Monday, August 20, 2012

Shelf Porn: Pikitia Press HQ August 2012

When I moved to Australia in 2007 I left behind several cubic metres of densely packed paper, twenty five years worth of accumulation, safely packed away in storage. Save for a Philip K Dick novel, I landed in Melbourne with just a bag of clothes and a keyboard. After a few years of mad collecting/spending in this wild land of opportunity I pared down my possessions and now try to keep only what I can fit in the space above which acts as an office/writing/drawing space.

As I get a bit older the books are feeling less precious to me. Do I really need that Barry-Windsor Smith Conan treasury? Over the last few years I've thought about getting rid of the lot when I turn fifty, save for my original art folders and a small bookshelf of the work I'm really fond of. There's no point in keeping all this stuff forever!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Adventures of Albie a Rising All Black

The national sport of New Zealand, Rugby, has had more than a passing connection with cartooning with books and exhibitions commemorating some of the fine work produced over the years. The All Blacks' Book for Boys by Pat Booth was published in 1960 by Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd. and features the Adventures of Albie A Rising All Black by an uncredited artist.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Virgil Reilly Illustrations

 Virgil Reilly

As well as making a significant contribution to Australian comics with his work on Silver Flash, Punch Perkins and The Invisible Avenger, Virgil Reilly was a prolific illustrator of magazines, books, and newspapers. Here's a sample of Reilly's work for the Australian Woman's Weekly.

Kevin Patrick at Comics Down Under has a profile of Reilly's career here.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Skinny Arse Comics Launch: Melbourne Writers Festival 2012.

Skinny Arse Comic Launch 2012 - Illustration Bruce Mutard

The Skinny Arse Comics Launch at the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival is the brainchild of Melbourne cartoonist Bruce Mutard who has been very proactive in comics events in Melbourne as well as travelling Australia and the globe to attend comics events and spread the gospel of Australian comics.
Five comic books are being launched at the Skinny Arse in conjunction with the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival including Pikitia Press's third release; Peter Foster's adaption of the Australian literary classic For the Term of His Natural Life.

Facebook event here

From the press release:

Unforgotten by Tohby Riddle (Allen & Unwin)

In this beautiful new book Unforgotten Tohby Riddle brings to life what remains largely unseen in the everyday. Exploring the idea of ‘who helps the helper’ and ‘who gives to the giver’, Unforgotten is a stunning book that both adults and children will connect with.
In a time of chaos and constant distraction, Unforgotten reminds us of the place of peace and calm, while at the same time including themes of faith, doubt, friendship and compassion.

All You Bastards Can Go Jump Off A Bridge by J. Marc Schmidt (Milk Shadow Books)

Creator of of the cult classic graphic novels, Egg Story and Eating Steve, and the co-creator of The Sixsmiths, J. Marc Schmidt furiously rains down over 200 pages of comic stories covering art, romance, religion, anger, pop culture parodies, sex and death in his latest collection, All You Bastards Can Go Jump Off A Bridge.

Featuring over a year's worth of webcomics, plus loads of rare strips from small press and anthology titles, All You Bastards Can Go Jump Off A Bridge explores human behaviour, and why it can sometimes be so hard to just get along with each other. Features a foreword by Tango's Bernard Caleo.

For The Term of His Natural Life by Peter Foster (Pikitia Press)

Peter Foster's adaption of Marcus Clarke's classic Australian novel For The Term of His Natural Life. Depicting the hardships of convicts in Tasmania in the early days of the colonisation of Australia. Sixty-four pages of vibrant colour with several pages detailing the original creation of one of Australia's first graphic novels and a foreword from Marcus Clarke scholar Laurie Hergenhan.

"Showman?" The Bret Braddock Adventures Book 1 & 2 by David Blumenstein (Nakedfella Productions)

A webcomic since 2009, the tale of Bret Braddock, wealthy arsehole, recently came to a poignant end. Now the whole story is collected together in two jam-packed volumes. An essential read for anyone who's ever been told "The cheque's in the mail". Created by David Blumenstein.

The Trials of Francis Bear by Gregory Mackay (Milk Shadow Books)

Melbourne indie comix legend Gregory Mackay's latest expedition into the world of the his most beloved character, Francis Bear. This time Francis has to deal with War, punishment, technology and the bottle, all whilst never losing the beautifully sparse signature sarcasm or simple style that makes the book so unique.

This is a free event, and will feature MC-ing by the King of comics examination, Bernard Caleo. Also comics maestro Bruce Mutard will be popping by for some hijinks!

All of the artists will be in attendance, so there'll be lots of signings, short speeches and other fun. An after party will be held nearby (Location, TBA).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ian Dickson

Ian Dickson

Ian Oscar Dickson was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 15 January 1905 and emigrated with his family to Melbourne, Australia, in 1913. Dickson, a self-taught artist, had work published in the Adelaide Register News Pictorial, the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, the Brisbane Telegraph and illustrated tourist brochures for the Queensland government.

 The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin 24 June 1932

Dickson eventually emigrated to England and found work with film companies and Razzle magazine. In the early thirties Dickson spent several months in Ceylon and after a period back in Australia he relocated there to work for the Times of Ceylon and Ceylon Observer. In 1935 Dickson returned to England where he produced work for Punch, London Opinion, Men Only and Blighty. Dickson was a prolific contributor to these men's digests with some issues featuring three or four pages of his work. During the War Dickson served with the Royal Air Force.
Original art possibly from Razzle circa 1950's via Illustration Art Gallery

Dickson was a member of the British Cartoonists Club founded in 1960 and appeared in the 1962 Cartoonists album alongside compatriots David Low and Keith Waite. Over this period the ever prolific Dickson was contributing cartoons to the Daily Mirror and Daily Sketch as well as producing  'Mum' weekly at the Sunday Graphic for fifteen years.

In the fifties and sixties Dickson contributed three or four panel gag strips for Eagle, Girl and Swift Annuals from Hulton Press. Dickson died 21st July 1987.

Girl Annual Nine 1961

Girl Annual Nine 1961

 Girl Annual Nine 1961

 Girl Annual Nine 1961

Samples of Ian Dickson's work for Men Only

Men Only July 1950

Men Only July 1950

Men Only May 1950

Men Only May 1950

Men Only May 1950

Men Only September 1949

Men Only March 1954

Men Only March 1954

 Men Only March 1954

 Men Only November 1951
Men Only September 1949 

Sources:, Men Only 1946-1954, British Cartoonist's Album, Dictionary of British Cartoonists and Caricaturists 1730-1980 compiled by Mark Bryant and Simon Heneage,