Showing posts with label australia cartoonist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label australia cartoonist. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 in Review: Matthew Hoddy

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Having the crowd funding campaign being successful and, subsequently, releasing my first book. Then taking that book with much success around the country and hanging out with all our comic making friends at home in Brisbane & Sydney & Melbourne & Adelaide. But the best part was taking the book overseas to SPX. Which was mind blowing to say the least. Meeting all the people I watch online. Seeing that they are just people like us making comics from home and with jobs. Some of which make comics from home AS their jobs.

The whole trip was memorable and inspirational. Met so many people and I can't wait to go back and see them all.

Also, honourable mention of the 24 hour comic jam I organised at Ace Comics for a few of the local creators. On the night it was pretty dang exhausting, mentally AND physically. But it went great and was a bunch of fun!

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
There has been so many! Spent quite a bit on comics at SPX. Some of which are Anthony Clarke's 3 Beartato books, Becky & Frank's Capture Creatures featuring Becky's beautiful water colours & Scott C's Greatest Showdowns. Just to name a few.

Ed Brubaker's Incognito was an interesting read. The Ninja Turtle 'Secret History of the Foot Clan' was really enjoyable too. Also read a few super hero comics I wouldn't usually read. Won't mention which ones (Batman Beyond).

But even more recently, Douglas Holgate & Jen Breach's 'Maralinga', cannot wait until it is finished!

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
Mostly video games. But also some animated series. Steven Universe is a really great show. Pretty recent too. Stories, colours and designs in it are fantastic. Discovered the game 'Fez' about a little 2d being that one day discovers his world has a third dimension. It's super cute and nostalgic. Which I found through one of the Humble Bundles.

The animated Batman series from the 90s has been a highlight too. Everything about it was really well done.

Two movies I really dug were Pacific Rim & Elysium. Both are sci-fi films I dug for completely different reasons.

Been playing through 'The Last of Us'. It's super creepy but super well done.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
Taking my books overseas once again! Hopefully SPX again, but TCAF is definitely happening. We've also been accepted into Sand Diego Comic-Con. Which is going to be pretty full on and amazing.

That and making new books and releasing them into the world.

2013 in Review: David Blumenstein

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
I did a bunch of stupid political comics in the lead-up to the federal election because I was angry at all the participants and the yucky little games they play in the media.
The best one was called The Bolt Report. I entered it in the Lord Mayor's Creative Writing awards and it won one! Then Andrew Bolt found out about it, threw it to the attack dogs on his blog, and they got quite nasty -- especially the ones who thought it was real, who got quite mad at the "teacher" for her leftist subversion!

I asked Tristian if he'd like to respond to all this, and he has.

This has all been a lot of fun, but I'm not sure anyone learned anything. Anyway, the piece (and some of the comments from Bolt's blog) will be on display at the City Library early next year.

Also, I got a chance to collaborate with a Guardian journalist, Paul Owen, on a piece recapping the federal election. That was great and I want to do more comics journalism stuff. I'm researching something about lobbyists at the moment.

I had a few cracks at live cartooning, at a show called "Picture This" at Comedy Festival and at the Melbourne Writers Festival in "Draw! Draw Faster!". That's fun.

Am also enjoying the occasional ACA meetups, and the Stanleys conference is always nice because I get to chat a bit with "proper (paid) cartoonists".

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I've been enjoying the political cartoons of David Pope and David Rowe. And Chris Downes always does good stuff.

Michael Hawkins does comics but the thing I liked most of his this year was his work in an exhibition called Fleshtonez.

Pat Grant's "Toormina Video" is an excellent, moving short comic and was just as excellent as a staged reading at the Opera House.

Good seeing collections of Dillon Naylor and Tim Molloy stuff come out thru Milk Shadow Books/Madman. Hutcho too, but we all know I love him.

Andrew Fulton does excellent comics despite having childrens to raise; that's always impressive. And he runs the Minicomic of the Month Club. Those minis are often real good.

Daniel Reed's Grubby Little Smudges of Filth looks really good, but Comixology's "web viewer" is broken so I haven't read it yet.

Myles Loughran's "Laugh Until You Spew". I'm not that into diary comics but I like his, and there's a heartwarming ending after all the spew.

 Every so often I go to All Star Comics and I pick up an American comic that looks interesting. They're all about zombies fighting crime or scientists fighting mutant zombies or zombie scientists going back in time to meet Abraham Lincoln, and they all want to be written like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and look like Hellboy.

But they're not.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013? I just watched the last two series of "Eastbound and Down". "Breaking Bad" finished well, too. "Justified" continues to be good.

Anna Krien's "Night Games" and Tom Doig's "Moron 2 Moron" are excellent booky-books.

Liking Katharine Murphy's writing on Guardian Australia. David Marr is pretty brilliant too. Maybe they'd like to collaborate on a comic?

Been listening to Harry Shearer's "Le Show". Angry coverage of important things, and sketches which make you sad. It's comedy, but not really.

I go to Tassie a lot. It's nice.

What are you looking forward to in 2014? Finishing my animated cop show, BE A MAN.

Jase Harper's upcoming graphic novel looks good, only seen peeks of that in Squishface and on his blog.

We just renewed the lease on Squishface for one more year?

Friday, December 13, 2013

2013 in Review: Joshua Santospirito

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Well ... publishing the feature-length graphic novel/comic/sequential art thing - The Long Weekend in Alice Springs was the biggest highlight. That was pretty rad. Did a bunch of launches ... and was pleasantly surprised to find that some people actually read it! And BOUGHT it!! So that was pretty freaking great. You can check it out at 

I had about five launches in different places - the Alice Springs one was the best! It was in Watch This Space gallery - and the launch was on the same night as the exhibition opening - there was sooo many people there - it was slightly insane. Craig San Roque (the bloke who wrote the original essay) was the MC, and did the catering based on the themes of the book (he did it quite well actually, I didn’t know he could cook - man of many talents) and there was guests of honour. It was very exciting to see the excitement in the town, especially given the content of the book is so raw and difficult. 
 The other thing that I'm finding really fun is publishing comics by other artists here in Tassie that I think are really interesting - its a curated-type project I've called Down There. A different artist does a booklet with each issue: I did the first issue in July (Sleuth: there's somethin rotten on the Apple Isle) to get the ball rolling whilst I asked a few other people to contribute - the next issue is by Tricky Walsh which (at time of writing) will launched in the next fortnight - December 2013. It's called Hoppers 1: the 'manias. It's a totally different experience publishing other people's comics and I love what she's made. Next year there will DOWN THERE comics by Tom OHern (a nutter from Hobart, really - google him - he's great), Gary Chaloner (who now belongs to Taswegia, hands off) and Lindsay Arnold (old comics guru, jazz drummer extraordinaire). Watch out for future issues through San Kessto Publications (my wife and I also started this publishing venture this year). 

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I just read The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg - it charmed my pants off. I am currently naked from the belt down. 

I read Alex: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell - he’s just ... he’s ... I ... oh stuff it - it’s good. Real good stuff. 

Myself and a few other blokes in Hobart have started a Graphic Novels reading book group where we meet up every two months and eat chips and talk about a specifically chosen book that we all read - it’s really fun! Just last time we read Jason’s Athos in America. That guy is really great. Such a strong visual language which has such amazing effect. 

I reread Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks ... I read that every year though. It’s important to read that at least once a year. I hope you do too. 

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
Dark MOFO: The Winter festival in Hobart - was OUTSTANDING!!!
Particularly Ryoki Ikeda’s Spectra - which was this public art “sculpture” which involved 49 lights beaming up 15 kilometres into the sky at the Anzac Memorial in Hobart, allll night long. The whole town came to life at night-time, there was little kids up way past their bedtime running between the lights throughout that beautiful sound installation that made it seem like there was a UFO landing ... and there was hundreds of people HUNDREDS - just standing there at midnight, in the pouring rain, staring up into the sky in wonder. Every night for a whole 10 days!! it was really great! Amazing to see a whole town come out of its shell. Art can bring people together (aww). But the whole festival was a bit like that - come down next Winter! 

I finally watched the film “Wake In Fright” ... don’t know why it took me so long. Possibly the best film I’ve seen from Australia. 

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I’m looking forward to getting cracking on my next medium-length project which I haven’t quite named yet - but it involves some history of my hometown of Melbourne and my family’s interaction with the city - the Aeolians who came in the 1890’s. It’s based on my Dad’s research into his father’s life - which was really fun to read. Hopefully it works well as a comic. I’ll keep ya’ll up to date as best I can.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 in Review: Frank Candiloro

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
I published 4 books this year. I branched out a little from just straight ahead horror and explored other themes and genres, which has been taking me out of my comfort zone a little bit more. With the exception of one (Budd & Luu - Part II) I was able to get all my books involved in launches, from Big Arse 3, Ive Sorocuk's Halloween launch and the Over The Moon launch that I organised with Alisha Jade. I made my first all-ages comic -  Beyond The Moon, which has been received very well. I was also to be a part of the Cordite Poetry Review organised by Kent McCarter and featuring a lot of great local talent, visually interpreting poems into comic form, a new experience for me. I even got to meet my favourite writer in comics, Grant Morrison at the Graphic Festival in Sydney, and gave him some of my comics! (he commented on the "wood cut" style, which was heartwarming to hear). Seeing Art Spiegelman's talk at the same festival was also very illuminating, revealing a whole heap of german-expressionist and wood-carved comics that I never knew existed. It kind of validated my weird illustrating style!

The biggest highlight was the presentation I did about finding the right attitude and discipline to create comics at the ZICS convention in Brisbane, as part of the Skillz To Pay The Billz workshop, and I found it very humbling and inspiring to write and share with others. Not to mention that I've met some great people this year, who have motivated me to become a better artist. 2013 was quieter compared to 2012, but I still had a few small little victories here and there.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
My favourite comic this year has been Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarksy, which has only had 3 issues so far but it's been pretty damn good. Another great find has been Thomas Ott and his great book - The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 (rolls right off the tongue!) Excellent dark, noir-ish drawings. Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy came out last year but the trade came out in 2013 and it was an incredible read, really electrified me like no other comic. And would you know it, I actually managed to read Hellboy for the first time this year!

Of course I checked out a lot of great Australian comics that were released in 2013 as well, such as Mr Unpronouncable by Tim Molloy, Strange Behaviour by Marijka Gooding and My Sister's Voice by Alexis Sugden. Everything else sucked! (Joking, I swear!)

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013? 
*stares at question*

Non.....comics? What is this?

Um, uhhhh, I had an apple the other day. That was good. I guess. 

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
What I'm looking forward to the most is the latest book that I'm working on - Onna-bugeisha. It's a 95 page samurai story which involves treachery, honor, revenge, love, lust, anger, blood, you know, everything that makes a comic good! I'm hoping for it to be finished around late April/ May (if I'm lucky) and although it's a bit early to say at this time I'm hoping to have a launch for it.

I'm also hoping to make 3 more books, continuing the tradition of 4 books per year, and I hope to push them a little bit more at conventions, in stores outside of Melbourne, and digital downloads on the internet. Here's hoping that FrankenComics becomes a bigger and bigger monster with each passing year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 in Review: Jason Franks

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
I got to work with some brilliant artists this year on the new Sixsmiths book. A lot of new collaborators, like Dean Rankine, Sarah Howell, Tim McEwen, Gregory MacKay, Trev Wood, Jase Harper, Sacha Bryning, and Anton McKay, as well as a crew of my old mates: Bruce Mutard, Bobby N., Luke Pickett, Jan Scherpenhuizen, Greg Gates, and Ed Siemienkowicz. It's been incredible.

The other highlight, of course, was going to SPX with Matt Hoddy, Caitlin Major, and Keith McDougall and that crazy freak who does Guzumo. I haven't been to SPX since 2006 and it's grown, but it stills feels like the same show. It was a pleasure to reconnect with some old acquaintances ( and to make so many new ones. What a blast! Massive thanks to Warren and Bruce for organizing it.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
2013, for me, was the year of genre comics. Fatale, Locke and Key, Luther Strode, Saga, Amala's Blade, Chew and Witch Doctor remain my favourites. Most of these books started running in prior years, but in 2013 my intake of alternative books and manga was diminished. Not sure why that is; it wasn't a conscious decision. As far as local works go, Tim Molloy's collection Mr Unpronounceable Adventures was the stand out for me.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
In 2013 I found a lot of new opportunities in the medium of prose on the back of my first novel and that gave me a lot of validation. Prose can be a grind, because every word has to be perfect, but it's been really good to be able to just focus on the writing and not have to project manage and produce every aspect of the work. That has been a nice change. 

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I'm looking forward to a more relaxed 2014. 2013 was nuts: book launches, honeymoons, hospitals, mortgages, the con circuit, on top of some brutal deadlines at my day job have really worn me down. Next year I'm looking to simplify things. I want to ramp up some new projects, in prose and comics, and I want to have a more evenly productive year.

Monday, December 9, 2013

2013 in Review: Caitlin Major

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
This year myself and Matthew Hoddy ran a successful Pozible campaign to get Space Pyrates collected edition printed! We got 200 books printed and have already sold out and got it reprinted as two smaller volumes. We took Space Pyrates to almost every state (all except WA, but we'll get there one day!) and we also travelled to America for the Small Press Expo and it was very well received all over! I also contributed a comic to the Brisbane comic collective 'Ashcan.' The comic I submitted was a short prelude to my next big project which should see the light of day next year. I also participated in the 24 hour comic challenge, which was... challenging. I didn't finish my 24 pages but it gave me some good perspective on my workflow and how much I can achieve in a day.

What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2013?
I have been enjoying 'The Deep' by Tom Taylor and
James Brouwer, and can't wait for the next instalment. I picked up a copy of 'Relish' by Lucy Knisely at the Melbourne Writers Festival which opened me up to the world of beautiful journal comics. Tim Molloy's 'It Shines and Shakes and Laughs' was brilliant! Becky and Franks 'Capture Creatures' made me want to pick up my paint brushes and give it another go. I'm excited to see where Sam Calcraft and Lex Rosek take 'Escape Velocity.' There are so many more that I can't possibly list, I've spent more money on comics this year than anything else I swear! 

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013?  
There's something other than comics!? Not in my life! Oh there was that one time I went to the beach... that was nice. I guess.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
Moving to Canada and going to Toronto Comic Arts Festival and other conventions in North America. Also releasing my solo comic project!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

House of Doom - Phil Belbin & Ray Heath


Before illustrating Kath King of Kismet Cove for Cavalcade, Phil Belbin produced the adventures of Private Detective Flash Cain debuting in April 1949 from scripts by Ray Heath. Flash Cain like other stories featured in K G Murray magazines was repackaged as a comic book.

Read Kath KIng of Kismet Cove - Men of the Sickle Moon here.

Read Kath King - Memory for Faces here.

Read Kath King - Diamonds of Death here.

Read Belbin's adaption of RKO Movie Out of the Past here.

Samples of Belbin illustration work and cartoons here.

Read a biography of Belbin by Greg Ray here.
Flash Cain adventure strip The House of Doom from March 1951 issue of Cavalcade.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Productivity and Motivation: Simon Hanselmann and Brent Willis

This is the first of three posts surveying Australian and New Zealand cartoonists about productivity and motivation. I recall several conversations with comic folk regarding creative lulls and productivity impediments. Specifically with cartoonists that produce work at the self-published or small press level. With no onus on earning a living from their craft cartoonists with day jobs can be challenged to stay motivated and productive. Six cartoonists responded to a few questions regarding productivity, sharing advice and insight into their working methods.

Simon Hanselmann

Do you experience a drop in productivity upon completing a comic? 

No. I generally throw myself right into the next exciting thing on the pile. Like Don Rosa, frightful workaholism. Fear of death. Fear of mediocrity. Sometimes I obviously allow myself a treat and will melt onto the couch and focus on movies I've never seen before. Or perhaps I'll "charge sleep" for 24 hours and then do a 40 hour stretch of non-stop drawing. I do suffer from Depression and a cocktail of personal problems. That can shut me down sometimes... but not upon completion of anything. Usually in the middle of multiple things. I never rest on a completed piece. I look for the mistakes in it and move onto a new, hopefully better piece.

Have you developed methods to deal with creative lulls? 

A proven method! I say this into the mirror every morning and bedtime: "Don't be complacent, know that your newly finished work is awful and full of mistakes. Start a new project immediately. You suck. Your stuff is ugly. Fix it. Get better. Be funnier. Are you working as hard as you can on your embarrassing life choice? Be the best. Be aware of all of your "competitors". Be entertaining. Look beyond local pats on the back. Your friends are lying or are tasteless idiots. You need to be trying so much harder... Chris Ware, Beyonce, Michael DeForge, RuPaul.

What do you consider the primary obstructions of your productivity?

Family problems. Cool gigs. Cool friends. The aforementioned deep black pit of despair and anxiety. Self-hatred. Way too many emails. Beautifully directed films and television that demand to be paid full attention. Books. Keeping up with everything that's happening in the "Global Scene". Sleep. Preparing food. Bodily upkeep...

I endeavor to keep my responsibilities to anybody or anything at a bare minimum.
People who "know" me are generally used to me not leaving my house / "studio".
I have deadlines, real and self-imposed. I can't come to your thing. The clock is ticking. My body is decaying.

Brent Willis

The subject of comics and productivity is an interesting one. In New Zealand, and maybe in Australia as well, it's a very rare few that can make a living out of making comics and so most of us have to work either part time or full time, which has the effect of relegating our comics work as a hobby, which in turn means that we South Pacific comic makers aren't as productive as we'd like to be. For me, (and I'd say for a lot of other people as well) my day job is the main enemy of productivity. Five days a week, I have to wake up at six o'clock in the morning, rouse myself out out of bed, get ready for work, travel to work, work, and then get home which is usually about 6 o'clock or later if if I want to stop at the supermarket or see a movie or have a few after-work drinks on Friday. By which time I need an hour or two to chill out afterwards, eat some food and maybe watch tv for a bit.  I usually I don't bother doing comics after work, unless I'm feeling up to it, in which case I maybe do an hour or two, nothing too intense. 

I save most of my drawing for the weekend. I usually set aside at least one full eight hour day and one half-day. It's important here to do a bit of planning beforehand and to set realistic goals as to what you want to achieve for that day and if necessary, do some over time to complete what you intended. Even if you don't feel up to it you should still concentrate on your comic and be self-disciplined enough not to be distracted by anything else. And that's the other main enemy of productivity - everything else. TV, DVDs, Computer games, crosswords, newspapers, the internet, books, other peoples comics, other people, in fact everything that isn't your comic. That's why I prefer to do these things after work on the week-days when I'm not likely to be doing comics, that way I can fully concentrate on comics on the weekend. Also be careful of how much research you need to do for your comic, as you can end up spending too much time browsing the internet or reading books about other related topics, which don't end up being that useful to you. 

As far as the life-cycle of a comic and how it affects productivity, I find it easier to gain enthusiasm at the start of a project when its fresh and new and my motivation deteriorates around the middle of a project once I've been working on it for a while and I'm still a long way off finishing it. So this is when you need to stick to be at your most disciplined and stick to the schedule, and keep plugging away at it. Usually when I'm near to completing a project and I can see the end in sight, my motivation picks up. I find it better to stick to one project at a time. I've seen a few people getting distracted by other projects when their motivation wanes on their first project and end up with a bunch of unfinished stuff that never gets finished.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Kath King of Kismet Cove - Men of The Sickle Moon

Kath King of Kismet Cove - Men of the Sickle Moon by artist Phil Belbin and writer Sydney Ockenden from Cavalcade Oct 1951.

Read Kath King - Memory for Faces here.

Read Kath King - Diamonds of Death here.

Read Belbin's adaption of RKO Movie Out of the Past here.

Samples of Belbin illustration work and cartoons here.

Read a biography of Belbin by Greg Ray here.

Images © 2013 Estate of Phil Belbin and Sydney Ockenden.