Brian Moore – Cartoonist & Political Satirist 

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Welcome to the Altar of Cormac

Cormac was the pen name of the cartoonist Brian Moore,
not to be confused with the author Brian Moore, who also was a Belfast man.
He was a constant contributor to the Irish republican newspaper – ‘An Phoblacht’.
The Cormac comic strip was from a Irish Republican stance,
ridiculing British mis-rule over the six counties.
His work was very stylistic and witty, showing a great talent for highlighting
and simplifying the issues that was happening all through the Troubles.


Brain Moore would use a dark humuor to shame the establishment,
for the way they would confuse or plain ignore the complexity of the conflict.
The Guardian newspaper, a rare moderate voice in England,
who at times would attempt to shine an intelligent light on the Troubles,
took deep offence to Brain Moores’ work.
The Guardian wanting a lot more remorse for public and British army deaths.
Brain Moore wanted a bit more remorse himself,
for public and also IRA deaths caused by the British military.
In a reaction to this criticism, Brain Moore coined the defiant expression,
“unrepentant fenian bastards”
But you never know, Ian Paisley may have beaten him first to the mark!


A lot of Comacs comic strips would spin off and could be very surreal and other worldly.
In this way it can be seen the work of Brian Moore was heavily influenced by Robert Crumb.
Robert Crumb, an American, created the anarchic ‘All new Zap Comix’ in the late sixties.
Zap comix concentrated on the far out subjects of sex, drugs and the spiritualism.
Cormac comic strips covered sexism, anti-colonialism and politics,
so not that far apart then!
No one else’s work has come close to Robert Crumbs’ lucid style.
The clean minimalism to the look of the characters, playing on perceptive,
the feeling that anything could be said, thought or happen in the strips.
From a biblical god in the sky to a rock on the ground,
all having a say, a inner life and meaning.
The picture frames of Cormac had a confident and fluid way to them,
giving a simple impression on the reader.


‘In Glenravel’s Glen there lives a man whom some would call a god’.
No that’s not Cormac,
that’s Bobby singing about a rural alchemist!
But anyone wanting to see the Troubles in the North of Ireland
seen though a satirical eye, will understand my sentiments.

‘will your likes be seen again’.
Christ, I hope so.
Peace be with all gentle unrepentant fenians.


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