a writer who draws

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If my facebook is the motorway of social media, my livejournal is a country lane of tea parties, with the twitter feeds on here the cars buzzing when the ferry comes into harbour.

Hala Gulah Drinks
I applied for the Creative Writing Masters at QUB. Summarizing why they've rejected me: I have my own writing style that caps reader's assumptions, I'd require teaching, and I love writing. That's not very helpful! The Strange assures me the students they're looking for aren't people who want to write as a career, just simply want the recognition of other academics.

Still, the selling your work component is part of what they're offering. So, rather than gather £4,400 for a Masters at Queens Uni, I'm taking Creative Writing Level 3, which is about £95-£145 at South Eastern Regional College, if it's running this year. It covers a lot of assignment-related stuff. There's also one on e-books, and feature writing for publication. And if it's been cut because they can't fill classes, I'll take the Level 2 at Belfast Metropolitan, which is £30 cheaper. For a year's worth of tutorials it's brilliant.

Now, what the hell is Livejournal doing greeting me with a main page that says an MTV blog is it's most popular? (185 comments) As Ian the milkman used to say, "there'll have to be changes made".

More Rathlin snaps:


Rathlin Again
Hala Gulah Drinks
So I have this character. She signs on the dole and is frustrated at not being legally allowed more than two days of holiday a year. So she creates a character, and he decides to book a weekend on Rathlin Island. It's a small spot off sandy Antrim Coast, joined by a thirty minute ferry. There's a population of 106, and there's a once-removed nature about it. In the summer, it's paradise, and the people know what they have. They're protective, yet welcoming. You can walk the hill trails, meet loughs, and forests and lighthouses, spot seals, rare hares, birds. Much of the communal activity takes place around the bar by the harbour. The first hostel opened on the island earlier this year. The character added days to either side of the trip, until it became a week. Apparently July 13-20 was festival week, with a comedy night before featuring great comedians such as Sean Hegarty.

The character my character was writing about took lots of photographs.


The character found it difficult to knuckle down and write stories. The location has it's limits that somehow make it seem...unlimited, a resonating freedom through time. One day though, he bashed out 30,000 words. Knackered, he slept, then took to the bar for a celebratory swill. That night, he met more sailors, these from a sailing school that take beginners up on long-haul cruises. As he told them he was a writer, they pitched to him a free course sail around Ireland and Scotland in exchange for promotional writing based on his experience. As he was working on a book about sailing and had no experience, this appealed to him. He thought about it, and when he got home, requested a voluntary work form.

Video: Sean Hegarty's stand-up
Audio: Warren Ellis on beer and the Garth Ennis Stag Party

Cry Troll Ain't No Poetry
Hala Gulah Drinks
My name is not Heironymous
Nor Anonymous or Ominous
Psuedonymous, Marlo Stanfield or Spartacus

My name is Laboured Contribution
Larry Opinions Inclusion
Institution, hub, station
Deleted, save the next generation
Same named (no relation)

A lesser spotted name is a bigger opportunity
Gagged name gives the foundation to a bully
Making a victim is so very poor
More important times, social enterpreur

How can Basil Brush
Be in two places at once
Panto Belfast and Plymouth

My name is Bradycneme Wannanosaurus
And as I told Slim Shady, I think they saw us
In the dreams of guinea pigs with VTOL jet-pack
We appeared as contestants on Blankety Blank

Thousands of readers yet it's no one's land
China was built with worker's hands
It takes more time to delete than to move forward
And I've got a toblerone the size of concorde

Dean Lawrence and the credits of The Tomorrow People
From the seventies not the nineties; that one was feeble
Roland Barthes is laughing in the bath
Don't put your cypher-links out in the trash

If you're going to be a bard
Be a lively Kingdom Brunel, Isambard
And remember the vital truth about being a gatekeeper,
He was a bad guy in Ghostbusters.

Had to disable comments on LJ because of the high amount of spam. Sorry. It's on Facebook if you'd like to comment.

TitanCon 2012
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(I'd this all edited before I realised it was outside an lj-cut, and the html always backfires on me. Sorry.)

I was very honoured to be asked back to TitanCon this year, along with my colleagues Patrick Brown, PJ Holden and Irish writers Iain MacDonald, Peadar O’Guilin (peadarog), and select others. As I crossed Belfast for Culture Night it was the launch party at McHughs that brought me the most joy as Art Parkinson (young Rickon Stark) took some time out before his Saturday shoot to handle the crowds, and a bewildered Miltos Yeromelou (Syrio the sword tutor) stumbled on stage straight in from the airport. Chick tracts warning of the coming of Cthulu also circulated.

On the Saturday morning, I was ushered on stage with other far more recognised creatives, like the assembled Game of Thrones actors. Spence and David Crawford’s talk on screen-writing detailed the breaking of story into beats, a trick I used in my section on explaining how this translated to comix narrative snapshots. There were technical problems, and I spent a bit too much time on self-publishing and creator’s rights over the mechanics of creating comics at high-speeed. The small group of participant-creators involved in The Magnificent One Day Comic Book Factory was about eight, including Holden and Brown. Nevertheless, fun was had. The rules were bent to allow some extra time, and some more than a page, but it worked out so that I’d a finished print run of twelve page comics ready by 3pm.

I'll be posting comics by Dawn Lennox (Belfast) and Norma Thierfelder (in Germany) on IrishComicNews next week. In the meantime, you can also view Patrick Brown’s bit at his website and Paul J. Holden's contribution snapped for his Twitter feed.

I’d under-estimated not the workload, but my own mentalism in proposing such a task. It meant I spent much of the event alone, but could at times make out the panel discussions. There was a good one hosted by Peadar and involving storyboard artist Guest A (), Gues B (()m and storyboard artist Will Simpson (as himself). I took the twenty-five copies to the dealer’s room where the atmosphere was…church-like. The visitors were few and far between. Paddy Brown had one sale, and Holden had gone home.

Many conventions I’ve paid into (and attended for free) stick dealers in a room all by themselves. If dealers are bothering to pay –to-display in excess of an entrance charge, they’re financially supporting the event, so why bother cordoning them off? Noise during panels is often the answer given, but a vacancy of trade makes the experience for many an alone-in-a-crowd event. The simple answer would be to spread dealers out. Give them the choice of sitting in a room with panels and workshops – spell it out. Dealers can be part of an agreement that during panels and talks is quiet time, and dealers that want to express themselves more audibly are set up by bars and socialising areas. I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around con organisers who don’t adopt this policy. Socialist booksellers can manage this, so any-one can. And if there’s not enough room, combine, and work in shifts.

Ahem. Anyway when I got back from discovering Jesus I found Paddy had taken the comics around the very bored dealers, told them a sale would raise money for Action Cancer and gotten rid of most of them. Minus contributor freebies, 17 went out, raising £18 in twenty minutes and another £7 in the next twenty. If we do this at TitanCon next year, I’ll be negotiating with a copy-shop to achieve something with a print run of 100. (I hope to be running the Factory again at the University of Galway’s Comics West in February, and photocopiers are on hand)

The evening disco was my chance to get drunk, chat up a lady, and dance like a mentalist gentleman of grace and refinery. Unfortunately the DJ was at odds with the audience until the final half hour when it all clicked into place. Promethean Tarantino soundtracks sparkled us, side-splitting Wuthering Heights pirouettes sprang and total shamanic rituals became in our union.

The next day was the TitanCon Game of Thrones coach tour. Although only it’s second year, it now occupies a prestigious infamy. It reminded many of us that we should get out of the city more often, for we live in an incredibly beautiful place. Anyway, I took way too many photos and I’ve included a selection of them here so neither of us needs to spend more time than needs be on this. The day ended with a cracker bit of sword-fighting, which we were encouraged to gamble on to get first to the dinner table. Peadar was very smart, backing all four of the fighters, and I was even smarter because I let Peadar come up with the great idea, and copied him. Then we went and ate lots of meat and got our bellies full, drunk on wine and had some whores. Sorry, I meant Milky Ways. Thanks to Bruce, Ian, Phil, Doreen and everyone who showed up to make it a weekend to remember. I hope they’ll ask me back next year.

ps And while I'm on about Game of Thrones, The Simpsons did a take on it recently. I nearly peed. 

I'm doing most of my blog posting on andy-luke.com nowadays, and there’s also my in-depth bit on Trinity’s Grant Morrison academic conference up on Irish Comic News.

Hold The Phones: The Collection, now on MyeBook
Hold the Phones It's Alex Jones
Follow the father of 911 Truth as he travels in time through American history, faces vaccination and innoculation, resists the attempts of big media to hypnotise his kids and join him. See him advertise water filters and gold seeds, fight enemies foreign and domestic. Witness his trip with David Icke, George Noory, Jim Tucker and Gerald Celente as they cross seven continents. 

"I've read a few Hold The Phones online and found them agreeably demented; but with any inherent merit to the theories lost in a hilariously realised characterisation of the Jones fellow, it was difficult to view the strips as anything other than an absolute hoot of a reality sitcom."
      - John Robbins

A bumper 44 pages of conspiracy action! Co-created by Andy Luke and Professor Octagon, with Geoffrey D. Wessel, Benjamin (benchilada) STone, Bisson and Sean Duffield.

Click on the text above for the online shop and preview. Print copies are also available by Paypalling me £4 & £1 for overseas postage. I may be doing a few more UK comix festivals this year if you'd prefer to wait.

Learn the truth!

sp act hero movie
If you're not already aware I've been performing my first arts residency. The gallery, Belfast's Arts and Disability Forum, are showing my three 24 hour comics. This is the spot for 'In Time', which also sees a clever experiment were I create comics for six weeks without any sleep. Four weeks in and I can now camouflage myself against walls, turn my facial hair into a cat's plaything and phase through walls, such as gravity*.

I've been making news turn into comics - today's is mainly about the art cuts in Belfast, and I'm also happy with the Eastenders story.

NewsZoom runs Tuesdays and Thursdays and usually appears at newszoom.org and adf.ie

The Adf is based at 109-113 Royal Avenue in Belfast. It's opposite the Bank of Ireland that the Occupy group liberated. Gosh, that was fun. Do you know I built an aerial runway between the two? I made a safety parachute out of copies of the i.
I'll be there til March 15th if you can recommend it to anyone in the area.

*I'm fine really. Sleeping well. I just seem to have a latent drama queen busting out.

About to DJ on the radio NotSureIfSFW
sp act hero movie
I'll be on Catalyst Arts' internet radio station WAB FM from 3:30-5:00pm UK Time.

It's probably going to get a bit surreal.

WAB Fm community on Facebook

Listen Now Link

Catalyst arts website

The Invisible Artist? (2011)
sp act hero movie

The Invisible Artist from Northern Visions/NvTv on Vimeo.

Running time:35m

The comic booklet: once a mass market media form, it has all but disappeared from our shelves in the last twenty years. This film explores the hidden heritage of Belfast-centric cartooning that goes back centuries. More recently the vibrant underground publishing scene here, from The Belfast People's Comic (1977) to The Cattle Raid of Cooley (2011), has begun to attract attention from establishment arts bodies. We look at the stories of committed creators in this black sheep media and how they have informed our contemporary culture.

The Invisible Artist was written by myself and filmed and edited by Carl Boyle of Greater Belfast community group Northern Visions TV. Once a training ground for Channel 4 film-makers, NVTV is free-to-view, and hosts it's programmes on Channel 62/799.276MHz in Belfast, with a weekly and omnibus edition, before joining the archive screenings looped rotation. Shows also appear online in the months after airing. NVTV are hoping to raise their broadcasts to appear on Freeview next year. This film was originally screened on 7 November at 4:30pm, and again on 12th, at approximately 12:30.

I'm indebted to Carl Boyle for stepping in to cover the editing and production when my workload became too heavy to cope. The documentary was shot in a short space of time in early 2011 and captures the vibrancy of the time. In many ways, The Invisible Artist? is also the story of Davy Francis, a man at the crossroads of four decades of comics creation in Belfast. I'd like to thank Carl, Davy, Paddy Brown, PJ Holden (who called by at the last minute to help out), and everyone who gave their time to make this film happen.

Linked from NVTV on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/34794274

2011 Appearances
sp act hero movie
My bio, reviews, comics and essays are mostly linked to on my profile page

The Black Panel at the Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast, Second Sundays of each month, 12-5pm (UNDER NEGOTIATION FROM AUGUST)

Belfast Comics Pub Meet, The Cloth Ear, Merchant Hotel, Waring Street, Belfast, First Thursday of the month, 9-11pm 

Hold the Phones, It's Alex Jones! With Professor Octagon and benchilada , Autumn 2010 and Autumn 2011

Don't Get Lost: A 24 Hour Comic, Autumn 2010

Catalyst Arts Comics Festival - Late April, Early May 2011

Absence - Mark 2 released around Northern Ireland, drawn by Stephen Downey - April 2011

2D Comics Festival - Verbal Arts Centre and Sandinos, Derry, 3-5th June 2011

Austerity Caption 2011 - Alternative Methods of Funding and Production Mega-Panel.with Charles CuttingMatt Dyson and Deirdre Ruane, 6-7th August, East Oxford Community Centre, Cowley Rd, Oxford

Ballymena Waterstones Comic Book Night - Panel and Presentation with Paddy Brown and Stephen Downey

Comics Barcamp Belfast, Blick Studios, 51 Malone Rd,- Saturday 3rd September, 9am-6pm

Event Venue TBA involving Belfast Culture Night - Friday 23 September 

Guest at TitanCon, Europa Exhibition Centre, Belfast (Workshop with Will Simpson and Paddy Brown) - Sat 24 September, 

Talk and Presentation at UnLtd Awards Day, Linenhall Library, Belfast - Wednesday 28 September

Airing November - The Invisible Artist?, a documentary about the Belfast Comix scene in association with NVTV

November 12- Guest at ComicsWest, Galway University Comic Book Society Convention http://www.irishcomicnews.com/event-comics-west-nui-galway-12-november/

Download my Creative CV here

Meet some o'my friends,

Matt Badham loves and writes about comics
Oli writes about himself, well.
Jackfirecat is a poet and photographer
Jeremy Day is very wise and a cartoonist.
Danny Pongo is an original storyteller supremo.
John Robbins is also quite wise, hard-working and uniquely funny. He makes stories too.
Ben STone is the Internet Monkey King.
Paddy Brown makes comics about the olden days in Ulster.
Lee Kennedy draws smashing portraits and dreams of movie stars

I'm currently looking for my next project. Contact via the CV above.

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