Friday, March 6, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Blackshapes Books

A couple of years ago a friend of mine described Philip Barrett as one of the greatest Irish writers living today, in any medium. 

"Hah, sure he is"' I thought dismissively. 

Then I read some of his stuff. His work is absolutely incredible! 

His output is so consistently good. Just look at his back catalogue, which includes
Blackshapes - about a would-be writer struggling to write to the detriment of his home and work life,  'Ricky'- an eerie tale about childhood friends, Where's Larry? - a would be Irish 'Where's Wally?' and the stone cold classic 'The Littlest Arsonist'.

Philip has been self-publishing comics since 2001,and is a long-time supporter of the independent scene in Ireland, appearing at events such as the Dublin Zine Fair and Independents Day, he even helped get the ball rolling on the Dublin Comic Jam.

Chances are if you are not aware of Philips stuff, you have probably seen it somewhere, as his illustrations and comics have appeared in publications as diverse as the Irish Times and Rabble.

 Philip set up  Blackshapes Books in 2014 to publish longer form graphic novel work, showcasing some of his own work(like his collection of short comics ‘In Bits’), alongside work of other talented Irish comics artists, like John Robbin’s ‘Unlucky Unlikely'.


It's because of people like Philip Barrett that we have a vibrant independent publishing scene in Ireland. Not only does he teach classes on how to draw comics, but he also helps out giving workshops at events like the launch of the Dublin Zine Collective (formerly Eddie Pie Hands Printing). 

 I highly recommend you to check out his stuff at Independents Day.

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