Tuesday, February 28, 2006

OzComic 24 hour Challenge 2006

I had always thought I’d only organize 3 challenges and then hope someone else would have a go. After the really good showing in 2005, I considered doing a fourth, especially with the great exposure in the media drummed up by Graeme McDonald (Anomic) but when I sit down and consider what I need to do in 006 – I realize I’ve already got too much on my plate.
Last year’s challenge brought up the issues of censorship, media scrutiny and keeping sponsors happy – all issues I don’t think I can resolve in a manner that’ll keep everyone happy and still move the whole thing forward. Actually, I could probably think of something but honestly I can’t be arsed; organizing the challenge takes a lot of time and some money and both resources are limited this year with a wedding to organize, a cellar to build and publishing plans of my own. I’ve run out of professionals I can bother for stuff and I’m probably not the best person to front up for media gigs because I’m not that smart or interesting a subject to talk about. I’m a planning kind of guy not a coordinator or a communicator.
So, having spoken to Graeme earlier this year and Maggie recently – the options are few.

This coming saturday I'm chatting with Peter, the owner of Pulp Fiction Comics, because he's inetrested in taking over. I've drafted out a plan and made some notes on what he needs to do and what he needs to consider. I'm hoping he'll be able to use some of his connections to get prizes and he's willing to put money and effort into the whole thing so i'm hoping it'll have a good outcome. I'll keep you all informed.

If he backs out, scared by the size of itall, the other option is a cut down version is run; no prizes, no promotion, no polls – just 24 hours of comic creation. Of course people would be free to promote the event on other websites (madman message board, indesign message board, etc), but it wouldn’t be official because there is nothing really that official other than a date, a name and a place.

I’m really disappointed that I’ve had to come to this decision, but it’s a decision I’ve HAD to make. Whilst I’d like to be able to live and breathe Australian comics, I can’t at the moment.

I do hope that there is a 24 hour challenge in Australia this year, in whatever form it takes.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Adelaide Zine Fair

...was saturday. And being my first zine fair, i'm calling it a success.
It was myself, Jing and Owen plus a couple hanger ons.

A couple of things worked against us, I was 20 minutes late but Jing turned up on time but still all the good spots near the front and in the shade were gone. So next time- get there early.

We had a dozen titles to sell from various people.
Jing had - Angry Comic Shop Guy (which she sold using the sales pitch 'i die in that one!', The Bear (her 24hr comic which is quiet cute), Pretty Zombies, Fist full of comics (the results of the monthly panels and gutters comic drinks) and Kipper Comics (another 24 hr comic).
Owen "sold" 5031 #1 and #2 and How to save the World: A beginner's Guide. I say "sold" because he would get flustered at the idea of selling it to anyone and would hide under the table sketching.
Me - I presented and sold

Ozcomics #4 x 2
Ozcomics #5 x 0
Ozcomics #6 x 1
Pop Culture and 2 minute noodles #0 x 1
Pop Culture and 2 minute noodles #1 x 1
Pop Culture and 2 minute noodles #3 x 0
Pop Culture and 2 minute noodles #6 x 0
First time I fetched water x 5 (sold out)
Meus Officium est Abyssus x 1
9v x 5 (sold out)
Pirates x 6
Martin/Molloy x 2
Martin/Molloy x 1
Martin/Molloy x 2
Once upon a time x 1
Eat Comics x 1
Batrisha x 0
History of Oztaku x 0

A couple of things, the cheaper low-fi comics sold better; Michael Li's flew out early (i think i could have sold double the 5 copies i had, maybe even triple with beautiful art like that)and stuff like Fist full, Pretty Zombies did ok. Where stuff like Dillon's stuff (martin/molloy, early pop cultures) which have colour covers and 'look' like comics didn't get many flick thrus. Though Batrisha and Pop Culture #6 which are not standard formats did get a lot of pick ups but i think the price kept people away. Pirates, being the most expensive book at $6 did well, its got a great hook "its pirat-licious!".
Otherwise, a lot of people asked for 'experimental' stuff, which i didn't really have, all i could do was point out the 24 hour stuff, the fistfull of comics zine and "once upon a time" anthology. It also solidified my theory that anthologies are a hard sell unless there is a cool, easily pitched idea behind it (though i still think anthologies are an integral part of building a market/scene). Finally the solid red cover of Angry Comic shop guy did have a lot of interest and it sold well.

all good info when i start publishing my own stuff.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

hamfisted political mutterings

"But the cartoons aren't the problem. They're a symptom of the problem." -douglas holgate

So what is the problem - why can't we get along?

It really rankles, no fuckit, it really insults me when bush, blair, howard - every blue suited red tied politician says its because 'they hate freedom' - they being 'terrorists'. That sounds like so much bullshit. Why would the average joe in the Middle East give a flying fuck about the political process of another country? It may because i'm pretty much apolitical - but i don't really - except in one case, when they are making decisions that impact on my way of life.
That's pretty much the same for everyone - people generally fight back when they or their loved ones get put into a situation where their lives are harmed.
So why are the people of the middle east pissed at us (us being western society)?

Well to me, - there was the crusades, then the monguls had a go, the british thought carving the place up into countries may be a bit of alright and now the americans aggresive expansionist foriegn policy are sticking their fat fingers into the oil rich pie. For a really long time Arabs haven't had a chance to dictate their own terms or lives without interference from outside forces. When they did, they were a really progressive advanced culture. Even with the recent sunni vs shiite conflict, it doesn't seem like its a reflection of Islam because many African countries have the same amount of turmoil and strife. Of course in both cases, it doesn't help that both cultures (yeah its abit simplistic to say african or arab culture but - me making point, you give me slack) are tribalised and can be manipulated to start shit.
So I'm not surprised that the US' support of Israel leads so much trouble. You have a large Superpower supporting a brutal country on land that was essentially stolen from others.
Not only politically but since WW2 the West has been culturally dominant around the world - which like in the case of the Danish cartoons can cause some hostility. I'm not a religious scholar but it seems the the religion of Islam boils down to 2 aspects; modesty and duty. Modesty can be seen in the way Muslim's look after invited guests, the hajib essentially stops vanity and women being viewed as sexual objects and men trimming their beards kind of distracts guys caring about their appearance and allows people to get on with important things. Duty is stuff like praying 5 times and day, fasting during ramadan and travelling to Mecca. Muslims are compelled to do these things and its a Hardcore undertaking.
Western culture is anything but modest nor does it really adhere to much duty. Especially with baby boomers its all about 'me' and leisure and sex and money. I don't have anything against that, but i'm not muslim. Beyonce selling pepsi doesn't offend me, listening to 50 cent asking for a blow job makes me wanna dance, i accept advertsing and i wanna make money. But that's not the aim of everyone and forcing it on other people by playing on people's greed (in the case of middle eastern businesses and media) is going to piss people off. When you offend people you make them angry.

it would be simpler if US business and government stopped trying to expand markets into places who aren't willing or ready to accept the products and inherent values they are trying to sell. And fuck don't get me started about the whole yahoo/google pandering to chinese business/government because that's grossly immoral.

The idea that democracy can be forced on a people is just dumb.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

cartoon carnage

I'm a torn little fella; it takes me ages to make decisions and to decide on how i stand on, you know, stuff.

The whole Danish Muhammad cartoon is terribly upsetting. Firstly, I'm rally not one who believes antagonizing people or causing people pain is every really necessary - i don't see the point of upsetting people just for the sake of it. For the most part, anyway, i think people who make decisions on behalf of others should be held up for scrutiny, satire and abuse.
However, politeness and respect for others, in no way can ever take precedence over freedom of speech. That's a given. People should have the right to say whatever they want, as long as they accept the consequences.
I'm not really sure what the point of the original cartoons were and it would probably allow for a better understanding of the rationale if some reasoning was given. But in the end the reaction was a bit disproportionate - but kind of understandable. Fuck with a group long enough and they will fight back.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I hope i win

Discovered in yesterady's Sunday Mail comic pullout, a colouring in picture for horror High drawn by Doug Holgate.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The trouble with Harry

Cheney says that shooting his friend was the worst day of his life, well i wish he considered the feelings of those 19 year old kids having to shoot at people and get shot at half way around the world. I'd bet watching their friends and comrades die around them isn't that great either.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

room for rant?

i used to be so rantful but now i've got nothing - sometimes i feel incensed about people with their feet on train seats but i just sit somewhere else.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wonder Women of comics

Canberra Comic store of awesomeness, Impact Comics, is hosting "Aussie Comic Creators - Wonder Women” on Saturday March 11th. Featuring Queenie Chan (The Dreaming), Trudy Cooper (Platinum Grit), Nicola Scott (Star Wars and The Watch) and Liz Argall (Dreams of Tomorrow), this signing celebrates International Women’s day but more importantly hot aussie talent.

More details

On a self serving related note; OzComics Magazine #4 dealt with female creators in Australia, so check it out.

On a related note Queenie Chan JJJ radio interview.

Monday, February 13, 2006

but to one in particular

To all the Brooklyn girls
To all the French girls
To all the Oriental girls
To all the Swiss girls
To the Italian women
To the upper east side Mombiles
To all the Jamaican girls
And to the top-less dancers
And Brazilian
To the southern belles
To the Porte Rican girls
To the stewaresses flying around the world.
To all the girls - Beastie Boys

besides shake your rump though, the most romantic beastie boy song
Ride On The Bus Into The City Everyday
I Sit On My Seat And I Dream Myself Away
I Dream I'm On An Island With That Foxy Lady Too
But When I Awaken I Must Be Mistaken I'm On Third Avenue
Won't You Take Me Away And Take Away Me
Mark on the Bus - Beastie Boys

The Eddie Campbell interview from the Comics Journal.

I like the idea that Graphic Novels should be novel, as in innovative, and not just any comic with a spine. The notion that even though the format and majority of the creative techniques are shared between graphic novels and comics – they are separate ‘beings’ or ‘entities’ doesn’t really translate when you try and compare it with other mediums.
The idea of high art/low art only exists in a few mediums and its really hard for a dunce like myself to tell the difference between them. There are movies and cinema but besides the opinion “Cinema is everything I think is good, movies are for the rest of you” is there anything that really separates them? Is it a matter of quality, structure, themes?
In TV it seems even more complicated, the basic format and structure stays the same; the only difference between good tv and bad tv is superficially a matter of opinion and advertising, and analytically a matter of budget and production. In books there’s fiction and there’s Literature or books you can buy at the airport and books you can’t.
I’m not that smart when it comes to art, how to define it, compare and value it – I have no appreciation of its history because I’ve been too busy watching Jackie Chan films and reading comics. Because of my lack of smarts I need guidelines to define what’s high art, what’s low art and what differentiates Graphic Novels from Comics, and if it’s a matter of other people telling me “this is a graphic novel because we say so, pip pip” then I don’t find that very satisfying at all.

Though, even though I agree that Graphic Novels should be celebrated for their originality what happens when the innovative becomes the norm? Pekar, Spiegleman and Campbell can be celebrated for their introducing their autobiographical works in a spandex world but with Blankets, Perpolis, Epileptic and Pyongyang on the market does American Splendor lose its graphic noveliness? Dark Knight Returns introduced the world to Grim and Gritty but since Hal Jordan went nuts is Miller’s book just a comic with a spine?

Another point raised in the interview, has made me rethink my position regards the position of graphic novels/comics in bookstores. I always thought that Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan should be shelved in between Warden and Warland, not in the comic ghetto found between Science Fiction and Calendars. But then I wouldn’t expect Hansen’s version of LA Confidential on DVD next to Ellroy’s book, or ‘Pieces of You’ next to “A Night without Armor”, The Proposition with the Nick Cave cds. Two different mediums. Sure graphic novels and books share a distribution model, size, materials, etc, but they are two different vehicles of telling stories as different as radio play and theatre. Makes obvious sense. As an attempt to be taken seriously as a medium there’s a sense that comics are waving their arms in the crowd shouting “we’re just like you!! Please love us!!” instead of extolling what comics can do that’s different from anything else.

Lastly its nice to read a comic related interview that has a nice flow of conversation and covers a number of points – I may make more of an effort to pick up TCJ in the future.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

my shitty comics (part iii)

Brown and Sticky

Last year's effort only had a few stories, 4 to be exact, probably the most memorable feedback was from a mate who rang me up
"I read your comic"
"That was all one big injoke wasn't it?"
"um, it was still good"

Doug Holgate Super Assman features comic creator Doug Holgate's rise to fame and subsequent fall. Also features people who are like Christian Read, Tim McEwen, Jen and myself. It all centres around the movie Ghost Rider being filmed outside Doug's Apartment and Doug's bum, which is a welcome relief from always being about Doug's beard.

As always, the musical interlude, this time another Lucksmith's song, Baker's Wife. Each panel represents one line of lyric.

Kipper Comics is me essentially parodying Asutralian Comics, it was late at night and i got a bit harsh. Kipper was last year's special word that had to be inserted into each 24 hour comic. Thanks to Emma for taking the photos. And i may do some more Kipper Comics later this year because it was kind of fun. (Parodied comics include Knee Pockets, Tales from under the bed, The Watch Cassis Belli, Knight-edge, the work of Matt Huynh, Batrisha and a whole bunch of others).

It all ends with my favourite strip, which i call 'please love me colin wilson', Colin being a Melbourne based comic creator who worked on Judge Dredd, replaced Moebius on the Young Blueberry graphic novels in Europe and has done some work for Wildstorm in the US. He's also noted for breaking his back motorbiking and creating Captain Sunshine.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

ranking the dreaming

Queenie Chan's The Dreaming gets listed as the 25th most popular OEL for 2005, which is noteworthy since it was released in December but without numbers I've got no way of knowing what it all relatively means.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Shipping thursday

Legends of the Dark Knight #200
Written by Eddie Campbell and Daren White
Art by Bart Sears

I thought Order of the Beasts was quite good but overlooked in general so it should be written ok, though i'm not so sure about Sear's art these days.

so look it up

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Supanova Comic Guests

Discovered at the supanova forums

Geoff Johns
Phil Jimenez
Gary Chaloner
Stewart McKenny

I don't think I've ever read anything by Johns, but i don't mind Jimenez's work. Meeting Gary will be nice and catching up with Stewart is alwys fun.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Fringe Zine Fair

On the 25th of February, as part of the world renowned Fringe Festival, there will be a Zine Fair held just off the busy Rundle Street. Jing and myself will be running a table for the day and I’m offering to sell people’s stuff. So if you are not an Adelaidian and want me to sell your zine/work please contact me (mark_selan@hotmail.com) and we’ll sort something out. Since the table is free I’m not looking in making a commission and I can direct deposoit anything I make in to your account. I’m not looking for many copies, 5-10 should be plenty. What I don’t sell I’ll be happy to take with me to Melbourne’s Dodgy-con and Brisbane’s Supanova.

time's short so act fast

Saturday, February 04, 2006

yesterday and today

My yesterday
and today is Panels and Gutters, the Adelaide comic drinks at the Grace Emily sponsored by Pulp Fiction Comics

Friday, February 03, 2006

Thursday, February 02, 2006

An OzGN?

The Mostly True Story of Matthew and Trim
Could this be a first; an OGN created in Australia by local talent for a local mainstream publisher? or would that be Brickdog?

This is classed as a graphic novel but not sure since I can't find any previews of pages;

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

shipping this week

Tomorrow sees Detective Comics 816 released, its part two of a story written by Australian Shane McCarthy; it also features art Cliff Chiang.
Otherwise, Witch King; An autobiography of a Darklord released by Phosphorescent Comics. Featuring Christian Read!! Paul Abstruse!! PJ Magahlaes!! Darren Close!! Annette Kwok!!
Considering that children conceived when this book was, um, conceived started school this week, I suspect that the inking of the sequel (Witch King: How to hypnotise chooks) will be done by Cyrus Naylor.
Also Eddie Campbell released a hardcover, A Disease of Language, compiling Snakes and ladders, Birth Caul and the Alan Moore interview last week.