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Meet the Man Behind One of Ireland's Hottest Indie Comics
Last week WorldIrish published a list of Irish superheroes. One of the featured characters on the list was The Wren, the titular character in one of Ireland’s hottest indie books. WorldIrish’s Eamonn Bell was recently in touch with the series creator Jason Connors to talk about The Wren and where he sees the comic going.
WorldIrish: For people that may not be as familiar with The Wren as they would be with Spider-Man and Batman, can you tell us about the series and its characters.
Jason Connors: The Wren is an exciting story in the annals of comic books. Not only is it the first all ages comic book in Ireland but brings together a unique take on Irish history. Ireland becomes Hibernia, an alternative Ireland where all that was folklore, fairytale and legend is true.
Jack Mc Cormack is born into one of the few bloodlines gifted through the Dé Danann, a magical race who once walked upon Hibernia. They left it seems with the coming of another race, the mileasians. But, some stayed and married mortals. These few bloodlines would gift the very few with a power uncommon among normal Hibernians.
On reaching adulthood, those powers would awaken in the the lucky few. With jack, it kicks in when he’s twelve. Why? Why unlike others gifted, he has more than one power? Who is the Wicked Amerg and what is he plotting? How did Jack’s Super Hero mother, Starling die? Who is his father?
Join him in Dubh-lynn city as his friends and family try to help answer these questions, oh and try to get his homework done also!
WI: When did you first get the ideas for the characters in The Wren?
JC: From a young age I have always written and drawn superheroes and so the Wren I suppose is a character that evolved from different ideas I have had over the years.
WI: What’s the creative process like when making an issue, do you come up with a rough outline yourself or is it more of a collaborative process?
JC: Initially you think you have control of your characters actions but as soon as they come alive on the page, they are in control. This might sound strange but once you give them a voice, they speak loud and clear. With Jack, the Wren, I have numerous plots on the go all the time. Each story I look at as an arc in his tale and so each new plot is another arc. Phil Roe has worked with me from the start and so he has become my soundboard when working on story arcs. Having another person to work with also makes it so more fun but I also try to keep some plotlines back so even he is intrigued.
WI: There are obviously many references to Ireland in the comic, is it important to you that the series retains this feeling of Irishness and how do you think it helps it stand out from other comics?
JC: Yes, this is an Irish superhero comic book through and through. American culture has been influenced in many ways by Europe and in turn American comic books influenced me. All my references for Dubh-Lynn city landscape is images and photos I have of Dublin. Dublin city is a fantastic place to draw; there are so many buildings and places to use.
WI: Which cartoons and comics do you think influenced The Wren?
JC: Oh man, do you have ten years? When it comes to comic books, movies, video games and cartoons, I am a human sponge. So I do not think I could pinpoint exact influence just basically everything. But one big influence obviously is the huge amount of folklore and legends I have at hand being Irish.
WI: You’ve said in previous interviews that you were a big fan of American cartoons like Earthworm Jim, Ben 10, and all of Bruce Timm’s work. Would you like to see The Wren turned into a cartoon at some point and if so how do you think an American audience would react?
JC: Wow, yeah would love to see The Wren animated. That would be a dream come true.
WI: The first six issues of the series were recently collected into a trade paperback and sold at Arcade Con, where can people go to buy the trade paperback and the rest of the issues?
JC: Volume one of the Wren collects the first three issues of the Wren. Now on issue nine, we decided that collecting earlier issues for new fans was a must. The Wren comic book is available in Forbidden Planet Dublin and Sub City Comics but you can also contact us through thewrencomic.com and we will sort people out.
WI: Do you have anything else coming up?JC: This Aug/Sep sees the release of a new title from Buttonpress called Artos. It is written my Mike Lynch and drawn by myself. It is set in the west of Hibernia around the Burren in Co Chláir. All I can say at this time that Mike’s script is a joy to work on. I went with an initial idea to him and he knocked it out of the park.
Also I am working on another title due to come out early next year and also working on The Wren volume two. Last but not least, The Wren issue 10 will be out December.
So yeah, busy busy but totally love it.