26 April 2009

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Yesterday was the final night of the Comic Book Funnies events that have been on during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where David Blumenstein has been presenting the humorous side of the comicbook medium on stage.

Though it was a gloomy and rainy evening... inside, the place was packed...

...and there were familiar faces about holding beer.


The esteemed Bernard Caleo launched the 'Sexiest Men in Comics' calendar that evening.

The two men of the evening. (Man, look at that chiseled profile!)

I have to admit, the launch of the 'Sexiest Men' calendar was nice BUT, John Retallick stole the show (for me) when he brought along copies of the mythical unpublished BIG NUMBERS 3 in a high-res large printed format. Beautiful. (Thanks John).

I have the first 2 issues of this beautiful work, and it was an absolute BUZZ when Mr Retallick Dropped this gem in front of us!... seriously, it was like someone showing you the unpublished 'Lord of The Rings 4' novel.

For those unfamiliar with the work, this was going to be Alan Moore's best... before it got killed after the 2nd issue that is. (Read more about it here.)

-Bobby.N

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23 April 2009

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Things have been ramping up for Gestalt's upcoming anthology FLINCH, which is due for release next month. I know it's been the buzz in the local comics scene lately, and most are looking forward to it. The effort from Gestalt has been outstanding in getting this book out there. There's already an official FLINCH website. It's on pre-order from Amazon.com and from the Gestalt website, and recently it was submitted to Diamond's preview listing. There is also the Official FLINCH and EXAMPLE Book Launch at Dymocks on Collins St in Melbourne on Thursday the 7th-May at 6.30pm (be there!) ... but a few days ago Wolfgang emailed me to tell me that Diamond Distribution had axed the book due its now (more than doubled) minimum order quota. Not only that, but Diamond didn't even contact him to relay the news... but rather, he found out from a retailer in Montreal. The full story here.

This was a kick in the guts to Wolfgang and many others who have put a lot into this... but not missing a beat, Wolfgang said the launch in Melbourne would still go on, and he had a plan B and C to get the book distributed in other channels. It's great to see determination like this...

THEN, Wolfgang emails me the next day and says that it's been un-axed. Not only that, it's recieved a star-rating and now Gestalt has sold more books than ever!

Unless books meet their quota, Diamond doesn't let them through. Understandable i guess, but they're the only real game in town. They make few exceptions, and it looks that this was one of those times... and it's worked out to boost the book's orders. Lucky for Gestalt, though you'd hate to think they'd be subjected to this circus each time they try to put a good book out. Doesn't inspire confidence eh?... Make of it what you will. I certainly know how i feel about the state of this monopolized shebang.

So anyway, come along to the book launches of both FLINCH and THE EXAMPLE:

..........................................................
EVENT DETAILS:
Thursday, 7th May 2009
18:30~21:00

VENUE:

Dymocks Melbourne
234 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Australia

Tel: 03 9663 0900

Email RSVP would be greatly appreciated by 1st May 2009 to
flinch@gestaltpublishing.com

..........................................................


Go out and buy the above books. They're great... and if you're in Melbourne on 7-May (in the evening)... drop by Dymocks at 6.30pm in Collins St and get a signed copy from the many contributing authors who'll be there!

-Bobby.N

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13 April 2009

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Late last week, I got an email from a comicbook acquaintance to do a commission for a magazine. My concept and pencil had gone smoothly, and I was just about to start colouring it today to hand in tomorrow, when he emailed me saying that the story was found to be a hoax and that they were pulling the article. Ah well... not his fault, but I thought the illustration shouldn't go to complete waste, so I'm posting its short lifespan here. Enjoy.

First I do a very quick pencil of the idea I have in mind after I've interpreted the brief from the client. Then I wait for his ok on the concept.

After the client gives it the 'thumbs-up', I tight-pencil in the final layout (at the correct-proportioned magazine ad. size).

Then I ink it ready for colouring.

I might colour this illustration sometime for the fun of it, as I was happy with the way the composition came out, but ultimately, thats as far as it went for this fun little piece.

-Bobby.N

05 April 2009

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This month's meet was great. Beautiful sunny Autumn day, and a whole bunch of Melbourne comicbook authors and enthusiasts. For those that didn't show up... you should have.

All in all... about 15-25 people showed up. A nice big turout.


Tried taking a candid shot over Jason Frank's head... but Jen saw me... get it, 'saw' me... er, forget it. Anyway, didn't get a chance to chat to Jen or Trev, as they split soon after I got there... hope it wasn't something I said -;)

Paul was in his usual upbeat enthusiastic mood, and Brendan gave us a contact for a short-run local printer... sweet.

The whole group was a noisy buzz of conversation about comics. Some brought their stuff along to show, while the rest just drank and waxed.


MEMORABLE MOMENTS:
  • Chatted with Bruce Mutard about my work and a delema I was having between chosing one direction vs another. It was a nice discussion, because the transition of Bruce's work from his earlier STREET SMELL days to his current SACRIFICE work is very very obvious, and I was at a crossroads in deciding what direction in drawing 'style' to take with a story I'm working on now. Bruce gave some nice words of wisdom on the subject.
  • Bendan's new short run printer contact.
  • Roundtable chat with a bunch of us about the new Watchmen film and Alan Moore's writing. Just between you and me... Paul Bedford and Henry Pop came out of the closet and confessed to not thinking very much of Alan Moore's work. Just between us, eh?
  • Daniel Reed showed me the next big project he's working on. Some great big ambitious stuff. As you'd expect from Mr Reed, its very detailed and imaginative.
  • Chats with all the rest of the gang.
It was another wonderful meetup. People gave their updates and opinions of last weekend's 'Supanova' exhibition (that I missed), and the overall consensus wass that it was a major improvement on last year's event. Most of last year's problems seemed to have been fixed, and the majority of people said they did fairly well over the weekend.

Here's an interesting example... Paul Bedford said that he sold MORE of Sunday than on Saturday?!... while others typically sold better on Saturday (Trev & Jen for example), though Paul said it may have had something to do with his 'selling' methods. On Saturday he consciously stood up and did the 'hard-sell' to people gesturing them to come over, and being very 'chatty'... while on Sunday he sat behind his table quietly working on his writing while he let people come over and discover THE LIST-II on their own, and he actually did better with that method. I actually prefer this method myself. I think you can 'potentially' scare some people off your books (particularly the majority of introverts) by badgering them when they walk past your table... so i look for eye contact and relay a polite 'hello' and gauge it from there. The Butcher method of "GETCHYA COMICS, HEY, GETCHYA COMICS HERE!" doesn't work for me. Besides, the character of my work (and what I'm writing and drawing about) negates that kind of 'pop' (carsales?) method. But, each to their own.

Anyway....

Seee you all next time, and keep those fists scribbling.

-Bobby.N