Thursday, May 31, 2007

Armeggedon to Melbourne

In the soap opera that is Supanova and Armegeddon, Armegeddon has announced that they are now going to be in Melbourne in October this year, not Sydney. Of course if you've already booked your flights and accomadation - sucks to be you.

But this is a really decent solution, those interested can read the awesomely passive aggressive press release which is ok because "they totally started it, so neh".
Even more interesting is that next year both Melbourne and Sydney shows will be October.

I'm tempted to go, team radelaide road trip.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ledger Nominations are Open

You can nominate your favourite Australian comic or creator from 2006 for the Ledger Awards.

Here are my thoughts on last years output, which might jog your memory.

Nominations are closed June 30.

Ledger of Honor

Foreign Creator of the Year

Best Foreign Comic Series or Graphic Novel of the Year

Talent Deserving Wider Recognition

Artist of the Year

Writer of the Year

Independent Press Title of the Year

Small Press Title of the Year

Story or Single Issue of the Year

Webcomic or Comic Strip of the Year

Production Design of the Year

Retailer of the Year

Achievement of the Year

There's a slight disappointment that the "talent deserving wider recognition" and "Small press" are no longer relevant; meaning that the vibrant underground ziney books will get looked over for the more swish "American floppy comic" version but both categories always caused problems on who could be nominated.

So go nominate, even if you don't believe in awards, its the recognition that counts.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

International Manga Award

The Japanese government has created the International Manga Award - niminations or submissions have closed already.

It was open for anyone not in Japan, for work already published before the end of 2006 and for creators who have been publishing for less than 10 years.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Seize the Day!

(Or at least benefit from the relatively high value of the Australian Dollar against the United States of America Dollar)

I was tempted to take advantage of the good currency rate and raid Amazon, but then I thought I'd never actually read that Frank Miller Daredevil Omnibus for fear i'd knock myself out if i dozed off while reading in bed.

So i thought i might get some POD books.

So it was off to Lulu, and yes while i have stated my issues with Print on Demand before, let me clarify, I don't think it is Satan in carnate, its just not the be all and end all. And what i found even proved my point - there was a lot of stuff that i hadn't even heard off, and if i haven't heard of it i can not buy it.

Now a $10 book will cost you $12.15 Australian, plus shipping which seems to be $6 for 1 book, $12 for 2 books, $15 for 3 book, $18 for 4 books and $24 for 5 books (that's Australian). So you can get 5 x $15 books will cost you about $23 a book which is pretty decent.

So what did i find -
well first thing, if you are an Australian Comic Creator, please use the Australia, Comic tag (even better "Australian Comic") to make it easy on me finding your stuff.

In terms of good stuff in the shopping cart -
YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG with Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper and HairButt the Hippo by Jason Paulos. PG is the type of lietrature that comics were made for, not a movie with paper or a book with pictures, but a highly interesting peice of sequential art; its funny and engaging, interesting and incredibly well drawn. Samples at the Platinum Grit Site.

So i'm grabbing a PG Volume #3 for my buddy Owen (I've got them all).

Hairbutt is funny shit with art that is so good but Jason's horror stuff looks even better, harkening back to horror comics from back in the day.

So Eeek! #1+#2 and Harlequin in my cart (I have all the hairbutt stuff)

Now searching for other books

I highly recommend Azerath as a fun filled ride; its a fantasy with a bunch of laughs but there are some real twists and shocks which keeps you hooked. If you like your fantasy stories with a harder edge then try Eldritch Kid, Brett Burns rips shit up with his art.

Whilst i like the look of Tristan - A Brood of Adders, $20 for 52 pages is still a tad much. you can see samples at the Tristan Site.

BAM (Big Ass Mini) looks cool, and though its American it has a bunch of local indie artists.

The art for Shocked (By Greg Sky) looks a bit, cheap (but looking at later pages gets a lot better), but a story about transgender and labratory accidents, I'm sure will entice some people. Read it online at Greg's site. There's also a volume 2.

There's Captain Koala, which I've never read but i may get later. There are new issues but no old issues which makes it hard if people want to catch up.

There are no real previews for Dynasty's Curse by Huu John Nguyen and I'm not sure how many pages it is but one image and cover look ok, though its only available for download.

and finally Coconuts by Jacob Zinman-Jeanes looks cute as a button

There were a number of books which I couldn't find any info for; no myspaces, comicspaces or even mentions on LJ - some sort of 'build it and they will come' mentality which just doesn't work.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Queenie Chan croons for Koontz

Sydney creator, Queenie Chan, currently working on the Dreaming is going to be working on best-selling author Dean Koontz' character Odd Thomas. That's kind of cool, especially since its through Del Ray.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm comikrazy about Comikaze

Formely known as the Ozcomic 24 Hour Challenge, the Comikaze 24 Hour Challenge is about creativity, perseverance and fun is happening again this Queen's Birthday Weekend, June 9-11.

The Challenge is to create a comic in 24 hours, in whatever medium you're comfortable in. Use ink, computer graphics, paint, magazine photos, crayons; use paper, bristol board, wacom tablets - it doesn't matter.

You can register at the Comickaze site.

It's a blast, ask any of the 80 people who particpated last year.

Prizes will be announced soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Alien Circus is actually like a circus

Once upon a time there was a set of graphic novels called 'Alien Circus' written by Dave Roman and with art from the talented LF Weber. It was created as a work for hire project for Platinum Studios. Then there was a name change to "Adventures in Tymm" seemingly because the url for was taken. It still wasn't actually published; Platinum Studios only recently published their first recently even though they've been around for 4 years.

Anyway then 2 days ago, the first 5 pages of Alien Circus was published through the Platinum Studios web comic arm, DrunkDuck as a web comic. Except without the creators names attached but then that was rectified after Dave Roman mentioned his disappointment on his LJ.

I hope this means that the book will get published soon.

your pal

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sureshot Presents .....Submissions

Sureshot Presents a Guide to Australian comics is out and so far is availble from Pulp Fiction Comics in Adelaide and Minotaur Comics in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra should be sending in their orders soon, but i'm sure a gentle reminder from customers in the guise of "Where's Sureshot Presents, i know its out, whheeeere Is it?" followed by crying would be helpful.

Other news is that I just sent Mandy Ord another 200 copies of Sureshot Presents Ordinary Eyeball after she sold out her first run of 150 in 9 months (I sold out my share in about the same time).

I'm looking for submissions, let my friend Doug Holgate (behind Sureshot Presents All Adventure Annual) explain

"I made $$$ PEOPLE!!"
"If you can handle Mark constantly touching your knee at public certainly stand to make some bucks!"

So if you have something on the drawing board or even something in the bottom drawer shoot me an email for more deatils about Sureshot Presents

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre - Drawing the Line

By way of the wonderful Mandy Ord,

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is looking for submissions for the Drawing the Line Art Auction, with money going to refugees and those that support them.

There's a June 15th deadline, and i'm not sure if non-melbournites can donate.

So do some good, drawing people

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Do you think? Really? Well I, for one, am not impressed

Do we deserve better?
(random rantings/observation)

Just because its comics does it mean that nerds rule? I've been thinking about 'nerds' lately, sometimes thinking about it as the 'n' word (insensitive as that may be).

I don't mind calling myself a nerd every now and again, usually i do so ironically because I don't think I'm actually that nerdy (but i hate it when nerds list their 'cool' credentials so i won't do that here and prove I am a nerd). But I do sort of bristle when someone else calls me a nerd, because quite honestly nerds shit me.

I can take them in socially; talk movies and talk comics, talk about people we know in common. But having to deal with them (and i'm not talking just comic people, but IT people, science people, etc) in any sort of professional manner, or watching them try and carry themselves professionally makes my skin crawl.

There always feels like there's this combative undercurrent, this need to have to beat the other guy. Its always short-term “what’s the easiest way to get want I want” schtick. Everything becomes really personal (i'm hope no one takes this too personally, and calling people socially inept and egotistical nerds probably is a bit harsh but their actions are only benefiting the few). There always seems to be this complete lack of social skill and style. It all seems to be driven by ego or more likely pig headedness.
I sometimes admire the tech companies that make it; usually the creation of nerds they soon get an experienced businessman to drive the company forwarded, acting as president or some such title, leaving the nerds to do what they do best.

In terms Supanova and Armeggedon; i think the split probably has something to do with ego. From my observations (that's all i got, extrapolations, assumptions and instinct – I’ve watched and known a lot of small business people, as well as running my own business for a couple of years - so i may be wrong), Danny seems to be a one man band who gives power to others unwillingly, can’t delegate power. A simple example of this is not paying a professional to do the voice/PA stuff, surely he has something better to do on the weekend. He seems to be a little bit too careful in his business movements, not aggressive enough. The guests he gets are big, but he waits till the last minute to make any announcement and if they drop out - he's stuffed because he goes for quality or quantity. Plus we see the same few guests again and again, which always seems pointless (why would I want another signed picture of Summer Glau when I couldn’t seduce her the first time). There seems to be this persistence in having a Sydney con, which only seems to do as well as the Brisbane con, but probably is more expensive to run. Why didn't anyone take the hint provided by the Brisbane success and do another regional show like in Canberra or Newcastle or even Adelaide; places where that Sydney apathy isn't an issue, places where they are starved for action and would go all out to attend.

On the good side of the ledger, whenever there was criticism something was done about it; after there was an uproar over the lack of local creators as guests, every year since an Australian has been included in the guest list. When some local creators got seriously done over by being tucked in some corridor, there was a change in policy and ARtist Alley was moved into more prominent areas. Though the cost of the tables is still an issue - and i don't think its ever been addressed.
The reasoning is that, sure its expensive and they aren't making money of Artist Alley - that may be true but there is no immediate profit from advertising either, nothing that is easily quantifiable but its seen as an investment. I may be a bit starry eyed but I'd say supporting local artists is just as much an investment. Local artists, don't necessarily attract the superhero or manga crowd - but they attract a portion of the market not really looked at by the current organisers.

Whilst manga and anime are here to stay i think it is pretty much as big as its going to get; families are a shrinking market - its getting too expensive to have a family and subsequently GenYers are not having kids. The new market it is that 30 year old hipster, probably already buying graphic novels from Borders and Dymocks. People into art - the Instantaneous art exhibition had minimal advertising, mainly word of mouth but had at least 300 people through the door buying at least half of the art available on opening night. This group have money and want serious stuff - not Prince of Tennis satchels, autographs of Klingon #3 or Superman #563 backissues. This is the market that go to Zine fairs and Writers Festivals and are buying up big. This group is not being catered for - and because they are essentially not nerds no one has any idea how to grab this market. Artist alley is for those bored by commercial comics (eastern or western) and are looking for someone new. I think sometimes there is some resentment when artist alley is described as the up-and-coming-hot-new-talent-who-may-be working-for-the-big-boys-soon. I'd guess most of the talent there don't want to work for the big two. On the other hand, it would also be a good idea to get in the good books of those ‘superstars of tomorrow’ as well.

This whole Supa vs Arma thing is getting frustrating. Would something like this happen in the 'real' world? Did this week the head of Qantas send the head of Airline Partners Australia a photoshoped photo superimposing his head over a photo of the Red Baron with the caption "Take that swine!"?

Most likely not.

(And on a related note, how the hell am i supposed to take any organisation or person from that organisation seriously when they go by the monikers like Obelix, Slykura, Black Betty, Armeggedon, etc it shits me.)

From what i can tell, Armeggedon has done well. Is this because events are cheaper to run in New Zealand? up until recently, the nz dollar was relatively stronger while the AUS$ was weak (which makes a hell of a difference when you are paying in US$), was this a factor? How many other events are there in NZ, is there any competition? The country is smaller so are people may be more likely to travel? If Armeggedon started in Australia, would it have been as successful? I dunno, its hard to say, i'm going to say no - would it have been better that Supanova – maaaybe because of the aggressive of vision.

We've all heard stories on how great Armegeddon is in NZ, but recent reports from Dave B. and Ben H. painted a different story of an empty Artist Alley because the local NZ artists were launching a book elsewhere. Why? I would assume you'd launch a book to your greatest market - so why wasn't that Armeggedon? And i used to hear stories of free AA tables? Why did that change? If it was a matter of building a relationship between a fledgling con and local artists why not do the same here? Again is it arrogance, is it a grab for easy money?
Before this started i was already thinking that i wouldn't bother with exhibiting at supanova anymore - visit sure but unless something changed - i'd concertrate on zinefairs. When armeggedon was announced, i thought 'cool, this will shake things up, location looks good, guests look good, awesome'. But posts at the Pulp Expo and Pulp Faction forums from Armedggedon have not filled me with confidence. It feels like i'm standing infront of the Armegeddon organisers and it seems like he's talking to me but actually they are staring off to the side, just giving me lip service. And slagging off the competition - which i find incredibly unsettling, frat boy bullying and my sympathy is leaning towards Danny. However Danny’s “You owe me” posts soon diminished any gains.

Who fucked over who? Who knows? I want to say who cares, but if one partner is so willing to fuck over another partner what's the chances of them fucking someone else over later on (namely me as a exhibitor)? We won't find out the truth, every retelling will be embellished and subjective - it would be pointless. All i can judge an event by its past (moot here since it’s the first time its going head – to - head), the way its organisers carry themselves in public (and backhanded passive aggressive comments, photoshoppery, or general whining is not a good thing) and its future.

And this is what i want to know, tell me about the future of the event before i decide who to back, and not marketing waffle not 'it'll be great, trust me', what's the future for your event in real terms for creators (not just fans)? That's what i want to know. How will the event in 3 years look like - what strategies will be used to take you there. Will there be a date change? Different cities?

To clarify any bias, when i organised the 24 Hour challenge the organisers of Supanova furnished a table in Artist Alley for the winner - out of the 5 or so offered it has been taken up twice by the winners. I've pretty much gone to every supanova since 2003, missing maybe 3 events.
I've meet people from both organisations and like them as people ok, some more than others, sure, but surely don't wish ill/failure on them.
I also most likely won't be going to either event in October but i am considering the Young Writers Festival instead. i do intend to go to Armeggedon in Melbourne, just because its close and can road-trip it.

Being a really big fan of local comics and their creators sometimes colours my view -i think maybe I ‘glorify’ them to much, assume that people see them just as important as I do. Maybe i'm taking it all too seriously and really just need someone to post a picture of the three amigos.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Armageddon Melbourne

It seems that Armageddon Melbourne will be held on May 3-4 2008

Sunday, May 06, 2007

My new favourite person

After I recieved

in the mail

Now when i sing Blue Boys "Remember Me" instead of singing "ganng ganng ganng" i sing "lau lau lau"

Thanks Gary!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Free comic book day - Pulp Fiction Comics - Adelaide

Yesterday was a good day, started with finally finding the right voice for an article I'm doing for Pirotess' new zine - where I'll be matching comics with the approriate wine. Its a fun little piece. I also finally started packaging up a bunch of envelopes and parcels to send various people - as i've stated before for some reason whenever i have to deal with post office i get this wave of procrastination.

But yes, off to the city - i had recently bought the new Blow Up Betty ep, from the drummer who i work with, and rocked out to it. I've been working out to the 'Be your own pet' album, which i'm slightly getting tired of so now i have new femme rawk to power through.

The Mall was pretty quiet but then i did spot a couple of blue Free Comic Book Bags and as i got closer to King William they increased number. I ducked in to a food court and had some lunch and on leaving came across


as well as Harley Quinn (photos from Supanova)

Then off to the shop i found this

(and when i left 40 minutes later)

It was a constant stream of people, emo kids, families, pretty ladies (one as she left made the comment "I'm a comic virgin" which has no real retail friendly come back, except maybe "Well i hope you come again").

I grabbed a handful of comics, including the last remaining copy of OzComic Magazine #3 in the world. I had given Peter about 30 copies of 5 and 6 and he had about another 7 which he put out as well (i gave him SSPs in return) when i got there there was about 27 left, which did not make me feel great ("can't give them away - dammit"). I think comic shop people need colour covers - and have to engineer SSp some how to do that - ponder power engage!

I also picked up Essential Godzilla, Drifting Classroom 1 and 2, Lady Snowblood #4, Losers Vol 5 and Jeffery Brown's I Can be Small on sale - Pete did try and sell me the Jeffery Brown Cat book, but i declined sure i like his "oh i love her she left me" stuff but i'm not that lame. I got the Godzilla book because i think it'll only ever get one print run because of the rights and most of the stories have thor or Shield in them so it might never see print again.

The Grace started slowly but after kicking ass in eightball (i think i'm unbeaten in singles). Beer was drunk and pizza was eaten. I chatted with Pete about the day; apparently he gave away 4000 comics, so if it was a limit of 2 per person - that's 2000 people. Which broken down is about 4 people down the stairs every minute, which seems kind of right from what i saw. Also half of the peices in the Instanataneous exhibition have sold in 5 days - and next year it will be even bigger.

Owen told Dan about his cyber encounter with Ben Templesmith and knees quivered . We belive Ben Templesmith must often google himself, specifically the term "Kill Ben Templesmith" or he's a fan of Basic Wage Kids.

A pretty decent day.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I write another guest strip

During Supanova, a month back now, i hastily wrote another strip for Owen Heitmann's BAsic Wage Kids. And now through the awesome drawings of Tonia Walden, it is here.

As a homage to Owen, I would have a cut here, that you would click on for more trivia.

In the last PulpFaction Podcast, i talked about writing the script on a beer coaster. This wasn't the case, I drew a naked picture of Robin on a beer coaster (it was for sarah). I wrote the script of this on a scrap piece of paper. It was about 30 words (i usually just write the dialogue and any really necessary panel items; like 'we can see a copy of 5031')

This is Owen
(i was going to insert a very funny pic of Owen from someone's myspace , but its disappeared, I'm sorry for my poor linking abilities)

he used to write an slightly autobiographical comic strip called 5031 staring flatmates and others. It was pretty good. Because people were tired of him always apologising for his poor carictures (when they were fine) and because nothing happens to the fellow he decided to do something fictional. Enter Basic Wage Kids, you can buy paper versions of the comic at Pulp Fiction Comics.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Free Comic Book Day

Tomorrow, Saturday 5th of May is Free Comic Book Day, a day where you can go to a participating comic shop and recieve a free comic or two.

In Adelaide Pulp Fiction Comics (King William St and Rundle Mall) is participating and usually do a good job of it. Last year 2500 books were let free, to run rampart and infect people with comic-goodness. People dressed up in costumes and many comics where on sale (20% off GNs, 25% manga, comics older than 3 months old cover price).

This is will probably be better - i'm sure of it. More costumes, more comics, more people!

OzComic Magazines will also be available for free. This might be the case at Kings, Impact and Ace Comics (can someone let me know if this happens).

And then its off to the Grace Emily to drink, talk comics and check out the Instantaneous Exhibition.

Ozcomics returns

Australian Comics website Ozcomics returns providing podcasts, reviews and interviews and a general resource on Australian comics and their creators.

So go to

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More panel pops from Instantaneous

More pics courtesy of Simon Grey fom the Instantenous Exhibition @ the Grace Emily.

You can sort of see people's art in the background.

Jesse - Pulp Fiction Comics website comic reviewer

Erin McGregor - artist and Harley Quinn

Kamahl - artiste

Leon - non-writer and musician (don't take that as non-musician, becuase he IS a musician)

Matt - Star Wars Character

Vincent (tho his piece had no dialogue nor caption - and according to THE RULES not a comic panel, he did bring a cute lady friend which makes it okay)

Stephen Hall - I think i know this guy but maybe not

Stephen (tho i swear that this is dave hodson - but it could mean I've been calling Stephen, Dave for 4 years now. i think i might start calling everyone 'mate' and 'buddy'.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Panel POPPED @ Instantaneous

Just returned from the Instantaneous drunk from wine and seeing cool art.

Me and Em had dinner at Mapo (swanky korean place) where we sat next to Quentin (he talked about cybersex) and then the Bed-E-Buys guy came in wearing EXACTLY the same clothes as he does in the ads. During the meal
"Hey, art will be on sale, so if you like something let me know and i'll get it"
She screwed up her face "Comic stuff, it'll all be cute - i'm all about the chic"
2 seconds after we get there
"Can we get that one!"


It was a really good turn out, 49 peices in total with all money from sales going to the Adelaide Soup Kitchen.

I'm also proud to say that my peice was one of the first to be sold -so Will whoever you are, I love you, I honestly love you.

Me with the sold peice of art. (It had been a long day at work and my hair is nutz. )

Emma, Sarah and Rebecca admiring the piece of art that i did, that someone I didn't know bought.

Dan, Wendy, Em and Clare standing by the piece of art that i did, that someone I didn't know bought. I think em is think "sold? really?"

This was on my phone from Supanova, it was going to be "People Who kind of look like australian comic creators" - i titled this one "beardless doug". It went know where.

Em and Simon Grey, who i joined in shouts of "Panel Pops" at regular intervals.

General crowd in room one, it actually died off by this point - originally you couldn't move from the peoples.

The Curator and owner of Pulp Fiction Comics, Peter.

Me again, but artistic like, because I is an artiste.

so if you are in Adelaide, head to the Grace Emily (Waymouth St) and go upstairs and check out the good art.