27 April, 2012

Supanova Melbourne 2012

I've never really done these travelogue/con review posts before, but I had such a great time a couple of weekends ago in Melbourne for Supanova that I thought I'd give it a go. 

Full disclosure: I'm one of the founders of Supanova, I art directed it for about six years (taking the mantle of that title again as of next week), and have a financial stake in the business. 

Because this Supanova fell in the middle of the NSW school holidays I was able to enjoy a few days visiting the city of Melbourne with my family both before and after the expo which I've never really had the opportunity to do before. It's such a brilliant city and I fully understand the great Australian comics migration towards it that seems to have happened over the past 10 years or so. I'll let the photos and captions tell most of the story…  

A fabulous start to the trip was had with a brunch with some of my favourite fellas on the planet: The boys from Cool [Shite] on the Tube. Here's some of them: Chris, Bruce and David. My family are in the background also saying 'hi'. 

We stayed at a lovely hotel called Batman's Hill on Collins. Could there be any more appropriate place to stay for six days of comicy goodness? 

I visited the wonderful Squish Comics Studio in Brunswick. A fabulous initiative conceived by Ben Hutchings and foundered by him and five other brilliant comicers. As you can see, they sat me at the visitor's table while I drew. In the background are Annabelle and comicer Ive Sorocuk.

There were two other visitors there that day. Alisha Howard from Queensland and Robert Perrie from the ACT. That's Ive again in the foreground and Ben in the background. 

This is the sketch I did while there. Trevor's feeling the squish-vibe alright!

Friday night was opening night, but I took a moment beforehand to grab a snap of me as an Avengers action figure. As you do. 

On Friday night we ran two comicbook MasterClasses. Kicking it off were webcomic creators Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub. On the right, Scott is sharing a moment of epiphany with Kris. 

Brian Michael Bendis was another of our comic book guests and he also ran a comicbook MasterClass, following Scott and Kris. 

Because I work most of the weekend, or am trying to catch up with people I rarely or only briefly see, I don't get a long to very many panels and seminars. Here's a few I did get to and snapped a photo of. 
Overseas comics guests Spain's Carlos Pacheco, America's Brian Michael Bendis and Malaysia's Billy Tan

Actress Jaimie Alexander, who played Sif in the film Thor. 

Melbourne's Tristan Jones, who's making quite a splash at IDW with Ghost Busters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Infestation

A shot of one of our fabulous Artists' Alleys. Seen here on the right, from closest to camera to furthest: Wolfgang Bylsma and Gary Edwards from Perth's awesome Gestalt Comics, and Tom (Evs) Taylor

A random shot of the crowd enjoying the retail floor. 

Ahem… well, I worked very hard until I discovered on Sunday afternoon at 5:45pm (15 minutes before closing) that the pinball machines were free to play! Good thing I didn't know before that. 

Sunday night is traditionally time to record a Supanova Special Edition of the Cool [Shite] on the Tube Podcast. The groovy ManaBar were very kind to host the occasion. In the first of these two pictures is my lovely wife Bongo failing dismally at holding herself together while being 'interviewed' by David 'Q-Dog' Quinn. The second photo has, on the right, Q-Dog speaking with Tristan Jones with Gary Edwards, Wolfgang Bylsma and Tom Taylor behind. 

I love the architecture and buildings in Melbourne. Here's a few quick snaps I took. 

The all-important comics haul! Bought in various places before, during, and after the expo, and weighing in at 23 books and 10cm. (Yes, there's only 21 in the photo – I forgot I still had two in my backpack.) When am I ever going to find time to read it all?!?

Bye Melbourne! You were awesome and I had a brilliant time!

11 April, 2012

What I Read Last Month…

What I read last… 
December 2011.

Du Plomb Dans La Tête, by Colin Wilson and Matz. 
This time I'm writing about the black & white collection in the original French language, instead of the colour, English translation. 
I love the art so much more in this printing,a despite the smaller, paperback size, but then again I almost always enjoy a b&w version of a story more than a colour version.
Also the lettering is so beautiful this time around. It's by Wilson I believe, instead of a dedicated lettering "specialist". Wilson has hand drawn the gorgeous letterforms, done with brush from the looks of it, as well as hand inscribed the word balloons, all of which makes such a wonderful change from the boring and bland computer lettering and geometrically precise balloons we get in most comics now.

Rocksalt, by Mark Withington
This is a really fun lo-fi sci-fi adventure with great characters and nice style all 'round. Full review coming soon.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, by Hergé.
There's been a sad and embarrassing gap in my comic-reading history. But no more! Finally, after reading comics for 36 years, I've experienced a Tintin comic! There's a full review coming soon to let you know exactly what I thought.

09 April, 2012

ACE in Sydney, opening night

Following on from the post I made recently about ACE: the Australian Comic book Exhibition, (GP TV. Ep02.) which toured the country from 1994 to 1997, I thought I'd share some photos from the opening night of the Sydney leg. The exhibition was hosted by the Westpac Museum at The Rocks (now gone), and the opening the night of 11th July, 1996.

The welcoming panels of ACE as one entered the exhibition. With the help of the Australian Cartoonists' Association (then called the Australian Black & White Artists' Club), as well as many Sydney-based comic creators, this particular leg of the exhibition's tour was greatly enhanced with numerous extra pieces of both reproduced and original artwork, some of which can be seen in the background here. I'm pretty sure that's Arthur Mather's Captain Atom and Stanley Pitt's Silver Starr over on the right.

Part of the additional exhibit items. Work in this cabinet includes Greener Pastures posters and comics, Jason Paulos' Hairbutt the Hippo comics, Issue One's CyberSwine and Zero Assassin comics (with art by Ant Larcombe), some Glenn Ford Phantom art, and other bits and pieces too. The big blank space was actually filled by another large print, like the Greener Pastures one on the left, of Zero Assassin #1, but it had been taken down by the time I got these photos.

An amazing group photo of many most of the cartoonists present on the night. I still feel honoured to have been able to jump into this snap.
1: Reginald Pitt. Co-creator of Yarmak, The Jungle King.
2: Ken Emerson. Cartoonist on The Warrumbunglers.
3: Eric Jolliffe. Cartoonist on Saltbush Bill.
4: Tony Rafty. Creator of Jimmy Rodney of the Secret Service.
5: Stewart McCrae. Cartoonist known as 'Pep'.
6: Stanley Pitt. Creator of Silver Starr.
7: Les Dixon. Cartoonist on Bluey and Curley.
8: Peter Chapman. Creator of The Phantom Ranger.
9: Monty Wedd. Artist/writer, Ned Kelly.
10: Yaroslav Horak. James Bond strip artist.
11: Jim Russell. Cartoonist on The Potts.
12: Norman Hetherington. For all intents and purposes, Mr Squiggle.
13: Lindsay Foyle. Cartoonist and historian.
14: Tim McEwen. Greener Pastures co-creator.
15: Chesty Bond. Australian advertising icon, created by Syd Miller.
16: John Clements. Australian comics enthusiast and historian.
17: Stan Clements. Creator of Tom Dunne, Scientific Detective (no relation to John at #16).

John Clements – Australian comics enthusiastic enthusiast and historian. Les Dixon – cartoonist on Bluey and Curley for nearly 20 years! Eric Jolliffe – cartoonist on Saltbush Bill and so much more. Jim Russell – Cartoonist on The Potts for a world-record-making 62 years! And me, Tim McEwen.

An unknown lady, possibly the daughter of one of the cartoonists in attendance on the night, and Monty Wedd, cartoonist on Ned Kelly, myself and my beautiful wife Bongo.

Les Dixon, standing at the panel that showcased the strip he was most famous for, Bluey and Curley, as well as the cover of Greener Pastures #1 (first printing). This group of panels was titled and themed 'Strictly Australian'.

Me, posing with one of the pages of Greener Pastures original art that toured with the exhibition.

Massive thanks to Steve Panozzo of the ACA for helping me identify all the cartoonists in the photos, and to Matt Emery too. Feel free to let me know of any corrections to any attributions I've made here. I'm not an expert and there's many more knowledgable people on this subject than me on this subject.