Monday, January 31, 2005

Ledgers and Sledges

There's a discussion at the Ledger forum about, well, the Ledgers and what can be fixed and what can be left alone.

And since i have very little going on, I'm going to prattle on about my suggestions for the next couple of days.


I'm probably not the only one who thought there were too many categories. With 19 categories it would either scare of people by its size or people faced with the idea of trying to think of who is the best letterer or inker just give up.

Even though I won it and I'm thankful i still don't understand how "Person of the Year" differs from "Achievement of the Year"; i think it would be better if it was amalgamated into the one category.

I think Design, cover artist, inker, colourist and letterer should be amalgamated into a single Art Design category. What you could do is on the nomination form (if nominations are suggestions made by the public) have a field where nominators state the field they are nominating a creator for; "Mark Selan - Design" and the final list of nominees shows this
"Karen Howard - Design
"L. Frank Weber - Cover Art
Doug Holgate - Inking
Annette Kwok - Colouring"
This gives a good guage of what people are recognising - if in a couple of years time, a number of inkers are nominated then they can get their own category. This'll stop people 'needing' to think of three names and then most likely nominating people on name recognition.

Whilst i like the idea of recognising Retailers for their work, especially the good ones, i feel that unless some other method is used to pick a winner, we may as well alternate yearly between Phase 2 and Kings. Though the two are great it doesn't help they both have large markets to vote for them.

I've been shrieking that Small Press and Independent Press needs guidelines. A book with nominations split over 2 categories may miss being included in the final tally due to confusion of its category.
For example
5 people nominate Knightsedge for Indy Press
5 people nominate Knightsedge for Small Press
Gary has 10 moninations in total albeit spread over 2 categories.
In the small press category though - the 3 highest books have votes of 9,8,7 so gary is out of the running for small press
in the indy press category - the 3 highest books are 8,7,6
Gary is out of the running in both categories even though he has more nominations. Sure everyone is in the same boat but those books that MAY be in both will suffer the most.

Otherwise I think the Ledger of Honour is great, we need to recognise the past and its creators. Same with New Talent category though it may be nice if there was some guidelines on what constitutes new talent would be helpful. But no biggie.

Finally, I'm not sure if comic strip is all that necessary since most webcomics are essentially comic strips anyway.

Achievement of the Year
Artist of the Year
Writer of the Year
New talent deserving recognition
Small Press title of the year
Independent Press title of the year
International Press title of the year
Anthology of the year
Strip of the year
Single Story of the year
Design of the Year
Retailer of the Year
Ledger of Honour

So down to 13 categories.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Gone daddy gone

My "thank you" post for the Ledgers - gone
The two replies attached to said post - gone
Tickets to Adelaide BDO - gone
The Kid Koala concert - gone

Apparent trait to wait till the last minute for everything - still here


i'll probably be posting on how I'd change the Ledger awards next week.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jeez, simple rule always post in the morning

You know there's always that friend, who has had a really good week, and he's down at the pub handling the 5th pint. He's the really happy one, that murmurs and stumbles "you're me mate, you're a funny fella". Anyway he kind of come's across like this this.

The actual title of the award is a bit weird and i can't really say it with a straight face, but thanks to everyone who voted for me as Person of the Year, I'm touched.

Now Ledger groupies please form a line to the left.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

As unaccustomed as I am to public speaking

Having not won anything like a LEdger award, or anything unlike a ledger award I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say anything, speechwise.

But my 'success' is not based on talent but on the hard work and talents of others so I HAVE to thank people.
Firstly to Darren who, by way of Ozcomics, introduced me to Australian comics and the inherent coolness and greatness they contain. The work inspired me and made me want to get involved. Thanks Darren for letting me organise the 24 hour challenges and running the magazine.

I don't think I've thanked Matt Bayliss and his Monkey enough, their website for last years challenge made everything so much simpler and i think was a big part of the success. Jase Harper's poster and Matt Huhyn's logo rocked it as well. To all the retailers and creators who donated prizes thanks as well. Jen Hook's help in the press releases was much appreciated.

Doug Holgate had me at hello. Every idea, theory, concept about comics gets passed through the Doug filter. We tear it to peices, each other and everyone else and fuck its fun. All my dumb ideas have no element of Doug. Plus, bloody hell, his work is a bit of alright, especially his inking and colouring.

The work of L Frank Weber, Mandy Ord, Matt Huyhn, Tonia Walden and Dillon Naylor are also an inspirations and makes me want to shout from the rooftops and drag people to see their greatness.

Every one who has worked on or bought (customers and retailers - especially George from Kings) a copy of the Ozcomics magazine, you are bloody legends. Specifically Aaron Burgess, Liz Argall and Ian T, it would be 28 pages of me waffling on like a wally without you.

Finally congratulations to all the other winners and thanks to Gary for organising this whole thing and giving me something to blog about.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Its Tshirt Weather!

Its hot in Adelaide, and its going to be warm for the day off tomorrow. Perfect for tshirts.

Not a fan of the full bleed geometric explosion style that was done to death in a chain retial store near you. Nor was i enamored with the "eat at joes fish fry" retro style shirt. Subsequently, I got turned off by the most recent tshirt design fashion.

So i've spent the last year or so in polo shirts of various colours and styles. Or the odd solid colour tshirt. Dull. Boring.
Previously i liked and bought stuff from Design is Kinky and the Avalanches Tshirt club (the former doesn't seem to do tshirts no longer and the former are way over priced and kind of ugly now)

But i discovered Preshrunk.

Current favourites

Created by comic book creator (Demo, Couriers) and graphic designer (GTA) Brian Wood does some simple 2/3 colour tshirts that evoke that retro feel without being so try hard ironic.

Not all irony is tryhard. I don't usually like joke tshirts but this has its charm. Though downloading mp3 is bad kids, its bandwidth that could be used for porn and software. Or time that could be used stealing art.

This part of a cool alphabet series, with "A is or anarchy" (with a picture of an ant) being another good one. The cool thing is that shipping seems cheaper than it used to be - even better with the stronger dollar.

Another humourous tshirt, there's something i like about this design but i can't put my finger on it. Its not especially humourous or designed well. I think i just like the colour brown. How dull and simple of me.

Otherwise my two most recent tshirt buys was from
a) a candlerecords tshirt

(shit image)
b) a lucksmith tshirt
(no image)
Their Darren Hanlon designs are kind of cool.

But now i'm all interested in just making my own.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Dvds I watched recently

Sweet Jesus I didn't blog yesterday, and I survived, i hope you did?



Emma, the popular social butterfly she is, is a bridesmaid for a friend and this last weekend spent it hooping it up around the city. I think this involved giggling, drinking white wine and flirting with silly boys. So I was home alone, and because of a lack of sleep the previous week decided to have a quiet one. So it was down the to the local beer garden to read the paper and then rent some movies, something I haven't done for a year.

Once upon a time in mexico
I was surprised at how good this was. When i had dreams of becoming a film maker Rodriguez was a bit of an idol, i've enjoyed all his films. Now the whole film thing is in the past. I had heard of frantic shotting schedules, hidef video, and the whole robert does everything and thought it would just be another student film. But it looked great and the plotline hung together really nicely. Johnny Depp was great. "Are you a mexican or mexicant?" is genius.

Dawn of the dead
Horror films make me anxious, so much so this film made my jaw hurt. My problem is the suspense rather than the gore. In that vein this film was rather tame.
Omar Epps is a great actor who will probably be sidekick black guy forever. Anyway, it was good. Except for Sarah Polly's teeth.

God he looked like christopher lambert. Its pretty understandable why this didn't fire up the box office, it was a film for teen gun/action freaks with no girlfriends. The Russian looked like steriod version of the 'le male' cologne model. All in all it was OK, i wish Roy Snieder got more grizzled old men out for vengence roles, he'd be good in them. The plot, punisher mobile and the neighbours were dumb. The brutality of the ending was very cool, John Travolta should be dragged by remote control cars in every film.

Oh John Woo,
what has happened to you?
A really interesting story; a reverse engineer has to reverse engineer his life to destroy something to save the future. Except Ben Affleck can not act (though he was ok in Shakespeare in love - shutup) and there were no gun battles. Would have been better if it was Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. It was bearable. Just. but a waste of talent (woo) and non-talents (affleck).

I like this renting films business may do it again soon.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Comics I've read recently

Starting off with the local stuff; reread Crumpleton 2 and 3 (I have seemed to misplaced #1) and its very good. What amazes me is normally that art style would do nothing for me but its suits the story so well.

I reread Dunwich and I have to keep in mind that its 4 years old and that the creators are much better now, because it was such a struggle to get through.

Because i'm a massive fan of Christopher Priest and there isn't much else interesting me on the shelf, I've picked up Captain America and the Falcon. The first 4 issues is really good, the art is a bit crap mainly because the story telling is a bit crammed because the artist spent to much trying to make his pages look cool. I'm trying to get into the next storyline but its not gelling. Priest is using way too much exposition.

Shoalin Cowboy, sure it was pretty but i felt a bit ripped off. Pretty doesn't do it for me.

For some reason I've become interested in Legion, I liked the Abnett and Lanning run on the series (mainly for Copiel's art) so I picked up Waid's first issue and it seems ok. May pick up more. For some reason when ever i think about Waid and his work, I get the song from Karate Kid 2 in my head, the power ballad "I did it all for the glory of love" mainly because with Waid's Flash Wally always would save the day because of the Power of love (not sure why i don't get Huey Lewis and New's Power of love in my head then but whatever.)

Now that I'm picking up a couple new superhero books its funny that I've just finished reading Jeffery Brown's BigHead, since i feel like i no longer need superheros; every single trope and cliche has been done by the Brown in BigHead. Superhero comics now seem redundant. Until Allstars Bataman and robin, that'll be kewl. Pick up Brown's Clumsy and the companion piece, Be a man. Very funny stuff.

It's a shame that Human Target has been cancelled but I don't think Human Target, the character, is designed for a long series. There is no room for character develeopment for a man who plays other people; well nothing outside of the "who am i, am i playing the role or is the role playing me, who is Christopher Chance?". It would be much suited to a series of miniseries or OGN that don't really rely on other issues.

Picked up Small Gods #6 and will probably read it soon.

I'm slowly going through my collection of comics that i had stored in A4 display folders and putting them in comic boxes so I'll probably be reading more than sorting. It also means i'll be selling some stuff (stuff i now have in trades) and buying other stuff to fill in gaps. So if there's anything people want let me know.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Reality TV and I hate it and Beaut my Ute

I only remembered while reading an article on Joe Simpson (the dad of jessica and the other one) on what type of reality shows i hate even more than date based reality shows - shows that star rich stupid people. Simple life and Newlyweds are a scourge on tv and modern society. It makes me so angry. grrr. I generally hate most rich people, especially the children of rich people, and I hate stupid people even more.
So watching spoiled and stupid brats like Hilton on tv is incredibly painful and makes me weep for the children.
When i was a lad, primetime TV had BA Baracus, give BA a welder, some trash cans and a 76 camaro and you got a freaking tank. Give Nicole Ritchie a sliced onion and an onion rings machine and you get a bored party girl making a dick out of herself. Michael Knight and co helped people - Hilton and Co do the opposite.

ARGGHH shits me to tears.

J. Simpson knows that 300 count cotton is nice but not where tuna comes from. Come back Macguyver we need you!

On the sane side of the bus, i mentioned "Pimp my Ride" as a show I think would be very cool as an Australian show. The MTV show is hosted by Xibit from I think the WuTang gang (it boggles my mind - Dirty Bastard could have hosted a great wine appraciation show), he takes old bombs from people and using a crew of car detailers and modifiers makes them pimp mobiles; usually entailing tv screens, playstations, boom boxes and a lot of automation.

Now besides me, now one under 50 wtaches renovation shows, but "beaut my ute" or "spend a tonne on my bomb" would get the young people in. Imagine Weber's Starlet with a custom paint job, a massive spoiler, a disco ball and new 2Litre racing engine. helloooo ladies

The MTV show is more about the cosmetic side, the australian version would need to be about speed and, of course, safety. It would be hosted by Chloe Maxwell (just because) but the makeover garage would be run by the dude that was in Sound Unlimited Posse (he's probably an accountant now but that matters not), this would be an excuse to have local hip hops acts 'visiting' and laying down rhymes while the guys worked. It would be a ethnically diverse crew; with each member having a speciality; the Italian - the paint joband panel beating, a lebanese would look after the engine helped out by the anglo saxon bloke, and an asian would, of course, do the electronics and stereo system. Every week the asian guy would come up with a crazy idea to which the Italian guy would always respond with "Ninja please!" It would be a catch phrase - on tshirts and everything.

Come on it would be better than Blokes world if it didn't have strippers.

Final Day for the Ledgers

Final day for voting in the ledgers - if you don't vote and someone shit wins its your fault.

Consider this a little ad in the middle of TV Week back to normal programming.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Reality TV - and I like it

Actually i really really like a small part of reality tv, just a couple of shows, but i'll be glued to them something fierce. I am not keen on the reality shows based on "love" and "dating" because the are clearly explotative. I got to admit i did watch that "hot girl has to chose a dork" a couple of times but my excuse is that it played with conventions and put dorks into a good light. Also i cringe and feel really anxious at people embarrassing themselves in the Australian Idol auditions. In a similar vein what i saw of Joe schmoe was amusing to a degree but kind of mean, same with My fiancee is a big fat slob. On the surface imaginative but in practice not.

I think the attraction is that, in relative terms, its as real as it gets, sure the situations are contrived (stuck in a house/island, trying to win a game) but the emotions and reactions are real (especially in the non-love/date shows). Like any other genre there is bad stuff; Joe Millionaire, Playing it straight and the Richard Branson Apprentice ripoff.

That said, then there's good shows and Amazing Race has to be the best show ever. A late comer to the show, i now love the locales, the drama, the fighting lovers and the midgets. Its tightly put together, the contestants are large characters - its seems the boring people always get knocked out early and its a good mix off soap opera and game. Can't wait for more, rumuor is that rob and Amber, the winners of Survivor: Allstars, will be contestants.

Speaking of Survivor probably the first and best of the new wave reality shows. I have always been a fan, but I thought that All Stars was the pinnacle, now the tactics are well worn and old hat, sure there is the odd twist and surprise (like the female team disintergrating at the end of Survivor: the one after the all stars series) but i think its trodden its path. my guess is that they'll invigorate the new series by having people randomly voted out (Spin a wheel - the wheel has spoken!) to keep people's alliances ever changing and for people to come back after being voted out.

Queer eye for the straight guy as i explained earlier, is a show i'll watch if i'm around; i like design, cooking and clothes, which this show peddles without the inane blithering of 'better homes and gardens'. The design and clothes are shockers sometimes and i still have no idea what the short one does but its funny and entertaining. Same with Backyard Blitz, shocking yes, but its very watchable, i think due to charisma of the presenters and not taking the whole thing serious.

The apprentice was ok but Trump is an ass. the business side is ok, the board room side gets exciting but the product placement and trump stuff is boring. Its gone in my 'not bothering anymore' pile. Idol was dull and Big Brother is stale now too.

And Iron Chef rules.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

TV that was good and then turned to crap

West Wing
This was so good when it first started, Alan Sorkin gave the left an intelligent and Loud voice (ie not drwoned out by the right). But since he left its all melodrama and rightwing, John Wells the new producer seems to making West Wing into a soap opera, something he's doing with 3rd Watch as well and ER. I expect an episode where Martin Sheen (who needs new dentures) karate chops an assassin and flies to the Middle East to kick ass. I can barely watch a whole episode anymore.

The Guardian
Emma watches it for the pretty fella, I watch it for the pretty suits. Guardian started out ok, a good strong story of a man, bereft of feelings, thrown into a world of emotions and humanity. It slowly evolved into a tale of redemption. Then it went to crap. Some series need a logical conclusion, instead of the case of just as the main character sees the light dumping more crap on him. It gets tiring.

Third Watch
I just wanted a police procedural, that had interesting characters (unlike csi) and that didn't have 'ripped from the headlines' plots (unlike Law and Order) and 3rd watch provided that for a couple of seasons. Then John Wells had its way and we had russian mobsters, lost brothers, police corruption and judges being blown up. Snore. Hack. Hack. Cheap thrills instead of drama.

Malcom in the Middle
I didn't wach it religiously but it used to be funny and clever. Now its just ugly children doing the same old thing. The characters they have done little to, those the producers haven't made parodies of themselves, the older brother Francis and Dewey are the only ones that get a laugh out of me anymore. Catchy theme song though!

Simpsons/Alias/Australian Idol
All started out good, but now are a bit meh, not bad, just meh. I don't bother with new Simpsons episodes because I never know when they are on and i don't bother with old simpsons episodes because i've seen them before ad nauseum. Alias started out good and got convuluted, it still has the odd good episode but its essentially the X-Files of the new millenium. And once Chanel left Idol, i stopped caring (but never loving chanel - call me).

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Good telly of 2004

Cop Show

The Shield
Kind of screwed over by channel 10 in 2003, it had some consistency in the late night saturday timeslot last year. Well worth setting up the vcr to record (hell even tape the following NYPD Blue). The Shield is a solid balls out cop show, mucho macho. Its fun watching Vic squirm and scheme his way out of everything and though he always seems to make things worse he still hangs on by the skin of his teeth. It only had one dud episisode in the whole year, which was the unnecessary flashback episode. Otherwise good tv.

honorable mention
The Wire
The best cop show, if not best tv show ever, was Homicide life on the Street - this is close, has the same beat and feel. A good season long storyline that slowly builds, what lets it down was that there were too many characters that weren't interesting enough. Where The Shield is about bad cops that do right for their own benefit, The Wire is about good cops that have to do wrong to do right. A story of conflict and objectives. It was lost by channel 9 in the late night monday timeslot, and unlike channel 10 does with its late night shows, it failed to advertise it so no one watched it. Keep an eye out for it on paytv if you are connected.


Arrested Development
It was a shitty year for comedy, such that i was considering putting the OC in this category. Thank god this came out of the woodwork. Everyone knows how good it is. I wish Channel 7 stopped messing around with it, plus i wish i remembered it was on.

Honourable Mention
Andy Richter controls the universe

Wrote about this last month, it only ran for one season and has been dumped on channel 9 at 2 in the morning but its worth waiting up/programming vcrs for. A sad little fat man is angry at the world but lacks the conviction to be too angry for a sustained period. Ends up being a loser.

Soap Opera

The OC
California, califoooorniyyyaa
Pretty people in trouble is always fun too watch. Especially when one of them is funny. It took Dawson's creek and good 4 years to run out of steam, this will probably do it in half the time. Its paced too fast for a long life but all in all it just coasts above melodrama - making it quite palatable. As post-modern as a soap opera can get.

Honourable mention
It was overhyped follow up to a so so tv movie with that guy from Water Rats, and it was never going to do that well. Channel 10 freaked out when the first episode didn't do well and quickly crammed it on late night thursdays with ridicously short commercial breaks (one or two ad breaks), something I have never seen done before. They were obligated to run the whole series but wanted it over so quickly (to get to the news) - they forgoed ad revenue.
But it wasn't that bad, it was actually really good. I never got into Secret Life of US so I can't compare but it had sweet and original characters, witty and intelligent scripts and Emma Lung, sweet Emma Lung. Sigh, what could have been. The later episodes were much better, i think the producers finally figured out what they wanted. I doubt it will ever be repeated on free to air but catch it if you can.


After 3 years - still a very gripping show. Part of me would like this on dvd but i think without the week break between episodes it wouldn't be as edgy. The guy that played the main villan would make a great Bond. Nothing is truely oustanding in this series but for some reason the pacing, the small plot intricacies and the kewl moments ("He shot his boos in the head! Kewl!") make it very addictive.

Honourable Mention
That last season of Angel started out a bit crap but it came good, real good. After 5 years except for half a dozen episodes (in season 5) this was a good series, but i liked the Connor episodes so what do I know.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Pig Iron Chef

Last week Emma went to the Channel 10 2005 presentation, apparently "medium" looks ok but what i was interested in was the australian version "queer eye for the straight guy". I like the american version since its funny and i have a weakness for superficial stuff. The verdict is 'a bit average' and I'm not surprised. Australian TV execs don't do remakes well - the only ones i can think of that are OK is Changing rooms, idol and big brother and I'm not counting when they moved "are you being served" to Australia.

But there are shows they should remake for the Australian Audience; "Iron Chef" and "Pimp my ride".

Iron Chef Ozstyle would be hosted by Daryl Somers, he could wear his old clothes from Hey Hey and forget about the diet. In a perfect world he would only speak Japanese. Kitchen Stadium would be an outdoor event, taking place in a faux backyard. The Iron Chefs would be talents from the 3 major cooking fields in Australia;
Asian - Cheong Liew, Italian - Stefano di Pieri (From the Murray on the Gondala series) and Seafood - Not sure maybe the bald bloke from one of the Rocks restaurant.

In the commentary box Ian Parmenter would be the cooking expert (who at the end of the show would taste a meal and faint), Livinia Nixon would be the role of the pretty girl who sat in the middle and someone completely harmless like the guy from "The Price is right" would be the main compere. The roving reporter would be Chloe Maxwell, for no particular reason other than i want her on telly more.

Being in a backyard I'd spice it up a bit; a chained barking dog would be next to the tofu and foie gra, there would be a clothes line that Daryl would hang onto and swing around for no apparent reason as well as a guy doing burnouts in the background. It would be great and cheap way of having celebrity guests to do little interviews, they only way Daryl can

"Anthony Mundine, next week you have a fight in america for the title how are you training? and how's the duck?"

"Mr Clooney, sorry to hear about your pig Max, how are the ribs?"

And a band. It would end with the losing chef being dunked into a kiddie above ground pool and the winning chef drinking from a yard glass.

It would be great tv.

Channel 7, call me, you need all the help you can get.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

house warming and photos

Yesterday we had the housewarming and sorry your invitation must have gotten lost.Em and me are very proud of the work we have done to the place, especially since we did most of it ourselves, so it was a buzz showing people around.
I was supposed to take photos, but i was drinking and foosballing instead but here are some photos I prepared earlier.

Apparently it was desk day last week, well here is me looking a bit nervous at my freshly cleaned desk. Cleaning my desk usually involves me sweeping everything into a shoebox.

The lounge and dining room just before Xmas. You can still find pine needles around the house.

A blurry photo of de la soul last december.

We spent NYE quietly with some friends but after climbing down from the roof we tramampolined.

And now I'm off to clean up 200 bottles strewn around the property.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Voting opens for the Ledgers

Voting for the Ledgers opened yesterday. A list of the final nominations is up, its a matter of going to the nomination form and start sticking in numbers. You don't have to number every box nor do you have to respond to every category.

So go do it.
do it.

Friday, January 14, 2005

we're on a world tour

As a young teen punk, i'd smash bottles, rattle fences and proclaim "hope i'm dead before i'm 30", "don't trust anyone over 30, man" except for the dirty bloke with the mullet and his good supply of mull.

The first statement was a joke, honest. The second statement gets updated every 5 years "don't trust anyone over 40, man"

In celebration of turning 30, I'm currently planning a trip overseas code named World Tour XXX.
Middle of August the plan is to fly to Europe and spend

  • 4 days in London

  • 3 days in Barcelona

  • 4 days in Paris

  • a week travelling from Pisa to Venice, by way of Florence and Verona

  • a week in Slovenia
Now I'm not actually a fan of site seeing, as a disaffected member of gen-x I've seen it on the telly and that's good enough for me but there are a couple of things i want to do - some cliched, some not
  • get a bespoke shirt made in london

  • see a bullfight and get a tattoo in Barcelona

  • do a 1 or 2 day cooking course in Florence and ride vespas around while staying in a villa

  • i doubt my wish for a threesome in Paris is going to be fulfilled so probably i'll have to think of, and settle for, something less romantic

  • introduce emma to the extended family in Slovenia
but i'm thinking I need more ideas and suggestions

Thursday, January 13, 2005

D!V!D! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Febuary looks like a good month for DVDs. I usually go in dvd buying binges, usually everytime Kmart has a 15% off day or if JB HiFi are having a decent sale. I'll buy 5 or 6 movies, shelve them and not watch them for months, years even. I think it a silly ethnic trait I picked up of buying stuff when its cheap and stockpiling it for the future. Instead of blankets and canned goods like my mother, its dvds and graphic novels.

I haven't bought much of late; the Avengers boxset (mmm Mrs Peel) and a couple Hollywood action flicks (Bad boys 2 Rocks!) but man next month there's some awfully pretty dvds being released.

First off, I love Jackie Chan. Even his crappy Hollywood pics do not diminish my manly love for Jackie. I read his autobiography and everything and even don't mind his singing. So with a happy happy joy joy step Universal are releasing the Hong Kong Legends versions of Armor of God and Police Story, probably his best 2 films. I'm all giddy. i've picked up a handful of Hong Kong Legends dvds in the past (Sammo Hung Titles) and they do a good job.

On the opposite side of the spectrum THE BREAKDANCE MOVIE BOXSET!
I rememeber seeing these at the cinema. I was a pretty good breaker was i was a lad. Last year i did a headspin and put my back out. Beat Street (not part of the Breakdance franchise) was really good, an indepth look into graphitti culture which at the time was quite exotic. i may check this out but I may be wearing my nostalgia pants.

Dangerman - is essentially James Bond without the sex and violence but still strangely hypnotic.
DangerMouse - is essentially Danger Man with the violence and sex (always off screen - what!?) but with better acting. Again i may be wearing my nostalgia pants (they're very comfortable but not very flattering).

And i'm sick of Channel 7 messing with Arrested Development so i'm very pleased that the boxset of season one is out at the end of febuary. All the episodes i've missed will be mine.

And Lone Wolf and Cub is the greatest peice of fiction ever, the movie is not really worthy. The first one is ok but then they get progressively worse. But i'll get it anyway. Because samurai action is should not be wasted.

so i gotta save those pennies

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Dining with the Howards

Me and Emma had the pleasure of dining with Ben and Karen Howard on monday night. I rarely get a chance to get my comic geek on and even rarer to get my australian comic geek on so it was kind of exciting to catch up. However with Emma there, i had to try and not bore her with dull comic conversation for 3 hours. Therefore my geek had to contained in short bursts.

We drunk beer and wine and ate some decent Thai food. Salt and pepper crocodile is really nice, the texture of chicken but with the seafoody taste. Yummy. Watched Karen eat kangaroo for the first time. My description of beefy sweet lamb was apparently way off the mark.

Talking with Ben, in particular, its clear on what he's all about. He wants to make comics that will be distributed and loved all over the world. He wants to do business (underlined and circled in red- they type of business). That's commendable.
I picked his brain every now and then. I'd like to think he picked mine, but he probably was being polite. It gave me the opportunity to figure out, or at least think about, what the hell I'm doing and why.

Anyway, its good to see someone so passionate about what they are doing, with a clear goal and a singleminded determination. On the tuesday, i had the chance to check out Ben and Karen presenting their Phosphorescent comics to some of the local shops. Confident and smooth unlike me and Ozcomics magazine, where its "Um, hi, um would you, be like, interested in, um, well, i've got a magazine about, um, australian comics, would you like to, um, you know, um, sell it?"

Monday though was a stinker of the day so we drove down to the beach and had dessert on a marina by the coast. Nice and relaxed. Found out that we did the same degree but at different unis and we both knew our respective partners for 10 years. Also found out that Ben played the flute but had no idea what 'bling bling' was. However, I have found that i can not say "Phosphorescent" when they are around.

Introducing them to girlfriend
"Em, this is ben and karen, they run a comic company call phosphorent"
"Yep, sorry"

Introducing them to comic shop dude
"Matt, this is ben and karen, they run a comic company call phosphorent"

I had a good time with them and just a note that the PC crew will be appearing in issue 6 of the magazine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hit List - Ledgers Final Nominees

Well then, it was a nice surprise this morning to see that Gary had listed the Final Ledger Nominees and even more gratifying to be included as a final nominee for Person of the Year. Thanks to everyone who nominated me and also those people that nominated the Ozcomics Magazine, the 24hour Comic Challenge and (though I only moderated it for half the year i'll still claim credit), thanks for your recommendation.

Apparently the voting form will be up January 14th.

Recognition for an Australian individual's efforts in 2004.

  • Aaron Burgess
  • Mark Selan
  • Daniel Zachariou

Australian artist, publisher, or event. Business or creative.
  • Phase Two Comics
  • Dillon Naylor's 2004 (Batrisha wear in Target etc.)
  • Gary Chaloner's John Law in print

In recognition of excellence in 2004. Print or web.
  • Chelsea Fritzlaff
  • Jase Harper
  • Matt Huynh

Mini comics, zines featuring comic content etc.
  • Dirty Little Creep, Mandy Ord
  • Eat Comics, Tonia Walden, editor
  • Sporadic, Jase Harper, editor

Local publishers distributing mainly in Australia.
  • Azerath, Creatorline/Phosphorescent Comics
  • The Crumpleton Experiments, Nautilus Illustrations
  • Killeroo, Ozone Studios

Titles distributed overseas and within Australia featuring Australian talent
  • District X, Marvel Comics
  • Small Gods, Image Comics
  • Will Eisner's John Law: Dead Man Walking, IDW

Produced by and including Australian creators. In recognition of excellence in 2004.
  • Eat Comics, Tonia Walden, editor
  • The Ink, Aaron Burgess, editor
  • Sporadic, Jase Harper, editor

Produced by Australian creators. In recognition of excellence in comics distributed via the web in 2004.
  • Platinum Grit
  • Raymondo Person
  • Will Eisner's John Law

In recognition of writing excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.
  • Trudy Cooper et al.
  • Christian Read
  • Daniel Reed

Full art, penciller, painter or multimedia. In recognition of excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.
  • Jason Badower
  • Trudy Cooper
  • Jase Harper

In recognition of inking excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.
  • Gary Chaloner
  • Darren Close
  • Doug Holgate
  • Daniel Reed

In recognition of colouring and/or grey toning excellence by an Australian creator in 2004. Print or web.
  • Jason Badower
  • Doug Holgate
  • Annette Kwok

In recognition of lettering excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.
  • Gary Chaloner
  • Jacon Kovaks
  • Jason Paulos

In recognition of excellence in cover artwork in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.
  • Jason Badower, Killeroo Book 2
  • Gary Chaloner, Will Eisner's John Law: Dead Man Walking
  • Matt Huynh, Domino Joe, Bloom

In recognition of excellence in a particular issue or short story in 2004 by an Australian creator/s.
  • The Eldritch Kid #1, Christian Read & Christopher Burns
  • 'Good for the Goose' (Killeroo Book 2), Jan Napiorkowski & Jason Badower
  • 'Law, Luck and a Dead Eyed Mystic' (Will Eisner's John Law: Dead Man Walking), Gary Chaloner
  • 'Meat Burger Heaven' (Eat Comics), Dean Rankine

Produced for magazines, newspapers and their web sites etc. by an Australian creator, published in 2004. Print or web.
  • Batrisha (K-Zone et al.), Dillon Naylor
  • Grossgirl and Boogerboy (Mania), Dean Rankine
  • Raymondo Person, Patrick Reid

In recognition of Australian retail excellence and support in 2004.
  • Kings Comics, Sydney
  • Minotaur Books, Melbourne
  • Phase Two Comics, online

In recognition of design excellence in 2004 by Australian creator/s or publishers. Web site design, book design, promotional materials, et al.
  • Keychain Comics, design by Aaron Burgess
  • Killeroo Book Two, design by Darren Close
  • The Watch: Casus Belli, design by Karen Howard

Nominees chosen from Australian creators, publishers or retailers past or present.
  • Gary Chaloner
  • Trudy Cooper
  • Tim McEwen
  • Tonia Walden

Grouping nominations;
Gary Chaloner - 8 nominations
Darren Close and Killeroo - 7 nominations
Phosphorescent Comics - 6 nominations
Platinum Grit - 4 nominations
Jase Harper and Sporadic - 4 nominations

Monday, January 10, 2005

Monkey Love

In an attempt to attract a more diverse readership to my blog here, I've subjected myself to the lowest possible denominator: posting stories about goddamn monkeys.

"SHENYANG, China: A Chinese safari park decided to celebrate the New Year and the start of the Year of the Monkey by dying its primates bright red and yellow. But painting the monkeys was no easy matter job as they refused to cooperate. "We had to anaesthetise them first", a park spokesman said. "They seemed to be surprised at their new strange coats when they woke up. But after a while, they indulged themselves in pleasure.",4057,11819582%255E13762,00.html

Get drunk, pass out, get painted, wake up, get some love and its all good.

That was Monkey Love, now some Love.
Got a mention on Comics Lifestyle which is kind of cool, the Silent Army crew are a mysterious bunch; I like what I've seen and wish I could track down more of there stuff.

Back to Monkey Love.
A new round of polling at Kzone. From memory Dillon Naylor's Batrisha won the last round (or got top 3)with about 20%. Alex Major's "Phunkie Monkey" was the 3 or 4th lowest (which is good seeing as its only been around for one month). Go vote for the local stuff - daily.

Back to love
Speaking of Dillon Naylor's Batrisha, I swear i thought those books came out in 2004, i should have checked the actual books themselves (which have been lost in THE MOVE 3 months ago) but i went by Dillon's Blog, so i'm still not sure what year it was published. If it happens that it was published in 2003 i'm sorry to everyone who followed my suggestion and wasted a vote.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

OzComics Magazine 6 and 7, oh and 8 too

I'll probably cross post this at Pulp Factionas well, but here's some news on Ozcomics 6. The issue is slowly coming together, i had planned to get it out last month before Xmas but i got busy. Now it should be out by Valentine's Day (for you single people, that Feb 14th).
I've got a whole bunch of Reviews from Ian T, the round table interview with Jase Harper, Aaron Burgess and Avi Bernshaw is coming along nicely. I have cool interview with Phosphorescent Comics head honcho and guru Ben Howard. I'm looking forward to recieving a new comic from the Foolproof crew and what should be an interesting article from Liz Argall about Eclectica Press. Plus more of course.

But now I'm thinking about issue 7, which will be Part 2 of the complete guide to self publishing, following issue 3. It seems Issue 3 wasn't that complete after all. So what else do people want to know about making comics?
So far I'm thinking about including articles about;

  • on writing comics

  • publicising your comics

  • getting quotes from printers

  • cover design

but what else do people want to know? For those self publishers out there what else SHOULD people know?

Also Issue 8 will most likely be my last before i go and do something else. It should be out middle of July, probably mainly consist of comics showcasing the diversity of Australian Comics. Who should be included? I'm more interested in creators that have a backlog of material and who are continuing to publish. Any ideas?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

January 8, the Big D's B Day

Notice the cigarette.
Notice the motorbike.
Notice the socks and sandals.

That's my dad. Ivan Selan. Born January 8th 1939.

The only son, of an only son, he was born in Slovenia just before the Germans went to war. At that particular time he and the rest of the family were near the Serbian and Croatian border. My granddad was a machinist of sorts and the invading germans shipped them all to a labour camp in Austria, I could be dramatic (like him) and say concentration camp but it was a labour camp. Probably safer being in a camp then not at the time.
After 6 years, the war ends.
And the family go back to the ancestoral home of Kostanjevica, in Slovenia. At this time the paternal grandfather (my great grandfather) did not like his only grandson not being named after him and subsequently just started calling him Janez (Slovenian version of John), the rest of the family followed suit out of respect and/or fear.
Grandad had a small machine shop/business and was not to fond of the communists. The communists gave the family a hard time, the way dad tells it; teachers, bankers, government officials made it a sport to make it tough. Stubborness, a ugly and genetic trait it seems, stuck it out - and the Selans didn't join the Party just out of spite. Consequently, Dad has never liked socialists of any kind since (Reason #7 for the Marko/ Janez divide). (Sorry, I mis-spoke he does have a fond spot for Russian propaganda films of the 50s, usually the war related ones but then again he loves the film Pretty Woman so just blink hard and move on.) As the only son, he worked like a mule to support the family; working in the workshop, tending the small farm and vineyard (more than half of which was appropriated "Stolen!" by the communists).

At age 8, because of a lack of food, he starts smoking. (He now gets puffed out putting on his seatbelt. Solution - don't use seatbelt.)

Life is hard. At 16 he runs away with some friends to Austria, trying to get refugee status. His friends make it through, he gets captured after a few days, and because he's too young gets sent back 'home'.

He finishes school. He finishes his apprenticeship. He's 17 and a clarinent player in a jazz band. He makes more in one weekend, than a week in the workshop. From the overheard and whispered stories, reading between the lines, he was a skirt chasing hound.

Then the army calls. Word travels, the army hates Janez too, but he's strong, smart and stubborn. Janez hates the army more. Ironically, when he talks about it now, he always mentions how hard it was but its one of the only periods in his life where he tells funny/happy stories.

3 years go by, and he's out. He returns back to Kostanjevica and starts working. He plays a couple of gigs but its not as fun anymore. He's out of practice and too egotistical to play subpar so he gives it away and hasn't played since. He bristles when working with his own father (another shared genetic trait) and moves to Ljublana, the capital city. As a plumber at a large company, he moves up the ranks pretty quickly, not as fast as the communist members but still ok. He gets headhunted by a Swiss company and luckily he gets out of Slovenia and works plumbing jobs in Austria and Switzerland. He moves to Vienna. He does come back to Kostanjevica sporadically and meets my mother. I doubt it was a windswept moment. They don't talk about it. Marriage and two miscarriages follows.

Kostanjevica was too small.
Ljublana was too small.
Slovenia was too small.
Hell, Europe was too small.
Either Canada or Australia were next.
Mr and Mrs Selan were accepted as economic refugees by the Australian government in 1969.

They lived in a hostel for awhile. Dad worked for a german fellow and therefore didn't have to learn english. His english has sufferred since. He meets Don Dunstan and likes him (Score Socialists 1). They move around Adelaide a bit. If plumbers got report cards; his would say "does not work well with other", he would reply "Dey don't work goot wid me". He strikes out by himself and does ok.
He buys a farm. Olive trees. One word. Olive trees. Him, me and my mother plant hundreds of trees (well me and mum do - he supervises).

Fast forward 10/15 years, past divorce, heart attacks, court cases, ecetera, ecetera.

He now lives on his small farm, commutes the 150 Km in to the city (licence be damned!) and is still working. The farm contains the remanents of every farming fad of the last 10 years; olives, bees, sheep, carob, native flowers, native trees, eggplants, polonias and most recently gingko. Most importantly he seems to be genuinely happy up there. I visit every couple of months and cook a meal which is always met with a "Marko, you'll make a good wife one day!" Hahaha, eye roll "the best meal ever!" Thanks "We'll play Cards, huh?" Yes. Too which he lets me win just enough to keep me interested but not enough that i actually win. But i'm getting better.

Congratulations dad, according to you you've never been wrong once, I turned out OK (admit it!) and you've done ok.

so Happy birthday dad

Friday, January 07, 2005

Kangaroo Jacked

It was a pleasant suprise when I discovered my little web comic up at Darren's Killeroo site. It is about 2 years old now, I think, and I thought it was never actually finished. It's the first time I've seen it and Nate has done a fantatstic job, I crammed in so many -ahem- "jokes" i'm amazed he fit it all in.
Its a shame its a bit blurry.
-Page one, panel 6; text reads 'steal babies?"
-Page two, panel 4; the dialogue box covers up the "token actor" vending machine sign

I did another Killeroo script about the Origin of the leather jacket which was a more direct spoof of the film. I haven't reread in awhile so it could be quite messy.

Thanks Nate and Darren.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Its a sad day for Comics

When i was young and dumb and had dreams of greatness, every August 28th I'd scan the trivia section of the paper ("On this day...") who else was born on my birthday and every year I'd splutter in scorn "Jason Preistly!" or "Shania Twain!" or "Le Ann Rimes!" and my dear mother would pat me on me head "You can be the first great person born on the 28th Marko". And i'd settle down and continue with drinking my juice.

Well it made me quiet happy when i discovered I shared the same birthday as Jack Kirby. I'd have such a great ice breaker if we ever met. And if there's any truth in the whole horoscope dealy - man I'll be a great comic book dude too.

And then he went and died, sadly.

Well, Will Eisner died as well. Truthfully, I have never bought nor read any of his work. It was never a priority. So I can't say 'damn' about that, but he must of meant something to somebody, he sure inspired a lot of people, people i know and like, people who inspire me so he must have been pretty good.
It's sad that he's gone.

Probably sadder though is that the next day after the announcement of his death, the big story is Frank Miller and Jim Lee working on All Stars Batman. Two of the greater creative types in the industry are now working on rehashing a 60 year old concept. (coupled with the fact that on Newsarama reaction to Eisner's death is 2 pages long and reaction to Miller and Lee on Batman 4 pages). Not really what i would think was Will's last testament. Not to say that I won't buy it, but still, you know.

And what's worse is, today at the local comic shoppery i bought nothing. nothing. there was not one new comic that i deemed worthy of my purchasement. I usually buy a trade in these circumstances but thanks to various sales here and abroad, i bought 30 something trades in december and subsequently have had my fill. Anyway, i still haven't read some floppy comics from last week; Shaolin Cowboy (looks pretty but dumb), Legion and Nicola Scott's Star Wars comics (Pulp Fiction offers a free comic when you buy a trade). I also picked up Dunwich by Christian Read and Doug Holgate, which i'm planning to read soon.

So; Eisner died, miller and lee are propping up batman and there are no new comics for Marko. A sad week indeed.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Nominate, don't not nominate

That's it.

19 categories, 5 suggestions in each, a bunch load of "close calls", man thats a load.

The Ledger's Awards nominations end on the 7th of January.

Then a final list of nominees wil be presented and we'll be able to vote again, picking a winnah!

OK some last bits and pieces;
Sean E, who i suggested as a colourist worth the look has a website where you can find samples of his work.

I feel pretty bad, but I failed to mention Gary Lau's Knightedge, except in the Best Cover category. Gary released Knightedge #3 this year and its an ok book. I really liked issues 1 and 2, the art was solid and the writing really well paced. The third issues suffers probably because Gary had too much time to stew on it, in the 1 and a bit years inbetween 2 and 3, its obvious gary has thought about the story too much and tried to jam in too much into the rhird issue. The art though is getting better, only handicapped by, i think, the inking. Gary's pencil work is brillant, absolutely, as can be seen in his last 24 hour challenge entry and samples of his uni work, but his inking is too harsh. But if you liked his book, consider Knightedge 3 for "Best Independent Release" and Gary, himself for "Best Artist".

Also, just a note - Gary if there are any nominations for 'me' it doesn't matter from who or what category, they obviously mean 'Mark Selan'. Same with blank entries.

The last category is a bit of a bugger since I'm relatively new to the whole Australian comics thing. Though I've been pretty good, thanks to my research for OzComics Magazine #5 (plluuuugg) I still don't have much of a clue of anything before 2001. So here's my stab.


Michael Leunig
As the most recgnisable 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. It helps that he's very successful at what he's done and deserves it anyway.

Gary Chaloner
I doubt Gary is fishing for love but he should be considered, he's been around for aaaaaages and has a long list of accomplishments; was involved in Cyclone Quarterly - one of the earlier anthologies in the mid 80s; has worked for the larger publishers in the overseas market; jumped on the webcomics bandwagon before many people, and now he's gone and organised these awards and the calendars and though I disagree with a couple of things (regarding the awards) I salute him for sticking his head out there. Plus he's there to give a hand for any artist needing advice and help which should be applauded.

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.

Peter Ledger
It would be pretty shitty, but pretty funny, if the namesake of the awards won it 2 or 3 years down the road. He was a pioneer in the field and should be officially recognised at some point.

George Vlastaras
Going through my box of Australian Comics, it astounded me the number of ads for Kings Comics appeared. If every retailer was like George, we'd all be winners.

and that's it.
Go nominate who you liked.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Nominate, don't capitulate

Hooray, the end is near, the penultimate Ledger post And probably the hardest one as well.


Batrisha and the Slippery Shadow
Such a well rounded and cohesive work. Something for almost everyone.

Knee Pockets #2
I have given this issue a bit of a hard time but I think its a good book and deserves the recognition. I don't really think Anthologies should be in the Independent Category because a book with 10 contributors will get more votes than a single creator book (unless creators can't vote for themselves which will then disadvantage Anthologies). But then you have single creator anthologies which doesn't have the advantage.

Azerath #1-3
Three issues out this year, that's good output and an entertaining read as well.

He died with a falafel in his hand
I wanted to nominate Ryan vella for Best Writer but having not read the book I wasn't sure how much was the original text and how much was Ryan. But all in all its a very entertaining book. I think Ryan should also be nominated in the "Favourite Achievement Award" for getting published big time.

The Crumpleton Experiments #4
Very atmospheric stuff.

Again there's a whole bunch of other titles that miss out;
Hairbutt the Hippo - soft boiled tales, I haven't mentioned Jason Paulos much in my suggestions but Soft Boiled Tales is a good overall book. If you have no problems with nominating anthologies you can't go past Killeroo Book 2.
The Wraith and The Watch were both technically good (good art, production) but they didn't resonate with me. I think there was more stronger work in the Small Press side than the Independent Press side, but then there is so much confusion between the two I don't know what should go in where.

Nominate, don't hibernate

And now the end is near...


Dirty Little Creep - Mandy Ord

World's Away - David Kerr

Bloom - Matt Huynh

You stink and I don't - Ben Hutchings

Sensitive Little Creatures - Mandy Ord

So close
Domino Joe - Matt Huynh
Tales of a Hobartian Life- Leigh Rigozzi

None of these titles are new to this blog, so explanations are kind of unnecessary but that's never stopped me before.

The Mandy Ord books give this great portrait of who the main character is, especially 'Dirty Little Creep', a view of a person's weaknesses and strengths which is always voyeuristically intriguing. "You stink and I Don't" and most of what Ben Hutchings does just makes me laugh - guaranteed. 'Bloom' is so out there and creative while being technically solid it needs recognition. 'World's Away' use of familiar narrative structure is not something new but David does it so well, its well worth it.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Nominate, don't retaliate

Bits and peices
I read through Naked fella #8 and it was better than i remember - but have found out that it was released in October 2003 and not eligible.

I got Tonia's new Anthology "Meus Officium Est Abyssus" and it rocks so hard. Is it possible that since it was released so late in the year we consider it for next year's awards? Because it should win stuff but without the book being in people's hands its not going to get votes.

I should state that there are books I haven't read this year so don't take these suggestions as all encompassing.

In the Best Writer category I forgot to mention Marc Schmidt, the fella that did Egg Story from Slave Labor. So consider him.

I picked up Nicola Scott's Star Wars work and was blown away, she's really improved in the last year and would suggest considering her in the Best Artist category and Star Wars Empire #26 and 27 in the International Title category.

Apologies to PC and the Azerath crew, i keep calling it Azrath instead of Azerath.

I've got the 3 more Categories to look at; Best Small Press, Best Independent and Ledger of Honour, so I should be done by Thursday, leaving one day to actually fill out the form. Check out the archives for stuff you may have missed.

-Gah- and then I'll have to think of something different to blog about.

Most of the comics I mention can be bought through, check them out at least the final nominees.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Nominate, don't masticate

This year will mark the first presentation of the The Ledgers, an award for Australian Comics and their creators, recognising their creative skills and output. Something we can all get behind.

A lot of creators struggle to get one issue out a year but there were some really good short stories that appeared in the various anthologies.

Far away star - Knee Pockets #2 - David Tang
Everythime I talk about either Daivd Tang or Knee Pockets I always mention this story (I hope of got the title right, I'm awful with titles) but its one of the best single page comics ever.

Raymondo Perfect #14 - Patrick Reid
Just the funniest thing ever.

Dirty little creep - Mandy Ord
Mandy gets a haircut, and there's not enough comics about haircuts. Just buy it, its good.

When we were friends - Knee Pockets #2 - David Tang & Doug Holgate
There's something sad about the title (again I hope I've gotten it right), "were friends" sets up the innocence and fun of being kids against when it changes and we grow up and aren't friends anymore. The dialogue rings true and the art is a good fit.

Tales of Hobartian Life - Leigh Rigozzi
Not as good as Night Shift - this is a bit light but has a nice surreality to it, this weird resonance that makes it hard to get out of my mind (its the string to nowhere) and if a story is that hard to shake the creator must be doing something right.

almost but not quite

The Book of Joe: So you wanna be a rock 'n roll star 2 - Ink #2 - Dave Hodson
Its like a sitcom in 4 pages. The art carries the story along, its got some good laughs, and the characters make their mark.
Usually I don't nominate 24hr entries but, Bellyflop by Nate Soehardi was from 2003 but published in print in 2004, obviously I'm just making stuff up as I going along, but it was very good and worth consideration.
Bums and tards - You stink and I don't - Ben Hutchings
This stood out because in 8 issues this is the only time I can remember that Ben has done a proper autobiographical story and its a solid effort.
Mandy Ord also release Sensitive Little Creatureswhich was also very good.
I wish the writing for Domino Joe by Matt Huynh was a bit stronger because it would have been top 5 for sure.

And I have no idea if I should consider Bloom as Small Press or Independent Press, I wish there was some more guidlenes instead of letting "The Wash" sort it out.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Nominate, don't advocate

huh, what? Oh yeah, sorry do advocate, that's the whole point to these Ledger posts. Advocation! Just like the channel 2.

Artist of the Year

Matt "stikman" Huynh

Picking a group of five for best artist is always going to be hard except i know that it doesn't matter who else is on the list Matt would be first. No question.


He's inventive - Matt creates stuff like MooQuack; and not just a funny little pin up, but a whole cartoon.

He's got output - last night the most inventive thing i did was put Milo and Ice Magic on top of my Ice Cream. Matt probably created a two page comic. While I'm fiddling with my mp3 player on the train Matt's done a pin up of his favourite band. you got to respect that output.

He's got style - you can spot a stikman comic a mile away; the fat wavey linework, the grey tones and washes, the exaggeration. Its stikman, stikman, stikman.

He's got skills - sure its easy to be inventive, style and have regular output but without the ability it means nothing. Well Matt has got skills, under all that style there's form, the right form, it all makes sense. You don't look at it and think "that doesn't look right" you think "that looks funky right".

Jason Badower

Jason's work on Killeroo book 2 was phenomenal. though I usually don't like digital artists, I've seen the man sketch and i was even more slack jawed than normal.

Its so dynamic and cinematic. big fan of his work.

Jase Harper

As new kid on the block, he's had a bit of an impact. Winner of the 24 hour comic challenge, producer of Sporadic, Jase leans towards the more cutesy wootsy school of Australian Comic Artists, but he seems to lean towards more of the Rawk side of the cutesy wootsy school, its got a cool darker edge which is pretty appealling.

Daniel Reed

The quiet man of Australian comics, rarely heard from - he'll release very polished issue of crumpleton experiements, give people a wave and then go back to work on the next issue. There's nice detailed realism in his line work but its not so true to life that its emotionless. Its not very dynamic but its a 19th century mystery comic, i'll look for car chases elsewhere. it kind of reminds me of editorials you would see in 100 year old newspapers. (the image is from issue 1, the stuff in 4 shows a lot of improvement)

Stewart Mckenny

I actually liked the looser cartoonier art style in issue 3, sure it looked a bit rushed but at least it got the story moving towards a conclusion. Stewart also did inks on Eddie Campbell's (god its gives me headaches when i think about it too hard) Captain America issues, that looked cool.

5 is not enough, dammit!
Dillon Naylor's work in the Batrisha books is really nice, the story telling is crisp and design eye catching.
Its been a quiet year for Doug Holgate with only "when we were friends" in Knee Pockets #2 and the "Chupachops wears purple pants" webcomic released this year. Next year will be bigger for Doug and his cutesy wootsey style.
David Li, who does the Magii comic in Oztaku is incredibly good and only misses out in my top 5.
Mandy Ord work would be in the top five but her recent output Dirty little creep and Sensitive little creatures were one panel per page mini comics and i feel a good artist needs to be recognised for their page layouts.