Stories | 29 June 2023

Culture Near You: Elisabeth, Deeksha and Paul with Dublin Comic Arts Festival

DCAF July Poster

DCAF July Poster

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Culture Near You is an online map of culture in Dublin. We’re constantly adding to this cultural map so we get to meet lots of the great people featured, and we thought you might like to meet them too!

For this blog series, we’re meeting the makers, the movers and shakers, the partakers, and the doers of the map - to find out more about what they do in the city. You can find out more about Culture Near You and how to get involved here.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating world of Dublin Comic Arts Festival!

In this month's blog post, we had the pleasure of speaking with three artists and writers who are regular festival exhibitors at this amazing event. We also had the opportunity chat with members of the festival committee and learned about the DCAF’s beginnings and their ongoing work.

Make sure to save the date because the next DCAF event is just around the corner, happening on Saturday 8 July and Sunday 9 July in Richmond Barracks!

Tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do?

I’m Elisabeth Neveux and I’m a French printmaker and illustrator. Reading comic books in France is a huge part of our culture, we call it the 9th art! My parents, even when they did not have much money would try to buy me comics and art books from a young age. What sparked my dream of becoming an llustrator happened due to two books: Faeries by Alan Lee and Brian Froud, and Yoko Tsuno by Roger Leloup. I loved being transported into other realms and frequently was late for homework due to overindulging reading under my blanket at night. Those books became a lifetime source of inspiration and determination!

Reading comic books in France is a huge part of our culture, we call it the 9th art!

Could you describe your work for anyone who might be unfamiliar with it? What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

I create illustrations and stories by carving intricate linocuts or using the medium of dip pen and ink. My work is inspired by women, nature, dark fairytales , my thieving cat and eerie ghost stories. I restarted doing linocutting in 2018 by doing 31 linocuts in 31 days (and did it again in 2019).

During that time I redesigned old Characters of mine, Hazel and Batcat, a story about a grumpy witch who adopts a Batwinged cat with a penchant for waffles. I am also working on another project called Eleanor Doomrisk, a Victorian Era ghost hunter, with pen and ink.

Do you have any stand out or favourite moments from your time with DCAF?

DCAF has a special place in my heart, this is the first con where I actually sold my work solo and it made me think I could actually do this full time at some point! I felt really happy when a loyal customer brought me homemade Christmas biscuits! But I especially love going there and meet friends I have made over the years and buying artwork (though I always have to hold back from coming back with a suitcase full!)

What’s your favourite thing to do in Dublin?

I love going to Dublin essentially for food (no shame). I love especially Traditional Asian Cakes and their to die for cheese tarts (Pandan and Ube are my absolute favorite). I was so happy to finally be able to explore the national Gallery and see genuine Harry Clarke stainless windows, and the Chester Beaty Library for its stunning 300 years old Japanese Scrolls. I also need to spend a few days sketching at the dead zoo.

Elisabeth's Instagram

Elisabeth's Facebook

Elisabeth's Ko-fi

Tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do?

My journey with my art has been long and exciting.

In my teens and more traumatic years, I forgot about how I used to love painting. Things were chaotic while I was still finding myself. I was a rebellious feminist girl, fighting with every man in my life and making a joke of myself. All this while, I only took in everything but never found an outlet. Until I discovered the joy of illustration.

Architecture taught me designing but it came with a lot of technicalities and in the end, according to me, it always lost the art aspect of it. I have always found my way of expression by using a lot of colours but typically architects are expected to wear black and love monochrome. My aesthetic has always been a maximalist.

My journey as a digital artist began with AutoCAD while I was interning with an architect. I drew a girl on AutoCAD and then coloured her on photoshop. I didn’t know anything about graphic pads or iPads back then. I started sketching and scanning and colouring on photoshop. I was addicted after my first illustration. I had always loved art but that magic only grew with each illustration I created.

I used to write poems and blogs about issues I felt strongly for. So, I started illustrating my poems and written pieces. All my artwork has always been personal, as they are based on my day to day experiences. A lot of my art is about issues faced by women and trans women, whoever identifies as being a female. I am a feminist and issues like body positivity, mental health, capitalism, etc. are consistently addressed through my work. My art is like a diary entry, but rather than just writing I illustrate. Being bold with colors and lines is my style.

I aim to create a safe inclusive space through my work, a world that doesn’t discriminate. Future projects that I am planning to work on include an intersection of my architectural learnings with my current style of illustrations. I am also working on creating physical experiences with illustrations while focusing on issues that currently prevail in our society.

My art is like a diary entry, but rather than just writing, I illustrate

Could you describe your work for anyone who might be unfamiliar with it? What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

To be honest, to actually get jobs and make money, you don’t always get to illustrate. I have to do a lot of heavy graphic design and photo manipulation work in my day jobs. Before shifting to Dublin I used to work with a news media outlet. Most of my work there was about editing pictures and putting text on stuff a lot of times not so exciting.

If I get to illustrate like I worked on two graphic novels, I start with pen and paper. I can’t start directly on my laptop or Ipad because the ideas do not flow through as fast. I start with researching while sketching side by side. My favorite part is coloring and putting in lighting. I love using colors extensively. Bold and out there.

Do you have any stand out or favourite moments from your time with DCAF?

This will be my second time exhibiting at DCAF, and I truly enjoyed it. As I had recently shifted from India. It felt like a good push and of course you feel validated when people come and appreciate your work. Looking at people interacting with things you have created and buying them. Exhibiting my merchandise is very special to me. Because everything on the table reflects me, it is not made for any deadline or commercial work. It’s pure me. Sometimes when people come and read a zine I wrote, it feels so personal like they are reading me. It is scary and liberating.

But going back to my favorite moment, it was when a woman bought one of my latest zine called Home. She said “I will show it to my class and use this as an example to explain to them how zines are made”. I needed that because shifting to another country applying for jobs and getting dozens of rejections you start doubting yourself. Like do I even know what I am doing?

What’s your favourite thing to do in Dublin?

My favorite thing to do in Dublin is just walking around. Fortunately I live near the Liberties so when you walk from there to like Temple Bar you go through so much history. I like stopping to click pictures, and if I find a good spot to sit, I like sketching the areas I like. Areas I have sketched till now would be Dame Street, Howth, Cherrywood, a beach near Brides Glen, Howth and Phoenix Park. I also really like the art community here - they have sketching clubs and comic jams. A place where people come sit together and create.

Deeksha's Behance

Deeksha's Instagram

Tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do?

I broadly call myself a writer and comic creator, as a sort of catch-all term for the prose, poetry and comics that I write, as well as the other aspects of comics I'm involved in (publishing, editing, lettering).

I found my way into the Irish comic scene through the production of a documentary in 2015 as part of my Master's thesis. I'd been a stranger to conventions and the broader community until that summer.

Then in 2018, I co-founded Limit Break Comics, a collective with a shared desire to see comics grow in Ireland. Myself and Gareth Luby had already been working together on a comic (Meouch, an action-comedy about a cat assassin) when we met Gary Moloney, and we've stuck together ever since.

Most recently, I've been crowdfunding and publish comic myth anthologies through Limit Break (Turning Roads, 2021; Down Below, 2022; Fractured Realms, 2023), and in 2021 I helped set up as a co-publishing platform with Aaron Fever, Clare Foley and Hugh Madden.

Could you describe your work for anyone who might be unfamiliar with it? What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

I'm a bit of a genre jumper, so broad strokes: some sci-fi comics that are mostly about the people and less about the science, some horror comics with mysterious cryptids and ghastly goings-on, and an action-comedy series about a talking cat. Meouch is definitely the most fun to write, because I get to let loose a bit in the script and go all-out on terrible puns and fourth-wall breaking. At the same time, I love the refinement that comes with editing anthologies - I've gotten to work with so many talented people over the last two and a half years because of the three books.

Do you have any stand out or favourite moments from your time with DCAF?

It's hard to pick a specific moment; DCAF, for me, is more about energy than moments. I've always felt welcome, and it's always been easy to start a conversation with someone (even for an introvert like me). No one has an ego about them, so when the opportunity comes to compliment someone on their work they can be taken aback a bit. And I mean, these are seriously talented people, but it's a sort of Irish thing - we don't know how to respond when someone speaks highly of us, especially not to our faces!

These are seriously talented people, but it's a sort of Irish thing - we don't know how to respond when someone speaks highly of us, especially not to our faces!!

What’s your favourite thing to do in Dublin?

If I had my way, I could spend hours browsing the shelves in Little Deer Comics and in Hodges Figgis. Books are my happy place, and each of the shops has their own special vibe. Though if I was to try visit both in one day, I'd need to stop for food along the way - somewhere on or near Capel Street (Krewe, Bullet Duck & Dumplings, or Padoca, probably).

Paul's Website

Paul's Twitter

Paul's Instagram

We chatted with the DCAF committee about the festival’s background and where you can find out more:

How did DCAF come about, and how long has it been running?

DCAF was founded by Matt Melis in 2017 as a spin-off to The Comics Lab (a meet-up run by Debbie Jenkinson and Sarah Bowie for a couple of years in Dublin before that). The amazing event The Dublin Zine Fair run by Sarah Bracken had come to an end and after crossing the sea to British events Matt had seen an opportunity to run a festival here, that would be based on the principles of affordability, openness, inclusivity and safety. Since then, it has grown and grown! Now we have a committee and a large community of exhibitors, with new faces appearing every time. There's always a waiting list. We keep costs to table as low as possible to allow people to debut their work and get a start; we are partly funded by our generous patrons (, an income stream we diverted directly to the exhibitors during the pandemic.

What kind of events or activities do you run?

Over the years, we have had workshops, talks, live music, a graphic short competition, interviews, life drawing, demos - we always have a free Make Your Mark drawing table and a swap table right at the front, and the entry is free so even if you don't have any money you can still participate. This next DCAF in July will feature an interview with Lizzy Stewart interviewed by the poet Jessica Traynor! We'll also have a life drawing session, so there's a lot to do.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming weeks and months?

We're looking forward to the morning of the 8th, seeing all the exhibitors come in with their suitcases packed with wares, setting up their tables with their beautiful, unique work and then, seeing all our visitors arriving, everyone mixing and talking, reading and drawing, and all the great DCAF energy swirling around.

If someone would like to get involved with DCAF, how can they do that?

We're always grateful for any offers of help! We especially need help canvassing and postering in the weeks before an event, and we're always open to ideas, collaborations and new energy coming to DCAF. Get in touch on our website: