Australian comics team and publisher Black Mermaid Productions™ has just launched its new professional development arm—Comics Masterclass™. Originally conceived in 2011 as a one-off weekend event that was run in conjunction with the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and which attracted participants from around the country, Comics Masterclass™ has now evolved into a brand in its own right and a niche service that offers creative, business and self mastery opportunities to Australian (and overseas!) comics creators.
Comics Masterclass™ has three big picture goals:
- To help emerging and developing comics practitioners realise their creative potential
- To contribute towards creating an Australian comics economy where comics creators’ published works, expertise and experience are valued both critically and commercially, and
- To facilitate the shift from an Australian comics community to a thriving internationally recognised and commercially viable industry.
The first offering is the Comics Masterclass™ script assessment service for emerging and developing comikers who are working on comic books, graphic novels, webcomics and comic / cartoon strips. This is the first dedicated comics script assessment service in Australia.
Says co-Black Mermaid Productions™ Director Julie Ditrich, “We have been talking to Australian comics creators about their professional needs for many years now. We become increasingly aware that there was a demand for critical feedback on comics projects in development but that no professional services were available to take on that task, which is why we came up with the idea of a comic script assessment service that critiques both writing and sequential art. It took us over a year to organise and assemble a high calibre team of qualified comics professionals with vast publishing credits, as well as editing and teaching experience, who would work as assessors and provide value and direction in this creative medium.”
Comics Masterclass™ is also pioneering in the Australian comics landscape by providing a variety of other services including creativity coaching, premium coaching, professional consultations, proofreading, editing and a counseling referral service. Furthermore, from 2014 it will also offer short courses and weekend intensives.
“We predict that Australia is about five years away from exploding onto the international stage and producing world class comics talent and publications in a big way,” says Black Mermaid Productions™ co-Director Jozef Szekeres, “We believe that Comics Masterclass will be at the forefront of facilitating this growth in the Australian cultural landscape.”
Ultimately, Comics Masterclass™ is about encouraging and nurturing new comics talent, and offering a safe place for creators to develop their creative and entrepreneurial skills.