Friday, March 31, 2006

Vibewire eFestival

Anthony W has posted on ComicsLifestyle about an eFestival looking for smart people to talk about comics and stuff.

It looks interesting

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Movie imaginings

A comment brought up at work about the perfect casting of jaws, made me think of other great 70s movies with different casts.

Starring Al Pacino, James Caan and Marlon Brando
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Midnight Cowboy
Starring Burt Reynolds and Gene Wilder
Directed by Steven Spielberg

Taxi Driver
Starring Gene Hackman and Meg Ryan
Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Dog Day Afternoon
Starring Christopher Walken and Harrison Ford
Directed by Roman Polanski

(for no reason, but i could do it all day)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

the Triangle

Nine is pumping a new mini-series for next week, The Triangle, starring everyone's famous red meat dancer Sam Neil.
Based on part one; its weird, the acting is awful, direction is nauseating, special effects are crap but if you make it through part one, there's enough of a hook to interest you in part 2. I'm guessing it'll be equally as rubbish.
So watch something else instead unless you are a glutton

Monday, March 27, 2006

I had toast on sunday

Friday - Went with Brett to see Darren Hanlon at the Jade Monkey. It was a nice humid night so we drank in the beer garden while the support act played. Usually candle record support bands are good but not this time. Adelaide had a good buzz, with the the clipsal race in town, though there were too many bogans with no shoes for my normal tolerance, but its nice when the streets are packed and people are having fun.
Darren did a good show, although it was a bit toned down. Highlight was some 15 year old kid proposing to his girlfriend during the show; what was funny about it was that proposing after a song that has the lyrics "they say we are off to broken hearts" maybe not a good start but once the lass said yes and kissed the fellow a couple of times she just sat straight down and watched the rest of the show like nothing happened. Anyway, good concert and Hanlon's new stuff sounds ok.

Saturday - the mundacity of cleaning gutters and other peices of housework. The gutters were chockers with leaves and crap, and with winter coming it had to be cleaned (otherwise the gutters rust and leak and become even more of hassle, plus there's the whole fire thing) . Though in 33 degree heat and a wobbly ladder, i did about 3/4s and moved onto my other project. Our house is on a slope and under the house there's cavities; my plan is to dig out two of these cavities, knock out the wall in between, resupport the floor and have a cellar. I started it in November but got distracted by shiny objects for about 3 months but its time to get back to it. I've dug out about a trailer load so far and have got about another 2 to go. I'll then be able to move my wine collection from my mum's place before she drinks it all.

Sunday - finished the gutters, did a house clean and watched dvds.

Monday - I was supposed to go see a preview of V for Vendatta but lost the fucking ticket. Dammit.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Art comp deadline closes soon

With 3 days to go

The Conflux Art Show deadline is March 27th

There's a prize pool of $6000; including $1000 for best Australian art and $500 for best comic art

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wisdom of the Big D

Having lunch with my dad today he offered this pearl of wisdom;

"Your last suit doesn't need pockets"

(and yet i had to pay for his food)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My House

I've been meaning to do this for ages and SPreston has spurred me.

so case' di mark

35º 01'13.90"S
138º 35'36.43"E

You can't actually see the house because of the surrounding trees and though it looks like its in the middle of nowhere; its only 20 minutes out of the city center and beach. Due the hilly terrain and adjoining national park its just sparsly developed.

Movies – the listing part 2

Walk the line (drive in) – though I like Cash’s music this movie was dull and predictable. Finely acted but still boring as batshit. It was like a tv movie of the week with better acting and great production design.

Land of the Dead – I’m not usually keen on horror, I don’t like the tense atmosphere and looking like a dick when I get startled. But there’s no tenseness in this flick – so it fails there but as an adventure film its fine, almost smart.

Suddenly 30 – I would have preferred if it had an unhappy ending because it ends way too sugary sweet. Otherwise the Thriller dance scene is comedy gold.

Wedding Crashers
– Incredibly funny, the only thing that kind of ruined it was Ferrel’s over-hammed cameo, plus it sagged towards the end. I find it interesting that this film and Old School have similar themes about growing up and made by the same group of guys.

House of Flying Daggers – I don’t mind saying Zhang Ziyi is hot, but I’m disturbed that I think the same about Andy Lau.

– Awesome! Except for the construction building dance scene (it reminded me of the flute playing scene in Ron Burgundy) and the white jeans.

Ghost World – Whilst I liked it the first time, it really grew on me on the second viewing. Enid character arc makes more sense and is better to watch once you know the end. It’s not quiet a tale of redemption and its not quiet a coming of age; it straddles the two as a story about self-realization. Its in my top 50, maybe.

Bruce Almighty
(TV) – at times good but mostly too hammy.

Bottle Rocket
– So well constructed and horribly romantic - almost perfect.

Aeon Flux – Free tickets, thank god. This movie left so little impression I don’t think I can recall a single scene. The last ¼ once a plot develops is bearable but weirdness for the sake of it for 90 minutes can be a bit off-putting.

Shiralee (DVD) – one of Emma’s favourites, Bryan Brown and an 8 year walk around for 190 minutes. Its not so much a movie as a mood or an art piece, its engrossing and easy to watch (even enjoyable) but hardly challenging.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse – Milla and Siena. Guns and explosions. I am easily pleased.

Brother: Takeshi Kitano is a yakuza mobster in LA. A lot of people die, violence is inflicted imaginatively, Takeshi twitches and there are obscure but beautiful long-shots. I wish the DVD transfer wasn’t shit (fullscreen – what a waste).

Monday, March 20, 2006

Manga Sales in Australia

According to the Age, manga sales in australia is about $750,000 a year.

Now I'm assuming that would be sales through bookstores that use local distributors; Dymocks, Angus and Roberts, probably Borders and possibly Kinokuniya.

Now North America did $164 million, in relative terms if Australia had the same percentage of manga buyers, the market would be about $10 million. There is room for our market (with all things being equal) to increase 1300% (i think - i suck at maths).

But all things aren't really equal.
One - i think the local sales of manga in Australia is higher than $750,000 stated because i doubt it takes notice of the 30+ comic shops around the country. Some are probably run by grizzled old fanboys that only sell Marvel/DC and sneer at that "big eyed queer stuff", but some are probably doing quiet well selling manga. If only half the local shops (15) are selling 20 books a week at $20 each, that's another $312000 a year.*

*that also raises the point $750,000 means that only 721 books are being sold a week around the country. A top ten book sells about 2-3000 copies a week. So if the upper limits of manga buying occurs it might be possible for a manga book to hit the top ten (with yearly sales of $10 mill, that would be roughly 9000 books sold a week - which is ALL manga books not individual titles)

So manga is probably selling closer to a million a year.

Also, Viz, Dark Horse and, I think, TokyoPop has restricted a number of high selling franchise books from being sold at local comic shops, so Diamond can not distribute books to Australia - which goes against free trade, but anyway. I'm not sure about regular bookstores, I guessing you can but Dragonballz and other titles through them. In any case, these restrictions make it harder to get books into the hands of punters and probably puts a dampener on sales.

strangely it is exciting that we might be 3 years behind because it provides the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of what happened in North America and Europe with Manga and take advantage of it.
-some how-

However the other problem is that - the western companies that reprint manga are running out of 'good' manga to release. Now i dunno if that's the case - but if it is then in 3 years time at the 'peak' of manga interest locally - will people just be served up rubbish which will turn people off? Like when interest peaked for American comics in the early 90s due to Batman movies, death of superman, the speculative market connected with valiant comics and birth of Image - people got pretty rubbish comics. As a result, thousands of comic shops shutdown and publishers went out of business.

oh and Oztaku got a mention

I'm hoping the Astroboy exhibition is in july, because i might goto that.

Monday, March 13, 2006

me on a boat

I went with Emma to a media function, where free booze, finger food, name tags and chitchat collide. I found the representative from channel 10 and quite respectfully, while still sober, i could finally tell him to stop fucking with The Shield.
"stop fucking with the what? The shell?"
"The shield. TV show - you kept moving it around"
"oh, the shield, yeah, i never watched it"
"its good, and bring back Veronica Mars"
"oh god, that won't be back until december"
"damn, well thanks for letting me get that off my chest"
"not a problem, so what do you do?"

and the chitchat continued

The other highlight was being mistaken for the son of a high profile advertising dude, even though i was wearing a nametag and the people i was with saying "he's pulling your leg". So i just had to tell of dad's escapade at the Crazy Horse after the last executive meeting.

and i saw a dolphin

Thursday, March 09, 2006

24 Challenge Poster Competition

Regardless of the format of the challenge, it still needs a poster.

So let the Poster competition begin!

What you have to do-
Create an A3 poster

  • which includes the date; Queens' Birthday Weekend June 13th
  • the logo (
  • A space for the sponsors (roughly a 300 x 150mm area)
  • the year- 2006
  • It will be colour but it has to print well in Black and White
  • And the title which at this stage is the OzComic 24 hour Challenge but the OzComic part may be replaced by another name
The winner, as chosen by the 24hour challenge organisers, will win $100 worth of comics and graphic novels from Pulp Fiction Comics.

Deadline is 27th March 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

SureShot Presents

What is it?
The idea of Sureshot Presents is to produce consistently high quality self contained sequential art by Australian Comic Creators for current and emerging markets, driven by creators but backed by a publisher.

There are very few outlets for creators to publish their work, especially in a format that allows their ideas to grow.
Equally, there are very few outlets for readers to purchase complete and narratively satisfying stories that use an Australian Voice. Sureshot Presents is a means to provide an outlet for readers and creators.

What is the format?
The format to begin with is A5 between 36 and 48 pages. Interior pages will be 90gsm black and white. The cover will 200gsm colour optix stock with single colour printing.

How much?
It will retail for $4. Wholesale for $2.

What will be in it?
Sureshot Presents will contain a self contained story, that will not require any auxiliary purchases to enjoy. The genre and style is completely open. Where stories do not fill the whole 36 or 48 pages, a self contained back up story will be included plus text pieces.

What do creators get?
The creators of a particular issue will get 150 copies of the book. Where there are multiple creators they are able to split the 150 copies as they see fit. Creators are expected to sell and distribute their copies to preordained and negotiated markets. This will net creators $600 at retail prices and $300 at wholesale.

What do you mean preordained?
During the submission process creators and the publishers of Sureshot Presents will negotiate which retail outlets will be available to the publisher and creators to pursue. The Publisher has sole access to Kings Comics (Sydney), Phase Two Comics (Aust) and Pulp Fiction (Adelaide), however all other markets are negotiable. This includes non-comic retailers, conventions and zine-fairs.
What will be the total print run?
300, equally split between the creator and publisher.

Who is eligible?
All Australia residing creators.

What happens when an issue sells out?
That is open to negotiate between the creator and publisher. There are a number of options
  • Nothing
  • Reprinted by the Publisher with profits shared between the publisher and creator (75/25)
  • Reprinted by the Creator with profits shared between creator and publisher (90/10)
  • Creator reprints the story in a different format but credits SureShot and the publisher.
In the event where one party sells their allocation of copies, they may purchase copies from the other party for $1 a copy.

Who owns the material?
The creator owns the material 100% and can do with the material as they see fit after the initial print run. However, if the material is reprinted at A5 size, the original printing specifications must be met. If the material is reprinted or presented in any other format, Sureshot and the Publisher must be credited in an obvious manner.

How do I submit?
The format of submission will depend on the history and skill of creator and is decided by the publisher. The first step is to email the publisher ( with a request to submit a story. The publisher will reply with the format of the submission.
For new creators, they will need to send the Publisher the first 3 pages and the last 3 pages of the comic. A synopsis of the story must be included plus answers to these 3 questions
  • What is the story about (not the plot but what are the themes)?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What markets/retail outlets will the creator be approaching and why?
More established creators can supply a synopsis and some art. They'll need to make reference to the market/retail outlets question.

How are submissions going to be judged?
They will be judged by the Publisher and by two comic creators. They will be assessed on their marketability and the skill level of the creators. The better the planning by the creators and the greater market potential the more likely a submission will be approved.

How often will Sureshot Present be solicited?
The plan is quarterly but will depend on submissions.

Is there anything you are looking for?
Fresh original stories by enthusiastic creators who are not afraid to approach new markets.

Is there anything you are not looking for?
Superheroes and parody comics – they have a chance but they’ll have to be bloody good. In terms of censorship, the inclusion of sex and violence will depend on how it is done within the story.

What happens if my proposal gets accepted?
The creator and publisher will then set up a schedule to determine the delivery date and publication of the book. The publisher will act as an editor on the project, critiquing the creative aspects of the project as they are being worked on. Retail markets and marketing strategies will also be discussed and negotiated.
How will the books be marketed?
Each book will be treated differently, depending on its audience. The format of the marketing and advertising will be the same; appropriate retailers will be approached and online commuities will be targetted. Creators are quite welcome to create posters, flyers and other merchandising material at their own expense. The publisher will most likely have poster printed if the publisher attends a convention or zine fair.
What happens if my proposal gets rejected?
The publisher will provide a full critique of your work, establishing areas of improvement while noting strengths of the provided work. Some creators will be invited to resubmit proposals in the future once they have been reworked.

Can I pull out?
Creators are able to pull out at anytime before the comic goes to print. The publisher intends to have a stockpile of stories before printing the story so this should not affect solicitation schedules. It is asked that the comic not be published for a year after the creator pulls out of the agreement. If the reason for the discontinuation is laziness then the creator must be prepared to be mocked.

How long will I have to wait for my comic to be released?
It will depend, but if a comic is not released after 18 months of completion and delivery then it can be immediately reprinted anywhere at the creator's discretion.

What are the creator’s responsibilities?
  • To create a self contained comic no longer than 44 pages.
  • To complete and deliver the pages by a date negotiated by the creator and publisher.
  • To design the cover and that will include the Sureshot logo.
  • To approach markets and deal with them in a professional manner
  • The creator will have to provide sales data to the publisher.
  • In the case of reprints, send and receive money to and from the publisher depending on which reprint option is undertaken.
What’s a professional manner?
Professional manner includes turning up to scheduled meetings on time and delivering goods and invoices within two weeks of receiving orders. It also entails interacting with retailers and consumers in a polite and respectful manner, specifically when representing and publicizing Sureshot Presents work in a public arena. The reason for this is because the idea is to build the market and readership, acting like an ass will only harm other Sureshot Present creators either now or in the future.

What happens if a creator doesn’t act in a professional manner?

If a retailer or member of the community complains about a creator’s behaviour while the creator represents Sureshot Presents, then a period of negotiation will be entered in an attempt to fix and placate the situation to the satisfaction of all parties. If a major complaint is upheld then the creator must forfeit their remaining copies of Sureshot Presents. (A major complaint may include participating in an illegal activity while publicly representing Sureshot Presents).

What are the publisher’s responsibilities?
  • To act as an editor on a project.
  • To pay for the printing.
  • To check that the printing is correct.
  • To aid in the formulation of the marketing plan.
  • To have the creator’s share of the printed comics shipped to the creator at the publisher’s expense.
  • To distribute the comic to the negotiated markets.
  • To negotiate with and between parties, if a problem arises.
  • To negotiate the issue of reprints, if the need arises.
What about other responsibilities?
All other responsibilities are up for negotiation.

Who is involved so far?

Sureshot Presents will be reprinting the previous web comic Crab Allan: Gothic Boogaloo by L.Frank Weber. Chelsea Fritzlaff is also supposed to be involved as part of her prize for the 2004 OzComic Challenge but she’s lost in the wind – but I’m hoping she’s found because she’s the inspiration for the whole thing. Other creators have been approached and are interested.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Panels and Gutters

Yesterday we had the monthly Panels and Gutters Adelaide comic drinks at the Grace Emily sponsored by Pulp Fiction Comics. It was a good turn out, a solid 15 - we've had more but it was quite hot and the fringe is on but it was a good average. We had a bbq in the beer garden but sadly there was no grease fire this time. EVERYONE was asking about 24 hour challenge which is good but jeez put the pressure on - i was hoping to go camping that weekend or go to the McClaren Food and Wine weekend. I think i'm out but they just pull me back in.

I spoke to Peter about the challenge and he's keen so that's good. Otherwise it was a good meet, i'm tempted to contribute to the associated zine after being inspired by the work in Fist full of comics #2 and looking at people's work (Clare and lucas's stuff was really good).
I'm hoping Datsun T. will be doing one of my scripts but he may be just polite. After 3 months i finally sent it to him this morning. He did say he can do 120 panels in a day - which is just ludicrious - unless he means a day on Mars or something.

As always looking forward to the next one.

i just a thought from an old and grumpy man - there is nothing that turns me off on someone who exclaims "I'm so drunk" repeatedly and loudly. Especially at 4 in the afternoon. Its a sure way of being put in my wanker file. i'm just saying is all, I'm not talking about you. Honest.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

things not to say

When the average age of your work team is 45 don't describe baby boomers as "has-been hacks", especially when one of them is considering sending you to sydney for a workshop.
When you find that the newest team member is taking a ride on a submarine on the weekend "'ll be going down on a submarine"