In today's Blog, I will discuss the various thoughts I had that went into the selection process of choosing these two artists' work for inclusion in the latest issue.
Sarah Catherine Firth (above) can be found online by clicking here for her link, and you will find all manner of information about her there. To cut a long story short, Sarah is based in Melbourne and has a variety of artistic works that traverse a wide range of mediums. Her passion for running a series of comic workshops for indigenous children in Jervis Bay piqued my interest, and her passion for "using drawing, visualisation and storytelling as a powerful engagement tool for education, business innovation and problem solving" struck me as an artist who believes in her work.
On accepting Sarah's work for this Second Issue of Oi Oi Oi! I am well aware of the controversy that some of the contents of her story may bring to some readers of the magazine. I am aware, too, that there are those that will decry its inclusion because it does not meet their perception of what comics are about. That is, it is not suitable for children. And there may be potential readers who chose not to buy the magazine because of Sarah's story's inclusion.
I have included it, because I am not planning on censoring any artists' or cartoonists' works. As I mention in my Submission Guidelines, I do have the "option to reject any material that I feel does not meet my subjective standard"...of "art that may not be up to scratch, or stories that maybe dodgy from a legal viewpoint, or stories that contain pornographic illustrations that might render the issue subject to censorship by authorities." I do not feel Sarah's story fails this test. I have included Sarah's story, because I believe the art and the story have merit.
She told me she was a student studying Media Arts and Law, and had had her comic work published in Voiceworks, a national youth magazine that (to be honest) I had never heard of even though (I have since learnt) it has been published regularly since 1988! Don't be ignorant like me: click here for the link to the magazine!
Madeleine then wrote a synopsis of her proposed work with some visuals to give me an idea of her art style. I was interested, so let her know her proposal had been accepted. Then I received some some seriously understated emails from Madeleine...
"Because I'm fairly new to the field of comics due to my age my bio will be rather short..." And, after writing to Madeleine in early June, after not hearing from her for a while, Madeleine reply that "I have a few pages done already, so [the deadline] will be fine...."
To be honest, when I had no visuals of the story she had proposed, and knowing she was studying as well, I feared Madeleine might be struggling with the deadline...
On June 30th, right on deadline, Madeleine's story arrived. Have a read of it when Oi Oi Oi! is released on Thursday. There was no way I could not publish it. Read it yourself, and tell me if Madeleine is not one of the most assured new comic talents in this country...