OZ Comic Newsletter V.2 #61

Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2000
By: Darren

John Weeks gives us the lowdown on the Australian comic scene and other small press information:

CONVENTION ADVENTURES: Say that three times fast.


National Young Writers' Festival Zines/Comics Coordinator KYLIE PURR recounts:

who was there? goth table (maccad, louise G), sydney boyz table (stratu, ross, anton, glenn, later joined by PTERYDACTYL MAN), melb contingents - bernard coleo had a cardigan comix table and we hooted as we finally met after me sending letters of love for his inky comix. dylan and the comix quarterly man (sorry, don't know his name) had a table, which also sold mr mutard stuff. melbourne re-vulva girls had a table. greener pastures man had a table next to the deevee man, as did the famous eddie campbell. quat-line boy was there with a coupla other creators (i forget!) man i need to be at home and go thru the stuff i bought to confirm who was there. there are about 3 more tables i can't remember who they were....will update when i get home.
well, i heard from one fella that platinum grit is no longer publishing, but i'd like someone to confirm that.
some of us went to superburger (yum burgers, inlcuding TWO choices for vegans), and found it to be happy hour - its licensed. beers, apparently were cheaper there than at the pub upstairs, so the guys sat there getting a bit pissed, and competing in witty repartee with the wordy Ptery. happy hour finished and we went to the century tavern, the agreed meeting place for the local producers.....about 12 ppl there. i left kinda early, not being a drinker, or a creator or a boy.
oh, and in the arvo, michael hill gave a talk on aust small press comix. decent crowd came - some left after realisng it wsan't about superhero comicx. he spent the first 20mins showing slides - he had to keep it g rating however, so much of his commentry was "this is all i can show you from this one, as its not 'g;' rated" quite funny. Then he threw it open to creators - mostly eddie campbell spoke about conquering the world (which he seems to have quite a handle on) then some other guys got up. ross mentioned necrophelia dn beastiality, which got a 'tut-tut' from mihcael, so he left the stage, cause once he gets going, it won't stop. a bit of questioing, sharing methods, ideas, formats etc with the crowd. I think some budding creators had there eyes open that they didn't have to draw guys in tights fighting eachother to be a comic artist. very positive i thought
highlights? stratu striking up a chat with the fake wonder woman and the fake xena...Pterydactyl man face off with a bewildered spiderman guy. kids asking who pterydactyl man was...a kid screaming at the prospect of having his photo taken with spiderman dude...me meeting bernard...
And from Michael Hill's (Black Light Angels) observations:
ComicFest 2000 was held in Sydney last Saturday, 25th March, at the Centrepoint Convention Centre. This first-time event attracted around 3,000 people, about 4-500 of whom were children thus creating a 'G' rated concern on the part of the organisers. I presented an abridged version of the paper I gave at ICAF last year on Australian alternative comics. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring the following creators: Bernard Caleo (Tango), Eddie Campbell (Bacchus and DeeVee), David Greene (City Litter), Maccad (Glitter Shy), Alex Major (Quay-Line), Tim McEwen (Greener Pastures), Christian Read (Dunwich), Glenn Smith (Sydney Morning Hell) and Ross Tesoriero (Radiation Sickness).
With the G-rating 'in force' there was some amusement on this panel when Eddie Campbell talked about sampling his pubic hair in a comic and Ross Tesoriero raised the topic of necrophilia as a desirable theme in comics. Eddie shone as an entertaining public speaker (again ICAF last year comes to mind) and had plenty of anecdotes to share with the audience. All of these creators had trading tables along with other 'small press' artists including Anton Emdin (Cruel World), Greg Gates (Blue Smoke), Louise Graber (Black Light Angels), Jason Jordan (Demonskin), Lewis Morley (Peregrine Besset), Dillon Naylor (Pop Culture & 2 Minute Noodles), Stratu (Sick Puppy), Aaron Tay (Rabbit Man), Daren White (DeeVee) and Tamara Wighton and Jade Kahle (Re:Vulva Grrl). And, by the way, the American guests were Jeph Loeb, Arthur Adams and Joyce Chin who collectively generated long and winding queues for signing. Only two sessions were allocated for the discussion of comics (unlike ICAF which I think provides a good model): one for the American guests and the other for Australian comics. The attendance was so good at both these sessions that they could easily have been expanded and increased. The second staging of this event is scheduled for February, 2001.

You can catch Black Light Angels at


Why, it's armageddon all over again. ARMAGEDDON CON happened recently and crack correspondent DARREN SCHRODER was on hand to cover it. See his report


If you've got comics/flash cartoons on the web (and especially if they deal with the subject of technology) this could be for you.

>ISEA2000, 10th International Symposium on Electronic Art
>Paris, France
>December 7-10 2000 for more see


Anti-Corporate pranksters RTMARK have a new stunt as well as a new opportunity:

March 23, 2000


Now Anyone Can Be in the Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Museum of American Art, which mounts a highly selective survey of contemporary work once every two years, is showing its visitors this week just how far-reaching and fast-changing the Internet can be.
RTMark, an online activist group whose Web site was chosen to appear in the 2000 Biennial exhibition, has altered its site so that Whitney visitors who try to view it will instead see a rotating set of Internet pages submitted by the public.
To date, about 20 pages have been sent in, including a Backstreet Boys tribute site, a plagiarized copy of the official New York City home page, a pornography site and the Whitney's own home page.
RTMark (pronounced ART-mark) seeks to criticize corporate behavior by mimicking it. In a phone interview, a group spokesman calling himself Ray Thomas (the group's five members are anonymous) said opening its part of the exhibit to the public would accomplish a very business-like goal: earning good will.
"Like a corporation would give out trinkets, we're giving out Whitney Biennial space," Thomas said.
Maxwell L. Anderson, the Whitney's cyber-savvy director and one of the Biennial curators, said in an e-mail message that "opening the site to submissions from the public is in accord with RTMark's concept, which is to provide an information brokerage -- with limited liability -- and public forum for Net activism."
RTMark did not notify the Whitney that it had modified its site, which normally presents a list of its activist projects, and the group's action would appear to breach an agreement the museum had asked Internet-based artists to sign. It stated that "links to the works of others will be removed prior to exhibition date." But Thomas said the group did not return its copy of the agreement, and Anderson said the altered site "doesn't violate any agreement."
The 2000 Biennial, which opens Thursday, is the first to include Internet-based works, with 9 of the 97 artists in the exhibition presenting online pieces. They can be viewed using a computer and a projection screen in the Whitney's fourth-floor gallery or through the Internet art area of the museum's Web site. Fakeshop, a group of digital artists who present live online performances, is also creating a special Biennial project in May, but with the museum's full knowledge.
As more museums start to incorporate works of Internet art into their contemporary-art exhibitions, RTMark's contribution demonstrates how difficult it is to control, not to mention curate, works in such a fluid medium. Steve Dietz, director of new media initiatives at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, said: "It is a challenge, and it involves rethinking what the online exhibition might be. One of the ways for institutions to interact usefully with network-based work is to think of it not just as a virtual gallery, but as a platform for creation. In a sense, it's more parallel to commissioned performances, where the work is mutable."
To most Web surfers, RTMark's site appears unchanged. But the group has reprogrammed the site so that visitors accessing it from computers at the Whitney are redirected to a new Exhibit area, where a new Web site will appear within a frame every few minutes. The group provides an e-mail address, showSTOP-@-SPAMrtmark.com, for those who want to submit a site to be displayed at the Biennial.
By mocking the value of its own participation in the Biennial, Thomas said, RTMark was delivering a message to artists. "If you're trying to be an activist, don't bother spending any time in the art scene. It doesn't have any significant effect on the real world. No politicians look to the art world to see what to do. Artists who want to be activists should be spending their time on the world."
In another poke at the Biennial's prestige, RTMark's members used eBay, the online-auction site, to sell four tickets to a preview reception for Biennial artists and Whitney supporters. RTMark will use the $8,400 it got for the tickets to finance one of its corporate subversion projects.
"We didn't actually want to go," Thomas said. "We might be able to make some money schmoozing people at an art reception, but people in that context aren't used to being asked for cash to finance sabotage."
The winning bidder, an artist using the name Sintron, gave the tickets away to losing bidders who promised to send him the used ticket stubs and other memorabilia from the event.
Speaking on the condition that he not be identified by his real name, Sintron said he planned to use the objects in his art works, which tend to be narrative pieces based on real-world stories. In a phone interview last week, he said, "I'm not really interested in the party or the Biennial itself, but I know a lot of people are, and I think it would make a great story." Sintron asked that RTMark use the money for its "Baby" project, which will attempt to convince a sportswear manufacturer to sponsor a child's upbringing in exchange for the right to tattoo it at birth with a corporate logo. Past RTMark-sponsored projects have included a parody of the George W. Bush presidential campaign site at the deceptively similar GWBush.com address and the covert addition of gay-themed content to the computer game SimCopter. Despite the Biennial's power to add luster to young artists' careers, Thomas said the group decided to use the exhibition as "a platform we could use in our own way, and not in an entirely careerist way. "It's about not being in the show," he said. "It's just a waste of time trying to get ahead in that environment. There's so much more important stuff to do."
Naturally, I've already submitted my site. And I got this in return:

>Subject: http://rtmark.com/exhibit update
>Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 18:51:55 -0500 (EST)
>From: RTMark admin
>To: RTMark Whitney Biennial artists: ;
>To those who have not been notified by our new automatic
>artist-notification system:
>your website has been accepted by RTMark's
>Whitney Biennial board and is currently
>showing a few times a day at that
>august institution.
>Thank you for your participation!
>Turning information resources into emotional capital.

I can't wait to put "Exhibited in Whitney Biennial" on my resume. (What do you mean, you "don't have a resume"!?)


NATIONAL YOUNG WRITERS' FESTIVAL folks are having an informal gab & goss session on Tuesday April 11th at the Lansdowne Hotel (cnr City Rd and Broadway, city) at about 6pm. Please to invite offline folks. Your host: Laura Panic aka Kylie Purr.

SYDNEY COMIX FIENDS: Friday April 7 Statu and friends will be chillin' at the Royal Exhibition Hotel (cnr of Devonshire and Chalmers Sts right opposite Central Railway Station) out in the Beer Garden "from around 6.30 pm until real late." sstratuSTOP-@-SPAMmailcity.com


ROSS TESORIERO is lightly flashing his "Trip to the Black Planet" for UNTOLD.NET.

SHAGS is finishing up a story for MILK BAR and gardening in the 'berra.

One of CAROL WOOD's strips has been webbed up in Alexandor Unginor's Forbidden Universe. (In English and Japanese, no less! Nice format.) http://www.alexunginor.com/forbiddengalaxy/04/carwoo/01.html


I'm checking out Euroland anthologies: there and Japan is where the REAL money in comics is. Most continental denizens can decipher _Anglais_ too, or know someone who can.

Eurotrash Anthologies
Frigobox http://www.freon.org
Strapazin http://www.strapazin.ch/
Bile Noire http://www.atrabile.org
Fluidie Glacial http://www.fluideglacial.tm.fr
Fusee http://www.automne.claranet.fr
Jade http://www.pastis.org/jade
Beeldstorm. www.beeldstorm.com/

French Anthologies List

With the advent of MILK BAR starting their own message bar, um board, I've been thinking about the rampant proliferation of all these opportunities to 'chat'. It seems like there's a million venues, but little discussion.
In a recent note on the Comics Australia message board, proprietor Aaron laments, "is the scene really that dead?" I don't think it is, but a lot of people don't have regular email access.
But the numbers of online cartoonists are growing, along with the forums. In a bold, daring act of comics citizenship, I'm going to post one message to each of the below forums in the next week. And I invite you all to do the same. If everyone on this mailing list did, that'd make a big difference.

Comics Australia Message Board
Aus.arts.comics Newsgroup
Milk Bar Message board
Comics Journal Message Board: Polyester Raid
Michael Fikaris discussion group

Roadside - Sarah Oleksyk
The Side of the Road - Mandy Ord
Milk Bar #2. http://come.to/milkbar
K.Thor Jensen's Site. http://www.oldmanmurray.com/kthor
The Four Immigrants Manga. http://www.jai2.com/HK.htm

Dates to Remember:


San Diego Comic-Con July 20-23
Small Press Expo Sept 15-17
National Young Writers' Festival (Newcastle) October 6-8
Electrofringe October 6-8 (?)
SPLAT! Sydney Comix Exhibition Late October

Submission Deadlines:

Small Press Expo Book April 1
Milk Bar April 1
Abominable Knowledge Emporium April 14
Satan Lives with Me April 28
ISEA submissions April 30
Ignatz Awards July 8th
Untold.net Ongoing

Newsletter archived at:



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