Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Xmas to all

Last sunday we went down to the McClaren Vale wine region to pick up a couple of xmas trees for us and my mum. This involved walking around a forest fo an hour looking for not one perfect tree but two! Then having them cut down and jamming them into my small car.
Consequently my car and Saveded Central has a sweet piney smell.
We picked up half a dozen or so wines for the day and my cellar and went to Oscars, for i think, the best pizza in Australia. So sunday was a good start to the week.
I spent the rest of the week making ice cream (5 varieties) and bottling olive oil for friends and family.
Work has been good since most everyone is on holiday and i've been spending my time coding and designing which is way better than my normal project management/problem solving stuff.
Right now Emma's making a huge (1.5 foot) chocolate xmas tree and dancing to her new Dirty Dancing sound track, while my fingers smell like rosemary from preparing the pork roast.
I spoke to my dad yesterday and he's living it up in Thailand and in a couple of hours we'll be going to mum's for lunch with the rest of the family.

I hope everybody's xmas is as relaxed and as fulfilling as mine.
Merry Xmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Grates at the Jive bar.

Its hard for me to say I love the Grates, a relatively new band from Brisbane. They’ve only released a 4 track EP and its all a bit brief. I think one of their songs appeared on a Jeans West ad, if not I wouldn’t be surprised if their stuff isn’t coopted in commercials sooner or later because it has that indy cool style/cred while still being approachable for a wider audience. I do know that the lead singer Patience will be my third wife (when Emma and then Cameron Diaz leave me).

It was a Thursday night, so I had just finished grocery shopping at the local Westfield. Gone are the days of getting illicit before a show.

The only interesting thing about getting to the gig was as I walked past Cargo (a club that has been around as long as I remember, at least 15 years which probably makes it the longest existing club in Adelaide – usually most places have a 2 year shelf life) and a guy of middle eastern appearance suggested I smile because things aren’t that bad. Guy of middle eastern appearance was right.

In the club I got pinted and settled in for the show, I scanned for a familiar face and when I spotted one I had to figure out if I actually knew them or just caught the train with them. By the time I tried to figure that out The Grates came on. And launched right into it. Usually because I’m a bit on the taller side, I like to hang back in the crowd so I don’t block people’s view with my large rottweiler head. Only downside, is that people who stand back rarely dance – where as I do. So I was bopping along – in a restrained manner when I got a tap on the shoulder. It was a girl of non middle east appearance “You look like you wanna dance you're welcome to join us!”. Us was two girls dancing around their handbags. Dancing with them would involve not being able to watch the show and having to put my beer down so I declined for the interim. “Cheers for that, I will in a bit though”.

The show continued on, it was really energetic and the crowd got into it, which is pretty rare for Adelaide. But all the regular dickheads were there;

  • The cunt who when hears the one song he knows from the band (usually the hit song/song played on the radio) and races from the back and slams through the crowd to get to the front, leaving in his wake spilt drinks and teetering girls. One particular curly haired muppet of non middle eastern appearance did it twice and was close to being lynched.
  • The cunt that enjoys the gig so much he dances but has no sense of personal body space or even less of a sense of balance. He’s the lonely mosher who crashes into the people around him. At this particular gig this was sort of me - except i brushed against people rather than crashed.
  • The cunt who has to talk on their phone right next to you.
After a couple more songs dancing girl requested the dance so I downed the remaining pale ale and started to dance proper like. I was started my Breakfast Club impersonation and did a really good job of it as well. I think I shouted something pretty innocuous “They’re pretty good” or “good turn out” or “check me out I am lord of the dance”. I can’t remember what I said but then dancing girl turned around and tried to convince black clad emo kid to get off the couch and dance, leaving me doing the Molly Ringwald shuffle ….alone. On relating this to Emma later her reply was “How many slices of garlic bread did you have with your Italian pizza with extra garlic before you went?”
The music came on unrelenting and the lead singer bounced and bounded around – it was quite astounding. I’m sure more of the sexist one track minded fellows in the crowd thought “fark I bet she’d be a powder keg in the sack”, I thought “Good show! What an energetic lass, such stamina and endurance why I suspect and surmise she maintains some sort of exercise regime”.
And then it was done. After cajoling (“sigh”) they did a 3 song encore. I hate encores especially ones which are part of the set and only need three members from the audience to clap a bit longer to 'drag' the band back from the wings.

After it was done I left with a happy buzz which is all I can ask for.
Oh and I love the Grates.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

<title>Rob Clarkson at the Grace Emily</title>

Lately I’ve been ripping my whole music collection to my hard drive and its making me feel a bit musical. So I dragged my domestic self to a couple of gigs in the past two gigs.
<unnecessary context>
Rob has been around for at least 15 years, the first time I heard him was a song that got heavy rotation on JJJ, back in 1995ish. I remember enjoying the song that I always referred to as “beautiful boys go out with beautiful girls” though I could never figure out what it was called or who sung it because of a short attention span when dealing with the radio. The song sort of stuck with me for awhile, so much so that when I discovered the internet in 1998 (I was late) I’d routinely try and search for the song using altavista – but I always came up empty handed. It was a lost cause. Then last year I was at a lucksmiths concert when the support guy started singing that tune. I may have done a spit take with my beer but I did remember the name. Rob Clarkson.
Well, Rob hadn’t released a new album for ten years or so besides a best of compliation /live double cd recorded in the mid90s. So last week he did a free show and I went. And about 15 other people (not including the 15 people at the front bar). It was a Thursday and I had spent the previous couple of hours shopping for groceries – sigh – Emma was out at the channel 7 Xmas party swanning it up with the weather girl and a reporter from Today Tonight (actually I’m not sure who was there – she went to the channel 10 xmas party in sydney the week before and drank with Sandra Sully – so from then on I decided not to enquire who was at these functions because the jealousy would kill me. Plus Emma doesn’t tell me who is hosting these parties anymore because she then gets a list of complaints to pass on to the station “Can you please ask them to stop fucking with the Shield?” “Can you get me tickets to Foo Fighters?” “can you get them to stop fucking with Arrested Development?” “Can we see more of Sandra Sully’s knee and less of skelator?” Etc). Today she had a meeting with Channel 10 and she told of my mispleasure/alarm of having to see 40 year hairy minge expelling humans on a saturday night at 7:30.
</unnessary context>
<gig review>
I turned up half way through the support act. I completely missed who she was, part of my brain wants to say Sugar Barker – but I think that has more to do with lunch coming up than her name. Anyway, folksy singer with a guitar who was pretty good.
</gig review>
She did have the annoying habit of introducing her songs with loads of context. “I wrote this song when my new flat mate moved in with me about 15 months ago. When he moved in with all his stuff it seemed like we had known each other for a really long time and we are best friends now, so I wrote this song on how familiarity isn’t always borne out of family” and “I wrote this song when I was 16 and I found it recently and discovered that it was still pretty good, I wrote it when I had a crush on a boy in my high school but he was blah blah blah”. Doesn’t she know that long unnecessary context is my schtick! I was worried that there was going to be an exam.
<more gig review>
Anyway she finished and Rob came on. He looked a lot different from what I remember, less shaved head dero more mulleted first year accountant but once he started to sing he’s easily recognisable, a nasally high pitched whine which is actually and surprisingly enjoyable to listen to. That very night motorhead/motely crue were playing so he did a version of “bad medicine” which was quite humorous. Rob’s a humorous guy and he writes humorous songs which is all well and good, there’s something very Woody Allen about him, that mix of laughter and sadness (in films like Manhattan, Annie Hall) creates this melancholic atmosphere which seems to get the “point” across (for example the nature of love and relationships in Allen’s Films).
</more gig review>
But recently, in the last ten years or so, there’s this culture of cute where everything has to have little injokes or be filled with bratty/witty characters. Guys like Tarantino, Whedon, Bendis, Prince Paul seem to be less interested in making a point and more interested in being smart, showing off their influences and whatnot and it gets a bit boring. I know this’ll get cries of anguish but the idea of watching wacky 2D characters fly around in space making smart alec comebacks for 90 minutes in Serentity fills me with dread. Tarantino’s self indulgence, Bendis’ witty dialogue but inability to write fully formed characters in a proper plot, the DangerMouse/MC Doom Saturday cartoon inspired album just bores me; its all so superficial, pandering to nostalgic nerds and essentially meaningless.
Rob seems to skim that culture of cute; one song about him relating to friends with kids hits home with me but then there are little ‘clever’ lyrics like </span>“you propagate the species but did you have to mention up faeces” sort of bring me out of the song (even to think ‘oh how clever’). Then again, at the gig with a bunch of other people – I forget that sort of thing and just stand with a pint and enjoy it.
</additional gig review>
Except for all the friends of the support act who would stagger from the beer garden and do bullshit kisses bye and leave. That’s all well in good in a crowded pub when a gig is going, but there was only about 12 people in a small alcove, so when Johnny Public Servant in his crappy slip on leather shoes from 2002, who’s dragging his nervous looking girlfriend goes to say goodbye to folksy art singer in her oh so retro frock and they all make a big song and dance about
“Oh thanks for coming”
“no problem, erm you were good see you at work tomorrow”
“moi moi”
it’s all a bit fucking distracting and verging on rude when you consider the support act is involved.
<gig review conclusion>
The show went for about 45 minutes, so I was slightly disappointed that it was so short and he didn’t play many songs from his old days but for free I can’t complain. For the first show I’d seen for a couple of months it was pretty good.
</gig review conclusion>

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Public enemy are enemies of the public, i know this because they told me so

I have been a Public Enemy fan since 1988, where i actually bought their first album, "Bumrush the show" on vinyl LP, instead of doing the dodge and going tape to tape with mates (ask your parents if you are under 20). I'd proudly wear my black public enemy tshirt, every so smartly, or as they said back then, really grousely matched with my adidas enforcers track pants (black with florescent orange stripes running down the side, with a florescent green strip horizontally across the calf). I've seen every gig they've played in Adelaide (their last concert in town they played for 2.5 hrs which was awesome)(also i think the last time i was punched in the head was at one of their concerts when a wild punch strayed from a fight in the mosh pit).

I still have that tshirt which is now a very dark shade of purple but its is signed by Chuck D, Flavour Flav and Professor Griff - it seems that i will have to fly the East Coast of the Americas to get Terminator Xs signature. I did go off them, in a ways in the late 90s because they went internet only and it was too much of a hassle to get their stuff. All in all i have pretty much everything they've released and enjoyed it all.
So it was with a bit of disappointment that i have to say that their latest "New whirl odour" is a bit crap.

Firstly, the title makes a pun/joke of something that is 15 years old, i can sort of let that go since there's a whole Bush snr/jr thing going on but the opening track is Al Sharpton telling us that Public Enemy is still relevant today. Thanks Al. It all seems to be a bit self congratulatory, especially with a revisit to something they did on "Fear of a black planet", where they cut up talk back radio comments about themselves and put them to a beat. It worked ten years ago when there was an actual furor aimed at the band, back when rap was seen as dangerous because it actively opposed the social structure at a political level, these days with bling bling and gangsta rap causing controversy due to its inherent use of violence and 'bad' language, its a lot easier for white middle america media to point at them and cry evil! Save the children! To most people Public Enemy aren't dangerous anymore.

But this album just feels like Chuck and the boys are telling at us, if not yelling at us that they are still relevant, still important, still dangerous. Back in the day, their first albums were militant and strong, strong beats with hard rhymes. Now they just seem angry, and in the grander scheme they should be angry, but it just feels like they are just flailing their arms around, reacting like a chubby kid in a school fight. Listen to the militant "Takes a nation to hold us back", they are the guys with a plan, they are a force. It could be i'm older and mellower, it could be because i'm not african american but the explicit anger of some of the tracks just doesn't do it for me.

So i'm left with the music, the beats and the production which just isn't as strong as it used to be. Whilst i'm not a fan of the over sampling done by the super producers of today, it was pretty uninspired on this album. The beats were just sort of washed out too. Sigh. And there also wasn't enough Flavor Flav, which is a crime.

I do gotta say though for the price of the cd, there's a dvd with clips and a documentary (though i haven't watched it yet because i dread it will 60 minutes of people telling me public enemy is still relevant and dangerous). Its released on chuck d's own label so at least he's sticking to his guns (he's a hip hop equivalent of a dirty self publishing zinester).

All in all though, maybe its me, I'll keep buying their stuff (apparently there will be 3 releases in 2006, plus a comic - woohoo, and other things).

And then there is this.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I hate the beach

"Aussies come in chains,
We came in planes"

"We grew here,
You flew here"

It would seem if these groups just agreed on a stance for the relative importance of airplane travel in Australian society - then everyone could just get along.

Monday, December 12, 2005

oh der - people and books i forgot

Small Press;
Dicks - really well illustrated set of vignettes
Seven Swords - its consistently released to a consistent quality (Thanks Tonia)
Foolproof Anthology - this got sent out to me by Nate (thanks nate) and it was really good.
Angry Comic Shop guy - made by an adelaide creator it involves violence against nerds which is always funny.

Probaby my biggest ommission was Nicola Scott for her work on the Star Wars free comic book day comic. Otherwise the other person who could be nominated in the Overseas category is Andie Tong for Spiderman UK.

Otherwise Reed's Crumpleton Expirements should get some respect in either he small or independent press categories; I'm leaning towards the independent press side which is looking like a really strong field this year. I'm hoping Witch King makes out by the end of the year (its not on the diamond shipping list for this week).

And i think that's it but i've probably forgotten something.

but go nominate

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hand out the big donger - Ledger of Honor

Nominees chosen from Australian creators, publishers or retailers, past or present.

This is a lot harder category to deal with because it sort of whiffs of ‘well you were great back in the day grandpa, here’s an award, shuffle off and let the youngens draw now’. But there are people I want to nominate who have done a lot for the scene AND are still on top of their game. So just because it’s a life time achievement kind of award, please keep living. Plus my knowledge of ye olde time comics (pre1990) is hazy at best.

Michael Leunig
As the most recognisable cartoonist/comic artist in the country it would be quite easy way for the awards to get some media spotlight if Leunig won. Also, he's not a spandex artist and therefore would be a good way for comics to be shown as not all superheroes and not just for kids. It helps that he's very successful at what he's done and deserves it anyway. He should be recognised by us before he ends up in gaol for sedition.

Sam Young
Some people will bristle but a bit of controversy is always good. My first dipping into the Australian comics pool had Sam Young and Issue one floating in the middle. Gave a lot of artists a go and got comics out there.

George Vlastaras
Going through my box of Australian Comics ranging from the past till now, it astounded me the number of ads for Kings Comics that have appeared in local produce for so long. If every retailer was like George, or even half as good, we'd all be winners.

Tonia Walden
I’m not really that aware of Tonia’s older work, but her current stuff is very good but besides her artistic skills, her support for the scene is much appreciated. She has a whole circle of people she sends mini comics too, not just her stuff but she distributes other people’s works. She has created some really solid anthologies “Once upon a time” Eat comics” and “Pirates” giving a lot people their first chance being printed and her own work always looks good. But as they say the night is young.

Dillon Naylor
Always the exception to the rule; you have to concentrate overseas to make it big, don’t bother with magazines and newspapers, kid's comics are dead, there’s no way to distribute work in Australia, blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah. Dillon throws a big fist of bullshit at that, 'cause he shows adaptability, innovation and perseverance matters. Plus I used to always refer to him as Dillion and he never mentioned it, so his tolerance is also commendable.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate who they liked so get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I loved your work on Thor! - Favourite Foriegn Creator

Favourite international creator (artist, writer etc.) with work released during the year.

This was a struggle, finding foreign creators that excite and make me want to track down their work AND who had released work recently.

Mike Allred
The Golden Plates stuff is probably the worst thing I’ve ever read, but everything else Allred has done has been close to perfect.

Jeffery Brown
I’m waiting till Top Shelf releases a postage sized book (each successive book gets smaller) of Brown’s phone message doodles (I’m not really keen of sketch book stuff). But whining aside, I’ll still buy it because Brown’s stuff is funny and insightful.

Mark Waid
I don’t read everything Waid does, but what I have collected I’ve enjoyed. i like Legion a lot.

David Lapham
Just for Stray Bullets, I was really tempted to pick up his Detective run and I’ll probably get his Punisher vs Bullseye if I find it in a dollar bin.

Brian Augustyn
ExMachina and Y the last man are good reads and I’m tempted to start collecting runaways (but I think there should be a limit to how many teen based comics you can buy otherwise its creepy and old man like myself buying comics about teenagers).

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. So head down to your local comic shop and buy some foriegn stuff if you must
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Friday, December 09, 2005

To the big boys overseas I will not grovel - Favourite Foriegn Comic Book Title or Graphic Novel

Favourite comic book or graphic novel (English or foreign language) released by overseas publishers during the year.

Scott Pilgrim
A complete blast to read. it truly is the definition, if not the essence of Awesome.

Solo #7
Mike Allred's issue. The Batman story was one of the more original versions of the Batman character and a good use of the Adam West/Dark Knight paradigm to tell a story about differing times and cultures.
In terms of story telling, the Doom Patrol Vs Teen Titans showed that sometimes compression is a good thing, you don't need to lead your audience by the hand and show them everything. People make connections between the panels and make up the story for themselves (you have to read it to get what i'm talking about - i hope)

Stray Bullets #39
I'm a sucker for Kurosawa tributes and i like the Amy Racecar issues of Stray Bullets.

Big Head
Just funny stuff.

Samurai Executioner
Not as perfect as Lone Wolf and Cub, but nothing in my mind ever will be that perfect. I’ve read the first 4 volumes and I still don’t see an overarching plot and it seems that every other story involves rape. The art is just simply beautiful and the writing captivating

Only one issue in but AllStar Superman was superheroawesome. And I’ll try and not suck up to another Ledger judge but Langrides Fing Fang Foom special was great.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Key is in the Ignition - Australian Talent deserving wider recognition

In recognition of excellence in 2005. Print or web.

Well, i think that's everybody. But in my nominations I'm going to just talk about people who SHOULD be doing comics

Steve Martinez (Practice Cactus)
When he first started posting at Ozcomics and Pulp Fiction, i thought he was just another drop kick. Later i saw his work - he's a drop kick that can really draw. Draw really well with mature storytelling skills. And he's very funny. He needs to draw comic.

I nominated him last year and now he's disappeared. Which is a shame, a look on his blog and he's even better now. There's not much in the way of sequentials but his still lifes are sweet. Its so good it makes me cry he's not making comics for me right now.

Sam McKenzie
I met him on the sunday of Brisbane Supanova and he is probably one of the half dozen people i've given free ozcomic magazines too. His style is a bit Hewletty but he's 19. Nineteen!!! Also if you check out the Satellitte Soda site, look up Dave Collinson and Dylan McCrae, I'd would have put them in the mix but i can't find any sequentials from them.

David J Cunning
Has that cool graphitti/anima style, reminiscent of Jon Sommariva.

Wayne Nichols
Andy Finlayson pointed out his site last week and that very day he joined up at Pulp Faction. Nice stuff.

I'm awesome, just trust me.

I'm not sure who else is out there that is relatively new and who hasn't produced comics. Gavin Thomson did some nice sequentials as a try out for Phosphorescent, the anatomy is a bit dodgy in places but with a good inker his stuff could really work. I wish it was easier to trawl Deviart for fresh meat, we could then watch Anomic and Liz race to offer them scripts first.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Make it clear - Artist of the Year

Full art, penciller, inker, colourist, painter or multimedia. In recognition of excellence in 2005 by an Australian creator.

Paul Abstruse
I'm pretty glad Witch King is finally getting out, not that it is necessarily my cup of tea, but because i know a lot of people worked hard on it. Paul has an approachable style, it's highly detailed without it being over rendered. It sits in the middle of the very mainstream Yardin/Chaloner style and the cutesy wootsy Holgate/Major style.

Matt Huynh
In terms of comic art; the only way i can describe Matt's art is to point you to that scene in American Beauty with the plastic bag blows in the wind. Its chaotic but captivating. Its very earthy with loads of emotion.

Michael Li
A very evocative artist who has a great sense of story telling. I'd love to see his stuff over sized and in colour.

Ryan Winter
The artist of Azerath, he has shown a great improvement in the 7 issues published so far. He is not great technically, but his stuff is very dynamic even though a lot of the issues are talking heads stuff. One reason I'm nominating him is that he's producing a good 22 pages every three months and he's not a professional (which means he's got school/work/life to waste/fill his time)

Jase Harper
Cutesy Wootsey fun!

It was a close call but Eldritch Kid's Brett Burns is an absolutely phenomenal artist, if I could name 6 nominations he'd be in. If I could have seven I’d add Trudy Cooper, shit if I had 8 spots I’d add Jason Paulos – decisions are hard, but let me just say, I love you all (some of you only physically). I'd like to put Andy Finlayson's name in the ring for his DeeVee story, Canaan Crall also has some fine skills but both of this artists did less than 8 pages this year (that I’m aware of) which is hard to justify giving a Best Artist award to in my eyes.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Lend me your ear - Writer of the year

In recognition of writing excellence in 2005 by an Australian creator. Print or web.

With the Artist and Writer categories I’m really concentrating on the local creators working, you know, locally. The guys that work professionally already get money for their work and they devote a lot of time to their craft – they are expected to be good. The best analogy I can muster is; if I run into a burning building and save someone, then I’m a hero; if a fireman runs into a burning building and saves someone, they are doing their job.

Liz Argyle
Liz was one of the highlights of the somewhat underwhelming "Something Wicked" book. She's been appearing in numerous anthologies and her work never disappoints. Some work is stronger than others but writing 3-5 page stories is a hard thing to do. i think its got clear concepts which she executes well.

Daniel Reed
I think one problem with many writers is that they try to fit too much in to their stories, they weigh the work down and make it boring and a chore to read through, either trying to overexplain concepts that excite them or to make themselves look smart or they have incubated their stories so much they are overcooked with sometimes unnecessary baggage. I prefer writers that just tackle one theme/one concept in the 4 pages they have or if they have 22 pagesi prefer they complete a narrative. Daniel Reed is the exception, incredibly dense writing but the Crumpleton Experiments’ tone and environment just carry all the crazy stuff along.

Daren White
I wish we saw more of the Playwright instead of once a year. Last year Daren had Order of the Beast which was overlooked but coming up in Legends of the Dark Knight, he'll be writing issue 200, which is actually quite a boon.

Mandy Ord
The compassion and thoughtfulness of Flight Path, the whimsy and humour of Nose Bleed and the sensitivity and self awareness of Nanna Shower just show's Mandy's breadth as a writer. I'm of course waiting for her to do Wolverine vs Batman.

Matt Huynh
Matt has a great sense of what is needed in a story and how to pace it out. While some of his earlier work was a bit emo, his writing is maturing quite quickly and will soon be at a high level, just like his art. To me, Matt's a star.

I think I smell smoke.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Overseas they drink Fosters beer - International title of the Year

Titles distributed overseas (via Diamond, Titan etc.) and within Australia featuring Australian talent. Titles by Australian creators for overseas publishers.

Fell by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith
Ben's most traditional comic work for awhile; 9 panel pages crammed with captions and dialogue and Ben makes it work. Plus its some of Warren's more interesting work.

The Dreaming by Queenie Chan
I bought this on friday, I've only read half so i can only judge it so much. But on what I see, just lovely and endearing stuff with an underlying suspenseful drama; it skims the rim of generic but there are little surprises. Also its got great art. Dreaming is a really mature and measured piece of work.

Small Gods by Jason Rand and Juan Fererer
The first arc was really good, the second was overly cliche but the third and final arc is a lot better. Jason's characters aren't overly generic; they all have an individual 'voice' and he's covering ground that is new to me.

Black Panther by Reggie Hudlin and David Yardin
David is back in the jungle and showing off all the beauty and majesty he picked up in Realm of the Claw. Yardin's issues (8 and 9) sold out and had to be reprinted which is quite an achievement.

Losers by Andy Diggle and Colin Wilson
Colin steps out of his Eurocomic glory and does three gorgeous issues of Losers.

Laika: First doggie in space (In Flight) by Doug Holgate
Because of its cuteness (Laika's, not Doug's).

Otherwise, I didn’t see much else; Rand’s other series doesn’t interest me, I didn’t pick up McCarthy’s batman stuff (because I’m burnt out on batman), or White and Best’s Escapists story (because it was a bit pricey). And the IDW templesmith/wood stuff again is pricey.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

There is nothing to fear - Independent Press Title of the year

Over 201 copies photocopied or printed. Any number docuteched (ComiXpress or Lulu).

Its hard to know what the print run of a particular comic is so my choices are based on assumptions and the quality of the printing.

DeeVee Flange
Whilst its not perfect, its pretty damn close; Flight Path and the Werewolf story rock, they couldn't be more opposite in tone and genre but their high standard can not be denied. Same with Playright and Kolchkla's efforts, couldn't be more dissimailar but the balance just works. Something for everyone. Though is this actually International Press?

Azerath 4-7
Though its getting a bit too cute for its own good and bogged down backstory, such that its not going anywhere, its still an enjoyable read. For now. The banter carries it along to a degree but its the art that really makes this stand out. And kudos for coming out consistently. I recommend people try this series out.

Platinum Grit 13
Now thanks to Lulu i can actually read this whilst holding it in my hands. Being a late comer to the Platinum Grit scene, i'm a bit ashamed that i didn't jump the bandwagon earlier. Its not cheap laughs and cardboard characters but well thought out jokes using real characters. The art is sexy as too.

The Pirate Anthology
Like the Piate Movie, this too was made in Queensland. By Tonia Walden (Actually I don’t think Tonia had anything to do with the movie but my knowledge on these things is limited). 64 pages of pirate goodness. I have to admit that I do have a 3 page story in it, with art by Tonia (my first published/printed comic work - whoop) but forgetting that bias, there is some great work in there. I’m hoping this becomes a series; zombie anthology, ninja anthology, cowboy anthology, robot anthology, monkey anthology, all the pop icons. Sigh – I can only dream.

Generations 2005
This is what Oztaku wants to be when it grows up. A classy, incredibly designed book showing off a high class of work. Its a professional in every sense of the word. I think the stories try a bit too much sometimes, I dunno - it feels the creators try a bit too hard to make their stories have 'meaning' or impact but the art is lovely and carries it through. Tang and huynh's story is a stand out.

Happy Birthday Anyway – Matt Huynh
If it wasn’t for the high page count, I would have put this in the Small Press category but at 52 pages its not small. Also I’m nominating 6 because I’m not sure where Deevee sits. This is a very thought out and mature book, its interesting that a lot of guys are telling sensitive stories with females as the main characters (brian wood, adrian tomine, etc). Interesting (well to me anyway), because maybe its easier to write about sensitive girls than sensitive guys and then be seen as wussy (not a stance I take because I’m wussy - I need companionship and acceptance, please love me). But (happy birthday) anyway, Happy Birthday Anyway is a good read, though the character swap at the end was very confusing (both characters wear very similar clothes and hair) it did force me to reread the last section again and again and made me appreciate some of the more interesting graphical elements (the walking into the closet bit was awesome).

Hairbutt the Hippo IV, almost gets through. Otherwise Withheld by Bobby N needs a mention. Technically, while i had trouble with some of the storytelling, which meant i had to flick back and forth between pages, i thought it was a great story. Sporadic #5 is really good, but being cute and pretty gets you only so far, it needs to have substance or laughs to really stand out. And I can’t wait for Witch King (though it is december now and there is still no shipping date so i have fears), the preview for chapter 3 looked good.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Tiny, but never mere - Small Press title of the Year

200 copies and under, photocopied

I'm a bit of a print ninny and have no idea if comics are offset, laser printed or photocopied. So I'm guessing here. Essentially i'm going by page count, cover specs (colour/BW) and general design. Judging on print run is weird but onwards and upwards.

Nose Bleed - Mandy Ord
Mandy gives herself a blood nose. It doesn't go overboard trying to pack the jokes in or become overly neurotic (though Ord's neurotic Dirty little Creep is also very good). Very simple - very enjoyable.

9V - Michael Li

Just a really good read, offering a simultaneously sensitive and awe inspiring world with a satisfying narrative.

Interior - Loren Morris
Loren's Interior is the highest selling australian book at Adelaide's Pulp Fiction Comics. The reason why is because, chapters came out regularly, the story had an interesting hook and the art is expressive and solidly good.

Spider Mickey Mouse - Aaron O'Donnell
It's a very beautiful gorgeous book but slightly hollow. Its an art comic, a very good art comic but I’m more satisfied by narrative. Though, I recognize the importance of art comics in moving the medium forward so…shit I’m rambling.

Brandi - melongod
Its weird having this following Spider Mickey Mouse, because they couldn’t be more opposite. I think in the beginning of the year Doug Holgate mentioned he saw this at his comic shop and thought it to be the worst comic he's seen. I was given a copy at supanova and was a bit hesitant to read it but i was surprised. It was a lot smarter and funnier than i expected; although it didn't help me get a better understanding of the human condition, nor did it make me laugh so hard i peed myself, it was still an enjoyable read. At first I did think it was because it was because I had low expectations but the second issue was also enjoyable.

Dreams of tommorrow - Liz A (edited by)
Part of me thinks this should be in the independent press category, but its a smallish page count (about 30ish) which isn't small but compared with The Pirate Anthology it is. It could go in both, but I'm putting it in here (an anthology category would be nice). I do have a story in this (and it has words and if i remember, a spelling mistake) so i may be biased, or have very good taste for who i write stories for or i may be just full of shit. I think the only criticism i can level at the book is that it sort of lacks a focus; the Grug story, the canaan story sort of don't match liz's stories; while this is ok for DeeVee or the pirates book because the former has no theme (except different voices) and the latter's theme is more tangible. Personally - I look at the cover, look at the title and since i know Liz to a degree i have certain expectations, i expect stories with a political/philosophical/artistic/humanistic slant, something that wasn't really that prevallent in the book.
But then again, dreams never have any real focus do they?

I don't put these in any order, well usually my top chioce is my top choice, what follows is not in order of preference, i just write it as it comes and then too lazy to copy and paste. I may be missing something, stuff like 5041 or Raymondo because its reprinted stuff from the web (maybe a best reprint category next year??) so i'm not sure if its applicable. Everything else just left me wanting. Otherwise, Mandy Ord's Nanna shower is good but i'm freaked out because a) she depicts herself with 2 eyes b) i had my own incident with a naked 90 year old that i'm trying to forget. I wanna say Fat Ankle, Culled from the pages of Phatsville - this is just mad, incredibly funny comicing. I found Plump Oyster a bit confounding/confusing and took too much effort to read, but Gold Plops was good. But all those, I think are reprinted stuff from Phastville.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Here's a little bit of cheer - Single Issue or Story of the Year

In recognition of excellence in a particular issue, story arc or short story in 2005 by an Australian creator/s. Print or web.

I'm mainly going to highlight stories from anthologies because there's already the small/independent/international press categories to highlight the other stuff. I think there needs to be an anthology category – but I think a lot of things, like I think monkeys evolved from humans. Of course if a story is short and I was really taken by it, I’ll list it.

Mandy Ord - Flight Path - Deevee: Flange
I read this on the way home from Brisbane Supanova and I was totally awed by the piece. I'm a massive fan of Mandy's work and I'm restraining myself from nominating her everywhere but for this piece, its too good not to gush about it. Flight Path said something. It had depth. Not many Australian comics have a real depth, most are vigoursly entertaining but few are relatable to our (australia's) culture and society. Flight Path did and it stayed with me for quite awhile.

9V - Michael Li
With an ecomonic use of words and pictures Michael sets up this whole world that is firmly believable even if it isn't our own. There's a sense of wonder and awe that is grounded in sensitivity and everyday tasks. Like Michael's first book 'time i fetched water' (also very good) 9V takes place after some grand war and follows a girl trying to find a battery to play a record she found. It's sweet without being sickly. Highly recommended. It also features beautiful art.

The playwright - Daren White and Eddie Campbell

There's a melancholy surrounding this story but in the end there's a sense of satisfaction as well (shit i think i unravelled the masterbation metaphor - wanking is all well and good but after the fact, deep down its a bit lame too). The principal character isn't living the most happiest of life but he seems quite content with his lot. That sort of complexity is quite hard to pull off (sorry) in a short page count but Darren and Eddie do it extremely well.

The seed - Liz Argall and Matt Huynh - Dreams of tommorrow

A 4 page silent comic but it features some of Matt's funkiest art and another great Liz concept. Plus the flourish of colour at the end was perfect.

Moth & Tanuki - Ian Thomas - Oztaku
There's some fun about it. Ian's isn't the best artist but his work carries his story along. Sometimes its a bit corny, sometimes its a bit melodramatic but never offensively so. Its just really well rounded.

I get the same feeling from David Kerr’s work (Day's of Asha), not excellently executed but to a high, enjoyable and consistent standard. Otherwise, Christian and Tonia's piece in Something Wicked was a highlight in that book, a bit wordy but it was one of the few 'horrific' stories which wasn't a collection of clich├ęs or just badly done. Dan Best's and Andy Finlayson's werewolf story was quite good (though it looked better in deevee than Something Wicked). Most of the pieces in the Pirates Anthology are really good and its hard to pick out a 'best' one, the Azareth boys' "i hate pirates" comes closest. I find the Shitter strip in Phatsville very funny. Unfortunately; David Li's and Wen Huang's work in Oztaku feels like it has either stalled or grown stale (especially Wen who seems to have gotten distracted after starting of brilliantly well), but I haven’t read the latest Oztaku so I won’t close the door on that one yet.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Click here - Webcomic or comic strip of the year

Produced by Australian creators. In recognition of excellence in comics distributed via the web or in magazines and newspapers in 2005.

I know there is a hell of a lot of web comics out there but i see very little of it because i don't try and track web comics down and view them regularly. I'm lazy that way. Plus i spend way too much time in front of the computer, getting hooked on web comics would just mean i'd lose what little non-internerd life i had left (about 7 minutes on Tuesdays). The only ones i see are ones that appear on Live Journal or are forced under my nose by people i like.
So this is what I've seen and liked

Everything by Grug
He has about 23 different web comics which he updates, what seems like, hourly. Or perhaps i'm exaggerating. He has cute animal strips, namely a strip featuring animals trying to escape the forest after they murder the park ranger, which I liked. Then there's one with a monobrowed dolphin, i'm not keen on that because monobrows freak me out (grugs comic self portrait is strangely hypnotic, it looks like the drummer of hanson all grown up but with beard and monobrow – I wanna turn away but can’t). Also, somehow when not drawing he's living a life which he uses as a basis for an autobiographical strip, or maybe its 5 autobiographical strips. Either way for consistency and laughs, Grug is pretty good.

Dean Rankine - Booger Boy and Grossgirl

These appear in Mania, some US based magazines and on Dean's LJ. Its funny stuff. Almost as humourous as a 'how to draw' strip done by Dean.

Jase Harper - Big Happy Pet Land
These appear in Mania and sometimes in his LJ. Funny stuff and its well constructed too. The thing i like about Big Happy Pet Land is that Jase has set up a world where he can tell any kind of story he wants; he's done a raider's spoof, a pirate tale and a rawk! story. Plus by using animals he can fast track characterisation; a slow stupid character - its a turtle, a bully - its a bulldog, that way he can spend more time on plot and gags then setting up characters. All very clever and well executed.

Steve Stamatiadis - Blade Kitten
Consistent, well drawn and beautifully coloured. Though my attention span isn't made for serial comics that only pop up for a couple of pages every month or so, Steve's work looks pretty. And now its been cancelled – sigh.

Raymondo - Patrick Alexander
It doesn't appear in Mania or Kzone and it never will. Nonetheless, its genius. For the November 24th edition I was struck, if not awed, at how good Patrick draws. It looked gorgeous. I can only justify myself by saying that I’m usually to busy giggling and the wank and stiffy jokes to notice the pretty pictures.

Of course, there's Platinum Grit, however because of a hate of shockwave I've never read it online.
Otherwise, there's Dillon Naylor in Kzone for Batrisha and there's Dillon and Ian Thomas in Total Girl with Rock N Roll Fairies. Sometimes there's little grabs of Batrisha on the internet which shows how good it is (it even rocks in german!). However, I'm not a total expert - I'm guessing people like it based on the Kzone polls they used to have on their website and the fact that it has been around for so long. Don't forget Dillon's Da 'n Dill in the Morning Herald, in colour on sunday. That particular strip has been running for 4 years which is very impressive.
Owen Heitman's 5031, is very funny when its good (it usually involves abuse of some sort) but its not that consistent. And Nate Soehardi and Patrick’s “Elbow Wallets” only just started but the first couple of strips were very funny.
Again i'm sure there's more web comics out there, i just need to be directed in the right direction.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It looks good, it must be queer - Production Designer of the Year

In recognition of design excellence in 2005 by an Australian. Web site design, book design, lettering, promotional materials, et al.

Phosphorescent Comics for Witch King
I think Karen Howard and Annette Kwok had a big hand in putting the promotional package together for this long gestating project. Way back starting off with a preview/ issue 0 to get people interested (I hope the left over issues get used for freecomic book day). The press release was quite nice, the preview pdf worked ok, the website looks cool and the cover looks nice. Though i haven't held the finished book in my hands - so far so good.

Katie Huang for Generations 2005
Just slick. A well balanced thought-out design featuring a cover that showcases the various artists, an insightful forward and made with quality materials. A better website and more convenient URL would be nice and more publicity, though on the later I don’t travel the manga circles much so there may be heaps of publicity I just don’t hear it.

Tonia Walden for Meus Officium est Abyssus, A Pirate Anthology and Corpse in the Chapel

I initially wrote Tonia Toddman - which isn't far wrong. With very little money Tonia makes gorgeous looking books. And they always match the curtains.

Darren Close for Ozcomic Magazine issues 5 and 6
I layed out issues 3 and 4 and it almost killed me - it didn't help that i was rushing to make a supanova deadline. But i discovered laying out a magazine is hard; there's articles, pictures, photos, boxes, captions all which have to be positioned so it runs smoothly and looks good. I have trouble matching socks. So it was hard for me, plus I don’t really have an eye for detail. However, Issues 5 and 6 look pretty good, all due to Darren's hard work.

Aaron O'Donnell for Mickey Mouse Spider
Like Tonia's stuff this is put together by hand, but this is full colour (really well coloured at that). Its a well designed package with eye catching cover, shiny pages, the various short stories are easily seperated and distinguishable (which is sometimes hard for single author anthologies) and the colouring is excellent.

Simon Sherry's cover to Something Wicked
I wasn't keen on the design of the whole book, the black shiny pages were unsettling (i think its because i'm old) but that cover would make me or anyone want to buy it. It just screams , "buy me horror fans". Simon's cover to Dreams of Tomorrow is also really good but it didn't really sit well with the theme of the book (in my opinion).

Otherwise; DeeVee Flange almost made the list but it didn't pop and Bobby N's Withheld is a nice package but I didn't think the cover stood out particularly well. The cover to the 2 Hairbutt releases were quite effective as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

where didja get that gear? - Retailer of the Year

In recognition of Australian retail excellence and support in 2005.

i've only been in a handful of shops, so its really hard to judge and compare so I'm going to stick to last years suggestions

I'd add that i really like the simplicity of the phasetwo site, its always an easy transaction (but can the top 10 be updated?)
The only change is I'd probably add Kinokuniya to the mix.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Oi you be a Dear - Australian Achievement of the Year

Australian artist, publisher, entrepreneur or event. Business or creative.

This type of category is always hard to fathom, hard to figure out - what's an achievement? What deserves recognition? What’s special and what’s matter of course? A lot of work goes on quietly behind the scenes, that no one sees or at least realizes how important that work is or could be. But in no real order, what springs to my mind.

Graeme (Anomic) McDonald's publicity for the 24 hour event
This year, the event went off really well, better then expected when you consider the shifts in domains and messageboards.However because of Graeme's media saavy, the challenge improved output/registration by 40% over the previous year, there was national print and radio coverage and alot of more bandwidth traffic.

Gary Chaloner and 2004 Ledger awards
Just in case some one accuses me of circle jerking - fuck off, I'm busy. Ahem - It was pretty well organised last year and whilst i did criticise it a bit, my whining was meet with sincerity and interest. I don’t think its perfect yet, the “holier than thou, glory hound” (an actual quote from someone) part of me won’t think its perfect until everyone of my demands is met; like I believe judges should receive booze money. Anyway, usually whining in this community or scene is met with more whining, until there's so much whining, it all ends in tears – which leads in to my next nomination – but more of that later. Back to the Ledger awards, I think Gary is building something that will only increase in creditability, stature, visibility and importance in the future.

Maggie McFee and the messageboard peace
Back to the whining, Pulp Faction doesn’t have that much of it. Whilst there is a small flare up every now and again, Pulp Faction is relatively civil and educational place to go. Imagine an American presiding over a place of peace and tranquility – though she does have numerous Australian lapdogs and they are the luckiest lapdogs ever. Ruff, scratch me more. Pulp Faction is a cool spot and it would be nice if there were more interviews, stuff like “Draw me a..”, “The monthly challenge” and the plethora of anthologies being organized through the messageboard is awesome. Plus its a great place to find out what's going on at the Comic Cafe this week!!
On a similar note, whoever runs Comics Lifestyle needs some recognition, it’s a real eye opener on what else is out there, outside the messageboard sphere..

Makepeace and the Monthly Challenge
Having seen at the least 4 other attempts at a monthly art challenge on various australian comic boards this is slowly taking off. And the actual output is consistently good so congrats to MakePeace/MikeDelight/Nickname (though I’ll be disappointed if all the regular participants of the monthly challenge are actually Makepeace aliases – though he should be recognized for the output).

Grug and the daily grind
He's a comic creating machine and i think the only Australian creator still creating a new page of comic a day. There might be more, I dunno. Doesn’t matter, he’s still a machine – with a beard.

Otherwise, Dave Blumenstien looks like he's doing a real good job at the New Castle Young Writers festival, I'm actually considering going to Newcastle instead of Supanova, but with them scheduled so close i may make it to both. Lookout! Also, yes, the whole point of being a comic book creator is making comics, but Troy Kealley's production and organistional work on Something Wicked is a decent achievement for a self published book, Operation Funnybone may also fall under this category.
Likewise, the patience and determination of Ben Howard's release of the Witch King book is also to be admired.

But of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked. There's plenty of time (nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

my nominations

-are based on what I've read, obviously. Most of my australian comics are either bought from phasetwo or directly from the creators at supanova or through the mail.

When i'm nominating stuff i usually discount reprint compliations, like the Platinum Grit trades, the phatsville minis (gold plops, fat ankles), etc because even though they're good - they've already been new. Old hat. I'm up in the air with web comics printed on paper.
Also, i pretty much discount 24 hour comics because they've got their own awards.

Comics i haven't read, that i know of, that were released this year

12 Hour Party People
7 pages #1,2,3
Adolf Hitler - Vampire Hunter
All the Same
Bossa Nova Baby
Foolproof Anthology
Groovy Gravy #10 (I think that came out this year)
Minute of Angle #1
Pito #3
Scrambled #4
Self Medicated Man #1
Welcome to the Peanut Gallery

Otherwise - if its sold at phasetwo ive got it.

Its a shame that the two 'biggest' australian books ship in december making it hard to really judge the books. I've read The Dreaming on the web and there was the PDf preview for the Witch King.

Over the next two weeks i'll be breaking down my nominations, highlighting stuff you may have missed but essentially its me just shouting about stuff that i like. but of course the idea is that other people nominate what they liked so there's plenty of time (Nominations finish early january) so check out and buy stuff.
Otherwise get ye to the nomination forms and nominate

Monday, November 21, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Streetwise at 21

Streetwize, probably the widest distributed comic in the land turns 21 and has an exhibition (PDF)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

i got pwned

This morning pulp faction was attacked by a hacker who's power shut down a popular open source messageboard. That's showing the man! Shutting down a BB board, apparently requires the same skills as taping something off the radio. Anyway, while it was happening a couple of people (including me) had some fun with the hacker, who goes by the name - seanism. And I discovered making fun of people in public is fun, especially when they are less fortunate (like 15year old hackers). And it got me banned.
I've been really banned from two messageboards, in my wild and crazy youf.
Tony Isabella - i don't know why i was there, i can't remember, but at some point while i was there Isabella, as he seemed to do regularly was all whiny on how DC ruined his Black Lightning character. It was brought up, that it was work for hire but Isabella clung on to the only thing that ever gave him any notoriety (besides writing the DC fanclub newsletter). He then started getting shitty at Dave DeVries, the Australian writer who took over writing Black Lightning when Isabella was fired, calling him a scab and a hack. He was quite upset that Dave did not ask his permission to write Black Lightning. (also he made the jibe on what an australian would know about inner city america - probably the same as the what a 50 midwestener but whatever)
This got my back up, because i had met dave a couple of times and he had helped me with a uni assignment and was quite nice. So I just wrote that a) calling someone a scab in Australia was different to using it in the US, since unions were a large part of our society, ie calling someone a scab in oz was quite the insult. I also, quite snarkly asked, what union Tony belonged to. I also enquired if he had contacted dave asking permission to write the Phantom (Dave and Glen Lumsden had done the previous Phantom story for Marvel before Moonstone purchased the rights and hired isabella).
Well it went back and forth, until Isabella pulled out his 'I've got Depression, I don't want to talk about that period in my life' card. At that i pulled back, i think i sent him an email apologising (i remember writing it i don't remember sending it). Later i discovered he deleted my posts and when ever i tried to post, my new posts would be deleted too. At no point was i abusive, just argumentative.
The second time i was banned was from the DC boards. There was a thread about homosexuality in comics, and there was a little turd homophobe that was being quite disgusting in his hate. abhorrent even. Of course the little shit posted under his own name (including middle name) and with a quick google, i had tracked down him and the prestigious protestant high school in melbourne he went to. I then posted the school student conduct guidelines "a blah blah blah student will always be tolerant and respectful to those around him, etc" and then showed how young lord homophobe broke his school's conduct rules, point by point and suggested that people email his school and let them know about their students conduct. Well, the thread was pulled down, deleted and i was banned. Young Lord Homophobe was not banned, when i contacted the board adminstrator about the banning and the discrepancy I was told i could come back in two weeks. I declined but Young Lord Homophobe did behave himself thereafter (well for the couple of days i hung around the DC boards).

i wasn't really abusive in either case, but it was all quite fun nonetheless - sigh

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Stupid people review good movies - Part ii

Stolen from Amazon

The Getaway
by a 12 year old viewer

I waited over a year to see this film, it wasn't worth it. I wasn't aloud to see it because it was supposedly too violent. When I did see it I was really disppointed. There was very little violence at all, and what there was went too fast. In the final shootout at the end (which I thought would be a huge, explosive borderline massacre by the police) was a poorly choreographed hotel gunfight. Steve McQueen could have done better. Peace out.
The Unabomber used to sign his letters 'Peace Out' - then they exploded. Ironic, isn't it?

Lawerence of Arabia reviewed by Leonard Sneredley
bought this DVD as a way to show off my new DVD player to my family. I had seen the movie several times in the theater, and knew its bright colors would be beautiful on my TV screen. To my horror, I saw that Columbia had seen fit to alter a masterpiece. Yes, the film came complete with those horrific black bars at the top and bottom of my screen, which obscured about half of the picture. I've seen those bars on the "artsy" videos on TV, and I sometimes enjoy them. But this is a classic work of art! You don't try to make it "hip" and "relevant" with modern touches. It would be like adding a moustache to the Mona Lisa.

Until Columbia drops the act and releases "Lawrence of Arabia" without those bars, letting us see all of the picture, stay away.
Dear Mr Toyota, I purchased one of your cars and have noticed that the speedometer goes to 240km/h. The speed limit is only 110km/h, i demand a refund on the unused portion of speed. Stop being wasteful. Yours sincerly Leonard.

Something about Mary - by gerhardt
Nothing funny or sexy that is. This movie had one funny scene and that was when the cop bounced Stillers head off that table. That's it, nothing before or after. It was way over hyped and so is Diaz. She is not the Goddess everyone seems to think she is,there are alot more prettier actresses out there than her,Julia Roberts for one. And Roberts can act too. If you want a movie watch this,if you want a Funny movie,see Deuce Bigalow,it's worth the hype.

The Farrley Brothers need to make a european sequel; There's something about Maria featuring more headbutting and redheads. (gerhardt is not completely stupid)

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Ledger Recommendations/Nominees

There's a link in Gary Chaloner's Blog concerning my nominations for the 2006 Ledgers.
I'm slowly going through my collection of what has been released earlier in the year and waiting for some orders to be delivered from Phasetwo and Lulu before I really start. My plan is to begin around the end of Novemeber and have it finished by December 10.
And looking at the Ledger's forum; the threads have recieved on average about 400 hits which is very impressive for a threads with minimal posts and a forum which has not recieved a large amount of publicity outside the blog/LJ/Messageboard sphere.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Shield - Bush Administration Allegory

Captain Monica Rawling is Dubya Bush. The new captain, there because of politicing. Implements a radical plan to change things around. It started off popular but things turn to shit and she becomes unpopular, her men get attacked while doing their duty. Possibly stupid and easily manipulated.

Vic Mackey is Dick Cheney - Playing both sides of the game for his own needs. Will probably have a heart attack soon.

Councilman David Aceveda is Bill Clinton. The old boss, now interested in having dirty sex with prostitutes and undermining the new administration.

Officer Julien Lowe is Colin Powell. Slightly gay and against the new regime's tactics but carries on because its his duty. Will be a fall guy, shuffled off because of his resistance.

Detective Shane Vendrell is Karl Rove. The guy in the background who is really a bastard and fucks things up.

Officer Danielle "Danny" Sofer is Condaleeza Rice. She loves the new regime and everyone wants to dick her.

Detective Armando Renata is Scooter Lewis Libby. Side kick to asshole Shane. He'll end up dead and the fall guy for Vic's and Shane's bastardry.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

dad comics

Some friends of mine were excited about going to see foo fighters, which are a good band but they have that whiff of dad rock, which in this case is ok, because my mates are dads, but still. It got me thinking.

I have this theory that one of the reasons that manga is so hot right now, is that in terms of options, in the past someone interested in comics only had batman/spiderman/superman to go to. And honestly, how many teens want to read about old characters that their dads probably read? Teens are all about rebelling against the mainstream. Its not superheroes that are turning off new readers, its just that they are old characters that offer nothing new. Has there been a new character that has taken off at Marvel or DC since Wolverine or Punisher? Is it because the 40 year old fans can't handle change?

The majority of Marvel and DC are Dad comics, made for nostalgia for 30-40 year old men.
This article sort of proves my theory.
Europe is always held up as a bastion of good comics, presenting solid mature stories in a wide variety of genres sold in bookstores. And yet
"Manga and manhwa are grabbing market share from the Franco- Belgian classics,"
Classics - No titles are specified except for Asterix but it kind of shows that kids are looking for the 'new' and are dismissing the comics of generations past. And for the moment its manga (for this generation at least). Which means if some of the european publishers were a bit more saavy they could have got in before manga took hold, but the only one who tried, Humanoids, were too pricey, inconsistent and only concentrated on the sci-fi market.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Colin Wilson's Birthday

I would link to my Colin Wilson 24 hr story but that doesn't exist anymore.
Colin does exist and has so for 56 years.

Dreaming Newsarama
In about a month's time Queenie Chan's Dreaming will be released through ToykoPop. I'm actually excited about it, the art looks nice, the story is intriguing but its really nice that the story has an Australian flavour.

Ledger Categories 2006

2006 Categories

Peer Vote (popular):

Australian Achievement of the Year
Australian Talent deserving wider recognition
Australian Retailer of the Year
Ledger of Honour

Favourite Comic Book or Graphic Novel (from anywhere: X-Men, Eightball etc)
Favourite International Creator (from anywhere: Grant Morrison, Mike Mignola etc)

Judging Panel Vote:

(All Australian)

Artist of the Year
Writer of the Year
Small Press title of the year
Independent Press title of the year
International Press title of the year
Webcomic or strip of the Year
Story of the year (from an anthology or single issue)
Designer of the Year (letterer, colourist, covers, package, website)

A flyer will be created, that can be downloaded and distributed to comic shops around the country, which will hopefully get people not connected to Australian comics involved and get them interested in local product.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

you don't win friends with salad or steak

Saturday night, my mother organised to have a dinner with family friends to celebrate my engagement and birthday. Of course this was two months after the fact and somehow also involved me having to cook for 12 people. The largest group i've ever cooked for was 8 and that was fucking hard. But that time i learnt lessons, one of which was never do it again. When i explained this to my mother, she got her ethnic on and made me feel guilty in two languages.
Entree - plain spaghetti with napolitatna sauce. The sauce was made during the day and the pasta bought. you only need a big pot for water and small pot to reheat the sauce. Hints i've picked up about sauce
- keep it plain, me and emma make big batches and freeze little containers of it
- there is nothing stopping you from chopping other bits (vegies or meats) and adding them on the day before serving them. So the same sauce can be used with chicken on monday, eggplant on tuesday, olives and sun dried tomatoes wednesday, etc
- use alot of olive oil, it gives it a nice silky body. i'm lucky because my dad has a bunch of olive trees on his farm and we make our own.
- if you use fresh tomatoes that aren't exactly ripe, add pinches of sugar. I sometimes do this with canned tomatoes too.
So the entree only took two hot plates and little prep time (on the night).

For the main I did a surf and turf using an outdoor bbq, which gave me plenty of room to do all the steaks at once. I was convinced, by others, to do fillet mignon, which i'll never do again because wrapping those fillets with bacon took ages (ahead of time) and necessitated a last minute dash to the shops to get more bacon. The steaks were topped with skewered sweet chilli marinated prawns (3 large prawns each skewered using two parrallel skewers, it looked cool). Steaks take about 8-10 minutes to do. In theory.
On the night, while the steaks rested i quickly cooked the prawns, then plated everything and served. I was quickly cleaning the bbq when people started coming outside "I like mine welldone" "Its still red inside" "Bit more".
Ah fuck, its supposed to be pink inside, its supposed to be medium rare. Sigh. Sorry to freak out vegetarians, but the flavour is in the fat and blood - overcook and the blood disapperas and the fat is just char.
Usually I would have done a roast, but considering that a serve of roast should be about 250-350 grams, that would be a 3.6kg peice of meat (to feed everyone) which would have taken ages to cook (45minutes per .5kg, i think) and it would mean that the whole oven would have been taken up with meat, with no room for vegetables. Fish is out of the question for more than 6 people and I don't like cooking chicken. That's why i did steaks. And it bit me in the ass. Anyway, served with the steaks was a whole batch of roast vegetables (out of the way in the oven and with little prep work needed). Because I have an aversion to room temperature foods, i don't eat or prepare salad. Someone else did that. My shame at 'stuffing' up the main course was dampered by opening up some cabernets and doing damage to my dwindling wine cellar.
Dessert was handled by Emma, dishing out a tiramisu, which i was told rocked. (I don't actually do dessert either because i pretty much only eat ice cream - i don't do cake). After cleaning up, which always sucks when you are drunk, me and emma went to a 30th, which always rule when you are drunk. So it evens out.
Next time, when it comes to large dinners, I'm doing a massive lasagne because you can't go wrong there. I hope.

Friday, October 28, 2005


I've changed setting so i shouldn't get so many spam comments; though i liked the attention i have to move on.

now anonymous posters can, once again have the ability, to comment

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Stupid people review good movies

Grabbed off Amazon.

Great Escapeby A viewer

This movie is so bad, I have no words for it. It has plenty of character actors. yet not one shred of realism.The German war camp is seen as so relaxed, it does not even make sense that anyone would try to escape from it. The reality of WW2 is, many POWs fared far better than those who were not captured. Many US troops were killed in combat during incredibly risky, almost suicidal missions, while the top brass like Eisenhower stayed back in England and had sexual affairs. I have a feeling he would have been disappointed and mislead by the Dirty Dozen.

In this movie, those that do escape from it are given extremely lenient punishment--something that never would have happened in reality--if you were caught escaping from a german POW camp, you were shot on the spot--no hang dog look, give me my baseball glove and take me to solitary garbage!
Apparently killing 50 escapees wasn't enough.

Doctor Zhivago
- by Jamie

I am writing this review for my film appreciation class at Lowry High School in Winnemucca Nevada.
Doctor Zhivago was a very long an boring movie (3 hours-17 minutes)! I just kept on going without having any exciting parts to it. At times it was hard to understand what was going on. I don't even know what the point of it was.
The only good part about this movie was some of the scenery. The snow, trees and mountains looked pretty good. The photography was exceptional The movie needs to have a better plot to it.
The only part i really understood about the movie was that Lara (Julie Christie) was Doctor Zhivago's(Omar Sharif) mistress.
I wouldn't recommend watching this movie. Rent or buy some other movie instead.
Thanks Jamie for giving me a choice. And you score a F.

Fight Club by ldren30907

Those that like it aren't worth talking to. I do ask Fight Club fans a question - have they ever had the crap beaten out of them? I mean REALLY had the crap beaten out of them. The film's premise might seem a lot less valid if one has been in such a situation. This move is for dumb little boys (and sadly, some dumb little girls) who haven't had a hard enough life. To give credit where it's due, Ed Norton's performance was wonderful.
Explains why i don't like Star Wars, I've never been at war in the stars. but alec guiness is awesome

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

2006 Ledger Eligible Comics and Creators

Are you ledger eligible?

Its true that part of the australian psyche is not to big note yourself but listing yourself as eligble for a ledger award isn't big noting yourself, its making it so others can big note you.

If you think your comic is noteworthy or you enjoyed someone's comic work either list it here or go to the ledger forums. I'm waiting for a big delivery from Phasetwo but most of you have got stuff from Supanova that must be good.

I'll probably be doing a run down of my thoughts in mid novemeber once i track down the stuff released at supanova and read through the stuff i've collected throughout the year.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

blood letting and keeping up with the joneses

I donated blood for the first time today. i did not get woozy during or after. I felt slightly disappointed at this.

Its also Hard Refuse week, here in adelaide suburbia. Again its disappointing when our neighbours have piles of crap and we only have some old light fixtures and computer speakers.

Friday, October 21, 2005

can you google me?

This blog is connected to Sitemeter, that tells me all sorts of information like referrers; how are people finding my site.

Now since i mention a lot of Australian creators, whenever someone googles a creator i sometimes get a hit and enrty in my referrers list. I doubt that this is comprehensive, no where near - but its interesting all the same.
In the past couple of weeks these Australian Creators have been googled (in no order)

  • Owen Heitmann
  • Troy Kealley
  • Doug Holgate
  • Jules Faber
  • Alex Major
  • Erin M
  • Gary Chaloner
  • Komala S
  • Darren Close
  • Mandy O
  • Rowan Cassidy
  • Ben Hutchings
  • David Blumenstien
  • Matt Bayliss

You are being stalked.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

i got googled

To the person or persons googling

  • Mark Selan penis
  • Mark Selan nice penis
  • "Mark Selan" cock monster
  • "Mark Selan" cock fun
you made my day.

Jumping on the Chan Wagon

Embarrassingly, Queeni Chan is a new name to me in the whole realm of Australian Comics. I had heard of her but in my mind i classed as a deviart fan artist (nothing wrong with that - i get my kicks out of sequentials so pin ups don't impress me - please don't hate me).

However, her name came up again recently when there was a rather interesting discussion at Warren Ellis' Engine messageboard, concerning the fairness of the ToykoPop contracts. i hadn't realised/heard she had a book deal with Tpop. So some googling later
some very nice work, indeed. Lots of juicy sequentials.

I could say, one to watch but I think I'm late to the party, people have been watching her for ages.
So, come December pick up her ToykoPop book, The Dreaming.

On a related note; I'm surprised to see Generations 2004 and 2005 at PhasetwoComics, i thought they were small print run comics that got sold out. Not that i'm complaining i've already ordered them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

finger tap

Item - Ledger Judge, Roger Langrigde in pretty comprehensive interview talks about his start in New Zealand.
Item - I want Maggie Gyllenhaal's box to be mine.
Item - I didn't think much of Batman Begins, but the special edition collectors' DVD contains comic books. While it has happened in the UK and US, I don't think comics are usually distributed with DVDs in Australia.
Item - Making fun of people's photos is fun easy mundane (though i think i saw ex-wives 2-5 in there).

Monday, October 17, 2005

Snova there

It was Emma's birthday over the weekend so we went down the coast and after a nice lunch we found a little market where i discovered so old comics. To make up for not being at supanova i bought

Da 'n dill #1 and 2
Burr 'n Spud #1
The programme for Ozcon III
Classic Illustrated: Lawrence of Arabia (i dunno why)
Doom Patrol #28 (to hopefully resell)

Hope people had fun

Friday, October 14, 2005

satorial sageness for supanova (and beyond)

Overcoats and trenchcoats
You do not and never will look like Neo. However you will look like Neil, the guy who lives down the road who is not allowed within 100 metres of children.

There is no need for any guy to wear an overcoat in Australia - EVER. Unless they want to look like a complete and utter tool and the object of ridicule.

Fullbleed shirts


No. Seriously. No.

Open shirts
Refering to the first photo. The whole 'open shirt over a tshirt' is dead, it died with Kurt, it was messy but it couldn't end any other way. If you want to showoff your favourite tshirt but are afraid of being cold, come join us in the 21st century, wear the tshirt over the shirt, its wacky but works.
Most guys do this to cover up their portliness but it makes it worse. They end up looking like they are wearing a muumuu. Baggy clothes mess people's silhouette up, making them look bigger. So go figure hugging fatboy.

Hints and tips

  • Regarding Cargo pants; light coloured no- No. Dark coloured maybe but ask yourself have you ever put anything in those pockets?
  • You are allowed to wear shorts before sunset, but after the sun goes down go home and put on some grown up clothes.
  • Do not wear plastic rimmed sunglasses inside, especially sports sunglasses (oakley, arnettes, nike, etc)
  • If your jeans are skyblue or lighter, you must have borrowed them from your sister in 1989, give them back

And its because I care.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Alas poor, i knew him well

Apparently has disappeared, i'm not sure if it is forever or temporarily.
It also means if people go looking for the 24 hour challenge site, they won't be able to find it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Does anything rhyme with pyramid?

I always find articles about other country's (not japan or usa) comic scenes as interesting. In Eygpt a start up is doing well with superheroes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Dr Zhivargo, on seeing it for the first time, has entered my top 10.

This article at CBR is the most embarrassing piece of comic related writing ever. But I did learn from now on i will not watch anything Emma suggests unless it involves race cars.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ledger's Judging Panel

It's quite an honour to be a judge in this year's Ledger awards.
However, I do feel like quite the wingnut when compared to the other judges on the panel.
Publisher, creator, publisher, creator, fanboy.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

world wide weber

Some pages from Cool Hand Weber new project
Preview 1
And halfway down
Preview 2
They are from 6 months ago but he's up to page 200 in the project. And i'm kind of excited about seeing the finished book.

Frank's book Crab Allan is one of my favourite graphic novels ever Fullstop I would also say go to or and buy it because you won't be disappointed. But i can't. Because you can't buy Crab Allan from them or anywhere else that i'm aware of. And its a shame.

Going to have to keep an eye out in Previews when his Adventures in Tymm book comes out, by way of Platinum Studios.

More weber goodness

tv bits and shits

I'm not going to make excuses or try and pose but last night i watched the last half of Australian Princess.
Otherwise i would never had heard this
"Princess Diana was such an angel, it was so bad that she died the way she did, just like Tupac"
(not exact dialogue)

Otherwise, The Wire, the best cop show ever gets a second season on Channel 9, midnight. If you can find the first season - get it. Its better than The Shield (which has gotten a bit shit over the last 4 episodes - ever since Lem burnt the money - though last night it picked up).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

soft shoe (yes its a slow day)

I own about 40 pairs of shoes, possibly more. Mainly sneakers, which i hang onto until they fall apart. I also have a fair few work - 'nice' shoes for work and special occassions. I most recently bought some white shell toe adidas (i wanted black superstars, like run dmc but black sneakers are hard to pull off - satorially). Anyway, I've had my eye on these for awhile

On a conceptual they look cool, but up close they look really tacky. So I'm torn.

On a related note; Bathing Ape is doing retro marvel sneakers, which would look cooler in canvas.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Small Gods on a Cross

Disappointingly, Sydney writer, Jason Rand's Image Series Small Gods is being cancelled with #12. However, on the good side, the creative team will be working on a new book for Image specifically the Shadowline, er, line.

winamp wizard

I wasn't tagged but i've got space to fill. I used a bit of google to help with the lyrics, because i need context. For those who don't know, its the (in my case) Winamp crystal ball - ask the question, press shuffle, press play, the answer is the song played.

How does the world see me?

Poncho's Lament - Tom Waits
"and i'm glad that your gone, but i wish to the lord you'd come home" = love/hate

Will I have a happy life?
The Question of U - Prince
"If I sell my soul, now what will it cost?" = hmm, make the effort and happiness is mine

What do my friends really think of me?
Beta Loser - Darren Hanlon
"Since when did our relationship become obsolete?" "I've been superseded" = sniff

Do people secretly lust after me?
Long Time Coming - Anna Waronker
"It's been a long time coming, coming" = its seems yes, and when they fantasise about me, I'm really really good (which is a nice change).

How can I make myself happy?
Gossip folks - Missy Elliot feat. Ludacris
"Musi ques, I sews on bews, I pues a twos on que zat, Pue zoo, My kizzer, Pous zigga ay zee" = Apparently eccies, baggy clothes and fast food

What should I do with my life?
Step right - Violent Femmes
"Step right up" probably says it all but i prefer "3 for a dollar"

Why must life be so full of pain?
Pressure Zone - Beck
"Wrestling with butcher girls"= hmmmm, apparently for no reason at all

How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?
A little bit of soap - De La Soul
= sigh, thanks

Will I ever have children?
We know - Talib Kwali feat. Faith Evans
=well tell me Talib, tell me

Will I die happy?
Strangers on a train - Handsome Boy Modelling School
If it involves having sex with a stranger on a train, then yes i will die happy, unless my significant other finds out - then no.

What is some good advice for me?
Down Slow - Moby
no lyrics = fate hates me/i'm perfect

What is happiness?
So whatcha want - Beastie boys
Well if the film clip is anything to go, bouncing around in baggy flannelette in the forest with a bunch of guys will make me happy

What's my favourite fetish?
Please wake me up - Tom Waits
"Her out-fit was all made of vinyl, like nothing I've ever seen" = could have been worse and shuffled to Rain Dogs. And most people will be surprised that my fetish involves females.

How will I be remembered?
The luckiest guy on the lower east side - Magnetic Fields