Tag Archives: Jung Down Under

Pages 102-105

12 Aug

previous pages 99-101
For the rest of the graphic novel go here

I’m quite fond of these pages … I’m a bit of a dag but I find them funny. I didn’t change much with the text in these sections. The cannibalism section is a little shocking in contrast to the rest of the comic which doesn’t have fantasy sections which are quite so full-on … but I think that’s a nice way to break the comic up a bit and refresh the reader throughout these long cadenzas of wordiness and concepts. I was worried that long periods of lecture-like talking might be a little grating so the jokes and munching were a necessity.

The Long Weekend Pages 96-98

4 Jul

previous pages to read

Next pages in a few weeks – check back here.

So the first page here took me ages … as in, it didn’t take me long to do – I just procrastinated for ages on it … because I was sort of dreading the work that it would require in terms of research. It turned out quite nice I reckon. The themes are starting to get a little Chatwin-ish here with the Songlines criss-crossing the planet.

From September to December I’ll be starting a campaign to see if I can get this project funded for printing. I have asked the wonderful Nadine Kessler to assist by doing the book design. Pay attention to this FACEBOOK page for update … or if you’re not a facebooker then come back to this website during that time and you can find links to the campaign here – you’ll be able to make a pre-order on the book then!

Pages 92-95

28 May

Previous pages – 89-91
This is the last chapter of the Long Weekend, a graphic rendering of an essay of a friend of mine.

Next pages here.

Join this facebook group.

The third page here is from a great film that my wife did whilst she was working for the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) in Alice Springs. She was on a trip with Sonia, who also worked there and three ladies who were from out East of the Plenty Highway (google-map it) towards the Queensland border … I think they went somewhere out past Bonya or something, not sure. But in the video they went lizard hunting. From the car Nadine filmed the ladies when they told them to stop the car, one of them had an iconically large bottom and watching the video I immediately thought of how great it might look as a comic when she bent down to pick up a stick and whacked the side of a tree, and magically this large Perentie lizard just flops off the tree … and fahnee!!!

The Tingari lines I used in this last page here flow onto the next few pages, Craig suggested that I look into them early on. The Geoffrey Bardon book from Papunya Tula is full of Tingari paintings from the Western Desert that I delved into, and have grown very fond of, despite feeling completely lost in their meanings. Back in the second chapter – Saturday – I have a page where I explain what each of the symbols represents and how they are functional elements in storytelling.

Rachel Napaltjarri Jurra is a real Walpiri woman, though I have drawn her differently to real life … but then I’ve done that for all the characters … including Craig (I forgot what he looked like for a while).

Early drafts of the Long Weekend

18 May

Here’s a pic of what is now page 7
… this was to plan out the wordier sections of the essay and see what works and what could be chopped by virtue of the fact that the images contain in the important part of the information. Page 7 is still one that I think needs to have some words chopped out … before the final draft I shall take an axe to some of the words there.

This was another page from the very beginning of the process, it is now pages 1 and 2, two of most powerful pages in the comic (my best efforts to date … 100 pages later and I haven’t topped them yet). This page was made well before I had decided on the 9panel format that came later … it was one of the first things that I showed Craig also. He said that he knew it must be good because his wife Jude was interested in reading it … which normally doesn’t happen with his writings.

Pages 89-91 – Sunday, the 3rd Chapter

13 May

So this is chapter 3 of The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. It was initially written in 2003 by Craig San Roque for a book published in the US by Routledge … and, although the themes are universal, I thought it a great shame that it wasn’t more read in Australia where the story was owned. Craig is a beautiful writer, very visual, and it struck a chord that rings in my thoughts continually, even after working on this rendition of his work four the last four years or so. I believe that this is a good beginning for the psychological meditation that we must do together in this country.

I suggest that you go back to the beginning if you’re interested in the comic … and have a damn good read (hopefully).

Incidentally – here is the link to the facebook group for the comic. Since I am nearing the completion of the artwork for this book – I have started to think about printing it physically and making a (*shudder*) ebook version out of it … I never envisaged that when I started making it … but e-books were still in their infancy when I started this project. Share the link with anyone who might be interested in such topics.

Next pages 92-95.
Just as an aside, I aim to finish all the inking of these pages in a the next couple of months (maybe by July 2012) and then in the second half of the year look at ways to turn this into a book with my lovely and talented graphic designer wife Nadine Kessler who’s done some top work in print over the years.

Pages 84-88

1 May

SO – again for those of you coming in late – this is my graphic novel, the pages are being posted up here slowly, as I complete the inking of each page. In good news – I have only about 20 or so pages until its completed … YAY!! Lately I’ve been a little distracted from this project due to another comics-related project Sleuth … but I’m still hopeful that I can do them both at the same time and have this done by about July of this year (2012)

If you want to read from the beginning of the Long Weekend then go here – First chapter – FRIDAY
Previous pages in this chapter (Saturday) – 73-75, 76-83 … then these are the last pages in chapter two – SATURDAY

And that’s the end of Saturday, the second chapter … next up is Chapter three … which is a much different setting … it’s the third day. Next pages go here.

When Craig first sent me a copy of this piece he didn’t realise that he’d sent me a draft copy from his computer … I started drawing it a year or two later just for fun and when I started trying to work out how to end Saturday … I just kept getting frustrated at how it didn’t work. I don’t remember why but I decided to buy the book that the essay was part of and I flicked through it one day only to discover bits taken out and this bit put in … and all of a sudden I was gripped … what a chilling way to end Saturday … it felt like the darkest moment of the story and a fitting point to launch into the lighter and more easy going Sunday. It also featured darkness again … which went well with my decision to put in the Inanna story at the end of Friday … the comic would therefore be punctuated by daylight and night throughout the three parts … which echoed the circular nature of time which I wanted.

It’s funny how when you’re adapting a piece the source material seems to provide everything you need … at least when you have as good a writer as Craig doing it you can say things like that.

Pages 76-83

18 Apr

SO – for those of you coming in late – this is my graphic novel, the pages are being posted up here slowly, as I complete the inking of each page. In good news – I have only about 20 or so pages until its completed … YAY!! Lately I’ve been a little distracted from this project due to another comics-related project Sleuth … but I’m still hopeful that I can do them both at the same time and have this done by about July of this year (2012)

If you want to read from the beginning of the Long Weekend then go here – First chapter – FRIDAY
Previous pages in this chapter (Saturday) – 73-75

Next pages 84-88.

The first page here was inspired in part by my beautiful partner Nadine Kessler and her explorations into type and old signage. It occurs to me that the personality of a town is expressed through the many layers of signage that it has gathered. You can get a wonderful snap-shot of a place through its signs. People from the place don’t even notice them after a while, but would know exactly (intuitively?) what the sign relates to.

The rest of the pages here are extremely abstracted versions of the idea that tools slowly form our world-view and our understanding, an interesting thought (says he as he types away on the computer … a machine that is slowly typing away at him).

Adapting this section was difficult to say the least, it was a far wordier part of the essay than I felt would work in comic-form … so I completely edited it, and left it in almost silence … which I felt would work much better after the noise and bluster at the end of the previous section where Craig is in the hospital with the young psychotic Aboriginal girl. The large part of Saturday is very conceptual and I also enjoyed the silent sections so much that I thought I’d put more of them in, to build up the contemplative tone that I had hoped to have throughout the entire piece. Actually … having placed these pages up here and read it again in this different context … I can see that its quite flawed still … I’ll have to think about this section a little more … hmmm works in progress are interesting.

Pages 73-75

5 Apr

First chapter – FRIDAY
Previous pages in Saturday – 69-72

Next pages

I showed these pages to Craig once a while back and he paused and muttered “hmm, the poor thing”. I thought that I needed a page where his face said those words, so I chucked the third page in here to finish it up nicely. Aaah, mental health wards … what happy places.
I have nothing more to say about them.

I’m glad that I have a new concurrent project that involves me drawing the Carlton Blues players, every week that they play this season I shall stick up a new illustration on this site … it’ll be a relief to do something more light whilst I toil away at The Long Weekend and Sleuth.

Pages 69-72

24 Mar

For those coming in late – this is my graphic novel that I am slowly inking and putting up here for people to read, my intention is to get it published, either through a publisher or self-published. It is designed to be read on the page, not the screen but I’m putting it here for people’s interest anyway. I’d love for people to leave comments, I was keen to start some discussion on this blog where possible. It has been received quite favourably by a lot of people … which is really great, I was actually expecting some negative feedback and I have been surprised so far that I have received none at all. Given that this has been viewed over 2’000 times (some of those figures may be the same viewed coming back for more) I would have thought that this work would’ve niggled someone’s nerve out there … but not yet.

So – if you’d like to get more context, rather than starting on the pages I have put up here you can read more –
First Chapter – Friday
Previous pages in the second chapter – 65-68
OR go back to the start of the Second Chapter – Saturday which starts at page 47

Next pages here … almost at the end of the second chapter. The third and final chapter is fairly different in its mood, more of a conversation really. I’m looking forward to inking it, though I have another project (Sleuth) that I’m working on concurrently which is eating into the time that I could be spending on this project.
These particular pages were particularly cathartic for me. I used to work in this place, it was … and is still … called the Mental Health Unit in the back of the Alice Springs Hospital. There is nothing identifiable about the girl in the High Dependency Unit part. I have sort of mashed together a whole bunch of the people that I used to work with in the MHU into the nurses in the comic … don’t be offended guys.
I no longer work in hospitals, I don’t particularly like them, though I still work in the area of psychiatry.

When bush people used to come in to the Alice Springs Hospital it used to be … and probably still is … particularly difficult. Having people locked up against their will is always difficult but when you came across people who had no concept of the processes that would lead to their incarceration, massive language barriers, a different way of dealing with adversity and different cultural understandings of mental illnesses it almost always led to conflict between the patient and the staff, sometimes physical. This can sometimes lead to physical conflict that people on both sides feel could be avoided if the other side would just LISTEN!! It was a particularly intense sort of place to work. Understandably this is one of those odd areas where cultural friction is at its most obvious and it can lead to traumatisation of both parties which in turn leads to an inability to want to listen to the other sides perspective.

In a lot of ways I found this place to be something of a microcosm of Australia.

The other interesting part about these pages is that of the Aboriginal communities that dot the region around Alice Springs, not covered in any great detail in this comi-essay but are an important part in the story.

I would be interested in hearing anyone else’s thoughts.

AND – Alice Springsians might notice the inclusion of the OK Sluts who were a FANTASTIC cabaret group whose show was all about the amazing burnout that over enthusiastic white people with ideals get when they work in Aboriginal communities … ridiculously popular … incredibly talented … sadly now defunct … Hannah May Caspar, Beth Sometimes and Matthew Hill PLEASE COME BACK … watch this video here. Ah the unbearable whiteness of being.

The Sleuth Exhibition – process diary #1

13 Mar

Warning – art-wank!
Please note: To ensure all wank does not go by unmissed – all French words are in italics .

This post is going to be part of a slowly growing process diary where I will talk about some of the strange discoveries I have made whilst working on Sleuth … which is an exhibition of comics where I will be sticking up comics all around a gallery room. It is a big personal experiment in how comics might be able to work. If you’re interested in this post, then you might be interested in other places where people write art-wanky content about comics such as Australian Pat Grant’s website (just google him), international places such as the Inkstuds (radio show and website), and other places.

For the most part I have decided to make comics that are quicker to write and make, which largely means that there will be drawings of characters without much background details, relying more heavily on the words to give context to the characters. This is mostly so that the interplay between the different comics is where the action is felt by the reader / viewer.

Back-story – For the past few years I have been slaving away on the Long Weekend, which is graphic novel (non fiction comic … is that still called “novel”?) which is long slog … and my heart’s desire was to churn out some comics that were far more intuitive and less thought through. I came up with a loose idea for criss-crossing comics on a wall and applied for a spot at an artist run space (Inflight ARI) in Hobart and got a slot for November 2012.

Even though I still had more of the Long Weekend to ink I haven’t had much left to do in the way of decision making, I had pencilled out most of the last chapter and made most of the grand decisions so it was down to the stage which I like to think of as meditation – just inking away over pencils that had been decided upon a while back. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to decide at all … au contraire – inking is still a very malleable process, lots of things get decided then too … just no where NEAR as much decisions need to be made as the earlier layout and pencilling stages (at least not the way I do things).

SO – my grand master plan was to make something super quick and dirty, making lots of mini-comics, but they wouldn’t be designed for the page, they’d be designed to spread across walls!!

“That’s not a big deal is it?”

WELL – it means a whole different bunch of considerations must be made! Which is when my creative interest is piqued! ( I have a fairly restless mind that needs to be engaged, or I get mssively bored … hence the need for a new challenge that is different to last overly ambitious thing I tackled).

The first thing I decided to do was to make a rough plan of the gallery space, and draw what it could look like … this is before I’d done any writing per se. I then decided on some generalised themes that rattle around my obssessive brain – mostly with a slight Jungian bent to them such as psyche and spirituality in modern Australia, Australian history, particularly that of explorers who die in the pursuit of glory (a ridiculous Australian pastime) … I decided to use these characters that I had invented in 2010 that I had in this comic that I called the Department of Conversation – Paul and Mary … and old retired couple, the baby-boomers, the grey nomads. I decided a comic involving a meandering conversation between them might make for a good “spine” for the whole artwork, something simple to get it all started. I’m quite fond of these two, they’re quite warm and funny in an old-couple kind of way.

I decided after that that I should make a lot of my decisions on the fly as it would give the whole piece a much more improvised feel, which would make it a process of discovery for me … I would discover the links between unrelated comics myself, perhaps I won’t even realise them until afterwards when other people point out links that they’ve made.

I recall a conversation I had with Bernard Caleo in 2011 about non sequitar arrangements (that’s Latin, not French), if you place things next to eachother and show it to people, their brains are hard-wired to search for the link themselves, they assume that since you’ve shown it to them then there is a reason, if you haven’t explained it to them then they will make up their own reason. HOW INTRIGUING!! That’s how comics work … or at least in part. You show people two images, they actively create the link between them panel to panel … but what about story to story?? That’s one of the things that I’m exploring myself. If I stick up a whole bunch of comics that intersect at certain points, then people will assume there’s a link, (otherwise why would I have put them all together) and then they will search for the meaning behind it all … provided I’ve kept if vague enough then unforseen meanings can spring into being within the reader / viewer’s mind!!