Friday, December 02, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

The playwright - Daren White and Eddie Campbell

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 comment:

Ian T. said...

Thanks, Mark, I reckon that's an on target assessment of my stuff, and Moth & Tanuki in particular. The later episodes are more consistent artwise, as it took me a while to get the right balance in this one (quite a stark look, with both realism and cutesiness).

Sometimes its a bit corny, sometimes its a bit melodramatic but never offensively so

Yay, this is exactly what I'm aiming for! Corniness and melodrama are key elements in M&T (along with satire). They're funny characters: a lot of time I don't feel like I'm writing them - more like they're just doing stuff :).

Working on Dillon's Rock 'N' Roll Fairies has enforced real discipline on my drawing, both artwise and timewise, and I'm enjoying them a lot!