31 December 2010

Milk Shadow ad.

It's the last day of 2010 and I've just managed to finish an advertising illustration for James Andre. It'll be appearing in the back of some UK magazine I'm told.

The loose, and tight pencilled page.

The finished illustration.



19 December 2010

Nice guys finish last

DIGESTED.04 is done, and somewhere across the ocean getting ready for printing. It should be available within the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, aside from begining the next issue, I'm also doing a series of illustrations for someone on their upcoming novel/book.

This is the first chapter's facing illustration.



02 December 2010

December meetup

Greg's just reminded me the very last meet-up for 2010 is on this Saturday. Don't miss out!



07 November 2010

Inked pages

Finished this one the other day...



November meetup

Last month I was surprised and excited (if you recall) as I observed my issue of DIGESTED.02 sitting on the new relase shelf along with all the other big boys in Minotaur Books. At this month's meetup I again went into Minotaur and saw DIGESTED.01 (!) staring out at me with all the other trades. If you're down there soon... it's on the current trade shelves, and issue-2 is in the indy (Graphic Novels) shelves, all categorised alphabetically under 'D' for DIGESTED.

A real nice moment for my little book to be sitting amongst all the other great trades. I had my chest out and was strutting about like a peacock :)

It wasn't long before I had to high tail it out of there and make my way to the meetup. I was 30 mins late, and about nine people were more punctual than I.

It's the first time I'd talked face-to-face with the talented Mr Jason Paulos. The way Jason describes his upbringing and life thusfar (concerning comics), resonated with me. It seems the trials and tensions of people in comics that peck away in isloation at pieces of paper is universal. One thing Jason mentioned was; "If you can't get a job in comics, then you may as well just do the comics you want anyway."... And it's true. It's intuitively self-evident, but at times we need to have it spoken (and heard) just to exhale and realise that - although comics are a hard slog - they're also a great personal reward.

It wasn't long before the meet became one of our more chunky ones. (You missed out on a lot of beer and fun, Bedford!)

Click on the above panorama shot to see it bigger. Yes, they're all there for the meet! (See Philip Bentley rushing to be in two shots of the photo!) -ha.

The Brad Pitt and George Clooney of the comics scene.

All the regulars were there.

The chirpy Jason Franks was there. He showed me a printout of a rare auto-bio comic that he'd just had illustrated. Simply awesome.

James Andre has just released a few nice books. Monster Addict (illustrated by the masterful Tom Bonin), and XXX Neon Sign (above) which I illustrated. Go buy them.

James Andre is a writing 'machine'... But he's also a drinking machine..."This is the way you do it", says James. "First the fire...

"... and then the soother."

I even twisted a few of the more 'doodling' fellas arms to put something down in my sketchbook...

Matt Emery

Jason Paulos

Greg Gates



03 November 2010


Starting to plan the next issue of DIGESTED, so it's time to crank the mental handle of that music box the monkey hits his cymbals to... but in the meantime, there's no better meditation than scribbling in my sketchbook.

Then I pick out some of the sketches that I think might look good as stand-alone illustrations. I scan the page, then blow up the selected shots slightly to sit in the middle of the page. I then lightly trace it with my trusty blue clutch-pencil.

Below are two images I penciled and inked during my lunch-break.

I don't know about you, but whenever I'm sketching characters, I always imagine 'who' they might be as people as I chip them onto the page with my pencil. Often it's how stories begin to develop in my head.

For some reason, the last guy just says 'pervert' to me... or 'cartoonist.... I can't decide which :)




A very nice review of my DIGESTED series from Dave at, you guessed it, Dave's Comics.



27 October 2010

Just a reminder...

For a few years now, a group of regular Joes (and Joe-ettes), have gotten together every month for a casual drink and chat about comics. Whether you're a seasoned comics creator, amateur, or simply just adore reading them... come down.


Original artwork

Now that I've just put DIGESTED.04 to bed, I thought I'd squirm something into my routine that I've wanted to do for a long while. I've started putting together a series of original inked artwork to sell. You heard it, fully pencilled and inked pieces that YOU can buy.

These original illustrations will be 150 x 210 mm in size. Each piece is penciled and inked on 200gsm drawing card. Initially, I'll bring them along to conventions with me, and hopefully they sell like muffins.


Recent victories

In these last few weeks I've crossed the line on a couple of things. Firstly, DIGESTED.04 is done. Complete. Finito. 28 pages of fun have been painstakingly put together. I've sent a finished proof of the book to Gestalt Publishing to read over, and though I'm sure there'll be some typo's to correct, it's another one done. It should be available for purchase next month from my website, Gestalt's, and probably through Diamond early next year (I hope)... but I'll let you know.

Issues 1 and 2 of DIGESTED are available through good comic book shops everywhere. If it's not on the shelves, then ask the guy at the counter "Why not?!... Order some now!"

Also, as shown previously, I illustrated and put together James Andre's wonderful story, XXX NEON SIGN.

It's now available to buy from James' site, or ETSY, or here.
You have no excuse...go get this beautiful sucker.


18 October 2010

Armageddon 2010

This weekend saw Armageddon hit Melbourne. The city's biggest pop-culture convention of the latter half of the year. I missed the boat to have a table this year as the window to book the few tables available was small and unknown to many of us. Oh well... So this year I went along on the Sunday as foot-traffic instead of a seller to help crowd the tables of my comics-producing buddies.

Tom Bonin came down from the country for the event. Always good to see this talented man selling his work.

Tom did a whole-lotta sketches for people during the day. Something I might start doing (time permitting).

A water coloured illustration that Tom inked for Brendan Hallyday. Nice!

Trevor Wood was sitting next to Tom, and had a sure-fire way of getting people's attention.

Oh yeeeeaaah.

The rock solid team of The List. Always at conventions, and always selling well... and why shouldn't they? The List is awesome.

Me and a terminator.

The talented Mr Brendan Hallyday... pretending his mouth isn't full of sandwich. He was selling his books, prints, and doing sketches.

Star Wars' illustrator Colin Wilson having a young cosplay fan subscribe on his slick iPad.

Star Wars' Tom Taylor and his little whipper-snapper were at the show too.

The rock-solid comics creator, Hayden Fryer, was there selling his BILLY comics.

One of my favorite writers, James Andre.

Overall, Armageddon was what I expected. Lots and lots of cosplayers, noise, movie/entertainment stuff, wrestling, comics, signings, TV personalities, etc. The indie comics are starting to diminish at Armageddon (I've noticed). It might be due to 'artists alley' getting smaller or the amount of tables available getting fewer (who knows), but I guess times are changing. The organisers have gotta go where the money is, I suppose.

I spoke to an old comics seller up in Sydney at Supanova earlier this year, and he was saying that 10 years ago all these big conventions consisted of comics (primarily), with the other entertainment making up only a small portion of the floorspace. Now it's the opposite. I guess the goal posts of pop-culture 'entertainment' have moved a heck of a lot.

These big conventions are still a lot of fun to attend (and sell at), though, unless you're an established big name (comics-wise), you tend to be hidden under the very large shadow of pop-entertainment that really yells at people. Being an indie creator at these events is sometimes equivalent to selling 'God' to guys in a strip club. Selling comics behind a table that requires a customer's passing curiosity is hard against all that distracting noise and colour that yanks at them. Though... I did come away with a few observations in improving ones table presentation at these events as I noticed what did and did not work.

It's not all doom-and-gloom, but one needs to be enthusiastic (yeah, like I've been Tony Robbins with this wet-towel manifesto), and be smart in one's selling in order to compete with the giants at these shows.



September meetup

This is a belated post from last month's meetup. I'd forgotten I hadn't updated the October photos... that is until Colin Wilson slapped me on the wrist. So, uh, here they are.

As usual, everyone was having fun.

I got to put a face to Baden (finally). He's a gem of a comic enthusiast that ALSO owns a printing company (as well as a publishing house), and has helped many of us print our comics.

A panorama pic of the cosy event. We usually average about 20-30 people at the meets... so come along everyone.

An inked page on my drawing board from my next issue (DIGESTED.04)



10 October 2010

October meetup

Trust me to forget my camera. It's always at the top of my mental checklist of things to bring, but for this month's meet... I forgot it. You know when it occured to me? It was when I dropped into Minotaur Bookshop in the city just before the meet to see what was new on the comic shelves... and I see this...

... Argh! No camera with me, so I resorted to my 1MP pre-historic (dopey) camera phone. Regardless, it was nice to see DIGESTED comic on the new release shelf of the store right alongside other premier titles. A real hoot. The TANGO COLLECTION sitting next to it also has a short story by me in it. The FRANCIS BEAR comic on the other side is one I have to get my mits on too. Everyone's been raving about it.

So then it was time to high-tail it to the monthly meet. Here are the pics that I took with my camera phone (hey, I tried), and Colin Wilson's iPhone. Thanks, Colin.

The Sawbones team. Jen writes so much that Trev's hand is sore from all the drawing.

Come on, Jason... stop pretending not to notice that beer in front of you.

Darren Close showed me the progress of his new Killeroo graphic novel. Looks awesome.

What can I say?... it was another cosy meet. Relaxing chats, laughs and comics on a sunny Spring day.

Next weekend (16th-17th October) is Armageddon. The HUGE pop-culture expo. I won't be exhibiting there this year because the artist alley tables were gone before I could even book one. I think there were only a handful available in a short spacee of time anyway (12 I think?). Ah well. I'll probably still drop in on the Sunday as a punter to support my local buddies and crowd their tables giving the aura of commercial pandemonium.