Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 in Review: Gregory MacKay


What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Starting off the year by making a mini-comic for the Mini-comic of the month club was great. I haven’t made one like that for a long time. I was also made a 24 page comic about my time in New York during Hurricane Sandy last year. It was specifically for the Caravan of Comics which came later in the year. I started writing it at the Chugnut comic’s camp in March and had it ready by the time we left in May.  A film student friend made a short documentary about me and my comics called ‘Ink machine’ which was a pretty interesting thing to be a part of. It’s out there on YouTube. Check it out.

The Caravan trip was an adventure. It was great to go to TCAF for the second year in a row. Montreal and Seattle were great. Doing in-store appearances at Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics was enlightening. We got to meet so many cartoonists like David B. and Taiyo Matsumoto, plus plenty of local artists everywhere we went.  I hung out in New York for a while after the trip, mostly at Hang Dai studios with Dean Haspiel and my cartoonist buddies form the Florida residency last year.

I was lucky to win an Australian Society of Authors grant to develop a children’s graphic novel I have been working on. After much hard work it was picked up by Allen & Unwin.

I was also lucky to have a proper conversation with Art Spiegalman this year, and Francoise Mouly was very interested in the children’s graphic novel idea.

Designing a CD booklet and disc was a highlight,  as was the many other illustration projects I took on this year.  Working on my next book was a big focus. It was also great to see The Trials of Francis Bear get picked up by Madman entertainment via James Andre’s Milkshadow books.

Collaborating with Adam Ford for Cordite Literary journal and having a Francis Bear comic acquired by were publishing highlights.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
 I bought so many mini’s to name on tour. Standout comics were Tomines Optic Nerve 22. Jonathan Allen’s Vacationland.  Mini’s by Julia Gforer and Uni Moralez. So many others. Pat Grants ‘Toormina Video’ gets my comic of the year.  Hanselmanns ‘Life Zone’ was great.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?
I enjoyed Dark Mofo, especially Kurt Hentschl├Ąger’s “Zee”. Which was the most disturbing experience if have had from any artwork. I enjoyed touring the model making studio at the Museum of Natural History in New York and seeing behind the scenes of this amazing museum. Reading the source material for the new Miyazaki film in its original comic form, as well as the book by Jiro Horikoshi was a great insight. Being on the USS Intrepid for Memorial Day in New York was special.  New York was very special, and I visited many galleries and cartoonists while I was there. White Night was fun, it was so calm.  Starting to run proper distances was also an achievement, as was climbing Mount Arapiles
 Learning watercolour techniques from Simon Hanselmann and chatting with Oslo, and asking questions of Shaun Tan make for some useful professional development.  Also someone got a tattoo of Francis Bear which was awesome.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I’m forward to working on my kid’s graphic novel, and my next two books.  As well as expanding my illustration and 3D work.  I am expanding my illustration and watercolour work too.

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