Saltire: Ionnsaigh, The First Scottish Language Graphic Novel

The Gaelic Chieftain, Maurice Harron

A quick break away from politics with news of the release of Saltire: Ionnsaigh, the first graphic novel in the Scottish (Gaelic) language, which is due to be launched at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August. From a report by the Stornoway Gazette: “The first in a series centring round Scotland’s first comic book superhero, the dark … Continue reading

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Atmo-Craft, Colin Wilson

During a quick discussion over on CLR in relation to Joss Whedon’s short-lived Sci-Fi series “Firefly” I was reminded of the New Zealand comics’ artist Colin Wilson and the incredibly realistic hardware illustrations he produced in the early 1980s for “Rogue Trooper”, 2000AD’s future war series. Some of the best – and most convincing – designs … Continue reading

The Forge In The Forest, Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a British artist whose distinctive, sometimes surreal style will be familiar to many readers of Fantasy and fantasy-tinged Science-fiction even if his name is not so much. Since the late 1970s his exquisite illustrations, executed most frequently in pen and ink, have graced the covers of countless publications, notably the Fighting Fantasy and … Continue reading

Sladmhargadh, Karl Uhlemann

I’ve written before about my love of vintage book covers, especially those to be found in the genre fields of Science-Fiction and Fantasy (see my posts on Bruce Pennington as well as Chris Achilléos). So here is a wonderful in-your-face example from the mid-20th century Irish artist and designer Karl Uhlemann who illustrated some of Ireland’s best-known … Continue reading

That Alan Moore Interview

The Ard Rí of Irish Sci-Fi and Fantasy fandom, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, has managed to secure a lengthy Q&A with the elusive and frankly legendary British comics writer Alan Moore over on his Slovobooks blog. Even more impressively it has been highlighted by Britain’s Guardian newspaper and others which has probably sent his stats meter … Continue reading

From The New Sun To Dune, Bruce Pennington

Following the positive reaction to my brief post highlighting the career of the British illustrator Bruce Pennington (notably his artwork for the 1980 book cover of Gene Wolfe’s classic science-fantasy publication “The Shadow of the Torturer”) I thought I’d feature a few more of his best regarded images. These include two more wraparound illustrations for … Continue reading

Raven, Swordmistress Of Chaos, Chris Achilléos

Chris Achilléos is a Cypriot-born British artist who came to prominence in the 1970s and ‘80s with illustrations for a large number of books and magazines in the Fantasy and Sword ‘n’ Sorcery genres. Instantly recognisable for his exquisitely rendered female figures, invariably beautiful, frequently belligerent, he became widely known amongst fans through several best-selling … Continue reading

Death Dealer, Frank Frazetta

The name of Frank Frazetta will conjure up for many some of the most luscious and artistically accomplished Fantasy art to have been produced over the last 60 years. From the 1950s to the early ‘90s the American artist established his fame with a host of covers for books, magazines and comics not to mention … Continue reading

The Shadow Of The Torturer, Bruce Pennington

For lovers of science-fiction and fantasy book art from the 1970s and ’80s the name of Bruce Pennington looms large. He is indelibly associated with some of the greatest writers of the era, his baroque images gracing the covers of such diverse publications as Frank Herbert’s “Dune” or Harry Harrison’s ” Stainless Steel Rat”. However for … Continue reading

Death Of The Irish Harp

For those interested in the psychology of art symbolism there is a great study by Mary Louise O’Donnell, of the University of Limerick, examining the slow dilution of the Irish Harp as the recognised emblem of the modern nation-state of Ireland. In particular since the sudden growth and equally sudden demise of the country’s so-called … Continue reading

Albert Robida, Fantastic Futurist

The artist Albert Robida is one of my favourite writer-illustrators from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, not least for his fantastical vision of a future Europe represented in a trilogy of “scientific romances” called Le Vingtième Siècle (1883), La Guerre au vingtième siècle (1887) and Le Vingtième siècle – La vie électrique (1890). … Continue reading

Imram 2012, Leonard Cohen And More

Today’s Irish Times has a lengthy examination by Úna Mullally of the Irish arts scene that is well worth reading: “Imram, the Irish-Language Literature Festival takes place from October 11th to the 20th, and offers a dynamic programme. There are familiar names participating: Louis de Paor, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Micheál Ó Conghaile. And there are … Continue reading

Swords? Check. Boobs? Check. Giant Gun-Toting Alien Lizards? Check!

I love book covers, as some of you may know (pop over here to see why). I especially love what some pseudo-intellectuals pigeon-hole as “genre” fiction. That’s Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror to you and me (though a lot of other stuff is lumped in there too). The wonderful website, “Good Show, Sir”, collects some of the best … Continue reading

The Vandalism Of The Lia Fáil

I didn’t get a chance to post on this last week but the Lia Fáil or Stone of Destiny at Teamhair, the Hill of Tara, was severely damaged in an attack by at least one person armed with a large hammer in the days leading up to the 13th of June 2012. Eleven blows were … Continue reading

Come Here To Me!

Two great posts from the always interesting Come Here To Me! blog in their Statues of Dublin series: The Phibsborough Volunteer and Constance Markiewicz and Poppet. Also have a look at their Lanes of Dublin series. It’s far better than it sounds!

Some Classic Irish Language Book Covers

I love books, especially old books (much to the detriment of my bank account). I’ve managed to gather a wide and varied collection of my own, from 19th century Fenian memoirs to mid-20th century Sci-Fi pulps, and lately I’ve started looking around for more Irish language publications (particularly the various Seanchló editions). Happily one can often combine … Continue reading

The Contrasting Fortunes Of Gaelic Scotland And Gaelic Ireland

Scotland is to create its first Scottish-speaking museum, one primarily dedicated to its native language and culture. From Culture24: “The first museum in the UK to use Gaelic as its first language is to open on the Isle of Lewis. The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced that it is investing £4.6 million in a new museum … Continue reading

Cearta Teanga, Cearta Daonna – Draft Poster

There are some striking images emerging from the Occupy movements in the United States and Spain, particularly the comic and manga-inspired illustrations from Oakland, so I’d thought I’d experiment with some adaptations for the Irish-speaking community and our own struggle for equality. This is a simple first draft to see what people think, in a big old gif format. … Continue reading

Imre Makovecz – A Loss To Architecture And Design

Just a few weeks ago I wrote about my love for the works of the little known Hungarian architect Imre Makovecz so it is with deep sadness that I learned of his passing this week. A Guardian obituary tells most of his life story and why he was so important: “The Hungarian architect Imre Makovecz has died … Continue reading

In Praise Of The Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin

Journalist Fionntán Ó Tuathail Fintan O’Toole writes a lengthy piece celebrating the award-winning architecture of the Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin in Doire (Derry), the heart of the city’s Irish language community. ‘MODESTY AND restraint are not the virtues one associates with Irish culture in the Celtic Tiger years. But one of the finest pieces of contemporary Irish design is … Continue reading

Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru – Oireachtas Náisiúnta na Breataine Bige

The people of Wales have been marking the celebration of their native language and culture in this year’s Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru or the National Eisteddfod of Wales. For the last week festivities focusing on literature, poetry, art and music have been held in Wrecsam (Wrexham) with nearly 150,000 people in attendance. As the BBC reports: ‘Organisers of the National Eisteddfod … Continue reading

Imre Makovecz And The Wonders of Organic Architecture

One of my favourite architects is also one of Europe’s least known, Hungary’s Imre Makovecz, a proponent of organic architecture who has created some of the most distinctive, beautiful and humanistic buildings to be found anywhere in the world. An article in the Guardian from 2004 gives an excellent summation: ‘Makovecz, born in 1935 and educated in Budapest, was himself imprisoned at the time of … Continue reading

Chris Foss

The Guardian features a piece on legendary Science-Fiction artist Chris Foss, whose work illustrated some of the best SF book covers of the 1970s and ’80s (most of which are still dotted around my bookshelves). Here is a link to the fantastic official site too.

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014