The Americans Are Coming
One of the (if not the only) ways to make a living doing comics in Australia is to do work for hire, especially for DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, and IDW among many. But how do you break into it from here? What’s it like to work for them; is one company better than another; are there any perks, lurks, demerits?
Join Amanda Bacchi as she has a conversation with Mark Sexton, Tristan Jones and Ryan Lindsay, who’ve all managed this feat. It promises to be fearless, frank and funny.
Panelist: MARK SEXTON
Mark Sexton is an illustrator and writer who has worked in films and in comics for far too long a time for it to be “just a phase”, as his parents hoped.
In the middle of a PhD in Genetics back in the early 90’s, Mark decided to relax by writing and drawing comic books – the fondly remembered “Bug & Stump” with co-creator John Petropoulos. This proved to be rather enjoyable and in a fit of (in)sensibility, he quit his promising career in science for the life of an impoverished comic book creator, setting up AAARGH! Comics with John.
This was very entertaining and “Bug & Stump” proved rather popular, garnering a number of awards and a legion of fans. But fate had other plans. AAARGH! Comics also produced the now infamous “TISM” comic which was rather dramatically banned and withdrawn from sale by its distributors 24 hours after release. Mark received a rap over his knuckles and was told he was a “very naughty boy”. AAARGH! Comics quietly folded.
The very next week, Mark got a gig as a storyboard artist on the cult film “Dark City” and has been working in film ever since…
He’s worked on – amongst others – “Star Wars Episode 2”, “Mission Impossible 2” and “Happy Feet”, the last on which he was Production Designer as well as on storyboards. But his favourite film to have worked on was “Mad Max: Fury Road”, for which he did storyboards and concept design.
Recently though, Mark has returned to his original folly – comics! He has recently worked as co-writer and artist on the “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel comics for DC/Vertigo, which just won the Diamond Gem Award for Best Licensed TPB for 2015. Currently he’s producing “Judge Dredd” for 2000AD, and there’s more to come!
When Mark occasionally emerges from his studio, he discovers that he still lives in Sydney and really should get out more.
Artist turned writer turned writer/illustrator Tristan “T-Rex” Jones was born and raised in Melbourne and though spent much of his time growing up by the ocean, is certainly not the sailor most people find when Googling or Wikipediaing his name.
THIS Tristan has quickly made his mark in the comics industry following a critically acclaimed run on Mirage Studios’ “Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series that has since led to further comic smashes as a part of the creative team on IDW’s “Ghostbusters” ongoing series and the action-horror smash Infestation: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
Panelist:RYAN K LINDSAY
A man of many worlds, Ryan K Lindsay writes comics, about comics, and teaches comics.
His credits include NEGATIVE SPACE from Dark Horse Comics, HEADSPACE from Monkeybrain Comics/IDW, CHUM from ComixTribe, GLOVES a short story in the Vertigo CMYK anthology, DEER EDITOR from his ‘Four Colour Ray Gun’ imprint, GHOST TOWN from Action Lab Entertainment, the FATHERHOOD one-shot from Challenger Comics, and a MY LITTLE PONY one-shot from IDW. He’s had short stories published by Image/Shadowline, ComixTribe, Martian Lit, and Crime Factory. He’s also had essays published in CRIMINAL, GODZILLA, SHELTERED, STRANGE NATION, HORROR FACTORY, and has a book of them about Daredevil called THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: EXAMINING MATT MURDOCK AND DAREDEVIL from Sequart.
He is Australian. Hit him up @ryanklindsay for words daily.
Host: AMANDA BACCHI
Amanda Bacchi is a stage host and panel moderator for pop culture events across Australia, interviewing local and international authors, comic artists & writers, actors, voice talent, puppeteers, and cosplayers.
A stage host for OZ Comic-Con since 2014, she began her hosting career in 2012 with a local Youtube and TV series as the ‘girly geek speak’ host, interviewer, media liaison, podcaster and scriptwriter, discussing current TV series, movies, gaming, comics, books, and events. An interview about the series led to a co-hosting gig with the weekly variety/comedy program The Late Night Show LIVE on Brisbane’s Community TV channel 31 Digital, as their pop culture correspondent in 2013-14. This spot allowed her to provide media coverage for the Brisbane Zombie Walk, for which she also hosted the main stage and costume competition in 2014 and 2015. She was crowned Foxtel’s Australian Zombie Walk Queen for her cosplay in 2013, and has twice judged cosplay competitions for the Brisbane Alternative Expo on behalf of Drawn2Life.
Amanda is studying her Masters in Information Studies degree to be a Youth Librarian, and works for Brisbane City Council Libraries. On behalf of Brisbane Square Library, Amanda also co-hosts a Monthly Comic Book Meetup event, that has been running since late 2014. Amanda can sometimes be found at the #chaosfarm, which is the home base for Bawden’s Cockatoo Chaos: a mobile wildlife educational facility for which she has been an animal trainer and presenter at shows, schools, and conventions for many years.