Showing posts with label Melbourne cartoonists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melbourne cartoonists. Show all posts

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Gem: Advice Comics




Need advice? Consult some of Melbourne's top advice columnists via the wonderful medium of comics.

Sally is due to start high school next year, her mum’s boyfriend often refers to her as an ‘old soul’ as she feels deeply and completely for all things. If asked, she identifies as a ‘professional empathe’ which her grandma feels is very mature. Her two all time favourite things are dogs and the colour blue.

Dr. Entrails, Ph.D. specializes in pediatrics, neurosurgery and trepanation. He is also the host of the children’s saturday morning television program, Dr. Entrails and Friends.
Mulbert was abandoned mere seconds after his birth. His parents had been expecting a girl, not a moose, and this would not be the last time he would disappoint a group of strangers. To quote his doctor, Mulbert’s life has been “medically regrettable”. He spent his first few years of orphanhood squatting sleeplessly inside a Time Crisis II arcade machine, his tiny hooves perpetually up in bewildered surrender. For a while he tried masquerading as a hypertrichotic Vietnam veteran named ‘Gubers’, but his pension never came through. His roommate recently got him a job at Cosmo’s Deli, which was cool of him, but still Mulbert wakes up most days acheing, sore from modest dreams, wondering how to get from point A to point B if you never learned to spell.
Mr. Ray is one of the most influential and important names in contemporary Australian poetry. His long-awaited new book Aghh, I Don’t Know If I Can Do This Again Vol. 2 is out this Christmas through Mouthwhisp & Whimperman. Ray Lives in Melbourne, Australia with his dog.
Because of what he is, Boyfriend brings a perspective external to general human experience. But don’t think he can’t empathize with you or he doesn’t care. The events of your life mean more to him than anything.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Art Spiegelman & Françoise Mouly Melbourne Visit

In Melbourne for a couple of speaking engagements during early October, Art Spiegelman & Françoise Mouly met up with a handful of local cartoonists at Squishface Studios to talk comics, art and publishing.

Sarah Gooding wrote about Françoise Mouly's career overview with Penny Hueston at the Wheelers Centre on Oct 9th.

Bernard Caleo wrote about Art Spiegelman & Françoise Mouly's Squishface visit at An Island Art.

pic by Bernard Caleo

 Art Spiegelman and Shaun Tan

Colin Wilson and Ben Hutchings

Jo Waite lunch sketch

Pic by Bernard Caleo

All pics by M.Emery unless credited otherwise

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ACTIVE CITIZENS: Silent Army Storeroom

The Silent Army Storeroom at 110 Franklin st. Melbourne CBD (Down alleyway entrance at rear) is hosting a flurry of events this month including the creation of Active Citizens, a giant wooden comic book jam drawn during friday evenings over the course of the month. Contributing artists so far include Michael Hawkins, Merv Heers, Marc Pearson, David Mahler, Simon Hanselmann, Michael Fikaris, Matt Emery, James James, Clare Wilson, Sam Wallman with more to come.

The Silent Army Storeroom, open Fridays 12pm -8pm offers a fine range of weirdo comics, papers and ephemera.

Purchase fine paper goods online at the Silent Army online store.

More pics on Silent Army on instagram. 

Silent Army Storeroom site.


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.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Paul and Pam - W. C. Merrill

Paul and Pam by W.R. Merrill ran in the Friday Junior Age section of The Age during the early 1950's. Scant information about cartoonist W. R. Merrill is available but the setting of this strip in Australia indicates it is Australian as well as the only other strip featured in the Age at the time being local cartoonist Ivan Rowley's Terry. These weekly strips are excerpted from a longer serial and featured in The Age Nov-Dec 1954.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Walking to Japan Comic Launch

Melbourne Cartoonist Ben Hutchings launches his new comic, Walking To Japan, this Tuesday at the Toff in Town. Walking To Japan is the first of a few projects he has lined up with Milk Shadow Books. I had a quick chat via email with Ben about his new work.

What was the basis behind publishing Walking To Japan in Newspaper format?

We were thinking of alternative sizes. The mini size is too small.  Normal American size is annoying, and A4 is ugly. Then I suddenly remembered and thought that would be a novelty, and great for the detailed panels. It's a 16 page story I think, and the whole comic is 20 pages. There are a few full page panels that I spent one or two days on.   

What else do you have lined up with Milk Shadow Books?

You Stink #10 is underway. I had already posted most of it online though, and I thought that would be disappointing for a lot of people. So I am replacing most of it with new content except for one or two of my favorite stories that people will have read online. The style of most of the strips in #10 is that really loud, ridiculous style with fairly crude drawings. So we are talking about releasing that within the next couple of months. Milk Shadow will also be doing the third Lesson Master reprint, and Handball Heaven too! We even talked about the possibility of doing the second You Stink collection 6-10. How rad would that be, eh?  

What do you have prepared for the Walking To Japan launch party ?

Yeah, the first hour will be just be us selling our comics, and swanning about chatting and being charming to everybody, so turn up on the dot OK? But i wanna recommend people do stay for the bands and burlesque. The reason is that after chattin' comix, we'll be sitting and drawing while the bands play with the lights down and I get such a kick out of drawing stupid drawings for people, especially when they actually look good, ho ho.

Do you think you'll publish in newspaper format again?

Wow, I haven't even seen it yet. Gotta touch it and smell it and inspect the line quality close up. James sounded excited by it on email, and the process of making it was really fun.  Ask me again after the launch!

Walking To Japan preview here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tim Molloy

New Zealand Cartoonist/Melbourne Resident Tim Molloy is currently working on a new comic series, Deerstalker,  describing it as a 'comedy/sci-fi/horror/noir thing'. Written by James James, a few gorgeous panels have been popping up online, keep an eye on his blog for more info.

The following article was written for Radio With Paper #4 in early 2010.

Late 2009, Tim Molloy was one of the last feature exhibitions at Gallery 696 in Melbourne, Australia. The well attended exhibition was also a launch party for Molloy's most recent comic, Saturn Returns. A combination of Comic Art, Paintings, Sculpture and Installations, the exhibition was planned a full year in advance and the work on display was filled with meticulous detail.

Reading from an early age, Molloy had Tintin and Asterix amongst his intake and started creating his own comics before adolescence. Picking up on superhero comics a bit later Molloy was also turned onto 2000AD back when it was affordable and had a rotating creative cast of today's comic superstars. Various friends introduced Molloy to Alternative comics like Milk and Cheese and he also became aware of New Zealand comics in his teens such as Andy Conlan's Strumming Teeth and the work of Willie Saunders.

A formative comic experience of Molloy's was when Auckland Legend and housemate, James James, dragged him aside at a party and threw a blanket over them for an impromptu comic creating lesson. "Look at this shit man! There's a light source! make those lines darker!" Friend Ben Stenbeck has also been a source of advice and inspiration over the years.

One of the first publishing efforts that Molloy contributed to was Poot, in collaboration with a couple friends. Set out on A4 folded into quarters, poot was distributed around Auckland with a last issue print run of 500 copies. Later Molloy contributed cartoons such as Ninja Sheep and Drunken Otter and Satan and to the Auckland Uni mag, Craccuum, and has self-published many comics in the ensuing years.


In his late teens Molloy experimented with mind altering substances and these had an effect upon his consciousness that led to him discarding what he had been doing previously and  to develop a new direction with his work. Symbolism and esoteric elements  became more prevalent. Saturn Returns like much of Molloy's recent work features dialogue rendered in an alien symbolic language coupled with surreal imagery which are all earmarks of a style, distinctly Molloy's.

 Molloy's recent exhibition showcased his work in a few different mediums, included detailed maquettes of characters from his comic work. Utilising architects molding clay he created fully painted detailed renditions of his 2d work.  Molloy uses Stabiler Artline pens and the Artline 210 medium 0.6 by Shachihata is a staple of his work, providing a great variance of line widths for a relatively cheap pen. For very fine detail he switches to .1 and .005 pens. All his line work he manipulates in  Photoshop and Illustrator. Molloy confesses the editing functions available to him via computers allow him to obsess over every corner and detail which he feels can be detrimental to getting things completed. The knowledge that the average reader will only glance at pages is no comfort when you want to make your work as good as it can be.

Like many cartoonist's before him Molloy drew early inspiration from Moebius but also took a step back from the french master to avoid taking on too much of his style. Influences come from a wide range particularly outside of the comics field with an appreciation for work by Bosch and Brugel and literary influences such as Stephen King (The Dark Tower series) and Henry Miller. Dreams and Synchronicity are also influences Molloy draws upon.

A full colour book of Mr Unpronounceable adventures was completed and planned for 2009 but unfortunately the publisher involved came askew due to the worldwide economic crisis. Hopefully this will be rescheduled for 2010. Molloy states, " The Unpronounceable stuff is kind of a throwback to a slightly more messed up me, it almost felt like at a certain point I was derailing my own life so I could come up with the feeling to be there with Mr Unpronounceable and follow him around. My brother mentioned the new stuff feels more like I'm in charge of the characters and I'm exploring the world with them whereas the Unpronounceable stuff I'm following this guy around and he's leading me into these really dark places."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Inherent Vice

 The NGV Studio

From July 16th - Aug 14th, Eight Melbourne Cartoonists have recreated their studios in the NGV Studio for five weeks of intensive cartooning. Mandy Ord, Ben Hutchings, Sarah Howell, Michael Hawkins, Simon Hanselman, Michael P. Fikaris, Pat Grant and Rebecca Clements have all inhabited the NGV's Atrium for the last few weeks with an open studio space allowing visitors to come see them work and chat about their projects. Amongst the drawing tables and art supplies the artist's have personal libraries of inspiration, Individual displays of work in progress, and the large far wall is a collage of pages of comics, paraphernalia, gig and exhibition posters and work from other Melbourne cartoonists.

 Simon Hanselman

 Simon Hanselman's Megg Mogg & Owl

 Simon Hanselman's Casper
The NGV gallery space was created to engage with artists that would not normally have involvement with a large metropolitan gallery. Curated by Beckett Rozentals, Inherent Vice is the second residency since the creation of the studio.
 Pillar behind Ben Hutching's drawing table
Pat Grant

  Original pages of Pat Grant's Blue

Aug 4th saw a well attended 24 - hour comic marathon with a colour copying machine primed and ready at the far end of the studio. Rebecca Clements took it one step further producing a 36 - hour comic.

Come Inside My Body by Rebecca Clement - Click on pic for more info and to get your own copy

 Ben Hutching's Handball Heaven reaches to the Heavens


Ord's Space

Michael Hawkins

Ben Hutchings

Comics Wall