Archive for the ‘comics’ Category
When I was a kid, the old and the young read comic books, cowboy stories and magazines. These reading materials would make their way around the village, read by all of the interested members of one household and then passed on to the next. The Phantom was, of course, premium.
– Noel Pearson (2009) “Radical Hope: Education and Equality in Australia” Quarterly Essay, no.35, p.37-8.
On Friday I submitted my thesis. Never thought that would happen :P I had a very fun celebratory weekend and now I can blog anytime I like. Sometime (early) next year I’ll hear whether the examiners liked it, but in the meantime I have three articles (at least) to write, from my thesis and other aspects of teenagers’ reading. Right now I have to write a job application. Sadly my idyllic thesis-free life of leisure may only last until the New Year, but I’ll be enjoying it!
She said it took different skills to interpret the interplay of words and pictures in graphic novels – skills that were important in today’s highly visual world.
“You’re actually reading the pictures at the same time that you’re reading the words, so if you’re not used to it that can be very difficult. It’s something you have to learn.”
The above is a quote from Perth’s daily newspaper The West Australian and it was supplied to reporter Bethany Hiatt during an interview with me :) Last week I was interviewed about graphic novels and my research by Education Editor Ms Hiatt. My brain is mush due to thesis, but I actually made some lucid comments that gave the impression my brain is not mush :P On Saturday the article was published . Some of The West Australian’s articles are reprinted online, but comics just don’t cut it. You can only read it if you’re in Perth and you’re one of those people who read the paper. What newspapers already know (and are desperately grasping for ideas on how they can make money from the younger generation who don’t read papers) I have now worked out.
I felt almost famous being in the newspaper. Unfortunately my fame is only among those older people who read the paper. I’m not denigrating the older generation of newspaper readers and I’m not sure what the cut-off age is, but when I txtd my friends to tell them to look for me in the paper, their answers were along these lines:
- Ignore me (it happens a lot due to most of what I txt being something totally random that I think is enormously funny but no one else does)
- Tell me to save the article for when we next met up
- Tell me he’d look at it at work on Monday
I have a list of graphic novels written or illustrated by Australians. It’s not extensive and I often discover titles I’ve missed, but finding Australian graphic novels and comics may become easier. Debbie Cox contacted me to tell about two projects of the National Library of Australia which aim to ensure the library collects published work of Australian comics creators. Collecting Australian Fringe Publishing at the National Library of Australia and The Comics Claiming Project are about the collection and treatment of comics, graphic novels, manga and zines at the NLA. The projects focus on:
- What’s being published by Australian creators and publishers, whether published in Australia or not
- Whether the NLA is adding them to the collection
- If not, how the intake of these materials could be improved
How is this relevant to Australian comics and graphic novels creators?
The NLA needs help ensuring Australian comics, graphic novels, manga and zines are represented in the national collection. For creators this will mean a copy of published work is preserved in a controlled environment and made accessible to library patrons now and in the future. Information about these works will also be made available as a catalogue record to anyone anywhere with access to the internet.
Julie Ditrich, Director of Black Mermaid Productions and Australian Society of Authors Comics/Graphic Novels Portfolio Holder, is asking Australian comics creators to participate in a survey that will help build a profile of the comics community, as well as provide a starting point for research into Freelance Page Rates.
AN OPEN LETTER TO AUSTRALIAN COMICS CREATORS
Dear Australian Comics Creator,
I am writing to you as a member of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), representing the recently established ASA Comics/Graphic Novels Portfolio. I am currently undertaking research to create a Rates Card for you and other professional and emerging Australian comics creators for the purposes of commissioned works (otherwise known as work-for hire) agreements. By “comics” I mean anyone who is writing and illustrating comic books, graphic novels, comic/cartoon strips, digital (web) comics and zines (that contain comics/sequential art content). By “professional” I mean anybody who has been paid page rates by a publisher or other entity who has commissioned the work.
We are asking you to fill in a simple survey, which will only take you 10 minutes, and to provide information based upon your own professional experiences. This raw data will remain strictly confidential and will be used with the intention of formulating minimum page rates and to get an understanding of the makeup and profile of the working (and emerging) comics community in Australia. The specific minimum rates we want to develop for the Rates Card are for:
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I previously blogged about whether reading a graphic novel is equivalent to reading a conventional book. Some of the teenagers I talked to thought this wasn’t the case, but most of the librarians agreed it was – striving through their work to ensure young people encountered a variety of genres and formats in their reading, without making judgements on supposed “quality.”
I asked every group of teenagers what they would think if graphic novels were assigned as an English class text. Some teenagers thought this would be an “easy” option and it was the visual component which led to their demotion of the format as a “legitimate” text. These teenagers also happened to be those who had limited experience of the format. (Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality.)
Fourteen year old Anna believed,
People would choose the graphic novel without like thinking about it cause they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s just a comic, it’ll be easy.’ But they won’t like think about like what you have to do. And they’ll just be like, ‘Oh it’s a change. And do that.’
Marty (age 14) said, “They’re not really books” and Jeremy (age 14) agreed, conjecturing that studying a graphic novel would compare unfavourably to a conventional book because it could not be studied it in depth.
That’s why we read more thorough books like The Red Cardigan  and stuff.
The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) recently formed a Comics/Graphic Novels Portfolio — an advocacy group that aims to provide industry support to Australian artists and writers currently working in the comics medium and, in particular, the graphic novel format.
The major objectives of the Portfolio are to:
- Protect and promote the professional interests of comics creators (both writers and artists).
- Form a professional community of active members who operate in this specialist discipline.
- Liaise and cross-pollinate ideas with like-minded Australian and overseas organisations whose focus is on the promotion of the comics art form.
Dr Jeremy Fisher, ASA Executive Director, said,
The ASA wants to actively support a neglected (and often vulnerable) group of literary creators in the Australian comics/graphic novels community who have never had the opportunity to be part of a professional association or been exposed to prior formal or consistent intellectual property rights education before.
Last weekend I went to my first ComicCon Supanova. Sorry, I just read it was a Pop Culture Expo. Perth is not the most exciting place to visit and some of the attractions realised this and cancelled, eg. the girl from Heroes and someone from Supernatural. (Can you tell that I really know my stuff?) I told my boyfriend I was going and he said, “What sort of comics are they – Donald Duck?” Obviously he wasn’t invited! Being that I’m not much of a geek either, I needed a guide into this new and scary world. Luckily my friend Andrew wanted to see his fellow geeks in their (his) natural habitat.