Tonight at The State Library of Victoria: Ledger Awards

The revamped Ledger Awards are on tonight at the State Library of Victoria. The ceremony starts at 7:30pm and features a performance of the Shipwright and the Banshee by cartoonistmuso's Christopher Downes and Joshua Santospirito.

FB event page.

Among the sponsors of this years awards are the wonderful Jeffries Printing in Sydney. Admire their stunning Pat Grant graphics below:

The shortlist for the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards are:

Ambient Yeast. Pat Grant (self published)

The ANZAC Legend. Dave Dye (self published)

Art as Life. MP Fikaris (Silent Army)

At Work Inside Our Detention Centres: A Guard’s Story. Sam Wallman, Pat Grant et al. (The Global Mail)

Awkwood. Jase Harper (Milk Shadow Books)

Brothers. Andrew Fulton (self published)

Blood and Bone. Tom O’Hern (San Kessto)

Bug. Scarlette Baccini (self published)

Burger Force #15-18. Jackie Ryan (self published)

Captain Congo: The Perils of Pug. Ruth Starke, writer. Greg Holfeld, artist. (from The School Magazine)

Dark Hope Legacies. Phil Spinks, Chris James Melkizedek (Dark Hope Comics)

Dies Horny and Afraid. Andrew Fulton (self published)

Fortress of Regrets. Katie Parrish (self published)

Frankie Holliday. Nic Lawson (self published)

Gasoline Eye Drops. Chris Gooch (self published)

Gazer. Carla McRae (self published)

Gente Corriente. Vincent Zabus, writer. Thomas Campi, artist. (Ediciones La Cúpula)

In the Tasmania. Christopher Downes (self published)

Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land Save Xmas. Dean Rankine (Action Lab/Danger Zone)

Kudelka and First Dog’s Spiritual Journey. Jon Kudelka and Andrew Marlton (self published)

Megahex. Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)

Modern Polaxis. Sutu et al. (self published)

Monster Zero. Frank Candiloro (FrankenComics)

Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye. Tim Molloy (Milk Shadow Books)

Ned Kelly. Monty Wedd (Comicoz)

Neomad #3. Sutu & Love Punks (Gestalt)

OI OI OI #2 .Various (Comicoz)

Onna-bugeisha. Frank Candiloro (FrankenComics)

Pinocchio. David Chauvel, writer. Tim McBurnie, artist. (Editions Delcourt)

Pistoleras. Frank Candiloro (FrankenComics)

Seven #4. Alisha Jade (self published)

The Squidder. Ben Templesmith (44Flood/IDW)

Squishzine Brunstown. Various (Squishface Studio)

Teen Dog #1-3. Jake Lawrence (Boom! Studios)

Thistle. Sarah Howell (self published)

Tristian and the Gaza Strip. David Blumenstein (self published)

Two Posh Old Ladies Who Found Themselves in a Bit of a Zombie Apocalypse. Nic Lawson (self published)

Very Quiet, Very Still. Chris Gooch (Optic Pop)

We’m. Andrew Fulton (self published)

“When is A Door Not a Door?” Jen Breach, Douglas Holgate (from Explorer: The Hidden Doors, Amulet Books)

Word Balloons: Rosa Goes For a Walk and Good Dog Whisky


Australasian comic reviews by Philip Bentley.

Rosa Goes for a Walk by Nic Lawson (self-published, 2013)

Good Dog Whiskey  by Kent Kobi (self-published, 2013)

Comics about the notion of dying are not that common – as opposed to comics featuring death which are fairly thick on the ground. I guess this is because most comic creators are in the full flush of their lives and haven’t had reason to contemplate mortality beyond its use as a plot device. Whilst neither of the authors of the above two works appear to be more than middle-aged both have produced considered, moving works on the process of dying.

Nicole (Nic) Lawson’s Rosa Goes for a Walk is a whimsical, yet thoughtful narrative concerning an old lady living alone in an outback ghost town. Her daily routine is pretty similar until one day she espies a mound on the horizon that wasn’t there previously. Recalling her past life as an adventurer Rosa decides to ‘go for a walk’ into the bush to investigate.

More a parable than drama this is a largely wordless piece illustrated in a simple, yet effective cartoony style. It is a novel take on mortality and cleverly approaches it from a pan-spiritual perspective.

This is a difference between Rosa and Kent Kobi’s Good Dog Whiskey  where the afterlife depicted has more of a standard Christian dimension, even if nothing is overtly stated. Whiskey also explores the process of dying, but beyond this is also an evocation of the deep bonds that some people have for their dogs, or in this case vice versa. Kobi manages to pluck the heartstrings in a sincere and moving fashion. Sensitive readers are advised to have a box of tissues handy.

My only beef with Whiskey, and it is a major one, concerns the artwork which appears largely to be made up of rendered photos. The use of this effect is not new (artists such as Jean-Claude Claeys and Fernando Fernandez were utilising similar methods as far back as the 1970s, probably using a light box or overhead projector), but its use has become more prevalent recently with the availability of Photoshop. I don’t want to be too hard – if the choice is between rendered photos or inferior art then the former is certainly preferable – but ideally I’d prefer to see fully drawn works where the element of craft is more to do with the artist’s drawing ability than his computer expertise. Using this process inevitably means that you produce fairly static images, whereas part of the alchemy of the figurative drawing process (both in comics and single illustrations) is to produce figures that have the illusion of movement. Further, there is often a disjuncture between the images that have been rendered from photos and those that haven’t leading to an inconsistent look to the work. Thankfully in this case the story does lend itself to the process, as there is no need for expansive backgrounds, but for me it diminished what was otherwise a commendable effort.

For info on submitting comics  for review read here: