Tuesday, September 26, 2006

there's cheesecake on my desktop

The latest issue of Desktop has an article about the new Cheesecake and has bunch of images by Melbourne artist Martin Abel and a brief interview concentrating on tools and materials.

Monday, September 25, 2006

GQ or GeekQ?

Perusing through the latest Australian GQ, theres a 2 page article on the Conflux convention that happened 4 months back. Essentially its a 'hey check out the geeky nerds/nerdy geeks' article, concentrating on the cosplayers. Two funny quotes is a female con-goer noting that it would be really good for girls attending cons if the guys could actually tell they were being chatted up and how chicks dig the hard plastic of storm trooper costumes. on a comic front Owen and Tanya Nichools got a couple of paragraphs and quotes in talking about Storm Publishing and Nicola Scott gets a photo.

And the whole thing ends with a Simpson's Comic Shop Guy Quote.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Nevermeind released 15 years ago

Being slightly bored while Em's away in Sydney for the fortnight, i've gotten nostalgic

I think a bunch of us was at mikey's (MyMan's) place watching Rage when I first heard 'Smells like teen spirit' and was instantly captivated. It was a revelation - at the time I was pretty much about the East Coast Hip Hop; Public Enemy, BDP, Beastie Boys, De LA Soul, Tribe Called Quest etc and the growing dance scene (but lets not mention acid house). Ouside of that i think the only non-rap stuff i liked was Violent Femmes, the Smiths (though i would never had admitted it at the time), Sonic Youth (i discovered 'Goo' because of Chuck D on 'Kool Thing') and looking through my cd collection i have Lenny Kravitz's first album which i remember liking. At the time, iwas in year 11 and it was all about Guns and Roses and Metallica which i just did not get. But when those chords vibrated out of the tv it just swung my head. It was raw and made a connection that most of the other stuff out there just failed to do.
Most other music was about ' the you', about someone else; 'i love/hate you', 'you are so great' or songs about other stuff like being taken down to paradise city. Here was a song about 'the me'; 'here we are now, entertain us' - sure hip hop was mainly talking about how good 'the me' is; i'm a great rapper, i can kick your ass. But i wasn't a great rapper, and whilst i probably could kick your ass i didn't really want to - so there was never that connection (except with hip hop except for being vilified and untrusted for being young - though i'm embarrassed to think now that i somehow equated the black experience as my own.)

And being a self-involved angsty gen-xer (though there wasn't a name for it back then) i made it all about me; i hate school, i hate my job, i hate etc and i have no idea what i'm going to do. It was easy to grab Kurt's lyrics and make them about me.

So back in 1991 we watched the clip again on Rage after 6, then on Video Hits and then again on Smash Hits. Yes, this was mine.

I remember i year 12 social that i went to which was not going well; the girl i was with didn't find me charming especially when an ex-girlfriend bound up and started yelling at me because i failed to tell her that i had broken up with her and that i was talking about her to the other guys. I tried to talk my way out of it but i was getting my balls nailed to the wall - but i really deserved it because i was a bit of a arsehole - but still after 30 minutes i had hoped she would have run out of breathe. Then "smells like teen spirit" started up - all the boys surged for the dance floor and with a "I'm sorry, I gotta go" i ran off and moshed - hiding out on the dancefloor till the end of the night. Because i'm classy.

After Year 13 me and B. went to San Francisco for a month to just hang out. It was coming up to New Years Eve and Nirvana and Butthole Surfers were playing in Oaklands. Tickets were $150 which was out of budget plus Oaklands was way out of town and my Uncle, who we were staying with would be no help in transport "I'll be too drunk to pick you up". So we agreed we would miss the opportunity and see them when they toured Australia.
Well two months later that blew up in my face (and caused much jealousy with my cousins who saw his 2nd to last concert ever in Slovenia).

So today i'm digging out an oversized flannelette shirt, torn jeans and remember when my fringe came down to my chin while i mumble something about an albino AND a mosquito.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Zinefair in Sydney

Matt 'Stikman' Huynh is kindly selling Sureshout Presents Gothic Boogaloo and Sureshots Presents Ordinary Eyeball with other top shelf local comics at The Verge Arts Festival

Where - Manning Forecourt, University of Sydney
When - 10.30am - 4pm, Wednesday 20 September

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Colin Wilson's Blog

While he's drawing judge dreed, blueberry, star wars, losers and his recent Battler britian comic Colin Wilson's blogging at wilco4400.blogspot.com.

And my tribute to Colin from the 2005 24 hour challenge

and the punch line is a long story

Thanks to Andy again for stalking the oz comics scene and giving me something to blog about.

And for an awesome interview with Colin hunt down Word Balloons #2

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cruz on Muse

The omniscient Andy reveals that Melbourne's Jeff Cruz will be working on 10th Muse #17.

Congrats Jeff

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mark's Cultural Landscape

Stuff i'm digging at the moment

Thank you for smoking -I haven't been to the Movies since seeing Da Vinci Code and i can't remember what was the last movie i actually paid to go see. Well I paid to see this and it was good. Nice to watch a satire that isn't hollywood based and not a mockumentary.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - I remember renting this when it came out on video and watching it 3 times. Watching it again recently saw it go up at least 10 spots in my top 100 movies list. Almost the perfect comedy.

TV is crap at the moment. The only things that i almost make an effort to watch is Criminal Minds and My Name is Earl. I keep forgeting Extras and Battlestar Galactica is on which says more about them than me. Its sad when the only thing i'm looking forward is to watch is the new Jamie Oliver show. TV is Lame now.

The Satorialist and Face Hunter are great. I'd love to do something like this but hate taking people's picture. Also i'm in Adelaide, and who wants a blog full of people in black and tracksuits?
Signal vs Noise; nice mix of marketing, usability and fun

Be Your Own Pet - 34 minutes long/15 songs. Hard and fast and sexy.
JT - new Timberlake album is mesmerising in how good it sounds. Usually with mass produced pop i'll like it for 4 listens and thenn I'll detest it (usually anything involving Pharrel/NERD/Neptunes - see the Gwen Stephani album). I'm not usually keen on stuff produced by Timbaland stuff (overproduced) and couldn't imagine how Rick Rubin would work outside of oldschool hip hop and metal but this is sure mature sounding but still funky (with an edge of lounge). It is very futuresexy indeed, kind of like Scott 4 meets Prince, just shows you put the right people in the mix and you get gold.

Golgo 13 - the text peices at the end are dumb especially the 2 pages on Golgo's penis but otherwise very cool smart stuff.
Monster - I always think this is going to devolve into 'the fugitive' but its very gripping and moves fast enough with enough sub plots to keep it exciting.

Possibility of an Island - i don't understand it - i can't stand Hoelleques' (i think all the letters are there you might have to rearrange them as necessary) politics but he does awesome fiction. This is probably the most depressing but best thing i've read for awhile.
Otherwise the last 2 books i've read have kind of sucked; Into Tibet: the first Atmic Spy was written like a Who Weekly article and History of the OSS is so clinically written it makes the idea of spies fighting behind enemy lines during WW2 boring.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Passionate Nomads - Launch

This is how you have a launch

Wesley Anne,
250 High Street, Northcote,
from 2pm on Saturday 9 September 2006.

The book will be launched by the distinguished explorer
Sir Richard Burton,
formerly Her Majesty’s consul at Fernando Po, Santos, Damascus and Trieste.

I remember being told that there was one comic creator who in the 90s would have launches for each of his new comics and would make his printing money back over the night from beer sales. I have no idea who told me, or who was the creator but sounds like a cool idea.

But how awesome is having a knighted explorer at the launch. I expect Pith helmets.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Supanova accomadation

Since I'm the only one who is able to use the internet for non-porn uses, I've been given the task of organising accomadation for the Adelaide gang while we attend Supanova.

The convention is at Olympic park which is near Homebush.

One problem is that the hotels near homebush are booked out because the arias or some such award is being held that same weekend and whilst it would be a great opportunity to stalk Kate Derango the hotels in the area are all expensive anyway.

So we have two options; staying in the city or Parramatta.

Aarons Hotel
37 Ultimo

Aarons to Airport=12kms (about $30 taxi)
Aarons to city=1.5km
aarons to central station = .5kms
aarons to convention= 17kms (about $40)
Trains to the convention take about 30-40 minutes; cost $7.50 for a return trip and should be pretty regular (there's 3 lines we can choose from)

We can get a quad room (single beds for everyone) for $495 for 3 nights; thats $122 per person.
A single/double room is $411

The other option is Pacific International Suites - Parramatta
Corner Parkes Street and Valentine Avenue

Pacific to Airport=12kms (about $30 taxi - using trains to and from the airport is incredibly expensive so I'd rather catch a taxi or hopefully the hotel can organise a shuttle.)
Pacific to city=24km
Pacific to train station = .2kms
Pacific to convention= 10kms (about $20)
The train trip is faster at 25minutes but the trains run less regularly
The room rates for 3 nights are $498 for a triple, which means $166 and $384 for the single.

I'm guessing the city hotel would be best because we can hang out in town on the monday but I'm hoping some sydney siders can give me better suggestions.

The idea is that all the interstaters stay in the one place so we can share cabs and hang out with each other.
It would be nice if some one suggested a place to drink for saturday/sunday night so we don't spend the weekend asking "what's happening tonight?"

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sureshot Presents Collectormania interview

This is the full text of an interview that was conducted with Kevin Patrick which appeared in the August edition of CollectorsMania. It was edited down to 600 words, this is the original text which i've slightly edited to improve spelling and grammar in an attempt to make myself look smarter.

1) What inspired you to launch the Sure Shot format? Did you see a gap in the local comics market that needed to be filled, or were there other reasons?

I considered the format of SureShot Presents for almost a year before it took its final shape. It was borne from gaps in the market and the books I first got into when I started reading Australian comics in the early 2000s. A lot of creators started self publishing with grand plans of doing 4 issue miniseries or ongoing series and as a reader it was really exciting but as time went on issue 2 took three months to come out, issue 3 took six months and issue 4 never came out. It was frustrating to see these great creators get burnt out and never finish their stories. It was bad for me as a fan and i can understand why retailers and normal comic readers don't get into local product when they never get a satisfying narrative. So I knew whatever I did would have to be self contained. Anthologies involve working with too many people and readers are wary of them; especially the multiple creator anthologies. DeeVee and Phatsville are the only anthologies that have had any legs to sustain a reasonable run. Most of the others have died after 2 issues. So i wanted to only work with one or two creators per book to keep things simple and flexible.The physical format is based on cost per unit and the marketing considerations; its designed to sit next to the cash register in whatever shop its being sold at while not looking to "comicky". Because i can't write or draw but wanted something to sell i thought of providing creators an outlet to tell their stories. That's what i really love about Australian comics, they provide stories relevant to us as a society and created by people who live with us. To overcome the lack of funds to pay for work i devised the 50/50 split as a means of recompense for their creation.

2) Why did you decide to use external judges to select material for inclusion in Sure Shot?

The idea of external judges came from wanting 2nd and 3rd opinions on a project because its about providing an audience a story which they like and want to buy. Having those extra opinions means that I'm not just publishing work that I want to read but a wider variety of genre, art styles and story. Also i wanted "names" to give the book some credibility so people would submit stories and buy books.

3) How did you come to select Doug Holgate and Daren White as the selection judges?

When I was trying to formulate what Sureshot Presents was going to be i'd periodically discuss it with Holgate. I respect Doug a lot, sure he's an exceptional artist but more importantly, and what I believe leads to his success, is he works hard. He takes the maximum advantage of any opportunity and he works for those opportunities. He's not a shrinking violet waiting for someone with a big bag of money to draw comics - he creates opportunities. So he's a great role model for the artists i'm hoping to connect with and he has his views on the local scene which sometimes agree with my views but sometimes contrast. He was a good sounding board and gives well considered feedback where necessary. An asset, for sure, in the selection process. Daren White, just offered after my initial blog post about SureShot Presents, which was like getting struck by lightning, really good Chocolate-covered lightning. Daren is a writer who has worked with the larger American company but he's also published one of the more interesting and artistic anthologies, DeeVee. He understands the commercial realities of writing for the larger audience but also understands publishing and art.

4) How many submissions did you receive for the first issue of Sure Shot Presents?

None. Which is understandable, I think a lot of creators have been stung by anthologies that failed to materialise so they're a bit wary. Secondly, the marketing of the concept hasn't really been that widespread but I don't mind that, it’s meant to be organic. I don't want to be pushy and harangue people into submitting because if people aren't motivated or excited enough to approach me then they most likely will split when they discover they actually have to do some work.

5) What criteria, if any, do you & your judges’ use when evaluating material for inclusion in Sure Shot Presents?

Marketing and quality. Who would want to read this and where would they want to buy it from? Can we get the book into those shops? Is the creator ready to sell their portion? What markets will they be approaching? Is the comic itself any good? Will it be beneficial to the Sureshot Presents brand?

6) What strength(s) do you think the Sure Shot format has, especially when compared with other self-published Australian comics currently on the market?

Strengths are that the model I’ve formulated means that it is not a drain financially. Whilst it’s not designed to make me money, its not going to send me broke. I'm in for the long haul. Each issue is stand alone; it doesn't require people to hunt down multiple issues (that may never eventuate). There is a beginning, middle and end. This is reflected in the numbering, there is no issue #1,2,3 etc - there's Autumn 2006, Winter 2006, etc. Each issue will be good - the submission process means the wheat gets separated from the chaff. Retailers are getting 50% of the cover price which is a better rate than what they receive selling American comics and SureShot takes up less space on the shelf.

7) What is the current publishing schedule for the magazine?

At this stage no more frequently than Quarterly but it depends on submissions.

8) Can you tell us whose work will appear in the next issue? (Judging by the preview, I'm betting it's Doug Holgate, right?)

The next issue, Winter 2006, will actually feature the work of Mandy Ord (already out). Doug's workload means he'll be appearing in the Spring 2006 issue.

9) Have you had any feedback from readers/comic shops about the magazine? If so, what's their overall reaction been like?

In terms of retailing, I sold a healthy chunk of the print run at Supanova but only recently got the comic in shops around the nation. I'll be contacting retailers next month to see how sales are going. I've received some positive feedback from creators who i really respect which is nice. I have a schedule to send out copies to reviewers, now that it’s available to be bought in major centres. Overall, it’s positive.

10) As publisher/editor of the magazine, what ultimate goals (if any) do you have for the project (e.g. newsstand distribution, enlarged format, colour printing - that sort of thing?)

Whilst I would love newsstand distribution with colour covers, I’m content to be a boutique publisher with print runs designed to sell out while being profitable. My main goal is to produce good comics and get people to submit comics. Secondary goals though are to show comic retailers that there is an audience for locally produced comics, to expand the distribution (retailers) and market (readers) and make it easier for creators to get their work out there. A tertiary goal is to access new markets (retailers other than comic shops) but I need a backlog of books before that is feasible. Lastly, to lure advertisers to the book, mentally i have that in year 4. Once I've got advertisers/investors involved then sky's the limit.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Slovenia - 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.

It seems that every family has a vineyard consisting of about 100m of vine producing enough wine for the extended family. This is the view from my cousins' place. How about that serenity?

Emma at the top of ljubljana castle. The city itself is fantastic; because of numerous earthquakes every couple of centuries there is a wide selection of architecture styles from baroque, classicist, renaissance to socialist modernism. Since previous trips they've made an effort to clean it up making it a very pretty city.

Em and lamb on the spit, done for a big family get together - em wasn't done for the family get together, she just showed up.

Me eating crumbed frogs legs. You can see that the trip was catching up with me, especially with the ability to buy pints for $2.50. After three frogs legs you proclaim you will never eat another set of frogs leg ever again because they are disgusting.

Mum's side of the family.

dad's side of the family

At an inn i started chatting with the owner about wine and he dragged me and some other family members down to the cellar where we tasted wine for almost an hour; it went from dignified (left) to undignified (right) pretty quickly.

I always get a bit emotional about Slovenia. In Australia, i don't have much in the way of family so its always so good to get back there and feel part of a family unit. The kindness and hospitality em and i got was overwhelming at times; people would drop everything to drive for hours to take you somewhere. We didn't pay for a thing, homes and beds were all on offer. A whole bunch will be coming here at the end of the year and i fear i won't be able recipricate the generousity shown to us.
But even without the family, its an awesome place, very young and hip. The bars and pubs are fun, everyone speaks at least 2 languages (tho my slovenian got better with alcohol), the women are hawt (until they hit 30 then they crash and burn) and its just spectacularly beautiful. Its wierd living next to an australian national park but still not being able to comprehend what green is compared to the green over there. Sigh.


  • Family get togethers, which always ended with the singing of country songs
  • Wandering around the old part of Ljbljana
  • the ladies

Purchase I had to carry around for the rest of the trip - a cow hide, at first we wanted horse hide but that was to expensive so we got cow instead because that's really hard to get here.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Italy - 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.

From Paris we caught a plane to Naples and trained it to Sorrento. After some hunting we found our accomadation - a little monastery by the coast (its behind this building)

This is Positano. I got engaged here (specifically somewhere between the town and the little island you can see on the left)

For those who know me will be shocked I'm wearing shorts and thongs. They will not be shocked that I'm eating ice cream.

Probably one of the best, most perfect times, ever.

We weren't planning to see Pompei but some locals insisted so we caught the train up and were actually impressed. Our tour guide was an older gentlemen who was fixated with the brothel ruins, especially the 'menu'
"Everything you could get now, you could get then, naturally"
It was damn hot though.

My 30th birthday - we are making gnocchi. It was awesome, best present ever.

From the Amalfi coast we travelled up to Cinque Terre and it was the most laid back place ever.

We didn't spend much time in the big cities; mainly in Sorrento (too touristy), Positano (pretty cool), Amalfi (boring and expensive), then an unplanned night in Florence (really nice, except for the foot fetish guy who molested Em) , to Cinque terre (a collecton of 5 towns perched in cliffs in the north of italy - we stayed in the smallest village right on the town square so we spent nights drinking and yakking with locals and the 3-5 other tourists) and then to Venice.

I also assumed that Em's half italianess and language skills would be useful. No, she again reverted to "English? English!" but sometmes would preface it with 'Scusi'. Everyone was so tanned that I felt like an albino. Mcleods Daughters (sorelli di mcleod) was kind of well known there so we used it as a refernce point explaining where we were from - it was cool that people thought i was a cowboy. Italy is a great place to visit, except for the Italians. Shops have an average of 3-5 assistants who's function is to fold clothes and ignore customers. Trains run on time, but the time, track number or destination isn't posted anywhere on the platform or ticket; which lead to one madcap adventure trying to catch up to train we should have been on by sneaking on to Express trains and running through stations. Waiters are never wrong and expect you to pay for your mistakes. Signs that say a particular smoke shop sells bus tickets can not be taken at face value. You have to go with the flow.

But even with those misgivings - i had a blast.


Purchase I had to carry around for the rest of the trip - bottle of grappa for the father-in-law (i'm surprised it made it home without being drunk or broken)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Paris - 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.

Our hotel was just around the corner from the effiel tower, so we spent breakfasts walking around eating crepes and evenings just strolling. It is a very pretty structure. We did walk the two levels up and then waited in line for about 3 hours to get to the top. It was alright - i'd advise people just go to the Sacre Coutre. Its higher, cheaper and involves not being squashed by other tourists for 4 hours, especially loud shouty ones who seem to have no concept of personal body space.

Em and the stupid video camera she lugged around and shot hours and hours of film which we have not watched yet. Which i knew was going to happen so - ahem - 'I told you so'

Taking hints for the satorially saavy french, i made sure my shoes matched the attractions. Pigalle was kind of cool, one for all the prostitutes and more so for the discount adidas shops (though i lacked funds or space for purchasing)

This was the only artist at Montremartre who was not selling cheesy Paris landscapes or doing carcitures. Em, barginned him to 30% of the initially asking price (we got the nude on the angle)

I really loved Paris. Em said she did french at school but after 2 attempts of using her classroom french she reverted to starting all conversations with locals with "English? English!?". I fumbled with my the phrasebook. We only had one run in with a rude Parisian, all the rest were very cool. London was cleaner and easier to get around but Paris had more personality.


  • Louvre; by the end we were a bit burned out with galleires and museums but it was still awesome. I'm disappointed at not going to the D'orsay gallery but there's always next time.
  • The food; we ate like kings (but walked like paupers) Two course lunches, 3 course dinners. I ate snails and liked'em. Only 2 bad meals in 5 days is not to bad. I learnt that good ingredients make a difference. I also had the best raspberry ice cream ever which I'm this close to duplicating.
  • Just the city itself; it has a cool vibe

Purchase I had to carry around for the rest of the trip - Painting and apparently the wrong hardcover Spirou annual for Weber.