Friday, October 26, 2007

The Brigadier Frase

Drenched up from the archival files of that collection of rogues, scoundrels, egomaniacs and raconteurs from The Home for Wayward Children, est. 1907. Courtesy of The Baron Jones XIVth

Monday, October 22, 2007


Last night at about 2am I was awoken by Ainslie making retching noises from the bathroom.
When I got up and asked what was wrong she said she thought she swallowed a bug in her sleep.
Then she pointed to a spider that was on the wall near the toilet.
Ainslie has a pretty big fear of spiders so she was freaking out that she might have swallowed one.
Growing up in the bushy 'burbs of Sydney I've had plenty of VERY close encounters with our 8 legged friends. In the summer we'd have to walk around the pool to make sure there weren't any funnel webs (the worlds most deadliest spider- in case you didn't know) hanging on the bottom. It was common practise to bang your shoes well before putting them on if they were left outside.
I've had to deal with a very large and upset spider (I think it was a mouse spider) on the inside of the windscreen. While driving. Through the CBD of Sydney.
I've woken up with a Huntsman Spider-a pretty peaceful but LARGE and HAIRY spider- on my bare chest.
So while I'm not particularly COMFORTABLE with spiders I'm not unreasonable dealing with them. The big & dangerous ones I don't like around- but I try and relocate them rather then squash them.
But anyways... getting back to last night- that was the third spider of that kind we've found in our house in the last 2 weeks . I wasn't sure what kind it was. Small & black. Quite fast but not aggressive. So I caught it in a jar and released it outside then spent about half an hour trying to convince Ains that it wasn't a spider she swallowed.
Anyways, I just did a web search and found out they were WHITE-TAILS.
There's a lot of stories and urban myths about these guys and I don't think I've ever really seen one before. And now it looks like we have a few. Or it's the same one who keeps on coming back in.
Like I said before- I don't belief in killing spiders- but these guys can be pretty nasty. Symptoms range from no reaction at all large scale necrotic lesions (if you happen to be allergic to them).
Not sure what to do about it- but I will keep you INFORMED!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I went to the Nerdegeddon Pop Culture convention last weekend here in Melbourne. It was OK. I don't really want to talk about the con itself, but rather about the swag I got.
I should remind people that I'm not really buying comics anymore. Instead I like to borrow them from the library or from other peoples collections. I'm rarely moved enough by them anymore to part with my cash (I'm so Scottish in my old age!). Except for the odd local produce!
So this is what I got:

CHARACTER SKETCHES- Gestalt Publishing.
At a hefty $16, it is quite a lavishly printed and designed book. However like just about every anthology every created the contents are hit and miss. Lovely cover by Ashley Wood.... I mean Ben Templesmith... err.. I mean Justin Randall. The highlight story I've gotto say is by Christian Read and Chris-Bret-Burns-Bones which tells of Christians experience in a children's burns ward.

WITCH KING- Autobiography of a Dark Lord- Phosphorescent Comics.
I've been wanting to get this graphic novel for awhile but I've been out of the country since it was published. Written by Christian Read and art by Paul Abtruse- both these guys are friends with whom I rallied with in the Australian comic trenches way back when. Christian offered me The Witch King as an option to illustrate back in it's -and Phosphorescent's- infancy (for those keeping score I chose The Watch instead). I think I was Paul's very first publisher as I printed a pin up of Dollboy back in issue 3. (Paul came across the original art recently and gave it too me on the weekend).
Anyways this book took years in production before it finally saw the light of printed day and I actually really enjoyed it! I was surprised at how much I did enjoy it! Although Pauls art made it quite hard to follow the story in some places I was captivated by Christians story. I was reading it way past bedtime! My big secret is that I sometimes enjoy fantasy fiction- so Christians world building and retelling of the rise of the bad-guy was a kick! The ending came as a tad anti-climatic and while a sequel is possible, I guess that part of the story isn't the important bit. It's the HOWs and WHY's that was the focus.

KNIGHT EDGE # 4- Gary Lau
Even though this is only issue 4, Knight Edge has been a mainstay in Australian comics. It's about Ninja'a and romance etc. A very nice hybrid of Manga and western style comics- which fits Gary very well! I think the more titles Gary does the better the book will get. Very nice production values and a nifty shiny cover. PLUS a selection of pin-ups in the back the best of which is by Dean Rankine which MUST be seen to be believed!

Got a bunch of Holgate's books as well.

I really dig Mark Selans SureShot Presents series that aims to publish some of Australia's best cartoonists in little A5 mini's! Although I don't mind the lo-fi-ness of the publication I can't help but feel that colour covers would help the success tenfold. This flip-book features 2 of Holgates own stories that he's done in past 24 Hour contests and shows just why he's as good as everyone says he is. Both are very character driven stories and are very charming in the artwork. I've yelled at HOLGATE many times in the past for not rubbing out his pencil lines- but in Checkmate Wordswoth he's practically SLAPPED me in the face with his lovely artwork SANS-inks! Looking forward to MORE Wordsworth- a true international adventure hero!

I was beginning to really enjoy this title until the story kinda lost it steam a little bit around issue 3. Was really looking forward to this issue as it was exciting to see one of my best mates guest drawing one of the more exciting titles around. What SHOULD'VE been a mind bending comic that SHOULD'VE rocked the industry to it's knee's ended up being very low key. Don't really know what happened there and it's a real shame because Doug's art here is at it's BEST! Pity the story let him down as it was quite cliched and forgettable. How come people are dropping the ball when it comes to exciting Mexican wrestling stories?! ACE cover! Did I mention that?

This is the first in a bunch of books focusing on "Amazing Australian" things. Written by Kevin Patrick and illustrated and designed by Holgie. This turned out very nice and the guys should be well pleased! A great present for any youngsters! Kevin's enthusiastic personality infects this book with his zest of cool and exciting facts and information. Lots of dinosaur drawings that hark back to our formal training as Plant and Wildlife illustrators. Good to see that Doug hasn't forgotten any of the old tricks!

And thats all I got.

Just between you and me (and don't tell anyone else) it's got me very keen to get back to doing my own comics again. I've got a few things in the works and my current paid work is a comic so WHO KNOWS what'll happen at the next Nerdcon?!