Battle of the Somme Re-Visited in “For Valour”, a new comic by Stephen Mooney and Eoin Coveney 

For Valour - Cover

An exciting comics project jointly produced by Monaghan County Museum, Armagh County Museum and Craigavon Museum Services recently saw the creation of For Valour, a comic created by Stephen Mooney and featuring interior art by Eoin Coveney that focused on the story of three lives touched by one of the worst battles of World War One.

The project – available to download for free – proved an innovative way of telling the story of three people, caught up in the horror of the Battle of Somme in comics form.

Each museum chose a person from each region to work on the comic and it was Monaghan County Museum that worked with Stephen Mooney to create an accessible and stunning story of Private Thomas Hughes VC from Monaghan, Private Tommy Chambers from Armagh and Anne Acheson from Portadown.

For Valour - Tommy Chambers storyLiam Bradley, the curator of Monaghan County Museum, told the BBC the museums had worked closely together to create the comic, but there was one particular genre they were keen to attract.

“There is a cohort that all museums struggle to attract – that is typically teenagers and secondary school pupils,” he said.

“We were looking for ways to attract and target them. With the huge amount of impact that comic books have on film, art and popular culture, we thought this was a good way to tell the personal stories.”

The project was funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Dubliner Stephen Mooney, who is New York Times best-selling author of Half Past Danger from IDW (and is currently writing a sequel, along with The Phantom: Scarlet Sapphire for Lightning Strike Comics), has been artist on various books for DC Comics and cover artist for various companies, currently working on the  said the stories of the three people featured “were stories worth telling, and I was very aware when I was writing the scripts it had to be okayed by members of the family, so always had that in mind.”

You can download the For Valour comic to read for free here (PDF)

• Follow Stephen Mooney on Twitter @stephen_mooney

• Eoin Coveney: www.eoincoveney.com

If you’re interested in comics about World War One, check out our “Charley’s War” micro site, dedicated to the critically-acclaimed Battle strip created by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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