Indy and Poppy save the Chimneys

A Chimney Adventure (How Grandad, Poppy and Indy Saved the Chimneys) is available right now at Books on the Green, and also at Star of the Sea stationery, at just €12.

By Kathrin Kobus

John Carpenter was pretty cheerful when he came round to the NewsFour offices one day in July and allowed us a quick look at his own water colour illustrations stapled together. They gave us a glimpse of the comic book he had created and which was even then already at the printers. It is called “A Chimney Adventure (How Grandad, Poppy and Indy Saved the Chimneys).”

The chimneys of Poolbeg that is. The red and white striped landmarks visible from far away, whether you are approaching by land or sea. It was from the land direction that John Carpenter brought his granddaughters into Dublin, and the usual questions came up during the long car journey. Only instead of “Are we there yet?” little Emma and Zoe rather asked: “When can we see the chimneys? Once we saw them they knew we were close.”

But a few years ago, two or three by John Carpenter’s reckoning, there were rumours abounding that the chimneys would be demolished and disappear. Something neither he nor his grandchildren wanted to happen. “We all couldn’t imagine this place without the chimneys, so on our walks together with my grandchildren and the two dogs we came up with different ideas. They stuck in my head to do a comic book about it.

I had some doubts about my drawing skills at first, but I got the courage to get the drawings done.“ Suddenly, there was more time at hand when everything came to a standstill.

The arts tutor could no longer do his library tours so he set to work on the book instead. “I had the idea for some time and now during lockdown I did the drawings and texts and it became a picture story book.” Grandad John and his granddaughters Emma and Zoe came up with bright, funny ideas on how to save them.

The whole project became a family affair to get it out to the public and onto the bookshelves; local support was easily found. “My wife edited the text, my son helped with getting the word out and Brian from Books on the Green already took a pre-order.”

Indy, one of the dogs and John Carpenter have planned a visit to the book shop early in August, on the weekend after the bank holiday for the official launch. But you don’t have to wait that long to get your hands on this excellent book.