Showing posts with label rebecca hayes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rebecca hayes. Show all posts

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 in Review: Sarah Howell

Sarah Howell

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

It has been a massive year when it comes to comics stuff for me, there have been lots of great times, but if I have to name a handful they would be: starting Squishface Studio; starting the Ladies Drawing Auxiliary talk series at Squishface; teaching cartooning on a weekly basis; meeting Bill Messner-Leobs (co-writer of The Maxx) and his wife at a very pleasant comics meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Dave (Blumenstein) giving John Porcellino a copy of my comic when he met him at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.
Who are some of the comics creators that you've discovered and enjoyed for the first time in 2012?

Organising Ladies drawing Auxiliary has introduced me to a pile of new creators that I wasn't aware of, or only knew a little bit about: Scarlette Baccini, Lily Mae Martin, Lee Lai, Megan Nairn, Leonie V. Brialey, Kate Moon, Adi Firth, Rebecca Hayes, Katie Houghton-Ward, and Lindsay C. Walker.
Also I read Jason Franks' work for the first time. I picked up The Sixsmiths from him at Sticky's Festival of the Photocopier. The Sixsmiths made me laugh and it captures the feeling of suburban Melbourne really well.

Probably my favorite international find was Englishman Luke Pearson. I read his Hilda and the Midnight Giant earlier in the year, and then picked up Everything We Miss from his publisher Nobrow Press while in Toronto. There is an influence from Chris Ware in Pearson's work, but his obvious love of the mythic makes his stories far more entertaining and moving for me.

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

I watched Wings of Desire again, mostly so Dave could see Peter Falk in it. I came home the next evening to find Dave listening to the Director's commentary, which was fascinating. The film wasn't scripted, Wim Wenders had a framework of the opening poem and the idea of the angels wandering around Berlin (this is before the wall comes down), but everything else is pretty much improvised. I found his comments resonated with my own preferred way of working.

Breaking Bad. I find Breaking Bad emotionally very affecting. Dave often watches it late at night before bed and I have to put ear plugs in because it agitates me too much before trying to sleep. Again we listened to the director and cast commentary and it is very inspiring, the amount and quality of thought and intention that goes into achieving the emotional tension of the show.

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

Research and writing a script! I mostly drew silent comics in the past and never enjoyed writing a script because for me the images always develop first in my mind, so I would thumbnail script. Last year I found myself inspired to do a historical comic and started researching. I was confident that I could just thumbnail script again, and was quite resistant to writing one, but as my research notes progressed I just got to a point where I realised for clarity and speed I needed to write the sequences and dialogue out. Now I'm really enjoying the process.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

More Squishface adventures, particularly Ladies Drawing Auxiliary. Mini Comic of the Month Club. Getting all nerdy at the National Archives and Old Parliament House in Canberra with the aim of getting a good chunk of my graphic novel done. Dave's comic about a fictional cult leader.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Drawn From Life

With more than a dozen events involving cartoonists in the Melbourne Writers Festival this year the expanding presence of Cartoonists has seen the production of a cartoon newspaper featuring 27 local and international cartoonists. Oslo Davis edited and produced the project and answered a few questions for me about Drawn From Life.

What was the print run of Drawn From Life?

35,000. We handed out 12,000 at 6 train stations on the morning of Friday the 26th of August, and the rest were handed out and picked up at the Melbourne Writers Festival at Fed Square and ACMI.

Were there any difficulties in coordinating the twenty-seven cartoonists featured in Drawn From Life?
Not really, there were some people who were too busy to be involved, but mostly I got who I wanted and everyone got their work in on time. A couple struggled with the concept, and I left my own contribution to the last minute so felt under the pump a bit, but we all worked through it.

I really enjoyed working with everyone, especially the extremely talented Colombian Diego Patino who did the cover - that was a very important part to get right.

With the expanding presence of local and international cartoonists in the Melbourne Writers Festival program do you think Drawn From Life could become a regular fixture?

Many people have asked if this could become more regular, but I am not sure if I could be the one to continue it. Not that I haven't enjoyed it, mind, but I need to step away from it for a while. Also, it will depend on funding and sponsorship.

What was the response to the distribution of Drawn From Life on selected train routes in Melbourne?
Very good. People came to the stations looking for it. Most were surprised to get it (in many cases it was thrust into their hands so they didn't have a choice!). There was no one 'type' of person who took a copy: everyone from students to business men to old people to housewives (or at least people who were dressed like housewives, whatever housewives dress like ...) took a copy and read it.

How did you go about selecting contributors for Drawn From Life? and what was the lead in time?
I had the luxury of a lot of time to select the artists I wanted in Drawn From Life. I came up with a 'hit list' and then worked with Steve Grimwade and the staff at the Melbourne Writers Festival to refine the list and contact the artists. I was in the fortunate position of choosing people whose work I liked, and those whose work I wanted to see more of, hence the mixed-bag nature of it all. Obvious I have been a fan of Bruce Petty and Ron Tandberg for many years, but I was also keen to see them alongside some up-and-comings and little-knowns, like Rebecca Hayes and picnick.

Interview conducted via email September 2011

Drawn From Life Contributors

Sarah Howell    Bruce Mutard     Fiona Katauskas    Jon Kudelka     Mandy Ord     Andrew Joyner    Judy Horacek
Matthew Martin    Jo Waite