Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mermaid Skeletor

Our friend Nick sent us this pic of a mermaid skeleton ... not quite sure whether it's art, biology or fantasy. Also not sure if it's sad or inspiring for mermaid lovers such as ourselves. You tell us ... ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mermaid Boot ... er ... "Tail" Camp [UPDATED 07/07/11]

Picked up this story from FaceBook the other day via Reuters – Weeki Wachee Springs has started a mermaid training course.
The training is actually incredibly gruelling and physically challenging. Trainee mermaids stay underwater for long periods of time ... [DELETED – SEE COMMENT BELOW] and are given a step-by-step instructions about buoyancy and acrobatics before graduating to their tails. No scuba gear and no masks are permitted, and mermaids must learn how to balance the pressure on their ears and sinuses while being tossed around by 12-mile-an-hour currents.
Read the full article: "Coolest Camp Ever: Learn to be a mermaid".

You can also enrol your child in a special Adventures Under the Spring Mermaid Camp, which has entirely different training criteria. Several of the summer camps are already sold out!

BMP at MCA Zine Fair 2011

Black Mermaid Productions™ will have a stall at the annual Museum of Contemporary (MCA) & Sydney Writers' Festival Zine Fair on Sunday 22 May 2011. Each year the Zine Fair attracts over 4000 people to browse, buy and trade comics and zines. BMP will be introducing Elf~Fin: Hyfus & Tilaweed to a new readership, and hopefully we'll see some familiar faces there from the OzCon days. We'll also be representing the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio so you'll be able to pick up membership info, Supanova professional development seminar info, as well as a flyer on the upcoming comics masterclass (more information to come on that one!). Come and stop by!

Date: Sunday 22 May 2011
Time: 11am to 5pm
Venue: Level 1, The Foundation Hall. MCA, Circular Quay, Sydney NSW
Entry: FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Graphic Novel Session at Gloucester Writers' Festival

I (Julie) will be speaking about graphic novels at a session at the inaugural Gloucester Writers' Festival in Gloucester NSW, Australia, which is being held from Saturday 30 April to Sunday 1 May 2011. The weekend features panel sessions, workshops and conversations with writers across various literary genres and, of course, the comics medium. I will talk on the "Graphic Novel Process" on the Sunday at 2.00pm, and discuss how writers / artists create and develop a work from idea to script to art to post production. Word on the street is that I may also be doing a workshop for high school students on the Saturday afternoon but will seek confirmation and update this post later on in the week if it comes to fruition. Copies of Elf~Fin: Hyfus & Tilaweed will be on sale at the event. CLICK HERE for the full festival program.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

ELF~FIN™ Going Global [UPDATED 02/05/11]

We were curious to see where our orders are coming from so here's an international breakdown of where most of our readers live ...

Coming in first place is the USA with orders from New York, Washington, California, Arkansas, Ohio, Florida, Washington, Texas, Alabama, Arizona and Colorado. We can now also add Hawaii, Georgia and Wisconsin to the list. Amazing! Thank you!

The next country to order the most copies is Germany. Danke Schon (can't find any umlauts on my system!).

Then the Netherlands – Dank u.

And then with exactly the same number of orders apiece are Norway – Takk; UK, Australia, and New Zealand (a big fat thank you to all). Plus new orders from Mexico – Muchas gracias!

Australia may take the lead in the upcoming weeks with face-to-face sales at upcoming events but this is an unfair advantage we admit. We'll keep you posted.


Anyone who's been watching our various FaceBook accounts of late and who are members of our official Elf~Fin page will know that a few days ago we announced the launch of the Elf~Fin™: Hyfus & Tilaweed Preview. Some of you may have already been checking out our "Elf~Fin™ Leaks & Peeks" blog posts over the last 12 months so you're probably familiar with some of the panel art in the interior pages. Well ... at the end of this week we will have 250 freshly printed copies sitting in our office. About 20 will be put away for archival purposes and the rest will be sold. We have orders mounting up already, which we will process from 1 May 2011. We will also be taking copies with us to two Australian literary and zine events in the next three weeks – the Gloucester Writers' Festival and the MCA Zine Fair – so we don't expect the copies to be around for long. This will be your only time to obtain the PREVIEW through our internet site or through the Aussie events, unless you will physically be attending the World Mermaid Awards from 12-13 August 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, for which we will be printing a special MerCon edition. Just so you know, the Preview contains 24 pages of hand-painted artwork by Jozef Szekeres, which comprises the first Act in the first half of the first issue of the first series of Elf~Fin. The only characters our readers will be familiar with are the beloved Hyfus, Tilaweed, Tentus and No~Fin from the work they originally appeared in – ElfQuest: WaveDancers. Beyond that we have NEW characters, a NEW world, NEW rules and a NEW mythology! If you want to read more about it and place your order then go to our new one page Elf~Fin website. You have no idea how excited we are, and also how grateful we are to our readers' enthusiasm for this new work. It's been a long time but we're finally here. The series will be released in its entirely from early 2012!

Whirlwind or Whirlpool?

The last two months have been a whirlpool for both of us so we apologise for not being regular contributors to this blog. March was quite overwhelming – Jozef had to do all this prep for his regular jobs and had to get through an extensive BMP TO DO List including lettering all the Elf~Fin pages and getting them print-ready, designing a logo for the World Mermaid Awards, getting web design elements to me for our new Elf~Fin website, preparing lessons for the animation classes he teaches at the JMC Academy in Sydney and, of course, packing. Why? Well he was invited to Vienna, Austria to teach a masterclass to artists for two weeks. Since then he has ventured on to Paris and is currently in London. There were lots of business opportunities, as well as lots of art gallery visits on his itinerary but I have yet to hear the details because communication has been sporadic and restricted to FaceBook and a few emails through somebody else's account because there were lots of operational problems with his mobile phone, with his internet connections and the fact that he completely lost access to his PhotoShop software on his laptop and had to download a German version to try to get things done (BTW, he doesn't read German so that has been a trial all of its own!). The good thing is that he is coming back next week, just prior to the Royal Wedding so his timing was off by a couple of days when it came to making the flight bookings although I'm not sure whether he's disappointed or happy to be out of London during that time. Nevertheless, I'm really looking forward to hearing about his overseas adventures.

I, on the other hand, have been flat out preparing lessons for the Graphic Novels class I've been teaching at the JMC Academy (filling in for Jozef while he was away), although I taught writing rather than art. Hopefully my stick figures got the point across when it came to drawing panel set ups on the white board! I've also been working closely with the designer on the Elf~Fin book (more info in the next blog post), getting the Elf~Fin one page website up, driving to the printer on three separate occasions to get the proofs right (they did a brilliant job – I'm thrilled and can't wait for Jozef to see the finished comic next week when he returns), struggling with WordPress to get the new BMP website up, as well as a hundred other little things. It's been an exhausting two months and I just need a couple of days off.

Anyway, you're going to get flooded with blog posts over the next week or two so PLEASE KEEP READING ...