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From Small Press to Working With Publishers: Our DCC Panel

Despite a snowy start to the month of March 2024, Spring had finally started to set in and Dublin City Centre offered perfect conditions for Spring Dublin Comic Con on Saturday 9th March 2024. Limit Break Comics were tabling again and ran another panel featuring Irish Comic Creators on Saturday 9th March 2024. With the theme of From Small Press to working with Publishers, LB’s Seamus Kavanagh moderated a panel featuring Comic Book Colourist Chris O’Halloran, Comic Book Writer Gary Moloney and, for the second time on an LB Panel, Graphic Designer and Comic Book Letterer Alice Coleman. Alice, Chris and Gary all have professional bodies of work behind them and kindly shared insight into their journeys along with some tips throughout the panel.

Alice Coleman, Gary Moloney and Chris O’Halloran

The panel sought to understand what attracted these Creatives to their area of profession. Alice spoke about her enthusiasm for artwork from a young age and how she’d volunteer for School and local projects, seeking opportunity through which she could experiment with and learn from. From School events to indy music festivals, Alice sought out projects to work on which eventually provided her with a portfolio of projects to reference and draw from when seeking professional work. In addition to providing a creative outlet for Alice to grow her skillset, such an outgoing attitude repaid Alice when opportunities would come to her in the future, from people who had seen and remembered her artwork.

April 2024 will see Gary’s first comic book series published by Mad Cave Studios, When the Blood Has Dried. Through Limit Break Comics, Gary had self-published his own titles, all instigated, organised and funded by himself, since 2018. Gary spoke about how he was hungry for professional work and wanted to be ready for any opportunity. Working with Illustration Partner Daniel Romero Ulloa, a story outline was prepared along with a handful of sample pages of showcase the artwork, world and feel of their book. Gary submitted this to Mad Cave Studios via their Submission Portal, where it was positively reviewed and greenlit for full development.

Chris O’Halloran has a strong line of continuous work from leading Comic Book Publishers Image Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics and more. He’s coloured characters from the Hulk, Hellboy, Star Wars and a plethora of independent characters. Chris spoke about his work ethic and his self-discipline to not miss deadlines. He has managed to maintain a constructive work/life balance and credits this to his push to have a strong start to the working week, planning ahead for his workflow and going all-in with each task he starts. Distractions, bumps in the road do occur but a sample walk in the fresh air can do a lot to get the mind back on track.

We won’t feature all that was said as part of the panel but we do want to say that we feel this was among Limit Break’s best to date. We did ask the Panellists what their proudest work is to date and we want to include these here as they are a real success stories worth shouting about for Irish Creatives.

Alice spoke about her design work for The Watkins Book of English Folktales (Watkins, 2022), which not only featured a foreword and cover quote from Neil Gaiman, but Alice’s designed book is presently displayed at the Penguin Random House Headquarters in New York City. Furthermore, Alice’s has designed a cover for the book Evocation by S.T. Gibson, which will be published by Angry Robot in May of this year. Recently, a Waterstones special edition of the book sold out in three days and Alice was really proud to have been a part of something so treasured by book lovers.

Chris O’Halloran didn’t hesitate with mentioning the Image Comics Book Ice Cream Man, which has ran since 2018 and will soon see its 40th issue being published, which is a rare feat for modern comic books.

Gary of course looked ahead to 10th April 2024, which will see When the Blood Has Dried hit the shelves of comic book stores around the world.

The From Small Press to working with Publishers panel was Seamus’ 8th organised Dublin Comic Con panel and his fourth with Limit Break Comics. Within Limit Break, we do find these opportunities great ways to gain insight into the industry, grab some tips from fellow creators and above all, great really motivated to go back and make more comics to share and enjoy. We encourage budding Irish Comic Creators to join us for future such panels and look forward to seeing more Irish Comics and more success stories.

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