Monday, February 28, 2005

Rack'em up

Its been ages since Ben and Karen from phosphorescent comics were in town but while they were here i saw them sell/spruik their comics to my local comic shop Pulp Fiction Comics.

Pulp Fiction is the best comic shop in Adelaide, tiny sure, but with a great selection. Plus comfy couches, good music and they display books by genre.

Well kind of-
There's a goth/horror section, a smart superhero section organised by writers (moore, gaiman, morrison, etc), a crime section, a superhero section, an alternative/indy/humor section, a tv tie in and children section and a manga section - now manga is not a genre (its japanese for comix!!) but it's in alphabetical order and there's a lot of it so we'll let that slide.

Shops that rack by publisher are dumb. I can understand it in the early 80s when there was marvel zombies buying everything presented by Stan Lee but if a shop is still racking DC, Marvel and other well tell them I have some Valiant back issues they are welcome to buy - i hear they are worth a bit.

Pulp Fiction also has a Aussie Comics section, right by the door opposite the counter. And it does ok, it used to do better but now its a bit over populated.

Usually Australian comics get ghettoised into dusty back corners or lower racks of shelves. Not great for visibility or credability.

Now Ben, trying to sell the Watch and other comics made the suggestion that he'd prefer if PC comics were racked by genre with the import comics. Which is fair enough.

For the majority of comic readers "Australian comics = crap", and as a publisher who would want to be associated with that mentality? Also it doesn't help when most Aussie Sections contain zines and mini comics with paper stock B/W covers. That don't look great - even though most are kind of cool.

But on the other hand, for the few genre comics released (mainly by PC, as well as Knights edge, Killeroo and Crumpleton Experiements) why would they want to be put with the vast array of banality of most imported comics? Where every comic cover just looks the same.

i don't think the majority of comic fans browse for comics anymore, if they did then comics like Sleeper, Street Angel, Wild Cats, Losers, Human Target would have sold more (all had/have critically acclaimed stories and great covers). Readers just collect what they are familar with, the only new character consistently carrying a book in the Top 20 is Wolverine and he's over 30 years old (may be wrong here but nothing else comes to mind - Authority for a couple of years maybe).

So with some titles (genre superhero stuff) it doesn't matter where its are racked - no one will seek it out. I think people who think "Australian Comics are crap" without reading them are going to stick with Identity Crisis and Xmen and the Spiderman - no matter what.

At least in an Australian Section you stand out a bit. Seperated from the crowd and all that.

Friday, February 25, 2005

T shirt competition

Emma brought this to my attention; but lacking a Gowan's and design skills I'm already out of the competition.

Bonds and gowans design a tshirt competition

Win $5000 for designing "a tshirt that celebrates what it means to be a true Australian"

Probably not applicable but feel free to use

"Penis vs Anus" or any of its variations


"Stab Stab
Munch Munch
Root Root"

Thursday, February 24, 2005

My knees are sore = Ozcomic 24 hour comic challenge sponsorship prize plea

Essentially if you are anybody that has anything to give let me know.

I'm looking for stuff to give to winners of the 24, 16, 8 page categories, best artist, best writer and door prizes for people as they register.

If you are an artist or creator who has published some work; orginal art or copies of books would be good.

If you are planning on printing a book you may consider providing pin up space or enough pages for a back up story, even a backcover.

If you are or know someone that can get prizes from a retailer that would interest comic people; dvds, art supplies, cds, action figures, games. Have an informal chat with them, guage if they'd be interested and let me know. (Don't worry about comic shops I'll ask them)

Avi is doing a great job at the moment and has got some interested from some cool companies but i'd rather have too many prizes than not enough.

email me on if you have anything to offer

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ozcomic 24 hour challenge poster competition

I'm starting early this year.

I'm hoping this year will have the biggest turnout yet for an ozcomic 24 hour challenge. The first step is getting a poster - a focal point for the whole challenge. Last year the majority of entrants came from people who found out about the challenge through comic shops so this year i'm sending a copy of the poster and a bunch of flyers to every comic shop in the country and for the first time New Zealand as well.

So the winners' entry is going to be seen in a lot of shops. Also i've got the PR expertise of Graeme McDonald (Anomic) so hopefully the challenge will get some mainstream exposure as well (last year it was a near miss with Mondo Thingo - no camera crew available for that weekend). There's already interest from some parties - but time will tell.

But if the exposure isn't enough there will be a prize as well. Avi Bernshaw (Egofreaky) is using his connections to hopefully get some sponsorship.
At this stage the prize will be whatever i can find around the house, I noticed i have some doubles of some trades (sin city, invisbles, crab allan and Transmetropolitan) but i'll give a definitive list of prizes for the poster winner soon.

So I'm looking for a poster (A3) that features
-the ozcomic 24hr logo (by Matt Huynh) (see above)
-the date (Queens Birthday Weekend 11-13th June)
-a space for any sponsors logos
-a space for some URLs
-Colour is OK, but it needs to look good in b/w
-not full bleed
-the art will be needed to fit on a a5 flyer as well.

Last years winner, Jase Harper, went on to win the 24h hour challenge and a Ledger Award - so think about that.

The year before, the winner was Doug Holgate who also one the prize, a couple ozcomic awards and is now owned by Image. Think about that some more.

DEADLINE 18th March

Email me your entries or add them as comments or i'll disseminate this through the various fora so post them there.

Tell your friends.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Don't drink the apple juice

The best story ever
Breast loving, online chatting, sign language speaking female gorillas of the world - i salute you.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Embarrassing admissions from the weekend

I watched Alien vs Predator. And was not terribly offended by it.

I went to see k.d lang. With my mother. And enjoyed it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

click with love

There's something cool about finding cool stuff, something you know has some sort of history or mysterious past.
"How did this get here? Who's Ron, did he get what he wanted? Will I get wanted I want? Damn missed my train"

On a similar note

is great more explicit view into other people's lives. Infidelity, jealousy, greed, embarrassing toilet behaviour - voyuerism heaven.

These are the people in my neighbourhood

I have no recollection of this song but it's a great idea. I'm way to self conscious to take photos of my friends let alone of strangers. The idea is to print off the lyrics to a sesame street song and get photos of people holding the lyrics up.

Meet Chad Schmidt

Brad Pitt has made very few good films (Ocean's 11, Fight Club and se7ev) the rest are watchable carried by force of charisma. This actually sounds like it could be a very funny film and for some reason i'm visualising Brad in a mullet. But I'm easily amused.

Hulk Blog!

this started before the movie came out, it stopped for awhile but started again middle of last year. I think its genius.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Comics and here

One the more high profile projects i managed now has graphic novels as a category. Which is cool - comics are saveded. I think most states have some sort of reading challenge and hopefully include GNs. Now I have to try and get Crab Allan listed.

Also graphic novels are libraries! and people are complaining. Comics are saveded and killed!

Otherwise the next issue of ozcomics is on hold while Darren moves house.

Sadly I was hoping that issue 7 or 8 would be a free give away for Free comic book day (May 7th). Essentially four 7 page comics from various creators given away for free. I had found contributors and had the finances for a limited run but i didn't have the time to do it justice.
So now the idea is to do it properly next year, that gives me plenty of opportunity to drum up support from retailers.

I'll start working on issue 7 (part 2 of the guide to self publishing) soon, i already have a couple articles for it and have asked a number of others to contribute. I'm hoping it will be out by Brisbane's Supanova. Issue 8 was going to be free, but now will be a normal issue, with articles and whatnot, but have to come up with a theme. If any one has any ideas let me know.

Then I'll leave the magazine to others and do something different.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ernest and Howard

The Aviator
Saw this last night at one those comfy lounge full service cinemas which was a treat - especially for this 3 hour film.
While i was in year 12/13 i for some reason got way into the myth of Howard Hughes; i read every biography of his and tracked down all the documentaries about him.

Anyway, near the end of his life, Howard would sit in a darkened room and stare intently into a light bulb which would naturally attract insects. At this point of his life Hughes was surrounded by Seven Day Adventists, he liked that they were genetically pure and just as secretive as he was. When some insect did appear, the germaphobic recluse would start to freak out, his aides, usually hulking brown suited mormons (the brown suited mafia) would have to try and catch the fly. they couldn't use swatters because it would raise dust (germs) and they couldn't use chemical based sprays so they only things they could do was actually catch the insects with their hands.

To get into the film course at uni i put this scenario on film, using bouncers i know as the mormons. Essentially oafs clamberring around trying to catch a fly while bumping into stuff in a darkened room while a skinny dero screamed. And i got in, did really well and here i am. Thanks Howard.

Back to Scorsese Movie.
Boy does Martin love Hollywood. He wants to marry old time Hollywood and have Hollywood's children.
Ever since Age of Innocence, Scorsese has developed the bad habit of tracking and panning everywhere, his early work had perfect shot composition and a perfect stillness that let his actors do their stuff. Now that's been muddied. Hughes work in Hollywood is only a small part of his life and i think it got too much attention here, more emphasis should have been placed on girls and his obessions with large breasts. Martin though seems to be obsessed with popping flash bulbs, there was a scene in Cape Fear, Kundun and now Aviator where paparazzi and flashing lightbulbs are given an emphasis.
Anyway the film itself, it's good. As mentioned the hollywood angle is given alot of time, i felt leonardo acting was technically good but it felt inorganic, like he was just going through the motions. The story moves along at a nice clip but i don't think Hughes OCD is given a good build up, it sort of crashes a scene every now and again. The movie also stalls at the senate hearings and features poor editting. He tries some non liner story telling (flashbacks) which are done kind of clumsily and is not a narrative trick i've seen Scorsese do before (not that i can remember)
I don't think Scorsese should win the Oscar for this, but i haven't seen the other films nominated for thsi year so what do i know. If he does it'll be a pity present for all the times he's missed out.

It's a good film that lackes a bit of tension but it has a good script and some good performances.
Also look for the blue peas and beetroot leaves.

The motorcycle diaries
Saw this one at one of those outdoor sit-on-the-ground cinemas they set up during the summer. I hate sitting on the ground and it rained and this large headed woman kept blocking the sub titles everytime she went to fill up her champange glass. (with red wine!)

Anyway, motorcycle diaries is about a male gucci model who travels with his non-model (ie ugly) friend on a motorcycle. the model gets very angry when he meets ugly people and he has a bad allergic reaction to ethical dilemas. He ends up in a leper colony where he becomes Moses and delivers soccer to his people. They are all happy. He later grows up to become Jesus with an AK47. His friend gets really old and stands around airports looking sad.

This film reminded me of Ned Kelly with Heath Ledger, essentially a travelogue hosted by a revolutionary;
-shot of kangaroos bouncing "we are not the dregs of the earth!"
-shot of galas flying "we must fight our oppressors!"
Same here. the film is 30 minutes overlong with whole scenes in there for one or two easy jokes. But it looks nice. the plot suffers because it doesn't know when to end, you'd imagine that once they get to where they are going, the journey is over - roll credits but the movie keeps going - it doesn't provide a satisfactory end. Aviator suffered from the same problem, because biopics of this nature only show a small part of a life, subsequently its boundaries and structure (beginning middle end) are blurred (Aviator does a lot better job though).
A good effort if not a bit unbalanced.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

........ are coming!

The Saxons are coming!
King Arthur - the directors cut
Training Day is tight "get your squabble on", Tears of the Sun was ok for an action romp, Replacement Killers had Chow Yun Fat in and that makes it automatically watchable. So Faqua is a decent director. King Arthur, though, is just boring. The actors have no charisma, the action scenes are relentlessly mundane - quick edits and gore do not make a good battle scene and the storyline is dull. It's ironic that the story is all about destiny and being all you want to be and all people are born equal, except its about a king and takes place in Britian, a the very model of classed society.
"You men are free but do what i say because I'm king!"

The English are coming!
Its obvious why this crashed at the box office, the French are the heroes at a time when french fries (arguably the unhealthiest food) became freedom fries. It also didn't help that movie was lame.
The dude from 'the fast and the furious' goes back in time to help billy connelly have a film career. Now 'fast and furious' was essentially Keanu Reeves' 'point break' but with cars instead of surf, Reeves was in 'Bill and Ted's excellent adventure' which involved guys going back in medieval times to save people. the art of film making has gotten worse.

Modern Society is coming!
The Village
A picked the 'twist' ending when i saw the trailer a year ago so my large ego was sated! behold my plot twist deduction powers - "lost is based around people from the future using an island as the basis of a reality tv show, where the survivor wins a playstation V" -ahem. Anyway, i like M. Night's work, its atmospheric, very hitchcockian/early scorsese, sometimes a little detached but he knows how to use his characters to advance the story. This is a good film but it hangs on the twist too much for it to be enjoyable on repeated viewings, unlike his other films. Adrien brody's character though was dumb. i hope M Night just makes good films and forgets about having to put some forced 'twist' into his plots as some sort of gimmick (he didn't in Signs and that's my favourite one of his films)

Mystical all powerful artifact is coming!
The Medallion
Much better than I expected. Yes I love Jackie Chan; only Fantasy Mission Force and Around the world in 80 days are actually crap, some movies are watchable, but most are great. What helps is the Lee Evans is funny, Claire Forlani ( sigh claire forlani is in leather at HOT, the fight scenes are ok and jackie doesn't try too hard at being cute. Now I have to track down 'accidental spy' - i fear my luck may run out.

Hot latin chick is coming!
Woman on top
Valentine's Day treat. One of my top 10 films. Penelope Cruz is hot, the music is great, the direction creative and the cinematography inspiring.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Because of love

You'll have to excuse me but i'm a romantic. I'll post some embarassing comic banter, anal rententive analysation of some comic scheme or clumsily worded reviews later.
Today, in the spirit of the day, its all about a song i love; Girl from Ipanema.

i don't know why, or even when i started my adoration for it but there's something just hypnotic about this song, it never leaves my mp3 player and if a band is taking requests I'll request it (usually at functions - not down at the pub).

In Bali there are restuarants on the beach where you sit at tables, on the sand, facing the sunset and roving musicians take requests. I asked for "Girl from ipanema", they looked at each other worried and apologised that they didn't know all the words. Well they mumbled there way through it and the bin tang helped my appreciation of their attempt. But I couldn't help myself and had to hastily scribble down the words and got them to do it again later that night.

The tune is infinitly hum-able, on the rare occassions when the theme to the "graduate" isn't running in my head ("Mrs robinson" is my 'rush to get things' done song), its "girl from ipanema". It usually doesn't matter what mood i'm in, its always the right song.

The song was written by Brazillian musician Antonio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinicius de Moraes and centres around a young woman who would pass by a bar near Ipanema beach and would get the attention of the drinking patrons. After the song was released the actual girl HeloĆ­sa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto, or Helo, became a celebrity and now has her own fashion line and chain of boutiques. Until I saw a doco about the subject, i thought she was just a figment of imagination, and embodiment of latin beauty, not a real person. But she exists and she's kind of like a precursor to today's reality tv star; a person with actual no talent (well she may have some talent - i dunno), propelled into the public sphere by the media (ie song not of her creation) and then building opportunities and wealth on that exposure.

Socially, there is a whole controversy about how the song has impacted the idea of beauty in Brazil. There's annual 'girl from ipanema' beauty contest, and apparently, the winners are usually blonde and tan, which is actually a small proporation of the multicultral and multiracial population; mainly african or hispanic descedants. The contest perpetrates one type or idea of beauty, which is actually not the message of the original song.

The english lyrics (by Norman Gimbel) are nice, sweet and kind of goofy (the "aaah" parts). The crux of the song is

Oh, but he watches so sadly
How can he tell her he loves her?
Yes, he would give his heart gladly.

But each day when she walks to the sea
she looks straight ahead
not at he.

Essentially the song is about unrequited love. The most interesting type of love when it comes to art; the love of wanting and fear, of greed and vulnerability.

But my sensitive politically correct side can't really justify the portrayal of beauty as being "tall and tan", especially when my own love is 5'4" and and of english/northern italian ancestry who's skin is either white or burnt and nothing inbetween. (me I'm decsdent from rampaging turks and tan up ok when i actually leave the house). To get over this pointless ethical dilema I prefer the original portuguese lyrics, because by not understanding portuguese I can be happy in the bliss of my ignorance. But the translation is interesting.

Look, such a sight, so beautiful,
So filled with grace,
Is she, this girl who comes and who passes,
In sweet balance, on her way to the sea.

Girl with body of gold
From the sun of Ipamena,
Her balance
Is more than a poem,
Is a sight more beautiful
Than I have ever seen pass by.

Ah, why am I so alone?
Why is there so much sadness?
This beauty that exists,
This beauty that is not for me,
Who also passes by alone.

Ah, if she but knew,
That when she passes by,
The World smiles,
Is filled with grace,
And becomes more beautiful,
Because of love.

Its not about unrequited love, a love based on wanting. Where as the english version (written in the mounting consumerism of post war america) ends with

and when she passes
he smiles
but she doesn't see.
She just doesn't see.
No, she doesn't see....

kind of blaming the girl for not seeing the guy (ie stalker) and throwing herself at him. The original version is more about beauty - the simple appreciation of love and beauty. Only one line is about the physical "Girl with body of gold" everything else can be said about every woman. Its about appreciate the concept of beuaty and being thankful we (men) have the fortune of mingling with the personification of that beuaty (women). Every guy can appreciate every woman, (even my gay friends appreciate their clothes).

So the lesson is Females are cool
So enjoy your valentines day, either being with the girl you love or just appreciating ladies exist.

Tommorrow - Why WWF is better than WWE and how to glass someone without spilling your bundy and coke.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Supanova and comics

Because Emma's birthday is on the same weekend as Supanova Sydney, i'm going to the brisbane version instead. It should be fun because i'll get to hang out with Weber - I owe him money and dinner. Hopefully I can find out what Alien Circus is finally about.
I'll be sharing a table with Daniel Reed of Crumpleton Experiments fame, sorry, Ledger winning Crumpleton Experiements fame and selling Ozcomic magazines, barking about the 24 hr challenge and other stuff.
As always i'll be happy to sell books of people not able to attend. Contact me if you are interested.
Stop and say hello. We can then nervously chat and then later you can snigger.

On to comics (completely unrelated to supanova).
Yesterday -
"hey pete, you got any copies of 'young avengers' left?"
"WHY! WHY!?"
"um its got one of the writers of the Oc working on it"

And it was average, if not a disappointment. The poor artist had to gram 7 to 8 panels per page to fit in the dialogue heavy story. The scripting for OC is up there with Sorkin's West Wing, its fresh, natural, witty and hip. Young avengers isn't like that at all, i suspect the Allen Heinberg is only responisible for the comic geek speak of Seth Cohen and nothing more.
The cliffhanger was interesting, but a good cliffhanger is just a half finished sentence that comes out of the blue - not that hard.
On the other hand, Waid's Legion is really really good. it is OC for the superhero set. the plot moves, the dialogue is natural and the characters are introduced seamlessly. probably the best thing Waid has done (Flash was good except for the power of love stuff, impulse was carried by Ramos' art, his captain america was solid bgrade action helped by ron garney's stoic and dynmaic art). Legion constitutes 50% of the superhero comics I buy regularly.

Also reading Jeffery Brown's Unlikely, does not have as clever narrative format as Clumsy or as hilarious as BigHead but still good.
Also reading Kyle Baker's Why I hate Saturn which is very New York Sitcomy, it actually has set ups and punchlines, which is refreshing from the normal one liner wackiness that appear in comics. Not as good as the Cowboy Wally Show but what is?

And finally

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Waiter, there's a ledger in my soup!

And probably my last legder post.
Again, i think in the time and resources at hand gary did a great job. Starting something like this from Scratch is big and scary. So well done. i thought the nominating and voting was really great. And i got a kick out of the flash based presentation.

Next year will go much better.

One thing that struck me was that, besides a bit of talk on Gary's message board and a reference in the "talk about comics" blog i didn't see a list of winners anywhere else. I know there's the assumption that Aaron would post it up at ComicsAustralia or someone would post it up at Pulpfaction but that didn't happen (i think its a acase of not wanting to step on people's toes). A little press release (just the list of winners and a little intro) to Silverbulletcomic and Newsarama (they'll release anything) would have been nice, even an email to a local paper. Just to get a little visibility.

And of course, what do i win? I'm hoping for a gold medallion with rope chain that says "Ledger - Best Person Ever". But I don't think finances will stretch that far. I know that Gary made the calendars which is a great idea, but I don't know how successful it is/was as a money making venture
So my suggestion is Sponsorship, i got the idea off I think the Eisners; companies/individuals donate money and get to become a platnium, gold, silver, bronze level sponsor or whatnot. I don't think that this will work well here yet because the whole awards don't have the visibility where being connected (sponsoring the whole thing) would mean anything. But if someone wants to sponsor the whole thing that would be great. However, sponsoring an individual award makes a direct link between sponsor and winner;
"and the Kings Comics Award for best international creator is David Yardin"
"And the Modern Tales Award for Best webcomic goes to Raymondo Person"
"and the Eckersly award for best design goes to the Watch"
"and the Supanova award for best artist goes to Daniel Reed"

you get the idea

At this stage naming rights could go cheap, say $100 a year which is not much, you might even get a bidding war of some of the more high profile awards (artist, international, ledger of honour). It could raise about $1000 a year. What is done with the money is up to gary. It could go for the actual award, a cash prize, putting together an annual of winners or something else, i dunno.

So if this idea gets accepted and since I'm all about the new talent and celebrating achievements I'm willing to put in $100 each to sponsor the New Talent Award and the Best Acheivement Award. As long as its not the "Mark Selan award for New Talent" because that sounds really really wanky.

offer is rescinded if the money is spent on fixing gary's garage or other non prize stuff :) (expect for blow and hookers - save me some)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Standing on a ledger

Eligibility, this one will be a tricky post.

Who should be eligible to get a ledger?
It seems that there's an unwritten rule on who gets to be voted for in a particular category. No one complained that templesmith, yardin or wood weren't in the Best Artist category.
They worked for international publishers and in a sense can be seen as having 'made' it, if success means working in america.

But a couple of creators working for overseas companies did get nominated; Jason Rand (small gods) and Gary Chaloner (John Law).
Now I'm a slippery slope kind of guy, i'm all about shouting 'precedence' and making ooga booga sounds. So you let one international creator in, then you have to let them all in, unless you have sort of restrictiction. Like 'Work for hire' for Marvel, DC or any other international company then you are ineligible, but work for on a creator owned book for anyone and you are eligble. Creator Owned deals are usually back end deals, the printing gets paid for by the company and all the distribution is halndled likewise but creators don't see any money till later. Some creators get an advance but usually the more celebrated guys, if they are eligible may be an issue looked at later.
Why try an exempt local creators who work overseas from the awards?
I'm sort of biased, I want the small local guys recognised, they don't get the kudos for working hard and putting stuff out there as it is. Creators working internationally have already acheieved some fame.
I think it needs some sort of ruling; even if it is "all in, best dressed wins", just so there's some sort of consistency. Because the Ledgers do have the Award for Best International Creator but its not clear if they can be nominated in other categories or not. I think clearer definition for the international category will help some of these issues.

I think the exception would be Comic Strip, since almost all of them are work for hire deals. Books by local companies like PC and Trinity are always eligible.

Also I have no idea how "New Talent" should be handled, what criteria should it hold. Is it debut in print? on the web? Does a pin up count? Sequential? I have no idea.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

And the Jury is in or out, but more likely in, somehow.

In terms of voting for who wins a ledger for a particluar category; there's essentially to methods; Jury voted or public voted. Both have their benefits and detractions.

Public voting can be rigged, getting your mates who have never even read your comic, let alone anyone elses clicking Yes buttons or filling out forms is easy. Public voted awards lack credibility, like People's Choice awards or the Logies. It assumes that people have read a good cross section of what has been released and I don't think that's usually the case. But they are kind of fun, its kind of cool getting involved in an awards and putting your 2 cents in. (i love putting my 2 cents in, have you noticed?)

Jury voting though just needs a group of people with an agenda to run over people and stack the vote. However dealing with a smaller group does mean that some sort of action can be taken to get nominated books in the jury's hands for evaluatiuon. Or hopefully the jury already has a wide appreciation of what is out there. But then there is the problem of picking the jury; who, how, and what as in what do they vote for - do they pick the nominees, do they vote for the winners. It gets tricky here.

If a Jury picks the nominees, they may pick books that no one has bought or heard about and the public will then base their votes on who they have heard of or not vote at all. If the public nominates books and the Jury then votes for a winner, the public aren't as involved as much and may lose interest.
Probably the latter situation is the lesser of the two evils though.

Or the other solution is to have a mix of jury voted categories and public voted categories, best and favourite respectively.

The public votes for favourite comic, creator, web comic, strip, design, retailer, achievement and ledger of honour. All these are easy to display over the web to give the public a good look for what they are voting for.
And the jury votes for best small press, indy press, artist, writer, new talent, single story and anthology.

The Jury is made up of the previous years winners so the winners of 2004 are the jury for 2005. This would mean a large number of creators in the jury which would then be harder to stack, especially if preferential (ranking 1, 2, 3) voting is used. Plus this would change every year so it keeps it fresh.

The public nomiates for most of the categories but its not an accumulative process, a book or creator only needs one nomination to be considered. The Jury would select stuff like New Talent, Design, Achievement and Ledger of Honour because it kind of makes sense that those categories be selected by peers (for some reason).

That way everyone gets a voice and hopefully good books are recognised, not just popular books.

Monday, February 07, 2005

My weekend

Was at a wedding, a polish wedding at that, so spent too much time dancing and drinking straight vodka from tumblers. This was due to being seated by myself (emma was in the bridal party) with the 'cousins that were only invited because it was only polite'. My name was spelt incorrectly as "Selon" so i entertained my table (myself in particular) with the story of being the son of a french gardener from Lyon. Thank god i guessed lyon was in France or it could have been embarrassing.

Other highlights was the drunk (and according to Emma - gay) priest who decided to wing his homily for 20 minutes, hearing the word 'Lover' come out of a priest's mouth gets creepy after the 12th reiteration, the 4 year old kid who a) danced for 4 hours and b) proposed to Emma, the nervous looks of the the people in the church when the priest asked for the "gifts to be presented" - he was talking about the wine and wafer (5 years of catholic school got me a laugh - yah!), and the best man's speech which included an economic discourse on the cost of intercourse (before and after children), a quote from Perfect Matches' Dexter (including the grundy's disclaimer and copyright information) and what happens when you type the bride and grooms' names into google. The speech just got blank looks from anybody over the age of 45 but laughs from everyone else, it just needed some reference to MRrT and it would have been perfect.
A good time was had by all.

Otherwise, between the wedding and recepion I went to the regular Adelaide drinks, helped celebrate Owen Heitman's birthday, chatted with Peter from Pulp Fiction, played with Loren Morris' doll (its a boy) and found out about Simon McGill's new project, or (not to be confused with or While the site is a tad ugly now, i'm excited by the functionality and web hosting it will hold.

Otherwise maybe more Ledger stuff tomorrow or maybe more crap about recent dvd hirings.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Deeveedees i watched

Man on Fire
Tony Scott adding a lot of whiz bangery to a Denzel Washington film. More like a video clip than film. But i didn't mind it, i actually even liked it. This film was a better version of the punisher film the the punisher film. Ending was a bit naff.

Around the world in 80 days
3 more weeks to "Police Story" and "Armor of god".
3 more weeks to "Police Story" and "Armor of god".
3 more weeks to "Police Story" and "Armor of god".
3 more weeks to "Police Story" and "Armor of god".
3 more weeks to "Police Story" and "Armor of god".
3 more weeks to "Police Story" and "Armor of god".
It was ok, but Jackie is getting old. The fights were passable, had a couple of laughs but if it wasn't for my love of Mr Chan it would have been a struggle. Please be advised, i liked 'the tuxedo'.

Bulletproof Monk
Meh - Chow Yun Fat had some very funny lines - more weird than funny haha but otherwise i have no idea why this movie was made.

28 days later
Man, if i was still at uni i would love to do a whole essay/thesis on the cultural implications of zombie films. This and Dawn of the dead have the same set ups, where as DOTD is a genre piece, the British 28 days later is a more personal exploration of characters under extreme circumstances. In the latter film, humans are more responsible for more killings than the zombies. The evil is man himself. Ponder that. hmmmm. Yes.
Maybe this week I'll track down a copy of 'undead' for a multinational zombie fest.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ledgers Wedger

The Ledger logo is a bit, um, wrong for a comic award.

All these are solid high contrast illustrations that would print well, in a comic or press release or on a website. i can't really imagine the whole grayscale, embossed and blurred logo coming up clean and crisp in most local print jobs.

And also i like who the latter two have an illustrated element, showing that the award is illustrated based. The current logo looks cool in a heavy metal tshirt/sandman panel van spray job kind of way but for a comic book award its a bit much.

Share the Madness

Flavor Flav and brigette Neilsen are an item. Well if that isn't a reminder fellas and fellettes (That doesn't sound right) to book your valentines dinners now before they book out. This will only will only be relevant to a handful of you. (Insert handful joke here)

A quick look shows that Batrisha and garfield made it through the Kzone vote. Its up again. When will the madness stop.

Tshirt of the Week

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

"Small press my pants, Indy" exclaimed Short Round

Now it gets tricky. i'm not a self publisher per se, well the magazine probably counts but i think it differs from a comic enough not to count.

In my mind what seperates Small Press and Indy Press is the level of intent. Small press is more of a personal product, a small print comic run because its for friends and family. Its not about 'making' money or gaining profile, its just a personal effort and expression of art, not commercialism. So small press product hasn't got the glam or glitz to try and compete with other comics. Its not necessarily regular comic size, full coloured cover, large print run, large cover priced. Its not meant to compete with the American imports.

In a perfect world, we could differentiate the two by self published and company published, but in the current landscape that would only be Phosphorescent Comics and Ozone's stuff (which is sort of a company with backing as i understand it). But it ain't perfect, essentially its a self publishers' world. Even in the Americas, very few companies are work for hire situations, Image, Oni, Planet Lar are all backend dealers. More like glorified Print to Demand with agents and distributors.

Anyway, a different method is needed to differentiate the two, for the sake of ledgerifying good stuff. Since the first little publishing explosion in 2002 (knee pockets, killerooo, tales, crab, watch) it seems that the only example of offset printing is the watch and killeroo (i'm guessing the latter), everything else is photocopy/digital press. So that can't be used effectively, nor can format/size.

But why seperate, why not just have "best comic". well yeah, you can. But if an awards is primarily about recognising good work then by having multiple subcategories under 'comics' spreads the love around. Also, small press books and indy press books have different themes and a different purpose. In films terms, small press would be short films, more about experimenting or showing a moment or emotion; more style and pathos than narrative and logos. Independent press is more of a feature film, something that shows a development of character and a progression of classical plot.
One is no more or no less important than the other. They have different audiences and different purposes.
Both should be celebrated.

So how do we decide what's small and indy?
I think it will need to be something criterium based

Small Press books

  • under 24 pages

  • no story is longer than 16 pages

  • less than 3 colour cover (not including greyscale or monotone covers)

  • Smaller than US Regular size

  • less than 3 creators

If it meets 2 or more criteria then its small press. Everything else is Independent.

Now its a matter of grabbing some titles and seeing if they break the criteria (are there any books that are definetly commercial press but would be classed as small press here).
Probably adding from yesterday's talk on anthologies, i'd say that a single creator anthology (like "You stink, and I don't" or "nakedfella") would be better in the small press/indy press section than in the anthologies category.

Now in terms of nominating, if the public nominate a book, I'd have the form ask "for the best five comics", then its up to the jury/administrator to but them in the right category. if Jury selects the books and the public vote for the winner, then the point is moot.

now break me

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sharing the love

Someone other than me loves Crab Allan, 4 people to be exact.

The Ledgers get some talk too.

Alex Major worked on Lion King 1.5, Lion King 1.5 wins Annie Award. Coincidence? I think not. Congrats Alex.

Possibly creepy guy loses job at comic shop OR People band together and get guy fired from comic shop, why can't they band together and buy comics instead? OR Who will save the children? OR Children go to comic shops?

Eddie Campbell does OGN for new publisher. Detective Story at that.

Dillon Naylor is not a loser. Go vote. Teen Titans nor Oddbodz have Ledgers. Go vote. Bloody Garfield.

Ledgers and the Wash

Following on from yesterday-

I think that creators should put together more anthologies just for the sake of sharing costs and producing work quicker. More books menas more visibility, more visibility hopefully means more sales and recognition. Probably a simple 'build it and they will come' marketing model but you know better then a kick in the head.

So when it comes to the Ledgers, i think 2 categories should exist to recognise anthologies.

Anthology of the year
Story of the Year

In terms of definitions; I'd say an Anthology is anything that has 3 stories or more, none of which is more than 16 pages per issue. (If its just 2 stories then its essentially a main feature and a back up.) Number of creators is probably not an issue.

Anthologies shouldn't be included in either the Small Press or Indy Press categories due to the unfair advantage they have. Anthologies, besides the work of Ben Hutchings and the Glittershy dude, have more than one creator - usually 3 or 4 so when its time to nominate, there are 3 or 4 votes going for the anthology over the 1 or possibly 2 votes from the creators from a normal small/indy press title.
This of course assumes that people will nominate themselves, I know that would be unheard of but I'm pretty sure it happens.

If more categories were to be turfed out i'd say "Single Story" would have to be next on the chopping block. But I think it would be nice if parts of anthologies were recognised. I'd probably add the criteria that nominees for single story were self contained - since its hard to really appreciate a story when you only have a small part of it.

In terms of overall eligibility, if the awards are going to be held at the same time, ie early january, i think the eligibility of books should be December to November. A book released in Decemeber 2004 (like tonia's latest book - (latin)work is hell(/latin)) is not going to have the same chance or visibility as something that was released at Supanova. So books released in december 2004 will be eligibe for the 2005 awards. Of course John Law and Gary Chaloner's sweep makes a mockery of this theory but whatever.