22 June 2011

Abracadabra Insurance

A month ago I did a series of five spot illustrations for 'Vice Magazine' (the U.S edition), in an article concerning the ridiculous types of insurance that magicians and performers need to have in order to make a living. Here are two of them.

I had a lot of fun illustrating these.
(Read the online version of the article here.)


16 June 2011

Gaining Velocity

As mentioned in the previous post, ALL STAR COMICS on Lonsdale Street helped to launch VELOCITY tonight... A full-colour 110 page moster anthology.

To get into ALL STAR COMICS, just go to 410 Lonsdale Street (in the Melbourne CBD), go through the glass door, step into the elevator, and press '1'.

The owners were swapping comics for dollars hand-over-fist.

It was a very crowded and wonderful turnout. I'm sure the owners and authors were pleased.

Familiar faces...

... and the 'warm' Greg Gates.

I'd be happy too Clark.

As the place thinned out, a few of us decided to get into the elevator and go down to a local bar and toast James Andre's birthday. Not that these guys need alcohol.

Paul's first beer after a looong drink-free month.

Neville (VELOCITY frontman) was there too, and we all had interesting discussions about the local comics scene, things we're all doing in it right now, Watchmen vs V for Vendetta, and Neville's awesome comic book tattoos!

A great night.



Another few panels get inked.


15 June 2011

Nervous freedom

A month ago I was told that my position at work (along with others) was being axed... and today was d-day. A small reflexive part of me still feels a twing of shakiness (from decades of imprinting), but the animal in me that was thrashing in it's cage, has stopped.

Here's to a new begining, more comics, and smelling the roses.


PS: If you're in Melbourne tomorrow night, some fine writers and illustrators have just published a 'bumper' THICK colour anthology called GAINING VELOCITY. And the gracious guys at All Star Comics are hosting it in their wonderful store... so come down!

'All Star Comics'
410 Lonsdale Street, Level 1, Melbourne, Australia 3000

Thursday, June 16th 2011
6.00pm - 8.30pm
(Get in before 6.50pm latest!)

12 June 2011

my new toy...

For a while now, I've been taking 'happy snaps' at conventions, festivals and monthly comics meetups with my trusty (albeit limited) Canon Ixus. Like my comics, I enjoy documenting and observing life. In the last six months I've progressively gotten more interested in street and B&W photography, and felt it was time for a step up in quality.

It's a subjective thing, but while I've used Nikon and Canon SLR's intermittently, I just never got comfortable with their clumsy size... not to mention their design. It's as though someone from NASA designed the internals, and then handed it over to some hick with a lighter who simplly melted plastic over it.

Don't get me wrong... I know that nothing but a high-end SLR can produce photography of a certain calibre, but I also know that the photography I'm most interested in (and the subsequent cameras that take them), are usually the micro 4/3rd's, and old-school rangefinders. They're compact, and designed a LOT better (in my opinion) than most SLR's.

After much deliberation, it was a toss up between the Panasonic Lumix GF-1*, and the Sony NEX-5. But I decided on the NEX-5 (below). Not only does it take great photos and do HD video, but (and this is a BIG but for me) I can mount almost any lense under the sun onto it with an array of cheap adapters. (I've already ordered an old 1970's Minolta Rokkor 50mm F:1.4 prime lens from eBay, and am waiting for it like a sugared-up kid on Christmas morning).

I'll simply remove the sony lens, apply an MC/MD adapter, and click in on.

It's all manual focusing with non-standard leses, but I love it!...it's the photographic equivalent of building an old musle car. Vroom!

An since my holy grail in cameras (Leica) are out of my financial reach... I can, however, use their lenses to mount on the NEX-5 if I chose to. With a full size APS/SLR sensor, the NEX should make for some very nice photos with these relatively cheap, yet old lenses... I can't wait.

Here are some quick shot's I took last night with the standard 24mm pancake lens that came in the box:

My drawing board:
Great bokeh (blurred) depth of field.

Gammon Street, Seddon (11pm at night. Hand held. No flash):
Low light ability is great.

Ok... back to comics.


* The Panasonic GF1 can also take different lenses on a variety of mounts too, but from what I've read the mounts aren't as easily as available as for the NEX-5. The NEX-5's push is for ease of use and expandability. While the two cameras compete, trying to set up the same configurations on both is more pricey on the Panasonic. Also, the NEX-5's menu settings are almost all on screen, while the Panasonic's are set as standard dials and knobs one would expect on a SLR-type camera. I guess in the end it'll come down to how you prefer to shoot and personal taste.

11 June 2011

The Emerging Writers' Festival 2011

Following last year's experience at The Emerging Writers' Festival, I was chomping at the bit to sit behind a table again at this year's and sell my books to people. And this past weekend (05-June-2011) it came around again. The Auditorium was just as packed with thoroughfair as always...

I had the pleasure of sitting next to the talented Brendan Halyday.

Both Brendan and I killed two birds with one stone. While no one was at our table, Brendan caught up on some commission sketches, while I finished inking a page from DIGESTED#5.

The big gun, James Andre, spoke in front of the festival crowd that day about writing. Both Brendan and I wanted to hear him talk (we could see the stage from out table)... so when he took to the microphone, I told Brendan to go and have a listen for a while (while I manned our table), and then come back so I could have a listen too. Well, seven minutes later James finished. I figured he would've be up there for at least 20 minutes (as most of the previous speakers had been)... so I was a little peeved at that.

Adoring fans.

The 'elder' section of the Festival... and Bruce Mutard.

Bruce had bought a tart earlier (the non-street walker variety), and in the afternoon eagerly got it out from behind his booth where it had been sitting amoungst the shrubbery. Well, it was swarming with ants, and while most have the 10 second rule when food falls to the floor - Bruce's is 10 hours. (I agree, if it doesn't have fungus growing on it - it's all good.)

No one wanted any ant-free tarts.... thats ok... more for Bruce!

My Melbourne comics compadres.

Matt, hard at work... working things out on paper. This is the most enjoyable part for me.

  • Selling to a (generally) non-juvenile crowd on a Sunday afternoon... for a change.
  • A guy (who also had a table at the festival) coming up to Brendan and I saying, "I'm not really into comics, I write stories and actual books... I'm surprised that the festival let you guys in." (as he continued to flick through our books with interest, Brendan and I just glanced at each other with one eyebrow raised.)
  • Catching up with my comics buddies.
  • Having interesting talks with buyers about the craft and life of writing/drawing.
In conclusion, although I didn't make that many sales this year (half of last years actually), I still maintain that it is one of the better gigs on the calendar. It's cheap to attend, only goes for five hours, and for the 'emerging' author, it's an inexpensive way to get books into the hands of a different crowd. That is - a crowd more inclined to literature and artistic tastes, as opposed to the predominately young 'caped' variety I keep seeing at bigger conventions.

Two thumbs up from me.


10 June 2011

Comics Meetup [04.06.11]

Ok, first off... sorry this post is late. It's been a busy, busy week. Last Saturday was our Monthly Melbourne Comics Meetup (which this post is about), and then Sunday was the annual Emerging Writer's Festival where a number of us creators had a table and sold our books (more on that after this post... so stay tuned)... Then it was back to the day-job, and then my 40th Birthday on Wednesday (can you believe it), and then it was time to sleep in today and get the redness out of my eyes... so without further a-do... here's a short photographic wrap-up of this past Saturday's monthly meetup.

It was another AWESOME turnout. There's really no point repeating the same platitudes every month about how great these things are, so I'll just let the photos below do most of the talking.

These were the first pics I snapped as I arrived, and not long after I think we had about 20+ people elbowing each other with comics and drinks.

Colin in his Star Wars Empire-General's hat... having an intense discussion with Greg about something... probably about the hat.

Joe Morris from Non Canonical dropped in with his friend for a drink and a chat. We were expecting Larry (Hulk) Boxshall to swing by also, but he piked it.

Yet another sketch that Colin Wilson did for someone. Matt Emery was the lucky bastard who got this gem.. Jeezis... This isn't a sketch, it's freakin finished art!

It was getting pretty full inside, so a few of us snobs took in some fresh air. No, that's not a beer that Paul is reaching for... it's a girl's drink. He's trying to give up booze. Something about turning 40 I think... which I can relate to now, but the sad part is I've been drinking these pansy drinks for years now.

I had some in-depth discussions about local comics with Trevor Wood, Matt Emery & Brendan Halyday also. Interesting times ahead... so, stay tuned.

James Andre came back from his European/U.S world trip with a whole swag of comics. Mostly from France.

James even picked up a signed copy of Dave Cooper's RIPPLE for me (Second from the bottom left in the above pic) at a French gallery that Dave had just exhibited in. This book is in my top five all-time comics. It's in the vein of R.Crumb, and a great disturbingly original story as well. I adore the thing. It's the third copy I now own... but this one's SIGNED! Thanks James.