Showing posts with label christopher downes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christopher downes. Show all posts

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2013 in Review: Christopher Downes

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Going to the Stanley Awards weekend in Coffs was great. For me it's kind of like going to a Comic Con where many of your idols are there and they regard you as one of their peers. (Still wrapping my head around that concept.)

I've also been incredibly lucky to have picked up a LOT more work through the Mercury. I'm now drawing 4 cartoons a week and loving it!
What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I've discovered the work of two very amazing artists this year. 

I know I'm coming late to the party on this one, but I saw the work of Jim Mahfood this year when my 2 year old daughter pulled a collection of his Tank Girl comics off the shelf at the library. I love his loose-yet-confident inking style and I've adopted his splatters into my own work.

I also discovered the work of John Darkow, a cartoonist for the Colombia Daily Tribune in Missouri. His work is outstanding! He's one of the few cartoonists working today who doesn't use colour. Honestly, his cartoons don't need it. The linework is frenzied and impeccable! Plus, the guy incorporates this bloody FANTASTIC hand drawn typography with his cartoons. Seriously, it has as much life as his characters. You really have to look him up to know what I'm talking about. I don't follow American politics, but I still look at Darkow's work daily.
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013? 
I recently saw some of George Lambert's paintings in the Queensland Art Gallery and fell deeply in love. My wife got me a nice big book on him which I plan to read very soon.
What are you looking forward to in 2014?
At the moment, I don't know what I'm looking forward to, but I'm sure there are some wonderful surprises in store!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Beard Spotlight: Andrew Fulton

Smaller Comics are soliciting subscriptions for a third round of Minicomics of The Month. I signed up for the last years dozen and was pleasantly surprised to receive a variety of minicomics in the mail each month. Minicomics of the Month are posted anywhere in the world and economically priced, I heartily recommend you sign up for a subscription here.

Artists featured on the 2013 roster for Minicomics of the Month are: Neil Sanders, Mel Stringer, Sarah Catherine Firth, Katie Parrish, Christopher Downes, Soft Science, Rebecca Clements, Wendy Mclean, David C Mahler, Erin Hunting, Andrew Fulton, Ben Hutchings.

I asked Smaller Comics Impresario Andrew Fulton a few questions that I really should have put more effort into.

Can you talk a bit about the appeal of making minicomics for a cartoonist and utilising a subscription basis for distribution?

For me minicomics are pretty much the perfect thing - I don't know if I'll ever have a "graphic novel" or whatever in me. The subscription model works out pretty great, both I think for the artists and the audience - they've really taken off in the last couple of years. I subscribe to a couple and it's always a delight to find something new and interesting in the mail, especially when it's something where I'm not quite sure what it's going to be. As an artist it's comforting to know that there is a guaranteed audience for the story I am drawing and they aren't going to sit on the bottom shelf. Last season we had about 100 subscribers, and I don't know about other minicomickers, but it takes me a heck of a long time to sell 100 of any other thing I do.

This year you're expanding the subs model past 100 subscribers, is there a cap this year? Is there a point that too many subscribers would make the model 'unwieldy'?

Yeah, although I'm not too sure what that number is. I was concerned that 100 would be too many, but that worked out okay for everyone, I think. Part of the appeal of a project like this is the personal touch - people are drawing and printing and folding and stapling and cutting. I wouldn't want to expand too much to the point where that labour becomes onerous and no one wants to do it. Most of the artists are Melbourne based so we might have to organise a monthly stapling party if it becomes to successful.

Tell me about some of the new cartoonists contributing this year around?

First comic out this season will be from Neil Sanders, who I know more as an animator - I'm not sure I have seen him do an actual comic. He does these crazy animated loop things on his tumblr (, all these goofy animals and monsters, it will be cool to see what kind of comics he makes.
Katie Parrish is someone I haven't seen a lot of work out of but would like to see a bunch more. She's one of a few younger cartoonists that I think I mostly became aware of through Marc Pearson, who was in the current subscription round. She does these comics about life and sex and draws these weird lumpy people with pokey noses. It will be great to see what Wendy makes, too - to me her drawings are always crying out for some kind of narrative, but I'm not sure she's ever made an actual comic. And Hutcho always delights.

Read any good comics lately?

I've been enjoying my Oily subscription - the surfing comic from Marc Geddes and Warren Craghead was great, as was The End of the Fucking World, and this thing called Young Dumb and Full of Cum was super funny. Also Maré Odomo's Internet Comics came in the mail recently. He has this sort of messy, pencilly style and comics about everyday things and "feelings". And I really like David King's Crime World series - I got the last one recently - I think it's called The Story of Cop Lopez? It's up on the the Studygroup website, I want to say his style is slightly old-timey and deadpan but that doesn't sound right at all. It's funny anyhow.

Which comic was the worst out of last years twelve?

Well we aren't quite done yet - Sarah Howell should be sending hers out any minute now and we close out the current season with Sacha Bryning. He may disappoint us all horribly. [Editor's note: I've met Sacha and he's lovely bloke and a fantastic illustrator.]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 in Review: Christopher Downes

Christopher Downes
What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2012?
I went to the Australian Cartoonists Association's Stanley Awards weekend for the very first time. I had to crowd fund in order to get there, but it was really fun. I got to meet a lot of heroes of mine and they turned out to be genuinely nice people.

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

I really enjoyed Pat Grant's BLUE. I love to slip into his world - partly because I'm in love with his art, but also because his characters do things that (as a teenager) I would have never dared to do. They steal, they cuss and they wag from school.  I didn't have the guts to do any of that stuff in high school. Speaking of high school, I also read Derf Backderf's MY FRIEND DAHMER. I read it in an hour. It was that good.

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

I've got a 1 year old daughter. She's fantastic. I'm still in awe of watching the becoming of a little person - how she changes and learns. It's like an ultracool version of Pokemon! I've also gotten into Peppa Pig. It took me a while to warm to it, but now I look forward to it coming on. That and Shaun the Sheep. Wow, I'm really sounding like a new parent aren't I? GAME OF THRONES! I liked Game of Thrones a lot! I especially liked the episode where they all went to the dinosaur park and went down the dinosaur slide with Grampy Rabbit. That happened in Game of Thrones, right?

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

I procrastinate a hell of a lot less! That's one thing having a kid will teach you.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

I think there's a movie I'm looking forward to. I remember seeing the date on the end of a pretty riveting trailer (and yet not riveting enough for me to remember the name or even the subject matter of the movie) and I thought, "Well, the world better not bloody end, cause I'd really like to see that."