Monday, July 31, 2006

Doujicon report 

Doujicon Lichtenstein styleYes, indeed, Doujicon ("Australia's first fully-fledged self-published cartoonists and animators convention") on Saturday definitely rocked!

There were classes and discussions going on downstairs that looked well-attended, but I didn't get to any of those, as I spent nearly all my time upstairs in the traders' area. I managed to get around to various tables, but missed buying a few titles I planned to - mostly due to being on our own table, but partly due to the throngs around many tables when I approached (a good problem for an event like this to have!). Meeting so many other local artists for the first time was great - I'm always amused by how artists look like the way they draw! Fortunately, I had my somewhat beaten up copy of Operation Funnybone with me to get a few more signatures and pictures added. A lot of people had come from interstate - even just our table consisted of people from Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria!

Doujicon 2006 pic by PracticeCactusI sat on a table with Tonia Walden (of too many comics to mention), Scott Beattie of Seven Swords, and Aaron & Warwick Burgess of Comics Australia. (I'm not in the picture, but that's my empty chair :)). We had quite a range of A5 format comics for sale, including Tonia's anthologies (Once Upon a Time, Eat Comics, Pirates and Meus Officium Est Abyssus #1 and #2*), the three issues of The Ink, Scott's Seven Swords and Kittyboy, and Daniel Reed's excellent The Crumpleton Experiments #5 & #6.

Full marks must go to Avi Bernshaw and all the OzTaku gang for the amazing effort put into this gathering and the great success that it was! Avi had even arranged food for we traders, which was sooo appreciated.

For loads more pics, check out the gallery provided by the good Mr. Aaron Burgess at Comics Australia Doujicon pictures. You may even find a picture of me there!

* More on this new anthology soon...

On another note, my oldest daughter, H., turned 18 on Friday, and she's growing up nicely, but it is kind of hard to take in - I was a young parent! :)

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Thursday, July 27, 2006


Australia's first fully-fledged self-publishing cartoonists & animators convention is on this Saturday, 29th July from 10:00am at Monash University, Caulfield Campus. It's $5 to get in and there'll be loads of Auscomics for sale, with artists coming from across Australia to flog their stuff. There's a heap of good new books out, including The Ink #3 (and the first two will also be on sale). So I'll be seeing you there! :)


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Unfinished Tales 

I’m relieved to have Riffin’ to Oblivion (in The Ink) finally complete and out there - finishing a project is a big relief!

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m blocking out a great stack of unfinished projects that have become overly problematical – things that, the more work I put in, the more difficult they seem to become.

Yesterday, L. asked me to show her a box of detailed models I made years ago, which we set up and photographed for a children’s picture book I was attempting to illustrate. I spent months on the paintings, which are near completion, but a couple of things have happened that have driven me away from this project for nearly five years now. The worst is that I stupidly used cheap paint, with no lightfastness ratings, due to lack of money. It’s a really nice piece of work, based on a beautiful story that J. wrote when she was little. At one level, I love this story, feel proud of the work and want to finish it (which would need a few dedicated, uninterrupted weeks), but at another level the shortcomings and short life of the artwork make me feel sick whenever I think about it.

Then there’s that album of 10-12 songs that Darren and I had carefully planned out about ten years ago. The songs I wrote for it have really intricate arrangements and some of my better lyrical efforts, but again, I’m avoiding even just the piano, as I know I could distract myself away from drawing for no useful purpose, and there’s no point spilling out more songs to add to the masses already languishing.

Comics-wise, I have these projects frustrating me:
  • a historical serial, all plotted out, with the first episode drawn and several more scripted.
  • a 10 page wordless story that I pencilled for Generation some years ago (right before getting whooping cough and giving up).
  • an anthro series that I want to continue, but am having logistical problems with.
  • Children of the Moon - the elf/dragon sage with 42 pages done, but in need of another 14 page episode and 4 supplementary pages to complete it - this one begs for completion and colouring!
  • a well-researched piece on "Love & Sedition" for Tango - I have all the pieces but can’t seem to put them together.
  • Joytown, a newspaper strip that had a few episodes appear in Operation Funnybone – there are nearly 100 of these scripted, and a bunch already drawn.
  • A few hundred pages of Maelstrom from many years ago that could possibly be graphic novelised (on Lulu or something). The writing now strikes me as weak, but it was written a long time ago, when I was young. This has the least chance of being completed, I think, as I don’t plan on making it my life’s work.

    In addition, I have a box-full of research on an Australian children’s author/illustrator who I want to write an article on, but I still feel a few important pieces of this puzzle are missing.

    I'm not complaining, just musing on creative frustration. Part of why I blog is to keep track of the work I'm putting out. One thing I do know is that writing is the hardest part of anything, but also well worth a lot of work to get right.

  • Friday, July 21, 2006

    Change the World 

    We live in a time of the revisiting of old bad ideas, when the limited ideas guys of the world press for the promotion of "safe" nuclear energy, a return to whaling, totally oppressive working conditions, arms races between neighbouring countries, fundamendalist intolerant religions, overt political corruption that no-one cares about, etc., etc. Meanwhile, the Earth dies.

    It can seem at times there's nothing that can be done, but I'm a great believer in the power of small things, and of changes being made by every individual person. In Tim Flannery's fine recent book, The Weathermakers, he lists 11 Realistic Ways You Can Help Reduce Global Warming. I've just done another one of them - I rang our power company and got all our gas and electricity changed to Green Power. If you're in Australia, you might like to click on the picture above and find out more, or overseas you could contact your power company and ask - please consider...


    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    The Ink #3! 

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    Here it finally is, The Ink #3, with my wraparound cover. Here's the original picture, and below you'll find a photo of the comic itself taken by Tonia Walden, who copublished this issue with me, and who has been absolutely invaluable in seeing it through to fruition (I totally recommend any of her other books as well).

    Aaron Burgess of Comics Australia originally compiled the majority of the work in The Ink #3, along with the two previous issues, published under his FlatFly Media imprint, hence there are many conclusions of ongoing tales in here, as well as many fine standalone pieces.
    Thanks to all who contributed!

    Cover - Ian C. Thomas
    Front inner cover - Doug Holgate
    Basic Wage Kids - Owen Heitmann
    Riffin’ to Oblivion, Part 3 - Ian C. Thomas
    Sasha’s Song, Part 2 - Troy Kealley
    The Klaatu Controversy - Jeremy Macpherson
    Hollow in “Birdie” - Aaron Burgess
    B-Boy + Winston the Duck - Edward J. Grug III
    The People You Meet - David Bird and Michael Nason
    Isolation Room, Part 3 - Bobby Nenadovic
    Songs for the Deaf and Stupid Present - Chris Wahl
    What’s in a Name - Tonia Walden
    Song So Uncertain - Liz Argall and Steve Martinez (/Fred Smith)
    Resume - David Witteveen (/Dorothy Parker)
    What’s New Pussycat? - Talitha Nonveiller
    Missed Dreams - Hayden Fryer
    Musical Giant - Michael Connolly
    Citys Siren - Scott Johnson
    Pied Piper - Gavin Thomson
    Biffo (back inner cover) - Jase Harper

    Contributor copies soon (if we have your address, otherwise, please email me).

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    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    How to Draw Comics in Listen Magazine 

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    My How to Draw Comics piece from a few years ago is in the May issue of Listen magazine, a US teen lifestyle magazine. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and the context in which it is used, accompanying an article - Drawing Inside the Box - Comics by Tim Morgan - encouraging readers to get into comic creating.

    I'd wondered how Listen would adapt my piece for a US readership and am very happy with the results (see below). With a bit of rearrangement of text and panels, it's a tighter comic that works really well in this context. (If you haven't already seen the original, it's at How to Draw Comics).

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    Sunday, July 02, 2006

    Rock 'N' Roll Fairies, Part 12 

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    The July issue of Total Girl magazine is out now. With Dillon's new Rock 'N' Roll Fairies adventure now up to the 12th episode, I've been drawing the strip for almost a year (there was an extra episode at Christmas), and it's as much fun as ever. Here's a couple of panels showing some odd insecty characters, but for some totally strange ones, you'll have to buy the issue!


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