The General Public is invited to the Inaugural Launch of BOOKS FROM OUR BACKYARD 2011. This publication will be introduced by Kevin Gillespie, the Chair of the Queensland Writer's Centre, followed by special guest speaker Kim WIlkins, author and Queensland University Lecturer. The publication features about 156 books that have been published in Queensland in 2011 - including John Dixon, Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor - and is presently at the printers. Also invited to the function will be personnel from State Library of Queensland, Arts Queensland, Brisbane City Council, publishing houses involved in the publication, Australian Booksellers Association, National Year of Reading 2012, and many local bookshops... So, if you are in the area, why not join in? Come and say 'Hullo' to me too! I'll be there waving the flag for the only Comic/Graphic Novel in the publication...
In days gone by, I used to think the number of comics on display on the Australian newsagency stands was a good indication of the health of the local comics book industry. And, for any casual newsagency browser (and I count myself as one), one would think that the local industry is in relatively poor shape. What has been out there on the stands in the past 12 months? Sorab Del Rio's ZORRO (Issues One and Two) and GALLIPOLI: The Landing, with Jason Paulos' EEK! making an occasional appearance (as published by Black House Comics)...
But what erronous thinking! It is only within the past twelve months that I have come to realise that there is a wonderful array of Australian comics activity going on all around the country. I have so many local Aussie comics to read and review - and most of them high class, quality products - that I have not had time to mention them all here... Most of them are found on social media networks like Facebook, or found by word of mouth between Fans, or some I just happen to find by accident...!
In the coming month, Carlene and I are moving to a bigger home. We have six children, and our ninth grandchild is due to be born in November... Time is now being taken up packing all my comics, books, CDs, LPs, and the wonderful array of other clutter I keep in my life! So, I trust you will excuse me if I do not write a Blog entry or assess a book or comic in the coming month. It certainly is NOT from lack of material to read, I can tell you...!
When I can, I shall rave about the local Aussie Comics and Books out there....things like the books on Alex Stitt and Captain Goodvibes, and a wonderful comics anthology called Kinds of Blue. Comics like Jackie Ryan's Burger Force, and the high-quality offerings from Gestalt Comics. My thoughts on Pat Grant's Blue and Bruce Mutard's works.... Even, a little closer to home, sharing some frustrating events in the life of Comicoz... But, in the meantime, I have some packing to attend to!
One comic Anthology that hasn't recieved the kudos that it deserves is Fist Full of Comics from Adelaide. I only learnt of this comic when I was doing an internet search for something else. My memory is hazy about the exact details of what I was searching for on that day because my life is so busy! None the less, after learning about the Anthology, I ordered all thirteen Issues in one hit (and you can more or less do the same thing too, by ordering from the website by clicking here). Although I note that some of the Editions have already sold out. (There are a couple of compilations of some of the more popular stories from the series available on the web-site as well.) I must assume that from the numbering of the Issues (i.e. Volume 3 Number 10 for example) that there were two previous sets to the comic. That is, there was a Volume 1 and a Volume 2 at some stage
Click here for more information. Volume 3, Number 14 is one editon that has sold out: a personal nuisance, as it had not been released when I ordered the Back Issues and I did not buy a copy when it came out (and thus, I am left dangling not knowing how some of the continued stories finished). I am left with the impression that Number 14 was the last in the series (although I will be happy to find out this is not the case), for reasons I am not clear about. I thought the quality of the art and stories improved throughout the run, with Dave Hodson's "Anyhowtown" a personal favourite.
The colour covers were well designed and with plenty of variety to attract the casual buyer. The fact it has managed to reach Issue 14 without much fanfare is testament to the fine stories you will find within. It is regulation comic-book size, with 28 black and white pages earlier in its run (rising to 36 pages from Issue 10). Issue 14 ran for a massive 44 pages. Back Issues were about a very reasonable $8 per issue (plus postage costs). Did I mention I wasn't able to obtain a copy of Issue 14? (Sulk sulk...!!)
Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS! to Fist Full of Comics for reaching a 14th Edition...and I, for one, am hoping they can go further...