Sunday, February 24, 2013

BA3 Melbourne Comic Book Launch

I have a couple Pikitia Press comics launching at this weeks BA3 launch.

From the press release: 

Melbourne, Australia - the Melbourne comics community is hosting its third annual Big Arse Book Launch. This year they will be launching fifteen (15) new works created by authors from around Australia and New Zealand.

Once again the launch will be conducted by the one and only Bernard Caleo.

Saturday, March 2nd from 2:00pm
Sentido Funf
243 - 245 Gertrude Street
Victoria, Australia

Big Arse 3 is proudly sponsored by All Star Comics.

 DIGESTED #6 (Gestalt Comics)
The sixth issue of Bobby.N’s series, continuing the lead feature OXYGEN and a variety of other tidbits and goodies.


YUCK! #7 (Milk Shadow Books)
The Universe's greasiest comix anthology returns with Yuck! #7. Original surreal black comedy from a plethora of low-lives, including Ben Hutchings, Tim Molloy, Bruce Mutard, the Phatsville crew, Gregory Mackay, J. Marc Schmidt, Michael Aushenker, Scarlette Baccini, David DeGrand, Kapreles, Frank Candiloro, James Andre, Ben John Smith, Andrew Fulton, Johandson Rezende and many more surprising sickos. Straight from the gutter into your hands. Cover by Ben Sea. Edited by Mr. Slime.

ADVERSARIES (Pikitia Press) 
Matt Emery's laughey comics from the comics ghetto.

Awakenings 2 is a stand-alone book in a series of two volumes. It contains short stories written and illustrated by artist and animator Jesca Marisa. Awakenings is an intensely colourful and beautifully illustrated book composed of multiple interweaving stories of a surreal and fantastical nature. The book was inspired by the author's remembrance of dreams which she has woven into stories of journeys undertaken by the diverse cast of characters.

BALLANTYNE: THE FLAW IN THE JEWEL (Pikitia Press) The third volume of artist Peter Foster’s collaboration with writer James H. Kemsley, originally featured as an adventure strip in the Sydney Sunday Sun-Herald during the 1990s. Based on Kemsley’s vivid memories of working as a patrol officer in post World War Two New Guinea, Ballantyne is a classic adventure tale in the fine tradition of Lee Falk’s The Phantom and John Dixon’s Air Hawk.

BUDD & LUU - PART I (FrankenComics)
Budd & Luu are a lovable comedic duo who get into all sorts of random and crazy adventures. When some mysterious force starts to erase their world the pair escape through a strange portal, which lands them in a high-tech asylum located in an alternate dimension. Soon, they are subjected to painful experiments, and they discover the truth about their existence, as well as the real purpose of the asylum. By Frank Candiloro.

Before Da 'n' Dill... before Batrisha... Dillon Naylor was the defining artist of the 90s Melbourne underground/alternative music scene. Naylor created comics for Area 7 and The Fireballs and many other bands, as well as tour posters for The Beastie Boys, Powderfinger and the Pushover Festival. This material is collected in its entirety, along with Dillon's early horror comics, unseen pages, sketches, notes and Anecdotes.

Graphic/Narrative #1 presents 'Panic', an autobiographical tale about the author’s struggles with an anxiety and panic disorder. The book conveys the experience of a panic attack and discusses the progression of anxiety disorders. Follow Brendan Halyday as his life falls apart around him.

KRANBURN #6 (FEC Comics)
Both Brand and Silvia are on their own personal rampages. While Silvia takes care of the Nong messenger in her own way, Brand continues levelling the playing field on the Nong home turf. Do not mess with the people of Kranburn. By Ben Michael Byrne.

LADY McBLACK #1 (Black House Comics) 
At the behest of her three sisters, McBlack investigates the murder of Lila Bodicker by the Wester Reapers, a mixed municipal soccer team. But whoever killed Lila does not want the Bodicker sisters to find out what really happened and before long McBlack himself is being hunted in the streets. Written and pencilled by Jason Franks. Inks by Dave Gutierrez. Cover by Rhys James.

Tim Molloy has finally bound the exploits of Mr Unpronounceable, the ultimate anti-hero madman, into a single volume. 213 pages of throat-tearing, void questioning, dimensional tripping, laughing, crying, laughing, questioning adventures through the city of the Ever Open Eye by the creator of It Shines and Shakes and Laughs.

SEVEN #2 (FEC Comics)
Book 2 of the Seven series follows Kat and Hans on their search for their brothers - and as they stumble on a plot of betrayal, murder and an innocent goose girl, they find that acceptance of your fate does not lead to happiness.  By Alisha Jade.

The debut graphic novel by Melbourne illustrator Marijka Gooding. Retold through the eyes of a six-inch version of herself,
these short stories emphasize the ridiculousness of the world and encourage others to appreciate the subtle ironies hidden in the mundane.

UNGENRED (Black House Comics)
A collection of Jason Franks’ non-genre stories. Drama, comedy, travel, autobiography, social realism and sentient robots. Illustrated by Bruce Mutard, J. Marc Schmidt, Nic Hunter, Ed Siemienkowicz, Renan L’Hopsum, Joe Pimienta and others. Introduction by Bernard Caleo.
A fantasy and sci fi anthology by some of Australia and South Africa’s most best creators. Edited by Moray Rhoda and Neville Howard.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paper Trail

I'm under the gun for a bunch of things so I'll be posting brief Paper Trail columns over the next two weeks.

Illustrations and comics by Peader Thomas.

The City Burns Crimson by
Robert McMaster.

Becky and Frank of Tiny Kitten Teeth feature on the Mutant Season at Nerdist.

I Speak Comics interviews Moth City artist Tim Gibson. Sean Robinson writes about Moth City here.

Trailer for the Australian launch of Dailies #3 from Silent Army.

Non-Canonical interview Milk Shadow Books publisher James Andre.

Despicable  Man! 

Melbourne cartoonist Bruce Mutard details his forthcoming busy year of comics related events.

 Five Questions with Rod Emmerson at The New Zealand Listener.

Ness at Aggressive Comics interviews Ben Hutchings.

From the Pikitia Press work in progress folder,

More Phil Belbin Film adaptions.

Happy 84th Birthday John Dixon

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Russian Cartooning/Illustration Diversion: Огонёк 1959

Oгонёк (Spark), a Russian and Soviet social-political and literary weekly illustrated magazine was first published in 1899 as a supplement to the "Exchange Gazette".

More information on Oгонёк here and here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Comic Book Virus - Melbourne Comic Scene

A two part document of the Melbourne comics scene in the late 1990's condensed down from a six part documentary produced by Clint Cure, Garry Donnellon, Dave Rhodes and Craig Rideout. Originally aired on Optus Local Vision in 1997, artists featured include Fred Negro, Aaron O'donnel, Michael Fikaris, James Dunlevie, Tim Danko, Neale Blanden, Gregory MacKaye and Dillon Naylor.

Comic Book Virus Part One

Comic Book Virus Part Two

Thanks to David Blumenstein for the Hat-tip.

Simon Hanselmann Interview

 Simon Hanselmann

"VDS is cigarettes and acid and funerals."

Uber busy Melbourne based cartoonist Simon Hanselmann recently launched Victoria Drug Scene, a 76 page anthology of established and young cartooning upstarts primarily from Melbourne. Contributors include Michael Hawkins, HTML Flowers, Marc Pearson, Lashna Tuschewski, Michael Fikaris, Magic Sweater, Sam Wallman, David Mahler, Katie Parrish, international guest Josephine Mairead King Edwards.

Victoria Drug Scene will be available in the next few days from the Silent Army Storeroom. ( Proprietors of many fine Australian and New Zealand comics.)
I asked Simon a few questions about the production of Victoria Drug Scene.

You're quite a busy cartoonist at the moment, producing work for multiple publishers around the world, what inspired you to edit an anthology?

"It's basically like when Eminem blew up and got kinda popular and did the whole D12 thing, getting all his old friends together and being a group and saying, "Hey, look world, here are my cool friends. Give them deals and money, please. I love them and hope you will too."

Also it's a direct rebuttal to the recent documentary film "Graphic Novels! Melbourne!" (LOL). It's my opinion of what is the most vibrant, exciting, interesting work being produced in this city."

Did you take cues from any particular anthologies when producing Victoria Drug Scene? Did you have any themes or particular visions for the anthology?

"I staunchly specified "NO THEME" to all of the invited artists. I'm not a fan of themed anthologies. I wanted people to do whatever it is they do best and whatever the fuck they wanted to do and I just had to hope that people wouldn't fuck it up and I wouldn't hate their pieces and have to tell them they screwed up.

My vision was for a cheaply produced anthology of interesting local work that could, "Compete on a global level", by people who know what's happening in the world of comics, literature, fine art, film and fashion and whose styles are fully formed (or near fully formed).

No zombies or Star Wars references. No cute, meandering, artless, poorly-paced bullshit by boring people with nothing to say.VDS is not "geek culture". VDS is cigarettes and acid and funerals.

Regarding other anthologies that may have provided inspiration: It's it's own thing. It's Melbourne comics in early 2013. It can't possibly be anything else."

 Panel from Megg and Mogg by Simon Hanselmann

Is there a common 'scene' or 'aesthetic' contributing artists to VDS are a part of? If I recall rightly you were abroad for a while before coming to Melbourne in 2011 what are your general impressions of the Melbourne 'comics community'?

I moved to Victoria from Tasmania in early 2008 (and before that I'd always been aware of Silent Army and most of the interesting stuff coming out of the state. I kept tabs on everything happening whilst I was away in the UK from late 2008 to early 2011 (lots of interesting young people started making comics and self publishing in that period. HTML flowers, Lashna Tuschewski, David C Mahler, Marc Pearson, Katie Parrish etc).

Victoria is, in my opinion, the state producing the best comics in Australia. no other state even comes close.

I guess most of the artists in VDS are kind of coming at comics from an arts background and are not aware of, or interested in "mainstream comics". Most of them are in their early twenties and know their shit.

We all tabled together at the Melbourne Zine Fair and were referred to as "The Cool Kids" and "The stoners that sneak alcohol into the event". "The Pretty Weirdos"."

 Panel from Megg's Therapy by Simon Hanselmann

Will you be producing further anthologies?

Yes. VDS will be a quarterly publication for the foreseeable future. There are more young, emerging Australian artists that I will be asking to produce pieces for future issues. Evie Cahir, Tom Hunter, Hamishi etc.

I'll also continue to invite different international guests like Josie Mairead King Edwards from the first issue. I met her on tumblr and think she is utterly brilliant. And she's 17. I put her piece right near the front of the book as a warning to the other artists, "LOOK. look what Josie has done. Pick up your game." I may also start to feature small amounts of related "fine art", sculpture and fashion photography.

Can you name some cartoonists more people should be aware of?

Local: Marc Pearson. Marc has impeccable taste in the current global comics scene and is one of my favorite people to talk shop with. His last two books have been wonderful and he's blossoming into one of our best writers.I predict big things for him in the future. 

Michael Hawkins is eternally unique and brilliant and one of my oldest friends in comics, his Frosnall Graaf series is the Australian Twin Peaks.

Lashna Tuschewski is probably one of the coolest people in the world.

Sam Wallman is brilliant. Dave C Mahler is churning things out in his sleep.

M P Fikaris is running the Silent Army Storeroom which holds all the best comics to be found in Melbourne, he's also been releasing his anthology 'Dailies', a wonderful snapshot of the broader Australian scene. Pretty much everything that "matters" is in there.

Worldwide: there's too many people to mention, here's some of the top of my head: Aiden Koch, Lala Albert, Patrick Kyle, Jonny Negron, Noel Freibert, Royce Icon, Ines Estrada, Alex Schubert, Heather Benjamin, Edie Fake, Charles Foresman, Dane Martin, Zach Hazard Vaupen, Mickey Z, Joe Kessler, Gabriel Corbera... those are most of my current favorites...

I buy all my books online, usually direct from the artists. Australian comic book stores are pathetically behind the times and completely unaware of what's new and awesome. They're too busy selling toys and trinkets. Minotaur disgusts me. It actually smells in there. Plus they put those fucking metal price-stickers on all the "graphic novels" and they either tear the books up or leave greasy stains.

(I'm actually quite shocked that we have so many comic book shops in the city centre. Minotaur. All Star. Comics R Us. Comix... I hate all of them and find them poorly curated and totally useless. I wish at least ONE of them had ONE employee with taste who would order in interesting NEW small press and "art comics". Instead there are life-size plastic batman statues and pinball machines. ugly t-shirts. *Sigh*)"

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Lost City and the Adventures of Russ Denver - Conquest May 1947

A New Zealand adventure comic from the 1940's, The Lost City and Russ Denver featured in the second volume of the short lived AW Reed magazine Conquest. Conquest was published monthly for two years with the second volume serialising the Russ Denver adventure strip.

Conquest also featured work by illustrator Conrad Freiboe and Christchurch cartoonist and animator Leith McCunn with his Daffy strip.

Leith McCunn's Daffy

Page numbers in Conquest would continue consecutively from issue to issue which would indicate they may have existed as bound volumes collecting the monthly issues.

Further information on Conquest magazine and The Lost City and Russ Denver here.