The crowd-funding deadline for Brisbane's 2017 Zine and Independent Comic Symposium (ZICS) is tomorrow! As I write this, they are $1000 short. Pledge! Share with your rich friends! Just help them reach their goal....
There are so many things going on in the Brisbane comics community in the next two months, that it is about time I started to scream and shout about them here on my Blog. The first to tell you about is an exhibition of original Brisbane comic book art work, curated by Will Kelly. Will shared that news with me when we shared a community talk about comics at the Garden City Library with Tom Kafa on the last day of last month. Our thanks to Kay Leanne for organising the Library event. Although I will be working on the night of the exhibition's launch (July 21 at Jugglers Art Space in the Valley), I do hope to get around to the exhibition during its run....and if you are in Brisbane, I really urge you to do so too!
I'm also hoping to get along to the Indie Comic Market in the Queen Street Mall at the end of this month (see above). I was too late to book a table, but I am not worried -- I don't have any new comics published recently to sell in any case. There is always a wide selection of new comics available and a great showcase of the increasing comic talent in our city, so I am really looking forward to it. (Actually, it was good to see some talents from other parts of the country appearing at the last event. I'm not sure who is going to be there this time....)
Someone asked on Facebook the other week: How does a creator learn how to say (politely and kindly) "No Thanks" to another, when others seek to sell their wares to you? I suppose I have never had that problem....I usually go with a limited budget, and then blow it anyway! How can one say "No" to good comics?!!
And how can one say "No" to this beautiful poster (see below) by Benjamin Constantine? This is to advertise and promote the fifth annual Zine and Indie Comic Symposium (ZICS) to be held in Brisbane at The Edge, South Brisbane, from 18th to 20th of August. Fundraising for the event is raised through the crowd-funding site Pozible. The team behind this mega-event is still behind in seeking to reach their target, so I do urge you to chip in...even if it is to obtain a copy of Benjamin's poster. There are only 20 copies of the poster that will be available, all signed and printed on heavy card stock. WHAT are you waiting for??! Here is the link: https://pozible.com/project/zine-indie-comic-symposium-1
This is just a small message to those who read every word I write. Although I have continued to be involved in some comic-related activities, I have had to cut back said involvement and activities over the past month or two. This has meant that I was unable to assist The Bunker Cartoon Gallery in preparing to judge their Rotary Cartoon Awards, and I was unable to attend 2017's Comic Con-versations in Sydney. And while I have continued to sporadically work on the Monty Wedd book Bold Ben Hall (nearing completion), the volume of Australian Comic History for Graeme Cliffe, and Inkspot for the Australian Cartoonists' Association, much of my work and enthusiasm on these projects has had to take a back seat for a while. At the present time, some family tragedies (plural) have struck, and without going into the details of them all, let me just say that I have been kept somewhat preoccupied with and prioritising these other matters. Last week, for example, my Mother learnt that she has only a few months to live. And while this may be a sad state of affairs, she has had a good innings. She is 86 years of age, and her needs (and other loved ones) are where I am presently devoting most of my time and attention. Thanks for your understanding. As I said on my Facebook page: "Normal Service will resume as soon as possible"....
This is a post I failed to post last year (who knows why now), but it is one I feel I should, given the recordings at the bottom of the Blog that ought to be preserved for posterity. (My website is captured and preserved by Pandora from the National Library of Australia.) So, please note, when this says "this year", I am actually referring to 2016. Interesting too, to hear of the big plans that Andrez Bergen, Frantz Kantor and I had for Oi Oi Oi!'s Magpie and how Life/God (whatever you want to call her) seems to take us on other paths that we don't even expect
Following my decision this year not to hang onto the coat-tails of the Australian Cartoonists' Association, I have attempted to broadened my market by attending many non-Supanova comic-related events throughout the year, and in as many different cities as possible. In early July, it was Sydney's turn!
(I should point out here that I have nothing against Supanova Pop Culture Expo. Indeed I plan on attending the Brisbane leg later this year -- even though it coincides with the Australian Cartoonists' Association's annual workshop/Award night. There has been some Facebook suggestions about artists boycotting the event -- I am not certain of all the facts or know why this was/is proposed -- and I am not actively choosing to do this by attending these other festivals throughout the year. I simply wasn't able to co-ordinate my work shifts for Sydney's Supanova in June, much as I would have liked to have been there.)
Every year, the Public Libraries in the inner-west of Sydney combine to bring the attention of comics to the community, and this is -- and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong -- the third year of Comic Con-Versation. The events took place from July 3rd for a whole week, culminating in a Comics Lounge (where local comic publishers can share their wares with the public) at the Ashfield Library.
My work commitments did not allow me to attend for the whole week. (Curse this work! If I would only win Lotto, I could be at all these comic-related events all year long, publishing comics until the end of my days! IF I were to only buy a Lotto ticket!) Anyway, I was able to have the weekend of July 9th and 10th off duty from work....so there was nothing to get in my way to allow me to attend the Comic Lounge. Not even Carlene! And flying to Sydney is always fun, as it gives me an opportunity to catch up with my great friend Rob Feldman and family!
Rob did not hold true to his word and make me lay in blue-hued bed sheets (as he had promised), but by then the New South Wales Rugby League team had well and truly lost the State of Origin. Rob, in fact, had done a better job than I would have had Queensland lost, in getting over the loss. [2017: How little has changed in twelve months in other respects!] Thank you, Rob and Vicki, for allowing me to stay in your home. I digress...
There were many comics and books available at the Comic Lounge at the Ashfield Library on that Sunday afternoon. It was good to see so many other artists and cartoonists, happily engaging with the members of the public that were interested in sharing the mutual love of the comic medium. Here are some of the works that stood out (from my viewpoint)....
Rob Feldman has now just released a new book, Owed to the Taxman that was written by his aunt Lindsay Dalyell. Lindsay was a single mum, who used to write a poem each year to the Tax Department when she submitted her returns: 'a perfect way to vent her spleen and let off steam', and which she did for over forty years! At her 90th birthday party, Rob became aware of these poems and discovered that she had meticulously kept them all in a notebook. And so, with his aunt's permission, Rob lovingly has illustrated these tax-inspired grow-up nursery rhymes! Rob's last book, Fast Freddy's Big Race, was short-listed in the 2016 Ledger Awards and I am sure this one will be another that will keep his Fans happy. I consider myself one! You can obtain copies here: http://www.robfeldman.com.au/humour/
Karen Beilhartz produced the wonderful Kinds Of Blue anthology that Comicoz announced as the best Australian Original Comic Book of 2012. And this year, she has produced another that ranks right up there! Monsters ("An anthology of short comics for children") is wonderfully written by Karen, and illustrated by a variety of illustrators that makes this as one of the fun reads of the the year. [Since writing this, Karen has also produced a colouring book as a companion volume to go with the book, which was short-listed for a Ledger Award in 2017. Both books are available as a package from her website for $27, and you can also find a sample from the book there too: http://hivemindedness.com/monsters/ ]
Thomas Campi remains one of the artists whose colour artwork I have long admired, even though I cannot understand anything about the comics he illustrates! Based in Sydney, Thomas illustrates graphic novels for the European market, and has won many awards for his works. I have secured the Australian rights to his first English-language graphic novel. The title is Joe Shuster, about the life and times of the co-creator of Superman, although the work is not yet complete. I remain convinced that I believe the work will put him in a position where some of the American publishers will be seeking him out for further work, and that he will be better known. [2017: The position, in regards the completion of the work, still remains the same, although it is nearer to completion. So Thomas tells me!]
After purchasing one of his books, Thomas was kind enough to present to me an original (black and white) illustration that he was working on at the time I approached his table. How can I not share it with you here?
This above is an audio of a Panel discussion that I took part in during the day.
And here are the other audio Panel discussions that I didn't take part in during the day (above and below)!