I hate using the word ‘fall’ for autumn. It always gives me the compulsion to push someone over.
But then I guess we’d have to change it to “fell”. Or “shoved”.
Anyway, that inanity aside, it’s the beginning of that season here in Japan, and I got back just over a week ago from Australia.
That trip was mad for a variety of reasons, 95% of them positive and/or terrific. For starters, catching up with friends and family in Melbourne was a blast, plus acclimatizing to familiar sights, sounds and taste sensations.
And I got to finally meet Matt Kyme, my co-conspirator with IF? Commix over the past year! The guy is a legend, as is his family.
The IF? Commix comic book launch on August 17 was equally mad. We shifted almost half the print-runs of the Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat graphic novel and Tales to Admonish #3, and pretty much sold out That All Star Bulletproof Kid and Bullet Gal #1.
Thanks to all the people who came: the artists, the writers, the comic book aficionados and fans, the curious, the parents, the film crew and bamboozled passers-by. Respect to the bods at Classic Comics, who were amazing hosts. Thanks to the fine weather and apologies for the crazily long queue — but otherwise? Wow. Thank YOU, Melbourne. You can check out some of the pictures right here.
The book launch for Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth on August 13 was… um… not so great. And for one mostly wrong reason.
Around 70 people passed through the doors of Brunswick Bound, and Suzi and Rob who run the place were also immaculate hosts. Brian, Mum and I organized a canny banquet of old skool gallery opening tucker: kabana, cheese, potato chips and cask-wine. The vibe was just right.
But we had a book-less event to hawk.
Sounds like some marketing gimmick to appease people who covet trees in this digital age, but sadly wasn’t at all. The novels were stuck in Customs, and had been for almost 3 weeks, although the Australian distributors (who organized the importation some time after an order I made 2 months ago) neglected to tell me until just a few days before the launch. They were really nice about it, and genuinely apologetic, but it meant we had nothing to show (let alone sell) to those 70-odd people apart from a used sample copy I’d lugged over from Tokyo.
Anyway — c’est la vie as the French like to toss about at moments such as this. Otherwise I had a ball and the over all trip was brilliant, though it’s great to be home again and hanging out with the girls. And continuing to get amazing reviews for Planet Goth from people I respect like Caleb Hill and Mara Wood.
It’s also cool to have wrapped up the Kickstarter project by sending the finished copy of the TSMG graphic novel out to all the participants involved — and who seem to be happy with that final product (whew!).
One of the Kickstarter supporters Merz Dada (in Sydney) also picked up Bullet Gal #1-4, and he emailed me this week to say the following incredible pronouncement:
“I read the books last night and really liked them all. Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat was both brooding and tragic and a real kick in the guts when the twist happened at the end.
“The stand out for me was Bullet Gal though — from the feel of the hard-copy to the sensibility of its narrative and the world created via the use of Dadaist photomontage techniques, it was pretty bloody riveting to the point that I am really looking forward to reading the next ones coming up. I’ve read comics a long time now, and after a while you kind of get into a routine where not much gets you eager for the next issue, but Bullet Gal has done that. Ellis’ Planetary, Millar’s Authority and Morrison’s Invisibles are the others who broke through the haze — so, in my estimation you are in mighty fine company!
“Plus, you guys are making some pretty bold stylistic choices in a medium that at times can be pretty conservative, so I have to support that. And yeah — the paper quality of the Bullet Gal comics, bizarrely, really contributes to the mood of the story, making it a real art-object.”
Am I chuffed? …is grass green? Well, usually it is — except in Australia in summer when it tends to go brown.
Anyway, these words pretty much knocked me out. As did today’s review of TSMG by fellow writer Lori Alden Holuta @ A License to Quill (thanks again, mates).
Bullet Gal herself continues to get some wonderful crits, such as these from Steven @ Fanboy Comics and Shawn @ Project-Nerd, plus check out this lovely review of Matt and my Tales to Admonish #3 thanks to Paul @ Sci-Fi Jubilee.
And here’s a bit of a flashback, but a timely one since this is where Bullet Gal started, really: a new review of last year’s novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? thanks to Matthew and Craig @ The British Fantasy Society.
Well, we do need a conclusion of sorts to wrap things up, right?
That’s what my uni teachers always hammered home. Pfft.
I did an article this week for Bleeding Cool, one in which I discussed not just the new books and comics, but the underlying process of world-building going on across the lot. If you’re at all curious, you can check that piece out online.
And just to the right you can see the printed up copies of my brand new monthly comic book baby Bullet Gal (Aug.~Dec. 2014), which is available at all half-decent comic stores like All Star Comics and Classic Comics in Melbourne, or online @ IF? Commix.