Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Big Kids Creating Kids Books at Camp Creative

 Multi-award winning illustrator and cartoonist and our old mate Jules Faber is running a children's writing and illustrating course in Bellingen, NSW, Australia in January 2015.

What do you need to know about the course?

Well, in working as a cartoonist and illustrator for over 20 years, Jules has figured out the right way to approach a children’s book from an illustrator / author’s perspective. Many people believe it is easy to write a children’s book but the complexity of children's publishing is deceptive. Some authors claim it’s actually more difficult than creating adult fiction

Jules will give you lots of tips and examine:
  • What the different aspects of writing and creating a story are about
  • How to make the story age-appropriate, and 
  • How to lay it out into illustrated form. 

Utilising his personally formulated nine rules and guidelines, he will demonstrate how you can apply these to creating the right artwork to accompany your story from rough ideas through to finished art.

Participants will complete enjoyable small projects, and work towards creating an illustrated children’s story by the end of the week, thereby gaining an insight into the world of children’s writing and illustrating.

What do you need to know about Jules?

Jules has been working in book illustration for over 20 years, having completed work on many grown-up books and 10 children’s books for well-known authors like comedian Anh Do and cricketer David Warner. Jules is a multi-award-winning children’s book illustrator and cartoonist. He won the 2014 Book of the Year for Older Children at the Australian Book Industry Awards with Weirdo alongside author Anh Do, as well as the 2014 Best Designed Fiction Book for Children and the Best Cover at the Australian Book Design Awards with designer Nic Stofberg. His versatility as an artist means he has worked in a variety of different fields including live caricature, editorial cartooning, editing an award-winning comic book series and animating on a Disney program. From 2002-2004 he taught Comic Book Illustration and Scriptwriting and Storyboarding for TAFE Qld, and in 2005 he began a full-colour series of comics entitled Golgotha, which he re-imagined in 2014 in classic black and white. He has served three terms as the President of The Australian Cartoonists Association, the world’s oldest cartoonists organisation, and has won three Rotary Cartoon Awards, Australia’s biggest International cartooning competition.

HURRY! Bookings close on 20 November 2014!

When: January 2015 (dates and times TBA)
Course Length: One week
Where: Bellingen HIgh School
Level: Everyone
Age: 16+
Cost: Adults $370; Under 18 $210

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Presenting Comics Masterclass at the Australian Cartoonists' Association Stanley Awards and Conference

Black Mermaid Productions’ (BMP) partner and comic book writer Julie Ditrich will be presenting an information session on the new Comics Masterclass arm of BMP at the upcoming Australian Cartoonists’ Association (ACA) Stanley Awards and Conference in mid November. Julie will talk about this new professional development service that provides comics script and sequential art assessments, short courses and training for the next generation of Australian comics creators. Comics Masterclass team members Julie Regan will discuss the benefits of Creativity Coaching, and Lyndall Briggs will addresses creatives who are struggling with inner life issues such as anxiety and depression that may be hampering their success.
The event features an extraordinary line up of cartooning and comics talent including Nicola Scott, Pat Grant, Madeleine Rosca, Bernard Caleo, Steve Panozzo, Peter Lewis, Mark Knight, Nigel Buchanan, Jon Sommariva, David Rower, Sarah Catherine First, Warren Brown, Mike Bowers, David Pope and many others.
The Conference will be followed by the Stanley Awards on the Saturday night.
Here are the details:
Dates: Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November 2014
Venue: Menzies Hotel, 14 Carrington St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Cost: $75 per day (members); $90 per day (non-members)
For more information and registration:
PS Julie is super excited and honoured to have had her first ever caricature, which was created by the amazing Christopher Downes. See if you can spot it in the poster at the top.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Graphic Novel Dress

Came across a great dress worn by Arya Stark from Game of Thrones who stepped out in it recently at Comic Con. The dress is made entirely from comic book and graphic novel pages. You can read all about it and answer the question "What and how is the belt made?" at the Mama Mia Blog

Comic ConVersation at Ashfield Library

Ashfield Library will be holding its inaugural "Comic ConVersation" event in September. Melbourne-based Ledger Award winning graphic novelist Bruce Mutard (The Sacrifice, The Silence) will be the special guest, and there will be a multitude of panel discussions and workshops on offer. Among the exhibitors and comics storytellers are Black Mermaid Productions' director Julie Ditrich, as well as Marcelo Baez, Paul Caggegi, Thomas Campi, Chewie Chan, Regina Clarke, Sorab Del Rio,  Samantha Emery, Peter Fairfax,  Judex, Tim McEwen, Jan Scherpenhuizen, Nathan Seabolt and Christopher Sequeira. Kings Comics will be partnering at the event.

Here is what you need to know:

Date: Saturday 20 September 2014
Time: 4.00 to 8.00pm
Venue: Ashfield LibraryLevel 3, Civic Centre260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield NSW 2131 Australia
Contact: Karen on +61 2 9716 1828 or email
Website: on.html

CLICK HERE to access the flyer. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bruce Mutard Words into Pictures Exhibition [UPDATED: 22/07/14]

A mighty CONGRATULATIONS to Aussie graphic novelist extraordinaire, Ledger Award winner and Comics Masterclass script and art assessor Bruce Mutard who has just completed his Masters with the launch of his Words into Pictures exhibition.

It took Bruce nearly eight hours to install the exhibition into a gallery space at Monash University in Melbourne. Apparently only a quarter of the work made it up on the walls. The work is meant to be immersive and it had to shape itself to the space. The exhibition attracted the close-knit Melbourne comics community but unfortunately only ran for three days. Alas, we couldn't make it down from Sydney. However, Bruce hopes to install the entire work in another gallery space in the near future.

If you want to check out more of Bruce's work then go to to his website:

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: You can check out some great photos on Bobby N's Blog and Dark Matter Zine, which also has a video walk-through.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Comics Characterisation Workshop at Comic Gong

Black Mermaid Productions (BMP) partner and comics writer Julie Ditrich will be presenting a one-hour beginner’s workshop on characterisation at Comic Gong in May 2014. The workshop is entitled: “Becoming Dr Frankenstein: How to Create Fabulous Comic Book Characters”. The workshop content includes the following:
All great comic book and graphic novel stories start with great characters whether they are heroes, villains or other archetypes. This beginner’s workshop shows you how to create a character profile from scratch by identifying and patching together the physiological, psychological and energetic components that make up your lead and supporting players.
Date: Saturday 17 May 2014
Time: 12pm to 1pm
Venue: Wollongong Town Hall, car. Kembla and Crown Streets, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia
Cost: FREE
Workshop Program:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Comics Masterclass Writing Workshop: Animal Magic

Animal Magic: How to Use Animal Archetypes to Create Unique Human Comic Book Characters

Animals often appear in comic book stories in the form of friends, sidekicks or threats. However, writers can also incorporate animal spirit into creating multi-dimensional characters that resonate with readers. This workshop shows participants how to capture animal traits and energies in character profiles and model sheets, and also provides an understanding of how to use animals symbolically to comment on story themes. Presented in association with the Sydney Comics Guild. 
Presenter: Julie Ditrich
Date: Saturday 10 May 2014
Time: 11am to 2.00pm
Venue: The Dash Bar, Harold Park Hotel, 70A Ross Street, Forest Lodge NSW 2037 Australia
(02) 9660 4745
Who Should Attend? Comics writers and artists who want to create fabulous characters in their stories.
Audience Age:

Level: Intermediate
Duration: 90 minutes of workshop presentation (plus a one hour information session on Comics Masterclass™—meet some of the team, understand the philosophy, find out about services, ask questions)
Materials: Pen, pencil, sketchbook, notebook, and / or computer
Cost: FREE
Bookings: Sydney Comics Guild Facebook Events

Julie DitrichJulie Ditrich is a published comics writer and editor with over 270,000 sales of her works around the world. She has been published through Image Comics and Warp Graphics in the USA, and her latest fantasy mermaid comic book series Elf~Fin: Hyfus & Tilaweed was self-published through Black Mermaid Productions in Australia. She was the co-founder and the co-portfolio holder of the Australian Society of Authors Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio for five years, and has also lectured extensively on comics at various writers’ festivals, tertiary institutions, pop culture conventions and arts organisations around Australia. Julie recently co-created Comics Masterclass™, which provides professional development for the next generation of Australian comics creators.
ABOUT COMICS MASTERCLASS™Comics Masterclass™ is an Australian-based service that provides professional development to comics creators in the form of comics script assessments, editorial services, mentoring and coaching, and short courses and weekend intensives.
The Sydney Comics Guild is a group for professional and amateur comics artists, and comics enthusiasts and fans. It is a forum where comics creators can network with each other. The Guild encourages all styles and genres, within appropriate age brackets, in comics and all comic media from web to print and everything in between.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The School Magazine Seeks Comics Submissions

The School Magazine manuscripts for 2014 and beyond are now being accepted. 

The School Magazine welcomes submissions from writers from within Australia and internationally. You can download a copy of the submission guidelines and read the new Tips for Successful Manuscript Submission. Email submissions are not accepted (other than queries for nonfiction articles). Hardcopy submissions accepted ONLY. For more information go to contributors/writers or further enquiries can be emailed to

Illustrators: The School Magazine plans to open its list for new illustrators in June 2014. However, they are open for 2015 submissions of comic serials. The School Magazine runs at least two cartoon serials or graphic novellas in each issue. It publishes fantasy, humour, folktales, historical drama, sci-fi and a mixture of these genres. Readers love humour and are in the 8-12 year old reading age ranges. Comic serials can be:
  • a single page serial in ten parts, OR
  • two single page serials of five parts each, OR
  • a two-page serial in ten parts.
Interested comic serial creators should submit hard copies only of:
  • A written synopsis of the comic serial, including episode breakdowns. (Rough art
  • to explain key points can be incorporated.)
  • Episode 1 to finished art stage.
  • Character sheet with rough or finished art, introducing key characters.
The proposal deadline is 1 AUGUST 2014. Successful creators will need to complete the entire work by an agreed date in December 2014 or January 2015.

For further information, please contact Sue Murray on +61 2 9266 8375. For more information go to the Guidelines for Contributors of Comics Serials.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ASA Comics Business Workshop with Julie Ditrich

BMP Director Julie Ditrich will be presenting a one day workshop in Sydney in May 2014 entitled "The Comics Business: from idea to print", which is part of the Australian Society of Authors' (ASA) professional development seminar program. 

The course will guide participants through the process of creating a comic book or graphic novel from story development and scripting to assembling a creative team, art production, pitching to publishers, self publishing, distribution and marketing.

Participants will gain an understanding of the end-to-end comics creation and production process, as well as the workings of the Australian pop culture scene. They will also learn how to manage relationships with artists, designers, printers, editors and other key parties involved in the successful publication of a comic book or graphic novel.

Date: Saturday 31 May 2014
Time: 10am to 4pm (six hours)
Venue: ASA Offices, Suite C1.06, 22-36 Mountain St, Ultimo in Sydney, NSW, Australia
Cost: ASA member $155; Member of a Partner Organisation $185; Non-member $230
Bookings: CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONLINE or phone the ASA on (02) 9211 1004

Please note that Jason Franks will be presenting the same seminar in Melbourne in October. CLICK HERE for information on the Melbourne event. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jozef Szekeres to be Special Guest at New Room 801 Convention

Room 801 is a new Australian convention for over-18s only, with a special focus on yaoi and yuri. Special guests include BMP Director Jozef Szekeres, Aarin, Dr Scott Beattie, Mary Borsellino, Level4Chaos, and Luke Miller. The schedule includes Fic Readings, Erotic Fiction, Legal Issues and Censorship, Expression Through Fandom, Comparing Homoerotica, Slash and Yaoi / Yuri, Translating Visual Novels, and Fiction Pitches and Feedback.
Date: Friday 21 to Sunday 23 February 2014
Times: Friday – 6.30 to 8.30pm
Saturday – 9am to 5pm plus swap meet 6pm to 9pm
Sunday – 9am to 5pm
Venue: Y Hotel Hyde Park, Sydney CBD
5-11 Wentworth Ave, Sydney NSW 2000

New Structures in Scriptwriting with Linda Aronson

Scriptwriting guru Linda Aronson will be presenting a seminar on "New Structures in Scriptwriting for Film and TV" at the Australian Film and Television Radio School (AFTRS), which will be particularly apt for advanced comic book writers. The two-day masterclass on advanced theories and techniques for creating original story design routinely provokes standing ovations from acclaimed and experienced film writers all over the world. Linda explodes the conventional screenwriting theory which assumes that structures means only one hero on a linear chronological journey. Instead she takes on and provides practical writing guidelines for writing flashback scripts, Pulp Fiction structures, multiple storyline films and fractured forms. Linda demonstrates how 18 of these modern forms work to predictable patterns, and provides practical templates for writing them.

Don't leave it till too late. Last time Linda gave a class in Australia the event was booked out and lots of people couldn't get in.

Date: Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 February 2014
Time: 9.30am to 5.30pm (16 hours total)
Venue: Australian Film and Television Radio School (AFTRS)
Cost: $495 / $445.50 GST exempt

Date: Saturday 1 to 2 March 2014
Time: 9.30am to 5.30pm (16 hours total)
Venue: Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
Cost: $495 / $445.50 GST exempt

CLICK HERE for further information and bookings.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Aussie Comic Convention Circuit 2014 [UPDATED 06/08/14]

Happy New Year! 

Here's our regular calendar for Aussie comikers to plan their annual comics convention circuit. We've added a few more zine fairs this year. The list also includes some international expos. Please note that at the time of publishing, some of these events have not been promoted on their respective websites with the relevant dates and venues. This post will be updated as more information becomes available so please stop by regularly for additional information.

Angouleme International Comics Festival (Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême) (Angoulême, France): 30 January-2 February 2014 (various venues)
Sticky Institute Zine Fair (Melbourne, Victoria): 9 February 2014 (Melbourne Town Hall)
Room 801 (Sydney, New South Wales): 21-23 February 2014 (Y Hotel on Hyde Park)
Oz ComicCon (Perth, Western Australia): 29-30 March 2014 (Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre)
Inkers and Thinkers – The Evolution of Comics Symposium (Adelaide, South Australia): 4 April 2014 (University of Adelaide)
Oz ComicCon (Adelaide, South Australia): 5-6 April 2014 (Adelaide Showground)
Supanova (Gold Coast, Queensland): 4-6 April 2014 (Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre)
Supanova (Melbourne, Victoria): 11-13 April 2014 (Melbourne Showground)
WonderCon (Anaheim, California USA): 18-20 April 2014 (Anaheim Convention Center)
Free Comic Book Day (World and Australia wide): 3 May 2014 (check with your nearest comic book store for details and activities)
Comic Gong (Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia): 17 May 2014 (Wollongong City Library, Town Hall and Art Gallery)
Phoenix ComicCon (Phoenix, Arizona USA): 5-8 June 2014 (Pheonix Convention Center)
MCA Zine Fair (Sydney, New South Wales): 25 May 2014 (Museum of Contemporary Art)
Supanova (Sydney, New South Wales): 13-15 June 2014 (Sydney Showground, Olympic Park)
Supanova (Perth, Western Australia): 20-22 June 2014 (Claremont Showground)
Oz ComicCon (Melbourne, Victoria): 5-6 July 2014 (Royal Exhibition Building)
AVCON (Adelaide, South Australia): 18-20 July 2014 (Adelaide Convention Centre) 
SMASH! (Sydney, New South Wales): 9-10 August 2014 (Rose Hill Gardens)
San Diego ComicCon (San Diego, California USA): 24-27 July 2014 (San Diego Convention Centre)
Boston ComicCon (Boston, Massachusetts, USA): 8-10 August 2014 (World Seaport Trade Center)
The Comic Market 86 – Natsukomi [AKA Comiket and Comike] (Tokyo, Japan): Date 15-17 August 2014 (Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Centre) Natsukomi 
Oz ComicCon (Brisbane, Queensland): 6-7 September 2014 (Convention & Exhibition Centre)
Oz ComicCon (Sydney, New South Wales): 13-14 September 2014 (Sydney Harbour Expo)
Small Press Expo (North Bethesda, Maryland USA): 13-14 September 2014 (Bethesda North Marriot Hotel and Conference Center)
Comic CON-Versation (Sydney, New South Wales): 20 September 2014 (Ashfield Library)
GRAPHIC (Sydney, New South Wales): DATE TBA October 2014 (Sydney Opera House)
National Young Writers' Festival / This is Not Art Zine Fair (Newcastle, New South Wales): 2-5 October 2014 (Various Newcastle venues)
New York ComicCon (New York City, New York USA): 9-14 October 2014 (Javits Center)
Armageddon Expo (Melbourne, Victoria): 18-19 October 2014 (Melbourne Showground)
Australian Cartoonists' Association (ACA) Stanley Awards and Conference (Sydney, New South Wales): Dates 14-15 November 2014 (Venue TBA)
Supanova (Adelaide, South Australia): 20-23 November 2014 (Adelaide Showground)
Supanova (Brisbane, Queensland): 28-30 November 2014 (Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre)
The Comic Market 87 – Fukukomi [AKA Comiket and Comike] (Tokyo, Japan): Date TBA December 2014 (Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Centre)

Please contact us on if you want additional events to be added to this list.