31 March 2008

I was looking forward to this weekend because Supanova came to Melbourne. And since Armaggeddon & Supanova are the 2 big events involving comics in Australia (and only since last year in Melbourne... about time too!) - I, Admittedly, went in with an eye to see how they compared to one-other. Before the event even took place I noticed that, compared to Armaggeddon, Supanova didn't seem to 'advertise' itself as much. The venue was out of the way in the suburbs - BUT i suppose the 'plus' was the relatively cheap ticket price of just $20 entry for patrons, which I thought was really great.

Upon walking in i noticed that the 2 events 'looked' identical. (ie blue colouring, boothes, setup, etc) so it was hard not to compare the two.

Speaking to various comibook boothes & creators exhibiting there, I got the sense that Armaggeddon edged out Supanova here in Melbourne because Armaggeddon was at the Exhibition Buildings (in the city's centre) but downside is ticket prices were higher for patrons, Armaggeddon advertised relentlessly on television a few weeks before the event (which drew in huge crowds), tables for exhibitors were only $100 compared to Supanova's $300, and Armaggeddon contacted the various main online messageboards giving exhibitor info which Supanova didn't seem to (ie. Exhibitors had to dig/search for info about booking/prices/etc.).

Now, don't get me wrong - I thought Supanova was great. I'm just putting a microscope on it from a self-publisher's POV. (BTW: The reason I didn't exhibit this time is because i didn't have any new work to sell & the $300 table price made my decision easier).

Ok - onto the photos...

The List table featuring writer (Paul Bedford), and Artist (Henry Pop).

The 'Local Act Comics' booth.

The 'Gestalt' booth.

Gary Lau's 'Knight Edge' booth.

A shot of the crowded isles.

On a personal sour note - i missed saying hello to ColinWilson & Bruce Mutard. It was a case of being there at the wrong times.

Just wanted to add that, I think hard working (and enthusiastic) publishers like David Cunning's LAC & Wolfgang Bylsma's Gestalt have done a lot in the last 2 years to make the volume of these events (especially in Melbourne) more viable and noteworthy. Not to mention creators like Bruce Mutard producing beautiful professional tomes like 'The Sacrifice', Paul Bedford & Henry Pop on 'The List', as well as a bunch of other local guys producing professional stuff. A lot of really great 'book store' worthy material is being published by many of you. Well done to all. Proud to be among you.

You're all making an 'industry' possible.

At about 3.30pm, I ducked out to have a peek at David Blumenstein's 'Comic Book Funny' at the Trade's Hall in Melbourne. Unfortunantly, I got side-tracked on my way in the city, and arrived for the last half. It seemed like a really great show from the little i saw, and I think a bunch of us local guys will make the show in a fortnight (as next week will be our monthly-meetup).

So rather than write a limited review, I'll just post a couple of pics and say that it was free, cosy and in a bar/pub at the trades hall.
It's on for the next 2 Saturday's 4pm-5pm... so get to it!

See you next week for another post.


04 March 2008

This month's meetup was held at our (finally) permanent home at the Prince Alfred on Grattan street in Carlton. Starting time was/is 2:00pm. It's a wonderful 'open' pub across the road from Melbourne University. Normally a busy area, it's refreshingly quiet on a Saturday afternoon. I really like it.

About 20 people turned up. A big solid meet. Colin Wilson ('Star Wars' artist) & Bruce Mutard ('The Sacrifice' author: back to us in photo) will be signing autographs at the upcoming supernova in Melbourne. BE THERE!

Yeah, yeah. I know my camera phone is rubbish.

Jason & henry scribbling & chatting.

Tom Bonin brought along some of Tom Gould's work. Freakin amazing stuff. The penwork is great. The same type of workmanship you'd see in Crumb's work is evident here. Very patient and meticulous cross-hatching and lines.

A close-up. (Even though my camera is aweful)

Taken at around 6:30 when many people had started to leave.

David Cunning telling me to "take a photo! take a photo!" of his LAC t-shirt.

Memorable moments:
  1. Though sad, saying farewell (albeit temporarily I hope) to Tom Bonin as he goes to England for a year. He's one of the nicest guys, and very motivated/committed to his craft.
  2. Tom Showing me Tom Gould's comics.
  3. Short chat with David Bird on making time for your comics in between family & work.
  4. Looking at Greg Gate's tiny sketchbook.
  5. Chatting with James Andre about writing and our similar taste in authors, like 'Hank' Bukowski & Jim Goad.
  6. Chatting with many people this month on may topics.
  7. A particularly in-depth chat outside (in the lovely cool breeze and sunset) with Tom & Philip about comics, conventions & *audiences.

*The conversation Tom, Philip & I were having, was exploring the popular question of how much does one target an audience when creating work.

I've always been of the opinion that most successful (if not all) creativity stems from the creator's need/desire to express something. He/she has a passion to lay it down in some form. My take on it is, "Im not going to spend months/years creating something about Britney Spears simply because she's popular." - i'd rather roll around in broken glass.

Particularly comics; where It's so labour intensive & time consuming, that you'd better enjoy making it.

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."
- Thoreau


It was a great meet.
Looking forward to next month's at our new home.