Just a few samples of artwork I’m currently working on for a new graphic series for Accent UK. The story opens in the Victorian era and subsequently moves to other time periods as our hero, Mr. Rook, The Shadowless Man is able to move through portals that take him to different realms and time periods.
Thing I enjoy the most is rising to the challenge of depicting characters in period dress. Below are some examples of individual figures. Real steampunk feel to this story from Dave West. Dave always weaves intricate patterns into his stories and this is no exception.
We are still working on Issue One at the moment, I’m hoping to finish it before the end of August 2016 (just included the year there to reassure Dave!).
Jackie Campbell (1925-2012) Crossing the line for The Oak Leaf Athletic Team at Ballyarnett, Derry circa, 1950.
Jackie Campbell & Oak Leaf Athletic Club
Formed during the dark days of the Second World War, the Oak Leaf Athletic Team dominated Irish running during the late forties and early fifties. This article looks back at a classic team and one distinguished member in particular, the late Jackie Campbell.
Jackie Campbell’s athletic career started during his school days in St. Edward’s College, Liverpool, where he put up the best junior performance by winning four events at the school sports. A few years later, having moved to Derry from Liverpool to avoid the German bombing, he set a record for the 800 meters at the Ulster Junior Track Championships in 1946, winning the 600 meters and the 880 yards senior titles.
The following year he represented Ulster against Connacht at Sligo winning the General O Duffy Cup. Speaking about his running days in 2011 Jackie reminisced,
“We used to play Gaelic games at Celtic Park until one day we decided to form an athletics club. The main founder was Frank Pimley, who was originally from Belfast.
Oak Leaf training at Celtic Park, Derry, 1948.
“When we started out we had no kit. So, Frank’s brother, who used to run the tennis courts near Celtic park, supplied us with black rugby jerseys. When we could finally afford running tops we kept the black colour with white shorts. It was a very recognisable strip.
“We ran under the auspices of the N.A.C.A. The National Athletics and Cycling Association. And, it wasn’t just runs at the racecourse at Ballyarnett. We traveled all over Ireland. We would go down to Dublin to attend inter-provincial meetings. There was the Lisburn Cup at Newry, which was run on Easter Sunday and we had some very unique events like the event run by Cardinal Dalton at Armagh. The medals for that event were unique. They were solid silver with the cardinal’s hat at the top, beautiful objects in their own right.
We would often attend meetings at Ballyarnett Racecourse running against teams like, City of Derry Harriers but unfortunately, facilities back then were nonexistent and it would not have been unusual to change in a field.”
Jackie also recalled the names of some of his former running colleagues, all champions and sadly, many now gone. We had Brendan Duddy and Brendan Dorrian (both run well-known businesses in Derry) Patsy Mc Crystal, brothers, John and Willy Carlin, Ernie Teasie and Billy Bryson, to name but a few. He remembered Brendan Duddy famously tried for both the junior and senior titles in one day! Jackie doesn’t remember if he got one or both but “he nearly died trying.”
When asked what he remembered most about running at the Ballyarnett Racecourse Jackie apparently smiled and reached for an old black and white photo. The striking image showed a young man, in a black top, arms outstretched, winning the 880 yrds. Jackie Campbell – A champion indeed.
Hi folks, new wee poem paying court to (in my humble opinion) the best blues guitarist of them all, Rory Gallagher. Having been reared in a militarized zone, in the middle of a war and having experienced the full-on demoralizing effect of the Northern Irish troubles through the 1970s, 80s and 90s this guy was one of the few bright lights in a very dark world. The fact he was Irish, the fact he was gifted and famous, the fact he was ours, meant a lot.
The poem is a tribute, not just to Rory himself, but also to his guitar, his battered, Fender Stratocaster. For those who don’t know the background, Rory’s guitar was as famous as he was, like the man, it was an individual one-off. It was a 1961 model, manufactured by the Fender company in the US, that had a sunburst finish when it left the factory in 1961. But, because Rory had a certain blood type, the sweat from his fingers was caustic and over time, most of the paint worn off, lending the guitar a unique worn, pitted, eroded look, once seen, never forgotten.
As well as his guitar, Rory also was usually bedecked in checkered shirts and denim, not because of any conscious “rock star” imaging but that was what he liked to wear the same as most of those who came to hear him. And, watching any of his live performances, the man always gave such a passionate performance when playing. For those not familiar with electric guitar jargon, Rory got his distinctive tone and sound from just one small effects pedal a thing called a, treble booster, that did just that, boosted the treble on his guitar sound. He was also known to use a Tube Screamer, yet another legendary effects pedal and his amplifier of choice was a Fender Twin Reverb. All those added up to a unique signature, as unique as the man himself.
Finally, I think, one of the saddest things I ever saw , was the image of Rory’s guitar entombed in a glass case, on show as some sort of curio, just the idea of the music created on that instrument having died along with its creator is difficult, but it is nice to see that a few other well known guitarists/fans like Joe Bonamassa, have freed that guitar from its slumber. Hope you enjoy the poem.
A Manchester-based podcast review of The graphic novel I did with Dave West and Accent UK. Some extracts and artwork from the book included above. The review is about 13-14 minutes into the podcast. The comic can be got at Accent Uk’s website Follow the link below for the podcast:
A Manchester-based podcast review of The graphic novel I did with Dave West and Accent UK. Some extracts and artwork from the book included below. The review is about 13-14 minutes into the podcast. Follow the link below:
These alternate mementoes/artist’s view of the troubles are currently on sale as A4 prints at Checkpoint Charlie in Waterloo Street in Derry. They represent a cultural, more abstract view of Derry’s recent troubled past. Since so many tourists are drawn here by that very thing, the aim is to give them a more relevant momento of their stay, something unique and relevant to their visit. These images also have poems attached to them. I’m hoping to publish these as part of my second collection of poems sometime soon. I’ve included the poems below as well as the image. Buzz Aldrin at Free Derry Corner As Armstrong and Aldrin bounced on the moon we battled in the Bogside, a giant leap backwards as the gravitational pull of reality barren as the moon above, dragged us back to Earth I sat, a boy, agog at the black and white flickering miracle on TV sat open-mouthed, clutching my model of Apollo watching grown men cry I bounced round the room with Neil and Buzz witness to history in the heavens while all around me, down on the ground deployments, walls and peace lines rose And now they come like Aldrin and Armstrong the ultimate tourists drawn to those walls posing for photos, smiling at the moon Recreational Rioting Oh for the days of the Derry dances With a hop and a skip And away we go King and country Versus chieftain and tribe Happy as Larry both full to the brim With a cracker skim of a stone And the resulting scatter, laugh and rally Oh for the boys of the King’s Own Lancers With an “Alright mate, up against the wall!” With a hop and a skip And away we go Remember the Alamo Davy and the boys A cracker film on BBC 2 Then onto the streets Out for a throw Here’s to the days of the Derry dances With a hop and a skip And away we go
Hi folks, looking for an alternative, creative, artistic Christmas Present for someone close? These posters are signed and are part of a limited edition of 100. They are available at both A4 size and A3 sized posters.
Unframed prices A4: £25 A3: £50
Framed: A4: £50, A3 £100
The prints will be on a heavy satin finish paper.
Just putting the finishing touches to a series of digital images, some old some new. I’m planning an exhibition of these later this year and plan to put out an alternative set of postcards/artworks that on the theme of images generated by memories of the troubles.
The images will be digital pieces, rendered in my comic book style and will feature Free Derry Corner, media icons, cultural juxtapositions designed to make the viewer look and think.
Look out for these hopefully I’ll get them into local tourist spots and The Museum of Free Derry and anywhere else I that will have them. Since so many tourists are drawn here by our troubled past the aim is to give them a more relevant momento of their stay, something unique and relevant to their visit.
The Grin, a six piece Celtic rock outfit, will shortly be releasing their first single an up-tempo reworking of the old folk standard, Nancy Whiskey and will be back on the road from May 2015
Formally known as Gravediggers Grin the band went off the road due the tragic death of their lead singer Paddy Concannon in February 2009. Formed in 1993, Gravediggers Grin were well known for their dynamic mix of original Thin Lizzy/Horslips/Pogues anthems. Paddy was also a former member of The Canadian based, Mahones now one of the world’s best known celtic rock bands.
The new line-up sees two founder members of the Gravediggers, brothers, Joe Campbell (lead guitar) and Dermot Campbell (bass) team up with derry drum legend, Mickey (Da) Feeny on drums. Also in the line-up is Grin veteran; singer, Dano Brown; guitarist, banjo mandolin player, Seamus Cradden and Virtuoso tin-whistle player; Geralt…