Untitled (Wednesday, 23rd April 2003)

John Mcrea – Comic Book Artist

Ok, I’m doing this again, because what I’d started as a little blog entry turned into a memory which I’d like to keep.

Dark Horizons was my local comic shop. I went to call a couple of days again, but it was burnt out, not sure what happened, and I don’t particulary want to dwell on it, but I’m much more upset about it than I first thought.

I found Dark Horizons when they opened in about 1988. I’d stopped reading comics in about 1986 or thereabouts because of peer pressure (yeah, they couldn’t make me smoke/sniff glue/get into fights/drink cider in the park but they could make me stop reading comics – wtf?) and when I saw the ad my first thought was “If I went into a place that only sold comics, I wouldn’t be embarrssed about buying them”. Hey, I was 18. The poster was of four women (can’t remember who they were, but they were all female superheroes, but dressed in trendy street clothing, trendy for the time). They were sat around some boxes, and it was signed “John McCrea”.

I found Dark Horizons in Gt Victoria Street, up the stairs of a music shop (I think), in a tiny corridor/room thing, it was large enough to fit, maybe four people in it. That particular part of Gt Victoria Street has a lingering tobacco like smell, I’m not sure why, but even now, when I smell it I’m instantly drawn back to 1988.

I worked in DH for one day a week, for about a year, at least until I got a girlfriend and then became remarkably unavailable. I made some great friends in the place, Ivor Lavery (who, sadly passed away in 2001) who, with Fred, I spent 2 weeks hanging out in London in the summer of 1991. I watched John McCrea go from being a co-owner of a comic shop/talented amateur artist to being a pro-artist (I described pages from crisis so that he could do samples – he owes me his career! :P). I hung out with John and Fred and they pushed me to draw despite my innate lack of talent and absoloute laziness (which proves to me, that anyone can draw – you just need to the right people pushing).

Anyway, that’s it, I had more but blogger swallowed my first post.

Author: PJ

Belfast based Comic Artist who won’t shut up on twitter.