Showing posts with label gregory mackay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gregory mackay. Show all posts

Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 in Review: Gregory MacKay


What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Starting off the year by making a mini-comic for the Mini-comic of the month club was great. I haven’t made one like that for a long time. I was also made a 24 page comic about my time in New York during Hurricane Sandy last year. It was specifically for the Caravan of Comics which came later in the year. I started writing it at the Chugnut comic’s camp in March and had it ready by the time we left in May.  A film student friend made a short documentary about me and my comics called ‘Ink machine’ which was a pretty interesting thing to be a part of. It’s out there on YouTube. Check it out.

The Caravan trip was an adventure. It was great to go to TCAF for the second year in a row. Montreal and Seattle were great. Doing in-store appearances at Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics was enlightening. We got to meet so many cartoonists like David B. and Taiyo Matsumoto, plus plenty of local artists everywhere we went.  I hung out in New York for a while after the trip, mostly at Hang Dai studios with Dean Haspiel and my cartoonist buddies form the Florida residency last year.

I was lucky to win an Australian Society of Authors grant to develop a children’s graphic novel I have been working on. After much hard work it was picked up by Allen & Unwin.

I was also lucky to have a proper conversation with Art Spiegalman this year, and Francoise Mouly was very interested in the children’s graphic novel idea.

Designing a CD booklet and disc was a highlight,  as was the many other illustration projects I took on this year.  Working on my next book was a big focus. It was also great to see The Trials of Francis Bear get picked up by Madman entertainment via James Andre’s Milkshadow books.

Collaborating with Adam Ford for Cordite Literary journal and having a Francis Bear comic acquired by were publishing highlights.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
 I bought so many mini’s to name on tour. Standout comics were Tomines Optic Nerve 22. Jonathan Allen’s Vacationland.  Mini’s by Julia Gforer and Uni Moralez. So many others. Pat Grants ‘Toormina Video’ gets my comic of the year.  Hanselmanns ‘Life Zone’ was great.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?
I enjoyed Dark Mofo, especially Kurt Hentschläger’s “Zee”. Which was the most disturbing experience if have had from any artwork. I enjoyed touring the model making studio at the Museum of Natural History in New York and seeing behind the scenes of this amazing museum. Reading the source material for the new Miyazaki film in its original comic form, as well as the book by Jiro Horikoshi was a great insight. Being on the USS Intrepid for Memorial Day in New York was special.  New York was very special, and I visited many galleries and cartoonists while I was there. White Night was fun, it was so calm.  Starting to run proper distances was also an achievement, as was climbing Mount Arapiles
 Learning watercolour techniques from Simon Hanselmann and chatting with Oslo, and asking questions of Shaun Tan make for some useful professional development.  Also someone got a tattoo of Francis Bear which was awesome.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I’m forward to working on my kid’s graphic novel, and my next two books.  As well as expanding my illustration and 3D work.  I am expanding my illustration and watercolour work too.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Homecooked Comics Festival 2013

Papers are piling up around literally and digitally so I'll be trying to make sense of them over the next week with a series of catch up posts.

A couple months back I manned a Pikitia Press table at the Homecooked Comics Festival in the Northcote, Melbourne. Homecooked drew a decent size crowd to the town hall who were more comics receptive than your typical con audience around these parts. Bernard Caleo conducted interviews and live drawing sessions on the main stage and the open 'roomy' layout of tables in the town hall made for a pleasant easy going atmosphere.

I had a lot of fun on the day, got to meet cartoonist Andrew Weldon, talk to a Turkish exchange student from Istanbul about modern and golden age Turkish comics, catch up with The Mars Volta and Paul Bedford, and scored a copy of Hard Evidence You're a Loser from J. Leigh Head. A wonderfully bizarre fully formed colour comic, from a cartoonist I was completely unaware of. I believe only available in a print on demand small run so far, but hopefully available more widely sometime in the future.

 Ersin Karabulut, one of the modern Turkish cartoonists recommended to me.

Bernard Caleo and Scarlette Baccini

Patrick Alexander and Bernard Caleo

Andrew Weldon 

 The Mars Volta swung by with these sweet home made t-shirts

Some excerpts from J Leigh Head's Hard Evidence you're a Loser.

Mirranda Burton and Gregory Mackay

Scarlette Baccini and Dan Hayward

David Blumenstein and Bruce Mutard

Laura Renfrew

Paul Bedford

Olive Oyl

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.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

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.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Skinny Arse Comics Launch: Melbourne Writers Festival 2012.

Skinny Arse Comic Launch 2012 - Illustration Bruce Mutard

The Skinny Arse Comics Launch at the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival is the brainchild of Melbourne cartoonist Bruce Mutard who has been very proactive in comics events in Melbourne as well as travelling Australia and the globe to attend comics events and spread the gospel of Australian comics.
Five comic books are being launched at the Skinny Arse in conjunction with the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival including Pikitia Press's third release; Peter Foster's adaption of the Australian literary classic For the Term of His Natural Life.

Facebook event here

From the press release:

Unforgotten by Tohby Riddle (Allen & Unwin)

In this beautiful new book Unforgotten Tohby Riddle brings to life what remains largely unseen in the everyday. Exploring the idea of ‘who helps the helper’ and ‘who gives to the giver’, Unforgotten is a stunning book that both adults and children will connect with.
In a time of chaos and constant distraction, Unforgotten reminds us of the place of peace and calm, while at the same time including themes of faith, doubt, friendship and compassion.

All You Bastards Can Go Jump Off A Bridge by J. Marc Schmidt (Milk Shadow Books)

Creator of of the cult classic graphic novels, Egg Story and Eating Steve, and the co-creator of The Sixsmiths, J. Marc Schmidt furiously rains down over 200 pages of comic stories covering art, romance, religion, anger, pop culture parodies, sex and death in his latest collection, All You Bastards Can Go Jump Off A Bridge.

Featuring over a year's worth of webcomics, plus loads of rare strips from small press and anthology titles, All You Bastards Can Go Jump Off A Bridge explores human behaviour, and why it can sometimes be so hard to just get along with each other. Features a foreword by Tango's Bernard Caleo.

For The Term of His Natural Life by Peter Foster (Pikitia Press)

Peter Foster's adaption of Marcus Clarke's classic Australian novel For The Term of His Natural Life. Depicting the hardships of convicts in Tasmania in the early days of the colonisation of Australia. Sixty-four pages of vibrant colour with several pages detailing the original creation of one of Australia's first graphic novels and a foreword from Marcus Clarke scholar Laurie Hergenhan.

"Showman?" The Bret Braddock Adventures Book 1 & 2 by David Blumenstein (Nakedfella Productions)

A webcomic since 2009, the tale of Bret Braddock, wealthy arsehole, recently came to a poignant end. Now the whole story is collected together in two jam-packed volumes. An essential read for anyone who's ever been told "The cheque's in the mail". Created by David Blumenstein.

The Trials of Francis Bear by Gregory Mackay (Milk Shadow Books)

Melbourne indie comix legend Gregory Mackay's latest expedition into the world of the his most beloved character, Francis Bear. This time Francis has to deal with War, punishment, technology and the bottle, all whilst never losing the beautifully sparse signature sarcasm or simple style that makes the book so unique.

This is a free event, and will feature MC-ing by the King of comics examination, Bernard Caleo. Also comics maestro Bruce Mutard will be popping by for some hijinks!

All of the artists will be in attendance, so there'll be lots of signings, short speeches and other fun. An after party will be held nearby (Location, TBA).