Word Balloon Podcast Interview

Ahead of the release of Chapter 2, ‘The Legend of William Lamport’ author Eoin McAuley spoke about the project in depth with John Siuntres of the Word Balloon Podcast.

Word Balloon is currently in its 15th year and for the past decade and a half John has been interviewing comic creators from many different publishers and has amassed a very impressive archive of insightful discussions with comic creators about their work and careers.

The full Word Balloon podcast archive is available for free here.

If you wish to support the Podcast Mr. Siuntres has a Patreon account here.

During the McAuley interview background to the project’s development and an overview of Lamport’s biography is discussed. Other topics are touched upon as well such as classic swashbuckling films and wider discussions on mainstream comics and the Irish Comic Book Community in general.

You can listen to and/or download the full interview here.

There will also be a video recording of the interview posted to the Word Balloon YouTube page which you can subscribe to for free here.

Before you go, be sure to check out some great art work by Cormac Hughes from Chapter 2 (starting next week) below.

‘The Legend of William Lamport’, Chapter 2 Art Preview By Cormac Hughes

Chapter 1- Conclusion

A little later than advertised, we’re happy to present the concluding pages to Chapter 1 which sees young William commence his education and hone his legendary intellect.

Chapter 1, pg. 7 Art by Cormac Hughes, Colour by Ellie Wright and letters by Rob Jones
Chapter 1, pg. 8 Art by Cormac Hughes, Colour by Ellie Wright and letters by Rob Jones

Chapter 2 Preview

This week we are concluding chapter 1 of ‘The Legend of William Lamport’, highlighting young Lamport’s childhood in Wexford. This chapter along with our 7 page prologue will be shared in a collected format on our Facebook page shortly after the final installment for chapter 1 is posted (a link to our Facebook page can be found on the contact page of this website- by ‘Liking’ and ‘Following’ the page you will be updated on all of the latest posts and installments of our story).

Ahead of chapter 1’s conclusion we’re offering a brief preview to chapter 2. This will explore Lamport’s teenage years and his wider education. Lamport’s father, Richard, managed to use his resources to have William sent to London for further learning. William’s options at home in Ireland were limited due to ‘The Oath of Supremacy’ which meant that anyone wishing to study in Trinity College, must swear an Oath recognising the King of England as the supreme leader of the Church of Ireland. This alienated the majority of Catholic citizens in Ireland.

Ireland’s political landscape in the 17th Century was further altered by the emergence of the “New English”. This Anglo-Irish class replaced the Gaelic Irish and “Old English” ruling class. The use of “New” and “Old” was to further distinguish them from Hiberno-Norman settlers from medieval times.

These political and sociocultural aspects will be further explored in a brief supplemental essay format on this website.

In the meantime, please enjoy Cormac Hughes’s character design for a teenage Lamport and an extract from chapter 2 page 1.

Sketch of Teenage Lamport by Cormac Hughes
Some Pencil work by Cormac Hughes from Chapter 2, Page 1.

Preview: Chapter 1- Pt. 2

This week the second part of Chapter 1 looks at the relationship between a young William Lamport and his father Richard and how his father’s advice will impact his life.

The artwork below is by Cormac Hughes. Stay tuned for more content coming soon.

Chapter 1 Pt. 2 Preview Art by Cormac Hughes
Chapter 1 Pt. 2 Preview Art by Cormac Hughes

Chapter 1- Pt. 1

Welcome back to this week’s installment. Starting Chapter 1 we explore some of William Lamport’s backstory. Son to Allison and Richard Lamport, William had two brothers John and Gerald and a younger sister Catherine. John was five years older than William the second eldest.

The genealogy of the Lamport family line is a fascinating one. His Father Richard helped to pilot a Spanish armada into Kinsale (The Battle of Kinsale, 1601) against the English overlords. This was part of a rebellion led by Gaelic Chieftain Hugh O’Neil. The General of the Armada sent was Juan Del Águila. Ultimately the rebellion failed and Richard reinvented himself as a merchant.

Lamport’s maternal grandfather was Leonard Sutton of Rahayle, a local nobleman who may have worked with Richard, possibly sharing connections to Spain as part of a smuggling operation, which may have culminated in a brief stint in a North African Prison.

The start of this chapter sees Richard return home to Wexford following his merchant dealings. At the time Wexford would have been a noisy place covered in raw sewage, tanning pits, brothels and alehouses.

Richard learns from his own brother that his wife Allison has passed and his brother has been caring for Richard’s children. Grief for the loss of his wife would drive Richard to seek atonement and ultimately take up the Priesthood. This path would be formative in young Willie Lamport’s education. But for now we will see how the loss of his mother so early in life left such a profound impact on Willie. We meet him as a carefree risk taker, but on a collision course reunion with his father and the advice that he has to impart.

William as a child seemed to be the type to push things to the absolute limit, so when the bloody sport of bull baiting arrived from Spain to Wexford, he was sure to take the opportunity to enrapture a crowd.

Chapter 1, pg. 1 Art by Cormac Hughes, Colour by Ellie Wright and letters by Rob Jones
Chapter 1, pg. 2 Art by Cormac Hughes, Colour by Ellie Wright and letters by Rob Jones

Dublin InQuirer Interview

Wexford circa 1619 by Cormac Hughes

Last week Artist Cormac Hughes and Writer Eoin McAuley spoke with Danny Wilson of The Dublin InQuirer. They shared some of their experiences and background on working on the Lamport project.

The full interview can be read here.

Thanks again to the InQuirer for their coverage. They are funded by readers and not advertisers, so if you would like to read and support more content from them consider a subscription available here.

In our next installment we will start Chapter 1 chronicling the childhood of Lamport in Wexford circa 1619. You can have a sneak peak of this above this very article. Looking back to Lamport’s Ireland of childhood we hope to resolve how such an essentially selfish character in pursuit of the progress of his own career, wealth and status became such a proponent for freedom. We start drawing parallels between the land displaced Irish Catholic class of the 1600’s and the Native Mexicans under Spanish colony rule.

Also, below, you can see of Cormac Hughes’s line work from the Prologue.

Cover Art by Cormac Hughes

More content coming soon. Questions and comments welcomed and you can reach us at the Contact Page above.

Lamport Page One Art by Cormac Hughes

Chapter One Preview Art by Cormac Hughes

And just before you go, check out some preview art above from Chapter One starting next week.

Prologue

Welcome to the first installment of “The Legend of William Lamport”.

This week, our story begins at the end, as we find our hero making a daring escape from the holding prison of the Grand Inquisition in Mexico, circa 1659.

Lamport escapes his imprisonment to pin accusations against the Inquisition and further declare independence for the Mexican people.

As an added bonus we flash back to Lamport in his youth as a pirate mercenary during the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627.

From pirate adventurer to author of the first declaration of independence in the Indies (a century before the French Revolution). How this came to be be will be explored in our coming chapters as we next look back to Lamport’s childhood in Wexford, 1619.

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The Legend Reborn…

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PRODUCTION

‘The Legend of William Lamport’ first began back in 2011 when author Eoin McAuley was studying for his BA in History at Trinity College. A life long interest in Heroes, Myths and Legends, led McAuley to a fantastic biography by Gerard Ronan entitled ‘The Irish Zorro: The extraordinary adventures of William Lamport (1615-1659)’.

McAuley was fascinated and enthralled to learn that it may have been an Irish man from Wexford who would one day go on to inspire pulp icons such as Zorro who in turn inspired other Fictional heroes such as Batman.

Much of McAuley’s remaining years of study at Trinity College was dedicated to the pursuit of further investigation to the story… nay the Legend… of William Lamport. This would culminate in the penning of a new Graphic Novel detailing the exploits of Lamport. In 2016 McAuley was awarded the Young Artist Development Award from South Dublin County Council. This support allowed artist Cormac Hughes to come on board to bring the story alive with vivid and dynamic line work. Cover Art was produced by Hughes with colours by Tríona Farrell (seen here in the profile picture of this page). Letter Robin Jones also provided the essential lettering and logo design.

Unfortunately by 2017 production came to a grounding halt. The graphic novel was unable to secure the definitive support of a publisher despite much interest. McAuley, as Publisher himself of the Independent label Lightning Strike Comics, was reluctant to publish his own work due to mounting demands on other licensed projects. The concern was if McAuley were to write, edit and publish the work solely, quality may decline and the support of an external publisher would raise and secure the quality of the story.

Prior project commitments also took Tríona Farrell away from the project, a very talented and in demand colourist within industry.Finally events would transpire that McAuley would go on to become Course Director for a new BA in Animation further limiting available time to work on the story. And so, production suddenly stopped.

Until now….

RELEASE

Returning to tell the tale they started, McAuley and Hughes revised and remastered previous script and art materials. Joining them is colourist Ellie Wright who has been a prolific colourist on many comics, including work with US publisher Dynamite. New material is being put into development and the story is finally on track to its release.

Speaking of which, how will the story be released?

The approach now is to make the story available for free online in a serialized format. This will allow us to share the story on as wide a platform as possible. Then by 2021 we hope to collect the story in its entirety in one physical published book. To follow the story as it is released, simply subscribe to our social media accounts listed in our info section and we will update our platforms regularly.

You can follow the story on:

Facebook at: @LegendofWilliamLamport (https://www.facebook.com/pg/LegendofWilliamLamport/about/?ref=page_internal)

and

Twitter at: @lamport_william (https://twitter.com/lamport_william)

THE STORY

So what can readers expect from ‘The Legend of William Lamport’? Well, although it is based on historical events and characters, creative license is being taken. This is not the type of text that you want to be using for academic purposes.

We plan to tell you a story of action, political intrigue and romance. Bonus material will supplement story material released, including notes on the historical background of events and profiles on key characters. (We’ll try to let you know where and when we deviate from historical accuracy.)

There will be something for every reader with Lamport. For those of you who have never read a comic book before, the subject matter alone may just intrigue you to check it out (besides it’ll cost you nothing and you will be supporting the work of some hard working artists). As for you long time comic book readers, we promise you everything you would expect and more (hey, heroes still wore tights in the 1600s!).

William Lamport’s story is a fascinating one. From a rebellious teen arrested for treason to becoming a pirate and then forging his way into the Court of King Philip IV of Spain’s court- Lamport’s story is as wild as it is entertaining.

We hope that you enjoy the story. Messages and shares are all welcomed.