Showing posts with label Christopher Sequeira. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christopher Sequeira. Show all posts

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 in Review: Paul Mason

Paul Mason

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2012?

Highlights? Oh man, 2012 has been very big, and extremely kind to me, so I hope I don’t bore you with my rundown. I “soldiered on” (yes, you’re damn right that pun was intended) with two more issues of ‘The Soldier Legacy’, plus a volume 1 trade paperback, published by Black House Comics. I also continued with my back up story with Christopher Sequeira in ‘Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes #8’, and another collaborative story that we’re hoping we can spin off to something larger in 2013, which I’m excited about. A sketch book also produced for my second trip to SDCC, which helped kick some goals. That trip, with the people and companies that Chris and I met with while we were over there, was a massive boost to the cartooning morale. At the very least, it was a strong validation to me that I’m not wasting my time scribbling, despite not being the most photorealistic of comic artists. (I won’t name drop; I’ll sound even more like a douche bag.) But at the very least, thank you Chris and Baden.

My other highlights were thanks to the good people at Supanova Pop Culture Expo, who had me as a guest in Melbourne, Gold Coast and Brisbane. The tours were fantastic, and chatting to the top guys of current mainstream comics was a blast. My last biggest highlight was thanks to the good folks of Oz Comic-Con, who very kindly had me, and a great line up of other Australian comic book makers, as guests at their Melbourne event. Chatting to Stan Lee about ‘The Soldier Legacy’ was very surreal.

Who are some of the comics creators that you've discovered and enjoyed for the first time in 2012?

I didn’t get a lot of regular comic reading in this year. But, there are a couple of creators: Tristan Jones, a Melbourne writer and artist (TMNT, Ghostbusters for IDW, and upcoming Sebastian Hawks), was also a guest at the cons I was at, and I got to see much of his illustration output as well as more of his writing. His digital illustration line has this lovely, “inky wire frame to hyper realistic” layered effect: a building of blacks, spatter, “grit” and lines that overlay and piece together these highly detailed, dark and disturbing, shadowy images.... I’m hopeless at describing them, google it. I finally got to read the complete volume of ‘The List’ by Paul Bedford, Henry Pop and Tom Bonin - I’ve been mates of Paul  for a while, but wanted to wait until I had the intended completion. I really enjoyed it; it’s the sort of book that dwells on your thoughts hours after you’ve put it down. Though I think I was more disturbed by the fact that I didn’t find it disturbing. I need some therapy, I think... ;P Bobby N’s “No Map but not lost” was fantastic.

The rest for 2012 are mostly older published stuff: I picked up Essential Rawhide Kid and discovered some of Jack Davis’s westerns for Atlas/Marvel. At the time I thought his figures in motion reminded me of Frank Robbins, until I was put on to Harvey Kurtzman; specifically his stories from Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline combat, during at conversation/portfolio review from Howard Chaykin (
which would rival Alex Toth's review of Steve Rude. It’s almost word for word, just throw in a few “bullsh**”s ;P). I can see where I think Kurtzman’s figures, poses and ink line had influenced Jack Davis’s stuff. I’m wondering if Kurtzman did the layouts for the EC artists in some of these stories (?). And yes, Kurtzman would be another one. His stuff is fantastic- deceptively simple in detail, but thick line gives his drawings a very expressive look- contrasting with the more realistic styles that feature in the title (like Severin and Wood). The storytelling is very emotive, and layouts, much like Kirby post 1940’s,  show you can still have big impact through pose, camera choice and simple panels over flashy layouts of some modern books . Corpse on the Imjin is probably my favourite, Rubble ticks all the boxes re: layouts, story, passage of time, empathy etc.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012?

Again, I was chained to the drawing table, so didn’t get to the cinema much. I did manage to see a few pics, which I enjoyed:  ‘the Avengers’, ‘SkyFall’, ‘Argo’, and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

I began lecturing in semester 2, so got to pick up a few classics on DVD that I always wanted to see, and show as parts of the class. Really though, I’m just a sucker for war and westerns, so any excuses was good enough. I enjoyed ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (not often a Hollywood remake is good, right? ;P), Clint Eastwood’s ‘Pale Rider’, and Steve McQueen’s ‘Hell is for Heroes’.

I also managed to drag myself away from the drawing board, and dipped my toe back into one of my old hobbies- Taekwon-do. Specifically, tournament fighting. I honestly thought I was Danny Glover when I did my first lesson back, just before the NSW state titles. But I managed to remember enough to take out the division, then rinse and repeat at the Australian titles, and earn a place on the Australian team for my 4th stint at the World ITF Championships next year in Korea. As long as I don’t bankrupt myself or break my drawing hand on some poor competitor’s face, I’ll be ok.

Have you implemented any significant changes to your working methods this year?

Hmmm, not really. I guess if someone’s interested in my nonsense, I did try to experiment with a different production method for every issue I do, if that counts. So what I mean is, for instance, with issue 4 I experimented with the Shitagaki method of writing a comic, from Colleen Doran’s Master class talk late last year (basically, post-it note sized thumbnail page layouts- no script). It’s a little Marvel method-y, but for a solo dude: thumbnail the thing, including balloon placements etc. With issue 5, I took onboard John Barber’s comments to me re: trying simplified layouts, so much of the pages contain horizontal “storyboard style” panels, rather than vertical, or diagonal layouts I tended to use for action pages. Trying to show what is needed in 1 panel, rather than 3, was another consideration I tried from talking with W. Chew Chan (so being more concise with camera choices); That sort of thing. Nothing drastic, just tune-ups based on talking it out and learning, try to take onboard as much advice as I can to hopefully improve.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

I’m looking at 2013, and it already has me wincing :P

Comic book wise; failing an apocalypse, my current story arc will wrap up in 2013, so I’m looking forward to that.  A new TPB of the last couple of issues will probably be on the cards, a possible issue of this new project maybe? Yes. Let’s stay open-minded. I think a one-shot of the ‘Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes’ back up story is planned once I wrap up the last chapter. I’m looking forward to finishing this damn Doctoral thesis- I struggled this year to balance the drawing commitments with the reference reading, writing and typing commitments this thing demands.

There are a couple of things collaboratively that I’m waiting on, and hoping to hear news of. But in the meantime, I’m not struggling to find something to do. And travel. Lots and lots of travel planned in the diary.
I think ultimately, I’m just looking forward to seeing what 2013 can do for me; I figure all we can ever do is “stick to the plan”, whatever that may entail in your or my case (unless your plan is “sit around, doodle, and pray.” That plan sucks. Don’t do that plan). Work hard.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Comic Con Article Australasian Post March 6 1986

The above article on the Australian Comic Con at Sydney Opera House in 1986, billed in some quarters as Australia's first comic convention, although I believe there may have been a couple smaller events held earlier. Special International guests included Will Eisner, Brendan McCarthy, and Jim Steranko as well as Australia's own Peter Foster and Frantz Kantor. Photographed and quoted in the article is young comic fan Christopher Sequeira who went on to become a veteran of writer of Australian comics with contributions to many projects since. In recent years Sequeira has established Blackhouse Comic's flagship title The Dark Detective Sherlock Holmes as well as projects for the American market under DC Comics, Marvel Comics and Boom! Studios.

Article courtesy Geoff Harrison