Showing posts with label James Andre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Andre. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2013

SLUG GUTS: Milk Shadow Books Launch - James Andre Interview

From the press release for this Saturday's Melbourne launch of the latest two comics from Milk Shadow Book:

Hi Everyone,
Just a reminder that next Saturday, October 12,we will be launching two excellent new books, Da 'n' Dill - The Showbag Years by Dillon Naylor and Squirt-Stone by Ben (Sea) Constantine.

Both of the artists will be in attendance, signing and sketching. Plus their books will be sold in showbags containing limited edition prints, cool lollies, and other surprises. Also, Dillon and Ben are giving away a page of original art from the books.

The launch is on at All Star Comics Melbourne from 2pm – 5pm. Then at around 5:30pm if people want to have a drink, or can't make the afternoon launch, we'll be having an afterparty where you can sit and chat to the guys and buy books. This will be at Charlies Bar, 71 Hardware Lane (just down the toad from All Star).

These will be our last books released for a while, so we aim to make this a big one! Hope to see you there, and if you can help spread the word to help us make this launch huge it would be greatly appreciated.

I fired a few questions to Milk Shadow Books Publisher James Andre about the two books launching this weekend and what else has been happening with MSB this year.

James Andre Interview by Matt Emery
Can you talk a bit about what goes into choosing artists and books for Milk Shadow Books? Can you talk about how Ben C and Dillon Naylor's work fit into this equation? How much are your choices guided by 'business' and 'aesthetic'?
Milk Shadow Books looks for unique visions and voices. That's about it. Things that will open your mind through paper and ink.

Dillon was recommended to me by Bruce Mutard. At first I was shocked, because Dillon has been around forever. I knew of Da 'n' Dill, Batrisha, and even his stuff such as Pop Culture and Two Minute Noodles. He's a real pro. Bruce said Dillon might contact about publishing some stuff, 'cause he'd mentioned MSB to him. I waited a day or two then contacted Dillon direct. That's how the A Brush With Darkness collected book came about, and with Da 'n' Dill being mentioned early on, we came back to that project as our next one. It's also a good title because of the nostalgia, and all ages aspect.

I've been a fan of Ben's work since picking up a Phatsville comic at a Brisbane Supanova, probably 10 years ago. Plump Oyster was in foetal stages then. At that time I didn't really know an underground/alternative comics scene existed in Australia. I hoped that it did though and that it wasn't all just shoddy superhero/genre knock-offs. Loved Ben's work straight away. Strangely even back then my brain thought, "someone should be publishing this guy."

Most of the other MSB artists are friends who have been self publishing for a long time. I'm a comics nerd/fanboy at heart, and I can generally tell when someone has an interesting style. And it's easy to see different artists who have a strong following online, or at shows. It's not usually a money choice when it comes to publishing, but I don't want to go broke publishing either. A strong sense of style and "something to say" is the main thing. Have some soul basically. Those books usually sell well anyway, as business will follow a good aesthetic.

Both Ben C and Dillon are both well established cartoonists locally, Why do you think other publishers haven't taken an interest in their work prior to you?

That's a good question. I'm not too sure? We're lucky to be working with them. Same as with Tim Molloy, Ben Hutchings, Bobby.N and everybody else really. Both of the guys have worked with larger publishers and publications, but it's usually been in a more restrained sense, or have had short stories published in anthologies/magazines.
We give artists nearly total artistic freedom (with some editorial control/advice being retained by me and the tech people here) to make the best books they can, the way that they envision them. We "package" our books with love, and not to be slathered with tomato sauce and a pickle and pushed down a burger chute. That's probably fairly appealing to artists too.

Were there any difficulties in assembling collections of Ben and Dillon's work, I imagine some of Dillon's work goes back a few years?

The good thing about Ben and Dillon is that they still have a lot of the original art. So it was mainly just waiting for them to scan in the art once we provided them with the technical details. We were originally planning on making Ben's book larger, but most of his early work was drawn A4, so shrinking it down to A5 makes it look a lot tighter than blowing it up to a larger size. While Dillon's Da 'n' Dill comics worked well being collected from different sizes into one uniformly larger book. Then we ran the books through the usual proofing/design process.
How much of your market is divided between local and international sales? Do you have a concentrated focus on either?
We're really focused on local sales at moment after getting the Madman distribution deal happening. That was a big deal for us, and we've been trying to co-ordinate as much publicity and sales opportunities as we can with them. Eventually we'd like to expand overseas more, looking at Diamond and Last Gasp as distributors, but we already have Amazon, The Book Depository coverage so that's the main thing. Currently, I feel that if we can keep working to make a strong local scene for local people (Sorry, that sounds kind of like Edward and Tubbs out of The League of Gentlemen) then it will make things more sustainable for everyone

How important was your partnership with Madman for distribution? Are you at a point were you can evaluate this yet?
Really important. It's hard to keep on top of self distribution when you work full time. Having Madman take care of that frees up spare time to work on production and other business matters. It saves having to call up/go into shops chasing five bucks from eight months ago. The team there have honestly been great to work with. Plus the promo side of what they can do is so much more than we can do ourselves. I got some initial figures the other day and I think the guys there thought I'd be disappointed, but I'm happy every time even if one book sells, so to me, it's been going well so far.

Are there short term or long term goals you can share for Milk Shadow Books?
After these two new books, I'm going to take a break for a while from production. I'm getting married next year so that'll be a priority. But also it would be nice to have some time to go back over the business and catch up with lots of details behind the scenes that are often missed. Walking to Japan was our first major work, and that came out October 2011, so it's been two years. Now is a good time to go back over what's working etc. Even though we'll be toning down our schedule in the future, we've still plenty of really good books lined up.
Do you punch walls when things don't turn out the way you want?
Haha, no. Well, a window in Year 8, but that was more for a laugh.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Comic Events

Second Shore and Pikitia Press will be tabling with a fine selection of Australian and New Zealand comics at the Federation Square Book Fair under the Atrium tomorrow from 11am - 5pm.

Tomorrow, Sat 23 March, All Star Comics in Melbourne launch Tom Taylor and James Brouwer's The Deep: The Vanishing Island. Facebook it.

A disparate combination of various Milk Shadow Books comic folk and the Australian writer of My little Pony, Ryan K Lindsay, are signing at Impact Comics in Canberra in the early morning and evening tomorrow. More details here. These creators and more will be at the CanberraZine Emporium from 11am - 4pm tomorrow as well. Facebook it.

Simon Hanselmann launches his Floating World Broadsheet St Owl's Bay at the Silent Army storeroom on March 27th. 

Simon says,
"Tell your friends"... presumably there will be a hotbed of local talent in attendance. a variety of beverages. free snax. maybe some "surprises". IDK. bitching, gossip, passionate rambling etc... "meet n greet". paranoia, social awkwardness.
 Facebook it.


Graphic Novels! Melbourne! has an upcoming screening in Canberra on April 6. more details here.

Auckland has a new comics shop, Arkham City Comics, opening 1st April. More details here.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BA3 Comic Launch Melbourne


Now a firm institution in the Melbourne comic calendar, the third Big Arse combined comic launch took place last weekend with fifteen new comics released from primarily Australian and New Zealand artists and writers. Compared to last year's, overcast day of showers, Melbourne provided a warm sunny day for comic folk to gather at the Fitzroy Beer Garden. From my involvement in the three launches to date, I've witnessed the event grow in scale and ambition with a companion launch organised by Bruce Mutard during the Melbourne Writer's Festival last year looking to also become a yearly fixture. A further spin-off has been discussed to accommodate the growth in the local comics community and audience which bodes well for the future.

Nalini Haynes of Dark Matter Fanzine captured video and audio on the day here.

 Passionate Bruce Mutard

 Colin Wilson and Ian McColl

Alleyway beside the Fitzroy Beer Garden

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.