Showing posts with label jen breach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jen breach. Show all posts

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 in Review: Jen Breach

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013? 
Oddly and unexpectedly, 2013 turned out to be an on-the-cusp-of-years-worth-of-work-maybe-possibly-about-to-pay-off kind of year. 

I've been working on the script for Clem Hetherington and the Ironwood Race, a 220 page YA graphic novel collaboration with Doug Holgate, for four and a half years, but this year I won an Australian Society of Author's Emerging Writer's Mentorship to work on the book with an editor from Scholastic Graphix. (I also won an Australia Council Emerging Writer's Grant for the same book in 2010, so I guess I've been emerging for a while now...)  This is my first time working with an editor and it's had a massive impact on my (for want of a less wanky word) craft.  Each draft I am astounded at how crappy the one before was. My comics highlight for the year has been redrafting.  Sounds kind of sad when you say it like that.

Oh!  Okay, I've got another one, slightly less sad, I hope.  This only just happened this week, but it's still a highlight of the year: Doug and I are gluttons for something or other so a few months ago we started another major book together (called Maralinga and set in post-apocalyptic Melbourne).  Our approach is a little different for this one, though, and we are releasing ten page chapters every two or three months (schedules allowing). We released the first chapter in issue #1 of the Home Brew Vampire Bullets anthology and online and it got a huge, exciting, overwhelmingly warm response.  It was really unexpected and really, seriously cool. 
What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
What with the amazing small press comics shows here in the States and the fact that my walk home from the subway each night takes me passed Desert Island (possibly the best comic book store ever?) it's been a big year for comics reading...

Not looking at my bookshelf and entirely off the top of my head, I liked: 
In minis and short stories, Pat Grant's "Tormina Video" and Joe Lambert's "Layaway", too.  The latest in Simon Moreton's comics-as-poetry series "Smoo #7" is the best work he's ever done and Lauren Barnett's "I'm a horse, bitch" is 16 perfect pages of a horse telling you how fucking awesome he is. John Pham's "Epoxy" was beautiful as well. 

Jesse Lonergan finished his "All Star" series which I thoroughly enjoyed picking up in bits and pieces over the year. Sam Sharpe's "Viewotron #2" was beautiful and touching and very special. Hellen Jo's Frontier #2 was just freaking gorgeous. 

Sam Alden's ouput this year was pretty remarkable - there were a lot of little books and they were pretty much all great.  Everything Michael DeForge put out this year was perfect, so just another ordinary year for him, then. Sophie Goldstein's work this year was exceptional - she makes comics that have a kind of Golden Age sci-fi feel to them and such smart storytelling.

I was really happy to see a few collections out this year of work that I had loved in previous incarnations: Ryan Andrew's "Everything is Forgotten", John Martz's "Machine Gum", Chuck Forsman's "End of the Fucking World", which was a joy to read in crappily photocopied eight page installments each month, and the Fantagraphics graphic novel version of it is really great. Brendan Leach's "Ironbound" is a great story about 1960s New Jersey toughs - his art knocks me out.  My favorite book of the year, though, might have been Dakota McFadzen's collection "Other Stories and the Horse You Rode In On" through Conundrum Press. 

There are a bunch of books from this year waiting in a nice, neat pile for the Christmas break - I suspect if I'd read them before I wrote this response they'd be in my list too: Ander's Nilsen's "Rage in Poseidon"; Rutu Modan's "The Property"; "The Encyclopedia of Early Earth" by Isabel Greenberg and Julie Delporte's "Journal" from Koyama Press. 

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
Did you see Upstream Color?  Oh man, that movie...

Other than that, I found out about the noise that hedgehogs make when they eat (which is second in awesomeness only to the noise that turtles make when they have sex); and John Klassen's second tumblr is pretty much my favorite thing on the internet.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
It's winter where I live right now and my hibernation strategy involves reading the entire Love and Rockets collection from Fantagraphics.  I've never read any of it, so I am pretty excited. (The other parts of the strategy involve blanket forts, stout and the entire series of Parks and Recreation).

Once the weather is fine again convention season starts up and that's always pretty much the best thing ever. I hope Doug and I will have another couple of chapters of Maralinga squared away by the time he hops a plane for TCAF in May. 

As a consumer I am pretty excited about Jase Harper's "Awkwood".  I've seen a few drafts of it and it's a corker. And Jesse Jacobs' has a new book coming out in the Spring from Koyama Press. Chuck Forsman's "Celebrated Summer" should be pretty great too.

Mostly, though, I am looking forward to making more comics. My comics work feels like that old chestnut of analogy of a duck on water - calmness above and furiously paddling legs underneath. I am a really, really slow duck paddling a really, really long way.  Next year it would be amazing if a couple of my projects - I have seven on the go right now - bubbled up to the surface. Just like little duck farts.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Peeper Trail

Victory University Press have announced Incomplete Works, a forthcoming collection of Dylan Horrocks shorter comics.

"Daydreams, fantasy, true love and procrastination feature strongly in this marvellous selection of Dylan Horrocks’s shorter comics. Running from 1986 to 2012, Incomplete Works is both the chronicle of an age and a portrait of one man’s heroic struggle to get some work done."

Maralinga by Jen Breach and Doug Holgate.

"Maralinga spins an alternative history from the 1956 British nuclear tests in the Woomera. Three hundred years later a ruined, irradiated, post-apocalyptic Australia is a place where monsters are real and one girl, the last of an isolated and dying community in Melbourne's south, launches a desperate journey to find sanctuary and a mythical inland sea."

Pat Grant talks to Dan Berry on Make It and Tell Somebody.

Happy Together Forever by Katie Parrish

Sarah Laing's Helmet Lady.

Canberra Times Obituary for Australian science fiction, librarian and bibliographer Graham Stone.

Comics workshops in January 2014 at the State Library of Queensland with Paul Mason. Details here.

Hannah Lee Writes about the New Zealand Cartoon Archive.

I like the cut of Jason Chatfield's jib on television.

Beardy and the Geek talk to Gary Chaloner.

Meet the Makers: Katie Parrish

 Three Thousand profile Simon Hanselmann.

Paper Trail masthead courtesy of Toby Morris.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Paper Trail


Former New Zealand Comic Gazette reviewer Stephen Jewell profiles Rufus Dayglo.

Neale Blanden's blog.

Pipedream Comics interview Jason Paulos.

I missed it, but here's some Chaykin heavy coverage of last years Brisbane Supanova from Tim McEwen.

Howard Chaykin and David Yardin (Photo by Tim McEwen)

Maude Farrugia and Jen Breach are amongst the twelve winners of the Australian Society of Authors 2012-2013 Annual Mentorship Program.

Simon Hanselmann's bookshelf at Its Nice That.

Roger Langridge cartoon blogged his recent trip to New Zealand.

Forthcoming Scar Studios Exhibition.
Michael Hill writes about small press Australian comics in the 1990's.


Tom Taylor and James Brouwer launch the second volume of The Deep in Melbourne at All Star Comics.

Dellaram Vreeland profiles Dillon Naylor.

Scarlette Baccini's Bathwater Books.

Australian comics community on Reddit.

Greg Broadmore mural on the ceiling of the Roxy. (from Meredith Yayanos.)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 in Review: Doug Holgate

Doug Holgate

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

It's been another pretty busy year, but I think having a book I worked on for Harper Collins, Planet Tad, featured briefly on the Daily Show, winning gold in a category of the Illustrators Australia awards and the Oz Comic-Con events in Perth and Melbourne were all standouts.

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

I seem to find new cartoonists and illustrators every couple of weeks, it's kind of part of my process I guess, to keep inspired and connected to what is going on in the world, so it's hard to list them all. But the people I've come back to numerous times this year (as well as in some cases formed some new friendships with) would be Jez Tuya (Brilliant, inspiring up and coming cartoonist and character designer from NZ), Rebecca Dart (Everything she touches is amazing, incredible character, energy and fun).

Tristan Jones (Probably one of the biggest inspirations for me this year in pushing myself to get a little looser and quicker with my own work) and Tony Cliff (Artist on one of my favourite comics/webcomics from the last decade I think, Delilah Dirk). I haven't really read much in the way of comics, but of what I have read Craig Thompson's Habibi stayed with me for weeks after reading. The new Prophet series (Brandon Graham and Simon Roy) from Image comics is a great big ridiculous space opera and Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan Macleod was a fantastic love letter to the history of kung fu in pop culture.

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

Lots of great movies, Looper, Cabin In the Woods, Dredd, Argo. My one major love outside of cartooning is history and politics, in particular the United States, so i was pretty consumed by the 2012 US election the last 12 months. I've been reading a lot of crime fiction this year especially a number of George Pelacanos' novels plus a lot of visits to the Zoo and the Melbourne Museum this year with the 3 year old.

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

Most of my freelance work is very clean and tight and as i said earlier, inspired by work the likes of Tristan Jones, Simon Roy, Toby Cypress, I've tried to play around with being a little looser with my personal work. So playing around with more blacks, textures and freeing my line-work up a little bit. Hopefully i can take a few more steps in that direction next year.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Getting my all ages graphic novel, Clementine Hetherington and the Ironwood Race, co created with and written by Jen Breach further along and to hopefully find her a home (Clementine, not Jen). Completing the Rombies: Ex Legio Mortis graphic novel, written by Christian Read for Gestalt Comics and some other comics and book illustration projects I can't really talk about just yet. The release of the first and second books in the Case File 13 series from Random House and hopefully another Planet Tad will be out next year. I also missed out on a number of planned OS trips this year due to timing and finances so hopefully carving out some time to get to TCAF, SPX or NYC con as well as some more local shows would be great!