Talking comics in Dublin
We had a strong turnout at our second meeting on Wednesday, 11 September in the rooftop bar of the Odessa Club in Dublin. As people came huffing and puffing up the long flights of stairs Lynda and I were delighted to see some familiar faces, along with some new people, and those we’d met at Independents Day in June, and the Dublin Zine Fair in August.
Our three guests, Sarah Bracken, Paddy Lynch, and Arja Kajermo sat upon the red leather sofa, and did their presentations in turn. Paul Sheridan was our resident artist, and sat by the bar sketching throughout the evening. Following are Paul’s drawings of the meeting.
Sarah talked about her journey as an artist, her education – and disenchantment with her fine art degree – and her discovery of street art and zines. This led her into setting up the Dublin Zine Fair after the demise of a similar annual event, Summer Edition. She loves the physical task of creating art, and crafts – even the labour intensive system of hand-photocopying zines!
Paddy described his on-and-off again love of comics, how it developed from his teenaged years, through an interruption as he played as a musician in bands, and his return to it during his art degree. His main influences are from the alternative and indie scene, and his approach to art is still evolving since he finished his commercial work for Big Jim, and continues to experiment with style and subject matter.
Arja perched upon the armrest of the sofa while Lynda interviewed her, and I played through the slides of her work. A large section of the audience was unfamiliar with Arja’s work, even though she was a well-know figure in Irish cartooning in the 80s, so the slides of her cartoon strips were the first time any of them had seen her work. What was striking was that even though most of the pieces dated from the 1980s and 1990s they were still relevant to Irish political life today. She also showed some of her work on Tuula, which is her on-going cartoon strip in Sweden.
After Arja’s presentation we had a lively Questions and Answers session, along with a run-down of all the events going on in Ireland in the coming months. We also maintain a resources page on this web site with all that up-to-date information.
This time not only did author Catie Murphy bring along delicious home-baked triple chocolate cookies (nicknamed ‘Chocolate Migraine Cookies’), she also kindly loaned her striking red bowler hat for our donations.
Thanks again to everyone who came along, and to our fantastic guests for their time and offering us an insight into their work and artistic process.