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Friday, February 26, 2010

Picton 2010

I went up with my Pop to Picton on the train for a night and a day recently (Picton is on the top half of the South Island of New Zealand... for those who don't know).

For anyone who lives in the city or works a boring repetitive job and desperately needs a break, this is one of the best places to have it.

A couple of relatives rented out a beautiful little apartment that overlooks a part of the harbor and the Sounds in the distance. Truly beautiful and picturesque, especially with one of the many fishing boats or the Interislander casting off into the distance.

Even if it was only one day, a nice relaxing break, much needed.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Preview #5:

The last preview for now, another "book" I'm planning for this year is Senselessness.

This one will contain my more recent "comic" stuff. As of now I'm thinking of myself of a storyteller, instead of a slipper of gags and comics. I came into this realization when I worked on Dream Of The Foetus and Patent Thinking (And a "Big One", I'll tell more when ready). I made a new goal for myself to more away from producing solidly just comics and more into the general method of "telling stories", whatever it leads to film, sound, games etc, it'll be up to me (unless you become my girlfriend and eventually demoralize me...).

... although, when I made this decision, out of my head came 100s and 100s of different gag strips that I thought I had to draw... how ironic...

But, looking at it more, this would represent a new opportunity for me. These are quick, no-bull strips, not as detailed yet clear enough for people to get the message...

... might make a good webcomic...

As of now, when my brain allows it, I'm working on these lil' guys as I would be producing a book, then I'll go back on the computer and seperate these into webcomic formats. For what I have now I'd probably have enough to last well over a scheduled year.

Later on, I'll pick the best and orgainise them into a publishable comic, might even include brand new ones when the time comes.

Generally these strips will be like my Earlier Ons, nice and stupid and possibly amusing... this time though I'm going to aim for things that I'll know people will get, comedy that's more along the lines of The Simpsons, Family Guy or Pulp Sport. Not to much arty expressions for arty-ness sake... More cultural references, more things that relate to Kiwis (like taken the piss out of the police and politicians... and cows...) or that relate to people in general. My aim would be to make sure people get the joke and have an enjoyable read, instead of just getting confused and flushing it out of their systems and going back to their mediocrity (...or back to their boring ATV Stunt-Jumping out-of-a-burning-aeroplane-in-the-middle-of-the-world's-largest-jungles job... that would be a more cooler thing to think about than these comics...)

These are black 'n' white, some will be attempted in color (digitally or traditionally). The webcomic would probably consist of most, if not all, of the jotted down strips. But the book version will only include the best that I think relate to more "reality related" based humor.

For now, here's Argo'ing Along. A 4 pager that I'd probably include in the book:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Patent Thinking

Preview #4:

Adaptation of a Bruce Shirley short story. the story of a Graphic Novelist, whose writer's block sends him on a mind-trip which forever changes the ending of his latest book, and the rest of his life.

Planned as an anthology piece, in 4 parts. If anyone has an anthology running and are in need of an extra story, e-mail me and its yours. Otherwise I'll just have to find one that interests me and offer them.

Here's a 6 page preview for now:

Monday, February 8, 2010

First Book Looks Great!

I when to see someone I knew who had the equipment to print a proof of the three books I finished. I have the first one in my hands and it looks terrific! A big step up from the minicomics I did previously. The other two will hopefully be ready tomorrow. Then any mistakes that couldn't be picked up the first time will be sorted out, and a small print run will commence!

Les Enfants

les enfants = the children (in french)

Preview #3:

The second book I did for the French writer. Coming completely out of nowhere, and ended up to be a disappointing, yet great learning lesson for me...

If anything I used this as a chance and a oppuntinity to deconstruct my style, to try and make it more clear, to not make it too confusing. To challenge my own perception of what I think people want. To try and cut out the farting around and only draw what I think the average reader would get and mostly care about.

Quite a struggle.

But I know its something that had to be done especially if you have a deadline to reach. I invest allot of time and energy into my drawings beforehand, but, if I wanted to make "good" money, its something I know that an industry doesn't care about when you can't produce results at the snap of a finger... unless they are quite confident in you that you can, eventually, deliver the goods, and that itself can be hard to get.

With that in mind I tried to, not pump out, but tried to be quicker in my decisions. Some of it came out surprisingly good, some didn't translate well (but hey, that's learning).

So anyway, your outlook would be different to mine, maybe after reading this book you're entire outlook on your own life will change. You'd grow from a bland one-sided diesel mechanic or a tired stressed out graphic designer or a wealthy but unsatisfied five-star hotel owner... and instead reliase "hey! Maybe leaving my family and selling all my possessions and using the money to fund my dream of flying through space in a school bus wouldn't be such a bad idea afterall!"

... some readers are just not as open as others...

Les Enfants is a 48 page book, divided into 7 different humorist stories (and one that's abit more serious), tackling such dangerous issues as babysitting, taking your child for a walk through the park, and vacations!

Here's a 7 page preview for now, entitled Promonade, French-ly enough:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Dream Of The Foetus

Here comes preview #2, one of the two books I illustrated for a French writer: The Dream Of The Foetus.

Nice and weird eh?

A man, an elderly single man, has entered retirement and is enjoying this newfound relaxation by taking his dog for a walk through the park. Saying hello with a big grin to everyone passing by him and his companion, he thinks to himself about all he had achieved and all he has been through. He is then interrupted by a very strange creature, and this stark situation violently escalates...

He suddenly wakes, dry-throated and wide-eyed. His first and second senses come to, to the sight of a rugged old apartment and a clock reading 5:14am, and to the sound of the next door neighbor's dog, barking uncontrollably...

Gaining reason and sanity by rinsing his face and putting on fresh clothes, he manages to wonder out of his cave and onto the busy Paris streets to grab his morning coffee. He'll soon realise that he might need to significantly up his caffeine intake, if he's to survive this day...

Alot of time went into this book, which is my first book-length story. Also a welcome direction away from the comedy-centric work I've done beforehand. I'll be happy to finally see it published in bookform, then happy again when you read it and enjoy it!

Here's a 5 page preview for now:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Earlier On

I have made a plan to produce and sell at least 3 - 5 books of graphic storytelling this year. These are most of the books I've mentioned last update. These represent a fair bulk of black and white comic work I dove into for the past few years. I've been waiting for a long time to put some of these into bookform and into the shops, and now with abit of luck it's finally going to happen...

As I'm typing this I've finished designing 3 of them, and will now be looking towards someone to help publish them. I've also thought about selling them digitally, so if the printing doesn't happen, these may as well be web-only.

The first book to show for now is EARLIER ON:

Probably considered a author's first ever proper book, as it's a collection of what I called my "earliest" published comic work. Some of this material contained will date back to 2005, when I started publishing minicomics with a crude, confusing style. As a collection, it's pretty solid for it's subject matters . Pretty much nearly all of the stories back then were attempts at whacked out crazy humor, with dark surrealism, fresh from all the sources of inspiration I had like Underground Comix and Heavy Metal, and Family Guy and Trace Hodgeson.

Some, like "The Workless Bum" (Which won me my only award, Favouite New N.Z Artist, at the local Gibson Comic Awards in Wellington) and "Yummy Little T.V's Educational Lollies" (once a 6 page mini, now a 20+ paged beasty, not included in Earlier On, but will be published in full later... look out for copies of Funtime Comics if you're interested, where it's being slowly published in parts), were attempts at a more serious and commentarial sense (in a wierd, cartoony way).

What the book does contained is Bum (a mini about unemployment and working class mocking), plus five other stories:

Hiyi Goes To Sleep is a true inspirational story about a determined, almighty dog... who eats flies.

On The Job was an unpublished mini about the admirible and courageous nature of... Police Officers.

Mony Through Time And Space and The Cup Calculi were both early attempts to experiment with the sequiential language.

Also, we have a very special comic from international comic legend Crank Giller, offering a special unpublished short from his award-winning series "Chin Chitty": Clean Close Shaves, Damsels And Babes!

Earlier On will be my Rattle And Hum, a snapshot of a time of a growing artist, a book to look back to, reliasing the types of stories (or songs...) I should of put the time and energy into and be creating after years of dissatisfaction. The next new books or whatever after these few will be different, more deep and insightful, less confusing... and will feature lush New Zealand landmarks... and The All Blacks (cause we all know, clean green vallies and Sport are apparently the only things worth celebrating in NZ... ahem...)

To you, it'll be new, exciting, you may chuckle, be amazed, get painfully confused... or, with a closed mind, watch as you let the entire book fly above your head as you turn each page, sipping back beer/wine, expecting practical answers... an' gettin' none... NONE!

(...Seriousness and actual attempts at answers will come later from me, don't worry)

I'll post more previews of the other books, in orderly blogging fashion, pretty soon. For now, here's abit from On The Job: