21 October 2009

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Armageddon. It's over. It was great... and I feel like hammered shit.

You see, I've averaged about 5 hours of sleep in the weeks leading up to this convention as my new book (DIGESTED.02) had to be completed in time for it. Late nights were standard. With black swollen eyes, I'd go to work looking like an addict. In many respects I was. Finishing this book on time was a must. No two ways about it. Quit whining and just get it done.

As for my new book DIGESTED.02, it arrived from the printers the day before the convention. I had no idea what I was going to do if the book didn't get to me before Saturday morning, but thankfully Gestalt (the publisher) did their best to make sure it did. It's always the way just before these conventions. Stress and anxiety.

This year, I split the cost of a table with my fellow author friend Jason Franks. Similarly, he also couldn't remember what 'sleep' was leading up to this event. I was in good company. We both had a brand new book to sell, as well as a slew of our other previous creations to foist onto the public.

I arrived slightly late on the Saturday morning due to roadwork delays on the Westgate freeway. Jason had already set up and was waiting for me to arrive. It took me 20 minutes to lay out my stand, and I was ready to rock 'n' roll.

Sitting there in exhausted anticipation, I was suddenly hit with the dreaded feeling of 'Will my hard work mean anything to these people?" It's a bitter pill to force down, but you just have to remind yourself of why you do it. It's always for yourself... Always.

Matt & Brendan selling their books.

My main man Paul always sells a truckload of books. This is a guy that's doing it right.

Of the independent stalls, the pinups and sketches of fairy-looking manga characters seemed to do really well. The very talented girl to our right was selling sketches for $25 a pop, and did very well.

The dynamic duo working their 'Star Wars' crowd.

Colin Wilson... one of the most humble and gracious professional illustrators there is.

A few locals dropped by our table to chew the fat...

.. including Brendan, Trev...

... and even 3CR's THE COMIC SPOT radio host John Retallick bought a copy of my new book.

Jason's not only a great writer (check out his latest offering KAGEMONO - Tooth & Claw), but he's an amiable guy as well. It sure takes the sting out a grueling day to share it with your comic-buddies.

Sprung hoofing down some grainwaves chips.

As I talked to other exhibitors, it seemed that they were finding the Saturday utterly tiring (as I was). It was very hard to stay energised (let alone awake). Don't know why, but most felt that way... and considering the event went from 9am-8pm that evening, it just compounded the heavy feeling. I think we did well not to fall over. With a good night's sleep, and a conscious effort to 'have fun' (damn it!), I was determined that the Sunday was going to be better.

The final day of a convention is always enjoyable for me. The jitters are gone. I've given a solid effort on the previous day, and now I just want to make the most of what's left. I walked around, chatted to a few people, and bought some books.

  • DIGESTED.02 arriving in my hands.
  • Sharing a table with Jason Franks.
  • Zora's food. Thanks babe - x.
  • The peculiar mindset of cosplayers.
  • Bill Sienkiewicz's sketches for fans.... amazing.
  • Exposing my work to new people.
  • Chatting to buyers and my comic buddies.
  • Sunday.
  • The ridiculous safety rules at the convention (don't ask).
  • Sleeping afterwards.
Despite my nervous apprehensions before the event, it actually turned out to be extremely rewarding for me. I'll definitely aim to do it again next year. But next up is Supanova (which I'm not sold on just yet), as well as the upcoming Doujicon (which I'm definitely attending.)

This Thursday (well, tomorrow actually) is the book launch of a few local authors and their great books. Namely... Jason Franks, Matt Emery, Brendan Hallyday, & James Andre.

BOOK LAUNCH (3 Books released!)
Loop Bar
Meyers Place, Melbourne 3000
Victoria, Australia.
Thursday the 22nd of October 2009

... be there!

And the next event after that is the always popular....

Prince Alfred Hotel
Grattan St, Carlton
2pm - 6pm

Come along, and enjoy a casual drink with folks that read, talk, and make comics.


07 October 2009

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These coming weeks are ramping up for me. Not long now before Armageddon (a week and a bit to go). And while the book has been sent off to be printed, I still have to prepare for the convention, as well as start stories for the next issue. I'm excited, as well as a little nervous. Some momentum has kicked in, and I just want to keep it steam rolling ahead.

Anyway, after waking early to see about some cheap black work shirts (nice), I spent a lazy morning strolling around the Werribee mall eating my pizza roll and sipping a BigM. The meet was a few hours away as I stopped in the sunshine and enjoyed the relaxed pace. Haven't felt this in months. Usually Im racing somewhere trying to be on time. Now that DIGESTED.02 is finished, I can really breathed some fresh air. Have to do this more often.

Well, after driving down into town to check out some comic book shops (Alternate Worlds (Chapel St), and then to Minotaur (City))... I slowly made my way down to the monthly comics meet. I agot there about 2.30pm to see (as usual) the regulars. They teased me again for being late. Usually I was always the 'seat warmer' as everyone rolled in. Now I've lost my title.

An intense debate. Who says comics is kids stuff?

Jason Franks was looking at Jason Franks being interviewed. This video interview (along with other local creators like myself and Paul Bedford) will soon be up at OzComics. Stay tuned.

While Greg Gates was looking over the new Robert Crumb 'GENESIS' comic that I brought in (hot off the shelves of Minotaur)...

...I was flicking through Greg's beautifully inked/sketch book. Done on various stocks of paper, it really was a joy to drool over his artwork.

Paul NOT drinking alcohol as this glass of Coke can prove. Paul is doing it sober for 'Oc-Sober' this month. Basically, you're suppose to sponsor him to lay off the booze for 30 days... yeah, right... nice try.

This may be the only photo of Jen reading a 'Superhero' comic.

Click on this great panorama provided to me by Colin Wilson (yes, THE Colin Wilson)... to see a bunch of us fanned around the table.

  • Picking up Crumb's new book GENESIS. (His first graphic novel!)
  • Looking over Greg Gates' inks.
  • Chatting to various people.
  • Paul's joke.
See you all at Armageddon on the weekend of the 17th-8th October in a week-or-so. I'll be sharing a table with the prolific Jason Franks. Come past, say hello, and get a sketch when you buy any of our books.

DIGESTED.02 will (finally) be on sale there too!

See you there.