FIONN Graphic Novel Lettered Pages, First Batch!

First five pages of the FIONN graphic novel finished! Written, drawn, coloured, lettered.
Next step is to carry on finishing pages, to get a pitch to publishers together.
Have a look.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill graphic novel lettered page
Fionn Mac Cumhaill graphic novel lettered page
Fionn Mac Cumhaill graphic novel lettered page
Fionn Mac Cumhaill graphic novel lettered page
Fionn Mac Cumhaill graphic novel lettered page

(Ironically, the great thing about finishing something is finding out how it needs to change. And change it will, the very beginning of the story needs to really work well.)
Anyway, thanks for your patience.

Happy Bealtaine!

Liath Luachra & Bodhmall from the FIONN graphic novel are herding their cow between two bonfires while festooned in sunny yellow flowers to mark the 1st of May.

Bealtaine card with Liath Luachra and Bodhmall from the Fionn Mac Cumhaill graphic novel.

The May-Day celebrations stem from Bealtaine – one of the four major Celtic festivals of the year – when sprigs & branches in bloom were gathered. In Ireland, Gorse, Rowan, Primrose, Hazel catkins and Marsh Marigold flowers were all plucked and cattle were (and are) herded between two bonfires before they’re turned out to pasture for spring. Fires are extinguished, set alight again (maybe even by a passing,officiating Druid) and may even burn all the way through the night.

Roughly, ’beal-’ means ‘shining’, ‘-taine’ means fire and the whole affair is lit by bright fire and the beaming of golden sunshine.

It’s also linked with Benelus (or Benelos), a (mostly) continental Celtic god of the sun, who received widespread worship, back in the day.

In the UK, the May Pole associated with May Day started out as the most handsome straight branch or tree trunk anyone could find, which was then decorated with flowers. All this ‘pagan’ stuff is still all around us.

Happy Samhain

Happy Samhain (okay, alternative, old-skool Halloween) card with Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Sabh & Aillen Mac Midna of the Tuatha de Dannan.

Happy Samhain, folks. Didya know that Samhain’s pretty much the origin point of modern Halloween? It can be Celtic New Year too. In the Fionn Mac Cumhaill story, Fionn fights Aillen, son of Midna – a fiery member of the fearsome Tuatha De Dannan race – on Samhain night. (It’s pronounced “Sow-in”.) Some Celtic ritual sites point towards the sun today too. Celtic mythology intones Samhain a lot, including; Fionn and his Fianna defeating werewolves and other Tuatha de Danann, the Nemedian settlers having to give the monstrous Fomorian forerunners an annual tithe, Ulster being invaded in the popular Cattle Raid of Cooley of stories, the grand battle of Magh Tuireadh that signals the end of Ireland’s mythic ages… And many more times besides.
Sleep tight.
(This isn’t Aileen’s final look, but he’s getting there. I don’t think I’ve really shown off Sabh looking like this before, but she does now!)

Pale Fionn Mac Cumhaill Gets Some Colour

I’ve been trying to get pretty serious about the Fionn Mac Cumhaill graphic novel for a wee while, progress is very stop-start on something like this when you’re the only person working on it. I’m trying to run it as a kinda social media project with fairly regular updates too… Seeing as how, y’know, nothing’s real these days unless it’s on social media. It’s all a bit galling really, but it’s the landscape creatives are in these days, so never mind. (The gag here is that this guy is talking about social media and hasn’t updated his blog in four months… Harrr.)

Fionn Mac Cumhaill the Irish mythological hero, here being a scrawny young guy out in the backwoods.

Oh boy, did I really just blurt all of that out when you just came here to look at some art..? Sheesh. Sorry about that. All the art angst has to go somewhere I guess, block the flow and it’ll just all back up somewhere.

So here is Fionn Mac Cumhaill. Irish Celtic mythological and folklore hero. Women love him. Men want to be like him. He’s like He-Man as a Nobel Laureate… Except, I like him looking like a disfigured, scrawny, unexperienced, pale weirdo though. He ends up being the top of the heap in Ireland at the very end of the late Iron Age, as the captain of the Fianna, the land’s most amazing warrior-poets and defenders of the realm.

This is a younger version of him, maybe he’s just about to leave the care of his foster mothers Bodhmall & Liath Luachra the woods of the Sleive Bloom Mountains, or he’s taking a moment out of his chores under the tutelage of the poet Finnegas on the wooded banks of the River Boyne.

My go-to one-liner to describe Fionn’ (also known as Finn McCool) to people is that ‘he’s like the Irish version King Arthur.” A guy who comes to be the leader of his version of the round table of knights by a combination of chance, adventure, birthright, mythical derring do and more. There’s stories about his parent’s courtship, his birth, boyhood, coming of age, adulthood, even embittered old age, his death and supposed mythical slumber to one day live on. The bits I’m concerned with for the graphic novel are his youth and coming of age, where he and his family face great adversity and then everything turns around for him.

This is one of my favourite rough drawings of him – doodled out at the end of the day on a comic convention table – I coloured up because I needed something with actual colours on as a icon for a Facebook page I made for the GN – to make it look appealing – as opposed to yet another black & white sketch, on a feed of black & white sketches… It was only a few weeks overdue. I’m dead good at this social media thing, me.

So anyway, there’s Facebook page for the FIONN graphic novel here. So that’s all the FIONN content in one place. I’ll still be putting Fionn things up in all my other feeds though, it’s all I’m trying to work on these days!