Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I just want to make it very clear to anyone who is kind enough to follow/support/purchase/be a fan of my work, that unless you see me selling it at a convention, mentioning/promoting it here on my account, or The Soldier Legacy Comic Book page, that anything that's out there that says I'm a part of their project and I'm not, then it's probably advisable to question the ethics and legitimacy of the release.

In the last year or so, I've supported Supanova's 'Tides of Hope', 'Beginnings Anthology', a 'Killeroo' Sketch cover, and a pin up in the San Diego Comic Con souvenir book, for which I thank for their inclusion of my work. These are outside of my gigs with publisher Black House Comics, which includes the back up feature on 'Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes', my own series 'The Soldier Legacy' (including the use in the TV Commercial), and my sketchbooks/prints. Anything outside of this, which has my name attached, says it's using what is my copyrighted artwork, and is "coming soon", frankly hasn't sort my permission to use. I will consider my options, but in the meantime, I just wanted to express my thoughts to you guys as readers and consumers, who may or may not come across such works.

I thank you all for your continual support and will hopefully continue to support me in my current and future collaborations and projects. At the end of the day, I'm just one dude trying to do the right thing, improve, release the best possible work I can, and hopefully build a career of sorts that I can be proud of; I don't require the extra headache and time to deal with this.

Thank you, folks. Much love :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mentions on Pikitia Press- Australian and New Zealand Comics and Cartoonists

Matt Emery, cartoonist creator of  the hilarious 'The Guzumo Show' (shown online and published by Black House Comics), hosts a wonderful blog site called 'The Pikitia Press' which covers a massive range of current and past stories of Australian and New Zealand comic books and cartoonists from a wide range of genres and disciplines. Enthusiasts could easily spend hours trawling through the archives to see an awesome range of images, interviews and articles, and easily a quality hub of past comic mentions. In our scene, which is almost void of proper critical and academic coverage of Australian comic book history (apart from John Ryan's wonderful, but out of print "Panel by Panel", and Kevin Patrick's 'Comics Down Under' blog), Pikitia Press is a great addition.

Mr Emery to my surprise has been kind enough to mention me, and this blog linked once or twice:

UPDATED- Sept 9th, 2012: A little mention of a then recent blog post, plus links to the updated website:

Sydney Supanova Australian creators pics:

And a mention of this blog's recap of the Sydney event, complete with THAT wankery photo of me and 'The List' writer and good friend, Paul Bedford:

Matt must have snapped my mug during a happy conversation with a friend or fan, including a stack of Australian creators, and good friends :

Also, a brief mention of my OZ Comic-Con recap here, complete with a photo of me with the fantastic Doug Holgate

Thank you for the mentions, Mr Emery!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Magic moment: BMB signing at the Soldier Legacy table :)

Convention table neighbour, and creator Cameron Davis posted this photo yesterday from Gold Coast Supanova, that was held in April 2012.
I was lucky enough to be a guest of this, and the previous week's show at Melbourne, along with Marvel Comic "Architect" Brian Michael Bendis. He was a very nice guy, who fellow guest Chris Sequeira and I were lucky enough to have a conversation or two with the week before. Bendis came by the table during the GC show, and while chatting, was very kind enough to sign some of my favourite 'Daredevil', 'Ultimate Spider-man' and 'Avengers' books right there at our table. I was one happy Comic book fan :D

Thanks, Cameron for capturing that inner fanboy moment for me ;D

San Diego Comic-Con 2012- thank yous.

Yes folks, you guessed it. Time for me to take a moment to thank those who I recently touched base with, or met while overseas at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. I make no apologies for "thank you" posts like these; as I've said previous, I am a firm believer for being thankful for the kind people I meet in this job, particularly in comparison with the sort of people I run into in one of my other jobs (:P). I'm not here to put anyone up on a pedestal or suck up/grovel. I am merely showing a small piece of appreciation for the other human beings I happen to encounter while doing comics :D 

Trying to get back into the swing of things after returning from another fantastic San Diego Comic-Con trip is proving to be very difficult; it's not because of the fact that I've gone from nice, sunny, summer California to chilly, wintery Brisbane (although... ;P), but it's because I'm so very busy now that I've returned.
Regarding the trip, I am very pleased with the meetings (before and during the con), contacts and opportunities that occurred, and am very pleased with the progress thus far in achieving validity with my comic book art practice within the scope of the industry. For the sake of not wanting to come across as a "wanker", fanboy, or unprofessional in general, I am refraining from mentioning any of the companies, details  or people I and my traveling companion/mentor/collaborator Chris spoke to, only to say how pleased I was to receive those opportunities, and say thank you to not only them, but Chris for his help and guidance too :) Thank you also to Dave Elsey, who was kind enough to show us around his current working studio in LA and pass on kind words regarding our work. What a thrill to finally meet the other mastermind behind 'Dark Detective:Sherlock Holmes', and the creator of those fantastic covers. A lovely guy.

In the short term though, the focus post-con will be not only stay on the radar, but also on the new uni lecturing job to add to the list of things I do in a week (4 jobs now is crazy, I hope to give at least one or two away in 6 months, but the future is much brighter in this respect), plus the next issue of Soldier Legacy in time for Brisbane Supanova, my 20,000 word (or around about) uni thesis (*sigh), a collaborative project with excellent prospects, and maybe training to attempt to return to tournament fighting o__O (we'll see if I have room to sleep in the schedule :P)

To spare you all from the 100's of photos taken at San Diego Comic-Con, including the San Diego SeaWorld and Disneyland photos, I've thrown up a small selection of pics taken as we made our way around the con floor, talking, meeting and enjoying ourselves. I want to thank Chris and his wife Jacqui, and daughter Valentina for taking care of me while overseas, and making me feel (as always) like part of their family, Jason Franks, Matt Emery Chewie Chan, my family and Sarah Ellen for the pre-trip support, and my Australian publisher Baden Kirgan of Black House Comics for providing me with the resources I needed not only for this trip, but for Oz Comic-Con the days before I left. Thank you of course to the well wishes from close friends and fans also.

...yes, I'm a jerk.

A pleasant surprise while walking the con floor: I heard my name being called out, I turn around, and this gentleman says " Hey man, I'm Dean White, I recognize you from your photo." DEAN WHITE! Up there with my all-time favourite comic book illustrators, I had no clue he was going to be at the show visiting a friend, and so awesome to meet him in person. I tried to catch up again later, but was unable to locate him. Arguably the best colourist currently in the business, it was a highlight of the con for sure. And I guess proves the power of tweeting, too :P

Nicola Scott draws for a huge crowd of fans at the DC Comics booth. It is always great to see her, and I very much appreciate the encouragement and support she has given me in my comic book endeavors.  It was also great to catch up with other Australians on the trip, includingWolfgang Bylsma and Justin Randall from Gestalt comics, Paul Abstruse, Tom Taylor, Tristan Jones, Royd Burgoyne, Carissa Avenhouse and Rand Ratinac.

While standing at the Neal Adams table, I suddenly hear a familiar accent, and as the conversation turns to my favourite topic (Jack Kirby), I realised I'm standing next to British television host, and creator of the Steve Ditko doco, Jonathan Ross. A terrific guy, who was very gracious in accepting a copy of 'The Soldier Legacy', and taking this photo with me.

Another highlight was touching base with comic book legend Mark Waid, and partner Christina Blanch. Mr Waid has been a supporter of Chris's writing for a while, and I too have appreciated the support and feedback in my comic book endeavors. What was even cooler was that at the end of the day this photo was taken, Mark won three Eisner awards for Daredevil and his writing, and then during his spotlight panel the following day, won the Inkpot award! What a massive haul of awards, congratulations once again to one of my favourite writers. Speaking of which, his new digital comics project "Thrillbent" is a must see, so go to when you're done here ;D  

"Kneel before Doom!", This guy is the coolest.

The influential comic book illustrator, Neal Adams, with a signed copy of 'Superman vs. Muhammad Ali'. Fantastic!

Now this guy was cool: a spot-on impression of Stan Lee, and never dropped character. "Excelsior!"

The passionate Arlen Schumer at the annual Jack Kirby tribute panel, discussing his illustrated essay 'The Auteur Theory of Comics'. 

Images from the Jack Kirby panel, featuring panelists such as Comic creator and Jack Kirby's assistant Mark Evanier, 60's Marvel colourist Stan Goldberg, Prof. Charles Hatfield, author of 'Hand of Fire: The Comic Art of Jack Kirby' (an Eisner award winner also, a really nice guy, and a wealth of Kirby knowledge), Comic book/animation writer/producer Paul Dini.

Probably the less said about these, the better...

I had to get in on the action too. "Excelsior!"

As Chris put it "The Hard men of Aussie Comics". That's two! Two idiots, ah ah ah ;P

I also want to thank, and shout out to Agnes Garbowska and Francis Manapul, Jamal Igle, Ben Abernathy, Bobby Curnow, John Barber, Rand Hoppe, Lisa at the Jack Kirby Research Museum booth, John Morrow, Steve Saffel, Arlen Schumer, Brett Smith, James and Robyn Coburn, John from Twomorrow Publications and "Iron Mate". Thank you folks, great to meet/see you again, and to talk to. I do hope I haven't forgotten anyone, let's just blame my tiredness, ok?

All the best, everyone. The work beckons ;)


(Photo via

The latest Soldier Legacy comic books available at Comics Etc. Brisbane, as part of their new independents section, as spotted by a Brisbane comic book fan on Twitter :D

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

San Diego Comic Con 2012 Souvenir book

Happy to report my submission into the official  San Diego Comic Con Souvenir Book was successful- a nice surprise on opening night. The topic was 'Marvel 1962'. Here's a shoddy instagram photo of the magazine page it features on:

Otherwise, here it is on Deviantart Enjoy!

SDCC recap and pics to come, as I've made it home to sunny Brisbane ;D

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oz Comic-Con Melbourne: The Recap!

Australian Comics Panel (L to R): Nicola Scott, Jon Sommariva, David Yardin, Tristan Jones, Wayne Nicols, W.Chew Chan, Dean Rankine, Doug Holgate, and Me. I know, Right?
(Photo taken by Liam Merrick)

As I sit here frantically repacking my suit case for a trip to San Diego to research more for my thesis, meet some of my comic book heroes, touch base with some Editors, and get some feedback on my more recent comic book scribblings, I reflect briefly on the inaugural Melbourne Oz Comic-Con, for which I was an official Guest on the bill with some of the most talented writers and artists in this country, some fantastic international comic book guests, TV and movie stars, and two gentlemen by the names of Patrick Stewart, and one Mr Stan Lee. Yes, I am dumbstruck that I was on the same bill as one of my comic book inspirations, and the chance to meet him was one of the major moments I couldn't wait for.

Now, in several hours, I need to be on my way to the airport, and so I will be making my best attempts to keep this recap brief. However, the people that know me most are clearly aware that often my optimism outweighs reality in regards to time, and keeping within the intended word limits. Yes, my world is a John Woo gun fight: plenty of Action, but somehow a lot of slow motion. But I digress...

Let's try and cover things chronological-like, and if I miss anyone, I will blame the 5 other things I'm currently concentrating on at the moment to make sure I forget nothing for this flight, and that I'm yet to have a good night sleep post- Melbourne. 

So there's two things I like to do when I get a chance to do what I like in Melbourne: Visit All Star Comics on Lonsdale Street, and South Pacific Health Club on Bourke Street. Troy and Mitch, it was great to catch up with them, their shop is a huge supporter of local Australian comics, and I look forward to having the latest Soldier releases don the shelves there. I also followed my tradition and picked up a Kirby book: 'Essential Rawhide Kid', which I look forward to reading on my friggin' long flight to LAX.

As much as I desperately needed a workout after several days of being tied to the computer to knock over the latest freelance design gig, I was ultimately embarrassed when I accidently let out a little too much frustration on the gym's heavy bag set up. It seems I was a little too overzealous when I finally got a chance to put on some gloves and blow off some steam...and snap the thick bolts holding up the Bracket arm. *sigh. At least the bag missed me when it hit the floor, and after returning the gloves to reception, and a handful of washers and broken parts, I sheepishly made my way downstairs to play around on some fantastic equipment. A slick, stylish setup, and easy to get on what you need at that time of the evening.
Anyways, while checking in to the Hotel, I bumped into nice guys David Yardin and Jon Sommariva, down from Sydney. Getting to hang out with these guys in parts over the weekend was really cool- a lovely couple of guys, and David's "Vin Diesel" story is bound to go viral soon. Or at least earn him a fortune on the lucrative Dating book market ;P Jon, well, I made an idiot of myself while waiting for the elevator, stupidly demonstrating to Tristan Jones how to take off the wrist band from the Platinum attendee VIP party. This resulted in an unexpected back fist into Jon Sommariva's stomach. If there was any doubt that I may or may not be invited back as a future guest of the con, all doubts were erased then and there :P I was the butt of many jokes for the rest of the evening. 

At the party and throughout the con, I would just like to give a shout out to the talented people who I had a chance to hang out with or catch up with, for which I am very grateful: Andrew Constant, the nice guy author of 'Torn', Christian Read, for which the irony of the last name is not lost on me, as he is the writer for a heap of fantastic reads, including 'The Eldritch Kid', Unmasked and the upcoming 'Rombies' project with Doug Holgate. Speaking of Doug Holgate,...Doug Holgate. What a top guy. I which I still had hair like that. Or in general. Anyways, we had a laugh or two onstage where we shared several seats between us during the panel, and the idea to mimic the 'Invincible Iron Man Gene Colan homage' Soldier Legacy cover in a picture, that for all intents and purposes, looks like we're attempting to spectacularly soil ourselves on the con floor. Never mind.  

Nicola Scott, Stewart McKenny, Dean Rankine, Wayne Nichols, all wonderful to see again. Wayne, I will get to a D & D in Brisbane, I swear! Dean, I took a bullet for you on Friday night, you owe me ;P But again, thank you for the fantastic Simpson-esque Captain America sketch. I will hook you up next time for sure. At the party and post- party quiet drinks, meeting Agnes Garbowska, Francis Manapul and Scott Allie was awesome. 
They are such lovely and down to Earth people. I say that a lot about the various people I encounter at the conventions. Must speak volumes about the professional comic book community in general. Anyway,  Mr Allie's folio review on the Sunday morning of the con was very kind and very enlightening, and although in many respects made me feel like an amateur, it really pleased me to hear not only the positives and constructive criticism of my more recent pages, but also hear what was NOT mentioned- meaning I can take stock knowing that I've improved on elements that needed attention last time I had my sequential art looked at, and as Mr Allie indicated, there are a couple of thing to look at to "take it to the next level". 
Sarah and the Gentleman, Colin Wilson.
As my concentration begins to fade here, I realize I have barely scratched the surface of the fun and games that occurred at the con. I'm sorry folks, I need to be up in 3 hours and I still have much to pack. Let me just say a huge thank you to the Following people who made my weekend fantastic: Sarah- my self appointed "financial adviser"- Adviser in a sense that she often made commonsense points like "you should cut off your sketch list now", and then having agreed moments before, promptly take on another one because it was a Kirby character :P. Thank you so much for your help and company on the weekend. I hope you had an awesome, albeit exhausting time. Jason Franks, great to see you, brother, great to catch up as always. Tristan Jones, there are some nice guys in comics, and then there's some really nice guys. Tristan is neither. 

A blurry Tristan and Sarah. With a special cameo appearance by my Elbow.

A top guy; we had a few laughs, and it's always great to talk to him. And steal all his rubber bands. Speaking of really nice guys; Bobby N., Tom Taylor, Wolfgang Bylsma, it's never long enough to catch up and chat, but at least we touched base all the same. Tom, your Eric Roberts stories were epic. And Gents, congratulations on the sellout at Gestalt. My close friend Chewie Chan, great to see you again mate, Hayden Fryer, Paul Abstruse's Sunday cameo, Brendan HalydayI think the thing about these cons is, the more successful and busy we all get, the less we see of each other. Never mind. Who else...errr..... look, I know I'm going to forget one or two people here, I'm sorry. Please don't take it personal, no doubt I'll remember your name in a half-comatose daze at 30,000 feet about the ocean, and unable to do nothing about it. Take stock knowing that I'm concerned about this, rather than not caring at all, yeah?
Chewie and I. Man, my camera sucks!

(ok, losing patience with the whole "link' thing. Just do what I've been doing and google the rest of these fine folks, m'kay?)

Finally putting faces to names, such as Steve Sparke of Fec, the very cool Ryan Lindsay, Greg Curcio with the James Chimp game/comic (something to keep an eye out for) to name a few.
Ok, I look a little manic. In my defense, that's Stan Lee. You get one shot NOT to blink. Mr Lee's reply: "Good Job". Thanks sir, but not really. I take terrible pictures under pressure :P

The con organizers, and volunteers, a huge thank you to you. Particularly Carissa, Rand, and Cordy for all of your help, support and running around, including the other volunteers at the show who I'd met before or on the day, getting water, directing traffic etc. It was a first time show in Melbourne, and with two massive guests alone, and an unsympathetic media/fan contingent, I humbly believe you still managed a fantastic event. Anyone who complained about the waiting, I sympathize with you too. But please understand- San Diego Comic Con lines are often longer, more unwieldy and part and parcel of the con experience. Don't let negative press or your first culture shock to the world of fandom ruin any future con trips.Unfortunately, Mr Lee is in his 90's and can only sign so fast (which mind you was very fast! He is the hardest working guest I've ever seen at a con. Straight of a plane from LA to do so many signatures and photos (plus a panel or two) on day 1, plus a fan dinner, then 9-6 the next day again. In his 90's. Inspirational in itself. To have Mr Lee also thank me for giving him a copy of my book as a gift to him, show genuine enthusiasm over the images, and say how appreciative of my work and comments about his and Jack Kirby's influence in my work as he reached out to shake my hand, really blew me away. It's nice to think that perhaps Mr Lee may read my book, coming from a source of inspiration that he helped produce, way back when I was 12 years old, reading his book "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way". A green room highlight was Sir Patrick Stewart, who when I asked how he was going, he simply replied "F***ing freezing...", with which we, along with Chewie, and Wolfgang, chatted about the weather, air con, and airlines. Straight to the top of my 'Awesome Actors' list. 

All in all, the fans on the floor were fantastic, and I enjoyed talking to all of you. Thank you for the virtual sellout of my prints, I ran out of 3 of my 5 types on the first day, and was down to only 1 lot of a half batch by lunchtime day two. The prints were a first for me, and I'm happy with the response to them. I must remember to redo more for the next convention appearance, and update with some new images. And, Soldier Legacy books, I barely have any left for possible store distribution, meaning All Star Comics and Gifts of the Geek might get the last of what I have in stock. Keep you all posted. Thank you to my publisher, Baden Kirgan of Black House comics, for providing me with all the stock and arranging freight. Thanks jason for bringing it down too.
The Ghost Riders Dave and Fez. I want that Shirt, Dave!

Special mentions to buddies Bruce Moyle, Dee Pirko, Daniel Zachariou, Stephan Ford, Wendy Keulemans, Bron Mitchell of WAHM bags (thank you!), Skye, who said hello at the show, the fantastic Illustrator Colin Wilson, Samuel David (writer of the graphic novel 'College Hill' with Wayne Nichols), James Andre of Milk Shadow books, Shaun Paulet of Comics2Movies,  James Gilarte who had a chat, and the wonderful fans and friends who always humble me with their support of my work, such as Roger, Liam, Wayne, Stephan, Paul, Scott, and especially Dave, Fez, Julie and Amy, who were there before the beginning, and who make the most noise. Thank you guys.
 The last 'Justice League' print...
 The last 'Batman' print...
 The last "Marvel 1962" print...
 The FIRST Luke Cage print (where's the love, people? ;P "Sweet Christmas!")
 The very last 'Punisher' print, cleaned up off the wall.

To all the new fans too, I thank you, and I also apologies for all the thank yous and well wishing I tend to do. I guess at the end of the day, I'm thankful for this part of my life that allows me to do something that I love, for the people around me for their support, to have the honour and privilege to talk to peers and top of their game professionals, some who I can call "friends", and to have a growing number of supporters who seem to be genuinely entertained by what I'm attempting to do on paper. You bring me happiness with every nice word, every nice piece of feedback. No amount of negativity, jealousy or indifference from others can take that away.

I look at the clock. I'm going to be so tired on this plane. Oh well. This was something I wanted to do while Oz Comic-Con was fresh in people's minds, and again, I know it's very rambly, and if I missed a name, take heed in the words of the awesome Jim Kelly from 'Enter the Dragon': "Please understand, if I missed anyone, it's been a big day. I'm a little tired'.

I look forward to next years event for sure.

 Steve's Francis Manapul 'Etrigan' head sketch, and my 'Vandal Savage' head sketch, for the beginnings of a very cool 'Demon Knights' jam piece.
 Con Sketch: Thanos!

 Avenger's vs X-Men sketch cover- Frank Castle: Referee ;P
 Con sketch: Poison Ivy
 A somewhat 'What If' sketch request- What is 'The Soldier' was in the Navy...thanks for the pick, Paul :D
 A challenge- Jack Kirby's Kamandi sketch as quick as possible...

 Speaking of quick...

 Well, 3am, up at 5:30am, off to airport, then to LA. So the next time you'll "see" me, I'll have even more photos, and little stories to tell. And hopefully, the first pieces of art roughs for 'Soldier Legacy #5' due out later this year.