Showing posts with label M P Fikaris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label M P Fikaris. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Places To Put Your Money

Chromacon, the upcoming New Zealand Illustration and Comic Art Festival are five days out from the end of their crowdfunding campaign on Pledgeme. As of this writing they are about $200 short of their target.

Ben Hutchings is primarily known as a musician but he does have a sideline making comics. Ben's publisher Milk Shadow Books have a Hutchings sale on at the MSB store.

A fine cover by Hutchings' band Tootleg Boy of Limahl's sublime classic The Never Ending Story. One time I listened to this for two hours straight and came out a better man for it.

Ive Sorocuk's latest mini comic Everybody Comics Face is available to order online.

Bathwater Books have two recent comics by Scarlette Baccini.

The Silent Army Online Store offer comics by a fine selection of cartoons including Tim Danko, David C. Mahler, Jase Harper, Simon Hanselmann, M P Fikaris and more.

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*)"

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sticky Zine Fair Melbourne 2013

Like a fool I tested my new camera on a bunch of comic folk at the 2013 Sticky Zine Fair in Melbourne and ended up with a bunch of pics taken with a low light setting. Please excuse the fuzziness and lack of focus, here's a bunch of comic folk snapped at the zine fair yesterday.

Melting Nazi Face

Milk Shadow Books' James Andre and Incredible Hulk Scholar Larry Boxshall


I picked up a sweet haul from the fair.

Contact/Tintin Mashup print from A Woodward and a hand-drawn Simon Hanselmann T-Shirt!

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.