09 January 2008

Well it looks like our regular venue (The Stork Hotel) got offended at us going to another pub last meetup (see last post) - and have closed their doors forever. A sad event because it was a great cosy venue, and central to most people.

It seems like rediculously HOT weather & comicbook meetups go together like a horse & carriage, because it was an oven outside AGAIN!


The meet was going to happen at one of 2 other nearby pubs, but as many of us found out that day, they were closed too. (Only for the holiday season though). I proceeded to call & leave messages on all the guys' mobile phones that i knew, to try and figure out where we'd go. David Cunning (LAC) graciously sms'ed me a few people's numbers, and eventually James got in contact with me saying that a few of them were meeting at 'last' month's pub (the Retreat) on Brunswick St. "Ok, I'll see you guys there." I said. I decided to swing by the empty pub again in case I spotted anyone I knew walking along. As luck would have it, I saw Greg Gates walking along chewing on a Hungry Jacks Whopper. So I waved him down and told him of the change of plans. Not a moment before he sat in my car, I got a call from Tom Bonin (Who had Colin wilson & Jason Franks with him) saying, "We're at the other pub and its closed!", so I gave Tom the scoop, and we all headed to the Retreat.

Once at the Retreat, we headed for the back beer garden (where we were last month) - but it was too hot. We decided to go inside, and sat in air-conditioned luxury inside the dining/pool hall. Its a wonderful environment. Big, cool & cosy.

Here are some of the pics:

As you can see, we grabbed the big LONG table in an entirely empty dining/pool room. It was great. I think Tom was on his mobile making money on the stock market.

Micheal explaining something to James the only way a comicbook guy can: On paper.

I brought along some copies of Crumb's newest coffee table book "The Sweeter Side of R.Crumb" that i recently got at a discount. It's a great hardcover of about 80(?) pages, and I was selling them to the gang for $10. (It retails for about $30 in the stores.)

Due to the confusion in venue, the super-HOT weather, and being the first meetup so early in the new year (5th-Jan), we had a surprisingly good turnout of about 10 people.

Tom & Michael brought along their sketchbooks, which we all flicked through. We looked at tools (like Tom's nice ink-refillable catridge brush-pen), and discussed paper/boards with Colin & Jason.

Memorable moments for me were:

1. Colin Wilson telling us how he met Robert Crumb in France, and what he was like.

2. Jason Franks telling us what the Fantagraphics table were like when he asked them a question at a recent convention.

3. A philosophical discussion with Michal Nason of the differing types of comicbook creators and how their upbringing shapes their work ethics. For example: Michael has lived on many continents in his life and has lived in 17 (?) different homes so far. He thinks it may reflect his changing/broad styles of art. He also likes short stories and struggles with maintaining interest in a long epic one. Michael likes variety and exploring different worlds periodically. The benefit of which can be seen in his sketchbook and inked pages. (ie. Each page of Mike's sketchbook looks like it was done by a different artist. As do each of his finished inked stories).

By comparison, I was born, raised, & have lived in the same city all my life. I'm comforted by routine, and seek long-term goals. I have little interest in doing my own self-contained short stories, but revel in large epic ones. I like building on one thing and moving in a straight line and becoming the best I can at it. Building one LARGE thing is exciting to me. I don't see a lot of value in variety. (ie. I find a pen/paper that works for me, and I stick to it.) - it takes a lot to sway me to another horizon. Im not distracted or bored easily either.

Greg, Colin & Jason joined in the conversation and we discussed this topic further and how other influences in the outside world may have shaped the way we work, or what themes we draw/write. (Such as relationships, religion, and upbringings).

It was deep man... deep.

There was also a LOT of beer flowing (suffa Paul;) - where I kept hearing Greg Gates saying: "Enough!" whenever a new jug of beer was put on the table. No joke.

Anyway - til next month people.