Saturday, December 28, 2013

E noho rā 2013

Big thanks to all the New Zealand & Australian cartoonists and comic makers who contributed to the 2013 in Reviews. I'm signing off for a few days and will back with some galleries and interview posts on Jan 1st 2014.

I'll be trying to get my head around a few more places next year, please consider liking/following Pikitia Press in these places:

twitter @pikitiapress

2013 in Review survey index:

Gregory Mackay
Brendan Boughen
Cory Mathis
Matthew Hoddy
Andrew Fullton
David Blumenstein
Justin Randall
David C Mahler

Ben Michael Byrne  
Brendan Halyday   
Toby Morris
Bruce Mutard  
Stuart McMillen  
Joshua Santospirito
Frank Candiloro
Richard Fairgray  
Colin Wilson  
Jason Franks  
Matt Kyme  
Anthony Woodward  
Caitlin Major  
Sarah Laing  
Sam Orchard  
Gavin Aung Than
Scarlette Baccini  
David Follett
Simon Hanselmann  
Michel Mulipola
Li Chen  
Ryan K Lindsay    
Christopher Downes  
Dean Rankine
Alisha Jade    
Theo Macdonald
Paul Mason  
James Davidson  
Tim Molloy  
Jason Chatfield

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 in Review: Brendan Boughen

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
The highlight of the year was definitely being the live on-site cartoonist for several Microsoft NZ events, including the launch of the Surface Pro tablet and then the big TechEd 2013 conference, attended by over 2000 people. It was cool to see some of my cartoons from those events retweeted internationally. That gig has since turned into some new opportunities with Microsoft which will utilise both my day-job skills as a PR consultant, and my cartoonist alter-ego.

This year saw a number of Fairfax technology magazines in New Zealand close down, one for which I had been drawing a monthly tech-themed cartoon for over 18 months. While it was sad to no longer be in print there, it looks that strip might be finding a new home in another magazine in 2014. I’ve also continued to do monthly cartoons for Touchstone magazine, and am proud to have received some snarky offended letters to the editor about one cartoon I did about churches and zombies. (If cartoons aren’t being provocative, what’s the point?)

Personally though, I feel like I’ve done some of my best work ever on my web site in 2013. It hasn’t always been on a weekly basis, as is my usual aim, but the times I have got one up there I’ve really liked how they’ve turned out. This one’s a favourite.
What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
Christian Henry’s Anyone for Rhubarb? web comic continues to hit new heights. I don’t know where he finds the time to produce such complex, bizarre and funny work. 

Political cartoonist John Kudelka continues to stand-out for me for his ability to make powerful points with just a few scribbles. 

I also enjoyed seeing the final collected volume of  Opus strips by Berkeley Breathed of Bloom County fame. 

It’s also been great to see Kiwi comics celebrated through a number of new publications, including the history book From Earth’s End by Adrian Kinnaird and the second volume of Faction Comics.
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?
Some superb movies have come out this year. I very recently enjoyed The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but also dug Sound City, Warm Bodies, Now You See Me, Pacific Rim, Gravity, Iron Man 3,  Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing and the conclusion of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Cornetto Trilogy ‘The World’s End’.

Also, as one of the few who still buy CDs, I have enjoyed getting into more music this year now that all the CD stores are going out of business and having cheap CD sales. Faves have included Lamb of God, Nick Cave, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Joseph Arthur, Karnivool, Nada Surf, Placebo, Pendulum, Pearl Jam, and Lorde, to name but a few. (The talented young Kiwi whippersnapper Lorde also inspired a cartoon.)
What are you looking forward to in 2014?
Mostly I’m looking forward to pushing myself creatively with some new cartooning endeavours in addition to everything that’s been started this year. As well as my tech-cartoon finding a new home in print, I’m launching a new webcomic in January which is being created in collaboration with a writer friend. We’ll be aiming to publish it three times a week and maybe even produce a bit of merch around it. Keep an eye on Twitter (@BelindaBitsch) for the announcement of that one kicking off.

However, the big thing I’m going to try and achieve in 2014 is my next book, which I’m planning to be a 25 year retrospective on my “career” as a cartoonist alongside some reflections on creativity and cartoons. It’ll feature a bunch of never before seen material, and should be fun to put together!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pauper Trail

From 1982: Clip of New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon ejecting cartoonist Tom Scott from his weekly press conference.

Sarah Laing concludes her residency in Devonport.

Read out of print 2012 Simon Hanselmann 16page mini comic on the Space Face Books site.

Young Cartoonist Exhibition - National Library of New Zealand

No Soap Comics.

Andrez Bergen writes about his comics year.

Write up on my old local Mark One Comics in Hamilton adding digital comics to their offerings.

 (Pic nabbed from Fairfax NZ)

Jason Paulos Biro Art

Caitlin Major makes comics for work!

Toby Morris' screenprints.

Jase Harper Showreel

Short clip of Ron Tandberg in his studio.

Scriven interviews Richard Fairgray.

Scroll slightly down on the Silent Army site for pics from the launch of Michael Hawkins' Boyfriend: Magic, Sentiment and Bondage.

Bob Temuka and Kelly Sheehan posted a five part discussion on the film collaborations of Mitch Jenkins and Alan Moore at the Tearoom of Despair.

After several years absence The Ledger Awards are scheduled to return in 2014 in conjunction with Supanova Pop Culture Conventions. View the current  long list of nominees here.

Paper Trail masthead courtesy of Toby Morris.

Sunday Gem: Unblemished Record: The Flawless Reign of Bernard Roundhill

 “Auckland In The Year 2000″, artwork for Winstone’s promotional book centrefold, 1956, is Roundhill’s most famous illustration. Image courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Reg: CA000659/001/0001 (Yoinked from Long White Kid)
Pull up a hot coffee and get comfortable with a colossal image filled post from Darian Zam on the work of one of New Zealand's most successful commercial artists Bernie Roundhill.

Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 in Review: Gregory MacKay


What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Starting off the year by making a mini-comic for the Mini-comic of the month club was great. I haven’t made one like that for a long time. I was also made a 24 page comic about my time in New York during Hurricane Sandy last year. It was specifically for the Caravan of Comics which came later in the year. I started writing it at the Chugnut comic’s camp in March and had it ready by the time we left in May.  A film student friend made a short documentary about me and my comics called ‘Ink machine’ which was a pretty interesting thing to be a part of. It’s out there on YouTube. Check it out.

The Caravan trip was an adventure. It was great to go to TCAF for the second year in a row. Montreal and Seattle were great. Doing in-store appearances at Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics was enlightening. We got to meet so many cartoonists like David B. and Taiyo Matsumoto, plus plenty of local artists everywhere we went.  I hung out in New York for a while after the trip, mostly at Hang Dai studios with Dean Haspiel and my cartoonist buddies form the Florida residency last year.

I was lucky to win an Australian Society of Authors grant to develop a children’s graphic novel I have been working on. After much hard work it was picked up by Allen & Unwin.

I was also lucky to have a proper conversation with Art Spiegalman this year, and Francoise Mouly was very interested in the children’s graphic novel idea.

Designing a CD booklet and disc was a highlight,  as was the many other illustration projects I took on this year.  Working on my next book was a big focus. It was also great to see The Trials of Francis Bear get picked up by Madman entertainment via James Andre’s Milkshadow books.

Collaborating with Adam Ford for Cordite Literary journal and having a Francis Bear comic acquired by were publishing highlights.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
 I bought so many mini’s to name on tour. Standout comics were Tomines Optic Nerve 22. Jonathan Allen’s Vacationland.  Mini’s by Julia Gforer and Uni Moralez. So many others. Pat Grants ‘Toormina Video’ gets my comic of the year.  Hanselmanns ‘Life Zone’ was great.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?
I enjoyed Dark Mofo, especially Kurt Hentschläger’s “Zee”. Which was the most disturbing experience if have had from any artwork. I enjoyed touring the model making studio at the Museum of Natural History in New York and seeing behind the scenes of this amazing museum. Reading the source material for the new Miyazaki film in its original comic form, as well as the book by Jiro Horikoshi was a great insight. Being on the USS Intrepid for Memorial Day in New York was special.  New York was very special, and I visited many galleries and cartoonists while I was there. White Night was fun, it was so calm.  Starting to run proper distances was also an achievement, as was climbing Mount Arapiles
 Learning watercolour techniques from Simon Hanselmann and chatting with Oslo, and asking questions of Shaun Tan make for some useful professional development.  Also someone got a tattoo of Francis Bear which was awesome.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I’m forward to working on my kid’s graphic novel, and my next two books.  As well as expanding my illustration and 3D work.  I am expanding my illustration and watercolour work too.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 in Review: Cory Mathis

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Couple of big ones for me - I won the NZ Young Cartoonist competition earlier this year, which led to me getting my first working gigs as a cartoonist in the newspaper and magazines. Getting a Saurian Era story into the second volume of Faction Comics was a big goal accomplished for me, looking forward to the next one now. Chromacon! Having a table and hanging with everyone was a huge buzz. Man, next years one is going to rock :D
What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I've been on a bit of a Brandon Graham binge - King City, Prophet, eating it all up. Staying on top of Hellboy and Fables has been a treat this year as well.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
My mates bought me a dinosaur porn novel for my birthday, 'Jurassic Gangbang 2 - Dominated by Dinosaurs.' I haven't actually read it yet, but I certainly enjoyed recieving it. I suppose depending on how much I enjoy it will determine whether it stays a 'non-comic...'

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I'm taking the prize money from the cartoon comp and putting it towards getting to Florence in July. Going to do an intensive art atelier summer school - should be an adventure. Just raising money for that, staying busy and if I'm lucky, squeezing out another Saurian Era comic before I go.

2013 in Review: Toby Morris

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Don't Puke On Your Dad coming out in September was good- first time I've had someone else putting out my work so that's been a whole new experience. 

And I didn't expect things would go down this path this year but I've ended up with a gig doing New Yorker style one panel gag cartoons for the Listener. I never thought that's where I'd go, but it's been a new thing learn and I've been enjoying it.

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I've just been making my way through Adrian Kinniard's mega collection From Earth's End, a lot of old favourites but also bits I've never seen, that's great. I liked American Captain, Tim Danko's Once made me feel weird, and Mat Tait's Flying Dutchman book was cool. 

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  

Special sauce black chilli prawns from Canton Cafe in Kingsland is my thing of 2013. And my second son Iggy being born, that was cool. I got married too, that was fun. But those prawns, man, seriously.
What are you looking forward to in 2014?

I don't know what the next book is right now, so that's exciting. Lots of half formed ideas, gonna be fun to see where they go. Looking forward to getting some sleep as the new baby settles in a bit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 in Review: Matthew Hoddy

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Having the crowd funding campaign being successful and, subsequently, releasing my first book. Then taking that book with much success around the country and hanging out with all our comic making friends at home in Brisbane & Sydney & Melbourne & Adelaide. But the best part was taking the book overseas to SPX. Which was mind blowing to say the least. Meeting all the people I watch online. Seeing that they are just people like us making comics from home and with jobs. Some of which make comics from home AS their jobs.

The whole trip was memorable and inspirational. Met so many people and I can't wait to go back and see them all.

Also, honourable mention of the 24 hour comic jam I organised at Ace Comics for a few of the local creators. On the night it was pretty dang exhausting, mentally AND physically. But it went great and was a bunch of fun!

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
There has been so many! Spent quite a bit on comics at SPX. Some of which are Anthony Clarke's 3 Beartato books, Becky & Frank's Capture Creatures featuring Becky's beautiful water colours & Scott C's Greatest Showdowns. Just to name a few.

Ed Brubaker's Incognito was an interesting read. The Ninja Turtle 'Secret History of the Foot Clan' was really enjoyable too. Also read a few super hero comics I wouldn't usually read. Won't mention which ones (Batman Beyond).

But even more recently, Douglas Holgate & Jen Breach's 'Maralinga', cannot wait until it is finished!

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
Mostly video games. But also some animated series. Steven Universe is a really great show. Pretty recent too. Stories, colours and designs in it are fantastic. Discovered the game 'Fez' about a little 2d being that one day discovers his world has a third dimension. It's super cute and nostalgic. Which I found through one of the Humble Bundles.

The animated Batman series from the 90s has been a highlight too. Everything about it was really well done.

Two movies I really dug were Pacific Rim & Elysium. Both are sci-fi films I dug for completely different reasons.

Been playing through 'The Last of Us'. It's super creepy but super well done.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
Taking my books overseas once again! Hopefully SPX again, but TCAF is definitely happening. We've also been accepted into Sand Diego Comic-Con. Which is going to be pretty full on and amazing.

That and making new books and releasing them into the world.

2013 in Review: Andrew Fulton

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
I think my highlight of 2013 was putting together the new round of the Minicomic of the Month Club - the response to that has been great - we got a whole bunch of new subscribers on, and a lot of those I think from people that aren't normally "comics people". Even having a goofy picture of me in the paper didn't take the shine off.
Also getting up to Sydney for the Graphic festival - especially seeing people get up and perform their work as part of the Radio With Pictures show, that was a Good Time.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
I'm pretty terrible at remembering when things come out, so this are really just things I can vaguely remember from recently. Sorry to everyone who made something I really liked that I can't see from my desk.

I've been really enjoying getting my Oily subscription in the mail, that's always a fun envelope to see. There was one from Nick Drnaso I liked, and Real Rap was funny. Also Pete Toms and Connor Willumsen. And I got some stuff from Peow studios in Sweden, some real nice printmakerly stuff with some spaceships. I keep picking up these Joe Lambert minis I have. Um. *looks at tumblr* Alex Schubert. Pat Grant. Ben Juers. Domitille Collardey. Lisa Hanawalt. Neil Sanders' weird dudes on Instagram. I liked Blood & Thunder as a thing, loved Lachlan Conn's piece in it. Steven Weissman. David King. Sams Wallman and Alden

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
I got a new dayjob, but there's no interesting story there. Also I'm enjoying watching my kid play in U10s basketball waaay more than I thought I would.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
2013's been a pretty slow year, I'm looking forward to maybe dragging myself out of this slump I'm in right now and getting some drawing done. Maybe some mince pies will sort me out?

2013 in Review: David Blumenstein

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
I did a bunch of stupid political comics in the lead-up to the federal election because I was angry at all the participants and the yucky little games they play in the media.
The best one was called The Bolt Report. I entered it in the Lord Mayor's Creative Writing awards and it won one! Then Andrew Bolt found out about it, threw it to the attack dogs on his blog, and they got quite nasty -- especially the ones who thought it was real, who got quite mad at the "teacher" for her leftist subversion!

I asked Tristian if he'd like to respond to all this, and he has.

This has all been a lot of fun, but I'm not sure anyone learned anything. Anyway, the piece (and some of the comments from Bolt's blog) will be on display at the City Library early next year.

Also, I got a chance to collaborate with a Guardian journalist, Paul Owen, on a piece recapping the federal election. That was great and I want to do more comics journalism stuff. I'm researching something about lobbyists at the moment.

I had a few cracks at live cartooning, at a show called "Picture This" at Comedy Festival and at the Melbourne Writers Festival in "Draw! Draw Faster!". That's fun.

Am also enjoying the occasional ACA meetups, and the Stanleys conference is always nice because I get to chat a bit with "proper (paid) cartoonists".

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I've been enjoying the political cartoons of David Pope and David Rowe. And Chris Downes always does good stuff.

Michael Hawkins does comics but the thing I liked most of his this year was his work in an exhibition called Fleshtonez.

Pat Grant's "Toormina Video" is an excellent, moving short comic and was just as excellent as a staged reading at the Opera House.

Good seeing collections of Dillon Naylor and Tim Molloy stuff come out thru Milk Shadow Books/Madman. Hutcho too, but we all know I love him.

Andrew Fulton does excellent comics despite having childrens to raise; that's always impressive. And he runs the Minicomic of the Month Club. Those minis are often real good.

Daniel Reed's Grubby Little Smudges of Filth looks really good, but Comixology's "web viewer" is broken so I haven't read it yet.

Myles Loughran's "Laugh Until You Spew". I'm not that into diary comics but I like his, and there's a heartwarming ending after all the spew.

 Every so often I go to All Star Comics and I pick up an American comic that looks interesting. They're all about zombies fighting crime or scientists fighting mutant zombies or zombie scientists going back in time to meet Abraham Lincoln, and they all want to be written like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and look like Hellboy.

But they're not.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013? I just watched the last two series of "Eastbound and Down". "Breaking Bad" finished well, too. "Justified" continues to be good.

Anna Krien's "Night Games" and Tom Doig's "Moron 2 Moron" are excellent booky-books.

Liking Katharine Murphy's writing on Guardian Australia. David Marr is pretty brilliant too. Maybe they'd like to collaborate on a comic?

Been listening to Harry Shearer's "Le Show". Angry coverage of important things, and sketches which make you sad. It's comedy, but not really.

I go to Tassie a lot. It's nice.

What are you looking forward to in 2014? Finishing my animated cop show, BE A MAN.

Jase Harper's upcoming graphic novel looks good, only seen peeks of that in Squishface and on his blog.

We just renewed the lease on Squishface for one more year?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 in Review: Owen Heitmann

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Every published story is a thrill, but I was particularly pleased to have my story 'Doing The Harry Holt' included in the anthology Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends: A Collection of Unsolved Mysteries (Hic & Hoc Publications).
It's also been great fun to organise Comics With Friends And Strangers (a monthly meeting for like-minded folk in Adelaide who enjoy drawing comics), together with my girlfriend, Gina Chadderton (a talented cartoonist herself). Cartooning can be a solitary business, but I find it a refreshing change to create in a group atmosphere, and it's also been wonderful to meet up with other local artists, many of whom I wasn't aware of before.
And, of course, it was an honour to be asked to write the introduction to Dillon Naylor's Da 'n' Dill: The Showbag Years.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
There have been a lot! I'm sure I'll forget some, but... cartoonists I've just discovered this year have included Vera Brosgol (Anya's Ghost), MK Reed and Jonathan Hill (Americus) and Garen Ewing (The Adventures of Julius Chancer). I knew of Walt Kelly already, but only just read his Our Gang stories, and enjoyed them a lot. Old favourites I've continued to devour include Floyd Gottfredson (thanks to Fantagraphics' Mickey Mouse reprints), Caanan Grall (Max Overacts) and Trudy Cooper (Oglaf)... but really, there's too many to mention! Being in a relationship with a cartoonist also means I get lots of amazing comics drawn for or about me, and those are really top of the list.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013? 
I was stoked to finally see Weezer play live, after having been a fan for more than half my life. I also remain addicted to golden age radio plays. 

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
Fantagraphics beginning their Don Rosa Library reprint series of his Donald Duck and Uncle $crooge comics. And maybe buying a house, if I don't spent all my money on comics.

2013 in Review: Justin Randall

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Seeing the first French translation of my work.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
The Maxx & Jim Woodring.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
A new baby girl named Charlie and my son Jax. 
What are you looking forward to in 2014?

2013 in Review: David C Mahler

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?

2013 was the year I decided to start reaching some goals. After making a concerted effort to (keyword) start improving my work I released something like seven or eight self published books, which led to an offer from Pikitia Press (ever heard of em?) to put out my first book. So that was a big tick off the list. Outside of my own work, a massive highlight was being able to attend Comic Arts Brooklyn in New York last month. I had the time of my life, meeting so many online friends in real life for the first time, meeting new friends who I know I'll be staying in contact with, and just generally being blown away by the amount of quality alternative cartoonists working today.

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
'A Drifting Life' by Yoshihiro Tatsumi changed my life. My future is better for reading that book. 'The Cartoon Utopia' by Ron Regé Jr. 'Princess Knight' by Osamu Tezuka. 'Backyard' by Sam Alden. 'Mimi and the Wolves' by Alabaster. 'Pen Erases Paper' by Sam Wallman. 'Tender Tinder' by Jeremy Sorese. 'Life Zone' by Simon Hanselmann. 'Black Pillars' by Andrew White. 'Windowpanes 1 and 2' by Joe Kessler.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013? 
Honestly, 2013 was pretty 'comics' for that sad?

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I have a few more goals I'd like to reach. After CAB I was fortunate enough to be able to travel around the East Coast and Canada, and I made sure to put some of my books aside for various publishers. Nothing's set in stone in the slightest so don't get excited, but putting something out in North America is definitely on my list for the new year. Also, I'll be completing my final year of uni this year, so that's extremely exciting/terrifying.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 in Review: Grant Buist

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?

The Wellington arts newspaper Capital Times folded after 39 years in print, but luckily my regular cartoon Jitterati was picked up a few weeks later by lifestyle magazine FishHead, so now It’s printed on glossy paper and read by upwardly mobile Millennials. Which is nice. For my own perverse amusement, I’ve been adapting Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot for the comic generation site Pixton. There’s over 130 episodes so far, and it’s confusing the hell out of everyone. It was also the twentieth anniversary of my cartoon Brunswick, but I forgot to do anything to mark it.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?

I’m 70km away from the nearest comics store or decent library graphic novel collection, so it’s all webcomics for me. Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona has been receiving a lot of deserved attention, as has Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne’s spectacularly NSFW Oglaf. I also follow Jamie Smart’s Corporate Skull, Madeleine Flores’ Help Us! Great Warrior and Andrew Hussie’s epic Homestuck, which I started reading because it was described as "the Ulysses of the Internet”, presumably by someone who’s never actually read Ulysses. Nothing too obscure there, but it’s all good stuff. 

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?

I’ve taken great pleasure this year in scratching large pigs with sticks. Few things are as rewarding as using a stick to raise a cloud of dried skin and mud from the stomach of a happily grunting piggy. 

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

I was commissioned to write a radio series based on a musical I wrote a few years ago based on Brunswick, so I’m looking forward to hearing how that turns out. I’m also looking forward to putting out the first chapters of my 14th graphic novel, which I’ve been promising for years now - life kept getting in the way, but now I live in Otaki Beach that isn’t such a problem.

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.