From Robin To The Wren

   jackBy Jason Connor

I suppose the first question is, The Wren, who or what is it?

The Wren, I created with Phil Roe and we publish it under Buttonpress Publications. It is an all ages Superhero comic 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.

Honestly the comic was created from a gap in Irish Comics for a superhero story that both adults and kids could read. Looking for an Irish Superhero comic that wasn’t aimed at adults was impossible to find and so I decided to create one myself. As to give it a more adventurous scope, I decided to change Ireland to Hibernia and Dublin to Dubh-lynn. Although a lot remains the same, some things have been altered as to accommodate the world that Jack McCormack lives in.

It 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 Jack, he’s twelve, why so soon? You have to read the comic book to find out, no spoilers!!

vol 2Jack is a huge fan of the modern day heroes who fly above and protect the city of Dubh-lynn. He was born from a line which had been gifted with Sidhé blood through his ancient ancestors. He would never know his mother, Starling, one of Hibernia’s most cherished heroes, who was struck down battling a dark scourge who wanted Hibernia for selfish gains. He dreams of following in the footsteps of his Mother and Hibernia’s Flying Column, a band of Heroes that protect its shores. As his powers start to emerge, his adoptive father “Gramps”, Dr David McCormick seeks help to train him.

Jack McCormack is joined on the rooftops by Weaver. She’s helping Dr McCormack hone Jack’s powers and skills to make him a good if not great hero. Weaver herself has great dexterity and inherent mystical powers. Jack also has two best friends, Meggan Browne, “a control freak” in Jack’s words, and Sam Taylor, who is even more obsessed with Superheroes than Jack, if that’s possible.

But! Jack being an adolescent reckons he’s ready for action!! Adventure ensues.
All ages comic books are my favourite genre, as are Saturday morning cartoons. But!, deciding to create a comic book myself was not as easy as I thought. Enter Phil Roe who not just helped me out with lettering but also working on the world that we placed the Wren in. I also had help from many friends in bouncing off ideas and building a history for Hibernia.

vol1Cut to now 2013. The wren is on issue ten, it has its own website (thewrencomic.com) and of course, a Facebook fan page. The response has been better than I actually hoped. This primarily was done out of a love for comic books and wanting to put Superhero action in an Irish perspective. The fact I get messages from kids who tell me they Love the Wren is such a great honour, seriously cannot put into words my gratitude to all the Wren’s fans.
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 headed west for Artos. Conor McMahon discovers deep in the Aillwee caves, a talisman that will change his life forever. This title I am lucky enough to have Mike Lynch as my scribe.

There are some one-shots and huge storylines planned. The more we play in Hibernia, the more ideas come to us.

artosThe Wren is already on sale in stores in Ireland and more are now interested across the globe, which is fantastic. All previous issues have sold out numerous times, the same with Artos. So, we have produced two volumes collecting the first seven issues. Originally, the Wren was only in black and white but from issue eight due to demand, we went colour and yeah, the kids were right, looks cool in colour if I do say so myself(I do!).
The future looks busy which is a good thing. If you ever wanted to create a comic book, do it. And that’s my story, thanks for reading.