Archive for March, 2008

Round Six: Meet the Artists

March 30, 2008

April will bring four fabulous new artists to the warm embrace of Comic Artist Rehab! Welcome to:

We wish you all well on your rehab journey and look forward to seeing your work.

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Artist Introduction: Emily Reed

March 30, 2008

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I’ve never drawn a comic in my life. But I’ve been reading them for a while now and watching all the great artists and wide variety of styles here on Rehab and thought ‘That looks fun.’

So I raised my hand and started thinking of all the great stories I could tell with this new genre–until I realized, um, I can’t draw. At all.

This may be painful to watch.

Artist Introduction: Vanessa Hutchinson

March 30, 2008

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My story is sad – a lovely creative life laid waste by procrastination and perfectionism. My parents never wanted me to do a real job and always supported my artistic interests. But somehow I cast aside my dreams and ended up working for the man.

I work full time as a graphic designer making magazines for an industry I don’t really care about; the only job satisfaction I have is through my phone doodles and lunchtime drawing at a near-by cafe. I slip illustrations into the magazines where I can, but it’s not enough.

I have enjoyed reading and creating comics for most of my life. When I was 9 or 10 I drew the Adventures of Vampire Bunny for my East German pen-friend because I thought that she wasn’t able to get comic books behind the Iron Curtain. I drew comics at university, during lectures and on the tram home. I was studying Sculpture but really should have been in Drawing, my first love. During that time I got hold of the work of Jim Woodring and that was when I decided that comic art was for me. But ten years later I am nowhere near my vaguely imagined goal.

I live in West Brunswick, Melbourne with my partner Jim and our dog Felix. Both are very supportive. But I need rehab to help get me back on track and reconnect me with a creative community. I feel isolated and out of touch. We have chucked out our television and I am ready to go.

Artist Introduction: L. Nichols

March 30, 2008

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My name is L. Nichols, and I’m a chronic procrastinator. Always 10 minutes, 30 minutes, a day, a week, a semester, years … late. In no area of my life does this become more frustrating to me than in my comics, which is why I’ve decided that rehab is for me. I’ve been drawing since I was five, attempted my first comic in 2001, but didn’t really start drawing comics seriously until 2004. Over the past few years, I’ve managed to put a few collections of sketchbook comics together into mini comics (available on etsy) and have recently been making an effort to keep my work updated on flickr and livejournal. However, I still have days and weeks where sometimes I just don’t produce any comics. Since I’ve been wanting to work on longer-scale comics outside of my sketch books, and since I seem to be lacking in the self-discipline to work consistently on a project, I’m hoping that rehab will kick my butt into high gear with a healthy dose of deadlines.

Artist Introduction: Lelah Olender

March 30, 2008

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My name is Lelah Olender and I am a failed writer and artist. I went to art school for a year, then dropped out. I tried to write countless of stories, but never finished them. I did manage to get a uni degree amongst my failings, so with my educated brain I thought that getting into comic writing would be a smart idea. I am in rehab because I have done the pieces of comics, but never really put them all together, which I think I can do.

I’ve been blogging since 2000, and so my comics will probably mimic the random, inane musings I type out each day. I’m obsessed with animals, knitting, Blythe dolls, sewing, and trying to feel content in life. I also have fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder, so my outlook on life is, um, skewed. But at least I recognize that!

Rehab Exit Interview: Adam Ford

March 30, 2008

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab

It was a challenge to pick up the pen and paper again, one that I set myself deliberately, but still tried to duck out of. I’m glad I did get back to the pens, though – I’d forgotten how much fun they were.

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

That I actually do like drawing with pens – that’s something I’d forgotten. I also learned something else that I should have already known, which is that the creation of something totally new from scratch is always more satisfying than reworking something old. It sounds obvious when you say it, but it’s still something I tend to forget in the struggle to find creative time around work , social life and parenting.

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

Day twenty-four. I really like Kid Shiva’s declaration, and the pose he’s standing in. I also like how “oh shit” the robot monkey looks. It was fun drawing the other characters really really tiny.

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

I suppose the first one, cos it was done with ‘puters instead of pens, and the deafening silence of its reception told me something I kind of knew but didn’t want to admit – that using computers instead of pens has been kind of a cheat for me – a way to do comics that in some ways avoids the challenge of working pen-to-paper. I also had to admit that maybe the whole vector art thing might be something that doesn’t have as wide an appeal as I might hope.

I’m also not greatly pleased with Day twenty-eight – the way the line weights vary is evidence to me of the photoshopping I used to assemble the middle three panels. If I had had time, I would have redrawn those panels rather than cutting and pasting them.

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

I do hope to do some more comicking, but more than that the lesson I learned about stopping with the procrastinating and actually doing some work is something I’m hoping to apply to my novel, which I’ve been fucking about with for almost ten years now. The creative excitement and motivation I got from Rehab is something I’m hoping to be able to apply to the novel, and to all of my other pending projects across the board.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

I reckon the exit interview should also include a question about your favourite strip from other people in your round. So I’ll answer the question as though it already is included.

I liked everyone’s work – the variety of approaches was really great. But for sheer fuckoffitude, Sam’s day one strip was an amazing Spectoresque wall of sound that baffled, amused and intrigued all at once. Totally unexpected and quite, quite thrilling.

Thanks to Sam, Adi and Neal for their great work over the month – you’ve all been an inspiration

Rehab Exit Interview: Neale Blanden

March 30, 2008

Neale?

Rehab Exit Interview: Adi Firth

March 30, 2008

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

I’m really glad I went through comic rehab. I’ve always been a pretty deadline driven person, so having to post every 4 days was great. I often found myself drawing in situations/places i usually wouldn’t, just out of necessity. . It was also great seeing the other artists’s work and the ideas that they came up with

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

Not to be so precious about my work. Posting stuff that I wasn’t that happy with was a bit hard at first. But i’m getting over it.

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

I really like the one with the mouths and hands (day 18), and the grizzly dream (day 14) which came to me quite spontaneously after a real live nightmare. I like doing autobiographical stuff like that.

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

I least like my final post, about eating duck. It’s really sloppy and it fails to convey what i had wanted it to.

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

Certainly do. I need to create some some kind of self-enforced deadline and stick to it. Not quite sure how yet.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

Keep it up! Can i do it again?

Rehab Exit Interview: Sam Twyford-Moore

March 30, 2008

1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

I had a great experience. I went into this comic universe unsure of myself as an artist, and came out with a much stronger vision of where I stand aesthetically and creatively. I think I’ve developed a new style for myself – a sort of pastiche, manic collage feel, which I think works well. In this sense it was highly developmental and educational, illuminating even. I had some rough experiences too though. One of my comics was pulled completely because of copyright infringement. There were different perspectives on this, but at the end of the day, I think the right decision was made in regards to the offending panel. I was also hospitalised around two thirds in and was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder – so funnily enough, I ended up in a real life rehab, spending two nights in a Mental Hospital in Wyong, NSW. I know which rehab I prefer – give me a pen and paper over Zoloft and Xanax anyday. Give me all four and I’ll be the next Robert Crumb.

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

Creativity is a natural high and beats deadlines better than a Lion beats a Gazelle or a West Coast Eagle beats a Sydney Swan/drug habit.

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

I actually really like the last one. Spike Milligan has always been an influence on all my work – writing and comics – and I can relate to him even more now having gone through depression and the manic highs associated with Bipolar. I think I captured something of his spirit in that last comic. I also really like the first one, because it’s the only one made without the use of a computer – besides to scan it in – and it really surprised me and everyone else. I was really surprised by the comments with that one, which were generous, and thanks to Tim Danko, introduced me to the great writer Robert Walser. Also comic five, because that’s when I think I hit the right note.

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

Day Nine, which must have been my third comic, was obviously a huge debacle. One of the panels were pulled and the whole thing was taken down. Funnily enough, very secretly, it is actually probably my favourite comic out of the lot. There’s something a little nutty about it, and the whole Lachlan Conn/Tim Danko plot at the end just brings a big old smile to my face everytime. Plus, who could pass up Lucy Van Pelt with Mussolini’s face? Or Patty doing the heil? Or, my personal favourite, Linus as Kim Jong Ill? Love it.

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

I’m actually working on a new book at the moment, with a Spanish illustrator I met in Melbourne, Cristina Velano. What a great last name! We’re going to maybe turn it into a regular Him/Her sort of thing. At the moment it is called Dogs and Violins and should be available later next month.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

Enjoy it. It’s a really great and rare opportunity. Don’t forget to thank Amber for getting it all rolling, and be adventurous and do something a little different. Look at Tim Danko’s comics and ask yourself – can I be that good/weird? Read comments and reply in the comics themselves – I think people got a kick out of that, particularly with the Walserian references. Thanks Danko

Round Five: Day Twenty-Eight

March 27, 2008
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Here ’tis. A bit late but there you go. And the dinosaur is still here, it seems. Thanks, comic rehab, for the comickest month I’ve had in a long time!

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