“The 2D Collective came together through the Verbal Arts Centre. David Campbell (the Centre’s artist in residence and 2D Festival organiser) had organised a 15 week course entitled Comic and Digital Illustration where he, being a Marvel trained colourist, taught us how to make finished comic art. All those who passed the course where called back a month after finishing and David informed us that the Verbal Arts Centre would like to give us the chance to put together an anthology for the 2009 2D Comics Festival and so we became the 2D Collective.
“The Fear anthology was given way free at the festival that year to promote both local talent and the Verbal Arts Centre having just started their own printing and publishing company. The anthology had a fantastic cover by Gary Leach and also contained one shot pages from the majority of those who were guests at 2D that year, including the six members of the Eclectic Micks blog to name but a few.
“After the Festival we stayed together as a group, meeting up once a week in a library/bar and caught the attention of the Greater Shantallow Community Arts program. They invited us down to their centre were they told us they had the funding to put together a Derry based comic anthology. So with what seemed like a sure thing we started into If Stones Could Speak. The book is now finished but unfortunately the funding that was granted to us at the start of the project was reconsidered as the recession sunk in and cut backs were made. However we have been promised that the book will see print in time for the 2D Festival this year.
“2D, I do love it. It’s not big in any way, a very grass roots festival but this year the guest list is looking fantastic with artist John Higgins and DC art director Mark Chiarello already confirmed. The main craic is with the talks at night in the upstairs of Sandino’s bar.
“The 2D Collective at this moment is on solo missions but still contributing to the blog when we can. But we shall be together at the 2D Festival promoting ourselves, sketching, hopefully brewing some new projects and, all being well, finally letting If Stones Could Speak see the light of day.”
You can see more of the work of the 2D Collective on their blog and see previews of pages from the If Stones Could Speak anthology on its blog.
The 2011 2D Comic Festival will take place in Derry/Londonderry between Thursday 2 and Saturday 4 June 2011 and there are more details on the 2D website and Facebook page.
You can see more of Gio’s work on his own blog.