Sunday, May 20, 2018

Back in the Yukata


Hello there, if you are looking for the record of my pilgrimage to Mount Fuji to celebrate my 50th birthday, you’ll find it here-

See you there.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Comic books out loud, fer cryin' out loud!

So: on the evening of Saturday the 5th of May (World Cartoonists Day, if you don't mind), there was a performance at the State Library of Victoria called 'Read to Me: comic book stories performed live'. That title is pretty descriptive: a quill of cartoonists turned up and read their works out loud to an audience of about 120 breathless punters.

Above, Sarah Firth embarks on the reading out of her hilarious autobiographical story, 'Hair Suit'. 

Here you can see that we were reading the stories in the State Library's 'Experimedia' space. Who's 'we', you say?  Well, go to the Read to Me concept originators' site, here, to see the list of comic book readers on the night, and also to see the staggeringly talented Fionn McCabe's portraits of us all. Also, check out when the next 'Read to Me' event is going to take place. And GO! This is the future of comics performance, after all.

Oh, you didn't know that was a thing?  

Well, it is. Gabriel Clark and Fionn McCabe say so.

And here we all are: Bernard Caleo, Andrew Weldon, Chris Gooch, Ele Jenkins, Jo Waite, and the aforesaid Sarah Firth. We are q'ing a's at the end-of-night Q & A. After which, we bundled off to the traditional post-comics event feast location, Gaylords, for pappadams, wine, and laffs.

I was pretty darn excited that night, because I read out the public debut of the 'trailer' for The Devil Collects, an graphic novel set in 1880s Melbourne, which shows and tells the  decline and fall of the richest city in the world at that time: Marvellous Melbourne. 

The Devil Collects is made by me and historian Alex McDermott. 

And, just in case you were wondering...

Yes, last Saturday night, Melbourne WAS New York.


*'quill': a collective term for cartoonists

All photos taken by Jason Leong: thanks, Jason!

The Walking Tukul

Earlier this year, 2018, I was working on a three-page comic strip story for Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders, the people who do remarkable work saving lives in under-resourced places in the world. The strip is set in a refugee camp in South Sudan and in the story there's a briefing that takes place, so said the script, 'in an open-air tukul'. Uh, where?

A tukul. You know, a tukul: 

"A cone-shaped mud hut, usually with a thatched roof, found in eastern and northeastern Africa"

Oh, yes. Of course.

 So I tinkered about with drawing one, transcribing it from an image I found in my photo file (often referred to as 'the internment'. Perhaps you've heard of it).

And, as so often happens with drawings, I found that I had made something into quite another thing. Or, more precisely, you've put a spin on it, created a version that on one day you might think of as an 'interpretation' and on another, as a 'mistake'.

But when one writes with pictures, it's the former day you most want to wake up on. We're in the discovery
 business here, my friends.

And that tukul is WALKING.