Some people ask you to sign up for a weekly newsletter. Some people are expert at hitting up Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Tinder and Grinder. Me? I’m going to try and write down my thoughts on a variety of comics-related subjects in a weekly (maybe weakly) column that will simply be called, The Saturday Evening Post.
Now, The Saturday Evening Post will be a mixed bag, no doubt. It may be me waffling on about a recent comics-related hubbub (#acic), or it may be a mini review or recommendation for something I like the look of. But it will be full of opinion. My opinion. If my opinion isn’t fully formed, it may very well be that I use The Saturday Evening Post to pull a thought apart and put it back together again to try and get to an opinion. For sometimes (most times? See I’ve started already.) the journey is more important than the destination.
I thought a weekly column would be relatively easy and not a big call on my time. I’m a busy bloke. But I think about things… a lot. I think about things when I’m sitting on the toilet doing a poo. When I’m in the shower (not doing a poo). On the drive to work (again, no pooing). I know we all do that, (not pooing, thinking) but some of the things I think about is perhaps worth sharing. Plus the local scene is buzzing. I figure I can make notes on things that have happened during the week, perculate my thoughts, before sitting down and typing up the column. Just keep the thing light, relevant and timely. Just me shooting the breeze. We’ll see how it goes.
I’m not in a position to do full reviews. It’s an artform in and of itself. But I do have opinions about a lot of the local stuff being produced. In my role as co-convenor of The Ledger Awards and as co-ordinator of this site, I get sent a lot of material that I’d love to be able to comment on, but politically and ethically, I have so far refrained. But now I’m old, I don’t care so much for politics and ethics. So, this might be the place where I can get away with it. We’ll see.
The main reason I started the Australian Comics Journal in the first place is that I firmly believe the Australian scene is robust enough to take some straight talk… even criticism. The occasional “wet willy”. The odd “cripple nipple”. Just now and then. I’m not going to be throwing bad review grenades everywhere. At least, I’ll try not to.
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So, what happened this week:
Pat Grant sent through an group email calling for help getting a Kickstarter up and over the line for the Comic Art Workshop as some funding had fallen through. I received the email at 12:17pm yesterday (Friday). By the time I was able to post the item on ACJ and visit the Kickstarter page (earlier this morning, Saturday) the dollar target required had already been met! Bloody hell, that was fast!
The Comic Art Workshop is a great initiative and this year’s workshop is the second one organised. It was always going to be tough getting a second one up, and I had my doubts about it being in Indonesia (the first one was on Maria Island in Tasmania). But this rallying of forces and funds really shows how this initiative has caught the imagination of comic arts supporters. It doesn’t hurt that the rewards you can get for different support levels are absolutely amazing.
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Speaking of the first Comic Workshop, one of my personal fave projects that was taken to Maria Island for some work was Campbell Whyte‘s Home Time. The book has been finished and has been picked up by IDW in the States and is about to get an Australian launch. I was first introduced to Campbell’s work when Tim McEwen (the other co-convenor of The Ledgers) got him to produce a story for the very first Ledgers Annual in 2014. It was amazing. Then, I kept on seeing pages in development from Home Time and artwork samples on Campbell’s Facebook page. I knew the project was going to be something special. Now it’s here and I can’t wait.
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The other big news from the last 24 hours was the announcement that Jamie Clennett’s Ledger Award-winning graphic novel, The Diemenois, published by Hunter Publishers, has been Long Listed for the “Tasmania Book Prize for the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre”. This is huge and an amazing validation for the hard work put in to a great project! It’s Jamie’s first graphic novel (and I think Hunter Publisher’s first published book). Jamie is just killing it and hope the book smashes the competition. In a nice way. Congratulations Jamie.
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Australian artists I really love: Glenn Lumsden & Fil Barlow. Man, those boys are so talented. I’m glad Glenn is producing more and more new stuff on his own terms these days. It seems he’s really having some fun. Fil has been re-releasing his Zooniverse material with new colours. He’s an artist that is just excellent from the get-go. Always has been. Both men have been at the coal face of comics for many decades now. It’s important to acknowledge and support amazing creators like these two gents. If you see anything with their name on it. Buy it. More on them in the future.
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Frew Publications have been hitting it out of the park lately. Have you seen what they are producing now and what’s coming up? New ownership has brought a new lease of purple panted life to all things The Phantom. More on that later as well.
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What’s coming up:
Ownaindi launches this Wednesday, August 16. I hope this is a game changer for locally produced comics. It could very well be.
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Finally (to see if anyone’s reading this), if anyone is interested in sending through some banner artwork for The Saturday Evening Post, I’ll happily use it on a week’s posting as the featured image. It doesn’t have to be new art, though that would be nice, and it can feature any character (keep it clean). No type on the graphic. Can have funny word balloons though. Let’s say 800 pixels wide x 400 pixels deep for the final size.
Send it to the ACJ email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with correct credit and copyright notice. Links to a website you’d like to promote would be nice as well.
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Okay, I think I’m done. You get the idea. Hitting “Publish”.
Featured image: Nightfighter artwork by Gary Chaloner. Colours by Graeme Jackson. The Southern Squadron © Dave de Vries. All rights reserved.