to buy #OceanCity from our online store. We have filled all current orders, however we are now completely sold out of the first print run. Bear with us as we're rushing the book back to print to fill the demand and as soon as it's available we will post about it on all of our social media. 

For now, thanks for #GoingRogue.

Editor-in-chief,

Ciarán Marcantonio

Clare Foley Goes Rogue!

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We are delighted to bring a new addition into the Rogues Gallery.

It's our great pleasure to reveal that award winning artist Clare Foley has gone rogue and has brought her unique talents to Rogue Comics Ireland.

We're also delighted to announce that she's brought her acclaimed debut comic ‘La Grande Bretêche’ with her and that all future printings will feature our logo. 

We now have copies of ‘La Grande Bretêche’ for sale through our online store so if you haven't picked it up already head on over there immediately!

Clare will also be partnering with Rogue Comics Editor-in-Chief Ciarán Marcantonio for a future horror comic based on the Irish legend of the mythical creature known as the Banshee. More news on that later in 2018, but for now here's a little more info about Clare, her work and where you can find her online.

Clare Foley is a Dublin-based illustrator and comic creator. She released her first comic, ‘La Grande Bretêche’ in 2016, followed by 'Frozen Waste' (written by Aaron Fever) in 2017. 

Her illustrations have been published on several websites (Headstuff, ICN, The Fem), and her illustration from the ‘Mine Anthology’ in 2017 was featured in The Irish Times. She was awarded 'Best Artist Published in Ireland' in the Irish Comic News Awards 2017. She works in traditional media, using watercolour and pencil, sometimes accompanied by hand-lettering.

Her comics are for sale in stores across Ireland and the UK.

For now please join the whole Rogue family in welcoming Clare to Rogue Comics.

Rogue Sightings for 2018

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Howdy Folks

Welcome to the new and shiny Rogue Comics Ireland website. We hope to keep the site up to date with Rogue Comics news and announcements, which will include Book launches, Convention schedules and pretty much anything Rogue related that we think  you lovely people want to know. 

We have busy year ahead of us in 2018. We are kicking it off with the launch of Colm Griffin's Ocean City at Forbidden Planet Dublin on March 7th. This is a joint launch alongside the launch of IDW's book The Spider King with the books artist Simone D’Armini. It promises to be a great evening, so we hope to see you there.