Our 2022 in Numbers

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.

Event Spaces

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.

Happy holidays,

Paul, Gareth and Gary

The Zine Scene

Dublin Comic Con is this weekend, and Limit Break Comics has been busy behind the scenes working on a new addition to our convention circuit: zines!

What’s a Zine?

The word ‘zine’ is an abbreviation of ‘magazine’, but that’s about as far as the connection goes. Zines are one-topic publications, sometimes hand-made, other times printed and bound professionally, sometimes a mix of professional printing with a hand-made finish. In our case, we went to our trusty printers with four zines, created by Paul Carroll and Gary Moloney, with design work by Paul, and a cover by Gareth Luby. (You’ll know it when you see it!)

How to Thrive & Survive in a Horror Movie

Paul’s a big horror fan, binging franchises in his spare time, writing horror stories for comics and prose, and generally diving into the spookiness of Halloween as soon as possible. In How to Thrive & Survive in a Horror Movie, Paul shares the rules of the Scream franchise with additional commentary.

The zine is meant to be a fun collection of the many rules the characters in the franchise must remember to survive – provided they have a horror expert to explain the rules first!

The Daredevil’s Advocate

Cover by Gareth Luby

When Paul and Gary first started talking about the zines, the first one on Gary’s line-up was a zine adaptation of his article The Daredevil’s Advocate. The conversation quickly turned to asking Gareth to draw the cover.

Gary takes a hard look at Charles Soule’s Daredevil: Supreme, its place in the series and how it addresses the law. One part academic, one part entertainment, The Daredevil’s Advocate is for fans of comics who like to read a little bit into the subject matter.

What’s It Like Being a Twin?

If you didn’t already know – and you will when it comes to Dublin Comic Con, at least! – Paul’s a twin. His identical twin brother, Conor, is an artist in the convention scene in Ireland. And they’re always asked one question: What’s it like being a twin?

This zine is designed to answer that question, and address the many other questions and topics that come up as a result of having an identical twin brother. It also features a centerfold of the dumbest question they have ever been asked. More than once. By several people.

A Novel Murder

To round off the first wave of zines from Limit Break Comics, we have a prose story from Gary Moloney. A Novel Murder is accompanied by some work by Paul to create a designed narrative approach to the story.

Interspersed throughout the zine are pull-quotes with a punch, looming steadily closer to the reader as the story progresses. We’re keeping the details of the mystery hidden, though – you’ll have to pick up the story to find out what happened!

Where Can You Get One?

Our magazine rack has seen better days, but it’s still perfect for housing our new line of titles alongside Paul’s enamel pin collection – before either one grows, that is. The first set will launch at Dublin Comic Con on Saturday and Sunday, August 6th and 7th 2022. We’re in the Artist Alley on the First Floor, tables AA15 and AA16.

Come say hi! And if you like our zines, let us know if we should make more!