Showing posts with label brent willis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brent willis. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brent Willis - BD Zine

French publication BD Zine is published tri-monthly in full colour, each issue focusing on a comic maker from around the world. Comics featured are in french and english and freely distributed to various comic shops and libraries in France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. BD Zine is published by I.M.A., a French non-profit association. Their 38th issue features Wellington cartoonist Brent Willis. The 32 page zine features 20 pages of Brent's comics, an interview (translated in French) and some ads for other comics.
Along with other featured BD artists, Brent also recently designed a label for Koala Beer home beer. He described his contribution, " Mine is the one which looks like its been drawn and coloured in by a 12 year kid with cheap felt-tip pens and coloured pencils."

I asked Brent a few questions about what he's been up to lately,

Seeing as you have close to zero web presence, How did BD Zine become aware of you?

I asked the BD Zine people this and they say they found me by chance on the internet. Because of my "close to zero web presence" this is indeed surprising but in situations like this I don't delve too deeply.  Its just a happy little miracle of sorts.

How can people get a hold of your ongoing zine Wark or the recent Bristle Annual?

People can get hold Bristle (which is now the Bristle Annual) or Whark (which is now spelt with an 'h' as I have recently discovered there was a British sci-fi zine with the same name in the 70s) by emailing me at 

The Bristle Annual is $10NZ and Whark is $3NZ, plus postage. If buying from outside NZ, I can accept a few other currencies so email me and we can work something out. Otherwise if you're lucky you might find them at a zinefest or comic convention near you.

Read any good comics lately?

The new Funtime comics collection is very good and I bought Lucky Luke and the Daltons for half price recently. And of course the comics that people send in to Bristle.

What are you working at the moment?

I have just finished editing and printing the Bristle Annual, which is like the Bristle Quarterly but bigger and less frequent. I'm currently working on a the latest edition of Whark and planning for a few comics beyond that. I'm also on the Wellington Zinefest Committee so we're working on organising a really good zinefest later this year.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Paper Trail

Tonight on the exciting sexually active Melbourne Comic scene from the facebook page for Merv Heers' Salary Man launch:

Listen up you little freaks ! Wednesday May 29th at 6pm Merv Heers will be launching ONE full size salary man comic as well as an attention seeking SEVEN mini comics ! That's right ma'am. The big kahuna. Outta sight !

Tonight at the Slient Army Storeroom 110 Franklin Street CBD, Melbourne, publishers and stockists of many fine Australian and New Zealand comics.

Salary Man comics tumblr.

Silent Army Storeroom.

If like me you were navigating planes, trains, and buses on Free Comic Book Day and missed out you can still enjoy Chugnut Comics Free Comic Book Day Comic #3 here.

Australian history comics from Michael Fikaris, Cannabis Australia.

Preview tumblr for Tim Danko's Comic Book now available for pre-order through Tim's Pozible campaign.

Leigh Riggozi talks about putting together anthology Blood and Thunder Anthology #2 showcasing some of the best comic illustration that Australia and New Zealand have to offer.

Video tour through Chromacon 2013.

Have you checked in with Dylan Horrock's Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen lately? 84 pages in, Dylan has been hitting a weekly schedule of late, a good time to catch up if you've fallen behind.

Brent Willis' Bristle anthology is back as a jumbo size annual featuring David Piper, Bryce Galloway, Ned Wenlock, Robyn Kenealy, David Tulloch, Edward Lynden-Bell, Tim Bollinger, Jerome Bihan, Robbie Neilson, Anders Gronland, Ross Payne, Matt Emery, Sarah Laing, and Lorenzo Van Der Lingen. Wellington launch is on Wednesday night (29th June) at the Bristol.

Simon Hanselmann puts the Problem Solverz into the Truth Zone.

Remember the Problem Solverz?

L S Marquez' The Tremblars.


2013 Zine and Indy Comic Symposium in Brisbane.

Is every cartoonist a musician as well? Stream Greg Broadmore and Christian Pearce's influential Hamilton post hardcore band Ghidrah's Invincible Deluxe here.

Haven't mentioned Oglaf in a while.

Alex Thomas interviews Tim Gibson.

Australian Cartoon Mueseum 2010 election showcase.

Gavin Aung Than pays tribute to Jeff Hanneman through the words of John Donne at Zen Pencils.

Daniel Brader and Yi Lang Chen's The Adventures of the Kite Family.

Esther interviews Hookups creator Jess Hansell.

Chris Cudby writes about behind the scenes of Hookups.


Anthony Woodward issues a minicomic challenge.  

Daniel Best's Rise and Fall of Newton Comics Pozible campaign is almost 2/5ths of the way to it's funding target. Best has recently added original art incentives from his personal collection. From Best's blog 20th Century Danny Boy:  

This was a Melbourne based company after all and has all the right ingredients for a juicy story - sex, drugs, rock and roll, comic books, crime, brothels, politics - you name it, Newton did more than dabble in it. Americans with an interest in comic book history? Well this is the FIRST full length book about an Australian publisher and, don't forget, they managed to take Marvel Comics for over $30,000 in 1975. That wasn't chump change.  Comic books were never like this before, or since.

 Take part in the campaign here.
(Not final cover.)

Dean Rankine visits New Zealand.

Karl Wills shares a couple more pics from the Connie Radar short film.  

Darian Zam's redbubble store of recreated kiwiana designs.

Amongst various paper ephemera last weekend, a satchel of original art including AFL cartoons from 1979 by Weg, priced $750-$1500.
Ken Maynard
Comics of yesteryear showcase: Australian editions of GI Jane originally published in the US by Stanhall Publications. Stanhall published 11 issues of  GI Jane from May 1953 to March 1955. Jane like many comic wartime and post wartime heroines was the story of a G.I. gal who drove the soldier boys crazy, mixing humour with lashings of sexual innuendo.
Paper Trail masthead courtesy of Toby Morris.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Productivity and Motivation: Simon Hanselmann and Brent Willis

This is the first of three posts surveying Australian and New Zealand cartoonists about productivity and motivation. I recall several conversations with comic folk regarding creative lulls and productivity impediments. Specifically with cartoonists that produce work at the self-published or small press level. With no onus on earning a living from their craft cartoonists with day jobs can be challenged to stay motivated and productive. Six cartoonists responded to a few questions regarding productivity, sharing advice and insight into their working methods.

Simon Hanselmann

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

No. I generally throw myself right into the next exciting thing on the pile. Like Don Rosa, frightful workaholism. Fear of death. Fear of mediocrity. Sometimes I obviously allow myself a treat and will melt onto the couch and focus on movies I've never seen before. Or perhaps I'll "charge sleep" for 24 hours and then do a 40 hour stretch of non-stop drawing. I do suffer from Depression and a cocktail of personal problems. That can shut me down sometimes... but not upon completion of anything. Usually in the middle of multiple things. I never rest on a completed piece. I look for the mistakes in it and move onto a new, hopefully better piece.

Have you developed methods to deal with creative lulls? 

A proven method! I say this into the mirror every morning and bedtime: "Don't be complacent, know that your newly finished work is awful and full of mistakes. Start a new project immediately. You suck. Your stuff is ugly. Fix it. Get better. Be funnier. Are you working as hard as you can on your embarrassing life choice? Be the best. Be aware of all of your "competitors". Be entertaining. Look beyond local pats on the back. Your friends are lying or are tasteless idiots. You need to be trying so much harder... Chris Ware, Beyonce, Michael DeForge, RuPaul.

What do you consider the primary obstructions of your productivity?

Family problems. Cool gigs. Cool friends. The aforementioned deep black pit of despair and anxiety. Self-hatred. Way too many emails. Beautifully directed films and television that demand to be paid full attention. Books. Keeping up with everything that's happening in the "Global Scene". Sleep. Preparing food. Bodily upkeep...

I endeavor to keep my responsibilities to anybody or anything at a bare minimum.
People who "know" me are generally used to me not leaving my house / "studio".
I have deadlines, real and self-imposed. I can't come to your thing. The clock is ticking. My body is decaying.

Brent Willis

The subject of comics and productivity is an interesting one. In New Zealand, and maybe in Australia as well, it's a very rare few that can make a living out of making comics and so most of us have to work either part time or full time, which has the effect of relegating our comics work as a hobby, which in turn means that we South Pacific comic makers aren't as productive as we'd like to be. For me, (and I'd say for a lot of other people as well) my day job is the main enemy of productivity. Five days a week, I have to wake up at six o'clock in the morning, rouse myself out out of bed, get ready for work, travel to work, work, and then get home which is usually about 6 o'clock or later if if I want to stop at the supermarket or see a movie or have a few after-work drinks on Friday. By which time I need an hour or two to chill out afterwards, eat some food and maybe watch tv for a bit.  I usually I don't bother doing comics after work, unless I'm feeling up to it, in which case I maybe do an hour or two, nothing too intense. 

I save most of my drawing for the weekend. I usually set aside at least one full eight hour day and one half-day. It's important here to do a bit of planning beforehand and to set realistic goals as to what you want to achieve for that day and if necessary, do some over time to complete what you intended. Even if you don't feel up to it you should still concentrate on your comic and be self-disciplined enough not to be distracted by anything else. And that's the other main enemy of productivity - everything else. TV, DVDs, Computer games, crosswords, newspapers, the internet, books, other peoples comics, other people, in fact everything that isn't your comic. That's why I prefer to do these things after work on the week-days when I'm not likely to be doing comics, that way I can fully concentrate on comics on the weekend. Also be careful of how much research you need to do for your comic, as you can end up spending too much time browsing the internet or reading books about other related topics, which don't end up being that useful to you. 

As far as the life-cycle of a comic and how it affects productivity, I find it easier to gain enthusiasm at the start of a project when its fresh and new and my motivation deteriorates around the middle of a project once I've been working on it for a while and I'm still a long way off finishing it. So this is when you need to stick to be at your most disciplined and stick to the schedule, and keep plugging away at it. Usually when I'm near to completing a project and I can see the end in sight, my motivation picks up. I find it better to stick to one project at a time. I've seen a few people getting distracted by other projects when their motivation wanes on their first project and end up with a bunch of unfinished stuff that never gets finished.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Paper Trail


Elliot Francis Stewart Tumblr.

Sarah Laing's colouring comics.

David C. Mahler tumblr.

Waitangi Day drawings gallery by Susan Te Kahurangi King (via facebook).

Brent Willis' reviews David Tulloch's Utterly Rucked. Read Utterly Rucked online here.

Gavin Aung Than's Seneca: Sympathy For The Devil at Zen Pencils.

Simon Hanselmann has a launch for his Floating World broadsheet St Owl's Day at the Silent Army Storeroom on 27th March at 110 Franklin St, Melbourne. "TRUTH ZONE" EXHIBITION: the sixty nine 2012 episodes of the COMICS WORKBOOK "comics criticism comic" will be on display for perusal and buying. Facebook it.

Brandon Graham shares an upcoming Prophet cover by Helen Maier.

Ben Stenbeck Blog.

Dan Best writes about the effects of Frederic Wertham's work on the Australian comics industry.

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!