Thursday, August 31, 2006

London - 2005

This time last year i was in Europe having the time of my life. I'd go back in a minute.
Between me and Em we took 800 photos; I've tried to distill down the holiday down to about 20 photos.

A bridge, possibly London Bridge, possibly not.

Possibly Westminster Abbey.

It was easy culling out photos, especially when i was in them because invaribly I look like a dork. Case in point.

Of course, we drank tea.

I didn't really like London, it was rainy and grey, especially our hotel room when the cieling started to leak in the middle of the night. The town mainly consists of franchises (starbucks, mcdonalds, allbarone) being run by europeons (i swear you could exist living in london and not hear an english accent). All the food lacked flavour, the beer had flavour it that flavour was foul. An excursion to Stonehenge, Bath and Sailsbury was nice. I like the subway.


  • British Museum - I could spend days walking around there.
  • Modern Tate Gallery - ditto
  • Drinking with Scotty and Londongirl - ditto, except replace walking with drinking.

Purchase I had to carry around for the rest of the trip - Harrods bag and apron.

Monday, August 28, 2006

x is the new y

Last week, I was asked if I’d be interested in joining a Young Professional Network in my Department, I noted I was actually 30 and therefore too old. “No, no, no, the limit is 35”
35 is seen as young? Sure with life expectancy at 80-90 years old and since the average age of people in the Department being just shy of Mesozoic, 35 can be seen as young.
But Alexander the Great conquered the world by 24, Albert Einstien get a nobel prize for work he did when he was 25 and Orson Welles made Citizen Kane before hitting 27. Clinging to youth as a calling card or characteristic at 35 might be a little too late.

Well, its all relative. I suppose. I would I join a network of people in my field, sure - that would be advantageous (like I posted about awhile back) – but to join because I’m ‘young’ seems silly since it seems their priorities are wrong from the outset.

Anyway, I always get contemplative around my birthday, whilst I usually get horribly melodramatic at birthdays (when I turned 20 I had a deep depressive state ”A quarter of my life is gone and what have I done!”)(when I turned 30 “can I trust my self? I need to get outta here”). This year has been pretty calm with a lack of freak out. I’ve been immensely busy, barely a weekend has gone by when I’m not working on the house; my three major projects digging a cellar, painting the exterior and building a 12x1m retaining wall to level the backyard are 6-8 weeks away from completion (but that was the case 6-8 weeks ago). I’m immensely proud of Sureshot and plan to keep it going. Work is going ok; me and my online colleagues are still not getting the recognition we deserve, and I’m still coding and designing too much for my comfort (because I’m sort of sucky at both) but compared to where I started I’m pretty happy. Though sometimes I think I could have stuck with construction, installing air conditions and plumbing and been on a pretty good ticket with the trade shortage but …meh. So its all going pretty good. Its all very adulty with mortgages (unfortunately multiple …eeek!), weddings (unfortunately not multiple), renovations, careers and whatnot. But its not as boring and petrifying as i thought it would be.

The whole adult/young thing has been bubbling in my brain for awhile; I’ve been reading about the whole kidult phenomenon. How fun is somehow the domain of the young, to me its seems people my age seem to be clinging to their past. Monkey Magic dvds, Air Flight/Air Jordan reissues, DS Lites. I’m susceptible as well; some of the comics I read, the urge I have to buy a ps2 (yes 5 years too late but I just got bored by my Nintendo 64) and joy of just partying away 3 days.
Kids stuff or fun stuff?
Is playing World of Warcraft for a whole night that much different from my dad playing cards for 12 hours straight? Is the idea of people living at home till their 30 any different from the same phenomenon that happens in Europe for generations?

Is it people not wanting responsibility and not leaving home till they are 30, not wanting a mortgage, not staying at the same job for more then 2 years? Is it a gen-x/gen-y thing? Is it just this society’s compulsive need to label everything? Is it just marketing and business since its easier to sell at 25 year old a $1000 PS3 than to a 12 year old? Is it because I think too much?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

better then too twisted

Last friday Emma had a meeting with Eddie Macguire, who was in town begging for ad revenue (when i say meeting it was em's company-wide meet and greet)(when i say em's company i mean the company she will be working for before she kisses the media industry good-fucking-bye in a week's time)(so what i'm saying isn't that cool)

Well i asked if she could request i get my own tonight show. The response was Eddie would have to ring my mum first and ask for a reference. Well he hasn't rung yet!
i know he's busy and all, but if he wants to save his network - then hook me up dude!

I have a end of show catch phrase and everything "Stop fisting ya mum, you hump!"

The ranting

Nothing fills me with more dread, with more desire to kill myself and those around me than
"Oh i had the wierdest dream last night!"

No! it was weird? Seriously ! A weird dream? Get outta 'ere! No. Seriously get the fuck out of here!
I don't care.
I'd rather read poetry from 14 year olds then have to listen to a story punctuated with "and then", "and then", "and then".
I'd rather listen to new mums talk about their offspring's bowel movements while eating nougat then have to put up with some bullshit boring dream that is neither interesting nor relevant except to you and your "psyche".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Literary Anthology will pay for comics


For more info -

This soxs - the ranting

Why do all my socks have fuckin' holes in them? The pair i have on now, have been on my feet for a little over 12 hours, they were brand new.
And there is a fucking hole in them.
Before you ask - no my toe nails are not claw-like, they are neatly cut (i have regular access to concrete). It doesn't matter which business socks i buy; cheap ones, expensive ones, wool, cotton, cashmere, synthetic all have fuckin' holes in them.

So what's the problem?
Well, what happens if i go to a traditional japanese resteraunt with friends spur of the moment style? What happens if i want to try some phat kicks or nice oxbloods on during lunch? What happens?
I'm stuffed because i look like a 30 cent pauper with my holey socks.

The pain and shame.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sureshot and em

Organising this wedding and being ethically inclined we are considering bonbonerie (those little gifts for guests that usually get thrown away). Initially we thought of little bottles of my olive oil (like i sent to various people around the country for xmas) - well Em's mum freaked out claiming some sort of italian bad luck voodoo on giving oil for presents at weddings (we are sceptical tho, we think she doesn't like the idea). So i blurted out i could put together a little comic and she loved the idea - so

(totally self serving post mode engaged)

Would anyone be interested in providing either pin ups or 2-3 page stories staring myself and Emma (i'll supply photos and stories)? I need to know who's interested and with what so i can come up with a format and stories (if need be).
What will you get? My undying love and respect. Maybe some sort of compensation - no promises.
I'll need it by mid November which should be plenty of time.

if you are cool enough send me an email ( by the end of the month.

Team Radelaide raids Supanova

Before i retire the term Team Radeliade, a bunch of Adelaide comikers will be at Supanova.

Be prepared.

(payment for early bird prices for Artist Alley Tables must be sent by friday 18th - i believe)

I'll be needing sydney-siders advice on accomdadtion - and on that note it might be cool if all interstaters crash at the same hotel/motel/hovel. (and a 'official' after party would be cool too) I'll do some research and point out some ideas.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sureshot Presents Ordinary Eyeball

You can buy Ordinary Eyeball from Pulp Fiction Comics in Adelaide, Impact Comics in Canberra, Minotaur Comics (wehere you can get Sureshot Presents Gothic Boogaloo and Ozcomics 1, 4, 5, 6)and Comics Etc in Melbourne.

I'm hoping to be in Kings Comics, Ace Comics and Phasetwo Comics soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Creating Opportunities

Congrats to Nicola landing a gig on Birds and Prey and to Chris Burns on his new book.

What I've noticed about the guys getting work is not their talent (which is great and quality) but the ability to make opportunities. They've taken what they've got (skills, passion, networks) and created work for themselves, chased opportunities which they've used to create more opportunities. They haven't sat next to their humming PCs waiting for someone to give them work. I think Chris' project was a ballsy move and one i suspect that needed a lot of selling and negotiating - but its paid off. Suggesting that Nicola's success is borne from her going over to New York for a year is selling her short; every pin up thread or anthology project at Millarworld has had Ms Scott offering up work, getting her work and name out there.

Holgate hasn't left his apartment in 5 years, but through his internet connection and his dedication he's gotten gigs. It seems to me, Talent (besides 'that's nice' compliments) get you fuck all; presence, risk taking, innovation and dedication seperates the artists from the wannabes.

so well done guys

Monday, August 14, 2006

Marcelo Baez blogs

Around 2001 was an exciting time in Australian comics; Killeroo, Tales from Under the bed, Knee Pockets were all being released. One of the books that really stood out and makes me nash my teeth every time Supanova comes around hoping a new issue will appear is Maez' Diabla books. It started being a flip book Lionel Lionheart (it was something like that - don't ask) but then as a flip book with Finch (what a great package that was!) and became its own title later on. If you spot it pick it up - you can get a pack from Phasetwo.

Well to tide me over Diabla creator Marcelo Baez has started blogging

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ledger Judging - part 2

I'm not a reviewer, and these notes weren't written for public consumption but I thought people might find it interesting.


• Happy Birthday Anyway, Matt Huynh
• Pirates, Tonia Walden ed.
• Dreams of Tomorrow, Liz Argall ed.

I’m in 2 of those so i can’t say 'cause I’ll either be biased or accused of bias.


• Eldritch Kid by Christian Read (story) & Christopher Burns (Art), Phosphorescent Comics/Creatorline
• Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper, Doug Bayne and Danny Murphy
• The Crumpleton Experiments by Daniel Reed, Nautilus Illustrations

  1. Platinum Grit – Having just reread the whole series, I think books 12-14 are some of the strongest issues of the series so far. Book 2, while not completely indecipherable did take me some time to comprehend because of some of the narrative techniques used caught me offguard. The later issues though are strong and have a good narrative flow featuring well rounded characters. The art is incredibly good. The issues released last year are very tight, entertaining and well done.

  2. Crumpleton Experiments – the art really shines in this; its imaginative and well detailed. The story is intelligent but still approachable for a wider audience.

  3. Eldritch Kid – The art in some spots is very good, even excellent, especially in the earlier issues, but then later it looks a bit rushed and lacks a range of line weight, making it seem a tad flat. The story has some good ideas behind it and at times there are some cool little bits but at other times it tries very hard and ends up kind of garbled.


Another toughie; especially for the top 2 positions
  1. Trudy Cooper – she’s an extremely consistent and mature writer. In Platinum Grit she’s created a world where the bizarre CAN happen but the people are still real emotional beings. She creates characters that you hate, like, loath, love, sympathise, pity – all at different times; in a panel you can loathe Nils and the next pity her. Whilst sometimes Trudy’s stuff, especially in Book 2, is a bit hard to follow, by the end it all makes sense. She has a good and broad sense of humour and uses interesting storytelling techniques. The supporting cast are highly imaginative and add to the atmosphere. If there is any weakness it would be that its all surface, there is no subtext, nothing to think about, its just a weird soap opera. There is nothing wrong with being a weird soap opera especially when it’s a good weird soap opera like Platinum Grit. (oh and I don’t like the use of accents - as a non-native English speaker its hard for me to figure out what they are saying half the time)

  2. Matt Huynh – The imagination of young Matt is his greatest gift, coupled with a sense of empathy and sensitivity makes him an expressive and exceptional writer of social dramas. The dialogue of his characters ring true, his capturing of daily life is well considered and effectual and the bigger questions he poses of his characters is very contemplative and allows the reader to reflect. I would have easily put Matt in the top spot if it wasn’t for Sarcasm Lass, a project which left me cold – as an MTV inspired web comic it moved too slowly (I think me being on dial up at the time probably affected the narrative flow of the piece but then again when a fair chunk of web users are on dial up –its an issue) and it didn’t have the laughs I would expect from the concept. All in all, I’d love to see Matt develop other voices and stories and expand from the teen angsty stuff because he has that down solid.

  3. Christian Read – The three pieces applicable for 2005; the Record, the Deevee story and Eldritch kid show a wide range of genres and themes though very little of it is truly deeply satisfying. Outside the Witch king (a 2006 release) Eldritch Kid is probably Christian’s interwesting work, sad thing is that its really a bit of mess. At times there are glimmers of good, even excellent comic writing but when contrasted with tonnes of fantasy speak and weird inconsistent storytelling and pacing it losses all impact and becomes a frustrating read. Eldritch Kid is set in an interesting environment and has an interesting message but its made a bit too explicit (having a character spell it all out) that makes it all feel unnatural. I’m pretty sure I’m not the intended audience, but even so I should be able to appreciate the technical aspects of good writing. I liked the concept of the Record and the story telling but it feels like it was a longer story that got shoehorned into a lesser number of pages; diluting the twist at the end. And the deevee story was well constructed and told though a bit long; 5 or 6 pages for 2.5 jokes, it was a lot of set up for not much payoff. I agree with others, Christian has really really good ideas but has trouble translating those ideas into a comic. A good editor would be able to shape Read’s work into good stuff – especially work for hire stuff.


Bloody hell, its like picking your favourite organ, they’re all different but I NEED them all. Its always hard for my to critique art because I don’t have the language or the learned skills behind me – all I can do is figure out what I like and don’t like about a particular artist and try to string some comprehensible words together and hope it makes sense.
  1. Matt Huynh – That scene in the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Willie opens up the tiny door into the huge chocolate room; that scene epitomizes Matt’s artistic ability. Almost excessively imaginative (that means its weird without being unsettling), structurally sound but delicate and detailed, colourful but slightly dangerous and all in all exceptionally yummy, and a delight to behold. His style probably isn’t commercial in a Marvel/DC sense but Matt’s talents would be wasted there. He has a good sense of anatomy (which he excitedly stylizes), extremely strong sense of design (though he falters sometimes) and a wonderful sense of colour. His panel to panel storytelling is good, especially in Happy Birthday Anyway and The Seed. Matt’s inking stands out and has un-mistakable style (which can be a fault too) that adds atmosphere and depth. And his colouring is phenomenal. Lastly, his expert use of a large range of techniques and tools also puts him in front of the pack.

  2. Doug Holgate – In terms of output Doug was a bit quiet in the comic scene this year but what he did produce was remarkably good. Starting with his weakness, the cutesy wootsey style he has developed I think creates a boundary to his range. Whilst Matt and Trudy’s art styles could do a crime, fantasy or slice of life story, Doug’s would probably not fit as well. The style overtakes the content, it always looks cute (though the recent Tall Stories stuff he did this year is a fair departure from this style so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about). It, again, is a small weakness – that I doubt very much will affect his career, Doug won’t be crying that he’ll never have a go at “Batman” or do “From Hell 2; Ripper Returns - pip pip”. But what Doug lacks in range he more than amply makes up in skill. His use of traditional artistic techniques and tools is as strong and as amazing as his use of the digital artistic resources. His painting, colouring, inking are all gold. His story telling and page designs are dynamic, eye catching and a joy to read. His character designs are interesting and their anatomical structures fit in coherently with his general style.

  3. Trudy Cooper – If she wanted to do, Trudy has the skills to work for any comic company she wanted; whilst she world smirk at the idea of working for Marvel or DC, her style would be well suited to a pop culture slice of life books like Strangers in Paradise or a Vertigo book like Deadenders, Y the last Man or a Preacher spin-off or even, and get ready to scoff, a licensed books like Star Wars (I don’t know why I just see her style being a good fit). She’s Australia’s answer to Kyle Baker – which is a very high compliment. Out of the three nominees, hers is the most commercial, in a classic sense, comic book style. Her characters are nuanced and expressive, drawn well and correct but still with enough personal style to make them stand out. If anything, sometimes I wished her panel design was a bit less restricted; her style, whilst formed technically perfect, lacks the in your face dynamism of many current crop artists – by breaking out of the rigid grid paneled page (ie more splash pages, more breaking the border) she can add some zip to her page. But all be told this is a small quibble because I’m trying hard to separate the three artists. Its really hard to compare Trudy with Matt and Doug, since all I’ve seen from her is what’s in Platinum Grit, where with the other two nominees I’ve seen paintings and sketches and illustrations showing a wide range of techniques and styles. Consequently, I can’t comment on her colouring or her overall art technique which is quite limiting in the judging.

In a perfect world I’d rank them 1.000001, 1.000002, 1.000003. Sigh.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ledger judging - part 1

I'm not a reviewer, and these weren't written for public consumption but thought people might find it interesting.


  1. Tonia Walden – I’ve already song her glory in my initial blog nomination posting. The quality she gets for the money she spends is unparalleled. Its eye catching and well constructed. Every detailed is considered and there’s a natural flow.

  2. Glen Shearer/Darren Close – this book is 90% perfect but that last 10% imperfection is infuriating. Its hard to tear shreds off a charity book but I don’t want to give it a free pass. The landscape format shits me; its fine for a picture book that pages can be glanced at while its ites on the coffee table, but with the interviews the book flips and flops and it’s a bugger to read. The cover though gives the book a nice feel and it shows a wide range of styles and genres covered within the book and Australian Comic Scene. I’m not sure if the content of interviews really falls in the realm of Production Design but it got boring really fast reading the same questions and essentially same answers. The weird inconsistencies are frustrating – stuff likes why were the names organized by first name, why couldn’t the name of the artist on a particular page be in the footer, why did some artists get front section placement but no question/answers? And why does some of the art look like it was from 72 dpi? The cover, concept and quality are all great just those few niggling aspects really brought the whole thing down.

  3. Troy Kealley – Simon Sherry’s work for this book, is hands down the best cover for an Australian comic this year. I bet no horror fan could walk past that in a comic shop and not want to pick it up and flick through it. It’s just perfect. I think the back cover is sort flawed, its too cute and subsequently it would confuse readers, there’s still the conception that comics are for kids but Troy is trying to offer a horror comic to adults and horror fans but there’s this cartoonish hand clawing from the back – it’s a mixed message. Is it Freddy Kruger or Casper the friendly ghost? The end result is it alienates both crowds – even though both pieces are strong and well done. I think the black pages worked well for a number of stories; it makes the art feel hemmed in and claustrophobic adding to the creepy atmosphere but that backfired when the art wasn’t that great making the ugliness standout like dogs balls. I think the spread of stories was pretty good, the good ones where well distributed so you could forget about the ones that don’t work well, but I’m not sure if this an editorial issues or production design issue. I was disturbed at some dodgy scanning resolutions in one or two stories too.


Very hard category
  1. Raymondo Person – makes me laugh every. Single. time. It’s hardly commercial but its so well constructed. The art is deceptive; it looks like stick figures but the backgrounds and surroundings are detailed and well proportioned (the last two entries the ‘bridge’ and ‘banjo’ ones are positively gorgeous). The humour is quite wide from the easy fart, shit, fuck jokes to the bizarre observation skit.

  2. Maggellan – I’m not one for superhero parody books, its too simple and easy and that’s what I thought Magellan was; thankfully its not. It’s a surprisingly good read. The writing probably couldn’t be described as economical but it does function as a good way of allowing the reader to catch up with what’s going on – which seems to be important in sporadically published/read web comic. The characters are interesting and all have their own voice which is important when there are so many characters flying around in a story. The superhero formula is very bright and colourful but this contrasts with the sex and violence of the work (this contrast can be unsettling to a degree). The art is very workman like and simple – it gets the point across but isn’t structurally or anatomically great or exciting. The writing did have me wanting to know what happened next.

  3. Big Fun Mega Happy Pet Land- its cute and for a kids comic you couldn’t expect more, as an adult its hard to really compare it to the more mature fare of Raymondo or Magellan. In terms of construction, the art is exceptionally good, the colouring quite good both using a cute and approachable style. The writing is lightweight, I’d expect a laugh on every page and this doesn’t always deliver but the mileage of kids would differ to an old man like me. I think that the shoehorning of a concept sometimes hurts the strip because the jokes seem forced but that’s really a tiny criticism of a great kids comic.

  1. Deevee Flange – probably the best issue of DeeVee, every single story hits its mark and its quite entertaining and meaningful. I wonder if the ‘Different Voices’ genesis of the book is being forgotten though; besides Mandy’s piece (and possible James K’s and the playright) – its hardly alternative. If there was one thing that sours it, for me, is that it has no point – it’s a collection of very good stories but there is nothing underlying the book, no reason for it – leaving me slightly dissatisfied. But in terms of what Australian talent has to offer; there isn’t a better example.

  2. Fell – Both Ellis and Templesmith extend themselves; Ellis forgoes his normal tropes (bitter overcoated smoker with sexy powerful female aid) and Templesmith does some regular panel to panel sequential work, squeezing in 9 panels a page without forgoing detail and mood. It’s a very good book – it’s not really literature, its just very good escapist fiction.

  3. Small Gods – this series started well but became really clichéd in the middle – the last story arc though picked up immensely. Issue 11, the last issue released in 2005, was quite the exciting read and it left me hanging for the next chapter. The writing is economic but sometimes a bit lame; the dialogue doesn’t feel right, it can be a bit melodramatic or sometimes just unrealistic. But some of the ideas and concepts presented are quite interesting. I’m not really a fan of the art, the grey toning, I find, takes away from the vibrancy I’d expect from an action comic. Its a mindless entertaining comic that has the odd good and exciting idea but sometimes smothers it with cliché.

  1. The Seed – I’m a massive fan of Liz’s work, she hasn’t made a wrong step yet, she’s faltered (the odd story in Something Wicked) but never fallen in a heap. I’m a massive fan of Matt’s work too. I think this is the second or third time they’ve worked together and its one of their best. It’s so open and expressive and it plays to their obvious strengths; Liz’s simple approach to concept and delivery and Matt’s imagination and design. Its just perfect.

  2. Laika – Wonderfully illustrated, it has the best story telling out of any of the other nominees. It’s wonderfully cute and expressive. The first half is perfect but I feel that it falls down with the appearance of the water kitty and the water sprite television thingy. Ok, falls down is a bit harsh but it does trip a bit over the carpet. However it resolves it self really well. The colouring is outstanding but I would have preferred if it was called Laika: first doggie in space, but that’s just me.

  3. The Record – I think if Christian has a major flaw is that he tries to jam in so many ideas into his stories that the good and interesting ones get drowned out by the crappy distracting ones. Less is more. Tonia’s art is as solid as ever and could have carried the story along without the narration. It was probably the first time I appreciated Tonia’s ink work, its quite lavish and conscientiously detailed without being gaudy. The twist at the end is good but because so much time is spent on creating and explaining the zombies we don’t get a clear enough view of the main character to really fundamentally understand why he would want to be a zombie, therefore the twist is flat.

  4. Star Wars – Not written by an Australian and not self published – well that’s 2 demerit points. I’m not really sure if I should be judging the whole book or just Nicola’s portion of it but I’m assuming since its in the Single Issue category I’ll judge it as a whole (I would have been more comfortable if this was listed in the International Title category). This is the second part of a two part storyline, continuing from issue 26. Its not necessary to read 26 since not much happens in it, and Nicola only did about half the art in 26. In 27 she pencils all 22 pages and it really shines, shot directly from her pencils (bypassing the inking stage) the lush and beautiful colours really round off Nicola’s work. I felt if anything let down Nicola’s work as a whole it was her inking; her anatomy and storytelling are well honed and first-rate but her inking doesn’t have that superhero edge that makes it look dynamic and fast. Nicola’s style is most suited to superheroes and action so its an area, that I, think needs to be looked at. The story is good without being exceptional, the characters do their bit, there’s a nice pace and its all very entertaining but nothing that stands out as a whole.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

ledger awards - my judging

I passed on my judges notes ages ago, i was only supposed to give preferences but then i started making tiny notes just to make it easy on myself. Well 4000 words later, i had made my choices. Compared to the actual winners, i only picked one winner in writing.

I'm cleaning up my notes and will post them in the next couple of days. If you don't want criticism - look away now (come back way later).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ledger Awards - The Final List

Judges Category

Mini comics, zines featuring comic content etc.

Happy Birthday Anyway, Matt Huynh

Pirates, Tonia Walden ed.

Dreams of Tomorrow, Liz Argall ed.

Local publishers distributing mainly in Australia.

Eldritch Kid by Christian Read (story)
& Christopher Burns (Art), Phosphorescent Comics/Creatorline

Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper, Doug Bayne and Danny

The Crumpleton Experiments by Daniel Reed, Nautilus

Titles distributed overseas and within Australia featuring
Australian talent.

Small Gods, Jason Rand (story). Image Comics

Fell, Ben Templesmith (art) Image Comics

DeeVee: Flange, Eddie Campbell, Daren White &
various. DeeVee Press

Produced by Australian creators.

Big Fun Mega Happy Pet Land by Jase Harper (Mania

Magellan by Stephen Crowley

Raymondo Person by Patrick Alexander

In recognition of writing excellence in 2005 by an
Australian creator. Print or web.

Trudy Cooper (Platinum Grit)

Christian Read (Eldritch Kid, various)

Matt Huynh (Happy Birthday Anyway, various)

Full art, penciller, painter or multimedia. In recognition
of excellence in 2005 by an Australian creator. Print or web.

Doug Holgate ('Laika', various)

Trudy Cooper (Platinum Grit)

Matt Huynh (Happy Birthday Anyway, various)

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

"Laika" by Doug Holgate, (Flight #2)

"The Record" by Christian Read (story) & Tonia
Walden (art), (Something Wicked)

Star Wars Tales #27, illustrated by Nicola Scott
(Dark Horse Comics)

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

Glen Shearer and Darren Close, Operation Funnybone

Troy Kealley (cover by Simon Sherry), Something Wicked

Tonia Walden, Pirates, various

Public Voted Categories

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

Operation Funnybone (Glen Shearer, co-ordinator)

OzComics 24 Hour Comics Challenge (Mark Selan, co-ordinator)

Pulp Faction Forums (Maggie McFee, co-ordinator)

In recognition of excellence in 2005. Print or web.

Stephen Crowley

Dean Rankine

Steve Martinez

In recognition of Australian retail excellence and support
in 2004.

Phase Two Comics, online

Kings Comics, Sydney

Minotaur Books, Melbourne

Favourite comic book or graphic novel (English or foreign
language) released by overseas publishers during the year.

Flight 2

Daisy Kutter - The Last Train


Favourite international creator (artist, writer etc.) with
work released during the year.

Mike Mignola

Kazu Kibuishi

Paul Grist

Nominees chosen from Australian creators, publishers or retailers
past or present.

Peter Ledger (automatically inducted)
Gary Chaloner (2005)
Trudy Cooper (2006)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Collect me in CollectorMania

It was an honour to be interviewed by Kevin Patrick in this month's CollectorMania, especially when Kevin usually concentrates on Australian comics of the pre80s variety.

We talked Sureshot Presents Gothic Boogaloo and the idea behind Sureshot, he also offers a favourable review.

Monday, August 07, 2006

OzComics Magazine

Ok, I've now sold out of OzComics Magazine #4 and #1 (second print). There will be no variant cover 3rd printing by Mike Turner.

So if you can find some buy'em. Pulp Fiction Comics in Adelaide has a full run, Minotaur comics has been just sent some. Kings has the later issues and Phasetwo comics has a full run. If you are in Brisbane or Canberra let me know if they've got any.

I'm most likely not printing anymore in the a4 format, though i just had the idea of doing "a best of" next year. Though I probably won't.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Doujicon photos

I don't like photos so i never take many but here are a few

Road Trippin' - there are better versions of this photo with everyone bar me looking cool. But my blog so i have too look as cool as possible. Sarah is either eating chicken or a gaytime.

Dan tries to escape the trip in Murray Bridge

Avi and Tim McEwen (Supanova) discuss conventions in Australia.

Greg Gates, Dean Rankine, Mark Fitz sit along the wall.

After i took this photo Greg broke out and sang Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance in its entirety.

A common comment was "How cute is Gary's lady?"

"How many people actually think that beard looks good on you Steve?"
"one? fair enough"

Tonia's looking a bit mischiveous there, isn't she? That's scott beattie (in green) and Ian T(homas) in white.

Team Radelaide relaxing at the end of the con.

The rawk.

More photos can be seen at EvilDan's myspace

Friday, August 04, 2006

Road trippin' Doujicon- pt 5 (the hillbillies have horse eyes)

Once in town we headed to discount cd place because Owen wanted discounted cds. The ones he wanted weren’t to be had so he left with one cd. I was tempted to buy the Definitive Monkees but well…I didn’t. We went to Minotaurs again and ran into Practice Cactus. Mark wrote in really to the point short sentences. We left to go to some art store, who’s name I can’t remember but it doesn’t matter because it was closed. Nike Town was next and it was kind of lame, I’m more of an adidas kind of guy, so I sneaked into the Adidas store and wasn’t impressed either. I’m not too enamored by the whole Adicolor stuff. We caught the tram back to the car and while Dan spoke to interstate line dancers we made last minute changes and headed off.

We stopped for petrol and my favourite hangover food, mcdonalds. I love cheeseburgers, they’re like comfortable edible shoes; they look shit but they go down easy. I was seated in the middle of the backseat, so quickly my large arse was sore from being of the lump that usually runs down the middle of the seat. Jing had sat in that possie for the entire trip to Melbourne but her small arse was sans straddle it. I also refuse to sit behind the driver because I don’t like seeing myself in the rear view mirror.

We all took turns driving, except for Sarah who doesn’t drive. By about 5, I was riding shotgun while Owen drove. It was getting dark and rainy. The road was slightly bumpy and every now and again the car would slightly ‘slip’ when it hit road markings. This made things fun. Whenever I hit the high-beams the rain would get illuminated and it would appear to be falling sideways into the car. It was cool.

On the way to Melbourne Dan mentioned that the Fuel gauge goes from half to empty real quick. ‘Yeah yeah yeah, Dan, that’s the case with most cars’.

So it caused much shitting of my pants when I could actually see the gauge move and when the ‘E’ light came on it was a matter of “oh fuck”. We were in the middle of nowhere.

“hey the light’s come on, the fuel light"
“we’ve got about 20kms”

Well we had about 20km to the next town, so we drove on, trying to coast down hills like it would make a difference. We took the exit of the highway and drove into some 6 house town. We followed the fuel signs to a conveniently closed petrol station. Backtracking I stopped at a pub and scampered in.

There were about a dozen people in there; 3 hard core barflies and the rest were watching a lass do White Stripes covers on an acoustic guitar.
“Hi, where’s the closest petrol station”
The barmaid (its a country pub, I’m not going to say bar attendant) smiled
“Mt Barker, about 20km”
“You going to make it?”
“the lights on, so I dunno”
“what kind of petrol do you need?”
“let me check”, I scampered out and through the rain, asked about petrol and scampered back in
“I need unleaded,”
“you might want to ask if anyone’s got some at home” She then moved to one of the barflies, I’m going to assume because he would be the most helpful bloke. I’m going to call him Slurry McSwearer

“You got any petrol at your place?”
“Ohhh yeah”
“would you be willing to get some?”

Slurry looked at me, giving me the horse eye, he looked like he was going to say something, his pause made think it was going to be ‘no’ so I butted in

“There’s a six pack in it for ya” I turned up the ocker in my voice a bit.
“Fuckin’ six pack? Fucking. Fucking think I’m cheap? Fuck. You seen how much fucking petrol is?”
At this point the barmaid made a step back away from Slurry. Slurry’s mates were giving me the eye too. I felt uneasy, probably because of the previous jokes about being eaten by hick cannibals if we broke down. But, yeah, Slurry was getting way to agitated and i don't like inconveniencing people as it is

“oh yeah, mate, I’d pay for the petrol on top”
“fucking hell, have to go home, fuck, …"
“Its alright mate, she’ll be right”

I thanked the barmaid for trying and quickly made my way out of there. I’m guessing Slurry is still bitching about the city fella.

Through force of will, the car went another 20kms to Mt Barker. I ended up putting 53.5L into the 55L tank (when I took the cap off it made that cool suction sound). It was a relief.

We meandered back into Adelaide and dropped owen of first. Then it was me. I trundled down my drive way loaded with stuff. Em was watching the Great Gatsby so I showered, had left over pizza and wine and crashed.

Commercially, it could have been better; each of person from Adelaide had about 4 titles on offer and we all sold about 50 books (in total; 10 per title) each. That’s not really that great, but with our location and the clientele (we weren’t selling manga) its understandable.

Socially, it was really great, though it would have been better if more Melbourne creators socialized after the event, it was still heaps of fun.

So well done Avi, great job.

Road trippin' Doujicon- pt 4 (old man river and soggy socks)

We headed back to St Kilda. Owen had started drinking his half bottle of vodka around 4pm, stylishly he had mixed it with pepsi and covertly drunk it from a fast food disposable waxed paper cup. He was less grouchy and more fun.

Dinner with a large group is always hard since there is never a consensus; “I don’t want asian” “I don’t want Italian” “I don’t want to spend much” limits the options. I convinced everyone to go to Greasy Joes and I was praised for my greatness. Massive serves, decent tasting and reasonably priced. Everyone was starting to get tuckered out. We had planned to hit the city again but after a big meal it was decided we’d stay local.

We ended sitting outside a bottlo with two beer taps but they served Coopers Pale Ale. We had the problem of not knowing what the glass sizes are called; we are hoping that there is some national movement so we can all come together behind schooners and pints or midis and pots or whatever. Can’t we all get along beerhounds?

We people watched, sitting on the footpath under toasty gas heaters. There must have been a costume party or rave because various people came past dressed as pirates, police, skanks. “A hanky and a wish” was a frequent critique – I know what I was wishing for. There were a lot of bad tans, which I can never understand.

Well Benzine and Dan left for the room. Leaving Owen, Sarah and myself. Owen, again didn’t drink. I think funny stuff was said. Their was a waiter who looked like Joaquin Phoenix meets Robert De Niro who Sarah feel in love with; it looked like his mum was the manager and she’d tell him off like Italian mothers seem to do. Dan rang to convince us to buy booze and head back. I argued I was not 16 year old camp and would like to be drunk in public like an adult. Sarah left me and Owen to finish drinks.

I don’t actually remember getting back to the room but I woke up in my jeans. Ah good times. Good times.

The next morning I woke up at 8 and walked to Greasy Joes for breakfast. I had a double long black and French toast (maple syrup on the side) with a peppermint tea chaser. The pretty dreadlocked waitress gave me some pity “looks like you need a cup of tea” and patted me on the head. I believe I purred.

Full and content I headed back. We checked out and packed the car. Everyone was slightly weary but we headed into the city to do some shopping.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Road trippin' Doujicon- pt (Do you know who the I am? Please tell me)

I had read how cosmopolitan the St Kilda area was with café’s and whatnot so i decided getting a couple of expressos into me would be good for my sans-sleep brain.

Well I walked and walked and everything was closed or lacked a certain essence of French toastiness. After 30 minutes I discovered “greasy joes”. I long blacked it and read the paper while I waited for my food. My French toast came out swimming in syrup and after 2 slices I was done.

At 830 I headed back to motel, for a boost I put “Tribe called quest” on the mp3 player so “Check the rime” y’all.

Everyone was up and ready.

We headed off. Benzin and Owen (they were the soberest) drove and navigated and did an awesome job of it. (I’ll take some credit to because I printed a bunch of maps)

We found the uni, then the car park, the building and the actual hall. What we didn’t find was the table I booked – because they ran out of trestle tables. Sigh – I had extreme concerns about the event because of the oztaku track record, this didn’t expel those concerns. It was 9:45 and things were still chaotic; some volunteers were really cool, like one younger volunteer who spent 10 minutes marching around in a circle like a tin man. He made me laugh. Instead of a big trestle table we got 6 school desks which fit our piece of material perfectly. Though we had to move everything a couple of times
“You can’t sit there, that’s the theatre exit”
“But that’s where we are on the map”
“Well…you can’t”
“Hmm, ok”
I could tell the mature section would have a high level of suckage, the map I got didn’t show that the stairwell completely blocked our view of the general area (meaning unless you walked around the corner patrons couldn’t see us.

We moved again to get closer to the action.
But enough kvetching. (for now)

I quickly chatted with Practice Cactus and with Darren Close. I wasn’t very talkative since I had too much going on. I had fully assumed that I would catch up with people afterwards at drinks; that’s the norm in Brisbane and Sydney (to a degree). However at the end of the day people just disappeared. But that’s jumping ahead.

I’m not going to go through every detail,(thank God) but some highlights/lowlights.

Forgetting my sketch book at home, there were so many great artists attending, I could have come closer to having every aussie artist contribute.

Meeting Kevin Patrick and Phillip Bently. Guys I have great respect for; friendly guys who work for the love of it but work smart and make opportunities. I chatted with them pretty extensively about Sureshot and comics and publishing. Kevin asked for me to be part of a Publishing comics talk which I agreed to and enjoyed. I sincerely hope it gets even a couple of people published.

The mongy who would pick up comics and read them cover to cover and walk off. He did it three times during the day and with my cranky pants hitched up high I asked (I’m paraphrasing) if he would refrain from doing that and leave.

Getting Tonia’s latest book and catching up with her, even briefly. She’s so awesome.

General lack of traffic and not having the brain power to get into deep conversations with anyone

Announcing the Ledger Awards, whilst I didn’t record it here’s a transcript that I made up.

It started with me doing a medley of songs “Hooray for Doujicon!” “Supanova” and “Sexy MF”

Mark – Thanks. Thanks, your warm applause is gratifying. Thanks.

Mark – Wow, 10 minutes of clapping, hardcore. Melbourne rocks.

-After 30 minutes of applause and general swooning.-

Mark – thanks for attending the announcement of the winners of the Ledger Awards

-Half the crowd leave-

Mark – it’s a privilege to be pronounce these titles as Australia’s best for 2006.

Mark – lets start of with PRODUCTION DESIGN OF THE YEAR, the nominees are Glen Shearer and Darren Close for Operation Funnybone , Troy Kealley for Something Wicked and Tonia Walden, Pirates, for various books. And the winner is Glen Shearer and Darren Close for Operation Funnybone

Mark – Glen couldn’t be here because he didn’t know of the event and Darren was busy turning off another website. But congratulations to you both.

Mark – Second category, WEBCOMIC OR COMIC STRIP OF THE YEAR and the nominees are Big Fun Mega Happy Pet Land by Jase Harper, Magellan by Stephen Crowley and and Raymondo Person by Patrick Alexander.

Mark – and the winner is Big Fun Mega Happy Pet Land by Jase Harper. Jase couldn’t be here in person but I have him on the phone.

Jase – Dude!

Mark – Dude! Congrats!

Jase – Dude! Awesome!

Mark – Anything else Jase?

Jase – Dude. Rawk!

Mark – thanks Jase. Next we have SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY OF THE YEAR. And the nominees are "Laika" by Doug Holgate, "The Record" by Christian Read & Tonia Walden, Star Wars Tales #27, illustrated by Nicola Scott and "Seed Dreams" Liz Argall & Matt Huynh.

Mark – And the winner is "Laika" by Doug Holgate. Doug couldn’t be here today because that would involve leaving his apartment but he’s on the phone.
Congratulation Doug

Doug – Thanks you, you ##crsh## ing ##smsh## hole. Eat my stinking brown ##zzpt##.

Mark – Doug you are breaking up, buddy, catch ya later Mark – the nominess for the SMALL PRESS TITLE OF THE YEAR are Happy Birthday Anyway by Matt Huynh, Pirates edited by Tonia Walden and Dreams of Tomorrow edited by Liz Argall. And the winner is Happy Birthday Anyway by Matt Huynh. Matt is currently busy working but he says thank you and his acceptance will take the form of a comic, a sad comic about heart break and loneliness.

Mark – Next we have a big one, INDEPENDENT PRESS TITLE OF THE YEAR and the nominees are Eldritch Kid by Christian Read & Christopher Burns, Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper, Doug Bayne and Danny Murphy and finally The Crumpleton Experiments by Daniel Reed. And the winner is Eldritch Kid by Christian Read & Christopher Burns. We have Christian on the line, congrats Christian

Doug – Your comics are really ##shizzt## and another thing

Mark – Whoops wrong line! Christian are you there?

Christian – Yeaahhhhh boyeeeee! Big up, g wicked styling, gotta gotta give thanks to Jesus our Lord and Saviour for giving me da talent. Props to the East side posse, Phosphorescent represent yo. To my main man Chris Burns , you da star man. Respect and peace out 2006.

Mark – Coming to the end of proceedings

Masses of applause

Mark – The WRITER OF THE YEAR nominees are Trudy Cooper, Christian Read, and Matt Huynh. And the winner is Trudy Cooper. Trudy couldn’t make proceedings because I don’t really know her so I can’t parody her and she sounds like she could hurt me so lets get to the final category BEST ARTIST.

Mark – And the nominees Doug Holgate, Trudy Cooper and Matt Huynh. And the winner is – Doug Holgate. You still there Doug?

Doug - ##shhhht## smoking, fist swallowing, mouth ##brrrzzt##

Mark – Thanks Doug. And thanks to the 2 of you left.

I couldn’t figure out the timetable and missed the opportunity – no one grabbed me and no one complained so I shrugged my shoulders and went back to selling.

A volunteer asked if I could fill in for Avi doing a talk on Distribution, to be done in 5 minutes. Sure, I haven’t slept for 40 hours and haven’t prepared but that would be fabulous. I do a lot of stuff for pretty ladies-which has lead to me waking up in an ice bath. I lectured web stuff at TAFE for a couple of years and made most of that up so I talked for about 40 minutes and I hope the 12 people who turned up got something out of it. I wouldn’t mind doing some talks next year.

An Actual conversation

Jing - “Hey, do you like Zombies?”
Fucktard - “I don’t dislike zombies?”
Jing - “How about vampires?”
Fucktard - “I don’t dislike vampires”
Jing - “Monkeys? Gypsies?”
Jing - “Violence? Gore?”
Fucktard - “I don’t dislike any f those things”
Mark - “What do you like?”
Fucktard - “Well – a couple of years ago, I discovered that life had no intrinsic meaning. I was depressed and suicidal for awhile. I realized liking anything or disliking anything was meaningless. I don’t care. I make lots of money and have very few expenses-
Mark - “Do you have $4?”
Fucktard - “I could go around the world if I wanted to, I have lots of money. But I don’t want to.
Mark - “do you have $4?”
Jing - “you might like Owen’s book they don’t have any meaning”
Mark curls up in a little ball and pisses himself laughing.
Fucktard - “I’d have to go to the bank and who can be bothered with that?”

At that point I just had to walk away. Cranky Mark don’t sell books.

Orochi was awesome. Just perfect end to the con. Rocked out with my cock out. I just wished it was in the hall instead of the auditorium where you had to sit. But still awesome.

We headed over to the Causeway expecting to catch up with people but it was bereft of comicers. So I was really hoping to chat and drink with
  • Ben Hutchings
  • Dave Blumenstien
  • Dean Rankine
  • Ian Thomas
  • Simon Sherry
  • Tonia Walden
  • Wen
  • MakePeace
  • Ricci Morris
And talk more with Kevin, Gary, Phillip, Darren and Practice Cactus.

Alas, it was for nought. Next Year.

3 days after the event I discover Bruce Mutard and Aaron Burgess were there too. I didn’t even realize. I was hoping to catch up with Dillon and Mandy Ord but they didn’t show up at all (poor Mandy was working and sick).

Beating Dan in a breakdance battle, he was so gob smacked with my moves he forfeited.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Road trippin' Doujicon- pt2 (Cock of Doom)

We stayed on Fitzroy St, St Kilda. When we checked in I was told that we had a 4 person room which consisted of a double bed and two bunks. Dan was with me and said
“That’ll be fine I’ll share with Sarah”
“Um, yes, can we get something with four beds?”
Tap tap tap
“Yes Mr Selan, we have a room with a double and 3 bunks”

Benzine was staying with his brother but “just in case Benzin can stay with us and I can share with Sarah”
“I’m sure Benzin will be touched at your graciousness Dan”

Unpacked and freshened up.

We hit the city by way of the tram, which entailed us trying to figure when to get off and how to buy tickets. Benzin had organized with his brother to catch up, so it was just the 4 of us.

I’ve been to Melbourne once/twice/thrice, I can’t remember – it seemed really familiar.

We did find minotaurs and discovered their policy of shrinkwrapping their trades. There were a couple of art/design books I was interested in but sight unseen means no sale.

We wondered around – Dan had reorganized the night because of the missed happy hour. Years back, Dan used to travel the country putting on Skate shows and making videos. So he knows skaters everywhere – so after a very average dinner we went to a nice hip hop club on Elizabeth st. Wall to wall couches and a very good mix of east coast hip hop. We met people and drank beer. Owen stopped at two beers which made things difficult because a jug did 5 glasses, so we’d always have a spare glass. There were no highlights of the club except that it was all good. We moved onto a small little pub, St Jerome which seemed to be a gated alleyway with a tarp for a roof. It had an opium den and $6 coopers long necks. I had lost the feeling in my face so I went a stubby. The pub essentially allowed you to stand around pressed against other people; which is nice when you are drunk. Dan and his mate wrestled for their beer and promptly smashed the bottle. I tried to go down some steps but was a foot too much to the left and stumbled into a gaggle of girls “sprechen zie deutsch baby?” Ah good times. Good times.

Intermittently, I had been texting Doug Holgate to catch up. We had been msning daily for years but never met. It was slightly gay.

The gang decided to pull the pin and leave St Jerome, not after forcing me to skull half a long neck. I believe this was a ploy to use me as a battering ram to follow as I forced my way out of the pub to spew.

I didn’t spew but burped loudly a lot which was quite embarrassing with the 20 people lined outside. ‘Habla englesh, baby?”

I finally met Doug after a number of calls; the bearded one bounded up and Viking hugs were had. We trundled to karaoke club which had a massive line up so we went to Pony, another cool place. Kind of empty but not too empty that you can’t ‘bump’ into anyone and chat. My memory of the night gets dim around here. I believe we made fun of Owen’s polar fleece top but that’s an assumption more than a recollection. Doug noted he had been at the Pony earlier on a blind date. This date apparently went well. As it was only 11:30pm it couldn’t have been that great a date, but I suspect any date Doug has that doesn’t end in a bar fight is a good one. He looked really cute in his bowtie. Owen noted he expected Doug to be more of a curmudgeon. Doug told him to fuck off and then pissed on his shoes.

We all stumbled out around 2 after drinking since about 9 which is pretty fair. Goodbyes were said and taxis were hailed.

Back in our room, I had a shower since we only had 50L of hotwater and would take 40 minutes to heat another batch. Dan kindly offered to shower with Jing to make it faster in the morning. Its all about the giving with that one. By the time I showered everyone had gone to sleep so I climbed to my bunk and nestled in. It was only once we were all quiet I realized how loud it was outside, the street with hoon cruisers, the line up for the club 3 doors down, the buskers, the endless renditions of House of Pains’ “Jump around” coming from the apartment across the street. The shower had woken me up and generally I don’t sleep well when I’m drunk either (because i think ‘hey, I’m still up I could be out having fun’). The other complication was that the bunk squeaked. I usually twist and turn (I used to toss and turn but then I gots me a girlfriend - agagagaga) for a bit to get comfortable, I couldn’t do this without shaking the whole bunk.

Lying there uncomfortably, I soon became anxious with thoughts of
“oh now I’m only going to get 5 hours sleep”
“oh damn only 4 hours to 7am, I’m going to be stuffed”
“oh shit its 4am, I’m rooted”
At this point I went to the toilet and fashioned ear plugs out of toilet paper. They didn’t help.
“oh fuck, you’ve got 2 hours of sleep time”
“oh fuck sake - sleep you fucking wanker – sleep”

And at 7 I got out of bed. Got dressed and started walking. Living in my nice suburb, I’m not used to the din of the city anymore. Please make this clear, it was not Dan strutting around nude that caused my sleepless night.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Road trippin' Doujicon- pt 1 (Who will play Johnny Depp?)

Getting Suresot Presents ORDinary Eyeball was an adventure in itself, but after 4 trips to the printer it finally got done.
I had been sick the weekend before and was recovering from having too much at the Sydney conference so i was kind of worried about the trip away. Would it suck, would the 5 Adelaidians kill each other by the end of the weekend, would they laugh at my musical selections?
I packed in between commercial breaks of 24 and discovered i only had daggy underwear and none of my cool jocks; this would affect my confidence for the weekend - since i'd be out of my comfort zone (ie my house) and out of comfortable briefs. So I decided to free bag it, and give the weekend a mischievous edge (ie by lying about my underwear).

A slightly restless sleep followed finally putting everything in my trusty backpack.

We had arranged to leave from Jing's (Sarah's) place at 10 but this was changed to a 8am depature time because Dan had organised to meet friends at 6 for $5 jugs of coopers sparkling ale. It was a wise decision who needs 2 hours sleep when good cheap beer is available, especially after having to drive for 8 hours.

Jing lives around the corner, this i know, exactly where i didn't. I was running late, i tried running to make up time but then had to stop after 10 metres to catch my breath.

Well, after 20 minutes and about as many metres and half as many phone calls i found the place.

I expected a packed camry and tapping feet but i discovered Sarah making a grape sandwich, a hovering dan, an anxious Owen and a chilled out Benzin.
Dan and Sarah were arguing about why they were late
"Who's fault is it that I'm making sandwhichs now?"
"Who's fault is it that you slept in?"
"Who's fault is it that i stayed up late doing laundry?"
"Who's fault is it that you left to do your laundry at the last minute?"
"Who's fault is it that i had to go pick you up after work?"
I was afraid that there were going to keep backtracking until they started blaming their parent's for the timing of their conception,
"Who's fault is it that your parents had sex on a friday?"
so i made a distracting action of "hey lets load the car!"

It should be noted that they are not really a couple.

We car packed. Then we left at 8:30. I was worried that my musical taste would be mocked by the cool kids. I had long given up any prentension about music, i listen to what i like so yes i think Justin Timberlake's Justified is a great funky album, yes i know the lyrics of "My humps" and i downloaded the Shakira album based on the 'hips' song (wyclef jean is brilliant). Well dan started the music with a spanish version of 'hotel california' and followed it up with 'ballroom blitz', then there was a whole bunch of anime/jpop songs.

I discovered that i only understood about 40% of what benzin, dan and sarah talked about since 60% of the conversation was based on Naruto, mighty boosh and a third subject i still have no idea about. Me and Owen would just go glassy-eyed and nod. It’s a pretty decent drive – we’d stop periodically for toilet breaks and food. We should have timed the stops better because when we had to use the toilet, the attendant wouldn’t let us have the key unless we bought something.

Things discovered: I do not approve of mint m&ms, that I had been misprouncing Benzin’s name as Benzine for the past 2 weeks and no one had told me and that a musical based on ‘Nightmare on Elm street’ would be awesome.

“Once there was this pee-doh,

Who molested children on their way to school

And when they finally caught him



him into a bright fire”
(sung to the mmm song)

We also had to stop in Murray Bridge so Owen could hand in his dole form. I found this weird. It was also the first time I saw Dan’s ass as he press-hammed the car window. This was quite funny because he’s a short man and had to jump so his ass reached the window.

We drove. Talked shit. Vroom vroom blah blah. I played Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs, Sarah knew all the words. My heart fluttered.

About an hour after crossing the border we were pulled over by a highway cop and I had to hand over my license

“What’s your FULL name and address?”

Sigh – “Mark” slight pause followed by a mumbled “Leopold Selan”. Instantaneously this was meet by a chorus of “Leopold!” from the back seat.

Luckily this allowed me to remember what address was on the license since I’ve moved a couple of times and never bothered changing my address.

After I gave the address, he asked

“Any reason why you had to go 112 back there?”
“Wha? You mean when I was overtaking that ford back there?”

“Hmmm, yep – wait here”

He ambled off, and 2 milliseconds after he was out of earshot Benzin let out a cascade of obscenities. He would do this every now and again, and was kind of funny because he was really laid back 99% of the time but that 1% when he got angry was really intense.

Anyway, we got let off with a warning and entered Melbourne at 6:30. Which was too late for cheap beer.

Supanova - early bird special

The early booking discount for Artist Alley ($220 vs $330) ends at the end of the week - so does anyone want to share with me?