What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Well ... publishing the feature-length graphic novel/comic/sequential art thing - The Long Weekend in Alice Springs was the biggest highlight. That was pretty rad. Did a bunch of launches ... and was pleasantly surprised to find that some people actually read it! And BOUGHT it!! So that was pretty freaking great. You can check it out at www.sankessto.com
I had about five launches in different places - the Alice Springs one was the best! It was in Watch This Space gallery - and the launch was on the same night as the exhibition opening - there was sooo many people there - it was slightly insane. Craig San Roque (the bloke who wrote the original essay) was the MC, and did the catering based on the themes of the book (he did it quite well actually, I didn’t know he could cook - man of many talents) and there was guests of honour. It was very exciting to see the excitement in the town, especially given the content of the book is so raw and difficult.
The other thing that I'm finding really fun is publishing comics by other artists here in Tassie that I think are really interesting - its a curated-type project I've called Down There. A different artist does a booklet with each issue: I did the first issue in July (Sleuth: there's somethin rotten on the Apple Isle) to get the ball rolling whilst I asked a few other people to contribute - the next issue is by Tricky Walsh which (at time of writing) will launched in the next fortnight - December 2013. It's called Hoppers 1: the 'manias. It's a totally different experience publishing other people's comics and I love what she's made. Next year there will DOWN THERE comics by Tom OHern (a nutter from Hobart, really - google him - he's great), Gary Chaloner (who now belongs to Taswegia, hands off) and Lindsay Arnold (old comics guru, jazz drummer extraordinaire). Watch out for future issues through San Kessto Publications (my wife and I also started this publishing venture this year).
What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I just read The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg - it charmed my pants off. I am currently naked from the belt down.
I read Alex: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell - he’s just ... he’s ... I ... oh stuff it - it’s good. Real good stuff.
Myself and a few other blokes in Hobart have started a Graphic Novels reading book group where we meet up every two months and eat chips and talk about a specifically chosen book that we all read - it’s really fun! Just last time we read Jason’s Athos in America. That guy is really great. Such a strong visual language which has such amazing effect.
I reread Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks ... I read that every year though. It’s important to read that at least once a year. I hope you do too.
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?
Dark MOFO: The Winter festival in Hobart - was OUTSTANDING!!!
Particularly Ryoki Ikeda’s Spectra - which was this public art “sculpture” which involved 49 lights beaming up 15 kilometres into the sky at the Anzac Memorial in Hobart, allll night long. The whole town came to life at night-time, there was little kids up way past their bedtime running between the lights throughout that beautiful sound installation that made it seem like there was a UFO landing ... and there was hundreds of people HUNDREDS - just standing there at midnight, in the pouring rain, staring up into the sky in wonder. Every night for a whole 10 days!! it was really great! Amazing to see a whole town come out of its shell. Art can bring people together (aww). But the whole festival was a bit like that - come down next Winter!
I finally watched the film “Wake In Fright” ... don’t know why it took me so long. Possibly the best film I’ve seen from Australia.
What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I’m looking forward to getting cracking on my next medium-length project which I haven’t quite named yet - but it involves some history of my hometown of Melbourne and my family’s interaction with the city - the Aeolians who came in the 1890’s. It’s based on my Dad’s research into his father’s life - which was really fun to read. Hopefully it works well as a comic. I’ll keep ya’ll up to date as best I can.