There is a huge swath of talent amongst Melbournes independent comic book artists, and you can always be sure that the works that they produce are cutting edge litanies. From the daily to the macabre, the fantastical to the conspiratorial, these artists take on all the challenges of communicating the foibles and fallacies of our times.
Fleshtonez, the next upcoming group show at Paradise Hills, follows in this vein perfectly – though, not exactly in the way expected. Erotica is a definitive genre in our modern day, a ubiquitous element amongst the creative realm – and though not all artists focus on the genre solely, they will, surely, touch upon it at some stage in their creative journeys.
"FLESHTONEZ is an opportunity for eleven cutting-edge, Melbourne-based comic book artists to explore the erotic side of their practice. Free from the presumption that strong sexual content can demean the work, each artist can create their own unique take on erotica in contemporary graphic art.
Whether the result be playful, profound or disturbing, by doing so the artist has at once tapped into a rich vein of personal material and contributed to a broader discussion on sexuality, a more crucial facet than ever of the current zeitgeist."
By taking such artists as M P Fikaris, Katie Parrish, Michael Hawkins and the rest of the comic luminaries in Fleshtonez, and letting them run unfettered though their erotically charged imaginations curator Michael Hawkins may have just created a … okay, okay, I’ll avoid the bad puns, really grand show show – we’re really looking forward to seeing what work is up on the walls on the night!
I really made an effort to not mention my hopes for at least some suggestion of tentacle pr0n in this writeup. Ah. Shit.
Who: Michael P Fikaris, Simon Hanselmann, Emily Hasselhoof, Michael Hawkins, HTML Flowers, Jnr Blue, Katie Parrish, Lee Lai, Elliot Lamb, David Mahler, Marc Pearson, Josephine Waite What: Fleshtonez group show Where: Paradise Hills, 8 Doonside St, Richmond, Melbourne VIC When: Show opens Friday 31st May from pm til 10pm and runs for two weeks.
A few weeks back, we were invited to Oz Comic-Con in Perth . Having never been to a comic/fantasy/sci-fi convention, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Comics are awesome, so why had I not been to a Oz Comic-Con before? I guess I thought this would be an event for hardcore science fiction fans and people who would make my comic knowledge feel like the small, pathetic, underfed creature it is.
As we neared the Perth Convention Centre we began to encounter Batmans, Pikachus and anime characters. Holly hell, people really dress up? I was SO excited! Upon entry we were greeted with what looked like a full house; stalls, shelves upon shelves of comics and a cast of patrons that were a mishmash of every cool movie, comic book and TV show I’d ever seen. All this and I hadn’t even got to where the Comic-Con special guests were. Macgyver was there, Macgyver!!!
I could prattle on about how great it was and how deep my regret is that I had not attended a Oz Comic-Con before but times is short yo. I gotta get started on my costume for next years Comic-Con.
Who: William Shatner, Jason Momoa, Richard Dean Anderson, Justin Randall, Nicola Scott, Patricia Quinn, J.G Hertzler and many, many more talented people. What: Oz Comic-Con Perth Where:Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Rd, Perth WA 6000 When: Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of March 2013
In just over a week, I’ll be heading off for more distant shores (more on this later!), but, in the meantime, I’ve decided its high time to do something down at the amazing Blender Lane Artists Market . We’ve got a new shipment of stickers through, some tests of the new shirts we’re about to release on Redbubble (again, more on that soon) and a few other cool things as well – we’ll be giving out stickers and selling sticker packs on the night to visitors to the market.
As you know I’m not usually one for self promotion here on Invurt, but I’ll be selling a bunch of my own artwork on the night - I’d love to try to get rid of as many of my drawings as I can to happy buyers before I leave Melbourne. We’ll be joined by a few friends as well, so you never know what might turn up on the table of loot! We’ll be camped out just inside the studio entrance itself down the back of the Blender laneway.
Also on the night, Silent Army will be releasing some new fanzines as a part of their ongoing mission to provide you all with grand art and comic treasures in tidy, zinely format. This latest iteration is another version of Who Is Ha-Ha – one of our favourites. Plus, the Silent Army have an entire zine workshop set up in the back of Blender studios, with a heap of zines and other cool shit, which you should really check out if you haven’t seen it yet!!
Blender Lane artists market is hands down, our favourite mid-week activity in the past few weeks it has been absolutely pumping. With more and more stalls all the time, and a huge variety of cool, creative art and other eclectica on sale, oh, and not to mention all of the live entertainment – well, it’s a grand night out. If you’re interested in having a stall at the market, just email them – email@example.com
Seeya all there!
Who: Melbourne artists, artisans, Craftspeople What: Blender Lane Artists Market Where: Blender Laneway & Studios, 110 Franklin St, Melbourne When: Event starts at 5pm this Wednesday January 23rd – runs til 10pm – Night Market runs every Wednesday night!
Returning to Melbourne for a second time, Mark Bode has been a hell busy man since his last trip down here for his successful solo show at House Of Bricks. Now, he returns with a spin on the Australian culture, for his whimsically cool show “Ned Kelly Maps & Other Outback Stories” …
“In the graffiti pantheon, Mark Bode is one of the living gods.
Son of the iconoclastic New York underground comic book artist Vaughn Bode. A prolific and charismatic artist in the 70’s who universe of characters and stories resonated so strongly with rebellious mentality of the burgeoning hip-hop and graffiti scene that they we’re adopted by the earliest graffiti artists, becoming the first illustrated characters to appear in graffiti. Soon the Bode style of illustration became as ubiquitous to the development of graffiti as wild-style.
As the inheritor to this global movement Mark Bode spent his formative years in the surreal world of comic book, illustration and fantasy artists. Raised in New York with the familiar work of his father speeding past him on the subway and painted on walls throughout the city, Mark also soon became actively involved in the graffiti scene himself and is today one of the worlds most respected graffiti artists.
Mark is a comic book writer and artist, a tattooist and a graffiti artist, he has expanded on his fathers legacy and continues to this day to act as the guardian of the universe, overseeing it’s development with projects throughout the world.
Mark is presenting new body of work focused on the life and crimes of the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly.
During a road trip to Sydney earlier this year and an impromptu stop at Glenrowan, Mark was introduced to the story of Ned Kelly who has since become a regular addition to his universe. In this show Mark is presenting a series of sketches and original works on Australian road maps featuring the Kelly Gang and a Bode interpretation of their universe which in his opinion deserves further development in the global consciousness.
This exhibition is only up for one weekend from the 16th of November until 18th and is being presented at a Backwoods pop up space, on 143 Johnston Street, Collingwood.”
We interviewed Mark last time he was down in February, and we’d heard he was going to be making another trip down this way – we loved his show at HoB and this one we’re sure will be no exception. We’d heard that this was going to be at House Of Bricks or Backwoods, but we just received an email saying that it is now going to be at a special popup space on Johnston st in Collingwood – so head down there to check it all out this Friday – you wont be disappointed.
Who: Mark Bode What: Ned Kelly Maps & Other outback Stories Where: Backwoods Gallery POP UP SPACE – 143 Johnston St, Collingwood When: Friday 16th november from 6pm til 9pm, show runs until 18th November only.
Okay, we are really behind in all of our photo updates, but better late than never as always haha.
The other week we got down to Meggs show at Backwoods, Truth in Myth II. This show followed on from the recent show he did over at White Walls in SF – and it didn’t disappoint.
Personally, my favourite stuff had to be the Phantom works – as a long time fan (thanks dad) I loved seeing his renditions of some of the classic covers from the comic. But, there was so much more there that also caught my eye, I also particularly loved the installation piece at the back of the gallery, as well as the skull-print images. Meggs always produces top quality art, and Truth In Myth II was absolutely no exception.
We were lucky to get down to Blender studios to capture Trails, which is their monthly drawing night featuring some of Melbournes very talented artists, fuelled by caffeine provided by Happymaree and her amazing barrista skills.
The night included drawing games, coffee, great conversations more coffee and a lot of laughs were had by all, by the end of the night there was an amazing table overflowing with creative illustrations.
Being absolute nerds at heard, we admit, two fantasy worlds such as those that Dunn and Kaitlin have created individually, smashing into one another in the guise of a global war between man and beast? Holy shit, yes.
"Humanity is no stranger to the concept of war. Nations have battled each other for centuries. But for generations there has been a secret war raging across all corners of the globe. An epic battle between man and beast.
Kaitlin Beckett and Matthew Dunn present artistic documentation of their chosen sides of this conflict in their joint exhibition,VS.
MATTHEW DUNN: Matthew Dunn is a Brunswick-based artist who works across a range of fields including comics, film, album design, and more. His art is heavily influenced by a lifelong fascination with comic books and exploitation-era cinema, as well as the concept of vigilantism throughout time. He is the artist in residence for UK band Crippled Black Phoenix, and is currently working on a film project with US author Kris Saknussem while continuing to work on new comic projects of his own.
KAITLIN BECKETT: Kaitlin Beckett is a Melbourne-based artist, originally from New Zealand. Working with airbrushed inks, acrylics and pastels, she has created a bestiary of curious creatures of the sea, air, land and subconscious. Her art is influenced by the quirks of the natural world, cryptozoology, mythology, anatomy, sci-fi films, and most of all the idea of a dystopian convergence of biology and machinery. Kaitlin works primarily on canvas and paper, though she has recently begun to create sculpted beasts and automata."
Just check out the preview video for a taste of what is going to be up on the walls – awesome.
Yeah, we so can’t fkn wait for this!!! Such. Epic.Shit.
Who:Matthew Dunn & Kaitlin Beckett What: VS Where:Artboy Gallery, 99 Greville St, Prahran, VIC When: Friday 14th September from 6pm til 8:30pm and runs until 21st September.
Tohm Curtis first came to our attention last year with a cool little first solo show – Ichijoji.
His previous show delved into Japanese culture, and yet this time around he is going back to one of the most basic of eitlements – black!
"Through my years as an artist I have always struggled with the use of colour, and become obsessed with the shade of black. Thus for this exhibition black is the new black, and shall be drawing in the core of my artistic competence at the limits of my ability. The only unifying theme to the works is black, and black goes with everything."
Tohm has a cool illustrative style, and as this show is only on for the one night this Saturday, it’ll be the only night you’ll get to see his latest works!
Who:Tohm Curtis What: The Black Exhibition Where: Topshed, 97b Little Smith St, Collingwood, Melbourne When: Saturday 1st September 1st from 6pm til 9pm – one night only!!
This shit is off the hook, seriously. Have to say, the calibre of show curated by Alex Mitchell from Backwoods Gallery just increases for every show that we see, and playing host to Shohie Otomo will be no exception.
Theres just something brutally honest and “real” in Otomos works, which are drawn and crafted only with ball point pen. Traditional meets manga, with a dash of the surreal, his work is modern, intriguing and just …. oh so *fucking* good.
“Backwoods Gallery, in collaboration with Lesley Kehoe Galleries, is proud to present a visceral and energetic snapshot of modern Japan though the eyes of illustrative genius Shohei Otomo.
Working mostly in ballpoint pen, Shohei Otomo’s insightful depictions of Japan expose both its commercial facade and deepest underground culture. Delivered with an unmistakable level of biting political analysis and technical perfection, Shohei’s work straddles the worlds of art, graphic design, anime and punk.
Son of the legendary Katsuhiro Otomo the prolific author and illustrator who has shaped so much of Japanese culture with titles such as AKIRA, Shohei’s work takes his fathers legacy into the next generation.
We are exceedingly proud to be exhibiting new, unseen and familiar works by Shohei Otomo, all originals insanely rendered in ballpoint pen, limited edition prints by the artists will also be available.
For Shohei Otomo, Backwoods is working with Lesley Kehoe Galleries, Australia’s leading gallery for Japanese contemporary art, located in the Melbourne CBD.”
Teaming up with Lesley Kehoe Galleries (where the show will be at) seems a no brainer for the Backwoods team, and one that we can all be thankful for – this show is going to rock, without a single doubt.
Who: Shohie Otomo What: Fools Paradise solo show Where: Lesley Kehoe Galleries, 101 Collins Street, Ground Floor, VIC When: Show opens Friday 7th September and runs til 28th September
Last Friday night we helped to put on a show with a whole bunch of amazing artists, Paperápe, and we had a hell of a lot of fun! All the works were done on paper, and we wanted to imbue the walls with a little bit of each of us, and impart some of the fun that we have when we’re out painting together.
The art here in Melbourne is grand, but it is nothing without the amazing community of people that support it. We’d like to thank everyone that has come to check it out so far. Great to see so many familiar faces and friends, and a lot of new ones too!
Big thanks also to Doss Blockos and Redbull who kept all of our guests lubricated throughout the evening, their support was hugely appreciated.
Who: Katie Houghton-Ward vs Jack Douglas What: Secret Walls Melbourne Heat #3 Where: Order of Melbourne, Level 2, 401 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria When: Event opens 6:30pm Wednesday 25th July, battle starts at 8:30 sharp!
Paperápe is a group show featuring seven Melbourne artists who, over the past year, have formed a collaborative friendship via their mutual love of art. Heesco, Jack Douglas, Pierre Lloga, Facter, Mysterious Al, Hancock and Conrad Bizjak are now coming together to share their passion for painting walls, drawing and enjoying the vibrancy of Melbourne street art, and life in general.
Often finding themselves escaping the trappings of 9-5 work by hanging out and painting on the weekends, these seven artists now paint together under the somewhat humourous moniker of We Spray Weekends (WSW). From the side streets of the suburbs to the cities laneways, exhibitions and live art events, all the artists within Paperápe are all highly prolific and consistently chasing the artistic dream.
Paperápe will be an exhibition of paper based works showcasing each artists unique style and talent, offering a snapshot of their current directions and a glimpse towards several larger projects planned for the future. With drawings, paintings, collage, prints and other paper based works on display Paperápe is an exciting showcase of current work from a diverse and talented group of friends.
Heesco – From Outpost Project to painting at the Cullen hotel, Oxford Art Factory and across Australia, this Mongolian artist has been making waves throughout the Australian art world in recent years. With his upcoming solo show at one of Melbournes premier urban art galleries, RTIST, in August, Heesco will be displaying several drawings and other pieces both new, and from his archives. Paperápe will be a unique opportunity to get a taste of his work prior to what is sure to be a landmark exhibition for the artist. Check out Heescos website at http://www.heesco.net (Instagram @heesco)
Mysterious Al – Known throughout the world for his iconic characters and playful street art, the international man of Mystery, Al has been painting with the WSW crew since arriving in Melbourne for an extended visit. Paperápe will be Mysterious Als first show here in Melbourne and is a unique chance to get hold of his work prior to his solo show later in the year. Check out Mysterious Als website at http://www.mysteriousal.com (Instagram @mysteriousal
Conrad Bizjak (Rad) – a well known name upon the walls of Melbourne, Rad is also a renouned figure in Melbournes growing live art circle, having competed in War of the Walls and this years Secret Walls. His work within a gallery setting, however, has been much anticipated, and this show will be the first chance for his many fans to get a glimpse of this amazing artists work on paper. Check out Rads website at http://www.conradbizjak.org
Jack Douglas (JD) – with his off kilter cartoon influenced work now taking a new direction with recent forays into tattoo art, Jack Douglas is another artist from the Just Another stable who has been painting up a storm in recent times. As an upcoming Secret walls competitor and avid painter of walls, Jacks work is highly regarded by lovers of his low brow, quirky creations. Check out Jacks website at http:/jdouglasart.blogspot.com (Instagram @jacklesdouglas)
Hancock – hailing from Perth, Hancock only recently moved to Melbourne, but since his arrival he has quickly catapulted into the eyes of an aerosol and illustrative loving public. His recent win in Secret Walls marks Hancock a semi-final contender, and with forthcoming artwork commissions and collaborations with Boywolf, Invurt and many more, Hancocks work is brilliantly executed and curiously macabre. Check out Hancocks website at http://hancockart.tumblr.com (Instagram @hancock_art)
Pierre Lloga (P-Yeah) – illustrator, comic book artist and painter-of-hot-chicks extraordinaire, P-Yeah is renowned for his illustrative skill with brush and ink, as well as his vibrant aerosol work. As a part of the Just Another crew, Pierre is as much at home in a gallery setting as he is on the streets. Check out P-Yeahs website at http://pierredrawsstuff.wordpress.com/
Facter (Fletcher Andersen) – Facter is an artist and writer/editor for the Australian underground art webzine, Invurt.com. His love of technology and its impact on our world is manifest in the unique linework within the creatures he creates. Delving into his most recent sketchbooks, Facter will unleash a new cohort of fantastical creatures at Paperápe. Check out Facters website at http://www.irikanji.com (Instagram @facter)
We’re really excited about this one, and its a bit of a party for us here as well, so come down to the show, say hi, drink some beer and have a look at some of our art!
We also just released a video in the leadup to the show:
Check out some preview images, and download the press pack below …
Who: Heesco, Jack Douglas (JD) Pierre Lloga (P-Yeah), Facter (Fletcher Andersen), Mysterious Al, Chris Hancock and Conrad Bizjak (Rad) What: Paperápe group show Where:Egg Gallery, 66a Johnston St, Collingwood, VIC When: Show opens Friday 20th July from 6pm til 9pm and continues until July 29th
With the behemoth that is Comic-con landing on the shores of Melbourne this weekend, there was no question that we wished to cover the event. One of the most exciting fields of art that is emerging into popular culture these days are comic books; the movie industry is full of comic adaptations, and the iconography, characters and super heroic characters are an everyday part of our cultural experience. Scratch the surface of any one of the artists that we follow here on this ‘zine, and of many that we discover in our constant research, and you’ll most often than not find a love of the illustrative narrative art form. The walls our cities are adorned with the artists borrowed imaginings, and the sea of talent that creates the worlds that they inhabit is constantly surging beyond its shores.
Dark Horse comics forms an essential, ubiquitous part of this creative tsunami. With a huge number of already published series, and a vast number that we are sure will descend upon us in the years to come, their stable crosses all formats, traversing a multiverse of stories both heroic and tragic, horror filled and fantastical. Names such as Star Wars, Hellboy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mass Effect and Conan are day to day lingo within their walls, and it is people such as Scott Allie that not only help create these worlds with his own writing, but also helps to guide their enormous flows of narrative and artistic strands to cohesion.
Growing up in North-Eastern Massachusetts, Scott Allie was fostered on an environment seemingly built for the creation of stories with vast, hidden echoes – his hometown of Ipswitch is the epitome of a coastal New England township. I know this personally, because I spent several years living a stones throw from Ipswitch, in the neighbouring towns of Newburyport and Amesbury, and I can easily put myself in the mindset and cultural, geographical context of a young writer and artist growing up in the area.
“It’s a really good town,” he replied when I told him of my own personal connection to the area. “I was thinking about it a lot this weekend and writing about it - a blog post. When I was really young I started reading a lot of Stephen King, and I didn’t understand that he wasn’t writing about my home town – all of his books felt like that area.”
No, if you’ve seen one coastal New England town you haven’t seen them all, but there is a definite cultural undertone between them all. These are the towns from Kings movies – the green, leafy environs steeped in history and tradition, and though it was from Kings wellspring of influential stories that Allie first drew from, he quickly discovered the workings of a writer who produced incredible tales set in his own back yard.
“It was through King I discovered Lovecraft,” he explained, “ and lo and behold he had written about my area – Newburyport and Ipswitch. That made a big impression on me. I felt a real, visceral connection to Lovecraft and King, and, early on, that definitely guided my interests in a big way.”
As both an artist and a writer of comics, with a particular penchant for horror, the road towards becoming the Senior Managing Editor at Dark Horse Comics was one of hard work, determination and the oft do-it-yourself ethos that leads artists of all genres to success. From an early point, it was his passion for telling stories of the macabre that put him in good stead. As with many comic book artists, it was self publishing his own work that enabled him to garner the attention of the industry and fans at large.
“The first job that I had out of college was writing for a literary magazine,” he reminisced.” It was all very academic. In the meantime, though, I was working on my own comics and that job allowed me to start self publishing and that was heavily skewed towards the horror side of things.”
The much maligned clichéd ethos of “write what you know” was not only a formulate part of his early days of self publishing, but also continues to play a big part in the work he does to this day, the solid foundations of independence and personal history writing their own narrative within his journey.
“Back then, I did an anthology called Six Miles, all written by me, partly drawn by me and other local artists,” he remarked. “At that point, I was working out a lot of my Ipswitch demons, a lot of my stories were set there, particularly early on – that kind of continues to this day.”
One would think, that like most companies, that Dark Horse would run like a clockwork factory, with all the formal trappings of business and the corporate fiefdoms that it entails, but the world of comics relies upon a versatility, and from the small glimpses in the conversation, Dark Horse sounds anything but your typical publishing house – I mean, how could it? Without the flexibility to pursue different avenues between the many creative avenues before them the strength of their output wouldn’t be as evident as it is. Creative people require a different way of being managed, and although Dark Horse is as serious a publishing house as they come, Allie believes that without the flexibility and often randomness that the job of editing the many storylines that encompass their range entails, that the work, and the material that Dark Horse publishes, wouldn’t hold such an exciting edge.
“I have way too many formal office meetings set up,” he admitted, somewhat forlornly, “but its really chaotic in a way that I like. From day to day I’m doing very different asks. One of the constants for me is the Hellboy stuff, I’ve been working on that for all eighteen years I’ve been at Dark Horse, and working really closely with Mike Mignola and talking to him on the phone every day. Besides that, which has evolved a lot, it’s still the consentient part of my job.
Everything changes a lot, from day to day and year to year, and it keeps the job really interesting.”
Allies editorial style is one that should be a template for all editors across the land of graphical storytelling. Tempered by decades of experience with collaborative works, his gentle coaxing of the various projects to bring excellence to the fore is an admirable guideline for would be editors. His wish to allow the creative individuals he works with to flourish under their own imaginative sojourns is a respectful lesson in artistic management.
“The editor shouldn’t be too influential on the story or the package,” he explains, when asked on his editing techniques. “ You want to bring the best out of the people but you don’t want everyone to do it your way. With comics, the fun thing is that is such a collaborative industry and art form, and the fresh thing about that, is that everyone you work with inspires you to work differently. So if Mike Minola is doing a project with John Arcudi over here, and Chris Golden and Ben Stenbeck overt here, well you get a really different Mike Mignola project. You don’t try to make it all fit the same boiler plate, you let the individuality come out in the project, and as an editor I have to do that, and bring all of that out rather than repress it.”
These days, you seemingly can’t enter a movie cinema without seeing an adaptation of one form or another, and visa versa. Movie adaptations of series, series adaptations of movies and books, the growing popular interest in comic book stories is a double edged sword. With many of them now licensed and playing on the big screen, one would assume that this would have a major impact on the work going on with Dark Horse, however, the oxymoron here is that not all of this popularity has necessarily fed back into the industry. It was my, somewhat presumptuous assumption, that the celebrity aspect of this had helped to reinforce and bring in new readers, and to some degree it has, yet possibly not as much as I had thought.
“You know … comics aren’t exactly selling better than they were 20 years ago when Hollywood didn’t care about us,” Allie humbly corrected, as he explained the positioning of “celebrity” within the industry. “There are certain things you have to deal with, that you have to deal with in terms of the celebrity element. I’m lucky enough that most of the real celebrities that I deal with are pretty decent guys, so the celebrity thing doesn’t affect things. It can certainly impact sales, for example, when Joss Whedon is writing a comic it will impact sales – but it’s just like working with Mike or Kurt Busiek – in a good way. The good ones act like people, and the bad ones don’t – you try and stay away from that.”
Of course, amongst the cornucopia of work that Allie has done, one of the largest audiences outside of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Hellboy is held by the multifaceted, deeply rich realm of Star Wars – an entity that is “celebrity” unto itself. With several movies, and a massive, sprawling Extended Universe, and legions of fans, I wondered at Allies approach to working within a realm containing so many different strands of continuity – and his approach, as with the response to many of the questions I asked, was pragmatic; something that I noticed infused much of his outwards philosophy.
“I think you just carve out a little corner and you hang out there,” he explained as my mind attempted to grasp the entirety of the continuity strands within the Star Wars. “ When I did the Darth Vader series, I don’t think that all six movies , were even out. So there were several movies, and then endless expanded universe stuff – and I just didn’t dip too much into it. I knew what the movies were about and the timelines and all that, but I didn’t get too lost in it. So my involvement with it all has been pretty limited, i couldn’t imagine how people John Jackson who has done so much with it, can deal with the continuity – I’d definitely get overwhelmed, I’m not great with continuity and trivia, so you know, I’d blow it!”
It was around that point in the conversation that I realised that Allie was not only a pragmatist, but that he was a realist – and a humble one at that, and my preconceived notions of a firm handed individual with and otherworldly omniscience in terms of universe continuity were bypassed and transformed into something a lot more tangible. His, is a creative mind that just doesn’t hold to boundaries – he incorporates them, and is highly aware of them, and yet he never allows them to stymie his and others imaginations.
Although there are many varied approaches to both writing and editing comics, Allies style certainly seems to have worked, and continues to be liberally applied in grand swaths to the Dark Horse multiverse. I can’t count or find figures on exactly how many various different series Dark Horse publishes, but it certainly has to be in the hundreds – and getting a glimpse into the work that is to come is, well, pretty damn cool.
“The Buffy series is ongoing – all the titles were doing now were working on four books simultaneously between Buffy, Angel and Faith, and the upcoming willow and spike series, he tells me. “The correspondence between the four series is a unique new challenge for me, and I’ve never done anything like this before. Its kinda exciting and its fun, and its kinda hard!”
“The Minola stuff is also getting a bigger grander scale than before,” he continues, “and I’m writing more of it than before. We’re bringing in one amazing artists after another – we’re hitting it out of really the park in terms of talent with it.”
Of course, being the advocate and lover of horror as he is, it’s no surprise that this will also feature heavily in near future Dark Horse releases schedule.
“The other big thing that I’m extremely excited and focused on right now,” he enthused, “is that at the end of the year were doing a big push for a horror line, which like most things on at Dark Horse kinda happened organically. I basically looked at the schedule and thought ‘Jesus Christ we have a lot of horror stuff at the end of the year, so lets do a big horror campaign!’ – so we’ve got all these books lined up and we’re going to do a really coordinated, well thought out push for them – if there’s a horror market within the comics market, I think we’re going to own it in the fourth quarter this year.”
When Allie talks of markets, he refers, of course, to the Dark Horse fan base – yet the fan market is a highly different beast than other commercial markets. Shifting as it does with taste and popularism mixed in with the hard core, lifelong lovers of their lines, interacting with this fan base is an important part of the Dark Horse business, and an important part of Allies over all strategy. This relationship with their fans is also at the core of Dark Horses success – they are no aloof publishing entity and their hands on approach is widely known. Events across the world such as Comic-con allow them to directly interact with their core market, and the feedback that they garner, from Allies perspective, is an essential part of the companys outlook.
“For me the biggest part about going to shows it to learn about audiences in different places,” he tells me, as we’re wrapping up the interview. “I have to go to San Diego every year and see the same crew every year, and I think I know what that audience is about, I enjoy New York Comic-con and there’s a good show in Seattle, but when you travel to different places you get to know different audiences. I know that there is a big comic audience in Australia, and a big Buffy audience. So I’m excited about meeting some people and seeing what their take on Season 9 is, and how they experience Dark Horse. One of the interesting things about Dark Horse is that it’s very different to other comic companies in a lot of ways. In one way, people see us as the home of creator owned books like Sin City and Hellboy, others see us as a home for licensed stuff like Buffy and Star Wars – but manga is also a big part of what we do, as well as horror.”
For Allie, who has been in the industry for so long, and who has created, edited, and worked so diligently to share both his own, and other artists worlds with us, Melbourne Comic-con is another link in the chain towards strengthening the relationship that he, and Dark Horse, have with their fans.
“Its educational for me to see how people perceives us,” he humbly enthuses, “and how they perceive our books – mostly I just get to experience that in the States.
That’s what I’m most excited about, really, just seeing what this audience thinks Dark Horse is, and what they like – or don’t like – about us.”
When we first heard word that Comic-con was coming down under last year, we were pretty damned excited. After that, we sat her in Melbourne and had to live vicariously off the photos and run downs of the inaugural event over in Adelaide – but now, finally, its Melbournes turn.
If you haven’t heard of Comic-con, in whichever incarnation it takes, and you’re reading this website, then there is something seriously strange going on. Comic-con is now a world wide phenomenon, garnering legions of fan of comics, movies, animation and all things super, horror, scifi and fantastical. That this event is now running down here in Oz is a big thing – proving that our fandom is just as mighty as any other countries!
Patrick Stewart. Stan Lee. Artists. Writers. Editors and everything else in between – read on for the press release, and check it all out …
“After the success of their inaugural Oz Comic-Con event in Adelaide last March, DCA Enterprises heads to Melbourne to present the second round of Oz Comic-Con on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July, 2012.
Over two days, the Oz Comic-Con event will feature international and local film and TV stars; with legendary actor SirPatrick Stewart (Charles Xavier in The X-Men Series, Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation) and comic icon Stan Lee (original creator of Spiderman and other comic icons such as The Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Thor) heading the stellar line up.
In the spirit of Comic-Con events worldwide – Oz Comic-Con will be a pop culture expo like no other in Australia. Melbourne fans will be among the first to experience the event in Australia, with Oz Comic-Con expanding further into Australia throughout 2013 and 2014.
Sir Patrick Stewart and Stan Lee will be joined by other international and local comic, film and TV guests; including Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Stargate: Atlantis), Julie Benz(Dexter), Mitch Peleggi (The X-Files, Sons of Anarchy), Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity),Armin Shimerman (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and in an exciting new twist – two stars from The Hunger Games movie; Willow Shields (‘Primrose Everdeen’) and Dayo Okeniyi (‘Thresh’) among others.
In an Australian first, aspiring comic creators will be able to submit their work for professional review, with Scott Allie (Dark Horse Comics, Senior Managing Editor) in attendance at Oz Comic-Con Melbourne and scouting for new talent.
There will also be comic book and anime artists, gaming demonstrations and cosplay competitions (a unique type of performance art in which participants don costumes to reflect cultural ideas and concepts, often from Japanese popular fiction).
“After the overwhelming success of Adelaide – we cannot wait to see what Melbourne has in store for us…,” said Carissa Avenhouse, of event organisers DCA Enterprises. “Oz Comic-Con is the perfect place for fans to share their love of pop culture, get up close and personal with celebrities, enter contests with fantastic prizes or gain tips on how to break into the industry.”
Oz Comic-Con is brought to Melbourne by DCA Enterprises (http://www.thehubproductions.com/), a Sydney-based company who specialise in popular culture events, bringing some of the world’s most loved stars to Australian shores. Recent DCA Enterprises events include Twilight 2008, 2009 and 2010 (featuring Taylor Lautner, Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed), Star Trek 2010 (featuring William Shatner and Scott Bakula), Gleek-On 2010 (featuring Kevin McHale) and Stargate 2010 (featuring Richard Dean Anderson and Chris Judge).”
What more could you possibly want, really? After heading to Supernova a few months back, and having an absolute blast, we’re really looking forward to getting down to Comic-con – no longer do we need to spend thousands to get over to San Diego or New York – its right here in our own backyard.
Lachlan Curtin-Corr got down to Prahran last Friday night for a great show down at Artboy Gallery! Lots of fun and action as a whole load of talented artists gave their spin on the age old struggle between good and evil!
Artboy Gallery has been running the Artboy vs Fanboy series of group shows for some time now, and we absolutely love it. From Scifi to Fairytales, and it was only a matter of time before the whole good vs evil theme came up!
"…. and now Ladies and Gentlemen, we come to the MAIN EVENT of this evening’s programme. The following ‘No Holds Barred’ contest is scheduled for one fall and is for the Heavyweight Championship of the World …
Making their way to the gallery in the red, white & blue colours of Truth, Justice and all that stuff are the current World Champions: Batman, Judge Dredd, Roger Rabbit, Buffy Summers, Stimpy, The Lolly Pop Guild, Walter White, Smurfette, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battle Cat, Obi Wan Kenobi and so many more…Ladies and Gentlemen…TEAM: GOODIES!
And their opponents hailing from deep space, alternate worlds or just barring an almighty grudge, wearing colours of deception, evil and naughtiness…The Joker, Darth Vader, Loki, Trapjaw, Buffalo Bill, Jabba the Hutt, Elma Fudd, Marvin the Martian, Dr Evil and a legion more….the challengers… TEAM: BADDIES!
ArtBoy Gallery presents the ultimate good vs evil fan art exhibition with FanBoy vs ArtBoy: Goodies and Baddies. In true fanboy style, over 30 artists have risen to our latest challenge and created artworks based around the greatest battle of all: GOOD vs EVIL.
Drawing inspiration from movies, tv, cartoons and comic books, this exhibition promises to be the ultimate smackdown showdown!"
Rad and mad, Friday night will be a good night to be in Prahran this week!
Who: Over 30 artists from across Australia What: Fanboy vs Artboy – Goodies vs Baddies Where:ArtBoy Gallery, 99 Greville St, Prahran, VIC When: Show opens Friday 15th June from 6pm til 8pm.
Invurt webzine provides information on AustralAsian street, urban, illustrative, graffiti and other genre defying, nu-contemporary art to readers around the world. It specialises in events and artists who are working, displaying and visiting Australasia – particularly with a focus on exhibitions, live art and other events the artists are partaking in.