Once upon a time, before the founding of Limit Break Comics, there was an event. Specifically, the 2017 Small Press Day celebrations organised by Forbidden Planet Dublin. At that time, Paul and Gareth were working together on a few little Meouch projects under a different label, with the first zine – How to Live With Your Cat (When Your Cat is an Internationally Renowned Assassin) – launching on Small Press Day. It was before Paul’s first Dublin Comic Con behind a table, before any grand notions of publishing several books a year, and before the Irish comic community really found its place in the wider world. (A lot changed very quickly on that front.)
Just before that 2017 event, an article popped up online. Why the Comics Industry Needs Small Press Day. It got a lot of people talking, not least because the writer was Irish, and highlighted the Irish event on a US-run site. When said writer showed up on the day, there was an easy talking point already established, one that led to post-Small Press Day drinks.
If you haven’t already clicked the link to the article, that writer was Gary Moloney.
Over the next 12 months, the three founding members of Limit Break Comics would find themselves talking more, working together in different ways (Gareth literally helped Paul get a real Grown Up Job when he was out of work), attending events together (like the Cork Comics Expo in April 2018) before finally figuring out a name for their little collective.
On Small Press Day 2018, Limit Break Comics officially launched with its two debut titles: Mixtape and Life & Death.
Four years later, we’ve had: four successful Kickstarters (including two mammoth successes), multiple anthology appearances, one change of country (we miss you Gareth!), one addition to the team (hi Seamus!) and one new-born (Baby Moloney), along with job changes, exam successes, convention staffing, the founding of a webcomics platform, a viral spreadsheet tweet, and the small matter of a global pandemic.
With all these changes, the 2022 Small Press Day event in-store at Forbidden Planet Dublin was slightly reduced in scale for the LB team (and generally speaking!)
Paul Carroll represented the team in-store, alongside Leeann Hamilton, Clare Foley, Hugh Madden and Barry O’Sullivan. Even with the limited LB space, thanks to the shape of our projects, every single artist at that table had been published in at least one book under the label.
Leeann appears in both Plexus #2 and Turning Roads (with Kerrie Smith). Clare was part of both of our debut titles, Mixtape and Life & Death, as well as working with Emmet O’Brien on a story for Turning Roads. Hugh Madden worked with Hugo Boylan on a story for Turning Roads, while Barry O’Sullivan was one of the artists in Plexus #2. The number of creators in Ireland that Limit Break worked with is enormous, so it’s easy to accidentally load an event with people in our books.
With limited space for each creator, the Limit Break titles made available for Small Press Day 2022 were: Plexus #2, Limit Break Presents #1 (to get something by Seamus in there!), Lens (since Gary couldn’t attend) and Turning Roads (the book that most people know us for.)
It took some effort, but we managed to get a selfie. (The problem was getting Hugh to walk the six foot to be in frame.)
So much of our history is embedded in Small Press Day. We’re delighted every time we get to attend an event. With some luck, Paul and Barry will be able to team up again next year to make the day even bigger.
And, we suppose, we should probably get some new button badges for that event to celebrate our fifth birthday.
Thanks again to Forbidden Planet Dublin for organising and hosting Small Press Day. The Irish comic community needs events like this to continually remind the public that yes, we exist, and yes, the books that are put out by the dozens of creators around the country are as worthy of your time as those from distributed labels. And hey, we want people to support our friends.
See y’all at the next event – the Dublin Comic Arts Festival, September 10th-11th in Richmond Barracks. For now, we’re only tabling on the 10th. Come say hi!