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The juggler

Time for another (long overdue) recap. It’s been a busy time, with teaching and a bunch of other stuff. I remarked to a friend the other day that I feel like I’ve been treading water, juggling tasks, and not making much headway.  I haven’t dropped any balls yet, so I guess it could be worse. Here’s a bit of what’s been happening, in no particular order.

Saturday the 2nd May saw the Free Comic Day at comic stores across the globe. A bunch of local comic makers attended Ace Comics Annerley to sell/give away our comics and draw. We had a good turnout, around ten comic creators doing their thing and lots of people keen to check our work out. It’s definitely something I’ll seek to build on, with an Ace Comic Jam set for Saturday the 16th May with some funny and talented peeps.

In preparing for the Free Comic Day I took the time to prepare a few comics for print. Of course, some need more work, and the prints weren’t professional quality, but for a last-minute job Officeworks Oxley did great work. At 10 copies each it was not a huge waste of resources, and definitely a great way to get a sense of how they look once made real. Aways good to have something tangible and tactile in the hand.

In the last couple of months I’ve been preparing a Mid-Candidature Milestone Report, a paper/mini-exegesis of what I’ve been up to thus far in my Doctorate. While at first I moaned at this requirement, it has been useful in getting a sense of just how much I’ve done so far, and where I’m going.  It’s all leading somewhere, believe it or not!

Ashcan X (issue ten) is in production, I have most of the work submitted and am currently putting it together. It’s looking fantastic and should be a quality product, however I still need to collect more work. Believe it or not, getting people to work for free is tough. Regardless, as another ball to be juggled, there’s no rush. Watch this space for updates on an upcoming Kickstarter project.

Teaching continues at a breakneck pace, but all going well. The students haven’t organised a mutiny (yet). The courses I teach into, Sequential Art and Illustration and Reading the Moving Image keep me busy with lecture/tutorial prep, emails, planning, and marking. I’m learning every day about teaching, as well as how to deal with people, and exploring authoritative aspects of myself for the first time. Its challenging, at times exhausting, and occasionally completely demotivating, but sometimes it’s extremely rewarding. And maybe, just maybe, I’m not too bad at it. I’ll find out at the end of semester what the students think of me, when they submit their evaluation of teaching. Just the other week I arranged for Travis D. Hendrix to give a guest lecture and run the tutorials for the week, and the students got a lot out of it, myself included. He knocked it out of the park, and hopefully the students remember these kind things I’ve done for their educational experience when it comes time to pass judgement.

I’m still waiting to get my script draft back from its final evaluation, and then I can begin full production. In the meantime I’m putting together a short 7 pager from it, kind of as a proof of concept. And it seems I’m very slow… which could be a problem, seeing as I now have nine months remaining of my Doctorate in which to submit at least 120 pages of finished story, plus exegesis. I’d better loosen up. I’ve just finished reading Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor, and I’m blown away. While many of the images are loose, even rough, it doesn’t matter at all; I read the 500 plus pages in a few hours, couldn’t put it down. The visual storytelling, pacing timing, exploitation of all that sequential art makes possible, show that Scott McCloud is truly at the top of his game and understands this incredible medium better than most. Buy this book, now. Amazing stuff.