2017, and our Etsy Store

A year ago, Banter Books was just an idea. It had a dozen or more names, no longer, no website, and three creators. There were no books lined up for publication, just a goal: to put out work in 2017. None of us – Paul Carroll (me), Gareth Luby, or Tracy Sayers – had produced our own comic before. Tracy and Gareth had worked together on an 8-page comic before, with Celtic Knights, which granted them some measure of experience, but nothing self-driven, and Tracy’s first book was falling through without an artist.

The idea was to create an anthology of four stories. We wrangled in Venus de Vilo to do art on two of them, while Gareth would illustrate the other two. Then, Gareth became too busy to work. Tales You Think You Know was made from the remaining stories by Tracy and I, which we launched in April, at K-Con.

Shortly after that, Tracy signed Trisha O’Reilly up as artist for Freya, and I was signed up to work on Forbidden Planet’s Small Press Day event. Gareth didn’t have a comic, and my brother wanted to produce one from his own character. I churned out scripts for both that they could manage. For Gareth, this meant an 8-page zine: How to Live With Your Cat (When Your Cat is an Internationally Renowned Assassin), featuring Frankie, from the comic that he’d wanted to include in the anthology. For Conor, it meant an 8-page first issue of Chuck. Both books were ready to launch in July. For Tracy, this meant writing and printing four short stories: Freya: The Helpers.

Dublin Comic Con approached shortly thereafter. Gareth finished Meouch: Operation Bad Dog. Rather than put off publishing it for when Gareth might have a second story done to mimic the publication of Tales You Think You Know, we decided to publish Meouch in the same format as Frankie’s first book, and Chuck. At the same time, Tracy published Freya #1. We were officially in business, with all three of our creator-owned titles now at conventions, after something of a rocky start.

Myself and Gareth ended the year with a set of Frankie badges – inspired by Tracy’s inclusion of Freya badges at Cosmic Rebels Con! – and Frankie’s First Colouring and Activity Book for Grown Up Kids. Gareth also decided to start working on some short Meouch comics for online release, to fill in the gaps between his other comic-related work: sketchcards for Marvel!



To mark the end of the year, we’ve just opened our Etsy store! It currently has every book that I worked on – everything I could get my hands on during the Christmas period! You can find it here:

We’ll be back in 2018 with more comics, more news, and more banter. (And I’ll actually keep the blog up to date!)

Banter Books is Going to Small Press Day

On July 8th, the team behind Banter Books are heading to Forbidden Planet Dublin’s Small Press Day event in the Fumbally Exchange. In its second year, Small Press Day is a celebration of comics, zines and independent publishing. Our very own Paul Carroll helped Forbidden Planet with the organisation of the event, along with the Irish Pubcast’s Wayne Talbot and Ciaran Marcantonio.

Launching at Small Press Day

Banter Books is launching three books this coming weekend: A sketchbook by Gareth Luby, How to Live With Your Cat (When Your Cat is an Internationally Renowned Assassin) by Gareth Luby (Artist) and Paul Carroll (Writer), feat. Frankie, and Chuck by Conor Carroll (Artist) and Paul Carroll (Writer). Tracy Sayers will also be releasing four short stories in prose form, which tie in with Freya, launching at Dublin Comic Con, with Trisha O’Reilly on art.

How to Live With Your Cat is a short zine, illustrating the difficulties of living with a cat like Frankie. Created by Gareth Luby, Frankie will be making his comic debut at Dublin Comic Con in Meouch: Operation Bad Dog, publishing alongside Space and Time (written by Tracy Sayers, with Gareth Luby also on art). With an attitude as bad as his weapon collection is large, Frankie is a force to be reckoned with, even if he’s supposed to be your pet.

Chuck was created by Conor Carroll, originally as a web comic. Twins Conor and Paul have teamed up on the comic to bring a story of mysticism, adventure, and new discoveries. Chuck, a pacifist ninja with a vow of silence and a magical sword, is on the run from a group of berserk ninjas, out to take his weapon as their own. In Issue #1, he comes up against Igama, and discovers that getting a good ice cream is a little more difficult than it sounds.

Also Available from the Trio at Small Press Day

As well as their new releases, the gang will be bringing their usual supplies of art and reading material. Gareth Luby will have a limited range of prints with him, and will be open to commissions on the day. Tracy Sayers will have Rubinette (Cremona Publishing) and an original comic from Trisha O’Reilly, the artist of the upcoming Freya book, as well as Tales You Think You Know, featuring My New Housemates and The Untold Story of Little Bo Peep, illustrated by Venus de Vilo. Paul Carroll will have his full range of books – Balor Reborn, The Hounds of Hell and Old Gods & Wicked Things from The Rebirth Cycle, and Stepping Forward and A Death in the Family – as well as a range of short story booklets.

If you can’t make it to Small Press Day, the gang will be back at the Geek Mart on July 15th, in Filmbase.

Tales You Think You Know – Launching at K-Con

In 2017, Banter Books is releasing its debut title: Tales You Think You Know. Featuring two stories illustrated by Venus de Vilo, the book centres on Gothic imagery combined with stories reminiscent of childhood stories.

My New House Mates by Tracy Sayers tells tells the story of an elf named Seb and the family who move into his house. The Untold Story of Little Bo Peep by Paul Carroll is a rhyming verse poem about the day Little Bo Peep lost her sheep, and subsequently goes on a killing spree. (Hey, we never said these were kids stories!)

The book will be available on April 1st, launching at K-Con in Kerry. Copies can be found at table C18, where Paul Carroll will reside in wicked delight for the weekend with a table of his other books.