Archive for April, 2013

Tell us a bit about Who You Are And How You Came To Be.
I’m Owen Heitmann, a writer and artist based in Adelaide, South Australia. I wish I had an exciting origin story, but I’m just a guy who grew up reading Tintin, Asterix, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes and Carl Barks’ duck comics. Now I create comics myself. I’ve also written about comics for major newspapers and other outlets, but I still have an office job to pay the bills.

How did you find yourself making comics?
I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t make comics! Some of my earliest memories involve scribbling cartoons mocking my younger brother. I drew comic strips for my primary school newsletter, was published in comic books in high school,  and drew cartoons for a national newspaper in university. Since then I’ve self-published around a dozen comics and appeared in numerous anthologies. Some years have been more productive than others, but I can’t ever see myself not creating comics. I have far too much love for the potential the medium has and the avenues it offers to express myself and tell stories.

Without giving too much away, tell us about your story “Descent” and hodescentPREVIEW01w you approached it.
Most of my comics are either light humour or slice of life drama. With ‘Descent’, I wanted to try something different. My intention was to create an tense, atmospheric story, with a building sense that things aren’t as they should be, like a disturbing dream. I wrote the story with Jake in mind: his fluid, organic style, heavily inspired by street art, perfectly matches the feeling I wanted to create. I basically started with a bunch of vaguely disturbing unconnected images and started working out how they fitted together. Drawing inspiration from various comics that have unsettled me, I used many silent panels, and left a lot of things unexplained and open to the reader’s interpretation.

What are you reading right now, comics or otherwise?
My “To read” pile is absolutely mammoth! Key titles that I’m in the process of reading or looking forward to include the latest book in Kazu Kabuishi’s Amulet series, Alex: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell, the Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse library from Fantagraphics, Any Empire by Nate Powell, Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s, and The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire. I’m also re-reading Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim and Jeff Smith’s Bone in their reissued colour versions. Outside of comics I’ve got The Gonzo Papers Anthology by Hunter S Thompson, By Hook or By Crook by David Crystal, and The Mad Scientists’ Club Complete Collection by Betrand R Brinley (revisiting a childhood favourite).

How did you meet up, and what’s your creative process like?
I originally met Jake Bresanello (artist of Descent) through our shared interest and involvement in the local Adelaide music scene. Our friendship was cemented by traveling in the same social circles and having other common interests, such as comics. I published some of his solo work in a comics anthology zine that I edited in 2009. I’ve always loved Jake’s art, and pushed him to collaborate with me when I heard he was having trouble writing his own material. I sent him the synopsis I had written for Descent, and when we discussed it later over a few beers I was delighted to find that we were right on the same page. The way he described his visual approach to the story was exactly how I was seeing it in my head. I did some rough thumbnails as a guideline, and then my role was to play motivator and keep encouraging him to have the artwork finished by the deadline. I think the completed story looks absolutely sensational, and it was a real thrill to see my ideas brought to the page by such a creative artist.

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What else is in the works for you, and where can readers find your work next?
I’ve always got a lot of projects on the boil! Hic & Hoc Publications’ new anthology Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends features a short comic I wrote and drew about the factual 1967 disappearance of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt. I’m also very pleased with The Snow Child, a folk tale adaptation written by Sarah Milne that I drew for Gurukitty Studios’ recent Once Upon A Time anthology. Jake Bresanello has illustrated another of script of mine called Junkyard Dogs – that story is completed and we’re about to submit it to yet another anthology. I’m currently writing scripts for talented artist Gina Chadderton about a swamp monster who moves to the big city. We’re planning to build up a graphic novel from short chapters and standalone stories. I also have a great script written by Anna Jeavons for me to illustrate, as well as some stories of my own I’d like to draw. That’s not to mention the hundreds of online-only comics and other news at my website (www.24hourcynic.com)!

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FCBD2013At 8th Wonder Press, we love Free Comic Book Day.  It is — hands down — the best day of the year, every year, without fail.  Unfortunately for us, we don’t have a book in your Local Comic Shop this year, but we still want to participate and give everyone a sample of our fine comics.

To that end, we’re going to give away a free digital copy of our mini-comic “What REALLY Happened to the Seven Wonders of the World” to all of our social media followers on May 4th.  No DRM, no drama, just a pdf download of a fine (and funny!) story by Jesse Dubin and Andrew Middleton.

To claim your copy, just follow one of our various and sundry social media pages.  On FCBD, we’ll post a link to the comic that will be valid for 24 hours.  That’s it!  Of course, we’d definitely appreciate your RT’s, shares, and spreading the word so we can give away as many copies as possible (it’s not OUR bandwidth!). 7cvr16percent

We still want you to visit your LCS and snag some terrific print comics, too, but this is our contribution — however small — to getting the word out.

Six Questions With: Mister V

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Interviews

With our anthology set to come out next month, we’re going to take a few minutes to talk to some our great creators to give you a taste of what you can expect.  Mister V is a Denver-area cartoonist whose strips are equal parts rage and comedy.  His work for Uncanny Adventures — “Revenge of a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” — brings to mind 90’s mainstays “Milk and Cheese,” “Hate,” and “Eightball.”

Mister V, tell us a bit about Who You Are And How You Came To Be.

My name is Mister V, but my friends call me V, or Matt. I’ve lived in the same city my entire life.
My wife used to be my next door neighbor. I watch Ken Burns documentaries and professional
wrestling for fun. I’ve been driving the same car for fifteen years. I own a Chihuahua named Angel Love.

How did you find yourself making comics?

Comics have been in the forefront of my life for as long as I’ve been able to read. I began
making my own comics in elementary school to combat my unending fucking boredom. Today making
comics is more of an obsessive-compulsive tic than a pastime. I couldn’t stop making them even if I
wanted to. I can’t imagine my life without them.

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Without giving too much away, tell us about your story Revenge of a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and how you approached it.

In my personal life I have a lot of anger issues. One of the ways these unpleasant neuroses
manifest is though my unhealthy ability to hold grudges forever. I’ve been working on letting go of
some of these old, dusty peeves, and for some reason thought it’d be healing to do so in a public forum,
like a flasher on a crowded subway car. That’s all a flowery way of saying there was an art teacher who
fucked with me in college, and I never got to pay him back for it until now. And I did it in the way that
would have pissed him off most of all: I put him in a low-brow, Looney Tunes inspired comic. It feels
good …

What are you reading right now, comics or otherwise?

I read sooooo many comics. Right now I’m thoroughly enjoying Mind MGMT, The Manhattan
Projects, Saga, Rachel Rising, and Harbinger. Generally I pick up anything from Avatar. I read an
unhealthy amount of corporate comics too, like Wonder Woman and Ultimate Spider-Man. The last
really good graphic novel I read was Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire. I’d probably read more than I
do today if I weren’t already habitually broke.

How did you meet up, and what’s rotpotaaaymPREVIEW02your creative process like?

I get ideas for comics like people get cancer. I wake up and that shit’s spontaneously inside of me, waiting to get cut loose. Craft-wise I’m fairly unorthodox. I script using the Harvey Pekar method (stick figures and whatnot). I draw on plain ol’ computer paper, and ink using pens that are only a step or two above your average bic. If I didn’t pour so much love into each page it’d be shameless how ghetto I am.

What else is in the works for you, and where can readers find your work next?

Oh so many things. My new book The House of Whorror debuts at Denver Comic Con this May, hopefully alongside my new mini Karl Marx Guide to Ultimate Revolution in 10 easy steps). I’ll be starting a new webcomic before the year is over called Poser. While attempting to keep The She-Ma’am
Fella Hatin’ Sorority produced on a quarterly basis, I’ll be introducing Arborcides Menage A Trois, yet another (hopefully) quarterly mini-comic. Plus I’m working on some other stuff too. Busy busy busy!!! Nearly all my comics can be read for free at my website www.arborcides.com . Go and see for yourself.

With our anthology set to come out next month, we’re going to take a few minutes to talk to some our great creators to give you a taste of what you can expect.  Andrez Bergen is one of the few creators who came to use with a completed story in hand, to show how dedicated he is to the tale.  His piece “Zig Zag,” with artist Drezz Rodriguez, is a moody tale that will remind you of Warren Ellis’ horror work.

Andrez, tell us a bit about Who You Are And How You Came To Be.

I’m Andrez Bergen, real name Andrew — I picked up the ‘z’ at school since there were two other Andrews in my class and I dug Zorro. Born in Melbourne, Australia, but moved to Tokyo 12 years ago. I’ve been making music (as Little Nobody and Funk Gadget) since 1995, and writing since I could hold a biro. I’ve worked with Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) on the English translation of one of his movies, and published 2 novels — Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011) and One Hundred Years of Vicissitude (2012) — and have a third about to be released. It’s called Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? and is a hybrid noir/sci-fi/pulp/comicbook beastie.

zigzag2-previewHow did you find yourself making comics?

I was making crap comics in primary school, since I loved reading them, I was mad about writing, and I enjoyed drawing. I did strips for high school and university newspapers. The drawing, however, took a bit of a back-seat as I focused more on music and words — and in 2011-12 I started working with a bunch of sequential artists who were far better anyway. Prominent amongst these was Drezz.

Without giving too much away, tell us about your story Zig Zag and how you approached it.

Zig Zag started off as a short story vaguely related to the noir, dystopian, near-future Melbourne I created in the novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, but it was a standalone piece that I realized didn’t actually stand all that well alone — something was missing. I loved the idea of it, but it needed oomph, something to bring it out of its shell. The first time I laid eyes on Drezz Rodriguez’s online noir comic El Cuervo, I knew what that something was.

What are you reading right now, comics or otherwise?

I’m going (again) through the entire series of Jack Kirby & Stan Lee’s Fantastic Four in the 1960s, and also reading Yukio Mishima’s Temple of the Golden Pavilion.

How did you meet up, and what’s your creative process like?

I contacted Drezz in February 2012, straight after discovering El Cuervo, and suggested working together. He didn’t know me from Adam, but luckily the guy was really cool and we chatted about ideas. I sent him the Zig Zag short story, and he came up with the incredible artwork we now have. The entire process was done via email as we live in different countries, but it sailed smoothly probably because Drezz is so darned professional and talented.

What else is in the works for you, and where can readers find your work next?

A reworking of the original Zig Zag story (the words rather than images!) will be coming out in my anthology The Condimental Op on July 22, via Perfect Edge Books. Also a different version of Drezz’s Zig Zag — along with the work of several other artists tweaking noir/dystopia — will be published in autumn in the anthology The Tobacco-Stained Sky (Another Sky Press). My novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? should be published through Perfect Edge Books by September.

Now You Know What To Call Us

Posted: April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s official, our 2013 anthology is no longer “Our 2013 Anthology”.  Our new book, to be released in a month and a half, is now called “Uncanny Adventures”!  Calling to mind the Silver Age sci-fi titles of the 50’s, Uncanny Adventures reflects both our corporate vision of forward-thinking, easily accessible stories and the wide range of tales we’ll have represented in our 2013 anthology.  (Okay, that was the last time, sorry.)

Stay tuned for more details, including the big reveal of our cover and special guest artist!

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