This book is available now from SAN KESSTO PUBLICATIONS
Media Reviews and whatnot
Kieran Finnane writes on What I’m Reading for the Meanjin blog
ComicOz Award for Best Australian Original Comic Book for 2013
Jonathon Shaw’s review
David Nixon’s post on ABC Open
Charlie Ward’s blog review
Australian Newspaper Review Magazine
Readings Bookstore – review
Review from the Alice Springs News
Framed Magazine interview
Alice Online article
Podcast from the Comic Spot – interview with Josh Santospirito
As for the story – here’s a rough synopsis
The Long Weekend is a graphic novel that has been adapted from an essay that explores the idea of the Cultural Complex; one of Carl Jung’s early ideas about group behaviour that was left largely unexplored until very recently in the academic world. Craig San Roque, the author the original essay, acts as narrator and protagonist in the graphic novel. He takes the reader throughout a long series of poetic thoughts, places and over the course of three days in the surreal and troubled central Australian desert town of Alice Springs. A town which provides a stark setting within which he grapples with the meanings of his analysis of his own culture and the pain which it intentionally and unintentionally inflicts upon other cultures.
Moving, challenging and dangerous, the Long Weekend is a haunting comic, both shockingly funny and supremely uncomfortable to read. It will stay with you long after you put it down upon your bedside table and turn off the lamp and settle into a restless sleep.
Joshua Santospirito read the essay A Long Weekend in Alice Springs whilst living and working as a psychiatric nurse in Central Australian Aboriginal communities. It was written by Craig San Roque and was contained in a collection of essays in The Cultural Complex, edited by Tom Singer published in 2004 by Routledge. At the time of reading, Josh found it very useful for reframing all of the seeming chaos around him. In 2007, as a form of cathartic meditation on the world, Josh began to draw parts of the essay into comic form which slowly became a much larger task and a labour of love.
As a companion to the comic-adaption of his essay, San Roque has responded by producing a new piece of writing to be included in this book titled A Book of Sand which further expands the poem that is central to the Long Weekend, and all of Craig’s writings.
Below is an artwork called Dog that was made by Josh and Craig along with Dan Murphy – a fantastic artist from Alice Springs. It was included in the exhibition Watching This Place, which was put on at Araluen by the Watch This Space artist run initiative in December 2010 / January 2011 in the height of Summer.