Archive for January, 2008

Round Four: Meet the Artists

January 31, 2008

Welcome to Round Four of Comic Artist Rehab. This round of Comic Artist Rehab is slightly different to previous rounds as it is being held as part of Sticky’s Festival of the Photocopier!

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The first difference is that all of the artists participating in this round are based in Melbourne. This is enabling us to hold a live drawing session as part of February rehab. The drawing session will happen at Sticky on February 16 from 12 noon. If you’re in Melbourne please mark this date in your diary or write it on your arm in permanent ink – it will be great fun and everyone is welcome!

Another exciting difference is that all the comics (and commentary and comments) from this round will be collected into a print zine which is being sponsored by the festival. Thanks to Sticky for making this possible!

In addition to all of this there will, of course, be all the daily action that takes place here on this blog!

Participating in this round will be:

Stick around (every day in February) to see how this latest batch of intrepid artists cope with the pressures of rehab!

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Artist Introduction: Cassandra Tytler

January 31, 2008

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To my shame, I’ve been very distracted from making and reading comics for the last few years. I have a fanzine worth of material but haven’t got round to getting to the photocopiers. (Do people still even photocopy their comics?) It all seems hard, and I admit that I need a kick up the arse – thank-you Amber for doing just this.

On the up side I have other creative endeavours that I have been obsessing over. It’s not as if I’ve become an (insert your idea of most boring job here). I’ve been in France for the last year doing two art residencies, and have been continuing to make videos and extra bits and pieces. Am inspired and busy and enthusiastic … but something is missing … The pain in my hand as I carefully trace over my pencilled drawing, the dirty erasure debris collected on my desk, the yellow spots in my vision after being at the photocopiers. I want back in!

Artist Introduction: Bernard Caleo

January 31, 2008

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I have been part of the talking team on a radio show called ‘The Comic Spot’ on 3CR, a Melbourne Community Radio station, which has had 6 weekly installments over the 2007/2008 summer. On this show, with co-hosts John Retallick (seasoned comics journo) and Jo Waite (ridiculously talented comic book maker/cartooniste), we have been considering the quite remarkable year that 2007 was for Australian comics and graphic novels, or, as we’ve started to call them, ‘book comics’. All of which has reminded me that work on my own online book comic, ‘I Knew Him’, 32 pages of which I put up last year (viewable at www.cardigancomics.com), has sorta stalled. Part of the stall is attributable to the time spent working on ‘Tango7: Love and Sedition’, the latest issue of the semi-annual romance comics anthology that I edit and put together, as well as working on ‘Aggressively Strange Fables’, an exhibition of Melbourne underground comics and animation (curated by the aforesaid Ms Waite), that was part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2007. However, it’s now time to return to ‘I Knew Him’ and as everybody knows, making comics breeds the making of even more comics, so rehab is for me. Also, the prospect of working on what amounts to comic strips: little 4-panellers, really appeals. So let’s go!

Artist Introduction: Alice Mrongovius

January 31, 2008

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So I create comics, but then I get caught up in designing clothes, going to a lot of parties, working extra jobs to fund comic books, getting involved with arts festivals, studying fine art and researching quantum physics. Then it’s three or four years later and I am still working (intermittently) on the same graphic novel. This seems to be a recurring theme, somehow I manage to get involved in large time consuming projects getting caught up in all the possibilities and then stuck in indecision or just another re –edit. With rehab I’m looking forward to a bit more spontaneity and a little less grinding obsession.

Artist Introduction: Michael Fikaris

January 31, 2008

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Sometimes I can’t get enough….
Sometimes I can’t touch ’em…

I experimented early on in life
with the hard stuff which led to
trying it ALL for a while.

Later years proved to be the usual
ups ‘n downs of experimentation w/
absolutely everything!

But I want to change!
To focus again on the things
that got me excited in the first
place and not to relapse ever again!

Help me help myself and READ THIS SHIT!!

Rehab Exit Interview: Sarah Howell

January 31, 2008

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

Tough but good. It would of been even harder if I hadn’t decided to serialise a story I had already sketched out, but as it was is was hard making myself sit down and do the work, particularly the first 4 installments. After that for some reason it was easier. The first half I keep on getting caught out by the fourth day, but later it was becoming more of a habit and I’d be a bit more forward thinking about other commitments that might interfere.

2. What, if anything, did you learn from the program?

Just sit down and do the work. I know this theoretically and I do it in other areas of my life, but actually pushing through with Comics Rehab has given me an example of actually achieving that persistance with my comics that I can refer to and say “see it works”.

3. Which one of your own comics are you most pleased with and why?

The fifth one (Day Nineteen), not because the art work is any better or worse but because this was the first appearance of the bunny character and the story shifts at this point, picks up pace.

4. Which one of your own comics are you least pleased with and why?

The third one (Day Eleven) was the most rushed, but it still worked ok, so it was a lesson to not be so anal.

5. Do you hope to keep up drawing comics after rehab? If so, how often.

I drew comic journal entries on average once week before Comics Rehab, but Comics Rehab has definitely made me think about doing work that is more polished than my journal work and it has also got me thinking about webcomics. I’m going to go back to the notes I made in the lead up to Comics Rehab and see if there are any ideas that I chickened out on that would work as another series for my own blog.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

This round was a big learning curve I think for everyone involved, the mid-round slump was devastating to witness, but made everyone’s return to form even more triumphant. The fact that all of us recovered from our stumble is credit to how Comic Artist Rehab works and the thought Amber has put into it. It will be interesting to see what effect the face-to-face drawing session mid-round in february has on the process.

That was a very roundabout way of saying it works and i don’t think it needs any messing with.

Thank you Ross, John, Miss Helen, Amber and everyone who left comments! Thank you Comic Artist Rehab.

Rehab Exit Interview: John Weeks

January 30, 2008

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

We drew comics until the wee hours. We had fun. We didn’t get paid. I enjoyed seeing the other strips as they progressed, and getting immediate feedback on my stuff.

2. What, if anything, did you learn from the program?

a) I need to brush up on Photoshop or b) I’m too dependent on computers. Maybe both. Also, I need to set up a home studio space. All my art tools are at the office, as well as the scanner.

3. Which one of your own comics are you most pleased with and why?

Probably ‘Daily Commute‘. It’s been fun to reference stuff from my daily life & neighborhood. I’m getting better at drawing cyclos, bit by bit…

4. Which one of your own comics are you least pleased with and why?

Day 16 needs to be a bit more cohesive in terms of style. Happy to get it out of my system and on the page though.

5. Do you hope to keep up drawing comics after rehab?

Yep. I may do a small collection of my Cambodia comics. ‘Breakfast‘ will appear in an exhibition this Friday.

If so, how often.

Sporadically. I need to mind Comics Lifestyle too.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

The more comments and peer pressure there is to complete a strip, the more effort artists will put in. I’ll be watching from the peanut gallery to see if Round Four’s ‘fresh meat’ can cut it.

Rehab Exit Interview: Ross Radiation

January 30, 2008

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

This all sort of came about at a time where I was busier than I have been in the last year or so, it was all pretty hectic… but enjoyable and I really needed to force myself to do some drawing, so it was beneficial

2. What, if anything, did you learn from the program?

I am not good with deadlines… but I can force myself to do anything… and I underestimate how long things take to actually create…

3. Which one of your own comics are you most pleased with and why?

Day Fourteen, the art is a little sketchier but I think it’s kind of funny and it’s slightly more autobiographical than my “flights of fantasy” stuff

4. Which one of your own comics are you least pleased with and why?

Day Twenty two, I think the art was pretty lousy, it was rushed and the idea is no prize-pig either

5. Do you hope to keep up drawing comics after rehab? If so, how often.

Yeah, maybe not every four days but maybe weekly, believe it or not I have already done a page…. woot!

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

Trophies, man! that’s what we need!

Rehab Exit Interview: Miss Helen

January 30, 2008

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

I drew comics every 4 days. I whinged a lot but I really enjoyed it. It’s good to have an incentive to create things and though I think I could have done a better job, had my health not been so problematic, I’m glad that I stuck it out! I really loved the support and comments. It’s so nice to get a bit of love. Self publishing can be so isolating!

2. What, if anything, did you learn from the program?

Soldier on! That it’s ok to do a bad drawing, you can often save it or just re-draw it! It’s good to plan things, but sometimes spontaneity is better! I’m def going to keep a list of ideas on hand constantly.

3. Which one of your own comics are you most pleased with and why?

Day Nine. I’m so obsessed with the inside of flowerpot girl’s house.

4. Which one of your own comics are you least pleased with and why?

Chicken. It’s just so messy.

5. Do you hope to keep up drawing comics after rehab? If so, how often.

But of course, in some form or other. I’ve got a new zine out which hasn’t been launched yet and it’s more freestyle pictures with words than comics. But this has encouraged me to explore narratives.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

More Amber with a big stick!

Links:

More Miss Helen at spycore dot net

Round Three: Day Twenty Eight

January 28, 2008

Life’s a Beach

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