You have just over two weeks to buy your tickets to this upcoming event. The Rotary Cartoon Awards at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery in Coffs Harbour is waiting to hear from you! At only $35, this is an excellent opportunity to mix with some of Australia's finest cartoonists, and see some amazing original artwork. I had the opportunity to attend last year's event, and didn't come home disappointed (even if I wasn't entered in any of the Awards!)...and that is exactly how you will feel too! So, get your tickets today! They are available from The Bunker directly or by clicking here and being taken to their secure booking site.
Arriving from the printer this morning: the proof copy of the Fifth Issue of Oi Oi Oi! to be exclusively released to coincide with the Copier Jam! Exhibition of comic and zine art at the Childers Festival in almost one month's time. The details are all above!
Comicoz is highlighting original artworks and prints from our First and Second Issues. Here's a chance to see (and in some cases buy) original artworks by Anton Emdin and Tony Thorne, or Limited Edition prints of works by SCAR Studios, Rob Feldman and Lesley Vamos.
Inside this print edition you will see some great Australian comic work by Chiara Arena (who drew the fabulous cover) and Ryan McDonald-Smith (who added the visual effects), as well as some great Australian comic stories by Alisha Jade, David Piper and Ian Thomas. This comic will be available at the special price of only $5.00. A special Guest Editorial by Copier Jam! curator Jeremy Staples is also included in the comic. Of course, if you just can't make it to Childers, you can always ensure you obtain your copy of Oi Oi Oi! by taking out a four issue subscription. All the details are on our Store Tab (above)...!!
Who remembers the comic strip Trundle? Not many, I'd wager, given that it appeared in two Australian newspapers, and only ran for just over a year. Although it did not appear in any Brisbane newspaper, and I did not have opportunity to read it daily, it was (and remains) one of my all-time favourite comic strips. Created in late 1987 by Australian cartoonist Neil Matterson, Trundle was (to my mind) Neil's creative peak. Certainly Neil has created many strips that have lasted longer and appeared in more newspapers (St Pips, It's a Baby), but none that pushed the boundaries of the genre in this country quite like Trundle. Today, Comicoz is proud to announce that it will be publishing a volume of Trundle cartoons in the coming months. For those who have never seen the strips, you are in for a wonderful treat. For those who do recall, you can once again get lost in the wonderful world of Trundle....
Way back on January 1st (this year), I wrote an email to 100 Australian artists and cartoonists, asking them if they would be interested in contributing to a comic anthology without reward. (I know that that would turn many off: most, understandably, would prefer paying jobs.) They were given a June 30 deadline to send in submissions. There are just over three weeks until the deadline closes, so I thought I would publicly announce these plans now. All contributors (50 male and 50 female) were invited to include a maximum of five pages in the volume with the theme of "Australia". The works are to be collated in a hardback book, with all proceeds from all sales going to a charity of my choice. After some negotiations, I am pleased to announce that all funds raised will go to beyondblue
As some of you know (and many of you don't) my daughter is presently receiving some on-going mental health input after a trauma in February. Even in my day to day work (as a Mental Health Nurse in a major Brisbane Hospital's Emergency Department), I sometimes come in contact people who work for this organisation. I am more than satisfied with my choice of charity to benefit from the sale of this book.
But do you know what? I have not come up with an idea for a name of the book! I welcome your input in coming up with a name and helping me out here... Please leave all thoughts in the Comments section of this blog.
Here are some pages from a book called "Truth, Justice and the American Way: The Joe Shuster Story". (Based the true events in the life of the artist who created Superman.) This Graphic Novel, was written by Julian Voloj and is in the process of being illustrated by Sydney-based Thomas Campi, whose work I absolutely adore. Although the work may not be finished for another eighteen months, I just had to sign: the work looks that brilliant. YES! I have been publishing comics and comic-related books since I was a teenager and today, many years later, for the very first time, I have signed my very first contract! This is a body of work I am really excited about. Here are some sample pages....
If you have enjoyed seeing these images, check out more on my May 26th posting...
Hopefully, over the next eighteen months, there will be some more sneak peeks at what will be a beautiful book! Plans already are for the First Edition to be a Limited Print run of only 500 copies....
Production on the Monty Wedd book Bold Ben Hall received a temporary set-back a couple of weeks ago, when difficulty arose when trying to source a suitable flat bed scanner. You see, the project is being worked from Monty's original artwork, with pages measuring up to 38 cm x 50 cm. But, now that we have reached a solution, it is all steam ahead! Thanks, Rosie: you've given yourself some work in the days ahead!
Just arrived this morning! Some photos that we are going to use for the cover. Here's one. It's the original Navy Colt Holster taken from Ben Hall’s body when he was shot in 1865. That's the degree of authenticity being brought to this project! Thanks, Alan for the photographs!
In the lead up to this year’s ZICS fair (Zine and Indie Comics Symposium, 21–23 August), I have been given an opportunity to assist people in learning more about comic book design and publication.
Last night Jeremy Staples and I managed an introductory workshop on Zines and Comics. It was great to see the enthusiasm in the participants -- all of who managed to get a small zine completed in the allotted time frame: super impressive!
My next (and first solo!) workshop will focus on the medium of comics and will be held this Sunday at The Edge (part of the State Library of Queensland). Participant will find out about where comics started and where they’re at now. Then we'll get down to business helping participants in creating their own comic, and learning techniques for editing, printing and publishing their creations! Who knows what talent may surface?!
For those interested, here's the link (click here).
What is the state of the local comic "industry"?
It is a question I often ask myself. Comics, as a medium, are a wonderful and unique means of communication and entertainment. Do they have to be economically viable for them to survive? In the 1940s and 1950s, comic sales (in this country, at any rate) were around the 80,000 copy mark -- per issue! Admittedly, that was partially due to the fact there were limited forms of mass entertainment then, and the banning of the US comic books certainly helped sales along. By the 1980s, sales of newsagent released comics were between 2 to 3,000 copies sold (per issue), and with a 10,000 print run that made them viable. (I am basing my figures on my Air Hawk comic book of the time.)
These days, in the new century, there are even fewer newsagent-released comics. (I am not going to count The Phantom, or Mad Magazine or the other smaller digest books available, mainly because I see them as licenced products of overseas owners.) I understand that there are even more alternative means of entertainment available for people these days, that people do not visit the newsagents to purchase magazines as they once did...
Yet, many people are still reading and making comics. There are more comic shops springing up around the country than ever before. Movies and TV series are being made about some of the comics (including, pleasingly, an animated TV series based on the Australian comic The Deep). Attending all the Supanova conventions over the past two years, I notice that there are many more people making and selling their own comics. Next week (Tuesday), I am due to give a free comic and Zine workshop to the public (with Jeremy Staples at The Edge in the Cultural Centre, at Southbank in Brisbane) and the event is booked out. So, there is still an interest in the medium that indicates it is very much alive.
So, how to make them a viable proposition in Australia? I have had three issues of Oi Oi Oi! on sale in newsagents around the country in the past twelve months. While I am still waiting on the sales results for the Third Issue, I have to be honest and say that the sales of the first two issues of Oi Oi Oi! have been really disappointing. There were few media willing to carry copy about the launch (and all of those that did were on-line; no mainstream media touched the story, despite media releases and sample copies being sent to them). Given the growing grassroots appeal of comics at the conventions, made me think that this might translate into sales around the country in the newsagents. Sadly, it was not to be.
Yet, there is still a need for the medium within Australia; and there are certainly the local artists and cartoonists who are seeking a vehicle for their craft. The Distributor has allowed me the opportunity to release an annual Summer Holiday edition of Oi Oi Oi! (with a four months sale period), which is really great. In the meantime, I am seeking ways of continuing the sequence of the magazine in a more grassroots manner to alert people of its existence. Do comics have to be economically viable for them to survive? From my perspective, Oi Oi Oi! does: I do not have deep enough pockets for it not to. And even though the first two (and possibly third) issues have not produced a profit, I am going to soldier on for the time being.
Issue Four will be available from Australian comic shops and via subscription. The enthusiasm of people like Matt Emery (who has distributed it throughout Melbourne) and Vince Steele (even though he was/is disappointed with some of the content) and the subscribers make the losses to date more palatable at least. Yesterday, I completed preparation of Issue Five for Ryan (our interior design guy) and from there it is off to the printer. That issue will be available to co-incide with the Copier Jam! Exhibition at the Childers Festival in July. (More of that later.) I had hoped to get to Sydney's Supanova (as part of my beloved Australian Cartoonists' Association stand) to further publicise and sell more copies of Oi Oi Oi!, but my other comic book publishing schedules may yet prevent me from doing that.
And that's another story...!