Untitled (Wednesday, 23rd April 2003)

Found my original post:

Well, did something today. Started on page 3 (again) this is the third start at the bugger. I think it’s sorted in my head, unfortunately I’m still not at a “drawing place” but that’ll come. Have to nip into town and buy some ink.

Fred’s comic shop seems to have been burnt out, Dark Horizons opened in about 1988 by Fred Collier and John McCrea. At the time it was the first comic shop in Belfast. John’s career hadn’t started at that point and I remember standing in the small room that was Dark Horizons and describing pages for him to do samples for. I distinctly remember describing a page of WWIII from Crises to John for him to draw a single sample page. John went on to bigger things and when he began his comic career the shop more or less fell to Fred, I made some good friends in that shop, Ivor Lavery, who sadly passed away in 2001 was a good friend I made there. He used to come in and regale us of his sexual exploits. He was a good bloke (I spent a great summer in 1991 with Fred and Ivor in London) – and one of guys behind Ximoc, a small press comic which saw the debut of Davy Francis and Will Simpson. I worked in the shop for about a year or two (at least until I got myself a regular girlfriend 🙂 and what I couldn’t afford to buy I read.

Smells are an amazing tool for instant recall and in the street where the shop was there was this incredibly distinct tobacco smell (pipe tobacco) and even now, despite the shop having long since relocated to another area of town, when I’m in that street and catch a hint of that smell, it’s 1988 again and I’ve just seen John’s poster advertising Dark Horizons.

Before I started writing that I was kinda .. unemotional about it, but the memories are pretty strong. So much of my growing up is tied to that shop (much more than I’ve ever realised, I think).

Anyways, if anyone has an email address for fred, I’d appreciate if you’d let me know it.

Author: PJ

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