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It seems that my entries have stagnated of late, and I would like to ensure my army of readers (hi mum!) that I have not been using the time to work on my tan with the warmer days that have come upon us. No, I have in fact been drawing and editing my comic works in preparation for this weekend’s Zics Zine and Comic Symposium at The Edge in South Bank.

As I suffer from the usual artistic pursuit of perfection, a great deal of the time has been spent editing past works for print using the knowledge I have gained in recent months from my study. Fault Lines, a comic I composed in my Honours year of study, has been remixed in George Lucas style to  give a more cohesive reading. A sprawling script encompassing 70 years and a cast of characters was previously fashioned into 24 pages that was, and I can freely admit this, a disparate mess, making sense to only me. With help from my partner and  a more sober, mature mind, it will be available this weekend in a package that I hope will read a little more clearly. There was a great deal of time and effort spent on this, maybe too much, with small snippets of dialogue agonised over, changed, and entire pages completely redrafted multiple times over in order to have the whole thing hang together.


I will have my 24 hour comic Night Drive available, with a fresh cover and the last couple pages of re-scripted to give less of a preachy feel at the advice of my supervisor supreme, Andi Spark. The cover is courtesy of my partner, Jutta, who in addition to being a whip crackingly intelligent research biologist is also a latent artistic wonder, with a fantastic sense of design. I added a couple of filters and inversed the tones, but the artwork is all hers.


Finally I have collected some of my works into a new work, Flux Capacitor, also with new cover and story introductions. The title Flux Capacitor came from a line from Back to the Future, a bunch of words that was drilled into my memory forevermore in first year animation. In one of John Eyley’s courses we were required to use the following line of dialogue to compose a short animation.

“If we could harness this lightning… channel it into the Flux Capacitor… it just might work.” As my animator friends will attest, when working on animation for lip sync or a piece of dialogue, the words contained will be heard hundreds if not thousands of times, as one works to perfect the animation. If I never hear this line again it will be too soon.

Thankfully, my hard drive committed assisted suicide some time ago (I plugged my laptop charger into it, funnelling 19 volts into a 12 volt device), ensuring I would never have to view my dismal animation attempt again. The only good thing to come out of the whole experience was the name, Flux Capacitor, which seemed like a valid title for a collection of varied works, a vesselacting as the regulator for a range of evolving output.

The works within Flux Capacitor are Socially Awkward, a 5 page story which I rescripted in June. I’m Walking on Sunshine, previously completed for Ashcan, another 5 pager, now presented sans dialogue. Also included is the recently completed Burnout, a 7 page story completed using brush and ink which I am quite proud of, and An Incredible Life, a short biography on my mother. Jutta also designed the cover for this one! It is good to have little helpers on hand in times of tight deadlines.


A valuable lesson was learned here which I somehow have never learned before. Basically, when preparing something that will go to print, consideration must be made for the printer’s requirements. That’s right, I’m talking about bleeds. After getting everything ready for the printers in correct resolution, file format, and sequence, I was informed that because I had not included allowance for bleed, my lovely books would have terrible white spaces on the spines as well as potentially having important bits cut out. So it was back to Indesign, a frustrating period of time working through the software’s settings to get it all just right, and back to the printer. And now we wait…

As to whether anybody actually buys any copies of these works remains in question, however the reason for doing the work is not to make sales. The work is both the means and the end the Alpha and Omega (to quote a line from Love in the age of Cholera- great movie, check it out!) A comic artist does not make comics in order to become rich, in much the same way I suppose that a musician does not play music in order to become the next multi-platinum selling rockstar. While it is a slight possibility, and it does happen in rare cases, and of course it would be nice, the true reality is that we do these things because we are driven to do so. Given the choice, I would do little else. As someone living in a wealthy country with no children and no debt, I am in an extraordinary lucky situation, a situation my parents never found themselves in. I can do almost whatever I like, and I acknowledge it is largely the sacrifices of my parents that allows me to sit here today. Of course there are many other people who have helped me get to this point, and it hasn’t all been luck and circumstance, with a degree of hard work and determination thrown in, but I digress. This is rapidly turning into a sentimental soapbox, not really the reason I decided to start writing. So, deep breath, new paragraph.

While working on the next story in my autobiographical line of narratives, I have put into practice my discoveries while working on July’s GUPSA paper. Namely, Mimetic and Diegetic modes of storytelling. I discovered that the use of narration gives a different reading to a work without narration. Mark Currie theorised that the narrated word creates a distancing effect between narrator and protagonist, separating those two entities. Using narration is the easiest way to tell a story, it gives a quick insight into background, thought processes and so on. While it is the easiest method for conveying information, it is not necessarily the best. So in this story I am not using narration at all. I Never Liked You, by Chester Brown, uses minimal narration and I felt it gave me a greater insight into his character, as well as providing a lovely effect in the reading. Some kind of nostalgia or softness was created. It’s hard to put into words, although I will do doubt have to do so soon. I thought, “this is how I want to my story to be read.” At least I wanted to try it. And so more of an emphasis is placed on posing, shot selection, timing and pacing. We will see how it goes. At my most recent Supervisor meetings we reached a consensus that I need to just produce stuff, and leave the finished, tightly edited work for later, so that’s the plan for now. The next two weeks are unfortunately going to be filled with reading and writing, with an 8000 word essay due asap, my Early Candidature Milestone essay due even asapier, and a one hour film school presentation to give on September 13th. After that I’ll be back into comic creating mode, and I can’t wait to show you all the latest and greatest!