John Weeks: Travel Comix Newsletter #4

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2001
By: Darren Schroeder

We were giving ourselves permission to reinvent the culture the way we wanted it: with great big shoes. - David Bowie,
The Guardian Weekly, April 12-18, 2001


After two fun years with great service, my free web page provider has crumbled. I'm now at My site is old with many broken links and frankly, there are more important things in this world to do than maintain a web site. I'll slowly sort it out, but don't hold your breath.

For those who didn't catch the last episode: this is a newsletter about comics. I do it every week or every six months, depending on my mood. You can catch more of the same at's also archived by the fine folks at Silver Bullet Comics and Comics Australia. You want off, go to the Yahoo site thinger (bottom of email) or email me.

I'm in Thailand as I write this. I'm about to go to New York for a very short visit. I believe it will be the 15th through the 27th. (Siem Reap-Bangkok-New York-Los Angeles-New York-London(?) - Bangkok-Phnom Penh If you're on the route, and want Southeast Asian comics, drop a line.


Next newsletter will exclusively cover this. If you have links or info, comics or non comics, send it. BTW if anyone's learning Pashtun, drop me a line.

NOISE.NET.AU : In the followup to Australia's 98 LOUD youth arts online virtual festival, NOISE is now in effect. As comics coordinator, BIG SMOKE's AMBER CARVAN has conned the Australian government into giving her *free money* to publish an all women's comic HOW COMICS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD'. Don't ask me how but they have also been given money to mail the comic to interested Australians for FREE. Way to go Ambs! How you gonna top this??

There's some impressive work here, which includes both first-timers and seasoned professionals. MANDY ORD, CASSANDRA TYTLER, ALICE MRONGOVIUS, SHAGS, FIONA KAUTASKAS, VANESSA SOWERINE, and of course TALNON

Also at no extra charge is included a sexy website with profiles of creators like KIERAN MANGAN, KOMALA SINGH, MICHAEL FIKARIS, GREG MACKAY, and more.

In addition to the comics there's a multi-genre anthology in the works, and lots of other projects. Give it a squizz!

And if that wasn't enough for the Big Smoker, DEE VEE 2001 has hit the shops with AMBER CARVAN, MANDY ORD, BRUCE MUTARD and some other guys.


Or do they?A growing number of alt. cartoonists are writing mainstream comic books.

JON LEWIS (True Swamp) is writing Robin at DC

ABBY DENSON is writing the Powerpuff Girls.

BIZARRO COMICS features just about every alternative creator you know, and a few you don't. Including Dylan Horrocks, Evan Dorkin, James Kochalka, Tom Hart, and more. (Inspired likely by the Highwater Books Marvel Homage.)

Plus EVAN DORKIN, ED BRUBAKER, and DYLAN HORROCKS are all writing for DC.

Class, is this the alternative co-opting the mainstream? Or the mainstream co-opting the alternative? Discuss.

So you're an alternative cartoonist. You think you're bad 'cause you're in the counterculture scene. But I wonder how 'bad' we really are. But when's the last time you saw someone in the alt comics scene go on the run to Brazil?


BEN RIDDER GOES GLOBAL: First and foremost, BEN RIDDER is off traveling around the world, spreading goodwill, cheer and comics wherever he goes. (Hmm, Ben you're not going to Brazil are you?) He has a new web page at <

And in similar travel action, we announce:


A challenge and a quest for these troubled times. Can anyone contend against his unstoppable technique??

TOVE JANSSON, Finnish/Swedish creator of the 'MOOMINS' series of illustrated childrens' books has passed away. When will someone collect the newspaper strips that were done by Tove and her brother?


When hanging some cable Noah Taylor gives a big thumbs up to Pure Evil.You may not know him internationally but he is a BIG movie star in Australia which can only mean good for Pure Evil.

Also there was some review in the Comics Journal and Silver Bullet.

Plus: co-creator JED LANE speaks to the press.

There's another issue in the works! email or for more information.

FUCK OTHER FORMS OF ART: with a title like that you can understand why Jef Cekaj cuts to the chase. In his recent Comics Journal article he details the nuts and bolts of getting *free money* from the government and foundations.

This shows that Jef is a giving and caring guy. Not only did he give many issues of HYPERTRUCK to share with needy Australians during the famed Comic Drought of 2000, he also helps young cartoonists get a break.


BONER is a critical examination of sex comics in Australia, and...whoops, wrong press release.

BONZER is a new history of Australian comic books. It covers all comic subjects from the early 1900's through to the 1990's. It should be available at fine bookshops and comic shops now. Format: 188 pages, AUS Regular/Perfect Bound, Colour. Cost: $16.95

Ah, it seems like only yesterday I went with Clint Q-Ray and Aaron O'Donnell went to check out the exhibition that spawned this.


Aaron Burgess writes:

Due to the immense support I've received I will not be closing down Comics Australia. I would simply like to thank all those that have sent me e-mails encouraging me to keep at it. To my surprise there are quite a few people who rely on this site for the best news and information about what is happening in the local comic scene, and what new issues are out.

Some great advice I received recently about how to reduce the work load will be implemented as soon as I finish my break. The new additions will allow publishers, and event organisers to quickly and easily inform me of the latest news that they would like to announce on Comics Australia. Also I will be adding other special features which will allow publishers to update their own pages, or add new ones to reduce my load of having to ask, and beg for the latest details. It isn't a database, but it is the next best thing, and it will be secure so no one else can send false information.

So, keep your eyes on this site, because I will be back soon!!

Aaron Burgess

KIERAN MANGAN, MICHAEL FIKARIS, and GREG MACKAY will be doing a group show at Linden Galleries, May 2002. Four rooms will be decked out by the three creators.

Also coming soon: PROAN/URGH FIKARIS/MANGAN graphic novel. DEEP BLACK from GREG MACKAY. And things are in the works for the upcoming NEXT WAVE festival, also with the help of Express Media. Good lord, they're getting published everywhere. Probably isn't changing their bank statements much though.

As teaser and tidbit, check out KIERAN's new site.

UNFORTUNATELYT HIS BUSY TREND HAS CONTINUED is STEFAN NEVILLE's new book. It's a collection of sketches and comics from his telemarketing job, in actual payslip covers. $2.

P.O. Box 68518, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand. (Note new address for Stefan/Oatz publishing).

And Stefan's CITY OF TALES is now published in Portugal's 'GAMBUZINE'. it looks real classy and reads much nicer than the usual english. writes STEFAN. plus lots of other beatiful portugese stuff in there write to gambuzine, apartado 3578, 4306-901-porto, Portugal.

LARK PIEN's LONG TAIL KITTY can now be ordered online with a credit card. Will wonders never seize?

EMME OF ELEPHANTS has a new weekly online comic for YOU.

And on a similar note, suave n' sexy TIM DANKO has 'Thump' appearing in litzine MANIFEST which is on line NOW. That would seem to imply that his work has some sort of literary merit. Is this a good thing? Do we hear hip hoppers or punk rockers say I just want people to respect us as a legitmate art form.


He'd love to know you. Know you were reading his comics, that is. BRUCE MUTARD has finished not one but THREE graphic novels. Say a prayer for his drawing hand. Just finished is his NEW graphic novel, THE BUNKER. Then there's his collection of STREET SMELL (the director's cut) and another collection of odds and ends. In the growing move of many to book format, Bruce notes that he only needs to sell 350 of each to break even. I'll chime in for one of each.

For OZ COMICS YEAR 2002 Bruce will be traveling to Small Press Expo, San Diego Con, and possibly APE and Angouleme, funding permitting.

READING GOOD, COLLECTING BAD: I used to collect comics but I kept getting the discs for free in the mail. The comics started to get really expensive and the CDs look good too, so I switched.,1294,45585,00.html


Not like I'm a big geek, but one of the biggest newsgroups for alternative comics has been summarily voted out of existence. Rec.arts.comics.alternative, is no more. This is a blow for keeping the community informed, and general discussion.

There is still rec.arts.comics.misc. Can anyone confirm that aus.arts.comics is still around? (Yes it is, Ed.)

There's several new AUSSIE INDEXES being put together.

1. Amber 'Shipping Clerk' Carvan has done a listing of Australian self-published comics at

My, that Adam Ford is a prolific guy. More info from:

2. JAMES MCLACHLAN has a new website featuring info on Australian comix and zines:

3. Ryan Vella is putting together a 2002 Comix Calendar. Email with your birthdate for inculsion.

ATHONK is in New Orleans and has uncovered a hotbed of comics activity. More next issue

NEW New Zealand Comics Critzine:

OFFICER PUP, PO Box 11200, Wellington, New Zealand.
GHOST WORLD, THE MOVIE: apparently, Ghost World has been adapted into a movie. I like movies, they're almost as cool as comics.

The latest PUNK PLANET, #46, has a JAIME HERNANDEZ interview. It's the art and design issue. And don't forget to send in your comics for review. Speaking of which


Hi, [If you have the time, of course.]

this is an invitation to participate in an upcoming comics anthology, The Singer Not The Song.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Barbara Kerr and I used to do a zine called Ms .45 about a billion years ago, and have also compiled a mini-comic called One (online at, as well my own appalling scrawls (I'm a better writer than I am an artist - Blame John Weeks is my perpetual excuse).

Basically, the premise of The Singer Not The Song is that each comic artist will be given a lyric from a popular song - two lines at most - to respond to in sequential art. (Or single panel art, it doesn't really matter.) The reason for the artist being _given_ a lyric rather than choosing one themselves is to get them to respond to the words without prejudice. Needless to say, the interpretation does not have to be literal! Any interpretation is acceptable as long as it can be seen to be related in some way to the lyric (ie a lyric about being a tragic stewbum in a bar might inspire a comic about being down and out generally).

The cartoon should be black & white and fit into an A4 page - of course, if you want to do an A5 or smaller that's OK too. If you're interested in participating, reply to this and I'll send you a randomly chosen lyric and an address to send the artwork to.

The final thingy will be given away free. As the artist, you have 100% share in the profits. (In fact if you were daft enough to send money for copying it I wouldn't send it back. I don't actually expect you to do this.)

I hope this idea sparks your interest. Just reply to this email and I'll send you the gear!


HEAD FULL OF ART Magazine is looking for contributions.

If you do flash animation:

Hotwired submissions:


Display ads are now $35 for the Comics Journal, for an advertisement the size of a business card. You could put your web site or mailing address on that. Why not?


Pox #3 - Butcher and Wood

Book of Lies - Gabrielle Bell

Spark Online

Indy Online

Stories from the Ward - Lark Pien

Hip Book of Fun Stuff - Che Gilson

Black Light Angels #4 - Graber/Hill/Others


http://www.noise net au/

Stuff from San Diego Con (more on that soon.)

OK so I haven't been reading much lately.


Savage Pencils Exhibition writeup


Art Spiegelman interview.

Al Davision

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

New Oz Manga site

Downloadable Comics Magazine. Try it!

Downloadable fanzine.


Chris Ware Oil Paintings

Joi Heald

Comics on CD-Rom

A very silly flash thingie.

NZ Comics Register - new and revised!

Al Columbia: Francie



Next Wave Festival - 17 to 26 May 2002

Camberwell Comic Fair

Comic Fest

Conventions Index

Oz conventions.

Manifest Melbourne Manga Fest (old Site)

This is Not Art


Another Festivals Index


IGNATZ AWARDS and the Guidelines

Paging Kieran Mangan: apply for this...

The SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS has a new category for their annual competition. The category is called Sequential Art which really means comics.


The invitation is open to any and all cartoonists to come out to visit me in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I've got guest space and it's frighteningly cheap to live. Round trip is about $600 US for Australians, $1000 for Americans. It's not impossible (just ask Babs Kerr.)

Newsletter archived at: Press)

This has been a John Weeks Presentation -

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me