Friday, September 30, 2005

Supanova and comics

What comics are being released at this year's Sydney Supanova?

All I know is stuff I've read at Pulp Fiction and people's blogs. So i'm probably wrong in some bits, but feel free to ask the appropriate artist where their comics are because you want to buy them.

Or leave a reply correcting me.

What will be there? Well a quick look at the Artist Alley List provides this list

Phosphorescent Comics

Essentially the only publisher in Australia not related to a kids magazine. Standard american style comic format. They have Witch King coming out later this year/early next year (but you can order it know thru Previews). I recommend Azerath, whilst the plot doesn't seem to be moving much, its an enjoyable read and the art has improved.

Happy Platinum Kitten Mourning Circle
I think this is a collection of people occupying a table selling a number of different books. Most notably Matt Huyhn's Happy Birthday Anyway and Pirotess' new anthology (that seems to have come together incredibly quick) All the Same. Also did the last Moshi Moshi ever come out? Or is All the Same really Moshi Moshi 12? Anyway Matt's stuff is gold - buy it all.

Edit (courtesy of Komala) -
HPKMC is Matt, myself, Nate Soehardi, Trudy Cooper and Arabel. Our Minions for the Day are Libbie on Saturday and Dan Douglas on Sunday.

I've been pretty quiet about it but the plan is to release Moshi Moshi 12 on top of the other two books, so I'll have three books out for Supanova.

Cult Fiction Comics Australia
Comics on CD, mainly new wave superhero types. I've never really seen their work because I'm not a comic on screen kind of guy, so i don't have much to recommend.

Batrisha/Dillon Naylor
Usually rivals Phosphorescent Comics for best decorated booth/table. I'm a big fan of Dillon's 2 Minute Noodles stuff, so feel free to annoy him and ask when the next issue is out. Funny that Dillon's stuff is probably seen by more people in the world than some of the other Comic guests but he's listed last.

Operation Funnybone
Another of the big anthologies appearing at Supanova. I've seen the cover, which looks nice and it has a whole bunch of local people doing stuff for them. Since money from this goes to charity I recommend it fully, and even if it didn't have a charity involved, it still looks like a cool book.

Mickey Moose
I'm assuming that this is Alex Major's Mickey Moose. I thought Alex was in France. Alex is an enourmous amount of fun at convention, dare him to do stuff. And he makes good comics too.

Siberian Productions
Most famous for Billy the Demon Slayer, Laocorn's Full Moon Rising was a decent read.

Trinity Comics
Home of the Wraith. Last Sydney con they gave away wriath pens. Frank also loves signing comics (ergo the pens). Checking the Wraith website; there's a wraith dvd, wraith script book, a wraith hardcover novel and of course the wraith comic.

Storm Publishing
Producers of Jaegar a long running series (19 issues!!!), I've never read.

Littlehammer Studio

Producers of Diabla, one of my favourite local comics - so buy them (the early ones have Finch in them). If there is no new issue (i think the last thing they released was a preview of issue 5) please have a crying tantrum on the floor and tell Marcelo that Mark Selan sent you. (Sometimes David Tang shares with Marcelo, so pick up Knee Pockets too)

Geeen Comix
Ben Hutching makes comic gold. All of it, even his bookmarks are genius. Buy everything.

Phatsville Comix
From the weird to the creepy. The individual Phatsville comics are really good, but there's two compliations of work clled Fat Ankle and Plump Oyster. Ones really really good, the other is wierd but ok. I'm not sure which, buy both to be on the safe side.

Dunno. Guessing something anime related.

Shifting Time
Comic based on a webcomic, called Shifting Time.

Bishie Art Group
Dunno. Guessing something bishie related.

Kirsten Ewens
Never heard of her but congratulate her on topping the HSC in Japanese at her school.

Troy Kealley will be offering Something Wicked and possibly his Owen Driver comic (Troy does awesome car smashes). i also believe he's sharing a table with Liz A who will be selling Dreams of Tommorrow (which features me!) that showcases a numer of creators' (and me) dreams of the future (including mine). And he'll probably be selling OzComics magazine too.

Naomi Hatchman

Another new name (but is a very hummable name, naomi hatchman, hmm hmm mmm, naomi hatchman)
Google tells me she's a scifi/horror writer but i'm not sure what she's selling.

"Knightsedge #4 Lau or don't bother turning up". Gary's style has improved since he started his animation course, his storytelling and prowess with different styles has gotten really good. Ask him for a sketch of Goku, he does those really well.

Dunno. Guessing something anime related.

Corner of Awesomeness
Ask Patrick for Cunt, if he has any Cunt to spare. He did Cunt about 4 months ago in 24 hours. The man may have stopped your access to cunt but that's the man's choice. He'll probably also have cookies and the very awesome Raymondo.

Sporadic Comix
I'm not sure if this means there's a new Sporadic. Sporadic was an anthology for Brisbane that came from nowhere but was very impressive. They sell badges as well (badges may not be included)

Amber Campbell
A familar name but nothing i can put my finger on.

Rowan Cassidy

If there's someone who can buy me stuff going to supanova, can they pick this up for me. I'll be ya mate (I'll reimburse you). Or convince them to sell through phasetwo.

I think there's a new Oztaku coming out for the convention - the book has been passed on by Diamond, which is a shame and a bit weird, considering some of the stuff that gets listed at Previews. However from a shaky start, the book gets better every issue, with highlights from Ian T, David Kerr, Wen Huang and David Li.

501st Legion Terror Australis Garrison
Nerds looking for virgins to dress up in plastic (its not as exciting as it sounds).

I don't see Suburban Knights/Foolproof listed, or Crumpleton Experiment's Daniel Reed.
But newly listed is Queenie Chan and Katie Huang selling the excellent Generation anthologies. (awesome - can they be convinced to sell these through phasetwo).

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Comics and Oz

The preview to Witch King looks absolutely gorgeous, the colouring and inkwork sets Abstruse's linework on fire.
(Can someone confirm that the rumour that Paul Abstruse is now living on an island off the coast of Goa having made his fortune from some sort of herbal bubblegum)

Writer, Shane McCarthy was name dropped by some wingnut fellow(slightly harsh, yes but he was awfully excited and longwinded) on JJJ's Jay and the Doctor Morning show.

Ben Templesmith's work on Fell is interesting since it seems a bit different from his normal horror work and the book itself is one of the better reads from Warren Ellis since the early Planteary and Authority days. It's a nice and succinct story, that doesn't feature a grizzled shouty man or a sassy powerful female assistant cliches Ellis seems to rely on and has Templesmith doing a lot of panel to panel sequential art. This book was enjoyed.

David Yardin's always outstanding work can be seen in Black Panther #8 and #9

And i'm still waiting for the Platinum Grit's i bought off ebay to arrive....

I'm bummed out that i'm not going to Supanova because its seems everyone is going to be there and some awesome work is going to launch.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

pointless australian comic related travel story

I went cold turkey on the whole comics thing while i was away. On my first day in London i did spot 4 comic shops, which i believe was more than Fraser had found in his 2 weeks in London but i digress.
I had arranged to meet Scott on a particular street corner, at a prearranged time. I had never met Scott before but had seen photos, where he usually wore a hat or sunglass of some description. Subsequently my powers of recognition were low; skinny brown haired hipster. I had to keep an eye out for someone who had a certian level of scottnesshotness. (it didn't help that he was late) So for 15 minutes there was a lot of internal "not him, too fat, too short, scott doesn't seem like a cargo pant wearer, no, no, too black, too asian, too tall, too much wheelchair, too much oestrogen " until a dumpy dwarf with a ratty afro and an equally dorky friend came up and asked "Are you Mark?", suprised i replied "yeah, how's it going?"
"Cool man, nice meeting you!"
"yeah, me too"
"We've been looking for a drummer for a really long time"
"cool, huh, what??!! You're Not scott are you?"
"I think I'm the wrong Mark then"
"oh wow"
"good luck on the drummer search"
"Hehe yeah"
Then it was back to the wait wait wait. He finally turned up, meal was eaten, pints were had while drummer mark probably waited on the corner.

Anyway, in PARIS, i did want to check out a BD shop, just to see if graphic novels were as big as people say they are in France. I also had received a request from Cool hand Weber for a "Spirou" book. After two days, I ran into Album, two decent sized stores on opposite corners of an intersection, near St Severin; one store dealt in french BD and the other in english comics. I entered and was geniuly suprised at the range of stuff; the BD format doesn't really thrill me (thin hardcovers) but the range was quite exciting. After a bit of a wander (they seem to arrange books by publisher - grrr) I made sure i looked as lost as possible so someone would ask if i needed help, then i could stammer some french, they would then take pity on me and speak english and all would end well (this was the standard game plan, for me anyway, emma being young and pretty could get away with "English? ENG-lish?"). A pretty female asked if I was alright and i felt all giddy - oh beautiful french comic shop girl - she helped me with "spirou" but i got curious.
"Avay-vooo dez roman p-argh Kollen Willsun?" (Google translate won't help - 'do you have any books by Colin Wilson?')
Blank look
"Kollen Willsun?"
Her english was better than my french, but still
"rite naim don"
I knew Colin had done "Young Bluberry" but had no idea what 'young' was in french, i had to stop myself from saying "petite blueberry" so I took at stab with
"artiste - blueberry"
This got a puzzled look and a "ahhh - Mobieus?"
"No - Kollen Willsun" I wrote down Colin Wilson and passed her the paper
"Ahhh, Ko'lynne Whil'sohn" she exclaimed in recognition
She then tapped away on her computer
"I'm soree we do not have anything by this artist"

All disappointing news should be told by pretty french girls, it lessens the blow. So with a 'merci' i was out with the huge but cheap Spirou book. Later i went into Virgin looking for French hip hop (i love french hip hop), they also had a huge BD range and a couple of stores near Notre Dame made me weep wishing that level of comic goodness was the norm and not the exception in Australia.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Best meals

Because i'm ruled by my belly and i get lots of pleasure from eating and drinking

1. Wine tasting
One night my cousin's husband took me wine tasting in small winery on a hill. To prepare our stomachs we ate lamb off the spit, raw onions, fresh bread and drank red wine; all outside by the vines just pawing at food with our hands, getting all greasy.I tried telling dirty jokes in a foriegn language but i believe alot was lost in translation and my limited vocab. It was all very manly.
We then siphoned wine straight from the barrels to taste. This particular winery specialed in white, which I'm not that keen on so i was not impressed until i tasted ice wine. It's wine made from frozen grapes and therefore not made in Australia and it was awesome, like a reisling with a more rounded sweetness and smoother finish.

2. Spaghetti with Scampi
We stayed in the smallest village in Cinque Terre (northwest coast of italy) and in the town centre next to our apartment was a little resturant. We had dinner there a couple of nights because it was convenient and they made really good food(though laziness was the main motivator). I like seafood in pasta but usually in resturants they serve it in a rose or cream sauce which i'm not that enamoured by, at home i make spaghetti vongole, but thats just cockles, olive oil and garlic.
Anyway, I discovered scampi are prawns with claws and when mixed with sauce and spaghetti by a professional they taste awesome. The following night I upped the ante and ordered the spaghetti marinara, by the time i had got rid of the cockel, mussel shells, shelled the scampi and lobster tail i was exhausted, plus I'm incredibly slow with the whole spaghetti twirling thing. The hardest work i've ever had eating a meal - but it was worth the effort.

3. le Cheeseburger with cheese
At work, we have had a number of dicussions on what constitutes a hamburger; my view pretty much boils down to a steak sandwhich is not a hamburger. Hamburgers need to be made of minced meat, beef preferably. I had few burgers while away; burgerking in Kuala Lumpur, a pub burger in london that was ok if not a bit dry and bland, another burger in london from a 'burger studio' near Coventry Gardens that was pretty ok - but the frenchie cheeseburger was le manifique. It was simply minced beef topped with melted cheese but the cheese had flavour and the meat was cooked medium so it still had some moisture. Served with fries and drunk with a proper merlot it was like eating really really good steak, it took all of emma's powers from stopping me eating there every night.

4. Horse meat
Foal horse meat, to be exact. I ate snails, frog's legs, duck and horse. Snails are pretty much a nuggety oyster, with lots of parsley and garlic to give it flavour, frog's legs are exactly like chicken but a pain in the ass to eat - they serve you the back half of the frog but you can only eat the puny thigh - and it made me naseous because they servie it crumbed which is not my favourite way of cooking food. It was an incredibly lean meat, like kangaroo but not as sweet. Usually lean meats are very dry and lack flavour, but this was nice and moist and in terms of flavor it was oooooookay but not great. Essentially like rump steak, however it gets included in this list because its horse.

5. Fried up fish
It was simplicity; fish caught from the river, fried and served. It was also very good. Nice little pub with huge oak tables next to the river (from where yon fish be caught). Most interestingly, was the manner it was served; it was presented whole but with one side sliced as a fillet, so you had the best of both worlds. My slicing skills are rubbish and I can't fillet a fish to save my life (but i'm getting pretty fancy with squid) so it was an interesting technique to see.

Friday, September 23, 2005

back to the land of oz and comics

It got weird

Ledger Awards eligibilty listing begins

4 Years in the making

Also from Phosphorescent, Azerath #6

Australian Graphic Novelist, I've never heard of, gets ink

And before I left, i submitted a couple of local graphic novels (Crab Allan, BrickDog and Other Stories, and Batrisha) to and i found out that the books will be passed on to another Panel Member, which is promising.

And Colin Wilson's art can be seen in Losers, which is in English!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Top 5 highlights

1. Getting engaged.
I won't go into details (because its mushy and rooooomantic) but it was nice. It will be a big surprise to most people but it did not involve a 2 minute wait and the appearance of two blue stripes.

2. Watching the Eiffel Tower light up.
We were riding up to the top when the lights came on so it caught us by surprise. During the day the tower, is a bit meh, but when you add electricity it becomes cool. On following nights we would walk over (we were staying 500m from the tower) and watch the pretty lights twinkle, sipping from a bottle of red and eating a fresh hot crepes.

3. Cooking school in Sorrento
My birthday gift from Emma. I was able to cook in a proper kitchen, with assistants for 4 hours with the tutelage of a professional chef. It was awesome. They also sang me happy birthday in Italian. Bellisimo!

4. Venice Film festival and the rain.
For the most part Venice sucked. But after a crappy (but relatively cheap) meal I walked past Orlando Bloom. I know it was Orlando because he walked hunched and had a posse of hanger ons. He also had that crappy beard thing he tries to grow. Having seen Kingdom of Heaven on the plane i did not try and chat because it was clear we had nothing in common.
From there, emma and i meandered through the little streets until we came to a large piazza which had a big outdoor screen set up showing Brokeback Mountain in English. We bought tickets and sat down. As soon as the movie started we could see lightning flash to the East, at first as tiny little light pops. Soon it got more intense and the volume of the thunder slowly got turned up. Then the odd drop of rain was felt. It was kind of intense just waiting for the downpour, hoping it would wait till we finished watching the movie. but it didn't.
Due to only being dressed in tshirts and Emma already feeling sick from exhaustion we decided to bail early.
But not early enough - the night ended with us running through the narrow and craggy venetian alleyways trying to find our hotel. I had thought it would be a good idea to buy an ice cream (i stand by the idea that its always a good idea to buy ice cream) which was slowly melting in my hand as it got drenched.
We thankfully found refuge under a bridge, which gave us a chance to figure out where we were using the shitty map on our hotel pamphlet and my lonely planet guide.
Getting orientated and memorising "3rd left, 2nd right, 5th right, to the end and left, bridge, 3rd right", I ripped some gig posters off the wall to use as an umbrella and off we went.

Running like loons in the rain is cool.

The film itself was really good, probably the gayest western since "All the pretty horses" but hauntingly sweet, its a shame we only saw half.

4. Gettin' my family on in Slovenia
Besides my parents and a cousin all my family is in Europe, so i rarely get to see them (this was my fourth time). So the visit involved drinking cheap beer ($2 for half a litre!!!), tasting lots of wine (everyone it seems has their own vineyard - usually about 100m of vine on a hill so they only produce a couple hundred bottles), eating a lot of meat (apparently vegetables is too much of a reminder of the socialist days) and me speaking really bad slovenian (which got better with alcohol). Catching up with everyone was a blast and though in practice they barely know me they made me and emma feel like we had always been there.

5. Watching the sun set in Sorrento.
Perched high on a cliff face, in a small village outside of Sorrento, our hostel (a former monastery) had a very nice little restuarnt around the corner. We'd sit on the terrace and watch the sun set; to our left and in the distance the town of Naples and to our right Sorrento and other smaller towns on the Amalfi Coast. The sun would set over the distant isle of Capri, such that the sun would be cradled one moment and gone the other leaving behind a crack of light that would rest on horizon.
Probably the most relaxed I've ever been.

I can't wait to go back.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

oooohhh aaaahhhhh

I'm back in the country, and back to work. I'm already counting my pennies so i can get back to europe again.

I'll have highlights later - interesting ones, i promise.

Friday, September 02, 2005

stuff overheard while away

At Stonehenge
Tour Guide: Did you feel any psychic energy
Tourist: Im a child of Christ, none of that satan stuff for me

At Westminster Abbey
Teen Tourist: I think thats where they made Churchill King

Lobby in Paris
20 year old female tourist speaking to the Conceriege: My friends would never believe im wearing sweats, i only like own two pairs of sweats
Friend of 20 year old female tourist speaking to the Conceriege: I wear sweats all the time
20 year old female tourist speaking to the Conceriege: Yeah she does, but thats ok, people are different

In Monterosso
Woman at outdoor cafe with walkie talkie: Can you see me chuck? Im just down the road by the water, i can see you. Wave your arm. Can you see me now? You look so cute.