PCAF 2021 Talks & Panels

Using Comics as Legal Contracts

Could comic books be the future of law? Join UWA Professor, Camilla Andersen as she and one of her illustrators, Joelle Young, describe the incredible potential of using comics to make law and contracting more equitable and accessible around the world. From terms and conditions of major banks to one page handyman contracts: anything is possible.
Check out www.comicbookcontracts.com for examples of these comics in action.

Time: 10:15am – 11.00am on the 1st of August
Location: Banksia Room 18.226
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Camilla Baasch Andersen is a Professor at University of Western Australia and leads the Comic Book Contract Project at UWA.
Joelle Young is a Research Assistant on the Comic Book Contract Project at UWA. She is currently pursuing her degree in Arts.

Becoming a Doctor of Comics

Bruce Mutard has spent the last 4 years completing his doctorate of comics, researching not just HOW comics makers do what they do, but WHY they do it. Through interviews, research and practical exploration, Bruce has taken a deep dive into the pleasures of comics. Join him and his PHD supervisor, Stuart Medley as they talk about the peculiar world of comics in academia.

Time: 2:15pm – 3.00pm on the 1st of August
Location: Balga Room 18.228
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Bruce Mutard is a comics maker, publisher and researcher. His graphic novels include The Sacrifice, The Silence, A Mind of Love, The Bunker and Post Traumatic. His latest graphic novel Bully Me, was published as Souffre Douleur in France in 2019. He is currently a PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University with his thesis The Erotics of Comics and makes comics as scholarship. He is director of the Comic Arts Awards of Australia and editor/publisher of the Australian Comic Annual. He has been a curator and program director at the Perth Comic Arts Festival.

Stuart Medley is Associate Professor of Design at Edith Cowan University. He makes comics as prototypes to improve employment and housing services. He is a co-founder and Chair of the Perth Comic Arts Festival. He has worked as a professional illustrator and graphic designer for 20 years with clients including Anglicare, and the Centre for Social Impact. He has taught character design workshops across the globe, and was an artist in residence at the Maison des Auteurs in Angoulême, France. He is a founding partner, art director and illustrator for Hidden Shoal Recordings, a critically acclaimed record label with a roster of international artists.

Australia Comics Abroad

A published book – that’s the dream for many Australian comics writers and artists. But with such a small number of comics publishers in Australia, it’s a dream that often feels unachievable.

It’s unsurprising, then, that Australian creators have looked beyond our shores to find a greater range of publication opportunities. However, amid towering slush piles and websites with eternally closed submission pages, what does it take to earn the attention of international publishing houses?

By drawing on interviews with 21 creators based both nationally and abroad, this presentation analyses the many paths Australian comics writers and artists have taken to reach the eyes, hearts and printing presses of overseas publishers. Paige Spence and Per Henningsgaard also provide advice about the steps new creators can take towards this same goal.

Time: 3.00pm – 3.45pm on the 1st of August
Location: Balga Room 18.228
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Paige Spence recently completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree at Curtin University. She was awarded first-class honours for her thesis titled ‘Australian comics creators and their interactions with international publishing houses’. When not contemplating the publication market, she dreams up stories as the writer of Nikoli Books, a duo who are selling their debut work, Miles, at PCAF 2021.
Per Henningsgaard is a senior lecturer in Professional Writing and Publishing at Curtin University. He has worked as an editor at an educational publishing house in New York, as the publisher at trade publishing houses in Wisconsin and Oregon, and as an IPEd accredited freelance editor in Western Australia. His research interests in publishing studies and Australian studies have yielded more than twenty journal articles and book chapters, which have been published in six countries.

Mapping Australia in the Marvel and DC Universes

Perth destroyed by a biobomb! Australia as the launching pad for the Dominator’s invasion of the Earth! The Justice League and Power Rangers teaming up to fight octopus monsters in Melbourne! Join academic Kevin Chiat as he takes you on a guided tour of Australia’s appearances in superhero comics.

Time: 1.00pm – 1.45pm on the 1st of August
Location: Banksia Room 18.226
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Kevin Chiat is an academic and critic based out of the University of Western Australia. He recently submitted his thesis on masculinity and superhero comics. His core areas of academic interest are comic books, superheroes, gender representation in popular culture and professional wrestling.

Stone Fruit: What is a Family?

Join Lee Lai as she calls us from Canada to talk about her debut graphic novel, Stone Fruit.

In this story, the reader join Bron and Ray, a queer couple who enjoy their role as the fun weirdo aunties to Ray’s niece, six-year-old Nessie. Their playdates are little oases of wildness and ease in all three of their lives, which ping-pong between familial tensions and deep-seeded personal stumbling blocks. As their emotional intimacy erodes, Ray and Bron each take a leap of faith in an attempt to repair their broken family ties.

Time: 10:15am – 10.45am on the 1st of August
Location: Balga Room 18.228
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Lee Lai is an Australian cartoonist living in Tio’tia:ke (known as Montreal, Quebec).
She has been featured in The New Yorker, McSweeneys, Room Magazine, and Meanjin Journal. Her first graphic novel Stone Fruit was released by Fantagraphics this year, and has been translated into nine languages.

Nat Latter is a bookseller and comic lover from Perth. They run Rabble Books in Maylands.

Still Alive: Notes from Australia’s Immigration Detention System

Join Safdar as he calls in from Melbourne to talk art, activism and community with Marziya Mohammedali.

In early 2011, Safdar Ahmed visited Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre for the first time. He brought pencils and sketchbooks into the centre and started drawing with the people detained there. Their stories are told in this book.

Interweaving journalism, history and autobiography, Still Alive is an intensely personal indictment of Australia’s refugee detention policies and procedures. It is also a searching reflection on the redemptive power of art. And death metal.

Time: 1.00pm – 1.45pm on the 1st of August
Location: Balga Room 18.228
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Safdar Ahmed is a Sydney-based artist, musician and educator. He is a founding member of the community art organisation Refugee Art Project, and member of eleven, a collective of contemporary Muslim Australian artists, curators and writers. He is the author of Reform and Modernity in Islam (IB Tauris, 2013) and the Walkley Award–winning documentary web-comic Villawood: Notes from an immigration detention centre (2015). He also sings and plays guitar with the anti-racist death metal band Hazeen.

Marziya Mohammedali is a wordsmith, photographer, designer, educator and artist. Their creative practice focuses on narratives of dissent, identity, migration and transition, working for social justice. They have documented several protest movements within Perth and have been involved in creative and digital activism for various issues. They are also the Arts Editor at Jalada Africa, an online pan-African publishing platform. They are currently undertaking a PhD focusing on identity, protest, and photography, and recently held their first solo exhibition, ‘we are the ones we have been waiting for’.

Underground: Marsupial Outlaws and Other Rebels of Australia’s War in Vietnam

Led by an unconscientiously objecting wombat registered for military service during Australia’s war in Vietnam, Underground digs tunnels through a chapter of Australian history that many have attempted to bury.

Mirranda Burton has woven together stories from the anti-war movement in Melbourne, to the battlefields far away and the fallout in Saigon. As journeys intersect, bridges of understanding make more sense than war.

Join us as Mirranda calls in from Melbourne to discuss her brand new work.

Time: 11.00am – 11.45am on the 1st of August
Location: Balga Room 18.228
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Mirranda Burton was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1973. She became a printmaker at the age of ten, a dedicated marimba player in her teens, and a Super 8 stop motion filmmaker at 21.

In 2011 Mirranda became artist in residence for two years at Dunmoochin in Australian artist Clifton Pugh’s former studio. During this residency she also learned of the Pughs’ wombat, who was registered for military service in Vietnam in 1972, which started a long investigation into Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, resulting in her graphic novel Underground: Marsupial Outlaws and Other Rebels of Australia’s War in Vietnam.

Tristan Fidler is a writer and a broadcaster who reviews films for Boorloo/Perth community radio station RTRFM 92.1 as part of Movie Squad. Tristan also hosts and coordinates the late night radio show, Midnight Special On RTRFM and publishes the movie recommendations zine, VHS Tracking.

Contemporary Comics Research

Join Pat Grant, Gabe Clark, Liz MacFarlane and Ronnie Scott as they discuss two landmark research projects into Australian comics.

The first is a four-year Australia Research Council Linkage Grant titled ‘Contemporary Australian Comics 1980-2020: A New History’ that aims to consolidate and create a new entry point for a global audience to access, explore, research and engage with the last forty years of Australian comics.

The second research project is GSAW: Graphic Storytellers at Work. It aims to identify new areas of opportunity for graphic storytellers working in Australia, and the best means of supporting these artists in their creative practices and careers.

Time: 12:15pm – 1.00pm on the 1st of August
Location: Balga Room 18.228
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Dr Pat Grant is a cartoonist from the Illawarra region of NSW. His first graphic novel, Blue, was listed as one of the great graphic novels of 2012 by the US culture journal Salon, and his 2020 graphic novel The Grot is in the official selection list of the 2021 Angouleme Comics Festival.

Gabriel Clark is a creative producer, Lecturer in Visual Communications at UTS, and photographer. Gabriel conceived and produced the award-winning multimodal storytelling project Radio With Pictures, the ongoing graphic storytelling event Read to Me and is a co-founder of GRAPHIC festival.

Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne where she teaches Short Fiction, Graphic Narratives and Theory for Writing. She is co-director of graphic novel publishing house Twelve Panels Press, and co-directed artists’ residency Comic Art Workshop from 2015 to 2019.

Dr Ronnie Scott is Senior Lecturer in the Writing & Publishing discipline at RMIT University and Program Manager of the Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing). His novel The Adversary (2020) was shortlisted for a Queensland Literary Award and longlisted for the ALS Gold Medal.

The story of Walpole Kids: A local newspaper comic

Every fortnight in Walpole, there’s a group of kids who go out exploring and adventuring. Their adventures and MIS-adventures are documented and shared by Nathan Viney in their local newspaper. It’s rare for a newspaper to commission regular, local comic strips, but Walpole Kids has succeeded against the odds. Creator Nathan Viney will be sharing where his love for newspaper comics began, his inspirations and his road to publication.

Time: 11.00am – 11.45am on the 1st of August
Location: Banksia Room 18.226
PCAF Talks series are all free to attend and don’t require pre-registration.

Nathan Viney is a 2D animator and cartoonist living in Walpole, WA. He has produced a variety of popular youtube shorts, worked as an animator on a BBC Children’s program, produced two comic zines and currently runs a newspaper strip in the Walpole Weekly and Great Southern Weekender.