Cork comic book artist Will Sliney has said the opportunities for young people looking to follow in his footsteps are "limitless", as it was revealed his latest graphic novel series is to be adapted for TV by legendarycreator Seth MacFarlane and Universal.
The Shrouded College series, an interconnected set of seven adventure-horror stories set for release over the next few years, is an original concept co-created by the Ballycotton native and Charles Soule, who has authored a number of comics for Marvel and DC.
The first graphic novel in the series, Hell to Pay, was published in November 2022 and the second installment, The Bloody Dozen, is to be published later this year.
"Obviously, it's very exciting," Sliney tells me on Tuesday morning, fresh off the school run.
"It wasn't just Universal [that were interested in the series], there were several really big Hollywood players that wanted to get the rights to the universe."
"We met all of them and talked to them about what their plans would have been for the characters, for how they would have wanted to adapt.. some of them would have wanted it for movies, some for TV...we were most excited about Universal and Seth's (MacFarlane's) plans."
As an executive producer, Sliney will presumably have a big say in the direction of the TV show - and the potential cast?
"That's the question I am getting asked the most," he says with a laugh.
"You know, when we're creating these characters for comics, we get to create them the way that we want to... but it'll be enjoyable to see somebody else take those characters and see what their vision is for them..."
Not keen to name-drop any potential actors he might have in mind for his superheroes, Sliney tells me he's "just as excited" about meeting the costume design department as any A-Listers.
"It will be such a surreal experience when I see the [costumes] in person."
Sliney has been working away from his home in Ballycotton for years now - drawing iconic characters for Marvel and Star Wars, and of equal importance, iconic covers for The Holly Bough and the Irish Examiner.
And the 40-year-old, who has two children with wife Laura, four-year-old Tadhg and two-year-old Aria, will be a familiar face to many children (and parents too) from his showon RTÉ (a new season is coming soon he promises), and Sky’s . Speaking to him, it's clear that part of his excitement about his latest success is more about what it means for young people who want to follow in his footsteps.
"It just shows, and it's very, very important for people to know, if you're sitting at home anywhere in Ireland and you're drawing this kind of stuff, it can literally go anywhere nowadays.
"Drawing is something that if you just practice, you'll get good enough, and there are very, very real, great art jobs out there nowadays, way more than would have been traditionally known of," he says.
"Look at Richie Baneham," he adds, pointing to the Irish special effects and animation expert who nabbed an Oscar this month for his work on Avatar: The Way Of Water.
"It really is limitless where you can go with this stuff now."