Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sureshot Presents - Why I hate most Australian Comics.

Ok, I wanted to publish a comic but because I didn’t want to deal with groups of people the idea of an anthology was out. Plus at the time you had Guh!, You Stink I don’t, Naked Fella, DeeVee so the hell I’m going to compete with that.

And my pet peeve, probably the thing I believe, that has done most damage to Australian Comics after shitty quality, is mini-series.

Here’s a list of Self Published Australian comic mini series that have finished (that i know of);

  • Dollboy (Scott Fraser)
  • Pizzaman (I think barely) (Damian Shannahan)
  • Level 1 (Loren Morris)
  • Anthology of Alvin (Lucas House)

The latter two are very small press Adelaide titles. If you include Publisher comics – you can include The Watch, Dunwich and Eldritch Kid and from Phosphorescent Comics. You could include Hairbutt but that’s more a collection of short-stories not a continuing story (like Basic Wage Kids).

Continuing Series that are still being published (but not anthologies) include

  • Platinum Grit (upto issue 16 on the web and POD)
  • Azerath (upto issue 16)

Unfinished stories

  • Finch
  • Diabla
  • Greener Pastures
  • Knightedge
  • Ma B
  • Cyst
  • Vigil
  • Rock n Roll Aquarius Ninja
  • Anthology
  • The Prophecy
  • Zero Assassin
  • Local Hero
  • Cyberswine
  • Surfing the deadline
  • Pepe’s Quest
  • Rex Helwig
  • Another Zero Assassin spin off I can’t remember the name of.
  • That pulp batman comic
  • A comic with Badower art that came out in the late 90s
  • Was the Panther a continuing story?

I’m afraid to go through Tabla Rasa’s site, it’ll make me sad and angry.

Why? Because someone (like me) has bought issue one (like me) in good faith. An then gone out and found issue two (like me) and then is waiting for issue 3 or 4. Eventually that person will get disappointed (like me) when nothing eventuates. There is no conclusion – no satisfaction. It was probably a fluke they bought an Australian comic in the first place and now that reader has wasted money on a product 3/4s finished. They probably won’t be bitten again.

Same with comic shop owners - they can’t sell an unfinished comic so next time a new self-publisher asks if they can have their book stocked; Frank will say no.

And I can understand why this happens; life changes, publishing comics can be expensive, etc. But my only advice is eithe save your opus until someone else can pay you to make it and make short stories in the interim. If you are any good you can make 3-8 page stories for anthologies or do one-shots. Or print cheaper so your miniseries isn't a financial drain.

In terms of me and my plan, whatever I did was going to be self contained. A self-contained comic featuring one creator. A one-shot.

And since I’m a big fan of the Beastie Boys, it wasn’t much of a leap from one-shot to Sureshot (a Beastie Boy song). It was a sure thing; for the creator, retailer and reader.


LFW said...

......I see

I also forget the name of that book that was like batman, but not batman, yet like batman in every way.

Mark Selan said...

Not Batman= Wraith

Anonymous said...

There's alot more out there... This is the reason why Aaron's site needs to be resurrected.

- Hayden.

Mark Selan said...

Hayden - Too make me cry more. Another stopped short series was that "Minute of Angle" comic thing by Rowan Cassidy.

Anonymous said...

I was actually implying more towards some of the small run mini-comic series like City Litter, Smooth, Jaeger, Mission, Pender, Angriest Store Clerk, Seven Swords, Ninja Aquarius, etc

Alot of them have filtered through the conventions and zinefairs over the last few years seem to manage to complete stories, it's just the larger "traditional sized" ones that have a habit of "splashing" (I suppose that's the word for it) loudly then get canned for any and every reason.

I've got thoughts on the subject and scene as a whole, but I really need to clear my head and word it all objectively...

- Hayden.

Mark Selan said...

Yeah I realise that other comics have finished but then again that's a bit of my point as well, most of those you've listed aren't that well distibuted anyway. The one's that have "splashed" (great term) are the ones that can still be found in comic shops or where heavily sold at conventions.

And after your first comment i thought "Billy finished two runs!"

And I loved to hear your thoughts on publishing. More discourse!

Kevin Patrick said...


As the former publisher/editor/writer-of-cheques-in-chief on "The Panther", I just wanted to clarify that The Panther was meant to be an ongoing series, but all the stories were self-contained

These were reprints of 1950s Aussie comic stories, a time when the words 'variant cover', 'foil trading card' and 'crossover spin-off series' were bizzare, alien concepts to most comics publishers. And readers, for that matter.

And, like most comics' folk who've come and gone since my own humble endeavours, the issue of $$$ was the one thing that curtailed my ambition to keep on going. That, and the mortgage which required regular feeding.

But it was arguably the most fun I've had at a job of work. Would I do it all again? In a heartbeat. Bu better. And using someone else's money....

- Kevin Patrick

Mark Selan said...

Kevin - thanks for the intel, I had a feeling that each issue was rather self-contained. And 6 issues was a very good go at it. So please note that i don't hate your comic and I don't think it damaged the scene. i think my ire is at the 1 or 2 issue splashes we get that promise more but disappear into the ether.

I don't blame creators from pulling their books mid story, people have to eat. i think my "hate" comes from the fact that it keeps happening over and over again. Why can't people learn that from history and stop making the same mistakes.

Mark Selan said...

And another thing Kevin, I think you are more likely to be given someone elses money because you have a good track record. Others - not so much.