The short story is that I have been married to comics for 22 years and have produced four children thus far: The Bunker (Image Comics, 2003); The Sacrifice (Allen & Unwin, 2008), The Silence (Allen & Unwin, 2009) and A Mind Of Love (Black House Comics, 2011) and Stripshow (Milk Shadow Books, 2012). A sixth is on the way: Alice in Nomansland, (Milk Shadow Books, 2012). They were conceived, gestated, nurtured and debuted to face the world and all its hazards. Additionally, they have a spine and can stand up.
I also issued four editions of the serial comic, Street Smell: the Lowbrow comic for Highbrows, (1994-1998), from my Bad Art Studios imprint. These have been retired to a home.
I have also produced numerous short stories that have appeared in Meanjin, Overland, Australian Book Review, Tango, SPXPO volumes, The Trip, Bizarre Times, Human Zoo and a lot of other short lived magazines and zines. Many of these will be collected in a forthcoming volume: Sex, Politics and Religion: Stories to Break Up Families By.
I have also illustrated the comics pages in seven of Macmillan Education’ Stories From Australia’s History (2010-2012).
I am currently working on the second volume of the Robert Wells Trilogy, The Fight, which is loosely scheduled for publication in 2014.
For the record, I was born, raised, educated and have always lived in Melbourne, Australia. However, if anyone wants to swap a villa in southern France, Italy or Spain for all my original art, I am open to offers.
I studied maths and science subjects in high school, then geological engineering for one year, then bailed to take up a ‘art’ – a bad move for my future financial security (what, with the way the oil and mining industry turned out). I studied graphic design in the then asbestos riddled army shack at Swinburne Institute of Technology, and was kicked out after two years.
Casting about for something to do – rather than take responsibility and get a proper job – I decided to make comics. I liked doing two things and at that stage, rather ordinarily: drawing and writing stories. So the rest is a long and rather tortured history or assiduously trying to improve my skills in drawing and storytelling so I could get fame and fortune, but also respect as an artist. Thus far, I have got a few molecules of the former, none of the middle and perhaps a little bit of the latter. Remember: it’s 99% perspiration folks.
I really wanted to become a film-maker, an auteur like my favourites, Tarkovsky, Bergman, Antonioni, Godard, Bunuel, Ozu, but there was no way anyone was going to fund the sorts of movies I wanted to make. So instead I make them on paper. Of some of my early work, I’m rather glad I didn’t; I might have acquired a reputation like John Waters or David Lynch in Wild at Heart mode. If anyone wants to make a film of my stories, or adapt them for theatre, make a musical or hire me to do something original, get in touch.