Saturday, March 30, 2013

Geek Speak ManCave series- Interviews with Paul Mason included :D

Back in February, I was invited down to 'The Man Cave', on location at Ace Comics in Annerley, Brisbane, by the boys from 'Geek Speak', to record an interview for their 'ManCave' series, about my comic series etc. etc. Also interviewed were Brad Scott of the super popular 'Naked Zombie Radio', and the 'Space Pyrates' comic series creators Matthew Hoddy and Caitlin Major.

To summaries, Todd and I chat a little about the Soldier Legacy comic series's origins of sorts, Jack Kirby and other comic artist I dig, why I'm anti-bully, a little martial arts and childhood, the comics that got me into this whole mess of a career-ish choice, San Diego comic con trips, DC Comics Burbank, Soldier Legacy/Dr Nikola one-shot with Chris Sequeira and Black House Comics (the newly released 'Soldier Legacy's Strange tales') OZ Comic-Con, and upcoming guest appearances at Melbourne and Gold Coast Supanova...and some other stuff. I dunno, I can't remember. Have fun, you'll figure it all out ;P We covered a lot of ground, and I'm very thankful for the invite and opportunity to chat and have a laugh. Thanks again for the support, Geek Speak :D (and apologies for the one or two F-Bomb, kids. Stay in School ;D)

Below, are part 1 and two of the series: Brad Scott, and Matt and Caitlin for your convenience.

Here's something that sparked a few thoughts that maybe are self-indulgent, maybe has bothered me far more than it should of, but overall, I've managed to program into my head as a positive. Since this is a "blog" of sorts, here's a chunk of my brain, folks; bear with me, and apologies :)

I saw pretty early on, the interview video I did, had gotten a 'dislike'. Sure it was one, but man, hard NOT to take that personally considering it's just ME talking... but it's a re-affirmation that no matter how hard I try, or just focus on promoting the comic books and work, learn and do my best with my endeavours etc., someone's always going to have an issue, and "you just can't please everybody". *shrug. When I was in primary school, and came home upset one day from some particularly nasty "let's pick on the freckled, buck tooth, fat kid" session, my Mum and Dad said to me "Don't let mugs upset you". I still live by this, and aim to keep on keeping on. I encourage kids to do the same. Let's just touch on a couple of things in the next few weeks, (let alone the things I'm happy to have landed, and am working towards) to illustrate my point: Next week, I head interstate to test for my 3rd Degree Black belt, something I'm 6 years overdue for, but am looking forward to attempting. The week after, I'm a comic book guest at Melbourne Supanova convention, followed by the Gold Coast with some good friends of mine in the biz. The weekend after that, I'm squad training for the lead up to my events as part of the Australian Taekwon-do team for the 2013 World Championships....Kids, if you buckle to every jealous quip, every put down, negative comment, lukewarm attitude, or even the silence when you do chalk a win up on the board, you will not grow, learn or achieve much. Forget haters, and forget the "entitled" attitude that many people have when they assume they should have what you have, when you're working hard to get it. I'm not being cocky about this, or attempting to boast. Really, I'm merely pointing out my itinerary. If you have a problem with it, then you're probably who I'm walking past to live the life I want to live ;)

That's all I can pass on as a "life lesson" from this, for anyone who cares to read and listen. ;D Keep punching on, kids.

That's my two cents.

Cheers, Diggers. See you all soon.

A "Fire-Fighter" indeed- a real-life inspiration behind a 'Soldier Legacy' comic character

A great write-up from a Central Coast publication this week, featuring one of my closest friends, and a bloke who I look up to as an "older brother". Gary was one of my instructors I would train under when not teaching at my own school years ago (of Authentic Taekwon-do Australia), and was my Muay Thai coach for a number of years. We competed together in the 2005, and 2007 World Taekwon-do championships, and are back for more punishment in the 2013 squad for Korea, where he is one of the Aussie coaches. Outside of TKD and belting people, Gary is just an all-around top bloke and someone I'm glad to call a friend.
 He's also the person I decided to use when I needed a mentor/martial art coach for the 'Young Soldier'. Our actual instructor, Master Moore, might show up in a page or two in the future, but looks a bit too close to the primary antagonist in the main WW2 Soldier story, hence I wanted to avoid confusion. Anyways, 'Barry' was introduced in Soldier Legacy #4, and becomes one to the characters integrel to the young vigilante's attempts to honour his WW2 grandfather's "legacy".

So, if you were actually interested enough in that little "behind the scenes" post, I thank you for taking the time to read about a fantastic Aussie bloke helping his community in more ways than one. And cheers, Gary, for not belting me when you saw yourself in the comic pages ;P

If you're keen and on the Central Coast of NSW, I recommend you check out Gary's Full Time Extreme Martial Arts Gym- Full equipped, complete with Kickboxing/MMA ring, taekwon-do ring, matted floors and heavy bags. Head to Alma avenue, Woy Woy, and tell 'em 'The Soldier' sent you ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Caption These! Wild Photographics snapping pics at Perth OZ Comic-Con!

Below are a series of pics from Wild Photographic's Album from the recent OZ Comic-Con convention in Perth.
The 'Aussies in Comics' Saturday panel featured (From Left to Right) Jon Sommariva, Tristan Jones, me and Doug Holgate (with Stewart McKenny's art above us). A fantastic bunch of nice guys who are kind enough to put up with my bulls*** ;P 

Some rather intense and stupid faces here, feel free to come up with your own captions.

Tell you what? The funniest caption for a photo below (without being overly rude and insulting), I'll post it up here (or perhaps the facebook page), and I'll shoot you a copy of 'The Soldier Legacy's Strange Tales' in the mail. How's that sound?

Update: Send your comments, with indicated photo you're using to

I don't think anyone can beat Sarah Ellen's "A Minute's silence for Dumbledore"... :P

Perth and Adelaide Oz Comic-Con 2013: Scrapbook style, complete with poorly taken pictures!

Hey all!

Look, I'll be blunt. I'm pretty tired. So, I'm basically slapping down all the pics and nonsense ala half-a**ed scrapbook style here, just because I've gotta get back into a current thing that I'm waiting to get the ok to spill online. Those at the monster panel in Adelaide on the Sunday ("Aussies in Comics" ft. Andrew Constant, Nicola Scott, David Yardin, Jon Sommariva, Doug Holgate, Tristan Jones, me, Paul Abstruse, and Stewart McKenny) would have heard it, and probably shrugged ;p but, *I'm* stoked. Baby steps into the US, AND on the panel for the project at SDCC with my good friend and writer collaborator Chris Sequeira. Busting with excitement....

Anyways, getting distracted. The schedule is grueling at the moment, and with the onset of the flu, it's about to get worse. However, I very much want to thank a number of people for what was a fantastic two weekends in Perth and Adelaide as a Guest of Oz Comic-Con. 

So, yes. This blog post is a bit of a "thank you-fest". But I make absolutely no apologies for it. I grew up learning a number of important things. Work hard, be polite, and be thankful for every opportunity that comes your way. Particularly when my comicbook goals are an uphill battle, promises are often made and dashed, the months of grinding to get out a book, and perhaps being ignored or overlooked because of a geographical location or you're not a "friend of a friend", I'm pleased with any shread of respect or "pat on the back" my toiling creates. I push on regardless, but without the physical and/or moral support from some key folks and kind people, I'd be sunk. So... 

Firstly, thank you old and new Soldier readers and scribble/print fans who came by in Perth and Adelaide! It was an absolute pleasure being in your home states for a change, and I'm very pleased with the reception. It's always tough to ask people to take a leap of faith on an unknown character/series, so I'm glad you all decided to "enlist" in the Soldier's army ;) Met some really cool people, who I'm happy to say, actually tolerated the Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions during the panels, and the Mike Tyson ones too (we'll blame Andrew Constant for that...he dared me ;P) Stephen and his lovely wife in Perth, Matt, Jarrod and Jarrod S. Carol, Lovely to see you on your home turf. Being my first trip to WA and SA, any support for an Aussie book is very welcoming, and appreciated. You guys are the lifeblood of the series. Stop reading, I'll stop doing them. Simple ;)

Sarah Ellen, thank you so much for all your help and support for Perth, and your prep for Adelaide too. I wouldn't have been able to co-ordinate the flights for it all without you, kept myself fed during the shows, keep track of the cash and bookkeeping etc. (and, you can thank her for the colour textas in Adelaide too ;) ) I had an awesome time in Perth and we missed you in Adelaide. (And Nicola, she LOVED the Batgirl, thanks again). There is always Melbourne too. xo

Baden, my 'Soldier' publisher at Black House Comics; I'd just be a dude interstate at an empty table without your help and support; it's quite a logistical effort to get the books and prints to where they have to go by a certain date (and top me up on the road); thank you, mate!. Royd, thank you again for your help in Perth my friend, and it was great to catch up with you as always (See you next month!) :D Darren and Jason from 'Gifts for the Geek', you guys are life-savers too! Thanks for handling my stock interstate,and keeping my wardrobe in check with your t-shirts that actually fit me (you dropped the ball there, 'Target' ;P) I look forward to Free Comic Book day at your store in Geelong.

Speaking of Geelong, Cordelia- you're a champion. Thank you so much for all you do at the conventions. No request is too small, and you always think of the guests. A super person, and a bubbly person to know. Cheers :D

To the wonderful OCC volunteers, drivers, and security at Perth and Adelaide who had to put up with me (and in the case of the volunteers; with the fantastic Comicbook guest wrangler Cordelia at the helm)- it was lovely to meet such nice, helpful and friendly people. You guys are the energy of the convention as much as the fans, and I thank you :) Special mentions to Leah, Tash, Caitlyn and Bec, partly because of your warmth, but also because I'm usually terrible with names and am quite proud I remembered :P Anyone else who kept me supplied with food and water, you have no idea how thankful I am. I'd pass out at that table drawing if not for you guys!

Special shout outs and thank yous to fellow guests and comic book folk who made my time an absolute blast; some old friends, and some new, it was great to converse, have a laugh, and just chill out between the time on the floor. And, I have to say, I could relax, and not have to be "switched on" or feel like I was being "sized up" (like some of the unfortunate moments I was surprised to be in). But, you get that in any scene/job/industry. All you can do is keep working, ignore the underlying vibes, and walk on. I'm thankful for the overall support and feeling of mutual respect I seemed to have received from great, clever people. So, the Gestalt crew of Wolfgang Bylsma, Andrew Constant, (and the Perth contingent) Gary Edwards, Justin Randall and Emily Smith, the bearded one (and training partner ;P) Douglas Holgate, Tristan 'T-Rex' Jones, Nicola Scott, David Yardin, Jon Sommariva, Stewart McKenny (and Wendy!), international comic book artist Matthew Clark (and fine artist Sienna Morris), Bruce Mutard and Mirranda Burton on the Perth leg, and Paul Abstruse on the Adelaide leg; I salute you. Some warm memories and funny stories.

Last pic- the goodbyes at Adelaide Airport. Courtesy of David Yardin, and the stranger on the trigger.
(Nicola, Wolf, Andrew, Bobo the Monkey, David and Jon)
The local guys; great to see you. The madness and work of the cons means I rarely get a chance to talk, but it's always good to see your faces, albeit brief. Again, nice to meet those too who I previously only knew as an avatar on social media. Amy Maynard (thanks for the great questions, and good luck with the PhD. :D), Trent Howard (again, thanks for the chat), Paul 'Buzz Mandible' Briske, Shaun 'Comics2Movies' Paulet, Chris 'How to make a Friend' McQuinlan, David Williams and Pat McNamara from 'The Legend of Spacelord MoFo' (your grandfather's book is awesome! Looking forward to get stuck into it.), my long lost twin brother Paul 'The List' Bedford, The Space Pyrate crew of Matthew Hoddy, and Caitlin Major (Congratulations again on your fantastic news re: your successful pozibles campaign!), Greg Gates,  Michal Dutkiewicz (nice meeting you, sir), Mark Lauthier from Perth, Darren 'Decay' Koziol- Thanks Ladies and gents. 
It was also great to meet the ubber talented Jason Palmer, gentlemen voice actors Chris Sabat and Paul Eiding, Callum Blue, Jason Momoa, and the fantastic William Shatner, who Sarah had quite a long conversation with, and kindly has copies of 'The Soldier Legacy' (!). In Adelaide, we politely chatted about Adelaide, war etc. a cool way to spend afternoon tea, that's for sure. The dudes at 'I'm Rick James, Bricks', Rod from 'Millenium Collectables , Pulp Fiction Comics in Adelaide, cheers :)

Lastly, I just want to say a heart-felt thank you to Carissa and Rand for their support and kindness- Oz Comic-Con is a great tour I'm thankful to have been invited to, and am honoured to be counted among a great bunch of people, both local and international. It's such a warm, welcoming and relaxed vibe when dealing with all aspects of the shows, and I appreciate their attitude towards each and every guest. I'm very much looking forward to Melbourne in July, and I'm stoked at the help they offered and extended to me, in allowing me to attend their shows, plus keep up my other comic book, and tournament/squad training commitments this year too.

OZ Comic-Con attendees, thanks again, and I look forward to seeing you guys again soon :)

ps.: I'm terrible with names- if I haven't  mentioned you, my deepest apologies; blame the flu brain. Basically, I'll kick myself later, and/or probably add names as I remember them. Your faces are burnt into my brain though, so expect a smile when I see you again.

Perth Floor Plan for 2013
Adelaide Floor Plan the following week.
What I really like about both is the proximity of the artists to the entryways and international comic guests. 

We see you, Perth!
One Size fits All, apparently...( Aren't they pretty? :D)
5 minutes into day 1 in Perth, and a Witch Doctor curses me.
Oh well, just another typical Saturday I guess. Minus the goat sacrifice... #INeedSleepClearly

Our first panel of the tour...and the other got hit with Customers. We stare awkwardly at the crowd until the guys arrive. 45 minutes later. (Kidding!)

Carol goes all it with this elaborate outfit :D Great to see you :)

Best cosplay ever! Hilarious.

"In Russia, something something YOU" (Cheers, Comrade Max!)

Andrew, Nicola, Gary, Matthew and Jon. I have no idea what the conversation was, but Jon's got a strong opinion.
More antics with a great bunch of 'new recruits' in Perth. Thanks, dudes!
Yep, I take Awesome photos. Doug agrees. (Last night in Perth ).
Fancy Adelaide hotel room is fancy. Was absolutely blown away by the kind treatment of all the guests.
What Parent in their right mind would allow their kid to put a greasy fast food bag on their head for fun? McDonalds give out Toys, you cheap bastards ;P
Gah! Fancy Robot TV!

Doug Holgate trains like a soldier.

'The Soldier Legacy's Strange Tales'- Deadpool approved.

"What choo lookin' at, ya mook?"

Yeah....Cordi, you're not allowed to navigate any more #TotallyGotLost ;P

After waiting 1.5 hours for our meals, we all decided to eat Doug. 

T-Rex goes into "pompous British Lord" mode :D
Keep your shirt on, Anthony ;P Nice talking to you guys and girls.

A sketch for Carissa. Thank you!

Batroc "ze Lepar!" for Aus Comiker Mark Selan. Great meeting you, mate :D 

2 minute Macgyver! Just in the nick of time, as the Monster panel was being called on the P.A.
P.s: If anyone has a copy of the "commando roll" stage entrance, I need it!....for science. And I'm a jerk.

David Yardin stops to chat with his fans.
Post-It Note Deadpool ;P
Some "new recruits" in Adelaide. Cheers, Gents!

And, the token "fight poster" shot ;P 

Some crazy building. Anyone from 'Radelaide' want to save me some Google time, and fill me in?
Andrew, Bec, Doug and Tristan.

Last minute Joker as Adelaide draws to a close.
Doug, T-Rex, Matthew, Andrew, Ronald McDonald (;P), and Nicola. Do you like my lame "I ran out of clean shirts, and this was the only con shirt that fit" shirt? ;P
A Turtle sketch for T-Rex Jones's convention sketchbook. Thanks man,; an honour to grace the pages.

Mark, Nicola and Matthew

Speaking of turtles, late night old school 'toons on the fancy Robot TV.

'The Human Fly'!

David's photo. I'd say Jon took this. Otherwise, illustrating isn't the only Mad skill Yardin has ...

Cheers, Diggers for a fantastic tour! See you next time!