With just a few short days to go before Big Ol’ Santa Day (Christmas, in some cultures), we’ve taken a look back at the work we’ve put out this year, and broken it down for some clarity and a little pat on the back. This is:
For some context, before we get into the nitty gritty, Limit Break Comics was set up in 2018, with its official launch as a collective at the Small Press Day celebrations in Dublin. Four and a half years into our little creative endeavour, which began with two collections of four-page comics, we’ve been through:
- A global pandemic
- A country change for one member
- Fatherhood for another
- Two jobs losses for the third
- Bar exams
- Broken bones
Just some hurdles. Aside from the pandemic and the Bar exams, the rest are quite ordinary occurrences, and everyone usually goes through one or another. The main thing for us was that through it all, we stuck together. So, let’s start with the small numbers first: the number of books published.
Books to Print
The small blessing of the pandemic was that it really makes our 2022 look exceptionally busy. As a group, we published:
- Five new books, including three new titles
- Four zines from two creators
It may not look like a lot, but given this is more of an expensive hobby than anything else at the moment, we’ll take it!
March 2022 allowed us to launch Meouch #2 and Plexus #2, alongside the first issues of Limit Break Presents and Old Game Plus, two new short story series. LBP is our way of showcasing the work by the creators in the group, while OGP is Seamus Kavanagh’s debut with Limit Break Comics. Joining them, collected in print for the first time, is the first Lens book, by Gary Moloney and Raquel Kusiak (edited by Claire Napier.)
Those five new books were launched alongside Turning Roads’ first big Irish show.
Fast forward five months later, Paul and Gary put together a collection of zines to launch at the big summer show. Taking breaks is for suckers.
Then, to close the year, we launched Down Below, the first book that contains stories worked on by Paul, Gareth and Gary. It took a while.
Launching books requires events. Mostly.
We’re not ones to shy away from a public gathering, so long as we get to hide behind the table whenever the crowds get too big. In 2022, we took to the road – and to the skies – to attend ten events in Ireland and the UK.
Included in the line-up were two new events for us – Glasgow Comic Con (with IrishComics.ie) and Offaly Libraries Comic Con – as well as a return to some of our favourites, like DCAF, Octocon and Thought Bubble.
Getting to mingle with readers and other creators is always a special experience, and the events that allow us to do so are always memorable.
We even got to take part in some programming at Dublin Comic Con in August and Octocon in October! More of that, please!
Telling a story… or a few dozen
In our first two calendar years – 2018 and 2019, before the world ended – we published 14 stories between 3 and 20 pages in length.
In 2021, we published just one new book: Turning Roads, with 18 short stories inside.
Not one to be outdone by ourselves, in 2022 the collective published 36 stories between 4 and 30 pages in length.
Between them, it’s 210 pages of comics. Not too shabby, if we do say so ourselves!
Meet the Creators
Aside from the number of pages we’ve put in print, no other number really explains what we do more than the number of creators who’ve been published under our banner this year. Granted, a lot of this from work included in Down Below, which does its best to bolster the other numbers in its own way. But still, including the founding members and the friends we’ve picked up along the way…
In 2022 we worked with 66 artists, writers and letterers (including colourists and editors and cover designers and… well, you can see why we stopped at those three words that sum up the work of comics succinctly.)
Not included in that count is our amazing printer for Down Below and Turning Roads, without whom the work of producing books of that scale would be impossible. Thank you Rich from Comic Printing UK, and we’re sorry about your floor. (But also, we’re going to order more books next year…)
Here’s to 2023
In case you missed it – even though we were really loud about it – we’re already looking forward to publishing Fractured Realms in 2023. This will be our third Myth Anthology, and promises to be even bigger than Down Below.
Paul was one of the lucky ones (okay, people have told him he has to stop saying lucky, because he’s worked hard at this stuff) to receive the Literature Project Award from the Arts Council. As part of that, one anthology and two graphic novels will be produced in 2023, with an aim towards launching them at the end of the year. We’ll have more news on the other books as the year unfolds, when we can reasonably estimate whether they’ll make it across the line according to schedule. (Life happens, and the artists don’t do this full-time, so we won’t be throwing them under the bus by promising anything before they’re ready!)
We’ll be back in January, properly, but you can always catch us on social media where we’ll be working towards helping folks team up for Fractured Realms ahead of its end-of-January pitch submission deadline.
Paul, Gareth and Gary