Drawn out

Thursday, 01 June, 2006

I'm on leave this week and for the past three days, I've been at the Christian Comic Corroboree, organised by Comix 35. You'd think that after EQUIP I'd be all conferenced out but I particular wanted to go to this because I'd like to learn how to write comics/graphic novels one day. Ever since reading Sandman and other material graciously supplied by the Un Brothers, I've grown fonder and fonder of the medium and more excited about its potential to tell stories (particular stories without superheroes).

The corroboree (or workshop, as I prefer to call it), was held at the Mission to Seafarers. We were on the top floor and it was really cold! On the first day, someone tried to turn on the gas heaters and instead we breathed in gas all day. There were around twenty of us with guys vastly outnumbering girls (there were only four females there). Most were artists (or artists/writers) but there were a handful of people who were just writers (like me). The guys who conducted the training were Graham Wade, Nate Butler (president of Comix 35) and Phil Watson, (All three were featured on page 2 of the SMH on Monday.) They had brought us supplies of drawing boards made out of cardboard, pencils, erasers, pens paperclips and so on. We were also given a copy of 2005 International Christian Comics Competition Books.

The three days were intensely practical (which is great because the Bible teaching wasn't so spot-on). On the Monday Graham, Nate and Phil talked about stuff like,

Our homework was then to go home and write a script for a two-page comic.

On the Tuesday, we shared what we had written with the rest of the class. I came up with something about idolatry based on Isaiah 44 and 1 Kings 18. There were also some other really interesting ideas in the class. We covered the following topics:

Our homework was to storyboard our script. I found this a bit of a challenge because I am not very good at drawing. But as we had a go at it in class, Phil came over and said that he would love to have a shot at my script if I liked, and I said, yes, I liked, so he sat down with me with his paper and pencil and I ordered him around for half an hour and it was a lot of fun! We only got partway through though so I tried to finish it off at home and boy did my scribblings look amateur by comparison!

Today we showed the class what we had done (which was a bit scary but then I took comfort in the fact that they couldn't see my lousy artwork as I held it up the front). And we went through the following topics:

Phil also taught us some very cool tricks with Photoshop.

There was a guy named Matt who works/used to work for Disney and he had done this really awesome comic based on the parable of the lost sheep. he told me that he was keen to give my comic a shot so I went downstairs and copied it to give to him. I also asked him if I could send him my Church in the Future stuff and he said, “Sure.” In the late afternoon, while everyone else was working on touching up their two-page comics, I started having a go at storyboarding the first story of the Church in the Future stories and I managed to do about four pages.

Over the three days I got to meet some really cool people who draw really cool art. I ended up having lunch with a girl called Tegan from Gosford on all three days. (I introduced her to Kinokuniya and we also browsed through Kings Comics.) There was a guy named Angus who wanted to draw comics for goths who had these little A6 comics for teens, all beautifully rendered in black and white with clear crisp lines. I met René who did MTS at UTS with Credo, he paints and he also makes flash animations. I met Paul who was creating a comic for computer game geeks. I met Dean Rankine who makes these really quirky but very provocative comics which often take a Bible story and put a twist on it. (He blogs here.) And I also met the guy who runs Supanova and got to talk to him about how to run conferences and all that sort of stuff. He is a Christian and he was encouraging us to produce comic books and sell them/give them away for free at Supanova in October. (My brain then began to explode with ideas of how to involve Create and the C.S. Lewis Today committee as there will probably be guests there from Weta workshop.) And so on.

And I got given a lot of free Christian comics—some of which are pretty good, some are average and some are very very bad. (Hmm, must use them to corrupt Guan at work next week ...)

Useful comics links

(P.S. If you want to listen to Ani DiFranco live at Carnegie Hall, tune in to Daily Planet, Radio National, here.)

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you have the best links…i think our brains overlap sometimes - which is kinda cool!

(yay for ani)

Hey Karen!
I thought I would drop you a line and say ‘hi’. I hope you are well and having lots of fun.
Prayers for you guys.

Posted by Stu on 05 June, 2006 6:42 PM


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A way of funding writing in the future: pitch and idea and get people to support it.

Place where you can hire play equipment for parties, etc.

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Unsolicited manuscripts accepted by Pan Macmillan with certain conditions.

Thought Balloon is a group blog in which the writers tackle a new theme every week? month? with one-page scripts. This URL is for their Phonogram ones.


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