Showing posts with label jason franks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jason franks. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 in Review: Jason Franks

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
I got to work with some brilliant artists this year on the new Sixsmiths book. A lot of new collaborators, like Dean Rankine, Sarah Howell, Tim McEwen, Gregory MacKay, Trev Wood, Jase Harper, Sacha Bryning, and Anton McKay, as well as a crew of my old mates: Bruce Mutard, Bobby N., Luke Pickett, Jan Scherpenhuizen, Greg Gates, and Ed Siemienkowicz. It's been incredible.

The other highlight, of course, was going to SPX with Matt Hoddy, Caitlin Major, and Keith McDougall and that crazy freak who does Guzumo. I haven't been to SPX since 2006 and it's grown, but it stills feels like the same show. It was a pleasure to reconnect with some old acquaintances ( and to make so many new ones. What a blast! Massive thanks to Warren and Bruce for organizing it.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
2013, for me, was the year of genre comics. Fatale, Locke and Key, Luther Strode, Saga, Amala's Blade, Chew and Witch Doctor remain my favourites. Most of these books started running in prior years, but in 2013 my intake of alternative books and manga was diminished. Not sure why that is; it wasn't a conscious decision. As far as local works go, Tim Molloy's collection Mr Unpronounceable Adventures was the stand out for me.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
In 2013 I found a lot of new opportunities in the medium of prose on the back of my first novel and that gave me a lot of validation. Prose can be a grind, because every word has to be perfect, but it's been really good to be able to just focus on the writing and not have to project manage and produce every aspect of the work. That has been a nice change. 

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I'm looking forward to a more relaxed 2014. 2013 was nuts: book launches, honeymoons, hospitals, mortgages, the con circuit, on top of some brutal deadlines at my day job have really worn me down. Next year I'm looking to simplify things. I want to ramp up some new projects, in prose and comics, and I want to have a more evenly productive year.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Productivity and Motivation: Jason Franks and Paul Mason

Part three of talking with self-publishing/small press cartoonists about productivity and motivation.

Do you experience a drop in productivity upon completing a comic? Have you developed methods to deal with creative lulls? What do you consider the primary obstructions of your productivity?


Because I am principally a writer, it usually takes months or years for any given piece that I write to see print--so I'm already well into the next project. In fact the converse is probably true: depending on the publisher, pushing a book through the lettering/production process might interrupt my writing schedule for a period, so my productivity usually goes up right after a book comes out when I can settle down and get back to creative work.

After spending maybe 4-6 months solid on a book writing, drawing, colouring, lettering, assembling/pre print etc, especially ruining my body clock in the process, I can’t help but blow off a few days doing very little creatively as I recover. Read a favourite book, stare at the idiot box, dust off the Playstation for my twice a year game session etc, and maybe sleep longer than 5 hours.

But no method is better to beat this than the next pending deadline/task on the list. I remind myself “Don’t be an amateur”- This applies not only to my comic tasks, but also my sports or work practices. A pro would tough out the pending tasks and get it done. I figure I can’t reach my goals screwing about, and not bringing out new stuff. Not much of a method, berating myself mentally, but it’s true. It’s the same when I have to find the time to train for a world championship or tournament while working, studying and comicing- I might have worked all day at the day job, sat through peak hour traffic, get home to more work, an empty kitchen that needs groceries, sort a meal out, prep for the next day etc. and think the last thing I want to do is exercise. “Would an amateur relax? What would a champion do?”. There’s my answer. That comic page needs to be done by the end of the evening. “Would a pro watch TV and play video games instead?”

The fact that I hate one of my day jobs, and I have a doctoral degree to complete soon is a motivation. Improvement should always be an answer to procrastination. Don’t just “exist” in life. Accomplish things.

The enemy- Social media. A necessary evil in terms of keeping in touch, promotion etc, but you can easily get caught up looking at nothing important at all, chatting to people etc. A great time-swallower. Really though, the enemy is me. The TV or internet doesn’t turn itself on. It’s a battle, since comics can be a solitary pursuit, and the social media contact can be an alluring time-waster. But my main drive? Reminding myself that I don’t have much time; every minute wasted is potential sleep time disappearing, and that book down the track might not get done on time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BA3 Comic Launch Melbourne


Now a firm institution in the Melbourne comic calendar, the third Big Arse combined comic launch took place last weekend with fifteen new comics released from primarily Australian and New Zealand artists and writers. Compared to last year's, overcast day of showers, Melbourne provided a warm sunny day for comic folk to gather at the Fitzroy Beer Garden. From my involvement in the three launches to date, I've witnessed the event grow in scale and ambition with a companion launch organised by Bruce Mutard during the Melbourne Writer's Festival last year looking to also become a yearly fixture. A further spin-off has been discussed to accommodate the growth in the local comics community and audience which bodes well for the future.

Nalini Haynes of Dark Matter Fanzine captured video and audio on the day here.

 Passionate Bruce Mutard

 Colin Wilson and Ian McColl

Alleyway beside the Fitzroy Beer Garden

Sunday, February 24, 2013

BA3 Melbourne Comic Book Launch

I have a couple Pikitia Press comics launching at this weeks BA3 launch.

From the press release: 

Melbourne, Australia - the Melbourne comics community is hosting its third annual Big Arse Book Launch. This year they will be launching fifteen (15) new works created by authors from around Australia and New Zealand.

Once again the launch will be conducted by the one and only Bernard Caleo.

Saturday, March 2nd from 2:00pm
Sentido Funf
243 - 245 Gertrude Street
Victoria, Australia

Big Arse 3 is proudly sponsored by All Star Comics.

 DIGESTED #6 (Gestalt Comics)
The sixth issue of Bobby.N’s series, continuing the lead feature OXYGEN and a variety of other tidbits and goodies.


YUCK! #7 (Milk Shadow Books)
The Universe's greasiest comix anthology returns with Yuck! #7. Original surreal black comedy from a plethora of low-lives, including Ben Hutchings, Tim Molloy, Bruce Mutard, the Phatsville crew, Gregory Mackay, J. Marc Schmidt, Michael Aushenker, Scarlette Baccini, David DeGrand, Kapreles, Frank Candiloro, James Andre, Ben John Smith, Andrew Fulton, Johandson Rezende and many more surprising sickos. Straight from the gutter into your hands. Cover by Ben Sea. Edited by Mr. Slime.

ADVERSARIES (Pikitia Press) 
Matt Emery's laughey comics from the comics ghetto.

Awakenings 2 is a stand-alone book in a series of two volumes. It contains short stories written and illustrated by artist and animator Jesca Marisa. Awakenings is an intensely colourful and beautifully illustrated book composed of multiple interweaving stories of a surreal and fantastical nature. The book was inspired by the author's remembrance of dreams which she has woven into stories of journeys undertaken by the diverse cast of characters.

BALLANTYNE: THE FLAW IN THE JEWEL (Pikitia Press) The third volume of artist Peter Foster’s collaboration with writer James H. Kemsley, originally featured as an adventure strip in the Sydney Sunday Sun-Herald during the 1990s. Based on Kemsley’s vivid memories of working as a patrol officer in post World War Two New Guinea, Ballantyne is a classic adventure tale in the fine tradition of Lee Falk’s The Phantom and John Dixon’s Air Hawk.

BUDD & LUU - PART I (FrankenComics)
Budd & Luu are a lovable comedic duo who get into all sorts of random and crazy adventures. When some mysterious force starts to erase their world the pair escape through a strange portal, which lands them in a high-tech asylum located in an alternate dimension. Soon, they are subjected to painful experiments, and they discover the truth about their existence, as well as the real purpose of the asylum. By Frank Candiloro.

Before Da 'n' Dill... before Batrisha... Dillon Naylor was the defining artist of the 90s Melbourne underground/alternative music scene. Naylor created comics for Area 7 and The Fireballs and many other bands, as well as tour posters for The Beastie Boys, Powderfinger and the Pushover Festival. This material is collected in its entirety, along with Dillon's early horror comics, unseen pages, sketches, notes and Anecdotes.

Graphic/Narrative #1 presents 'Panic', an autobiographical tale about the author’s struggles with an anxiety and panic disorder. The book conveys the experience of a panic attack and discusses the progression of anxiety disorders. Follow Brendan Halyday as his life falls apart around him.

KRANBURN #6 (FEC Comics)
Both Brand and Silvia are on their own personal rampages. While Silvia takes care of the Nong messenger in her own way, Brand continues levelling the playing field on the Nong home turf. Do not mess with the people of Kranburn. By Ben Michael Byrne.

LADY McBLACK #1 (Black House Comics) 
At the behest of her three sisters, McBlack investigates the murder of Lila Bodicker by the Wester Reapers, a mixed municipal soccer team. But whoever killed Lila does not want the Bodicker sisters to find out what really happened and before long McBlack himself is being hunted in the streets. Written and pencilled by Jason Franks. Inks by Dave Gutierrez. Cover by Rhys James.

Tim Molloy has finally bound the exploits of Mr Unpronounceable, the ultimate anti-hero madman, into a single volume. 213 pages of throat-tearing, void questioning, dimensional tripping, laughing, crying, laughing, questioning adventures through the city of the Ever Open Eye by the creator of It Shines and Shakes and Laughs.

SEVEN #2 (FEC Comics)
Book 2 of the Seven series follows Kat and Hans on their search for their brothers - and as they stumble on a plot of betrayal, murder and an innocent goose girl, they find that acceptance of your fate does not lead to happiness.  By Alisha Jade.

The debut graphic novel by Melbourne illustrator Marijka Gooding. Retold through the eyes of a six-inch version of herself,
these short stories emphasize the ridiculousness of the world and encourage others to appreciate the subtle ironies hidden in the mundane.

UNGENRED (Black House Comics)
A collection of Jason Franks’ non-genre stories. Drama, comedy, travel, autobiography, social realism and sentient robots. Illustrated by Bruce Mutard, J. Marc Schmidt, Nic Hunter, Ed Siemienkowicz, Renan L’Hopsum, Joe Pimienta and others. Introduction by Bernard Caleo.
A fantasy and sci fi anthology by some of Australia and South Africa’s most best creators. Edited by Moray Rhoda and Neville Howard.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Paper Trail

Some of this edition of Paper Trail goes back a few months as I play catch up with old bookmarks and various scraps of paper.

Jerome Bihan interviews contributors to his Radio As Paper anthology on the Awry Comics blog. Tim Danko here and Ralphi here.

Peter Jetnikoff reviews Graphic Novels! Melbourne!. Emmett O'Cuana reviews the Melbourne comics scene doco here.

Graphic Novels! Melbourne! Co-film maker Bernard Caleo writes about his serialised mini comic Mongrel and taking Graphic Novels! Melbourne! international.

Bernard Caleo portrait by Gina Kalabishis

Sam Wallman previews work from his forthcoming Australian history anthology.

Html Flowers shares pages of Bright Threadz #2 here and here.

  Chris Slane reveals the truth about comics and art.

Sam Wallman discovers the work of mid nineteenth century Melbourne artist Edward Wilson in the National Library of Victoria here.

Roger Langridge shares his cover design process for the last issue of IDW's Popeye.

Lunchtime monster portraits from Toby Morris

Bruce Mutard previews his contribution to the multiple artist, Jason Franks written The Sixsmiths vol. 2.

The Watcha podcast review a pile of 'fun' Australian comics.

Sam Orchard is in the last few days of an original art sale here.

Joshua Santospirito shares his design process for the cover of his forthcoming graphic novel The Long Weekend in Alice Springs.

Steve Holland at Bear Alley shares The Vulture, a parody of The Eagle from the pages of mid twentieth century English magazine, Lilliput. The Vulture features work by Australian cartoonist Arthur Horner, later the creator of Colonel Pewter which ran from 1952 to 1970, in England and Australia. The complete 18 year run of Colonel Pewter featured in Melbourne's The Age.

Parenting cartoons, The Little Things, by Peter Lole and Matt Lawrey.

Ness at Aggressive Comics interviews Tim Molloy.

FEC Comics feature on Guy Fi podcast

 FEC Men Steve Sparke and BMB

Go buy some Clayton Noone and Stefan Neville comics here.

Simon Hanselmann shares some more pages from his forthcoming anthology Victoria Drugs Scene. Sam Gaskin in conversation with Simon Hanselmann here. Robin O'Connell talks to Hanselmann on Inkstuds.

Jason Franks writes about his series McBlack.

Coming up from the Pikitia Press blog WIP folder:

Illustrations of Wynne W Davies.

Ray Wenban's The Story of ANZAC

 Underground Comix in Australia

More Russian illustration and cartooning.

Nevile Lodge and "Convoice".