Showing posts with label Dailies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dailies. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Productivity and Motivation: David C Mahler and Darren Close

Part two of talking with self-publishing/small press cartoonists about productivity and motivation.

David C. Mahler is a young prolific Melbourne cartoonist, he seems to have a new mini comic out every few month, in a variety of formats, as well as featuring in recent anthologies Dailies and Victoria Drug Scene. David's tumblr.

Do you experience a drop in productivity upon completing a comic?

Not exactly. I'm a bit of a workhorse; at any one time I'll have 5 or so books in the works, which can range from 6 - 30 pages. As I work on a large number of projects at once, they do take quite some time to see completion, so maybe that's how I get around the dreaded productivity drop; I just take so long to complete any one thing. As well, I'm constantly noting down new concepts and dream projects…I'm starting to get worried I'll never have a holiday ever again. Generally if I finish a longer work I'll have a few days of rest where I'll work on more scratchy 1-2 pagers before starting the long uphill push once more. Oh, I will admit, I've actually caught myself taking mid-project breaks more and more. I'll wake up in the morning, sit at my desk with a stack of inked pages, a stack of panelled pages, and catch myself watching Bob's Burger's an hour later. And then it's lunchtime, and of course you have to eat lunch in front of youtube…I mean, that's just common sense…I never really acknowledged it before, but I guess my weakness is indeed the mid-project lazies!

Have you developed methods to deal with creative lulls?

Definitely just piling the projects on. If I know there's more to do I'll push myself harder to finish off the current comic, so I can go onto that next exciting project. I also make a point of discussing projects with, well, everyone. I'm worried it comes off a bit like boasting, but really it's a tactic I've found to commit myself to my work - I don't want to let anyone down! Every now and then a friend will ask something along the lines of "so did you give up on that 20 pager you mentioned last year?" and I'm basically always reassuring, "no no, it's sitting on my desk, the pencils are tight, any day now!!"
As far as the sneaky tv breaks, it generally gets to a point where I say "alright, I've finished one page in the last three days, yet I've finished two seasons of Lost. Time to get back to work! …After this episode…"

What do you consider the primary obstructions of your productivity?

Well, TV no doubt…I'm not the most social person - I've been shamefully known to cancel plans last minute because I'm just too deep in the zone. Really the only other obstacle I can recognise would be food, which makes me pretty darn tired. I realised a while ago that my most productive periods are the days I don't eat! What an awful double edged sword…don't worry, I don't starve myself for my art, but if I need to I can contentedly rock out a solid, meal-scarce 40 hours where I'll just whizz through 10-15 pages. I really do not recommend it.

Via his creation Killeroo, Darren Close has collaborated with a wide line up of Australian writers and cartoonists since it's initial appearance in the university magazine The Third Degree. Close has been active in fostering comics communities with his Ozcomics weekly draw-off and prior to that Ozcomics the magazine, co-edited with Mark Selan.
Do you experience a drop in productivity upon completing a comic?

Yeah, there's a period when you switch to "create mode" to "pimp mode" and everything else goes on the back-burner for a while - at least that's how it was with the GANGWAR one-shot last year. I moved heaven and earth to get it ready for Big Arse 2 - and then straight into online orders and gauging interest of stocking it at local comic shops. The next book didn't really get a look-in until most of the stock was sold.

Have you developed methods to deal with creative lulls?

Well for one I'll never rush a book to meet a deadline again. The GANGWARS ANTHOLOGY book has been a slow burn, generating and gauging retailer interest whilst it's still coming together, much better planning and NO rushed pages. Not soliciting the release date until it's READY is another handy tip.

What do you consider the primary obstructions of your productivity?

Probably facebook (and ozcomics). It's a great marketing tool but also a big drain on time and energy if you don't monitor it.

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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 in Review: M. P. Fikaris

M. P. Fikaris

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

Starting up a little store room in my studio and printing up a new periodical DAILIES while pushing through my inhibitions of medium and painting some comics.

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

There's a bunch, best to get look for DAILIES 3 in early 2013 to see some of them! Pre-order one with me in January.

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

Local theatre, dance, poetry, live music, graffitti, film, performance, art, happenings and all other things seen in Melbourne- we are spoilt!

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

My work is mostly about implementing changes I think...though I have almost finished my second longer formative comic story (oh I mean graphic novel) but the guys who asked to print it are no longer wanting to, so I think it will stay in the files with the other one from 11 years ago... or I may do something I have never really done much before and -  ask for help..

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

More web comics, killer bees, and an event every month at Silent Army store room at 110 franklin street Melbourne city. Hope to see u there!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The first edition of a new comics anthology, Dailies, was recently produced by the Silent Army publishing concern. Contained within the pages of the striking 32 page tabloid newspaper format are sixty artists from Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia producing their takes on 'newspaper strips'. Established cartoonist's such as Tim Molloy, Tim Danko, Mandy Ord, Glenn Smith, Ben Hutchings and more feature alongside emerging young talent. Cartoons are presented in a variety of forms from abstract art comics to riffs on popular newspaper strips as well as dense multi-panel narratives.

Excerpt of Mandy Ord's Desperate Times

Each release will feature different versions of contemporary views of the comic art strips presented in black and white, two colour, and full colour spreads.

I asked Dailies Editor M P Fikaris a few questions via email about his latest project.

What was the impetus to publish Dailies?

There were a few really. But mostly, as with all anthologies I have published, to show the fine talents of my friends. Also, with dailies it is a little bit of an idea on doing things quickly and without too much pre design and study as most comics tend to be). I asked the artists to submit something in a short time frame, hoping not only to get us doing something without too much thought but also to get something that could be repeated and continued like the daily comics of old newspaper cartoonists.

 Excerpt from The Pox Girls Plan 9 From Outer Space

Some of the material in Dailies seems far removed from the concept of  'the comic art strip', some perhaps more in the realm of art comics, were there editorial guidelines for Dailies? Were you involved in editorial guidance with any of the contributors?

I asked a lot of friends, some with a more traditional comic strip making background and others who I thought were doing things that are very similar in nature to the comic strip. My mind is very open to comics in many mediums and I certainly don’t restrict a comic to squares on a page with characters talking.

 Excerpt from Leigh Rigozzi

 What was the print run of Dailies? Are you satisfied with the finished product?

The print run was 3000 copies. I am satisfied that it is complete, but there are certainly a lot of pips in it. It is the first time I have laid something out for newsprint and I have learnt a bunch of things. My budget was pretty low (but very gratefully it was covered by a fellow artist who wants to remain unknown) so I did it with a printer that was possibly less helpful than I could have hoped. The first issue is not about perfect layout for me but more about getting it complete and making it a progressive thing. The next issue is due in May this year and the following to come out in August, then again in November.

Were there any difficulties in assembling an anthology with this many creators spread out over the globe?

Yeah, a little frustrating – but that was the challenge.


Excerpt from 'Megg's Coven' by Simon Hanselman

Where is Dailies available from?

With this collection I plan to take it to the streets and sell it  like a paper – but with a twist. Combining my background as an artist on the streets and doing work with local theatre companies I am very excited to try something a little different … to have unadvertised ‘happenings’ each month in a Melbourne laneway… each will be plastered with the papers contents on the walls(done the night before) and myself and another dressed to impress with paper in tow ‘performing’ a selling technique I hope will make the paper a more interesting and mysterious collection of stories and artworks for all sorts interested in ‘culture’.

I have plans to do this next week and will be recording it for future reference.

Currently I am also selling it on the silent army website - and successfully at various art fairs/stalls and markets. The plan with this has always been to glue into laneways of the city and distribute through other less traditional comic outlets. Flexing creative flare instead of bending to the needs of the stores.
 All cartoons copyright 2012 their respective creators.