Wednesday, 24 November 2010
The Big 100: The Cattle Raid of Cooley
Irish comics creator Paddy Brown's webcomic, The Cattle Raid of Cooley, a serialised graphic novel adapting the epic of ancient Ireland, recently reached the milestone of its 100th episode.
In the story, the kingdom of Connacht, led by king Ailill and queen Medb, stage an invasion of Ulster, and all that stands in their way is a teenage rookie border guard called Cú Chulainn. He's a prodigy, and despite his small stature, in skill he has always been head and shoulders above his contemporaries in Ulster's youth corps - but he's never been tested against men. Among them, men he loves, including Fergus, former king of Ulster in exile in Connacht, and Cú Chulainn's former foster-father.
"It's a story of war, coming of age and divided loyalties set in the pre-Christian Iron Age," says 41-year-old Paddy, a antive of Belfast. "The story is the centrepiece of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle, the oldest Irish legendary tradition and probably the oldest European legendary tradition outside Greece and Rome, which has been referred to as a 'window on the Iron Age'. The hero, Cú Chulainn, was the inspiration for 2000AD's Sláine."
The strip, which launched back in August 2008, is drawn in red ballpoint, without pencilling, and is serialised a page a week every Wednesday at paddybrown.co.uk. Three collections of the strip are available from the strip's website.
• Read the strip at: http://paddybrown.co.uk
• More about Paddy Brown at: http://irishcomics.wikia.com/wiki/Patrick_Brown