Here's the link: kck.st/2zIJdru
The really GREAT news is that the Comicoz web-site is now BACK running again! I'm not sure why the site was not visible for this long period of time, and I really have not had time to fix it up...until now! There is lot to tell you about what I have been up to, but first, I really have to plug this Bold Ben Hall book now running on Kickstarter. Here (above and below) are some of the pages within the book. Don't forget these are reduced images: the book's pages are planned to be a massive 36 cm x 25 cm. (Each of the 400 plus pages was photographed from the original artwork -- which is even larger than the proposed printed page!) Anyway, the campaign has now just under two weeks to run, and we are not really close to the target...yet!
Here's the link: kck.st/2zIJdru
To people seeking to view my website (this one!), these seems to have been a bit of a technical hiccough that I am working on trying to resolve. Thanks to the kind people who have let me know the site was faulty....
In the meantime, the Kickstarter campaign for "Bold Ben Hall" has begun with just over two weeks to go until the deadline finishes....and I have about 60% of funding. My thanks to all who have already pledged to help us get this far. Still, clearly, something I must work on in coming days to reach the final goal. Here is the real link, if I can get this site working quick enough for you to be able to read it: http://kck.st/2zIJdru
I have already made mention on my personal Facebook site that my Mother passed away on late Saturday night - early Sunday morning, after being diagnosed with bowel cancer about a year earlier. I am not seeking to elicit any sympathy on this site. Instead, I thought it might be more prudent to acknowledge her contribution in my formative comic-reading years.
Even though I must credit my Father for bringing comics into our home in the years before I could even read, it was my Mother who nurtured the love of reading. She never thought comics childish, so there was no stigma attached to their reading in our home. While I was getting into the English weeklies from Fleetway, like Treasure, Look and Learn, Ranger and Valiant, (all of which I regularly read each week), my Mother 'discovered' Marvel comics a good five years before I did. Pow! and Smash! (from Odhams Press) were picked up by my Father on a less frequent basis. Yet I can still recall my Mother enjoying them more than I ever did, especially Ditko's Spider-Man. She was also an early convert to Frew's The Phantom in our home.
Of course, her reading was more diverse than that. She liked Science Fiction, detective (crime) stories, romance fiction, and she had a few volumes of Neville Shute laying around. I tried these out in my early High School days. (On The Beach still haunts me to this day.) There are many things (besides a love of reading) that she instilled in me. An ability to laugh at the absurd, at ones' self, and at life. I could go on. But I won't.
Suffice to say, my Mother's passing (and a long-planned visit to Bendigo to 'baby-sit two grandchildren) has put a temporary dent in my plans to promote "Bold Ben Hall" that commenced some days ago on Kickstarter. I did promise readers of this Blog that I would bring it to your attention on this page. I don't presently have the capacity to add a direct link from this page (I am working from a Tablet, rather than my usual computer), but if you place "Kickstarter + Bold Ben Hall" in Google, it'll be the first to come up on that search engine. I'll seek to add a manual link here: http://kck.st/2zIJdru Oh, there it is!
Just a quick note to let you know that Bold Ben Hall will be going live on Kickstarter before the month is out. There will be some great Rewards on offer, including an opportunity to be one of the first hundred to have a signed copy of the book sent to you post-free! Keep an eye out for it! (Naturally, I will post more about it on-line here and on my Facebook page....!)
In the meantime, the latest issue of Inkspot from the Australian Cartoonists' Association has been released. There is a lot of coverage from the 2017 Ledger Award, and plenty of reading inside, as well as some competitions where you can win a lot of free things, like posters (of ZICS) or books (by Judy Horacek) and even $100 cash. If your local Library doesn't have a copy, please let me know and I shall attempt to get it on those shelves....
One of these photos made it into the INKSPOT magazine. Which ones didn't? You'll have to read the magazine to find out. These are more photos of when I gave my speech, leading to the announcement that May Gibbs was the 2017 Recipient of the ('Dead-Set') Ledger of Honour. Rosalie May accepted the Honour on behalf of May's family.
To a lot of people this posting is going to be seen as a bit of a tease. Presently, my Mother is very unwell, so in the past six months (plus), I have had limited opportunities to be able to work on my comics and comic-related books. So many are in a half-completed state, that I have hardly had much time to work on them, let alone write much on this blog. So I thank you for your continued patience....
So, while you are waiting, I thought I should share this illustration by John Dixon that was passed on to me by Glenn Ford (one of the co-publishers of the Australian publishing house that releases The Phantom). Over the years I have written quite a few blogs critical of Frew, but for some time now I have wanted to praise them. Recently, they have been proactive in getting Australian Phantom tales in the public eye, and employing locals like Paul Mason and Jason Paulos to do so. I was so impressed, I even included some articles in Inkspot, the journal of the Australian Cartoonists Association that I edit!
Recently, Glenn has also put me in touch with Andreas Eriksson, who has told me about John Dixon's work for the Swedish publisher Egmont. Whilst I knew John worked on the comic Agent X9, I had no idea to what extent -- until an email this morning! This is -- for me -- an exciting discovery! Apparently there were 16 stories illustrated by John that saw print, each totalling 22 pages each. When I have access and permission to reprint these stories, I'll include some illustrations here. In the meantime, I have to equally patient while I find out more....!
There are so many exciting books and comics presently in preparation from Comicoz! Look for the crowd-funding campaign for Monty Wedd's Bold Ben Hall ... coming really soon!
With so many potential projects in production, I'm even contemplating cutting back my full-time employment in order find more time to work on them! Stay tuned here!
It was good to catch up with Justin and Susan Wedd last week. They both stayed in Redcliffe while they viewed the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art's exhibition Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe. It was also a chance to discuss the progress I had made on Justin's Dad's work, Bold Ben Hall. To be honest, the preparation for the book is nearing its completion stage.
About two years ago, Justin loaned me every original piece of artwork pertaining to the weekly Sunday newspaper feature that was produced by his father, the late Monty Wedd. And more! Every bromide, each piece of correspondence and even the photocopied proofs of the artwork was loaned: allowing me to be able to undertake perhaps the most comprehensive examination of an Australian comic series ever! It was most instructive. Many of the proofs show suggestions made, or corrections added, and the original artwork follows those suggestions and corrections -- and sometimes just doesn't! Above, for example, is the photocopied proof of a part of just one strip (towards the end of the series' run). The original artwork (and the bromide accompanying it that would have been sent to the newspapers of the day) shows the word "Gawd!" clearly removed.
I have examined each episode, made comparisons between the differing versions and have recorded these differences in a document that ended up running to over 41,000 words (and 68 pages, using a size 11 font)!! There was no scanner that allowed for reproduction of the artwork (without causing damage to the originals) as the originals were HUGE: so each and every episode -- all 392 of them! -- were individually photographed.
Anyway, the bottom line is that the artwork that was being held in my garage for the purpose of this study has now been safely transported back to its home. Ryan McDonald-Smith and I are now working on designing the dust jacket, and we should be seeking to crowd-fund this impressive book within the next month... Within the space of those two years that I have had the artwork, there have been so many things going on behind the scenes in my family's personal life that it is a wonder I was able to get so much done! Or, maybe, that is why it took me so long!
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"....