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.
Liam 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.”
• Follow Stephen Mooney on Twitter @stephen_mooney
• Eoin Coveney: www.eoincoveney.com