Yes. I am. I’ve been so busy doing so many things that updating this blog has not been one of them. Again, the motive is to alert you dear reader, to the shite-load of events that are looming on my horizon for this year. It’s likely I’ll be on the road for the greater part of it, so to make this less of a chore, I’m simply going to list it here to give you some idea. More details will be listed as I fill in the details closer to the event.
Ozcomicon Perth March 9-10.
Writers residency with the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust from March 11 to April 10.
Canberra Zine Emporium, March 23rd.
The Liedekijn Exhibition Opening, March 28.
I will run an all day comics workshop at the ACT Writers Centre, April 6 – see link.
Supanova Melbourne April 13-14.
Drawing Out conference, RMIT, Melbourne.
Supanova Gold Coast April 20-21.
Teaching a master class at Melb Uni on 26th April. Not open to the public
it’s a part of the Graphic Narratives 4th year class in the Dept of Creative Writing.
Come early May, the second Caravan of Comics departs these shores to assault North American audiences with the visual and aural assault of comics and films
Graphic Novels Melbourne screening, May 8, at Toronto Australia New Zealand Cultural Club.
Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), May 10-12.
Instore presentation and book signing at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, May 15.
Instore presentation and book signing at Fantagraphics bookstore, Seatlle, May 18.
The International Comic Arts Forum conference, May 23-25.
Present an academic paper; present the film, maybe an artists presentation as well.
Possible writers residency at Ragdale, Chicago, May 26- mid June.
CAKE comic festival in Chicago, June 15-16.
Sydney Supanova, June 22-23.
Perth Supanova, June 29-30.
Ozcomicon Melbourne, July 6-7.
Start a residency at Dunmoochin artists colony from mid-July (at least 12 months, possibly 2 years). I need this in order to finish work on The Fight, which has been horribly delayed, but it is coming along.
All this is fixed more or less. But, in August, there’ll be the Skinny Arse Comic Launch #2, some stuff with the Melbourne Writers Festival.
In September, the second, bigger, badder, bolder Caravan of Comics will depart as part of a Blofeld style plan to take the world over with antipodean comics. Planned visits to Helsinki Comic Festival, the Small Press Expo Bethseda, MD, the Library of Congress National book fair, a conference in Oxford and more. Stay tuned and toonin’.
Pause to draw breath. Ideally, I will attend Angouleme in 2014 with a mini caravan of locals who all have books coming out in French. But we’ll see. Yes, The Silence has been picked up for translation by Editions çà et là. Not sure when it will come out exactly, but it’s a very exciting development. Others are Pat Grant’ Blue, Mirranda Burton’ Hidden and Gregory Mackay’ Francis Bear.
I am he, the new holder for the Australian Society of Authors Comics and Graphic Novels portfolio. I take over from Julie Ditrich and Josef Szekeres, who have relinquished it in order to focus on their creative pursuits. I will build on their foundations and take the portfolio in a much more visible, vigorous direction that I hope, will one day become the Australian Comics guild – the professional association for Australian comics creators – with all the perks, lurks, benefits and membership fees! Stay tuned for more as I somehow find time to make this happen. Look for us the upcoming Melbourne and Gold Coast Supanova’s in Artist Alley – right next to my table where I will be wearing two hats on my two heads, with four arms to help manage it all. Didn’t I tell you I was not of this earth?
Yes, the smell is already emanating from the future; a cascade of quantum particles drifting back carrying the promise of some distinctly wonderful comics. The official publicity machine is yet to get going as we do not have all the books confirmed, but at this point, 15 new comics are planned to be launched. I won’t say which ones, as I don’t want to create expectations that will go unfulfilled. I can say however, that I will not have a new book, though I will appear in at least one, if not two anthologies. But if you liked the previous events, then this will be even bigger, hairier, smellier. Yes, it is on at Sentido Funf again, Saturday March 2nd, next year. Starts at 2pm. Put it in your diary now. Don’t pencil it; ink it! Then colour and letter it. Start saving those pennies or take out a personal or student loan if need be. Pawn your toy collection or sell a kidney!
For those of you whom the Satanic forces have not alerted to the presence of The Sixsmiths, then I shall do so. Co-created by Jason Franks (McBlack, Kagemono, Bloody Waters among many credits) and J Marc Schmidt (All You Bastards Can Go Jump off A Bridge, *), The Sixsmiths is more or less Home and Away with satanists instead of the atheist irreligious feel of that show. Yep, it’s got angsty teenagers, insecure adults, a satanic coven of ordinary people who go about living ordinary lives. That’s what I loved about Volume 1. As a reader, you’re constantly thrown by these quirky satanic references that are all quite sensible and based on fact. It’s a book of some depth that does not take cheap shots at the satanists or Abrahamic religious alike.
For Volume 2, Jason has decided to have each of the chapters drawn by a different artist. I have recently completed my pages, to which I hereby give you a preview of the first and last page only. They have not been lettered yet. This will be all you’ll see until the book comes out, when of course, you will go and buy it. You can get a preview of some of the artists by going to the blog for the books, here: http://www.thesixsmiths.com/wordpress/
When will the book come out? I don’t know. Probably late next year.
Published in Criminal Element, Black Glass Press, February, 2012. You can Read more about it…
[button_dark size=”medium” url=”http://www.blackglasspress.com/comics/anthologies.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=29&category_id=14″]Here.[/button_dark]
And you can read a preview of it here…
This story will be published in the upcoming fat-arsed, super sized, YUCK! Anthology being brought up from the pits to you by Milk Shadow books, sometime soon. Probably early 2013.
I am a man. Inside me is a caveman, a slavering brute who thinks primarily in terms of appetite – you know – the ID. Occasionally I let the bastard out for a run around the drawing board and this is the sort of thing that results. Mind (yes, that mind), tries to control the Id, so there is some clever-by-half bits in it. In fact, it’s a pre-Genesis story: who wrote that and how, after all this time, did we end up with books like the one John Gray made so much money out of? Easy. Men really are from Mars and women really are from Venus.
Published in Verge 2012, a literary magazine edited by Samantha Clifford and Rosalind McFarlane and published by Monash University Publishing. You can get it at Readings, Melbourne Uni Bookstore, The Grumpy Swimmer Bookstore in Elwood and Collected Works in the CBD, or online here.
It is being launched during the upcoming Melbourne Writers Festival on Sunday September 2nd at 11:30am, Yarra Building, Fed Square. check it out, here. I will be there.
And you can read a preview of it here…
A one-page strip done for a doc in Queensland, who needed a comic as part of his presentation to a conference of medical specialists.
He is interested in using the comics medium as an adjunct to communicating the experience of patients to medical professionals, who may, as we all know, become a bit offhand in their bedside manner. They are human, but patients are not bags of organs, blood and bone to be forensically inspected, either. In this strip, the Doctor asked me to convey a patient’s experience, of which I have a bit, particularly when I suffered an eating disorder. The compression of the experience into such a small space was not optional. I have done another strip that tries to convey the inner experience of living with an eating disorder, here.
To be published in Overland #208. Spring 2012. An adaptation of a short story called Paper Children by Elizabeth Jolley.
An adaptation of a short story called Paper Children by Elizabeth Jolley, originally published in Overland #89, back in 1982. It is about an Afghan woman, Asal, who is an obstetrician, anticipating meeting her daughter whom she gave away for adoption just as the communist regime of Najibulllah imploded and the country descended into the mujahedeen civil war that resulted in the dystopian regime of the Taliban. The daughter, Kinah, wound up in outback Western Australia, a place barely imaginable to someone who grew up in Kabul and studied medicine in Kiev. In the original story by Jolley, the woman, Clara, was an obstetrician in Vienna, who gave her daughter Lisa, away for adoption just after the Anschluss of 1938. Her husband, being a Jew was in mortal danger, as was Lisa, according to the Nuremberg laws.
This story was intriguing in that the structure was very modernist: shifts in time were not signposted, and multiple first person viewpoints that included the anxious imaginary scenarios of both Clara and Lisa of their first real meeting in more than quarter of a century. This structure was difficult to compress into the 8 pages I had been allotted, so I altered the setting. I also prefer to adapt prose stories to the comics’ medium in a non-literal way – a springboard to something contemporary and relevant. My other stories for Overland in the past two years were the same. See here.
W: Jason Franks. P & I: Bruce Mutard. Colour: Luke Pickett.
McBlack is one mean sunovabitch. Actually, he’s the son of no one. He doesn’t even have a body. You got demons in your mind? Nightmares keep you awake at night? Who you gonna call? McBlack, the nightmare assassin of course; he’ll fix it for ya – with extreme prejudice – and collateral damage.
I like McBlack. He can do anything because he inhabits mental space where anything goes. There’s lots of violence and humour like a good action film, but no one gets hurt as it’s all in the mind. Okay, maybe a bit of psychological damage occurs and a few neurons get nuked, but…
I offered to draw a McBlack segment just to try doing an action/vigilante hero style comic in colour. I’d never done one before, so it was a challenge. Trouble was, Jason wrote something that pushed me much further than that – he thought I had above average technical skills and exploited it. The bastard. I was also under the pump for time, so I called another mate, Luke Pickett, to colour it. Looks like we have a fairly useful comics team, eh? Any offers will be entertained. Jason’s a good mate, and I’ll be contributing to his next volume of the sublime Sixsmiths, too. You can get McBlack Two Shot (lettered) and all the other McBlack’s here.
Well, I have gotten off my backside to make some entries to this blog. I know I need to write more to keep my fans and patrons informed, as this is my connection to them sans Twitbook. I have been monstrously busy doing what many of you want me to do, which is to write and draw lots of stuff for your edification and entertainment.
There is a motive to this in that a there are a lot of public events that I am a part of in the next couple of months that you might like to know about and even attend, so let’s get you up to date.
Part of what I have been up to is organising Skinny Arse, which you can see to the right. It’s amazing how much time this takes, even if it is mostly via email. There is also the preparation for the Text + Image panel that I am doing with Badaude(pronounced Bor-dard), and Tohby Riddle.
I have recently completed a number of short comics, which will be appearing in various places over the coming months. Some time after they are published, I will put up the full strip as a download, but for the moment, you can have a gander by following the links to the short stories page .