Thursday, September 25, 2008

Radio Days!

Last night on 'The Comic Spot' (last Thursday of every month, 3CR, 855 on your Melbourne AM dial or streamed), John Retallick (proud skipper of the good ship Comic Spot) and I (inept bosun) spoke for a good half hour with one of our comic book heroes, Eddie Campbell.

Eddie is a Scot who has lived in Brisbane for about 15 years and who, over the past 25 years, has had a most remarkable career in the comic book field. He was part of the very vibrant British 'Small Press' scene in the 1980s, illustrated the big Jack the Ripper book 'From Hell', written by Alan Moore in the 1990s, has run his own publishing company out of the front room of his Brisbane house - it was called, unsurprisingly, 'Eddie Campbell Comics' - and over the past three years he has had 3 books published through First Second Books, the comic book imprint of Macmillan.  The most recent of these is 'The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard', written with Dan Best and illustrated in Eddie's 'fully painted comics' style.  (He likened this to working with an full orchestra after having been part of a quartet (that is, working in black ink) for many years).

We also talked about the upcoming release of 'The Life Size Alec Omnibus', a 640 page book coming out from Top Shelf next year which will collect Eddie's autobiographical comics (his fictional self in the stories is 'Alec MacGarry'), for which he is justly renowned.


This morning Jo Waite (sometime first mate on The Comic Spot) and I were in at the ABC studios on Southbank to talk with the JJJ Breakfast people (Robbie, Marieke and the Doctor) about making comics, 'One-Sock the Lovesick Devil' (mini-comic by by Jo Waite), 'Tango' (romance comics anthology edited by me) and most pressingly, 'Ugly, Drunk and Stupid', the comic book exhibition that Jo is curating for this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Perversely perhaps, radio is a good medium for discussing comics I reckon.  Somehow you can convey the excitement of reading and making comics by handing the books around in the studio, and referring to them as you speak about 'em.  Also, there's something about comics, when you read them, capturing a maker's 'voice', which radio complements beautifully by allowing you to hear their actual voice.

I think.