Showing posts with label deep park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deep park. Show all posts

Friday, January 3, 2014

David C. Mahler Interview


One of my highlights of last year was publishing Deep Park by David C Mahler. The process of putting together Deep Park with David was a great learning experience and I was really happy with the finished work. David is a crazy hard working cartoonist and though I've mentioned he'll get snapped up by some other industry that will pay him handsomely for his talent, I admire his steadfast dedication to making comics.
David Mahler's 2013 published output of comics and contributions to magazines and anthologies.

Buy David C Mahler's comics from his online store.

For new comics follow David's tumblr.

The following is excerpted from a series of cartoonist interview zines, with the first one focused on David's work launching at the annual Sticky Institute zine fair, Melbourne Town Hall, Feb 9th.

What got you interested in making comics?
Growing up in Canada I'd get a new Archie comic every time I went shopping with mum. These were the first comics I ever read, and they left a huge impact on. When I moved to Belgium at age seven I delved into the immense Franco-Belgian catalogue, another huge impression. I'd draw comics with a friend of mine, just weird crap like various ways the teletubbies could die, and a superhero made out of bubblegum, and a dramedy about a community of ants (no joke, soz DeForge). When I finally came to Australia at age ten I went from Marvel/DC to manga to alternative and underground comics, all of which presented their own influences. The combination of words with images is surely what drew me to the medium - the meeting and symbiosis of two crafts is just such a powerful form of expression and storytelling, I really think it's the pinnacle.

I occasionally wonder as to why I draw comics…I've come to the conclusion that I simply want to tell stories, stories that affect people in the way the comics of my childhood and youth affected and shaped me. Maybe a comic of mine makes you happy, maybe it makes you sad or contemplative or confused or excited. If I make you feel something then I have achieved my purpose and that is just the most blissful concept for me as a creator.

I think it's incredible how fictional characters can truly affect our lives and how we grow up, who we become. As a boy I learned from Archie, I learned from Tintin. It sounds silly, but if we think back to our childhoods and the books, movies etc that left an impression on us I think everyone would realise that their personalities are the direct results of factors such as fictional characters. So maybe I also draw comics to shape people, to foster them through the guise of entertainment. Shit, this got kind of deep, sorry. Ha, it got 'deep park'.

How long was Deep Park in gestation and what inspired the theme park setting?
I had a seriously intense creative period at the start of this year. All of a sudden I was writing about twenty stories at once, it was really exciting. When you proposed that I draw something for Pikitia Press I decided to sit down and choose the story I would work on to completion. I changed my mind about five times, but eventually realised that a few stories could be merged together to create a manageable, fun, and, in my naive mind, respectable narrative.

Deep Park was originally going to take place in a large Central Park style park in the burbs. I wanted to create a story that weaved together a bunch of seemingly independent narratives to create a larger story, a concept I carried out to the final draft. The shift of setting to a theme park was really serendipitous, a bunch of things came together almost simultaneously - first of all, I came to terms with the fact that the park idea just didn't present enough opportunities for interesting scenarios…at the same time I came across these bizarre Disney theme park 'documentaries' on the Lifestyle Channel, ha ha. They were basically just long advertisements that explored the history and lesser known sides of the various parks, but they were imbued with this sort of magic that made everything seem so awe-inspiring and beautiful. I found them all on youtube and would just get blazed and freaking dream of going to Disney Land!

I started youtubing ride throughs, these videos where people just film a roller coaster ride from the front seat. So you're just riding a roller coaster but you're not, it's kind of depressing in a lot of ways. I started 'researching' and found this whole culture surrounding ride throughs, people who travel countries purely to ride roller coasters, they're obsessed. To them, these rides are Nirvana. What a concept. Weirded out but fascinated, I kept looking - I found some ride throughs from a theme park/water park that my friends and I would go to in Belgium. I almost cried when I watched the videos as all these memories came flooding back…but then I started to look on the edges of the screen, the parts you're not meant to focus on. Chipping paint, scaffolding, plywood. How fucking depressing! I finally, FINALLY woke up to the truth that these theme parks are just cultivated, false happiness. Disney isn't a world of wonder. It's a fucking complex of spit and polished facades with people dressed up to make you feel happy and forget about reality. It's bonkers, man. It's so, so weird. How did humanity get to this? How can we smile with glee and child-like wonder as we're rolled along the It's a Small World Ride? Take away the paint and bright colours and you're sitting in a dark warehouse, in a cold metal box looking at rotating statues and gears. That's freaky.

Originally Deep Park was going to be a standard US size comic, what inspired the change of format?

Artistic integrity, purely. Originally each page was a twelve panel grid. I wanted to fit so, so much into this book but couldn't be bother drawing more than 28 pages. Thus, I just condensed everything and told myself it'd be fine. I showed my dad a few finished pages and he just said this is a mess and I can't read it. He was right, but I couldn't accept it, I just called him old…finally about three days from the deadline I realised that this comic I'd been working so hard on was a mess and I couldn't read it. Breaking the pages in half (with some panel re-arranging) was the smartest move I could've made, I really dodged a bullet and learned some massive lessons about page composition, pacing, word placement etc. So thanks dad.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Deep Park Comic Book Launch

Pikitia Press is proud to announce the debut graphic novel by David C Mahler, Deep Park, debuted a week ago at The Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland, Washington with the Melbourne launch party, 6pm this Friday 27th Sept at The Silent Army Storeroom, 110 Franklin Street, Melbourne.

Deep Park launch Facebook Event page.

David C Mahler's tumblr.

About Deep Park
'The beloved amusement park with it all: carousels, drop rides, a hallucinogenic water slide, an orgasm inducing roller coaster and the cult that worships it. Join a colourful cast of characters wasting a day in the sun, exploring the thrills, and terrors, Deep Park has to offer.'

Deep Park is a brand new Australian graphic novel from a fresh young voice. An equal parts amusing and uncomfortable exploration of repercussions and human failings, the story of Deep Park is presented as seemingly separated vignettes; we follow characters for two or four pages before moving on to another scenario. Only as the book progresses is it revealed how interconnected and co-dependent these stories are, all leading towards a climactic clash between a crazed, genocidal Disney-like figure and a roller coaster worshipping cult of desperation! The fun never stops at Deep Park.

About David
David C Mahler was born in Vancouver, Canada, and after a few formative years in Belgium moved to Melbourne at age ten. Raised on a diet of Calvin and Hobbes, Tintin, Archie and Astroboy, drawing was second nature from childhood. He released his first self-published mini-comic at age nine.

After years of experimenting and developing in the Melbourne small press scene, his quarterly short story comic collection Coracle debuted at the 2013 Melbourne Zine Fair. As well, he has contributed to magazines and anthologies such as Voiceworks, The Lifted Brow, Naturegraffix, Victoria Drug Scene, Dailies and the upcoming Paper Trail.

A current film student at the Victorian College of the Arts, David has also completed a number of short films and animations. Outside of his course, he is currently at work on a weekly web comic, Greyvid, a follow up graphic novel and a mini comic for the Andrew Fulton organised Mini Comic of the Month Club.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Pikitia Press News

This weekend Pikitia Press are proud to launch Issue #3 and #4 of Sarah Laing's Let Me Be Frank at the 2013 Auckland Zinefest. The ever prolific Sarah has gathered a selection of her Autobio comics to produce another couple themed issues, this time writing and celebrity. For folks not attending the Auckland Zinefest Sarah will be selling copies of her latest and previous issues from her blog, Let Me Be Frank and the Pikitia Press Store from next week.

In other exciting news Pikitia Press will be a Special Guest at SPX this year. We'll be taking comics from our 'ye olde floppy style' line and a few surprises to be announced next month. Three comics will debut at SPX this year, Love Stories by New Zealand cartoonist Mat Tait, Deep Park by Australian cartoonist David C. Mahler and Despair Party by Matt Emery. Big thanks to Bruce Mutard and Warren Bernard for a lot of the behind the scenes paperwork.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Deep Park Preview - David C Mahler

Pikitia Press are proud to announce David C Mahler's Deep Park another of our ye olde format comics coming hot of the press to you this September. We've been digging on David's prolific output of mini comics for a few years and we're looking forward to sharing his new work with folk everywhere. Please consider supporting David's cartoonist 'lifestyle' by purchasing something from his online store. David details his current fundraising efforts below along with some ringing endorsements from his peers.