Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Nominate, don't eat whitebait

Wow, going to do something completely unoriginal and talk about the Ledgers. You know about the Ledgers - its an award for Australian comics and I'm talking them; I'm talking about the books I've enjoyed, the people who have done good work and need congratulating.
If you haven't heard of a title or creator - look'em up, hell, do something crazy like buy them - it'll be appreciated. Phase2 has the majority of titles I've mentioned.

Anyway, anthologies are cool when they work, and risky and tedious when they are crap. The next issue of ozComics Magazine (pluuuug) is all about anthologies and people working together to create comics. So with that in mind, what anthologies did me likes in 2004;

Killeroo; Book 2

Much better than book 1, in terms of content. i prefer Killeroo in short stabs, having some sort of big overarching and serious story with Killeroo is a bit dumb; unless Darren goes all Dave Sim on us and has Rufus go on some sort of 300 issue meta-odyssey; where author and creation become less and less distinct (madness optional, but preferable) but I can dream. The first story with Badowers art was quite good even great, and though the story cliched and slight, it still worked because it got in late and left early. Damien story was a bit of OK, nice art but pretty forgettable, same with Andie Tongs piece. Paulos did some madcap stuff, that was funny so it can't be ignored. On the whole all the stories held their own to some degree (translation none of them were total crap); there was laughs and thrills and it featured many different styles of work by a wide range of people. its a bloody well rounded book.

Dark Woods

It was a freebie at the Dark Woods exhibition, the actual exhibition was OK, but i would have preffered to see comic art presented as comic art and not some sort of comment on the reproductivity of comic art, but that's beside the point. But the catalogue is good stuff, alot of creators i hadn't heard of doing some interesting stuff. tabloid newspaper size and free and that ain't bad. As you can imagine, some of it was arty, and with a total lack of people hitting each other may make people say its wanky. But i liked it.

Knee Pockets; book 2

I was a big fan of book 1 and i had real high expectations for Book 2. i think the majority of the work is high quality but i think there are some big errors in there that really hold it back. The 'drink spiking/panty stealing' story sticks out like a sore thumb and i think was an error in judgement, the pages and pages of contributor notes, quotes and pics were a bit much and it gets a bit much telling the same 'oh girlfriend number 3 broke up with me' story a couple of times in the same issue. But the highlights are just brillant. i keep saying it everytime i talk about Kneepockets 2, but 'far away star' is the best short story ever, "when we were friends" is gold. Tang's art is just so cool, his writing is great; he can write about the small things so well and interestingly you can't but help smile. I am fully hanging out for Knee Pockets #3, so Tang get a girlfriend and break up with her quickly. (and get your stuff to Phase2 already; its avaialable at Kings though)

Sporadic #4

This is another quality book but it suffers from 'the art is great, the writing is ok' syndrome. Its too sporadic, if it wasn't for the varied but incredibly good art it wouldn't have been in my top five. Its an enjoyable read, that just needs some focus (ie just for me)

Eat Comics

Man its a toss up between Eat Comics and Tonia Waldens' "Once upon a time", but i think this pips the other by being longer (page count) and having more substantial stories. Troy's Iron Chef thing is probably the best, but Liz's and Stikman's piece is hard to go by, Jase Harper always delivers and the Cuisine Cops muppet story is great. Some were a bit of meh but on the whole it was enjoyable.

the rest
Otherwise Oztaku is good because its great, if not excellent, value, the distribution is top notch and some of the stories are really good; Li's and Kerr's and some have good art or writing but not both which is hard to get through, but the major let down is the editorial aspects, its amatuer and embarrassing, in book 2 its expressed that its meant to be amatuer but thats a bullshit excuse; amatuer sports people don't go out and fuck around on the grounds; the creators are doing good work and taking it seriously, so should editorial.

Ink 2 is also ok, but i preffered issue 1. Book 2 didn't leave much impact on me. I'd like to nominate "you stink and I don't" but since its a single creator that'll appear in other categories.

Tommorrow, more stuff


Anonymous said...


you mentioned Killeroo.




Mark Selan said...

sure did, it was a pretty good anthology. It may be mentioned once more, I think.

at which time all my cred will be out the window.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the "Dark Woods" catalogue get a mention. My personal favourite was "Vacant Lot," but these two make a nice pair of anthologies.