Wednesday, November 30, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

where didja get that gear? - Retailer of the Year

In recognition of Australian retail excellence and support in 2005.

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

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

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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Oi you be a Dear - Australian Achievement of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 27, 2005

my nominations

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

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

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

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

Otherwise - if its sold at phasetwo ive got it.

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Streetwise at 21

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

i got pwned

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

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

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Stupid people review good movies - Part ii

Stolen from Amazon

The Getaway
by a 12 year old viewer

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Ledger Recommendations/Nominees

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

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Shield - Bush Administration Allegory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

dad comics

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Colin Wilson's Birthday

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

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

Ledger Categories 2006

2006 Categories

Peer Vote (popular):

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

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

Judging Panel Vote:

(All Australian)

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

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