27 October 2010

Just a reminder...

For a few years now, a group of regular Joes (and Joe-ettes), have gotten together every month for a casual drink and chat about comics. Whether you're a seasoned comics creator, amateur, or simply just adore reading them... come down.


Original artwork

Now that I've just put DIGESTED.04 to bed, I thought I'd squirm something into my routine that I've wanted to do for a long while. I've started putting together a series of original inked artwork to sell. You heard it, fully pencilled and inked pieces that YOU can buy.

These original illustrations will be 150 x 210 mm in size. Each piece is penciled and inked on 200gsm drawing card. Initially, I'll bring them along to conventions with me, and hopefully they sell like muffins.


Recent victories

In these last few weeks I've crossed the line on a couple of things. Firstly, DIGESTED.04 is done. Complete. Finito. 28 pages of fun have been painstakingly put together. I've sent a finished proof of the book to Gestalt Publishing to read over, and though I'm sure there'll be some typo's to correct, it's another one done. It should be available for purchase next month from my website, Gestalt's, and probably through Diamond early next year (I hope)... but I'll let you know.

Issues 1 and 2 of DIGESTED are available through good comic book shops everywhere. If it's not on the shelves, then ask the guy at the counter "Why not?!... Order some now!"

Also, as shown previously, I illustrated and put together James Andre's wonderful story, XXX NEON SIGN.

It's now available to buy from James' site, or ETSY, or here.
You have no excuse...go get this beautiful sucker.


18 October 2010

Armageddon 2010

This weekend saw Armageddon hit Melbourne. The city's biggest pop-culture convention of the latter half of the year. I missed the boat to have a table this year as the window to book the few tables available was small and unknown to many of us. Oh well... So this year I went along on the Sunday as foot-traffic instead of a seller to help crowd the tables of my comics-producing buddies.

Tom Bonin came down from the country for the event. Always good to see this talented man selling his work.

Tom did a whole-lotta sketches for people during the day. Something I might start doing (time permitting).

A water coloured illustration that Tom inked for Brendan Hallyday. Nice!

Trevor Wood was sitting next to Tom, and had a sure-fire way of getting people's attention.

Oh yeeeeaaah.

The rock solid team of The List. Always at conventions, and always selling well... and why shouldn't they? The List is awesome.

Me and a terminator.

The talented Mr Brendan Hallyday... pretending his mouth isn't full of sandwich. He was selling his books, prints, and doing sketches.

Star Wars' illustrator Colin Wilson having a young cosplay fan subscribe on his slick iPad.

Star Wars' Tom Taylor and his little whipper-snapper were at the show too.

The rock-solid comics creator, Hayden Fryer, was there selling his BILLY comics.

One of my favorite writers, James Andre.

Overall, Armageddon was what I expected. Lots and lots of cosplayers, noise, movie/entertainment stuff, wrestling, comics, signings, TV personalities, etc. The indie comics are starting to diminish at Armageddon (I've noticed). It might be due to 'artists alley' getting smaller or the amount of tables available getting fewer (who knows), but I guess times are changing. The organisers have gotta go where the money is, I suppose.

I spoke to an old comics seller up in Sydney at Supanova earlier this year, and he was saying that 10 years ago all these big conventions consisted of comics (primarily), with the other entertainment making up only a small portion of the floorspace. Now it's the opposite. I guess the goal posts of pop-culture 'entertainment' have moved a heck of a lot.

These big conventions are still a lot of fun to attend (and sell at), though, unless you're an established big name (comics-wise), you tend to be hidden under the very large shadow of pop-entertainment that really yells at people. Being an indie creator at these events is sometimes equivalent to selling 'God' to guys in a strip club. Selling comics behind a table that requires a customer's passing curiosity is hard against all that distracting noise and colour that yanks at them. Though... I did come away with a few observations in improving ones table presentation at these events as I noticed what did and did not work.

It's not all doom-and-gloom, but one needs to be enthusiastic (yeah, like I've been Tony Robbins with this wet-towel manifesto), and be smart in one's selling in order to compete with the giants at these shows.



September meetup

This is a belated post from last month's meetup. I'd forgotten I hadn't updated the October photos... that is until Colin Wilson slapped me on the wrist. So, uh, here they are.

As usual, everyone was having fun.

I got to put a face to Baden (finally). He's a gem of a comic enthusiast that ALSO owns a printing company (as well as a publishing house), and has helped many of us print our comics.

A panorama pic of the cosy event. We usually average about 20-30 people at the meets... so come along everyone.

An inked page on my drawing board from my next issue (DIGESTED.04)



10 October 2010

October meetup

Trust me to forget my camera. It's always at the top of my mental checklist of things to bring, but for this month's meet... I forgot it. You know when it occured to me? It was when I dropped into Minotaur Bookshop in the city just before the meet to see what was new on the comic shelves... and I see this...

... Argh! No camera with me, so I resorted to my 1MP pre-historic (dopey) camera phone. Regardless, it was nice to see DIGESTED comic on the new release shelf of the store right alongside other premier titles. A real hoot. The TANGO COLLECTION sitting next to it also has a short story by me in it. The FRANCIS BEAR comic on the other side is one I have to get my mits on too. Everyone's been raving about it.

So then it was time to high-tail it to the monthly meet. Here are the pics that I took with my camera phone (hey, I tried), and Colin Wilson's iPhone. Thanks, Colin.

The Sawbones team. Jen writes so much that Trev's hand is sore from all the drawing.

Come on, Jason... stop pretending not to notice that beer in front of you.

Darren Close showed me the progress of his new Killeroo graphic novel. Looks awesome.

What can I say?... it was another cosy meet. Relaxing chats, laughs and comics on a sunny Spring day.

Next weekend (16th-17th October) is Armageddon. The HUGE pop-culture expo. I won't be exhibiting there this year because the artist alley tables were gone before I could even book one. I think there were only a handful available in a short spacee of time anyway (12 I think?). Ah well. I'll probably still drop in on the Sunday as a punter to support my local buddies and crowd their tables giving the aura of commercial pandemonium.



06 October 2010

A reminder...

It's nothing too serious... just a relaxed bunch of people who get together for a drink and chat about comics on a lazy Saturday afternoon. It's a great place to put faces to names, get advice, talk comics, show your work, or just hang out.

If you have nothing better to do... drop by.



05 October 2010

The cover - pt.3

The cover is done!... Well, almost. The hard part is over anyway, and now I'm just playing with colour palettes. These two are the contenders so far...

Now all that's left is to impose the book and finalise the text pieces at the front and back. Not long to go now.



04 October 2010

The cover - pt.2

My sickness is on it's way out. Finally. The throat still feels like sandpaper though, but the headaches and nausea seem to be fading. Still not feeling great though, but thank Christ the headaches/nausia are subsiding. Anyhow, I managed to rest for most of the day, but got on the horse and was able to ink the cover for DIGESTED.04 this evening. Here it is...

I used a brush for a fair portion of this illustration just for fun. It's kinda new for me. In the end I don't think I'll make a habit of it. Played it way too carefully because I was trying to be perfect and hit the mark, instead of just naturally flowing through the inking. It's kind of like trying to write like someone else just because you like their style. I'm pretty confident with a nib after all these years, and aside from the thick lines one can only get from a brush, I think I'll stick with nibs as my tools of choice.

I know that other illustrators like Brendan Hallyday swear by the brush, but I suppose it's because he nurtures them the way I do nibs. Besides, I've only got about 4-5 brushes, but I have a warchest full of my favorite 'go-to' nibs. It just wouldn't make sense to begin a new learning curve and throw all that away just for kicks. It's procrastination. Also, I ink on a smaller than ordinary comic page (A4), and so it's almost impossible to get the fine line I want using a brush.

Ahh... why am I even trying to justify it to you all? It's nib all the way for me.

So... now it's up to that part that I find least enjoyable (though satisfying when it's done)... the colouring.



03 October 2010

The cover - pt.1

Have come down with one of these 'super' colds (or whatever they're called), and haven't been able to do jack for the past four days. My pens have missed me.

I've had blocked sinuses, headache, running nose, aching joints... the works. I've never felt this kind of illness before, for this long. A few people have told me it's a new bug going around. Am now only about 50% normal, but managed to sketch a few ideas for the cover of the next issue, and have whittled it down to this...

Now, I'll try and muster up the energy to fine-tune and pencil this out full size... then ink. Hopefully without dripping snot all over the page. Oh, my throbbing head.