Showing posts with label newton comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label newton comics. Show all posts

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Newton Comics - The Rise & Fall - Daniel Best Interview

Daniel Best's pozible campaign for his book on Australian publisher Newton Comics book is in it's last twenty hours. Daniel has met his target but I'm sure would welcome any more contributions to support the production costs of the book. I asked Daniel a few questions via email about his background in comics and his forthcoming book.

Please consider supporting Newton Comics - The Rise & Fall pozible campaign here.

What were the first comics you read?

The first comics that I can remember reading was the Death of Gwen Stacey issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, way back when they were released in the early 1970s. My mother taught me to read, but insisted that I read books, not that she had anything against comic books.

When did you first encounter Newton Comics?
I first encountered Newton Comics when they were released in 1975/1976. They were cheaper than the American versions and usually contained far more interesting material.  The posters and swap cards, along with the iron-on transfers also sold me - I'd buy them and chop them up mercilessly - swap cards in school books, posters on walls and iron-ons on shirts. But, hey, that's what you did as a kid in the 1970s. I didn't know, nor did I care, that these things would be worth anything down the track. Newtons were perfect for children - the true disposable comics.
What attracted you to researching comics history?
I've always had a fascination with history in general and, more often than not, it's the stories behind the official or published stories that have interested me the most. I first became interested in learning about comic book history in the early 1980s when I discovered magazines like The Comic Journal, but my interest really picked up when I found a battered copy of All In Color For A Dime at a library book sale for ten cents. That changed my outlook on comic books and comic book history in general. From there I discovered some old Alter Egos and a few FOOMs at a second hand store and never looked back.

The same second hand store used to sell me comic books for between five and ten cents each - from 1981 to 1984. They'd get stuff in like the John Byrne X-Men, Iron Fist, old Gil Kane and John Romita Spider-Man's, Silver Age Marvels and the like for peanuts. But never any DC. Like an idiot I lost the lot.

At what point did you consider turning your research into Newton Comics into a book?

I started to get interested in Newtons again in the early 2000s when I found a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #1. I wanted to know what the story was behind these comics. I knew about the many Australian reprint comics, mainly the DC reprints that KG Murray did in the 1970s and 1980s, the Federal and Yaffa reprints of Marvel and the Gredown reprints of rare horror material, but these were new to me, in a way. Old, familiar comics, but new in their own way.  I hopped on the internet and did a search and found...nothing.

Then Robert Thomas did his brilliant Newton Comics article for The Sunday Observer (which used to be owned by Maxwell Newton, the same guy who owned Newton Comics) and I was hooked. I started collecting them and writing about them on my blog and there was a great interest. From there I began to interview people who were involved with Newton Comics and, once Robert and myself sat down and compared notes, I thought, "There's a book in here." That was in 2005.

I then caught up with Kevin Patrick in Melbourne. What he doesn't know about Australian comics isn't worth knowing, but he admitted that he didn't know a lot about Newton. I mentioned the idea of a book and he replied that nobody has ever written a book about an Australian comic book company, so why not be the first? By then I was really leaning towards it.  On the same weekend I was chatting to Philip Bentley, who founded Minotaur Books in Melbourne, who said, "You know, Maxwell Newton was named a spy in Parliament." That sold me. I started work on it in 2007, once I finished the Jim Mooney book, and I've been working on it ever since.  Now it's ready for publication!

Those three guys, Robert, Kevin and Phil, have been brilliant helps along the way, sharing ideas, research and allowing me to bounce things off them.

Daniel's blog Oh Danny Boy has a wealth of articles on Australian and American comics.

Images from the Newton Comics facebook here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Paper Trail

Rory Hewson writes about F.J. Nealie's Rotorua cartoons. Preview here. Further commentary here.


Bob Temuka writes about focusing on individual panels from comics.

 Kelly Sheehan's idea of a perfect panel: This moment from Tim Kidd's Came The Dawn

Chromacon have Boosted and Pledgeme campaigns running to help finance their festival.

Renowned political cartoonist Malcolm Evans paints a live billboard drawing in central Wellington.

Tim Molloy shares album art for Cash Savage and the Last Drinks.

Sam Orchard shares a page from a submission to the Anything That Loves anthology.

This is Moonbeard.

Kiwigame's NZ advertising Flickr set.

Another Kiwigame Vintage NZ Advertising set. I used to buy and use these tattoos!

It can't hurt to link to more DIE POPULAR.

Tane William's illustrations for Steve Braunias.

Ele Jenkins tumblr.

Grant Buist recently wrote about concluding his twelve year run on strip Jitterati for Wellington paper Capital Times which has ceased publication. A recent post on Buist's site indicates he has found a new home for Jitteratti.

Capital Times' last issue came out this month after 38 years of publication. The issue below featured Mat Tait's illustration from Pictozine #2.

Melbourne Comics festival on in Northcote this weekend. More details here.

Ive Sorocuk shares a detail of the cover created in collaboration with Alex Clark for his forthcoming Comics Face collection.

Kevin Patrick writes about the discovery of  Terry Trowell paintings in Western Australia. interview Roger Langridge.

Paul Mason writes about an Australian soldier character in Timely/Marvel Comics.

Anthony Woodward offers 4 issues of Sketchbook Comix through a pay what you want model.

Anthony is preparing a third Chugnut Comics free comic book day comic. Read Chugnut #1.

 Simon Hanselmann features in the latest issue of ลก! #13 'Life Is Live'.

Gavin Aung Than tackles super heroes via Jack London at Zen Pencils.

Daniel Best writes about his forthcoming book about Australian comics publisher Newton Comics. Best has also established a Newton Comics facebook group.

Joshua Santospirito features on The Comic Spot.