Showing posts with label caravan of comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label caravan of comics. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Paper Trail

TONIGHT IN MELBOURNE: Sam Wallman's Pen Erases Paper exhibition and book launch.

Sam Orchard tumblr.

Darian Zam's faceboook group History Always Repeats: Remembering New Zealand
dedicated to vintage New Zealand pop culture features many gems of cartooning and commercial art including what I think is an A S Paterson children's book (I don't think that's a Paterson cover) I've never seen before.

Also some classic Marvel comic & gum packs. 

Pepi Ronalds writes about the Caravan of Comics currently traversing Canada and America.

Applications for the 2013 Auckland Zinefest close June 1st.

Robo Squid Inc. present a comic related exhibition in Wellington through late May and June.

Howard Johnson lyrics in comic form on Zen Pencils.

Those crazy kids at Squishface Studios are having another Exhibition in June.

Sarah Laing's Possum - part one, part two, part three.

In the lead up to last weeks Chromacon event in Auckland online magazine Vanguardred conducted some Q and A's with featured exhibitors. Visit the site archives for the all of them, here's a few, Toby Morris, Sophie Oiseau, Matt Emery, Jesca Marisa, and Michel Mulipola.

From last weekend's Chromacon in Auckland, Two elder statesmen of New Zealand comics, Tim Bollinger and Barry Linton.

 Paper Trail masthead courtesy of Toby Morris.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Caravan of Comics 2013

The second Caravan of Comics embarks from Australia this year taking Melbourne cartoonists over to America for various comic events. This caravan features an almost entirely different line-up than the 2012 excursion and includes: Scarlette Baccini, Mirranda Burton, Marijka Gooding, Patrick Alexander, Gregory Mackay, Dan Hayward and Bruce Mutard. 

The Caravan of Comics site has full details here.

An Indiegogo campaign is currently fundraising for caravan travel costs here.


Caravan Of Comics 2 from Daniel Hayward on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 in Review: Michael Hawkins

Michael Hawkins

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

My comic highlights this year were threefold.  Mid year I went to the states and Canada on a comics tour, met heaps of awesome talent like Pat Aulisio, Lale Westvind, Conor Stechschulte, Mollie O’Brien and others whose amazing work I was previously ignorant of. Second highlight would be watching the rising star of my good buddy and favourite cartoonist ever Simon Hanselmann. Thirdly meeting on a weekly basis with a steady group of drawing buds (Sam Wallman, Marc Pearson, Elliot Lamb and so forth) has made a great difference to my quality of life.

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

Best books? All of the above people. Also locally Grant Gronewald (HTML Flowers) and Katie Parrish and overseas Michael Deforge, Patrick Kyle, Leslie Stein and Derek Ballard. Seems to be a lot of people working at a peek level of inspiration and producing things in individual styles that seem extreme in their newness. Find it easy to point to a general vibe than individual books.

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

Massively into Dennis Potter at the moment, starting with the Singing Detective and working through all his series and teleplays. Best book I read was We have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Favourite five songs this year: My Time by Roberto Cacciapaglia & Ann Steel, In High Places by  Mike Oldfield, A Matter of Trust by Billy Joel, Myth by Beach House, Pyramids by Frank Ocean.

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

Swapped from photocopying to digital printing. Started a Tumblr. Also used to try and have one major comics series or project on the go at once, this year decided to just start a bunch and let them vie for my attention.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Organising an erotic art show with some of my favourite local cartoonists. Hopefully going to Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 in Review: Bruce Mutard Part Two

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

Crikey, I've been away so much that I've seen hardly any movies on the big screen and not a huge amount on the box, either. Anyone who's seen my DVD collection knows I'm a huge movie fan.  OKay, like so many others, I got tuned into the Game of Thrones show and it is fabulous, though I have reservations about all the women being either vixens or whores. The books are great, too. I also decided to follow up on the fuss over the Hunger Games and it was a cracking read - great positive female protagonist who has the awkwardness of a teenager still within her. The film version was quite good, but I can understand why it couldn't be so brutal as the book.

2012 was the year of the popular series, so I've also taken to Stieg Larsson. The books are great reads, though again, for someone who professes to be so caring about women's rights and anti sex-trafficking, Larsson does give undue detail about his female characters sex lives and his male protagonist is a middle-aged unremarkable bloke who seems to have a lot of women hot for him. If you're going to watch it on film, watch the Swedish original TV series version with Noomi Rapace - the cinema forms were cut down from these. Blindingly good thrillers. The big Hollywood version was alright, but sort of unnecessary. Sticking with Sweden - one of the best vampire films I've seen is 'Let The Right One In'. So… Swedish, but so in tune with alienated kids. Powerful. 

I also have become a fan of Once Upon A Time series. Very good mash of all the old fairy tales with twin storylines weaving in and out of storybook and storybook. It's never twee, quite intelligent and the original back-stories to some of the Grimm characters is often pretty insightful. 

Of course, Homeland was a ball-tearer. As was Boardwalk Empire (which I still haven't finished). Australian shows worth a look were things like Rake, Redfern Now (though at times self conscious), Howzat! We have a ton of cinematic talent in this country and too few opportunities to make good use fo them. 

Okay - a big plug  for Dan Hayward's This is Roller Derby as well. Really caught the essential spirit of this girls only grass roots sport. I love their 'fuck you' attitude. Get the DVD.

And another for my dear friend Mira Bartok's 'The Memory Palace' book - how such an upbringing could produce such a lovely person as her and her sister, proves there is far more to nature than nurture. Their mother was clearly a brilliant mind hijacked by schizophrenia. Turns out their mother was a huge fan of comics too, only she never let on. 

Of course, travelling a lot allowed me to see a huge amount of art and architecture that I've only ever seen in books. By far and away the best major art museum that I've seen so far is the Prado in Madrid - gosh, you only have to walk into the room with Goya' Night Pictures to realise what heights art can attain. The Prado is blessed with huge collections of two of the best painters who ever lived in Goya and Velaquez, who were both Spaniard and court painters, so I guess the Prado being made of the royal collection, they had an advantage. But it also has Bosch' 'Garden Of Earthly Delights' which is something any art lover has to see in the original.

Whilst in town, see the Thyssen-Borezma collection of modern art which is one of the very best I've seen. Also saw a lovely retrospective of Odilon Redon whilst in town. Picasso' Guernica is also worth the pilgrimage. Seeing Duchamp' collection at the Philadephia Museum of Fine Art was amazing. I paid my repsects to 'The Large Glass' at last. The Barnes collection in the same city is amazing though way too much of Renoir, whom I have no time for his endless soft porn pics of pudgy women and twee kids.

Barcelona - the famous uncompleted Gaudi cathedral - it is truly, truly breathtaking - a work of astonishing beauty. But the 12th C El Sur cathedral is also gob-smacking beautiful - I'm never short of being astonished at what medieval craftsmen could achieve. And the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao lives up to and exceeds all expectations. But Bilbao itself is more than this museum too. I did see Leonardo' 'Last Supper'  in Milan, too; yes, it is quite remarkable and more so how it survived the rest of the building being leveled in WW2. I could go on and on. Shows - saw a a few of them, too. 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" with Geoffrey Rush was fabulous. I'll stop now. 

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

Well, if by that you mean I have spent waayyy too much time traveling, doing shows, conferences, organising events and not enough at the drawing board, then you'd count that as a change. It's one I welcome, but I have to scale back. I have a book to do and in answer to my most FAQ: yes, the Fight is on the way but not due out until April 2015. In terms of working methodology, yes things are changing all the time. I write more with pictures these days than with words - akin to my core thesis of what comics are. 

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Gosh where to start again?

Um… well, clearly the Caravan part 2 heading to TCAF in May. I wil also be presenting at the International Comic Arts Forum in POrtland,OR, that same month. I will be hanging around stateside for a while and then heading to Italy to break the back of my Masters thesis project - a comic installation for a gallery exhibition.

Then the SPXO show in September - another Caravan style trip to showcase Australian and NZ art to the Yanks. It'll be something special and anyone who wants in, can come. Some funding will be available.

The Canberra residency.

Assuming and making use of my appointment as the holder of the Australian Society of Authors Comics and Graphic Novels portfolio. I have plans for this to take representation and the Australian industry to a new level.

Producing lots of comics somehow amidst all this. More events. more everything. Maybe find love too.

2012 in Review: Bruce Mutard Part One

 Bruce Mutard

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

Where can I start with this?

Bologna Childrens Book Fair - 15 times the size of Supageddacon and vastly more interesting. You'll never see such a concentration of illustration talent from all over the world. Amazing. I plan to create an Australian comics showcase to go there in 2014.

Meeting Robert and Aline Crumb at the opening of his retrospective in Paris.
Presenting papers on comics at University of Arts, London; Mansfield College, Oxford; Loughborough University.

Attending the SPXO, which was basically Artists Alley made up only of comics and about the size of Supageddacon. Amazing.

Meeting Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Dan Clowes, Adrian Tomine, Los Bros Hernandez and Francoise Mouly at SPXO. Okay, so I'm a fame junkie. Sue me.

Winning an Australia Council grant to produce the Fight in 2013-14.

Winning an Australia Council grant to take Caravan of Comics to TCAF in 2014.

The Graphic Novels Melbourne Filming process and premiere - even if I did look like a sad sack at the end. Adam Sandler will have to play me in the fictional version of my life.

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

Mirranda Burton - her book 'Hidden' is brilliant and she has some exciting projects up her sleeve. 

Jesca Marisa is a Sth African expat who now lives in NZ. I met her at Sydney Supanova. She has a book called Awakenings that is ravishingly beautiful to look at. She is also an animator whose films are equally good. I am reminded of Miyazaki. She has work to do on her storytelling, but she'll go far I'm sure. She'll be at Big Arse 3 to launch her book in Melbourne. 

Lisbeth Russell, known by her stage name Black Betty, I met at Perth Supanova, is an ex-pat Dane who is a cartoonist, designer, burlesque artist and model for off-mainstream fashion and photographers. She's in Perth and has become a really good friend of mine. Talent to burn. 

 Marijka Gooding is a recent graduate graphic designer I met at a talk I gave at Monash Uni, whereupon it seemed clear she had a very strong interest in comix. I caught up with her later in the year when I recommended her as a designer to Milk Shadow Books and 12 Panels Press. She will also do the design work on books I am publishing  - under Fabliaux imprint. She wrote and drew a comic, Strange Behaviour for her Honours thesis and it is an amazingly accomplished book notwithstanding the fact it's her first. The book's not up on her site unfortunately. 

Badaude (real name Joanna Walsh), whom I met as a consequence of sharing a panel at the Melbourne Writers Festival. A writer/illustrator of observation and life. I still haven't seen her book though one was meant to be sent to me. Interesting woman though I wouldn't say we hit it off in any brilliant way. Worth a look though. 

Caitlin Pesky of Pesky Studios. Met her as a consequence of being invited to participate in an exhibition she organised for the Fringe Festival called This Is Melbourne. She worked in the rag trade (desiging the anonymous images that go on all the clothes for chain stores like Target and Kmart). She has moved out of it to become an illustrator and artist who can at last sign her name to her work. 

Serena Geddes - whom I met in Bologna, is a very talented and lovely woman who is primarily a picture book illustrator. 

Lesley Vamos - another I met in Bologna, coming from an animation background and now does primarily picture books and some comics. Incredibly fast and reminds me a lot of Doug Holgate in style. You should see her go when she is sketching for food… whooboy.  

And check out Dan Drobik who just emailed me for advice. Just graduated from Monash fine art, too. Referred to by a good friend of mine who was a fellow student and orthodox Jewish grandmother (not kidding). She wants Dan to go on the straight and narrow. What, and waste a good filthy mind like this?

Tamryn Louise - another ex pat Saffa, whom I've not met, but put onto by Jesca and Neville. 

Also, the poster artist for This is Roller Derby, Dave um… forgot his surname. Gosh this bloke is better than good. He even digitally paints using a mouse! NO!

2012 in Review: Gregory Mackay

Gregory Mackay

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

Witnessing the opening of Squishface Studio the year was great, knowing there are a group of cartoonists just down the road is reassuring. Also the reoccurring Big Arse comics launch is great to see. The Chugnut retreat was a highlight, it's great to work alongside other cartoonists with few distractions and get some serious work done as well as hangout with people who are doing such great work. I enjoyed staying in the little huts and walking around at night.

Having my comic 'Slow Panic' published in the Tasmanian Literary Journal "The Island" was great. The comic, which won the Lord Mayors Creative Writing award for best graphic short story, was also published in the French Turkey Comics at around the same time.

The Comics Caravan trip was an epic journey, we covered a lot of ground and saw some amazing comics as well as touring New York, Toronto and Chicago. Meeting Chester Brown and having him remember my old comics was very special. I really liked touring around in cars and vans with so many great cartoonists, in such inspiring surrounds. MOCCA fest was really energising in New York, as was TCAF in Toronto. Seeing the basement at Quimby's Books and seeing The Trials of Francis Bear on sale there completed a long time goal.

Launching my new Francis Bear book at the Melbourne Writers festival was also a highlight.  Working with James Andre of Milk Shadow books was fun as we got the book to print in record time. I wasn't sure about  speaking in front of a big crowd like that, but I don't think I did too badly. Releasing the book has been marvelous and it's great to get so many new readers.

I travelled to Florida to participate in the Atlantic Centre for the Arts Graphic Novel residency. It was a three week residency with master artist Dean Haspiel. We hung out in the Florida sun and worked on and discussed comics and storytelling. I made some great new friends and learned a lot about comics in general. Megan Kelso was also great to chat to at the residency and in general all of the 24 cartoonists and writers were amazing to learn from. Talking to Tom Hart about Francis Bear was insightful, as I had identified a few areas I could have done things better.

I then traveled to New York again for the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. I was caught up in Hurricane Sandy so getting around New York was a bit tough for a few days. After chatting to Chris Ware on the streets of Brooklyn and conversing with Charles Burns at the festival after party, the problems of staying in a disaster area seemed to vanish. Desert Island books were great in taking on the new book as were so many other comic shops in NY.

Being involved in projects that formed out of the residency has been a great challenge too. Filming for Graphic Novels Melbourne was great, even though I ended up on the cutting room floor. Seeing such a great and well realised film about local comics is truly heartening. Being a part of a separate documentary short film about my work was also interesting, look for it in the new year.

Self Publishing one 180 page book and writing two new books and working three jobs has been tiring, so I haven't had time for a lot of things I wanted to be a part of.  Getting picked up by Milk Shadow has meant a lot. Next year won't be as packed, so intend to get more comics done.
Who are some of the comics creators that you've discovered and enjoyed for the first time in 2012?

I discovered the work of Abner Dean and the incredible Gluyas Williams. These are comics greats from way back. Recent people would be Julie Wertz, Dustin Harbin, Michael DeForge and Julia Gfüroer plus many others.
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012?

I enjoyed watching the Presidential Election unfold in New York, my new comics buddies shed a tear during Obama's acceptance speech. Being in NY for the Hurricane was especially strange. Attending the ballet to see Swan Lake was pretty special, I was really stunned by the spectacle and energy, I love how the crowd boos the villain at the end. Seeing the new 4k print of Raiders of Lost Ark, was cool. You can see the edges where the effects have been spliced in. Going to MOMA, The Guggenheim, The Met and just hanging out on the streets of Brooklyn all informed my work. Playing the survival horror game Day Z at home on the PC got me through a lot of dark times, finally an emotional  game with no objectives that's endlessly playable.

Working as an Associate Director of The Other Film Festival was an experience. Getting to be a part of such an important festival here in Melbourne was really educational. Seeing so many films about disability that really emphasise the lived experience of people with a disability was edifying and emotional. Chatting with filmmaker Adam Elliott about story telling and animation was intriguing and I think I learnt  a lot from him about starting projects. Traveling throughout Australia for my regular job took time away from my comics, but allowed me to travel overseas and have great adventures.
Have you implemented any significant changes to your working methods this year?

I was always criticised for working small, so many people work on a huge scale. I tried this for a while on my new book only to realise during the residency that I should work actual size like Francis Bear. This has made a huge difference in my work surprisingly and I feel I can get a better result. Sticking with the Brause no 18 nib has been important, I was thinking of changing to a Nikko nib, but after a while I could see that I could get a unique recognisable line from the Brause. I love Multi-liners with their replaceable parts, but Microns can take so much more punishment it seems.
What are you looking forward to in 2013?

I have some new books in the works, and I am looking forward to finishing those. I have decided to give Francis Bear a short break to work on something else completely different.  I am also working on a children's graphic novel and several other short and long term comics projects.

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 in Review: Pat Grant

Pat Grant

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

My first book came out, got reviewed all over the place and sold pretty well. That was a highlight. Also, going to America with the Caravan of Nerds was amazing. Michael Hawkins taught me how to eat doughnuts like a man and I came home with this massive belly. I've never done conventions before because fandom creeps me out a little bit, but I found it really interesting. I discovered some neat things about my drawing after being forced to draw in each book I sold. Doing this fast, high pressure, disposable art that I will never see again somehow liberated me from the clenched anus approach to drawing that I've always had.

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

I met some cool people in America. We met Sam Sharp and Jeremy Tinder in Chicago. They really do some great comics and I don't know that I would have met them had I not been in the States. Oh yeah, I've been enjoying watching my friend Sam Alden become this amazing comics ninja with every piece he finishes. I also had my honeymoon at his Mum and Dad's house in Portland which was strange but wonderful. Annie Koyama is possible the most fascinating person in comics. Who is she? Is she real? Or is she like, an angel sent down by the god of nerds to help up takeover the world?
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012?

Breaking Bad, really surprised me. I just popped out of the cliched trope , you know, the "unlikely suburbanite flirts with the underworld" and has become something entirely more interesting. My favourite thing about it is the setting in Albuquerque, this amazing blend of  ghetto, desert border town, and leave-it-to-beaver suburbia.

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

Normally I draw big, sometimes three times the size of the reproduction, but this year what little drawing I have done has been at the exact size that I am reproducing the work.Here's what I've learned: It fucken sucks balls. Comics are supposed to be drawn large, as large as possible, and don't let any silly miniaturist tell you otherwise.

I've also been writing for an hour every week day. A sprawling crime-adventure comic that may or may not ever get drawn. Sure is fun to write though.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

World War Z? Nah, kidding. I just want to finish of my stupid PhD so I can get a brainless job and devote more time to the next book.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2012 in Review: Andrew Fulton

Andrew Fulton

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

My 2012 highlight would have to have been travelling to Mocca and TCAF with the Caravan, meeting up with cartooning weirdos on another continent. That was a good time in so many different ways. Getting the Minicomics of the Month club back up and rolling again has been fun too - I'm really enjoying what's been coming out of that.

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

I have been getting right into Steven Weissman - his Barack Hussein Obama was something pretty special in a way I find difficult to articulate. It's just the right blend of magic and nonsense, and the surface quality of his ink and zipatone combination is a wonder. I am shamelessly copying his whole deal.

I don't think he has put out any actual comics, I've been following Andrew Schick on instagram. He has this interesting, loose way of putting a drawing together that I like a lot. Instagram is a pretty fun place to follow cartoonists

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

My experience of things that aren't comics is sadly slim. I have enjoyed a *heap* of tweets. I have been really getting into Homeland, the Clare Danes terrorist tv show. I also got an rdio subscription, so have been listening to a lot more music than I have previously. I really don't know much about music at all.

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

I don't think my working method has changed all that much at all. I think maybe my drawing has become looser? I've been trying to plan and edit things a bit better too - I usually just start drawing on the top left of a piece of paper and hope that I can get at least a hint of somewhere by the time I get to the bottom right. There's been a higher percentage of strips I've made this year where I have made actual, considered decisions, and reworked things rather than just abandoned them.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?
I have literally no clue what is going to happen next year.

2012 in Review: Ben Hutchings

Ben Hutchings

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2012?
It would have to be opening the doors of Squishface Comics Studio.  I have barely left the place since it opened!  It has grown and become a household name nearly of it's own accord. (the houses of cartoonists)  I enjoy being there and sharing in the dramas surrounding the other cartoonists. 

There were also two cartooning trips - the Caravan of Comics, and a recent commercial job in Singapore with David Blumenstein, Pat Grant and Rebecca Clements.

Not to mention a trip to Japan where I visited the Osamu Tezuka museum for a second time, and got a personal tour of the Kyoto Manga Museum!
Who are some of the comics creators that you've discovered and enjoyed for the first time in 2012?

Nah not really!  I wasn't paying a huge deal of attention to anybody else's work, let alone their names, sorry.  That's not to say there was nothing good at all! 
I'm just slipping into senility or something.  Probably should be worried.  It could be that so much is happened that I haven't digested it all. 

But I did rediscover and get fresh inspiration from an old artist I have always loved. 
His name is Yamahami Tatsuhiko.  He is best known for a character called Gaki Deka.  What is funny about my work has been funny in his work for decades. 
He is fantastic, with a dirty, but detailed style. I have no idea what any of his comics are about, however.

I also discovered another manga artist by mistake because they have similar names and styles.  I was searching for Yoshiharu Tsuge, and mistakenly picked up some English
translations of the work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, which looks similar.  This fellow does work of such poignancy, and gravity.  His themes include sexual frustration, loneliness and death. I very rarely do anything this heavy, but would love to.  So I would recommend seeking out both these manga artists.
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012?

Dredd 3D, Tintin, Avengers and many other excellent comic movie adaptations.  Seeing Avengers with the other Caravan of Comics dudes was a gas.  Americans know how to watch a movie.  They're so noisy.  And every one-liner they guffaw at so excitedly.  The floor at the end was covered in trampled popcorn and everybody was so darn excited about what they just watched.  When I watch a movie, we usually just walk out pretty much in silence and go for a wee.

I also discovered another band I love called Sparks.  I don't like any music ever, so they're like band #5.  It's good to have music to enjoy.  They repeat themselves a lot, with strange orchestral backing and hard rock riffs.  But mainly I just love the repetition.
Have you implemented any significant changes to your working methods this year?

Not significant changes, but I have noticed my skill slowly growing!  My lines are cleaner, my knowledge of anatomy is better, overall I think I've settled into a particular style that I really like. 
What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Keeping commercial work to a minimum and finally leaping head - first into finishing the last ten pages of my graphic novel draft.  I will also have at least two trade paperbacks out through Milk Shadow Publishing, including two You Stink & I Don't collections, possibly a Glenjamin collection reprint too.

We talked about a book of serious, art-heavy fantasy and drama stories too, which might have to wait til 2014.  I have a selection of scripts which are very different than anything I've ever written before.  They are all melancholy and tragic, but the tone remains friendly and positive.  I'd love to see if I can pull that off.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 in Review: David Blumenstein

  David Blumenstein and Andrew Fulton

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2012?
Going on the Caravan of Comics and getting to know the other caravaners better.

Coming across an amazing comics scene in Ann Arbor, MI, thanks to (among others) Kids Read Comics' Jerzy Drozd and Dan Mishkin.

Seeing Sarah (aka my hot cartooning wife) meet some of her favourite comics artists (John Porcellino, Bill Messner-Loebs) and watching her slowly create a graphic novel right before my eyes.

Finishing 100 pages of my "Bret Braddock" comics and getting the kind of mixed response I hoped for (amused/angry/litigious).

Being newly in the Australian Cartoonists Association and, while it's an organisation in flux thanks to an aging membership and a crumbling print media, feeling quite at home with the people themselves, a great bunch of guys with amazing links back to Australia's cartooning history.

Being part of Squishface Studio, putting on many great, informal, events and some big-arse exhibitions. Hoping we can keep it going another year.

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

Bought minis at MoCCA Fest, favourites being ones by Greg Kletsel, Tasha Harris and Paul Hoppe. I like them because I like them, that's why. Met some brilliant artists in Chicago, the ones who collaborate on "Trubble Club", a jam comic that's that's really good. Enjoyed stuff by Jeremy Tinder and Sam Sharpe (and probably more because all the panels are by different people and oh god I'm confused and sleepy.)
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012?

I only enjoyed comics this year. Some of the TV shows I watched and pissed on include "Mad Men", "Boardwalk Empire", "Sons of Anarchy" and "The Newsroom", all shows with an incredibly high opinion of their characters, all portrayed much more nobly than the writing deserves.

"Breaking Bad" is still great, though. "Looper" was a good movie.

Loads of my friends are becoming big time published authors! Anna Krien is a lovely person and wrote a great Quarterly Essay about animals and ethics you could go pick up at a snobby-type bookshop.

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

Many. Thanks to people at Squishface I've loaded up on brushes, brush pens, colour, bristol board, art paper and all sorts of things I'd barely tried before.

I'm writing a graphic novel. That's not something I would've thought to do before this year.

I finally caved and bought a slate computer with Wacom capability and it's going to blow the arse out of my old storyboarding methodology. Good for on-the-spot digital illustration, too.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Getting better with all the new pens and brushes I've been trying.

Continuing to grow Squishface, do new things there and maybe even figure out a way to make it pay for itself.

More little steps forward for the attitude and quality of the Melbourne comics scene.

Maybe taking a Caravan-style trip to SPX if I can afford it.

Last two years have been packed with tons of comics stuff. More next year, thank you.

Oh, and I'm finally making a series of my animated cop show, "The Precinct". It's a little mini-series of shorts called "Be A Man" and it's coming out probably Mar/Apr.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Minicomics of the Month - Andrew Fulton Interview

Melbourne cartoonist and Smaller Comics Capo Andrew Fulton has launched Minicomic of the Month an initiative to get Australian comics into the hands of readers that might not otherwise be able to find them.

I asked Andrew a few questions about Minicomic of the Month and the folk involved.

If I recall rightly this is the second year of Minicomic of the Month (MOTM)? What was the initial response like? What has it been like this time?

Yeah this is the second time we are doing this - the first one Pat Grant kicked off in 2009. You can still see his original pitch here: I got an email one day asking if I wanted to be in it. At that point I had been doing the webcomic for a while but really hadn't done much physical printing of stuff. I think I might have been in a Tango? It ended up being the first proper mini I actually made and stapled for real.

What inspired the use of a subscription format for getting your comics to prospective readers?

The first time sold out pretty much overnight, so the response was great. I think this time it has been a little slower, but still a great response, and spread a bit wider too - we have a larger percentage of international subscribers this time around, which is great.

Not sure that I can answer directly to 'inspiration' as I have just stolen Pat's idea, but I think the subscription is a great way to spread work around. It's a pretty cheap up front cost from people, there's a sort of energy and excitement that's different from buying something in a store. And people probably get a mix of things from people whose work they know, and some they are less familiar with. And just on a practical level it helps keeps costs down - you know exactly how many you need to print, you don't end up with the World's Saddest Cupboard, Overflowing With Unsold Books.


Are the mini-comics in a uniform format? Are the physical comics produced by each individual creator?

Initially I had thought to do a uniform format, and kind of centralise the production and logistics of things to make it a bit easier. But in the early stages of discussion we decided that that took a little bit of the magic out of it. Part of the fun is that someone is making this little minicomic with mostly their bare hands, stapling it up and licking the stamps. There's a personal connection there.

Is the subscription model for MOTM set at a limited run? Will each installment of Minicomic of the month be mailed from the individual creators?

Yeah, we are planning to limit the subscriptions. We kind of agreed on 100 being the most we wanted to have to physically put together and mail. I don't really want it to become a burden, but also I also know it sold out super quick the first time around and a lot of people missed out.

And yeah, each month the individual is responsible for getting it together and mailing it out - although a large chunk of us are in Melbourne so we could get together for a stapling party or two.

 Australian Cartoonists in America: Caravan of Comics

Did you take anything from your experiences on the Caravan of Comics from the American indy/alt/minicomic scene that could be applied to Australia?

The Caravan was probably the biggest inspiration for getting this thing rolling again, and kind of sustain that momentum of getting Australian Comics out into the world. It's kind of a downer but one of the big things I "took" from the Caravan was a reminder of how far away we are from everything. There's a much larger audience for our work that it's not all that easy to connect with from here, Facebook and Twitter and all that aside - $5 shipping on a $3 or whatever is kind of a hard sell. And I guess even worse if someone wants one of my books and one of yours, that's even worse maths. I think I may have lost my point in here. I guess it's maybe that giving people a single point Get a bunch of things from different people at once is a way to combat that? But then, in some ways the answer to that is digital distribution- sensibly we should be doing something like this as ebooks or whatever? Forget about distance. But that comes back to what I was saying about magic. It's the personal touch or whatever that makes a project like this work.

Some of the creators involved in MOTM have books published through large above ground publishers, What do you think is the appeal in producing comics at a minicomic scale?

You'd probably have to ask someone like Pat or Mandy, but again I think it is about the personal touch, about being able to do something quickly and send it out directly to your audience. It's not something you have to spend years toiling over, it's quick, dirty and fun.

Images © 2012 respective artists.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Paper Trail

The Caravan of Comics yoinked from caravan of comics.

The Caravan of Comics cartoonists have completed their jaunt around American and Canadian comic events. David Blumenstein recaps their adventures here and Matt Taylor writes about the caravan here.

Melbourne Publisher of fine comic books, Milk Shadow Books, have announced a book of Fil Barlow's Zooniverse on their publishing slate. Barlow has been regularly producing animations for the monthly loopdeloop animation challenge, Have a look at his work here.

 Mr Unpronounceable Copyright 2012 Tim Molloy

Tim Molloy has teased an image from his follow up to his first book with Milk Shadow Books, It shines, It Shakes And Laughs. Molloy's new book will collect previously published Mr Unpronounceable Adventures and feature new material.

Dylan Horrocks is the featured cartoonist on Comic Strip Tees with a character, Alice Brown, from his current web serial The Magic Pen. In a recent blog Horrocks noted Alice Brown would be a featured character in books two and three of The Magic Pen trilogy. I'm not sure but I think this is the first he has mentioned of The Magic Pen being a trilogy. Eagle-eyed comic fans will recall this Alice Brown image featuring in Dunedin anthology Dud a couple years ago. Comic Strip Tees are only available for a month so order yours now.

Colin Wilson is featured on episode ten from series two of The Living Room.

Khulan copyright 2012 Katie Houghton-Ward

Katie Houghton-Ward has teased an image from an upcoming installment of her series Khulan. Khulan debuted in the July 2011 issue of Heavy Metal with inks by Simon Morse. Morse commented this was likely his last comic work before fully going full-time in the tattoo world.

A new publisher in New Zealand, Faction Comics, are producing an anthology and are looking for contributors here.