Today’s Zine Fair Interview comes from Jason Browne of BUTTONPRESS PUBLICATIONS, a wonderful Irish small press comic company. Fantasticly creative and imaginative stories about ‘Hibernia’ and Irish focklore! Brilliant stuff!
Buttonpress Publications is an all ages Irish small press comic book company set up by Jason Browne in 2007 , it now produces two on going titles. Hibernia(an alternative Ireland), is a world where the Dé Danaan, Mileasians, Firbolgs and other ancient races have left their mark through blood ties. Certain people are born with superhuman gifts that are side effects from the Sidhé (Fairyfolk/ Dé Danaan) living and settling with mortals. These gifts give rise to heroes, and also villains – for not all who are gifted wish to fight for the greater good in Hibernia. These powers usually surface within the twenty-first year of a person’s life but with Wren, he’s twelve, so why so soon? You have to read the comic book to find out, no spoilers!! The Wren, is an all ages Superhero comic book chronicling the adventures of Jack McCormack, a 12 year old boy growing up in Dubh-lynn, a city in the country of Hibernia. He has inherited superpowers from his parents and now learns what it is to become a hero. All while trying to juggle everything else that comes with the “Hero” territory and being a twelve year old boy. But wait! There is more! Hibernia is a big place and there must be room for more heroes to step forward, enter Artos. With the Wren in the east of Hibernia, we head west to the Aillwee caves for Artos. Conor McMahon discovers deep in the caves, a talisman that will change his life forever. He is the chosen one of the McMahon clan to wield the power of transformation in to a gigantic Bear! He now helps protect Hibernia from the dark Sídhe.
1.What are comic books to you?
I work on the Wren and Artos at the moment with Buttonpress Publications.
2. What’s your first memory of comic books?
Wow, hmmmm, I can remember being about four in Connolly Station in Dublin. There was a shop that stocked comic books. An issue of Fantastic Four just totally caught my attention. I am lucky in that my family all read comic books and so they were around the house always. I started making my own comics around eight. My own characters etc in crazy adventures.
3. What was your first publication? Please describe.
After the College, I moved out of home and so art took a back seat as I needed to pay rent. I did pick up some work doing small comic pieces for Governmental education news letters aimed at children.
I didn’t start my own comic book until around 2009. The Wren was the first publication we brought out from Buttonpress Publications.
4. Why did you start making comic books/self publishing?
Due to the lack of Superhero comic books, children could actually read. Most U.S comic books which would be the type of comic books I am talking about, are usually 12 year +.
5. What/who are your influences?
As U.S comic books are my love, number one is Mike Wieringo. He was a fantastic artist who worked at all the big companies. His style just was truly wonderful to behold. Aland Davis, Humberto Ramos and Stuart Immonen would be a few others. Irish wise, Stephen Thompson. He is Ireland’s best home grown artist. He makes it look so easy damn him!
6. What is your favourite material or method (in making your publications)?
I work on Blueline comic art paper. Pencils and inks by hand and then colour using photoshop. Pencils to paper is my favourite and so would never go fully digital I think.
7. Do you have a favourite comic Book?
I have tons of favourite comic books! Nightwing my favourite Superhero and so he would be first, then Superman and Superboy. There is an Italian all ages comic book called Monster Allergy that I also adore.
8. What’s the best & worst things about making a comic book?
Best thing is drawing and enjoying it. Creating adventures and having them received well is great. Worst thing? I don’t have one really as I feel truly lucky to be able to produce comic books in the first place.
9. How do you distribute your publications?
Buttonpress publications comic books are on sale in Ireland, UK and U.S. Forbidden Planet Dublin, Hodges Figgis and Ennis book store sell them in Ireland. We also post to Europe and so people can contact us through the website , buttonpresspublications.com
10. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a comic book?