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Take a stroll down Artists' Alley at SUPANOVA MELBOURNE

Updated: May 16

Interviews Editor, Andrew Irvin, attended one the Melbourne installment of one of Australia's largest comic conventions on April 6th-7th. With three dozen short introductory interviews from the Artists' Alley now consolidated, this feature provides a snapshot of what was happening down under last month. With an ensemble of both industry veterans and newer arrivals to the comics community, there are plenty of artists to get to know in the videos below!

 

Now for those as-yet unacquainted with my previous interviews, I've been in Fiji since 2012, which doesn't have a comic book shop, let alone any conventions. Supanova Melbourne provided the first opportunity to take my kids to a comic convention, so everyone jumped at the opportunity to cosplay. (My wife and son both decided to go spooky, as No-Face from Spirited Away and The Puppet from Five Nights at Freddy's, as seen on the right.)



I, however, arrived as myself, with an old Canon DSLR camera in-hand, hoping to learn a lot more about the Aussie comic scene in two days on-site. I should express my gratitude to the Supanova team for press credentials and a well-organized team at the Showgrounds venue.

Most importantly, though, I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of talented artists who were ready to spend a few minutes talking about their various paths to Supanova Melbourne and their experience at the convention.


With three dozen interviews collected, I have to thank my daughters (featured in amongst the crowd below) for trimming and cleaning the clips as best they could.



It was a loud venue, and I'm a mediocre cameraman on my best days, so they put some hours into getting things prepped to showcase the creators below (and I've since bought directional condenser mic for my camera to improve the fidelity next time I do this!) I basically shot until I ran out of battery supply, and would have loved to cover more creators if I'd had the time. Please don't let my shoddy cinematography detract unnecessarily from all the fantastic work and insightful information shared by everyone involved. There was some stunning work on display by a range of creative talent. All the video interviews are linked below, and details for each artist should be included in the video descriptions to accompany the roster assembled here.


  1. Aaron Mak & Josh Mak (Melbourne, AU)

  2. Adam Nichols (Brisbane, AU)

  3. Aidan Roberts (Sydney, AU)

  4. Alex T. Trip (Sydney, AU)

  5. AlienMandy (Melbourne, AU)

  6. Ben Stenbeck (Dunedin, NZ)

  7. Brandon Chung & Dylan Langmaid (Melbourne, AU)

  8. Daniel Ido (Auckland, NZ)

  9. Daniel Reed (Melbourne, AU)

  10. Darren Close (Melbourne, AU)

  11. David Yardin (Sydney, AU)

  12. Dean Rankine (Cairns, AU)

  13. Ed Kearsley (Melbourne, AU)

  14. Jacob Pilkington (Melbourne, AU)

  15. Jason Franks (Melbourne, AU)

  16. Jessie Crossman (Melbourne, AU)

  17. Jordan Beattie (Gold Coast, AU)

  18. Ken Steacy (Victoria, CA)

  19. Kieran Jack (Wodonga, AU)

  20. Lauren Marshall (Perth, AU)

  21. Leanbh Pearson (Canberra, AU)

  22. Lily McDonnell (Melbourne, AU)

  23. Lipwei Chang (Panang, Malaysia)

  24. Loopydave (Melbourne, AU)

  25. Luke Arnold (Sydney, AU)

  26. Maarten Bouw & Manuel Bouw (Melbourne, AU)

  27. Mike Krome (Sydney, AU)

  28. Queenie Chan (Sydney, AU)

  29. Raye Sommers (Canberra, AU)

  30. Rene Pfitzner (Melbourne, AU)

  31. Rui Macarico (Sydney, AU)

  32. Shane Syddall (Brisbane, AU)

  33. Spooky Doom (Sydney, AU)

  34. Steven Paulsen (Melbourne, AU)

  35. Tim Burden (Sydney, AU)

  36. Zoe Clare (Melbourne, AU)

While my questions are uniform for each of the interview participants, the responses demonstrate there is an immense amount of diversity in the storytelling community down under, and a clear sense from both local artists and those visiting that Australia has a complex and varied aesthetic tone all its own. I encourage everyone to explore some new titles beyond your standard fare, and enjoy reading more of the endlessly growing library of comics from around the world!


There were fantastic, informative panels and events (such as the dialogue on the considerations and concerns around AI in the comics community featuring from the left; Mark Raats, Mike Krome, and Dean Rakine), and the value of hearing consolidated, informed feedback from working professionals should never be understated.


While this is the inaugural set of convention interviews from my desk, I hope it's the first of many, and look forward to venturing out of the Yeti Cave to shed some light on the work of more creators across the comics industry. Keep an eye out for further coverage from upcoming conventions in the future!


 

Given this feature was shot on the Melbourne Showgrounds, I wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people of the Kulin nation, the Traditional Owners of the unceded land where Supanova Melbourne took place. I am grateful to the Traditional Owners, Elders and Knowledge Holders of all Indigenous nations and clans, and I support the ongoing journey of reconciliation. I pay respect to Elders past, present and future, and acknowledge the importance of Indigenous knowledge in creative practice. I am privileged to work and learn every day with Indigenous colleagues and partners, in recognition of the unique and indispensable contribution to the depth of the collective human experience made by the Traditional Owners of this Country. For those who want to learn more about the process of First Nations recognition and reconciliation, I recommend visiting Treaty for Victoria - they had a booth at Supanova Melbourne, and their rep, James, was knowledgeable and approachable about this ongoing effort for equity and justice.

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It's fantastic to see such a vibrant community of comic artists showcased at Supanova Melbourne! From industry veterans to emerging talents, the diversity and creativity on display highlight the richness of Australia's comic snake game scene.

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