26 April 2008

Had a chat with Greg Gates at last week's launch of Bruce Mutard's book 'The Sacrifice' (see previous post) - and he mentioned again how he'd like for me to show more pages of my work (As I've stopped showing them until I've finished the whole stories.) - Well, upon thinking about it, I thought that it might be an ok idea for people to get a glimpse of the things I'm working on at the moment as a sort of 'I'm not dead, just working' scenario.

Ok, Update...

I've been working on a larger graphic novel in the background as some may know (tentatively named 'Oxygen' for now) and so far, has been a very slow project to finish due to its size & other factors Im working through in the project.

ALSO - At he same time, Im working on another series of books called 'DIGESTED' (of which I'm half way through the first book) - which are new short stories of mine from my diaries, observations, poems & thoughts (ie. The double meaning being: I've 'digested' these stories from my life, and life has in turn, 'digested' me.). The book is a kind of anthology of my most recent short work collected into volumes. One thing I've always struggled with as a consumer ( in regard to anthologies), is laying down money for a whole book of which I may only like the work of 1 or 2 contributors. So, Im banking on the idea that if people like my stuff, they'll like a whole book full of my short stories.

The book should be about 50+ pages. I'm aiming for the first volume of 'DIGESTED' to be printed at the year's end (or early next year, at the latest) .

Here's an (unlettered/untoned) page from 'DIGESTED'...

DIGESTED: 'FIRST DATE' (ink only) : Pg4 of 6.



25 April 2008

Made my way down to the 'official' booklaunch of Bruce Mutard's graphic novel 'The Sacrifice'. (which you may remember I showed a preview of on an earlier blog [below: 2-feb-08 at the Retreat Hotel].)

The launch was held at 6.30pm at 'Readings' bookstore as the sun had just gone down and the 'cosy' continental Lygon Street was moderately occupied by people relaxing in cafes and restaurants.

The in-store launch poster for Bruce's book...

Upon arriving, said hello & chatted to some of the regaulars (like Darren Close, Colin Wilson & Philip Bentley.).

A hot chick...

Then precedings began...

Someone from the store announced the begining of the launch...

As a full crowd listened on...

Bernard Caleo started precedings with a speech outlining the book's origins, themes and ideas. With the addition of a boiling teapot (because the book has a lot of tea-drinking instances), Bruce Mutard (Author/Creator) and Bernard began to talk to the audience.

Bernard Caleo and Bruce Mutard chatting.

The book itself on counter.

After Bernard & Bruce had finished their expository speech about 'The Sacrifice', they opened the floor up for some questions. Inside my head I was hoping that no-one would ask the tired old question of "Where do you get your ideas from?" - which thankfully no one did - although there was the question that went something like, "So, would you want to make the book into a cartoon/movie?"... to which i just chuckled.

Look, I know the question was genuine, and most likely came from someone 'outside' the comicbook/GN fraternity, but I weary of people's reluctance to value a comicbook or graphic novel for the 'completeness' of itself. And I'm sure Bruce doesn't view 'The Sacrifice' as a 'rough-draft' for a movie, cartoon or reality-TV show. I think it's a little naive and unfair to the author.

Anyway - enough about me.

Once the talk & questions were over, it was time to enjoy mingling and chatting to people...

As time went on, the place petered out, and with only a handful of people left, there were some nice intimate chats about comic-craft and other people's upcoming books. Myself, Colin Wilson, Greg Gates, Mandy Ord & Jason Franks talked about upcoming work and 'stuff'.

...while Bruce got a sore wrist signing copies of his book.

A good time was had by all, and Bruce looked like he was having a ball. Chatting to him after his signings (with only a few of us left) he looked pleased with how it went. For those who missed out on coming - you missed out on a great night.

Hopefully, I'll catch up with the rest of you at the next comicbook meetup:

DATE: 03-May-2008
the Prince Alfred Hotel on Gratton St, Cartlon

Be there.



14 April 2008

The last of 4 free events (presented by Nakedfella Productions) at the Trades Hall and part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, was on this Saturday afternoon.

Arrived at the event, scoped the room for any familiar faces...

...and saw some relaxing near the cool open window. Trev (not in pic) also dropped in later.

There was also plenty of local comicbook talent in the audience watching and supporting.

The show got underway with organiser David Blumenstein directing the questions and presentation. Andrew Weldon (newspaper/strip cartoonist) and Nicki Greenberg (Author of the comicbook adaptation of 'The Great Gatsby') were the show this week.

Andrew Weldon & Nicki Greenberg answering questions.

During the show, among many topics about motivation, comics, humor, work modes, etc - the panelists discussed their difficulties in sometimes drawing hands, feet, or whatever. After the show I asked Jason Franks, Colin Wilson & Greg Gates whether they think it's 'easier' to avoid criticism from the public if your cartooning style is 'less' realistic. (ie. Drawing a very 'cartoony' version of a sensitive issue, as opposed to a more realistic drawing style of the same sensitive issue). I think of creators such as Ivan Brunetti & Johnny Ryan who are generally seen as funny, and who have a funny drawing style (yes i know the 'aim' of their work is humor), but i wondered if they'd have the same leeway if their style was more realistic - say, like Colin's work.

Hmm. Interesting thought...

Anyway - this was all prompted by the panels' discussion of 'correct' drawing. I personally think that the 'realism' doesn't matter as much as the 'style'. As long as the thumb isn't on the wrong side of the hand, etc - it should work.

After the show, many people chatting and mingling.

The front desk where David had many local comicbooks for sale. Bought 2 myself, which were great.

My fudgy camera taking a shot without flash, though Nicki was too quick for me ...

...and again 'with' flash - on a setting that would capture her quickness.

Afterward, Nicki Greenberg came up to us at our table by the window to hand us her business cards (which we asked for because they looked great), and chatted about her published (Gatsby) and upcoming (Hamlet) work.

Nicki is energised about it all in a way that warms the heart. When listening to her, it just re-affirms to me that this seemingly esoteric form that many of us tell our stories in - is still 'it' for me. She's gone from a full-time 9-5 job that most of us toil under where she 'trickled' in the 'Great Gatsby' story over a number of years, to part-time work where she devotes and (gleefully) gets consumed by her book. The passion is still there, growing and looks like it'll never end.

Something I happily relate to.


Dont know.
And don't care.



07 April 2008

Had a great time last night at the 'Waldo' book launch (see previous post below), and Woke up this morning with a smile on my face because my 'comics' related weekend had another dose for me, with our monthly 'meetup' today at 2.00pm at the 'Prince Alfred Hotel'.

Here are the snaps:

The Prince Alfred on Grattan St Carlton (across the road from Melbourne Uni). There we all are outside. Usually we're inside, though it was a nice day, though you can't tell by the photo, which i took just as a momentary cloud went overhead.

Paul Bedford's really a nice guy, he's just wearing really tight underwear.

All the regulars and some new faces.

Darren wearing Colin's hat trying to be the most 'regal'.

These long-time comicbook authors in the Melbourne scene are a wealth of experience and information. These guys are also some of nicest you'll come across. Bruce Mutard is now releasing his huge tome 'The Sacrifice' through Allen & Unwin (see some previews of it below on my 2-feb-08 posting).

Colin Brought along some work that he'd just finished for Star Wars.

Colin Wilson's recent work for future issue/s of Star Wars/Rebellion.

It was a great meet in the great outdoors in front of the pub this month. James arrived first, and I second. Soon everyone else trickled in, and in little time we had about 20-or-so people. Lotsa comic chat, previews and reading.

Memorable moments:
  1. Seeing Colin's wonderful inked pages.
  2. Chatting to some of the new faces (sorry guys, have forgotten your names.)
  3. Grabbing one of Jason Frank's first comics 'One more bullet'.
  4. Talking to Paul, David, Bruce & Jason about this-&-that... as well as others.
  5. Colin giving me one of his pen nibs to take home and try.

At about 5-6 o'clock people started to slowly evaporate, leaving only a few of us there. Namely, David Cunning, Greg Gates, Michael Nason, James Andre and myself. By 7 o'clock, it was dark, and the discussion started to revolve around life, the universe & society's perceptions of comics, etc. It got so deep (probably helped along by alcohol and fatigue) that James looked like he was going to fall over, and Greg and I sat there trying to converse Psychology and it's relation to comicbooks and the types of readers out there. Finally it got to the topic of 'TRUTH'. (You can imagine what that may have been like.). Mike Nason is well read/versed on a whole lot of topics 'around' comics, and this turned into an interesting discussion, where Greg and I were trying to 'keep up'.

Anyway, my ride home arrived, and I said goodbye.

I'll be back next month with bells on.


05 April 2008

Not only do Friday evenings fill me with the warm promise of a workless next few days, but this weekend is doubly great because I caught up with my girlfriend after work to go to Gestalt's Melbourne book launch of Waldo's Hawaiian Holiday! at 'Brunswick Bound' bookshop. A nice looking book being launched at a nice looking venue.

Here's what Gestalt's book launch looked like:

A nice crowd turned up.

John Retallick theatrically introduces Waldo's official launch in Melbourne, while publisher Wolfgang listens on.

Chris Burns (Artist of the book) tries his best at a speech after drinking 53 bottles of beer.

...while Justin (colourist of the book) sits close by.

The bookshop's front desk - made of books.

After the speech I spotted a few of the Melbourne comicbook regulars and had a nice time talking about the event and the local comics 'scene' in general..

Some of the regulars that turned up to support the book's launch. Onya guys.

Memorable moments:
  1. Chatting to publisher Wolfgang about Gestalt, their books and upcoming projects they are planning.
  2. Chat with John Retallick about the great buzz in the local comics arena right now. John run's a weekly online comics radio show. He's as excited as i am.
  3. Catching up with the regulars like - Colin, Darren and Philip.
  4. After the event, went down the road to 'The Retreat' and had a drink & chatted with Colin & Tom.

For those who missed out on the launch (and the book), you can get it directly from Gestalt by clicking here.