Thursday, 25 November 2010

Happy Birthday and Christmas: The Black Panel is a bit like Jesus

The forthcoming Black Market (Dec 5th) and Black Books (Dec 19th) will mark the Black Panel's 1st anniversary at the stall. This is good. We should probably have a big bash with special guests. Of course, all our guests are special.

Here's a preview of what's coming through the doors and off the floors in 2011:

Deirdre Ruane
, author of Wasted Epiphanies, and the collection, One Word for Everything, is having a collection to fund a print run of a new 48-page comic. We plan to get some in. We've just sold out of Deirdre's work, so if you'd like a copy of Waiting for the Mothership that might arrive in time for Christmas you can secure one for £5 (or more) by visiting her project funder at Indiegogo. [LINK]

Monday, 22 November 2010

Christmas at the Black Box

Double event this time. The Black Market is, as ever, on the first Sunday of the month, which is 5 December. And, for one month only, Black Books, the specialist book market, returns on Sunday 19 December. Both at the Black Box on Hill Street from 12 to 5 pm. Visit the Belfast Comics Blog for more events of interest.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Almost a year!

While the Black Market continues at the 'Box, the final Irish comix stall is November 7th. We're likely to have a few new items from the upcoming 24 hour comics day. That date also marks the end of our first year running. Thanks to Trans, The Black Box, our great cartoonists and customers for making it a year to remember. Do join us for some birthday celebrations. You never know who might show up!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Chilli Fest.. Coming soon..

Wherein The Black Panel will blow your mind RED HOT. Click through above for more info.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

August 1st Black Market - Andy's Sale Starts Tomorrow!

I've not had a new booklet out since March and thought I should replenish my stock. However, the purchase of a dodgy printer cartridge means a lot of my stock has come out not as clear as I'd like it. The reproductions are readable, but more lo-fi than usual. To that end, tomorrow's Black Panel will feature a number of discounted works. Previously on sale in Belfast in short supply, each is printed on green, blue, pink or yellow paper. You will be able to pick up these comics for 50p or less!

Optimus and Me
14-year old Andy Luke returns from delivering the East Belfast Herald and Post to find his friend, the transforming leader of the heroic autobots waiting for a chat.

Crush (aka Transformers 2)
In the far-flung future, the Free Presbyterians are boycotting the cinema release of Transformers 2. In the past, the 18-year old Andy is in love for the first time. Faced with a rock, Optimus helps him find balance among his shaken beliefs, in a very special visit to Cybertron. This edition has a new final page which makes it's print debut.

The A-Team : Playing with a full Decker

Military Police Colonel Roderick Decker must catch the A-Team at all costs. His mother sees more important things in life, such as a balanced diet. Will Colonel Decker be able to find them? Will no-one else help?

Doors open 12pm-5pm: The Black Box, 18-22 Hill Street, Belfast BT1 2LA‎

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Black Books, 18 July 2010

It's Black Books this Sunday, and Andy and I will be there with our usual selection of the finest comics created in Ireland, north and south - plus two new ones!

One thing that comes up a lot is we don't have many comics for younger readers. Hopefully we can remedy that, as we now have the first three issues of The Wren, a teen superhero book by Jason Connor, Mark Kirwan and Phil Roe.

As well as that, we have the brand new third issue of my own iron age epic serial, The Cattle Raid of Cooley!

Hope to see yez all there!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Coming soon

Sunday 4 July: The Black Box, 12-5pm
Sunday 18 July: The Black Box, 12-5pm
Saturday 24 July: Temple Bar, Dublin, 12-5pm
Sunday 1 August: The Black Box, 12-5pm
Sunday 5 September: The Black Box, 12-5pm
Saturday 11 - Sunday 12 September: Chilli Fest, Black Market Marquee, times TBA.

To learn how we got on with our June dates, check the Black Panel Diaries tab at the top of the page.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Black Books this Sunday

Sunday 16 March is Black Books, the regular book fair at the Black Box. Starts at 12 lasts til 5, as usual. Andy and I will be there manning our stall as ever, and we will, post office willing, have a restock from Paddy Lynch, including his brand new comic Last Bus #2! He launched it at a big party in Dublin a couple of weeks ago - here's the graphic for it, which is the only online represantation of the book I've been able to find:

Last Bus#2

Paddy's a tremendous talent - I named his comic In the Aquarium one of the two best Irish comics of 2009 on Paul Gravett's blog. He has a marvellously loose, agitated line and his comics are contemporary character pieces for the most part, often quite dark, always very perceptive. He's also one half (with his partner Katie Blackwood) of micropublisher Cardboard Press, and one third, with Katie and fellow Black Panel stalwart Phil Barrett, of small press/artist's book promotion thing Edition Book Arts.

And speaking of Phil Barrett, Andy's done an interview with him over at his regular "Comicking" blog at Alltern8. Have a read and maybe find out why his books sell so well at The Black Panel!

We'll also have a special free preview issue of Róisín Dubh, a forthcoming horror comic set in 19th-century Ireland written by Rob Curley and Maura McHugh and drawn by Stephen Daly, which looks gorgeous:

Roisin Dubh

Coming soon...

There should be a piece in the Irish Times on Saturday about the comics scene in Ireland - I did a brief interview with the writer about The Black Panel and the Irish Comics wiki during the week.

The first weekend in June is the 2D Festival ("tuppence" as I like to call it, because I'm that old) in Derry-stroke-Londonderry. Free entry, lots of talented people attending, and a fun, family-friendly atmosphere - easily the most welcoming comics show I've ever been to. Guests that I'm excited about, according to the Facebook Group, include Pat Mills (Pat Mills!) and Colin MacNeill from 2000AD, and Emma Vieceli, who did "Violet" in The DFC.

Weekend after that is the Point Village Comics Festival in Dublin, a big market with loads of talented people shilling their wares, and presumably workshops and panel discussions and the usual kind of thing. Hilary Lawler of Longstone Comics is organising it and she's cool, so it'll be great.

And, at some unspecified point in the next few months, when it's finished... The Cattle Raid of Cooley issue 3!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Black Market, 2 May 2010

The next Black Market is coming up - but this one'll be a bit different. It's part of the Cathdral Quarter Arts Festival, and it'll be in the festival marquee in Custom House Square, not the Black Box. There'll be arts and crafts workshops, live music, guest DJs and freshly cooked food - follow this link to read more (and here's a load of photos of last year's event on Flickr, from which I've nicked the two photos below). The Black Panel will of course be there with our selection of self-published comics from the best writers and artists we know. See yez there.

There's a new Black Panel Diaries online as to what's coming up and how April went.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Black Books, 18 April 2010

This Sunday is Black Books day again, and Andy and I will be there as ever with the finest selection of comics by writers artists from both sides of the Irish border - including a few names new to us, but far from new to the Irish small press scene.

We have These City Walls, Bridgeen Gillespie's latest Mr. Maximo and Rabbit comic, exploring the history of the walls of Bridgeen's home city of Derry.

We also have a large selection of comics by Dublin writer Rob Curley, including his 50s crime/supernatural/Americana series Freakshow, featuring art by Stephen Thompson, Stephen Mooney, Declan Shalvey and Bob Byrne, and his superhero book Atomic Rocket Group 66, drawn by Will Sliney.
Also from Dublin is writer-artist Gerry Hunt, and we have his debut from 2003, a slice of inner city myth-making called In Dublin City.

We hope you'll come and sample our wares.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The stall keeps going from strength to strength. We've been joined at various markets by local self-publishing cartoonists Miguel Martin (The Weekly Woe), Stephen Maurice Graham (400 Facts), and Dale Mawhinney (Drawn Out), so there's a nice wee Belfast small press scene coming together.

At the next Black Books, we'll have some new additions. Already arrived is ...These City Walls..., the latest Mr Maximo and Rabbit comic by Bridgeen Gillespie, on the subject of the walls of Derry. We also hope to have a 10-page preview of Róisín Dubh, a forthcoming 19th century horror comic by Rob Curley, Maura McHugh and Stephen Daly (as well as some of Rob's other comics, like Freakshow).
If you have a comic you'd like us to stock, email me on

And finally, Tommie Kelly has asked me to pass on the following message:

"Looks like things over at Road Crew are speeding up. Not only has Tommie Kelly got his new Book collection NOTHING'S SHOCKING up for Pre-order from today but you can also pre-order Issue Two of the New Bi-monthly Road Crew comic FOR SALE! The Pre-orders are open for one week only and in this time you can a host of free bonus's including Ecomics, Music downloads, free miniposters and all books/comics come signed. Not One to be missed, especially as the VERY SPECIAL EDITION of Nothing's Shocking will only be available in this one week window. It contains ten extra pages, a variant cover and a nice big inked sketch from the author. You can get more details at"

Monday, 22 March 2010

Well, we had a livelier Black Books at the weekend, selling out of some more works by Phil Barrett and some of my own! It's nice to see the event pick up the same sort of pace the Black Market boasts.

There's a new page here. The Black Panel Diaries is a monthly feature, part of my column output for relaying my experiences at the Black Box. I provide some comics world context, and will write about something going on at the Black Market/Black Books which has nothing to do with comics.

There's no Black Market event in April and Black Books returns on Sunday 18th April. I've chosen this date to release the print version of 'Absence'. It's a 24 hour comic about my life living with epilepsy and local blogger Danny Pongo had this to say,

"Fantastic! A perfectly measured mix of poignancy, humour, and what i took most from it was its informative, educational aspects. should be essential reading for anyone coping with epilepsy, along with their loved ones, and makes for a far better more aunthentic experience than those dry boke NHS screeds you find." -

This is my 25th self-published comic book, so I hope to make it a bit of an event. Spread the word!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Black Books for March

Our next stall is at Black Books on 21 March - go join the Facebook Group. New to the stall will be two books by insane Dublin cartoonist and writer Archie Templar: From the Pants of Archie Templar, a collection of his comic strips (cover blow), and In Articulo Mortis, a collection of his illustrated short stories.

See yez all there I hope.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Black Market this Sunday

The Black Market is on again this Sunday, and it's even got a Facebook Group! Andy and I will of course be there with our stock (and we've just got a restock from one of our best-sellers, Phil Barrett, including the new-to-us Matter Summer Special from 2006, created when Phil was in Canada, and a new batch of the sold-out Black Shapes).

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Twice the frequency

On top of the Black Market on the first Sunday of every month, we'll also be setting up stall at Black Books, which went so well it's going monthly on the third Sunday of every month! So, see yez all on the 21st, Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast, 12-5pm, for another selection of the finest self-published and small press comics from all over Ireland. As our retailing hero and inspiration Jim Megaw would say, don't you miss it.

Friday, 5 February 2010

The Black Panel returns this Sunday 7th Feburary.

After the success of the Black Books event, we're lucky to have any Phil Barrett comics left I hear!

I'd like to tell you we'll also have a talking mussel in a vat, belly dancers and a troupe of swordfighters who at the end of their choreographed display will swallow their swords only to pull them out again in March. Well, I've told you that and if the cool new stock sells so well, it might happen.

A bit of background behind in setting up the Black Panel and our first experiences in this article on

Monday, 4 January 2010

Black Books

The Black Panel will be selling their collection of Northern and Southern Irish comics and zines at The Black Books event, Belfast, 17th January.

As with the regular event on the first of the month, from 12-5pm at The Black Box, 18-22 Hill Street, Cathedral Quarter. Entry is free.

More details can be found on Culture Northern Ireland.