Interview Christian Read: Submit questions here

Suggestions, ideas or problems on the forums. Feel free to post em here. (Please PM Maggie for urgent issues)

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Postby Daniel McKeown on Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:48 pm

please go stick your head up your ass


The tone developing on this board (and fostered by the admin, yet!) is possibly the most hostile of any Australian comics board yet. Bravo!

Class Clown type questions are considered just that and nothing more.


Personal habits make for interesting reading.

Oh, and: kiss my arse.
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Postby maggie on Wed Dec 22, 2004 5:09 pm

Daniel: I will kiss your arse if you will kiss mine. Someone must take pics, though.

Well, I can't complain that no one's reading the board. This little tiny tempest is just rife with words. Controversy 'sells' (even if the only one buying is me from my site host).

M

PS - Thanks, Mike.
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Postby Monkey on Wed Dec 22, 2004 6:16 pm

Daniel, this isn't your sandpit. You didn't help make it, you aren't helping it grow. You kick sand, then bitch when you're told off. You're a troll, and worse than even Darren. You want to talk hostility? Hostility happens when people act like idiots. A bit of maturity, such as our 'admin' is showing by not booting people until they learn to play nice, would go a long frigging way. Think about what you're saying and know that even though it seems it, you're not anonymous here. Maggie's worked hard to put these forums together and I think she's earned our respect, so show it - grow up and behave.
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Postby Daniel McKeown on Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:03 pm

Daniel, this isn't your sandpit. You didn't help make it, you aren't helping it grow.


Well, I have technically grown it by one. And among my small number of posts, I include constructive comments in both the Pencilling, Inking & Colouring and Illustration forums. I also encouraged others to join the forum at OzComics.com ("PulpFaction, PulpFaction, Rah Rah Rah" IIRC). Try to pay attention.

You kick sand, then bitch when you're told off. You're a troll, and worse than even Darren.


I haven't been trolling and I certainly haven't seen any such thing from Darren (I don't even know why you have to bring Darren into the mix).

You want to talk hostility? Hostility happens when people act like idiots. A bit of maturity, such as our 'admin' is showing by not booting people until they learn to play nice, would go a long frigging way.


Girl, what's up your ass today?

Think about what you're saying and know that even though it seems it, you're not anonymous here. Maggie's worked hard to put these forums together and I think she's earned our respect, so show it - grow up and behave.


Um, "Monkey", I post using my actual name. I use the same name in public and when I meet others; I am responsible for what I say and have no illusion of anonymity. I challenge you to grow up and do the same.
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Postby David Bird on Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:05 pm

Hi folks,

I don't usually comment/contribute to threads concerning local comics people but I thought I'd throw my 2 bob's worth in.

Maggie I thought you did a fine job. Its not an easy thing to do - to try and get people to open up, though I anticipated Mr Read would be a willing participant.

Now let me preface this question by saying that I'm NOT interested in whatever difference of opinion Christian and Darren may have had in the past, OR if anyone else out there has a particular beef with him, but what is it about Christian that polarizes people's feelings so? (Please don't start sniping and bitching. Please!!)

I've never met him, and despite not being interested in super folk, judging from Maggie's interview, I tend to agree with the basic substance of a lot of what he said; his colourful way of putting things aside. I envy his youthful zeal and energy.

Daniel, I think you love being an agent provocateur a little too much. Let's see some of that wit and savvy being channelled into some stories please.

Cheers
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Postby maggie on Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 pm

Thanks, David.

I've had some dinner and a moment to compose a final thought on this before I just let it go. The deal here is that I do and will do it cuz I want to. And I plan to be as fair as possible as an admin. But I don't plan to curb my opinions as a member of the community because I'm the admin, so I plan to say what's on my mind. I won't say anything here that I won't say to someone in person. Foremost on my mind right now is this:

I don't want accolades, I don't need kudos. I want nor ask for that. By the same token that I don't owe anyone anything, no one asked me to do this. So the playing field is level.

In short, I don't want pats on the back but, on the other hand, I don't want to be kicked in the small of it from behind either.

All I'm asking for is a bit of common respect for trying.
M

PS - David, you're on the interview list. Interested in doing one in the coming months?
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Postby David Bird on Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:04 pm

Sure, Maggie.

Hopefully, by then Paper Tableaux will be cranked up again.
The highs and lows of private (and working) life have delayed me from getting to the printer with a completed book for some time. I'm determined that will change in 2005.
However, Michael Nason and myself have a contribution in Aaron's THE INK #3 and we've also put our hands up for Bernard Caleo's TANGO #6, so there will be something new to talk about.

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Postby Fink on Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:16 pm

For what it's worth, I quite enjoyed the interview.

I haven't read enough of these to feel qualified to critique it. I wouldn't know if it's a rehash of old material but I found some stuff in there that could probably bear repeating if only for the benefit of newer folk to the scene such as myself.

I love reading strong opinion whether or not I happen to agree with it. I suppose that's why I enjoy these forums. By request, I won't throw kudos Maggie's way for doing the interview but I will for trying to keep this site a productive & happenin' thang.

It's all good.
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Postby douglasbot on Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:22 am

I enjoyed the interview. I think as far as a slight critique goes...I would have liked to have seen more of the interviewer. ie: Offering her own insights and or ideas on the topics covered, to offer a slightly more conversational tone and a bit more depth. It would/could also lead to further points not covered. Something I suppose though that will come with feeling more comfortable with interviewing itself.

But, well done on putting your money where your mouth is and being a little proactive Maggie. Despite the fact readers so far haven't been able to get past "ANOTHER Christian Read interview" (?!?) as you say yourself..."Whadareyagunndo?!". I guess just keep doing what you do....it's working so far.

On the stigma of the superhero -

For me...I don't think it's an anti superhero stigma...i think it's more just a bad comics stigma. I just really don't have the time for bad comics...Australian or not.
It just happens i think, that because of the proliferation of the superhero comic as the dominant genre in comics...and US comics being the major market influence on Australian comics that every fan and his creative bone sees a formula and thinks they can make them.
Where it falls down though is unless there is something a little deeper than just the symbolic trappings of what makes a superhero...it's going to fall on it's face. This happens here AND in the international market.

Which is why it kinda baffles me that unless you have a really strong peice of writing, a unique vision or strong storytelling/artistic cajones, why would you make derivative work here (locally) but in the same park as your international peers? When, if it's got no teeth It's just going to get swallowed up and sent to the back of the class before you even get there.
Bad comics are bad comics superhero or no...but i think we're already flying in the face of niche markets, preconceived notions, self imposed stigmas and the like. Why put yourself another 500 steps backwards by adding another notch in an already over saturated market?

I've grown to be not a big fan of undies on the outside so i don't go out of my way to read the genre as much as i did when i was a kid. That said i can still appreciate them if it's well written, good comics. So i disagree with your sentiments regards criticism from someone who doesn't have a deep affinity with the subject matter. I can see your point. But surely if it's a good review (And i don't mean unabashed glowing praise), well written and realised, it should be something you appreciate rather than dismiss immediately as "having an agenda so it's meaningless."

It seems to work when it's a positive review. I can preface a review with..."I really don't like Supers but this comic was well written and drawn." and you will take it graciously. Why doesn't it work the other way round?

Some discussion praps? Actually tossing around some ideas I find is always more interesting than once more reading Daniel's cut-and-paste wit (though they are an old and faithful friend).

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Postby tonia on Thu Dec 23, 2004 10:08 am

Honestly guys!! Just read through this thread - Maggie comes up with a well intentioned, rather good idea to do interviews to add a bit of site content and Christian gives up his time and agrees to be first cab off the rank and this is the response it gets?
If I had a question about the Aus comic scene it would be why when people do positive things they are often ignored but when bitching occurs its the topic of choice - if that energy could actually be directed to making comics we'd have them coming out our arses.
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Postby mark selan on Thu Dec 23, 2004 10:23 am

Talking about reviews and reviewers is always fun.

One thing i have noticed about reviews and superhero/ indie comics is the good/bad ratio.

Grab a seat; this will of course be long winded.

I don't think many comic publishers provide reviewers with complimentary copies to review; especially to Spidey Rocker and his Geocities website. So reviewers buy the comics they review.
no one would consciously buy comics they don't like and then go and make the effort to review them, UNLESS (oh how dramatic) they are a fanboy hooked on their superhero comics waiting till Chuck Austen is fired from Uncanny Xmen and a new writer comes on board. Those guys, with the collectors mentality (must.have.the.whole.run) will bitch and moan something fierce.

But those guys - they don't by comics from the outside of Marvel and DC. They don't review alternative (not marvel, not dc) comics. Subsequently the number of reviews of bad comics will always be less for indy books than superhero comics from the big two. This may give the impression that indy books are better but not necessarily, there are just less bad reviews of indy comics.

On the other hand people who read indy comics (again not marvel or dc) are more likely to be readers and not collectors and therefore its alot easier for them to cut the cord when they came across a bad comic. General assumption, they are more likely to not bother giving a bad review because its a fanboyish.

So the people who would write reviews on bad comics don't read indy books and those who do read indy books don't write bad reviews.

So, a bad review of a non marvel/dc comic in my mind carries alot of weight. But just because its a bad review don't dismiss it and if it is a good review don't print it out and stick over the mantle. Consider the source, like Christian said, what else have the written? they may be some geek with no taste or just dumb.

The only reviews that carry any stock with me are Augie from www.cbr.cc (he does get comp copies it appears but seems to still be unbiased as opposed to Comic Galaxy, Broken Frontier, SilverBullet), Greg from http://www.icomics.com/ (leans on the indy side but its faiir) and the Brian Hibbs Savage critic http://www.comixexperience.com/savblog/savblog.html (runs a shop and gets to read comics for free; leans towards the mainstream capes stuff but is savage about it).
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Postby Daniel McKeown on Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:09 pm

douglasbot wrote:why would you make derivative work here (locally) but in the same park as your international peers?


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Why indeed? <- serious question. :|

["Apologies go to ... Daniel Mckeown for not making a comic about flying teenagers (what?!)" Apology rejected.]

douglasbot wrote:Some discussion praps?


When it comes to interviews, I enjoy reading interviews that give a little personal history and insight into the interests and life of the interviewee. Where did (s)he grow up? Where did (s)he go to school? Did (s)he have a big family? Was (s)he a big comic reader as a kid? How did (s)he hook up with (x) and (y)? Why does (s)he write(/draw) comics and not draw(/write)? Does (s)he have any other artistic interests? Any current comic reading interests, artistic influences. It's all standard This-is-Your-Life/Parkinson/Liz-Hayes-flirting-with-a-celebrity stuff, but standard because interviewers have found that it makes an interesting interview.

Personal anecdotes that give an insight into the personality of the interviewee are what the average punter enjoys. Carrot preferences are an interesting start but Christian would only approve the following part of my "interview": "I have no idea how my family eat carrots. I however rarely eat them, and if I do, I often simply skin them and munch on them during my twice yearly, weekly, health kick." which at least tells us that Christian doesn't eat with his family much and tends to not worry about healthy eating - his close friends probably already know that, but I didn't.

In face-to-face, phone or chat-room interviews, further questions flow naturally, but email interviews tend to be a little stilted: "Tell us about your theories on the use and integration of space, time and movement in sequential art. Or is what you do instinctual and innate?" didn't feel like a logical progression of the interview, it felt like ("Christian: Now, ask me about my theories...").

douglasbot wrote:Actually tossing around some ideas I find is always more interesting than once more reading Daniel's cut-and-paste wit (though they are an old and faithful friend).
d.


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Postby douglasbot on Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:30 pm

Well if you think a 50 book print run, 12 page throw away mini-comic is in the same ball park as succeeding with international peers. Wow. You got me. POW! Right in the kisser.

Well done. Sorry what exactly was your point?

I agree with you wholeheartedly on the personal side of interviews. It is interesting, also why i mentioned previously that it would have been nice to see a more conversational tone in future interviews.
Perhaps if you actually wanted those questions answered though...it might have been better to ask this - "Where did (s)he grow up? Where did (s)he go to school? Did (s)he have a big family? Was (s)he a big comic reader as a kid? How did (s)he hook up with (x) and (y)? Why does (s)he write(/draw) comics and not draw(/write)? Does (s)he have any other artistic interests? Any current comic reading interests, artistic influences. It's all standard This-is-Your-Life/Parkinson/Liz-Hayes-flirting-with-a-celebrity stuff, but standard because interviewers have found that it makes an interesting interview. "

Instead of this - "I don't know what deodorant or cologne he uses. Is he a Colgate or a Macleans guy? Does he like to wash dishes with a cloth or a sponge? Cut his carrots into circles or sticks?"

In the first place. Just a thought.
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Postby Daniel McKeown on Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:22 pm

douglasbot wrote:Well done. Sorry what exactly was your point?


I was asking a question, not making a point.

My serious question was (in light of your somewhat anti-superhero post): Why did you make a derivative work here (locally) but in the same park (which I read as: "superhero comics" but apparently you meant "decent-quality, high print run superhero comics") as your international peers? You posed questions about why someone would bother and I thought, since you have bothered (although you sometimes seemingly forget that you have and would apparently not again), maybe you could actually explain why you once tried it since you don't currently like the idea (in absolute seriousness - what was the turning point from "let's make a teenage superhero comic" to "it baffles me that people make derivative work here"). I was after "Some discussion praps?" Was Harmony just for shits-and-giggles? Was it a mistake? Or, if it wasn't a mistake, what makes you think it was so much better than current Australian superhero offerings? Why was it OK for you to try and fail (or quit, either way) but not for others to try (and perhaps succeed or at least persist) in the genre? What have you learned that prevented "Harmony" continuing?

douglasbot wrote:Perhaps if you actually wanted those questions answered though...it might have been better to ask blahdeblah Instead of this - blahdeblah
In the first place.


Yes. The carrot question results in an interview that can't be printed, but how was I to know?
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Postby douglasbot on Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

These are all really really good questions.
In all seriousness...Instead of constantly trying to be the witty "agent provocatuer" as David put it...why didn't you put things like this forward as serious interview questions when the call originally went out?

Good questions. I will get to answering them when i get the chance. (or perhaps they should wait till someone wants to interview me.) This is Christian's interview thread afterall.

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