For those of you who supported the Caravan of Comics 2013 campaign on Indiegogo earlier this year and are wondering when the rewards or perks are coming, well, soon. We’re hoping to publish the comic and Dvds in early October, to be mailed out thereafter. We apologise for the delay, but we all have day jobs or a lot of other commitments, which means that this project is not the top of the priority list, but it’s not down the bottom either. To that end, here’s a shot of the first page of one of my comics in the book. There’ll be 18 pages of new material from me. If this image is beguiling and mysterious, I’ll leave it to you to puzzle it out. Yes indeed, it is a homage to Mr Jaime Hernandez.

Thursday September 5, 6:30pm.
Pierre Gorman Room, 1888 building – on Grattan St more or less opposite the Prince Alfred Hotel. 
University of Melbourne. 

Food and Wine provided!

It’s the time of the year when the graduates of the Master of Creative Writing Graphic Narratives elective at the University of Melbourne commit their creations to paper and flog them in a mini market. I was one of the specialist tutors to this current mob, so it’ll be interesting to see if they learnt a thing or two, but whatever happened, it’ll be easily worth your while to shoot on down and give this mob of comics freshman a show of support, and either buy some comics, or swap your minis for theirs. I’ll be doing so. See ya there.

They’re on Facey here.

It’s that time of the year when Melbourne gets all excited about matters concerning the literary arts and as much as I declare comics as a separate medium, the fact remains they are often seen in printed and bound form like all books and pamphlets, so they are a literary concern.

This year there are several events for you comics lovers to get your fix on, all occurring on the one day, Saturday August 24th. You are hereby ORDERED to clear your diary and put the following in their place. Getting married? Leave him or her at the altar; this is more important. There are three that I am involved with:

UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

Saturday 24th August at 10:00am. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Tix here: 
http://tickets.mwf.com.au/session2_mwf.asp?sn=Under+Construction&s=649
My $1 question is when will The Fight come out? Or, how’s The Fight coming along? Well, at this session I will show you what it is, where it’s at and maybe guess when it’ll come out. It’s taking a long time for a lot of reasons, but it is happening and it is going to go places you can’t imagine if you’ve read The Sacrifice. Joining me will be Sarah Howell, who is working on a book about Enid Lyons and the three men she knew who died in office: her husband, Joe Lyons; John Curtin and Harold Holt. One is an accident, two is a coincidence, but three is a conspiracy. A remarkable woman by a remarkable talent featuring in what is certainly the GN I am most eagerly anticipating. Also on stage will be Mirranda Burton, another amazing talent – witness her book Hidden  but now working on a wordless book that is made up from her exquisite hand-cut Lino prints. It’s all about the 99% perspiration folks, so bring a towel.

DRAW, DRAW FASTER!

Saturday 24th August at 4:00pm. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Tix here: 
http://tickets.mwf.com.au/session2_mwf.asp?sn=Draw%2C+Draw+Faster%21&s=482
Picture this (clue: imagination): two easels, blank paper and sharpies in a rack. Two blokes and two sheilas who also happen be illustrators and cartoonists are confronted with the dreaded blank page and are thereby compelled to fill it with spontaneous comic story-making on the fly, directed by the man who can make something out of nothing, sensible: Bernard Caleo. I, along with Alexis Sudgen (the delightful My Sisters Voice also being launched at Skinny Arse below), David Blumenstein (Showman comics, co-founder of Squishface comics studio, animator, Herman the Legal Labrador) and Lesley Vamos (ex Disney animator and prolific illustrator) will battle to make nothing sensible! Probably going to be pretty hilarious.

   

SKINNY ARSE COMICS LAUNCH.

Saturday 24th August at 5:30pm. ACMI The Cube.
http://tickets.mwf.com.au/browse2_mwf.asp?k=skinny+arse&a2752=&sd=
Following the success of the Skinny Arse launch at last years festival and in the spirit of Big Arse, this year we launch four new comics onto the Melbourne literary scene and they’re all debut books too! Firstly, there is Alexis Sudgen’ delightful, wistful My Sister’s Voice,  a tale of a lighthouse keepers years long search for her sister supposedly lost at sea. Then there isLauren Hills and Ceili Braidwood’ Good Hordekeeping which you have to imagine as good housewife’s guide to etiquette in dealing with zombies. Yes. Then there’s Caitlin Major and Matthew HoddySpace Pyrates, a collection of a web comic featuring, un-muscled hipster couple who nevertheless are a very dynamic duo roaming about space; think Jack Sparrow crossed with Douglas Adams. Then there is the fascinating Neomad, a science fiction dreaming conjured up by Melbourne chap Sutu collaborating with 30 kids from the Leramudgu area of the Pilbara. Yep, they created and coloured it. It’s actually an interactive comic that first made its appearance on itunes (see: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/neomad-interactive-comic-for/id549058981?mt=8). This is probably where a lot of comics are going to go, but for old-schoolers like me, we have print too. This event is the only one that is FREE, which makes sense, for that way, you can buy the books and get them signed on the day. Please come along!

There are several other comics events that will be worth your while to attend too and since it’s all on the same day, make a day of it!

DRAW LIKE A GIRL.

Saturday 24th August at 1:00pm. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Tix here: 
http://tickets.mwf.com.au/session2_mwf.asp?sn=Draw+Like+A+Girl&s=481
Jo Waite, Katie Parrish and Lucy Knisley gather on stage to talk about whether female comics artists see and draw the world different from blokes. I say they do and the world and the medium is all the better for it! Especially these three!

Inside X-Men.

Saturday 24th August at 11:30am. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Tix here: 
http://tickets.mwf.com.au/session2_mwf.asp?sn=Inside+X%2DMen&s=530
Marjorie M Liu is well known to many fans of speculative fiction and also to those who read the Astonishing X-Men comic. Here the spotlight is shone on her talking to Joey Morris of Non-Canonical about what it is to work with a franchised intellectual property such as this one. Obviously being a woman in a male dominated domain will matter at some level, but hopefully we’ll get insight into the machine that is Marvel/Disney/Pixar/Lucasfilm. Will we see X-men team up with the Incredibles and Pocahontas to fight Darth Maul? And why re they always bloody fighting? Can’t they all just get along?

GETTING TO THE POINT.

Saturday 24th August at 2:30pm. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Tix here: 
http://tickets.mwf.com.au/session2_mwf.asp?sn=Getting+to+the+Point&s=503
Cartoonists Andrew Marlton and Judy Horacek talk to Jason Chatfield make a living making fun of everything around them in black lines on paper. Nice gig, but it must be hard to inspired to punchlines and gags every day, so in this session, apparently they’re going to tell us that being funny ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, but they’d be cracked if they were to do anything else. I understand completely as I’m a cracker who’s also cracked, but I don’t take crack.

Lastly…

my erstwhile friend Phil Bentley will be manning the Australian comics table in the book fair in the atrium at Federation square on this day, the 24th, but also the following Saturday, the 31st August, when I will be present as well for the whole day. If there are holes in your collection, then this is the time and place to get them filled. So you need a filling from the dentist? bugger that, get your comics fill instead: cheaper and less painful.

Okay, it’s been a long while since my last post. I’ve been busy having travelled to the USA and Canada as part of the Caravan of Comics, presenting at the International Comic Arts Forum, doing a residency at Ragdale in Lake Forest, IL, among many other things like sightseeing, after all, the USA and Canada has a lot to look at. If I was even partially media savvy, I would have written about it extensively and posted the thoughts here, and added a ton of pics to a tumblr. Well, I did write a detailed diary and took 1000+ photos on my iphone, so I can still do it. But I probably won’t. It’s past. Some observations will however, be drawn in comics and published in the forthcoming anthology that the Caravan alumni are going to produce and publish in September. I reckon that would be better, don’t you? With luck, a DVD film of our trip will also be cut thanks to Graphic Novels! Melbourne! director Dan Hayward having accompanied the Caravan, so who needs my 10,000 word blather when you can have comics and movies? I would rather that myself.

 

TCAF 2013 – Caravan of Comics

However, whilst I was at Ragdale, I did produce a comic on commission called A Space Oddity, written by Matt Perkins. It’s an oblique story of the recently departed Neil Armstrong who died in 2012, meeting himself on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. They float about in space and talk about light, relativity, Being, God and other trivial matters like that. Houston is worried. I show you one page from it to demonstrate that occasionally, I still make comics. Not sure where it will be published, but we are also looking to exhibit this in a gallery at some point, too. Stay tooned.

1: FORGOTTEN!
The Anzac Tale launch and following panel on Anzac and comics with me, Greg Holfeld, Ruth Starke and Hugh Dolan was unfortunately cancelled due to lack of interest. I admit to not pimping it anywhere near as hard as I did the Caravan as I simply forgot about it. It was my proposal too – i left one of my own babies outside the city walls to die of exposure and neglect. Shameful. We were all so looking forward to sinking our teeth into this subject. Perhaps next year.

 2: COMICS OVERDOSE – GET YOURS NEXT WEEK.
In case you can’t get enough comics, next week in Melbourne there is a surplus of events featuring them even despite the loss of the Readings one:

Wednesday, April 17
10:00am Comics Masterclass with Ben Hutchings and Sarah Howell at the Nexus Festival, NMIT
http://nexusfestival.blogspot.com.au

Wednesday, April 24
6:30pm Graphic Novels! Melbourne! Screening
State Library of Victoria

I’ll probably be here for the introduction, but then leave. Seen it several times already and will be presenting it on the road in Canada and the USA enough!

Thursday, April 25
Squishface – 7:00pm Ladies’ Drawing Auxiliary featuring Carol Wood and Susan Butcher (Pox Magazine) and Marijka Gooding.

http://www.facebook.com/events/163238943836205/
www.ladiesdrawingauxiliary.blogspot.com.au
http://www.ladiesdrawingauxiliary.blogspot.com.au

YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST go and see the brilliance of Carol and Susan. They are so brilliant that I am publishing their next book, Art Is A Lie, which is to be designed by the amazingly talented Marijka Gooding. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be pumping lots of my own money into this venture. Stay tooned for more soon.

Friday, April 26
6:00pm Comic Book Launch: Confessions of a Rookie Film Maker by Clint Cure
Silent Army Store Room, Blender Studios, 110 Franklin St, CBD. Enter via laneway.

Saturday, April 27
7:00pm Naked Launch (Scarlette Baccini, Ben Hutchings, Ive Sorocuk, Matt Emery, Phatsville)
Red Bennies, Level 1, 373 Chapel St, South Yarra

 

Sunday, April 28
12:30pm – 5.30pm Home Cooked Comics Festival, Northcote Town Hall.

http://www.facebook.com/events/528582280534078/
www.darebin.vic.gov.au/homecookedcomics

The Caravan of Comics will be in attendance to sell books, sketch your ugly mug for money – not peanuts – we’re a little better than monkeys, particpate in some silly antics on stage, and as it happens you can give me a bon voyage, as I fly out to start my 8 week North American venture the next morning.

THAT’s IT.

Sunday May 5. 3pm-4:45pm. A Very Hungry Caterpillar ate my Movie!

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Road | Amherst, MA 01002 | (413) 658-1100

Hark! A screening of Graphic Novels! Melbourne! will be held at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, western Massachusetts. This will be the North American premiere, and to be frank, a lovely place to hold it. Eric Carle is the bloke who created the book we all read at least once or thrice as kids: The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Now if any of my books gets legs like that beast – lots of them – then I’ll be very happy. Anyhow, after the screening, there’ll be a discussion session with me and Mira Bartok, dear friend and author of the astonishing Memory Palace and Dr Christopher Couch, a graphic novels scholar. A whole couple of hours immersing oneself in the wonders that is comics – with me – can you get enough? Can I get enough of you? ‘Ah was made for lovin you ba-beh… ‘

Find out more here!

Tuesday April 23rd, 2013. 5:30 pm
Readings The Brain Centre: Kenneth Myer Building, 30 Royal Parade, Melbourne

Come and enjoy the launch of the marvellous new Graphic Nove, An Anzac Tale, written by Ruth Starke and illustrate bu Greg Holfeld. It’s the classic story of two working class lads who get caught up in the excitement of WW1 and enlisting, only to meet the harsh reality on Anzac Cove. Twist is that all the characters are anthropomorphic Australian animals.

Free entry.

 

To find out more Click here.

I’m running and all-day workshop at the 10-4pm, Saturday 6 April

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room.
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership).
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online () or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.

The X-factor in what makes comics a great medium is telling stories with pictures, but it is also the most mysterious and difficult to master.
In this workshop, Bruce Mutard will give you some insight to this magic through projected examples and discussion of what good visual storytelling is, then some practical exercises. This will be pertinent whether you want to draw yourself, or write for other artists.

Heres a little more information about two upcoming events I’ll be participating in:

Ozcomicon Perth

March 9 &10, 2013.
Perth Exhibition Centre.

I will be in artists alley promo-ho-in my books and prints, alongside Mirranda Burton (mirrandaburton.blogspot.com). I will also be presenting a special screening of the acclaimed Graphic Novels! Melbourne! documentary which will screen at 4pm on Sunday the 10th. It’s a film about Melbourne and the weird comics ferment we have here, featuring myself, Mandy Ord, Nikki Greenberg and no longer Melburnian, Pat Grant. For more info on the flick, go here: Graphicnovelsmelbourne.com

Something to do in Canberra if you’re not in parliament
(and therefore, dead)

Impact Comics Book Banquet – Panel by panel with Bruce Mutard.
April 3rd, 6:30pm.
Retro Cafe
Innovation Centre, Building 22
University Drive South, University of Canberra
Bruce, ACT, Australia
Book here!

Whilst in Canberra researching my Vol 2 of the Robert Wells trilogy, I have taken to my usual whoring. Here’s a great evening out with me and a few diners where I’ll be yakking about comics and my career, whilst you drink, talk, eat and make merry. Better than going to Fsyhwick for your entertainment needs.