Saturday, July 30, 2011

Talking Comics and Filthy Lucre!

Hey there my comic book reading friends! As you know, every second person out there in the 'words-only' book world belongs to a book club, whereby a bunch of people all agree to read the same book and then get together to discuss that book and eat cheese.  I agree, it's about time us comic book readers did the same thing, and this Wednesday, thanks to the City of Melbourne and the City Library in Melbourne, we're going to do exactly that! Less cheese though, probably.  Sorry, lactose-lovers.

So, if you're over 15 and a student and a reader of comics, hie ye hither here, where you'll find the book list and the dates, and if you'd like to come to one or all of the nights, email Gary Lee and let him know you're interested.  Do come, I'd love to see you there.   We're beginning with Tintin, of course - 'The Secret of the Unicorn', but we will travel all over the world in the first 6 fortnightly meetings of 'The Second Wednesday Comic Book Club'.  Oh yes we will.

And the above is not the only remarkable comics-related thing coming out of City Library.  There is also, in the upcoming Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Awards 2011, a category for 'graphic short story'. You need to enter a 4 - 8 page comics story by the end of August 2011 which will put you in the running for a $1000 prize.  That's right.  A grand.  If you won with a 4 page story, that makes a $250 per page rate, which ain't bad.  And if you win the overall prize for best piece of writing across all categories for a 5 page story, that would be a $1000 per page rate, which is even less bad.

Draw!  Write!  Enter!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Graphic Narratives wrap party!

On the evening of Friday 1 July, there was a comics 'swap and sell' - not so unusual you say, except that this one was held at Melbourne University and the comics being swapped and selled were ones made by the students of the inaugural outing of the course 'Graphic Narratives', offered as an honours subject to students in the school of Creative Writing.  The course is the brainchild of Elizabeth MacFarlane, who you can see below proudly talking about the amazing work made by her students.

The course looked at the history of the comics form, theory about comics, and, given that it is a creative writing course, the students actually made comic books.  Jam-packed, eh?  There were a bunch of guest lecturers/cartoonists too: Mandy Ord, Bruce Mutard, Nicki Greenberg, Mirranda Burton and Pat Grant.

Of course I couldn't let such a monumental occasion go by without throwing in my two bob:

and my two bob was this: the academy has a real place in the development in the comics arts in Australia, if the last week (which had seen the completion by Pat Grant of his magnificent graphic novel BLUE - which you can read in its entirety here - AND the evidence of the piles of books by the students of the Graphic Narratives course) was anything to go by.

The poster for the course was also by the octopoid Mister Grant, who with a bunch of other Melbourne cartoonists, will be drawing live over the next month down at the National Gallery of Victoria at Federation Square: written NGV information here, excellent little filmette here.

It's called 'Inherent Vice'. Get on down.