What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2014?
Really thrilled to be involved in the group that produced the Serco story for the Gobalmail. Turns out it was a landmark piece of journalism — not just comics Journalism — in Australia. I also really enjoyed my role as a producer on a project, particularly with a cartoonist as good as Sam Wallman and the other geniuses involved. I started the drawing on a new book called Ambient Yeast which is, as always, unbelievably fucking difficult. I finished my Phd in comics studies and had my thesis marked by two of my heroes Charles Hatfield (swooon) and Gary Panter (gasp! hot-flush) who said nice things and, more importantly, passed the lousy fucken thing.
What are some of the comics you've enjoyed in 2014?
Andrew Fulton's mini comics about a room-mate who is an amazing ball of flesh. I can't remember what the mini is called but I got it in the mail as a part of the mini comic club and I read it on the toilet and then I tweeted at Fulto while I was on the toilet and he replied while I was wiping. This is the future we're living in.
I also loved the shit out of Sam Alden's book It Never Happened Again, Simon's Megahex, The new Jessie Jacobs one about this couple on a Safari Honeymoon in this amazing fleshy jungle, DeForge's new Lose is great as you'd expect. Jed McGowan's Control Room . Actually, one of the best comics I read this year was an assignment submitted by a student of mine called Meg Oshea she's one to watch. Also totally besotted by the utterly filthy work of another student Nikki Minus. She really stole the show at this comic book reading at the New South Wales Writer's Centre the other day. Last one who impressed me this year is Chris Gooch who has been sending me stuff all year. Chris is always ambitious and interesting and just keeps getting better. I wish I could work and think as fast as that guy. A lot of my favourite cartoonists these days are younger than me which makes me feel old and past-it.
These lists are so breathlessly compiled so sorry to anyone who was amazing that I forgot. To be honest I spend more time reading non-fiction than I do reading comics, so, what the fuck do I know?
What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2014?
Fargo and True Detective were the most important stories of my year. I really liked seeing the Serial Podcast emerge as the biggest podcast of all time and then overshoot the mark and go a bit stale, all in 12 weeks. It's always thrilling to see a new format becoming what it is in real time. I liked the Chuck Close Exhibition at the MCA in Sydney. Dan Berry's Make it Then Tell Everybody podcast which I was delighted to be on this year. This great gaming podcast called A Life Well wasted. Oh man, I read a fantastic book about the aids epidemic called And The Band Played On which was an incredible and nightmarish journey. I really got into the novelist Lionel Schriver this year after hearing her speak at Ubud Writer's festival in 2013.
What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Me and my sweetie are having a baby in March so I'm expecting to be watching a lot mindless sitcom trash late at night while we poke the little monster to sleep with a soldering iron. Might burn through some nineties stuff like Friends or Seinfeld or something. Hey what about Alf? That can't possibly be as bad as I remember, right? I'll have to revisit Alf.
I've been plotting and scheming all year to set up an artist-in-residence program for cartoonists based on my experience at the Atlantic Centre for The Arts in 2010. We'll be launching the project in Jan so I can't say much yet but the first event will be in late 2015.