The event was part of this year’s Earhart Festival and was the result of a year’s worth of digital workshops conducted under The ARC Programme run by Greater Shantallow Community Arts and supported by the Arts Council NI.
Walled City Dreams features the work of six artists and writers (including three from the Zombie Hi team) and five short stories designed to encourage and support new work in the field of digital art.
The objective was to “work local and think global” aspiring to create professional level comic art whilst using the artists own landscape and surroundings as an inspiration for new fantasy stories featuring the old walled city. The city’s wide and varied cityscape also provided a ready made model for settings and backdrops providing a “real world” environment which could be photographed in the round. The city itself is the main star throughout the book.
In addition, a number of the stories also featured the actual artists who posed as models for their own characters.
The first story, Distant Fields, by Joe Campbell takes the form of a traditional Irish ghost story with a meeting with a World War 1 soldier at the Diamond leading to a journey back in time to the battlefields of the trenches.
Soulhunter, by John Campbell continues the theme of time travel and features a Derry ring, an evil Governor Lundy and the Siege of Derry whilst Ties of Blood, drawn by Gio Logue and written by Danny McLaughlin is a celtic fantasy epic played out in contemporary Derry during Halloween.
The Last Refuge is a tongue-in-cheek “retro” superhero comic strip written and drawn by Darren McCay featuring two unlikely heroes.
The final story, The Derry Ripper is in prose and is a well crafted reworking of the classic Jack the Ripper story set in the 22nd century in a Derry where rogue robots cause mayhem in a run down walled city slum area of the future.
Walled City Dreams is 56 pages of imaginative, colourful artwork that provides a unique perspective of the city and its rich heritage.
This stunning anthology will be available in a bookshop near you - soon.