Thursday, May 10, 2007


Hello all, this post is a whopper.

Last weekend was the Bristol Comic Expo. My first Bristol convention was in 2004, where i arrived with a portfolio and a bucket full of dreams. It went quite well, got some nice reception to my work and a lot of advice on how to improve it.

Cut to three years later, i have a job drawing comics, a lot of good friends in 'the biz' and an award nominated book under my belt

This years Bristol Expo was my first time attending as a 'pro.' This was first year where i was a guest, rather than a fan, so i was really looking forward to it. Obviously, there was the whole Eagle thing, so i was nervous about how that would pan out. I'd love to say i was sure we'd win it but in truth i had no idea, the competition seemed pretty stiff.

Well, i got to Bristol on Friday, and once i'd met up with my friends Pádraic and Will, some copious amounts of drinking took place. Which, was probably not a good idea considering the state of me the next day. Was great meeting up with everyone, including Andy Winter (Hero Killers writer), Stephen Mooney(former Freak Show artist who's moved onto bigger things) and his lovely fiancé Jackie, Rob and Brian (from Atomic Diner), John Hendrick and the Millarworld crew, Birmingham's favourite sons Ben, Andy and Shane, as well as Your Round collaborator James Hodgkins.

That night was the Eagle Awards. Myself and Andy had consoled ourselves to the fact we wouldn't win and predicted a FutureQuake win, just so we wouldn't get our hopes up. The dinner and preceeding awards were absolute torture. I was going quietly mad. The closer to the result we got, the more nervous I got. I just wanted to know the result, good or bad. Lot's of people came up to me at our table, wishing us look, which i really appreciated, even if it didn't seem like it at the time.

Then, the nominations list for our catagory. The strangest thing happened. When the Hero Killers nomination was announced, there was this big cheer from pretty much the whole room. I expected a cheer from my mates at the back (at the bar, of course) but lots of people who I don't know (and can only assume don't know me) were cheering for us, and then the next nomination was announced, followed by complete silence. I couldn't believe it. People really liked our little book. The comic i'd drawn in my bedroom in Limerick had just gotten a huge cheer. Wow. I was still in shock when Hero Killers was announced as the winner! Huh? What? Urm? Andy went mental. I was just in shock. We went up to the stage, still in shock. Andy said something to the crowd. Can't remember what he said, but it was quite lovely. All that was running through my head was "What'll i say?" Then it hit me; a mate of mine said something class in a 'thanks message' before. It read 'Thanks to everyone who helped, and to those who didn't? Thanks for nothin!' Thought that would be something funny to cap it off. Unfortunately, everyone was still applauding what Andy had said, so all the heard from me, was "THANKS FOR NOTHING".............

I should have just kept my mouth shut.

Declan Shalvey; Award winning asshole.

I soon brushed that off and had a blast that night, with a permanent grin on my face. Got back to the hostel at five in the morning. I didn't need drink that night, i was buzzing from the whole awards experience.

Sunday was great, was in much better shape to do sketches, did some really nice ones actually, caught up with some more people, got a lot of congratulations off a lot of people, which meant an awful lot to me. Had a very promising interview for future work. Got to finally catch up with David Bailie and spent a great evening with him, Joel Meadows and co., which included a fine steak for dinner.

Finally collapsed from lack of sleep, having had the best Bristol ever.

Here's some more photos....

David Bailie and Joel Meadows on a romantic nature stroll.

VikThing bringin' sexy back.

Ben McCool and i can't remember this lady's name, but she was very nice.

And this my friends, is what an Eagle Award for Favouritr British Black and White Comicbook 20006, looks like. No, not the Magners bottle, the silver thing.

I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who voted for mine and Andy's book. I am so absolutely chuffed. To get this award so early in my career has given me such a boost, and a drive do do the best work i can. I'd also like to thank everyone who wished us well, who congratulated us and a big thanks to the guys at our table for listening to us moan about how we weren't going to win.........

....guess we were wrong.



Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo!

Stephen Mooney said...

Yay!! C'MON IRELAND!! It's like the summer of 1990 all over again...

Anonymous said...

well done to you and andy!
you both deserve it!

jacintha said...

hey d to the's the lovely jackie here!!congrats again and who knows maybe you'll get another one in 20007...

jacintha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Exner III said...

It certainly does seem like you were wrong, Dec. I already heaped my praise on you on ComicSpace, but I just wanted to mention again how great I thought Hero Killers was and how deserving the award for both you and Andy. Congrats, man. Hope I get the chance to work with you one of these days.

Unknown said...

Nice photo from the Sunday evening walk of confusion, dec:)

the girl's name in the end photo is Gemma (I couldn't remember her name either)

Anonymous said...

Hey Dec,
Congratulations on the Eagle Award man, Fair play to you, All that hard work is paying off.

Disappointed that you missed a golden oppurtunity on your acceptance speech, so many possibilities :

You know why i do comic books ? cos it's .......

Everyone needs a hobby ? or I,ve got a gift for fiction Coaltrain !

Anyways i'm sure you'll get plenty more oppurtunities to use em in future award ceremonies.

Congrats again,

Anonymous said...

Félicitations! Votre succès doit être dû à vos charmes chanceux!