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Fluid Prejudice – history anthology

15 Mar

Josh has a piece in this amazing anthology -
Fluid Prejudice is a collection of comics and drawings focusing on underrepresented, marginalised and alternative visions of Australian history.

50 artists, 175 pages
edited by the wonderful Sam Wallman

You can buy it at Sam’s website – PENERASEPAPER

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Pic from the cover of Fluid Prejudice by Hobart’s shockingly good artist Tom O’Hern

The Waldheimerin at the DWF

21 Feb

Look!! This lost little comic of mine has found a home on the digisphere … indeed it’s on a map! Which is nice, because it, unto itself, maps out a route taken by a large female across the island of Tassie and onto the mainland. This piece is part of the ongoing Sleuth series … there will also be a new exhibition of Sleuth in Launceston in April – opening at Sawtooth ARI on April 4th. WOOHOO!!! In fact – the Waldheimerin will be at the exhibition.

To read the entire piece at the Digital Writers’ Festival website – go to http://digitalwritersfestival.com/mapping-the-words/the-waldheimerin/

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Blair McFarlane

23 Jan

Blair lives and works in Alice Springs – a local colour. He has worked for CAYLUS for a very long time and has been doing cartoons for a very very long timee. In May 2013, when I held the launch for The Long Weekend in Alice Springs – he came up to me with his sketchbook and showed me some responses to my work – the first one had me in hysterics … mainly because he nailed the experience of working out there so damn well … not certain who is going to get some of these cartoons … don’t care. The last one is about the local Alice Springs dreaming.

Blairius 01

Blairius 02

Blairius 03

Blairius 04

Happy Meat

21 Dec

Some fantastic news at Sankessto Publications.
We have been bequeathed a Tasmanian TREASURE. The remaining copies of Six_a’s drawing anthologies – HAPPY MEAT 1 & 2.
Six_a was a very exciting artist run initiative in Hobart, Tasmania with a very active board, headed mostly by Tricky Walsh.

These anthologies will be used for the power of good – any profits made from them will go towards offsetting any losses in the DOWN THERE Tascomix series.

Happy Meat 1 – drawing anthology, was released in 2009 featuring works by: Lee Anantawat, Taylor Baldwin, Cameron Bishop, Beatrix Bae Bouwman, Stewart Cole, Cougar Flashy, Andrew Harper, Alicia King, Lisa Iglesias, Emma Jane Gilmour, Michael Fikaris, Bjorn Hegardt, Kirsty Madden, Mish Meijers, Tom O’Hern, Mark Rodda, Amanda Shone Tai Snaith, Pip Stafford, Tristan Stowards, Katrin Stroebel, and Tricky Walsh.
HM 1 cover

And Happy Meat 2 was released in 2011, immediately before Six_a folded. It featured works by: Aknarintr Kupoomchaisakul, Antoantialdo, Chris Magnusson, Cougar Flashy, Tai Snaith, Dadalin Nimsomboon, Tom Egg, Lee Anantawat, Lisa Iglesias, Julie Monro-Allison, Tim Kerr, Magic Sweater, Michael Fikaris, Mario Scorzelli, Peter Kozak, Michael Hawkins, Mish Meijers, Rena Littleson, Rob O’Connor, Sam Wallman, Simon Hanselmann, Soft Science, Suthipa Kamyam, Tia Factor, Tom O’Hern and Tricky Walsh.

HM 2 cover

Heads

ARAS website

18 Dec

The ARAS website is now featuring The Long Weekend in Alice Springs!

The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human history. The collection probes the universality of archetypal themes and provides a testament to the deep and abiding connections that unite the disparate factions of the human family.

The ARAS archive contains about 17,000 photographic images, each cross-indexed, individually mounted, and accompanied by scholarly commentary. The commentary includes a description of the image with a cultural history that serves to place it in its unique historical and geographical setting. Often it also includes an archetypal commentary that brings the image into focus for its modern psychological and symbolic meaning, as well as a bibliography for related reading and a glossary of technical terms.

You can buy The Long Weekend in Alice Springs at the SanKessto Publications website

The Long Weekend in Alice Springs

This is Craig San Roque’s intro to the graphic novel on the website“From my perspective as a depth psychologist, I see that those who have a connection with story are in better shape and have a better prognosis than those to whom story must be introduced – to have ‘story awareness’ is per se psychologically therapeutic. It is good for soul. Coming early with life it is already a perspective to life. One integrates life as story because one has stories in the back of the mind”
-James Hillman, A Note on Story in Loose Ends.

And what if one lives in a place that has stories already there in the backyards of the town. What if one lives in a town that sits in the midst of stories and at a location that is a site of ancient and sacred stories humming away in the back of the mind. What if the minds, hearts and bodies of the people who dwell there are overshadowed by the mountain, the rocks, the rivers, the trees that are embodiments of the stories, images, myths of the peoples who have lived there for millennia and live there still – under the influence of mythic actions, symbolic trees, rocks, mountains, even if those mythic actions, those scenes, have been shoved to the back of the mind.

Alice Springs, the town where I live, is one such place. It is a border town in arid desert regions in the center of Australia. It is 1,7000 km (1,000 miles) from the nearest cities. It was established maybe 130 years ago as an outpost of the British colonization of the Australian continent. It is built right smack on top of indigenous tribal lands of the Arrerente peoples. Alice Springs, as it is known in English, is also known as Mparntwe or Mbantua in the Arrernte Aboriginal tongue.

Like many other border towns in the Americas, Africa, and Asia where indigenous people meet the incoming rampage of another and different civilization, the original landforms of Mbantua (Alice Springs, Australia) embody the traditional mythological stories of the people. The mountain range surrounding the town embodies a mythic creation story. The rocks and trees and river in Arrernte myth are living presences exerting mental influence. Mythic creatures and stories animate the landscape. You walk out your front door and you can see the story of the Dog embedded in the mountain range; walk out your back door and you can see the trees that represent mythic women dancing in ceremony. The townsfolk live in ancient time and in real time in a most interesting, continuous and yet ordinary way. It is this notion of depicting intersecting realities that The Long Weekend in Alice Spring attempts.

-Craig San Roque

Hoppers – launched in Hobart

12 Dec

So – issue#2 of the SanKessto’s DOWN THERE series of Tascomix is now available!
Tricky Walsh’s beautiful comic – Hoppers 1: the ‘manias

Pic 1 – Andrew Harper book-launching
Pic 2 – Tricky Walsh book-pointing
Andrew Harper yackingImage of Tricky with books

Kieran Finnane – 2013 Lofty Award Winner

9 Dec

I’m super pleased that Kieran has been awarded the 2013 Lofty Award in Alice Springs at Watch This Space artist run initiative. She has been an important arts writer in Central Australia, giving the whole scene such a considered and careful focus. Below is the article she wrote about The Long Weekend in Alice Springs in May of 2013 – the original can be read here. You can see here an example of her poetic criticism which is constructive and positive in a manner which is rare in arts writing.

Haunting excursion into Alice’s psyche

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Review by KIERAN FINNANE

The cover of The Long Weekend in Alice Springs suggests that the story between its covers will be road trip. And it is one, of sorts. You won’t find these roads on any map but they will lead you into the byways of this desert place, reaching back through history into stories of origin, reaching out through darkness, real and metaphoric, into stories of now.

The starting points are several, all at once. There’s the meeting of Joshua Santospirito and Craig San Roque, a young man and an older man, one a psychiatric nurse with a drawing gift, the other a psychologist with a lyric gift. There’s a campfire and in its flickering light, a woman in mourning. Her husband has died but her grief goes deeper than this. There’s a book of quite a different order, Jungian explorations of the contemporary world, and a request for San Roque to make a contribution.

So, setting out from the meeting of the two men, for the sake of simplicity in this text, with its limited means of typed words on a screen, destined for a journalism site. These are limits that The Long Weekend is marvellously liberated from, due to its form as a ‘graphic novel’ or ‘comic’ (words that don’t quite rightly describe it); due to Santospirito’s artistry; due to the soaring and delving of San Roque’s mind and pen. 

Santospirito, frustrated and raw from his experience of working in remote mental health, met San Roque, seasoned by long years of the same, but also resilient from a deep nourishment – as we learn from his essay at the end of the book – by Jungian psychoanalysis, thought and practice. San Roque gave Santospirito some of his writings, including an essay, ‘A Long Weekend in Alice Springs’, his contribution to The Cultural Complex: Contemporary Jungian Perspectives on Psyche and Society, edited by Thomas Singer and Samuel L. Kimbles (Brunner-Routledge, 2004).

There was no sudden illumination that explained everything or showed a way forward but Santospirito found the writings “somehow useful” and began to draw his way into San Roque’s ‘Long Weekend’.

He takes us to the campfire in San Roque’s backyard and in just a few deft black and white images envelopes us in the thickness of this night, the deep well of loss that has brought Manka Maru to this point, by this fire.

He draws ‘Craig’ at his desk, wrestling with the task of writing an Australian perspective for The Cultural Complex, wrestling with the very concept of how a cultural complex operates – easier to detect looking at another culture, harder to detect in your own culture.

Craig’s door opens into the backyard. It’s Friday and Warlpiri family from the bush join Manka Maru. They’ve come in for the footy match; among them, a young man damaged by petrol sniffing, one of many in Craig’s professional care. The visitors interrupt Craig’s concentration but it’s a fruitful interruption: he will find his way into thinking about cultural complexes by describing what happens on this long weekend.

Some of what happens is eventful in a road trip kind of way – like going hunting with the Warlpiri visitors who arrive in increasing number. Some of it is eventful but bleak as Craig, the ‘shrink’, goes about his work, in the court, at the hospital, by the roadside where a man, who believes he is the King of Iraq, is sitting in his car with his three-day dead dog on the back seat. This episode kick starts the deeper journey, a haunting, at times thrilling excursion into our psychological inheritances.

Is the ‘King of Iraq’ a refugee from another time, Craig asks himself. And his mind wanders to the mythical Middle East and the story of Inanna’s grasping, ruthless attempt to bargain with death. (Santospirito’s drawing and mise en scene make the story wonderfully vivid.) The cure for some our ills would be an “assurance of immortality”. It’s part of what Craig knows the King needs. But short of that, what?

Craig remembers his meeting with an old Warlpiri man who told him to mind his own stories. That counsel fell on fertile ground, for Craig / San Roque is deeply in love with story, alive to the unfolding stories around him, to the ancient stories, the ones carried forward in our classical Western culture, the ones from the Aboriginal “dreaming system” (in so far as they have been shared with him). “The human psyche loves processing its own thoughts,” Craig thinks. If we lose the ability to do this, we “fall helplessly out of being.”

This has happened to Teresa to an extreme degree. Craig visits her in the psych ward. She’s trapped in a “cannabis-induced psychosis” but it’s more than the cannabis, more than the petrol that preceded it, and her scarifying life experiences. “Something in the cultural lobe of her brain allows her psychic demise.”

Cultural memory offers resilience in face of the tides of history. Craig picks up a male friend, Amos, to join him on the hunting trip with the Warlpiri women and children. Amos is of middle European and Jewish lineage – a strong bloodline in dispossession. Around the campfire, cooking lizards, Napaltjarri tells the children, black and white, about the travels of Malu (kangaroo) from up North.  Amos and Craig sit to the side – Craig’s still wrestling with his writing task and enlists Amos’ help. They try tracing some travels of their own, the big shifts of people from their lands in Europe. Amos suggests that the Gypsies and the Jews were less vulnerable to the cultural breakdown this caused because they’d “learned to use cultural memory in a special nomadic manner”.

We are introduced to the ancient Arrernte stories of Alice Springs, particularly the wild dog story, inscribed in the local landscape. The dog came through Ntaripe (Heavitree Gap), attacked the incumbent male, ravaged the mother and puppies. The Mount Gillen ridge and much of the land on the western side of the river were formed by the activities of the dog. Alice Springs is built on this mythic event, a dogfight and a rape. “Serious dark men might whisper the details.” This is part of the psychological inheritance of those to whom this cultural memory belongs – as well as those in the “overlap”, as Craig describes it, between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures: “Sites do things to people.”

When memory is encoded in sites and song-cycles, as it is in classical Aboriginal culture, and the links to these are broken, depression and malaise follows. This is affecting (to greater or lesser degrees) all who live in contemporary Alice Springs – not just in the shadow of broken Aboriginal songs, but in the shadow of non-Aboriginal people’s own cultural disconnections as well as the contradictions between the Christian and colonising projects that are the foundation of our nation. If I’ve understood it rightly, cultural complexes get people stuck in this brokenness and this contradictory space.

“We can save ourselves with imagination.” It’s the closest thing to a ‘solution’ that can be put between inverted commas. And the book enlists us at every page into acts of imagination through the alchemy of Santospirito’s and San Roque’s gifts. Some of Santospirito’s drawings are exceptional in their emotional power, and the multi-layering through space and time that the comic book form allows makes for rich story-telling. Combine this with San Roque’s poetics, the depth of his thought, and the heart of both men, and you have a book, a travel guide for our place and time. Read it and you’ll never think about the town’s ‘social problems’ in the same away again. Read it and you’ll never look at Alhekulyele (Mount Gillen, the nose of the ancestral dog) in the same way again.

At present, The Long Weekend in Alice Springs is also an exhibition at Watch This Space in George Crescent. It shows the comic book in the making, the drawings that appear in its pages and more, as Santospirito worked on his adaptation. Until June 7.

Adelaide Launch Sat 30, 3pm

20 Nov

Adelaide – Diarise it!
SAT 30/11/2013, 3pm at the SA Writers Centre in the city.
To be launched by Jennifer Mills who is an awesome novelist who resides in the Clare Valley.
Joshua Santospirito will be at the launch to sign any copies you might like.
The book will be available at Imprints Booksellers afterwards for anyone who can’t make it to the launch and who wants a copy of the book before Christmas – or you can go to the Sankessto website and nab a copy from there.
web 2013 Nov-Oct Book tour

San Kessto’s new production

10 Nov

One thing that I should let ya’ll know about – I am ridiculously exciteable to announce that San Kessto Publications’ next little baby in the DOWN THERE series will be 100 copies of Tricky Walsh’s Hoppers 1: the ‘manias.
Promo page
I started the Down There series in July 2013 with my own issue of Sleuth. The general theme of the series is Tasmania, but the interpretation of that theme is pretty vague and with that I have gone to artists/comic-artists and asked them to each produce a medium to long-form comic for the series, to be released up to 4 times each year in runs of 100. Basically … I just wanted to read more comics from those who lived in the same place as me … Tasmania. Tricky’s issue will be the first of … possibly a few … Which I think is bloody exciting in itself. Future artists in the series will be Tom OHern (flippin hell!!), Lindsay Arnold (OMG – Linzee RNold) & Gary Chaloner (cripes!).

The launch of Hoppers will be at the Hobart Bookshop on Thursday the 12th of December – you can buy a copy from the San Kessto website from today – it’ll be sent out to you after the 10th of December. More info closer to the time!! Stay tuned! Or … as Tricky herself would say – “Woo!”
Front cover - web

There’s Somethin Rotten on the Apple Isle

8 Nov

Here you can read the entire of the 2013 edition of Sleuth’s adventures!!!!
This was the first issue of the Tasmanian Comix series DOWN THERE!
Coming up in December is Tricky Walsh’s issue!!!
Can’t wait to see what she’s done!!!

 

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