My secret tracing shame

What with all the recent controversy in Australian comics, I felt the need to come clean about something. You see, I too have been using the illegal drawing technique of tracing to create “original” artwork.

People may not realise it, since the final product doesn’t tend to look exactly like a photograph, but nearly every drawing of Zombolette has actually been traced from a photo of Kylie Minogue. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve included an example of my process below.

tracing

Man, it feels really good to finally get that off my chest.

Sweet review from Decapitated Dan

Yesterday I was chuffed to receive a kind and thoughtful review for Zombolette from Decapitated Dan, which made me reflect a little on my influences. Mr Dan writes,

“Fans of Lenore or Johnny the Homicidal Maniac should just save some time and go buy this book now, because it is right up your alley.”

Read the full review HERE.

…And I hope they will! 😛

The first comics I really really loved, in the order I found them, were Calvin and Hobbes, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, and Lenore. Everyone always spots Lenore and JTHM in my work, and I hope that one day someone recognises the sweetness of Calvin and Hobbes in there too. I wonder if I write this way because those things influence me, or if I like those comics because they hit on things I already wanted to write. Maybe/probably both. Actually, there’s lots of Ren and Stimpy and a whole whack of Black Books in there too – TV is what mainly influences me, and ultimately where I hope to wind up.

A long time ago I felt self-conscious about my influences being recognisable, but then I changed my mind about that. Jim Jarmusch probably relaxed the butt-holes of many young creatives when he said, “Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent”.

P.S., Getting reviews is my all-time favourite thing. If you are a person who wants to review one of my books for your website/blog, let me know and I’ll arrange a copy for you!

Beardy and the Geek interview

Emmet O’Cuana from Beardy and the Geek interviewed me about my new comic Jesus Reloadeth’d, and our campaign for the Caravan of Comics.

Listen to the podcast here. ❤

I always feel slightly awkward talking about the Jesus comic, like I should apologise for it or try to justify it and explain it. But man, it’s just silly fun funs, people will either hate it or not and there’s no winning people over.

Some people at Supanova got offended just looking at the cover. Others told me they were Christian, but they had a sense of humour about it and we had a nice chat. I like that everyone’s generally ok with excessive Jesus violence and killing, but the tender sex scene between two men is ‘too far’.

Supanova

Absolutely wrecked after a huge weekend of Supanova (and a very croaky and tired gig with my band at the Toff). I got quite a few of my comics into new hands, and had some return customers from last year, which was extra great. The new Zombolette Floppy was ready in time and it went down pretty well.

I didn’t have heaps of time to see talks or guests, but I had a browse around the stalls and met some very inspiring artists.

Preparing for the event was pretty hectic and stressful, and I was thinking I wouldn’t be up for another convention this year, but now it’s all done and dusted I want more…

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^^ My lovely and talented table-mates, Ive Sorocuk and Alex E Clark.

Two stories complete

Two Zombolette stories are now totally done! I have plans for a few mini one-page gags to squish between them, then I have to paint the cover, then I’ll have another floppy out! I’ve made a page about it at my amazing new website, too: http://bathwaterbooks.com.au/?project=zombolettes-floppy-issue-1 I’m pretty much a professional web developer now. Only, I’m one who just uses pre-programmed themes and doesn’t know how to do anything. I’ve done SO MUCH editing of the inked pages in the most recent story… lots of cutting and pasting, rearranging, trying to get it just right. I want to go back and re-ink some of the panels from the other story I finished (the yoga one), but my inking has come such a long way since then I think it would really stand out! For the page below, I wanted Zombolette’s world to be more clean and crisp to reflect the plot. I normally draw very scraggly environments, but this was fun. Image

Inking Zombolette

Progress snaps as I ink a page of the latest species-bending Zombolette episode:
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I have loved inking every second of this, even though I had to re-work several entire pages just to get it to a place I’m happy with story-wise. As I’ve mentioned before, this one is darker and less jokey than a lot of other Z’lette stories. It’s also closer to what I personally enjoy most in a cartoon. Since I was little, I’ve enjoyed cartoons that are somewhat unsettling, nightmarish, and highly emotive; I hope I’ve managed to capture some of those qualities in this new story.