Congratulations to all those fellow Nominees!
I have just read the news that two Comicoz books have been included in the Short List for the Ledger Awards ("For Excellence in Australian Comics")....The Second Issue of Oi Oi Oi! and Ned Kelly, Narrated and Illustrated by Monty Wedd. Click on the link here!
Congratulations to all those fellow Nominees!
Once again, this is not a comic-related Posting...but I think it is worth while! Why not support it! Here's the link: http://www.pozible.com/project/190802
On the back of my last Blog entry, I just thought I would add this brochure that I have found while "tidying up" my office before Carlene returns home on Tuesday. I can't say what date this would be, but from the reference to the Redcliffe Peninsula being "about 22 miles" from Brisbane, it will have to be at least prior to 1975 (when Australia went metric). Normal comic-related commentary will return as soon as possible....
After travelling around this country when younger, I eventually settled down in what was then known as the City of Redcliffe. So, where is Redcliffe and what is it known for?
The Ningi Ningi people were the first known occupants of the area. In 1799 Lieutenant Matthew Flinders, noticed and named the red-coloured shore line Red Cliff Point.
In 1823 Thomas Brisbane, then the Governor of New South Wales, needed to expand his penal colony. John Oxley lead an expedition and recommended the establishment of the new settlement at Redcliffe. Ultimately eight months later, mosquitos, lack of reliable water and the attacks by the local indigenous peoples sent them packing! They moved to what is now the city of Brisbane.
Redcliffe is now known as the site of the first European settlement in what has become the state of Queensland. The area is a peninsula, surrounded by water and was (and is) a lovely place to raise a family. Which is why I decided to move here many years ago now.
The areas within the City of Redcliffe comprise of Scarborough, Margate, Woody Point, Redcliffe, Clontarf and Kippa-Ring. And we all would have lived happily ever after, if some clown from the Queensland Government hadn't autocratically decided to amalgamate some of the other local councils. We are all collectively now known as the Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Besides the humour in all of the cartoons (and being able to appreciate the skill that goes into their composition), the exhibition is a record of the past year in politics and in a sense becomes a future historical record. Mark Knight, Bill Leak and Alan Moir are just some of the cartoonists on display.
Of course, if you were planning on spending a day on the Redcliffe Peninsula simply in order to see this exhibition, you will be be most disappointed... as today is the last day of showing! I had a quick look last week just before an afternoon shift and I do hope to find some more time today to spend in closer observation of the works. I am not sure where it is travelling to next, but I do suggest you give it a look if or when it comes to your town. Highly Recommended.
Still, there are other reasons to visit the Redcliffe Peninsula. Other cultural identities of the past have had ties here. Some fellas by the name of Gibb spent their formative years here (once Cribb Island had been reclaimed to become Brisbane Airport). Now known a the Bee Gees, the local council seems to be spending no end of money in erecting monuments to their memory. Sure, I agree, the Bee Gees are world identities on the world music scene and the local tourist attraction Bee Gees Way, with all its photographic memorabilia of the group's history is a touch that the tourists all like. But do we have to spend another two million dollars of rate-payer's money to promote or expand on it further? Why don't we spend it on some local cartoonists?
I admit I am not (and probably will never will be) happy with the amalgamation. Mostly because it was done without consultation with the local people, and because there was never an opportunity to vote for or against the decision. Yes, it was a most political decision.
Now while we are talking about politics, it seems a prudent time to tell you that not only was Redcliffe the first European settlement, but Redcliffe is also the first to be hosting the annual travelling exhibition Behind the Lines. This is a collection of "the year's best political cartoons" from 2014. The Exhibition, being held at the Redcliffe Museum at 75 Anzac Avenue, showcases thirty-three different cartoonists with over eighty different cartoons from the past year. There is no entry fee. It is absolutely free to come in and have a look see....
Jason Harper, for example. I know most locals would say "Who"? But as an Australian cartoonist born and raised in Clontarf, surely we deserve to have the "Jase Harper Highway" leading into the Redcliffe Peninsula named after him? It certainly would sound better than the present "Deagon Deviation"!
No? Because Jason isn't well known enough?! What about naming something after Bil Keane, creator of the U.S. comic strip, The Family Circus -- now that's well-known. What's Bil's connection to the Redcliffe Peninsula, I hear you ask? I am pleased you asked!
In the early 1940s, Bil was a GI stationed in Australia. The Australian troops at the time were camped at Brighton, just over the bridge that connects Redcliffe with the Brisbane mainland. The boys from the U.S. of A. were stationed in Scarborough. Bil told me this in a couple of letters we exchanged in the late 1980s. He was artistic even back in those days and apparently adorned the Scarborough Hotel with caricatures of some of his fellow soldiers. Sadly, none now remain. Even the old Scarborough Hotel has been to allow to fall in such a state of disrepair that they have had to knock it down. Plans are to re-develop the site.
Ah, well, if no-one on Council wishes to remember Bil, at least Bil took a lasting local memory of Queensland home with him -- he met and married Brisbane girl Thelma in 1948. Thelma became the inspiration behind 'Mommy' in his world-famous strip! Sadly, Bil suddenly passed away in 2011; although I see on Facebook that his grand-daughter has returned to Brisbane to study... I just hope she comes to visit the Redcliffe Peninsula. I'd happily show her around.
Also visiting the local Redcliffe Art Gallery is the display of artist Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing: From book to film exhibition. This exhibition show the behind-the-scenes activities that brought the popular children's book into life as a 2010 Award-Winning animated short film. There are many of Shaun's original artworks on display: from working sketches to sculptures. Shown in conjunction with the support of the Australia Council, the Australian Centre for Moving Images Board plans to share this exhibition with other regional and rural communities. Peter Lewinsky, the Board's president, said it is "the largest the organisation has ever undertaken".
"The moving image is a potent cultural and creative space and our commitment is to provide a diversity of audiences with outstanding opportunities to engage with art and culture, and uniquely Australian stories, regardless of location" Mr Lewinsky said. I said: "It is an exhibition well-worth seeing. I will be going again."
The exhibition is free and will be on display at the Redcliffe City Art Gallery at 470 - 476 Oxley Avenue, Redcliffe until May 20th. I saw this on the same day I saw the Behind the Lines exhibition before work, and if I rated that as Highly Recommended, what do I rate this? Because I enjoyed it even more!
Years ago, there was a time when this local community was disparagingly named "Dead-cliffe". I have not spent much time in these Blog postings talking about my local community, mainly because I have always thought that there are too many other comic-related activities going on elsewhere. Perhaps once, though, I can appreciate some of the great comic-related history and events that are taking place here in Redcliffe. Hey, Dear Reader, if you are in the area, get in touch and I will be happy to show you around....!
You are now one of the FIRST people in the country to take a first look at the just completed cover to the Fourth Issue of Oi Oi Oi! (There will be no fanfare -- well, not just yet! -- about this upcoming edition.) And WHAT is The First Comic Strip all about?
"I found the story The First Comic Strip in the soon-to-be released Fourth Issue of Oi Oi Oi! to be a most powerful and compelling read. This is the best story I have read in years, In sharing such a strong message, it clearly demonstrates the still untapped potential of the comic medium in this country. I challenge you to read it and not be somehow emotionally moved." -- Nat Karmichael.
Here's the unsung hero of Ned Kelly, Narrated and Illustrated by Monty Wedd, Rob Feldman's Cartoons, Comics and Cows in Cars, and of every issue of Oi Oi Oi! to date. Ryan McDonald-Smith is Comicoz' Interior Designer, and these books would not look as slick without Ryan's contribution. This is a picture of Ryan at his beloved computer, reminiscing about past glories. He is holding the Golden Stapler Award for Best Collaborative Zine 2014 for Oi Oi Oi! #1. Soon after this photo was taken, Ryan was re-chained to his desk, and he was not released until we completed the files to the Fourth Issue of the magazine today! Hoo-ray!
A good sleep should never get in the way of discussions about Comics. Or Zines.
Who said that? Um, I did -- just then!
Early this morning, I finished a sixteen and a half hour (double) shift at work and should have gone home to sleep. Instead, I ended up having a rather late 11 a.m. breakfast with Jeremy Staples and we ended up having a most interesting conversation. There is just nothing Jeremy doesn't know about zines (or if there is, he's not telling!). The man is as passionate about life and zines and a whole range of many things, as much as I am about comics and life and all those other things...so it was a most productive and pleasurable morning. I won't go into exactly what we discussed (some of that can wait until later), but let me just tell you this:
If you are living in or around the Brisbane area and want to learn how to make your own Zines and/or Comics you could join our Workshops on Zines and Independent Comics. YES! Jeremy and I are sharing our enthusiasm and knowledge to the general public in a series of upcoming workshops. These are the dates to keep aside:
June 2nd -- from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. -- This is the Introductory session to the Workshops
June 7th -- from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- Make your own Indie Comic
June 14th -- from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- Make your own Zine
These Workshops are being held at The Edge, which is near the State Library of Queensland precinct, in the Cultural Centre at Southbank. These Workshops are various prices. There is no cost in attending the Introductory session, the Comic Workshop (run by myself with Jeremy) is $35 and the Zine Workshop (run by Jeremy with myself) I have just noticed is a rather surprising $75. For some reason, I thought all workshops were going to be the same price, and I was of the belief that there was going to be a special price for those wishing to attend both the Comic and the Zine sessions. I have asked The Edge to clarify that for me.
Jeremy and I are doing all these sessions for NO FEE. Why? Because we are Nice Guys. We really are. If you do not believe that statement, then come along to the Introductory Session and find out. To book, to find out where The Edge is, or to seek out any more information about these workshops, you can click here...
Sticky Institute once again took over Melbourne Town Hall for its annual Zine Fair, as the closing event of Festival of the Photocopier 2015. Over 100 zine stalls, run by zinemakers and distros from across Australia and The World, were present in Melbourne's biggest room for one afternoon only. It also gave me a chance to catch up with Geelong icon, all round top guy and artist Glen Smith who was there with long-time associate and world renown ‘zine and group printing organizer/artist David Dellafiora.
On a day where the mercury was already smacking 30 degrees by noon the Melbourne Town Hall was a pleasant place to be. A line of punters was all ready to enter before the kick off and when I entered it was evident that this event had come a long way since my first visit in 2008 when it was held on a Saturday morning in the Degraves Street subway out front of the Sticky Institute. Today there were rows of keen artists and activists all willing to show off their wares as well as publishers and comic artists.
I must state as my good lady wife pointed out that this was a collection of the friendliest group of people you could come across in a market type atmosphere. Everyone was pleased to meet you and encourage you to look through their works; many had freebies and special offers. Everyone was pleased to have someone view his or her work. No precious types here. I remember creating my first ‘zine back in the late 70s, it consisted of lots of glue, scissors and visits to the Mount Waverly library with a pocket full of 5 cent pieces. It was great to see that little has changed when it comes to the process considering all the social media tools at our fingertips. A lot of people love the tactile and grass roots style of doing it yourself.
Highlights were of course catching up with Glen and his collected works. We met artist Tim Molloy and bought his Ledger Award winning Mister Unpronounceable for a bargain. Having a pleasant conversation with horror print legends Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr (SCAR Studios). I also caught up with the lady embroiled in last year’s Supanova controversy when her book was removed from sale (mind you it was on open display today and no one gave a shit) Scarlette Baccini and bought her beautiful (and totally inoffensive) little book BUG, a mini comic dedicated to her little sister. All up it was a wonderful couple of hours and when we left it was great to see the crowds had swelled immeasurably with local comic anthology Oi Oi Oi! winning a prize for something I just didn’t catch. I’ll update later.
My thanks to Danny Nolan for allowing me to reprint his Report on the Festival of the Photocopier, taken from his original Blog, that you can read by clicking here....
From the Melbourne Town Hall on February 14th, as Carlene and I were returning from a wedding in Berrima (New South Wales), there were many people recalling the collaborative efforts of contributors to the First Issue of Oi Oi Oi! The occasion was the annual Golden Stapler Award ("Australia's National Awards for Zine Excellence") being held at the Festival of the Photocopier. So, let us collectively thank Anton Emdin, Rob Feldman, Tony Thorne, Glen Le Lievre, Bruce Mutard, Dillon Naylor, Scar Studios (Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr), Josh Santospirito and Ryan McDonald-Smith for their efforts in bringing the first-ever Award to a Comicoz production... Best Collaborative Zine!
It was a great personal honour for me too, to be nominated in the category of Zinester of the Year. I have already sent my sincere congratulations to the winner, fellow Queenslander Justin George, for his Wasted Opportunities production. You can see his amazing works by clicking here, where you will be taken away to his Facebook page. And if, like myself, you were unable to get to the Festival of the Photocopier this year then you can at least relive the highlights of the Golden Stapler Awards here and maybe make a notation to attend next year. As I must.
Many thanks to Simon Grey, The Adelaide Zine Shop Guy, who passed on this information to me. And the YouTube video that went with it today. How could I not share it?! Now the only thing I have to figure out when the Award arrives in the mail: how do I equitably share the Award among the collaborators? Do they perpetually rotate the Award among themselves for, say, a month at a time until the end of time? Ah, the decision-making is never easy when you are the head of this (now) Award-Winning business called Comicoz....!
I returned to Brisbane early enough to attend last Saturday's Minicomicon, held at The Edge, near the State Library of Queensland. I had initially been a little reluctant to do much after leaving Cairns, given my recent pre-occupation with my youngest daughter. However, when New Caledonian friends Elysabeth and Niko texted to say they wanted to catch up with Carlene and me again, it seemed an ideal place to take them.
And it was well worth attending! The event was organised by Alisha Jade (well-known to all Oi Oi Oi! readers as the creator of the on-going Seven serial), and featured an array of local and interstate (mostly) mini-comic makers. I was impressed with quite a few talents, and some are worthy of mention here....
Gavin Thomson has known I have liked his comic Bob for some time. I bought a copy of the First Printing when it was available via Lulu. I am pleased to say that it is now available as a Second Edition from Gavin's own imprint, Sketch Book Scribbles. Here's a link to his blog. This is a comic that is both funny and sad, the story well-paced and deeply moving and satisfying. Well worth adding to your collection: I highly recommend it. Sadly, Gavin had to work on the day of the Minicomicon -- as one who works shift work, I know what that is like! -- so, we didn't get chance to say "Hullo!" Look for an all-new Burnard the Lonely Bunyip story to appear in an upcoming issue of Oi Oi Oi!
And, what, I hear you ask, is the latest on Oi Oi Oi!? Well, this is a posting about the Minicomicon, so I will leave that discussion until later (or, most likely, my next posting).
I found Beatrice Bravo's minicomics charming (even though I only bought one!)... This is what minicomics are all about! Entitled "FoodVenture Comics!!!", this was a photocopied recipe how-to-make mini. (Yes, three exclamation marks on the title to the Ginger Chicken Noodle edition I bought!!!) At only $3 each or six for $10, this was great value, especially those just setting out on life's pathway who need some simple and fun ways of learning how to cook. You can find a link to Beatrice by clicking here. I bought a copy because I thought it a great way of demonstrating that comics can be educational. And besides, one of my nephews needs to learn how to be more independent around the home. So he will be getting a copy as a subtle hint!
I really love SpAE's artwork and storytelling! I believe I have invited her to contribute to both Oi Oi Oi! and another Comicoz project to benefit beyondblue a little later in the year. And if I haven't -- I need my head read! This is mature storytelling (and beautiful artwork) that packs a punch (I particularly liked the powerful "Train Girls" story from Issue 2 of Sweet nv. I wish now that I had picked up the last copy of Issue One when I had the chance earlier in the afternoon. (I was told I was beaten by Alisha herself!)
Many of the Readers of this Blog (and of Comicoz' Facebook page) have been aware that my Cairns-based daughter has not been well. While she is not yet out of the woods (by any means), she was well enough to suggest that she have a Dad-Free Day later in my stay. I wandered the muggy Cairns city streets last Wednesday and came across this ally-way in Grafton Street that was filled with some marvellous graffiti artwork. I know some people find graffiti vandalism, and I admit to finding most tagging mindless, but I do enjoy the visual side of the craft when it produces works as good as these. So good, that I just had to share just some of the artwork in the ally with you... Of course, I have no idea of who the artists were, so I shall simply have to reproduce these public displays of art without any of the owner's permission....!
Soon after spending time in the ally, and continuing to wander along Grafton Street, I discovered KerSplatt Comics and Collectables (see link here). They had, I was informed, just recently moved to this new location. The shop is spacious, with a wide variety of (mostly American) comics on display. The owner was knowledgeable enough to make some recommendations for the casual buyer (and did well to fend off a couple entering the store seeking out copies of The Phantom). Towards the back of the store are boxes of $2 comics (of mostly superhero fare) that might appeal to the casual buyer and those seeking to fill in or complete a collection.
There were a couple of more recent copies of From Above by Melbourne Artist Craig Bruyn (link here), but not much else in store that was Australian. I was informed that no local comic was being produced (that the owner knew of). But stores like this are good in a smaller community, as they do tend to foster talented (and not so talented) artists and writers who yearn to draw their own stories. I did (politely) point out to the owner the absence of Oi Oi Oi! He, in turn, was polite enough to mention that he had never heard of the title, but was also kind enough to allow me to send him a sample on my return to Queensland's south-east (home).