PCAF 2019 Workshops

Workshop schedule graphic by Alyce Sarich


1. Comics Fundamentals
Campbell Whyte
10:30 – 12:30 duration 90 minutes

Have you ever wondered how comics are crafted Which comes first, the pictures, or the words? Join comics maker Campbell Whyte as he helps you find your perfect comics-making process, by writing with pictures and drawing with words.

Campbell Whyte was born in Perth and makes comics that explore the play between the fantastical, the historical and the autobiographical. His Eisner-nominated graphic novel, Home Time, took almost ten years to make and is a wild adventure through a Perth of the imagination. When not making comics he runs the monthly Comics Maker Network and teaches comics making at the children’s art school Milktooth.

2. Traditional Inking 101: Tools, Tips and Tricks
Emily Smith
10:30- 12:00 duration 75 minutes plus questions

Learn about the tools and mediums commonly used in traditional comic book inking, and how to apply them. We’ll go over some tips, tricks and troubleshooting for the beginner and intermediate inker, and demonstrate how to use ink to add depth, dimension and drama to a flat pencilled page. 

Emily Smith is a professional comic artist, with credits including Issue 01 of the Cleverman tie-in comic (Gestalt Publishing) and the Love Is Love anthology (DC/IDW). She specialises in traditional media and has a deep and abiding love for fantasy. When not making comics, she runs a D&D youth group and teaches comics and illustration workshops to rural teens. 

3. Intro to Risograph printing
Neighbourhood Press (Scott and Nora)
12:00 – 1:00 duration one hour

Neighbourhood Press will be hosting a seminar demonstrating the fundamentals of printing in Risograph, and the exploration of printmaking as a form of creative expression. Join us to discover why artists, illustrators and zine makers have been embracing this form of printmaking to create comics, art prints and books with a striking vibrancy and handmade aesthetic. 

Attendees will leave the seminar with a sound knowledge of Risograph printing and the best ways to use it, as well as a print sample pack, and other riso printed goodies. 

Neighbourhood Press is one of Australia’s leading Risograph printers. Founded in 2016 from a joint passion for this niche printmaking technique, Nora and Scott have collaborated with artists, art organisations, publishing houses, small businesses, poets, illustrators and zinesters to produce their creative concepts and projects and make them a reality.

4. Drawing the Land
Pat Grant
1:00 – 3:00 duration two hours

Australian comics always seem to be shot-through with visual representations of the landscape. What’s that all about? And more importantly, how do we do that? How do comic creators use drawing and storytelling to recreate the experience of being in a specific part of this big red country. This will be a hands-on workshop that will help develop skills for drawing also the observation, research and analytical tools to help create authentic places in stories. 

Pat Grant is the author of two Australian graphic novels. Blue (2012) and The Grot (2020). Blue was at the top of a list called the great graphic novels of 2012 in Salon by Laura Miller who is now a critic at The New Yorker. The Grot is beloved by beady-eyed twelve year olds who stalk the supermarket aisles with no shoes on. Making comics for 15 years has left Pat old and cranky with a grey beard and sore drawing hand. He lives by the beach in Austinmer NSW with his sweetheart and two little boys.

5. Story Magic
Soolagna Majumdar
12:15 – 13:15 duration one hour

Soolagna Majumdar – Since graduating from Curtin University with a BA
double majoring in Creative Advertising and Graphic Design &
Illustration, Soolagna had the privilege of working as an illustrator,
graphic designer, textile designer, storyboard artist, comic maker and
just general all round visual creative.

6. Make your own Viewmaster reel!
Emilie Walsh
duration 2 hours

Remember playing with a Viewmaster? Create your own Viewmaster reel to bring home! 

In this workshop, you will each design and make your own Viewmaster reel, using old photo slides and/or drawing on acetate sheets. You can create a short narrative with the seven slides of the reel or just have fun with colour and shapes! 

Material : everything will be provided! Just bring yourself. 

What you get: you will walk away from the workshop with your own Viewmaster reel. Emilie will bring her own collection of Viewmaster for you to have a look at it. 

Emilie is a Melbourne based artist and maker, currently finishing her PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts. She moved from France and 2014 and has been developing her art practice since, working with a range of media, from video to printmaking and 3D printing.

Emilie is also a comic book artist. Her illustration has been published by the Lifted Brow, and she self-published her first graphic novel in 2018 with Tree Paper Comics in Melbourne.

Talks and Panels

1. Comics and Theatre – Merging Forms at Frankies
Libby Klysz and Andrei Buters
10:30 – 11:30 Duration one hour

In 2018, Variegated Productions launched an ambitious evolving theatre show featuring Perth’s most talented improv comedy actors. But how to convey the story told so far to the audience? Enter live comics! Associate Producer Libby Klysz and cartoonist Andrei Buters talk experimental theatre, illustration, storytelling and multidisciplinary collaborations. 

Libby is a performer, director, manager, and producer. She has worked for a wide variety of companies over the past fifteen years, such as Perth Theatre Company, The Last Great Hunt, Lunchbox Productions UK, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Cut Snake Comedy, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and The Blue Room Theatre (of which she is very proudly the Chair of the Board). She has produced tours for The Last Great Hunt, Cut Snake Comedy and produced and directed See Ya, Sailor Man (Cracked Egg Productions) for The Blue Room Summer Nights, which was nominated for Best Theatre Show in Fringe World 2013, and These Guys (Variegated Productions) in 2014.

Libby is well known for her work in improvisational theatre around the country, including as an original member of The Big HOO-HAA! (and still going strong for 14 years). Libby heads up her theatre company Variegated Productions. She also works between the education and arts industries, and teaches in schools and universities.

Libby mostly just likes having people to play with.

Andrei Buters is an amateur comic artist working in Perth, Australia. 

2. Balancing Work and Comics
Andrei Buters, Alyce Sarich, Soolagna Majumdar, Hien Pham
14:00 -15:00 duration one hour (including questions)

Four illustrators sit down to discuss the eternal struggle of
balancing paid employment and making comics. In an art form which
demands high levels of time commitment, skills development, low return
on investment and self-promotion, how do you make the art you want and
still manage to pay the bills?

Soolagna Majumdar – Since graduating from Curtin University with a BA double majoring in Creative Advertising and Graphic Design & Illustration, Soolagna had the privilege of working as an illustrator, graphic designer, textile designer, storyboard artist, comic maker and just general all round visual creative.

Alyce Sarich is a self-taught comic creator from the Perth Hills of Western Australia. She goes by the username ‘Akreampuff’ on the internet, and under this name publishes the webcomic series ‘Little Things’, ‘The Adventures of DK’, and ‘Daemon’.

Andrei Buters is an amateur comic creator based out of Perth, Western Australia.

Hien Pham is a digital artist specializing in gentle and
optimistic queer comics. He grew up in Vietnam on war stories before moving and finding a home in Australia. His work revolves around respite, around caring and loving and being loved and cared for.

3. Brenton McKenna in Conversation
Brenton McKenna and Wolf Bylsma
11:30 – 12:30 duration one hour

With the publication of Ubby’s Underdogs: Return of the Dragons, ends Brenton’s sixteen year, three book comic making odyssey following tenacious, resourceful Ubby and her gang through the mystical perils of Broome. Brenton will be joined by Gestalt Comics publisher Wolf Bylsma to unpack this saga and its making. 

Brenton ‘Ez’ McKenna is a Yawuru artist and writer from Broome who fell in love with comic books at a young age. He studied visual arts at Goulburn TAFE and in 2009 was one of twenty successful applicants to be awarded a highly sought after mentorship with the Australian Society of Authors. Brenton has attended numerous literary festivals and art workshop/residencies, and in doing so, has generated much national and international interest. 

Wolfgang Bylsma is the Editor-in-Chief for Australia’s leading graphic novel publishing house, Gestalt, which he co-founded in 2005.

Wolf’s publishing endeavours have helped change the nature of the comics industry in Australia and has assisted in building reputations and careers for Australian talent in the international market across comics, television and film.

With a passion for fostering creativity, Wolf has also been a mentor for the Australian Society of Authors and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and served as Consulting Editor for two other publishing houses. Along with his role as Executive Producer on The Deep animated series, he serves as a creative consultant on additional TV and Film projects. He was also featured as one of the main subjects in the television documentary series Comic Book Heroes, which chronicled the highs and lows of publishing comics and graphic novels in Australia.

His own writing credits include adapting the Wastelander Panda ABC iView series to graphic novel form, and co-writing the Cleverman comics with TV series creator, Ryan Griffen.

4. Tiltbrush Demonstration
Justin Randall
10:30 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 2:30

Tilt Brush allows you to paint in 3D space with virtual reality. The room becomes a canvas, allowing you to actually move all around the art you make. Watch LIVE as one of Australia’s leading artists of this tool paints new work and guides you through the technology’s amazing possibilities. It may just blow your mind. 

Justin graduated from Curtin University, Western Australia as a top 1% graduate and a member of the Vice-Chancellors list with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration Design. He completed his thesis on digital comics as a top 5% graduate before accepting a tenured academic position where he moderated offshore programs, supervised post graduate studies and coordinated drawing and Illustration University programs for over 15 years.

Justin was the interior artist for IDW Publishing on the graphic novel, 30 Days of Night: Eben & Stella, along with a follow-up title, Dust to Dust, released as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive. Working as a colourist on Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday by Alex Cox, he then went on to write and illustrate his own three book graphic novel series through Gestalt Publishing titled Changing Ways. The series, currently in development for a screen adaption, has twice been awarded an Aurealis for ‘Best Illustrated Book’ in Australia along with a Gold Ledger award.

Twice featured in Wheels for the Mind Apple magazine for his illustration techniques, Justin has since worked as an interior artist for Image Comics and has been a reoccurring cover artist for the Silent Hill comic series for IDW Publishing. He has also illustrated a collection of covers for the 30 Days of Night novel series through Simon & Schuster, New York.

As a colourist for Grey Oaks studio, he recently completed work on Eldritch Kid: Bone War by Christian Read and Paul Mason, and is the interior colour artist for Talgard by Gary Proudley. Justin is currently writing and illustrating two new graphic novels titled Cavity and Dead Fairy.

5. Comics and Fine Art
Robert Buratti
1:00 – 2:00 duration one hour

Received wisdom has long had it that painting and sculpture are ‘high’ art, and comics are ‘low’ art. And it’s wrong. Comics artists such as Robert Crumb and Chris Ware have had retrospectives of their work in major galleries such as the Whitney Museum and many fine artists have made and continue to make comics such as Lyonel Feininger and Robert Williams. Even Picasso made some etchings that are in fact, comics. So, we are not talking Roy Lichtenstein mining comics for his paintings. There is a lot of overlap between the two art mediums and Robert Buratti will be your guide on a tour of art and comics history that will dissolve that ‘high’ and ‘low’ distinction once and for all. 

The work of Perth artist, Robert Buratti is gradually finding it’s way across the world and beyond, from showing on the largest video screen in Times Square New York, to being projected across the iconic Hammer Hall in Melbourne, and its launch into deep space aboard NASA’s OsirisRex mission. His collaborations with other artists such as The Tea Party, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and his numerous appearances in many of Australia’s most high profile art prizes has further introduced his work and ideas to a new range of admirers. In 2019, Buratti curated and presented Dali Land, the largest exhibition of Salvador Dali’s original artwork to come to Australia, He is now curating an exhibiton of H.R Giger to tour nationally in 2019 – 2020. Robert is also director of the Buratti Contemporary and Modernist Gallery in Perth. 

6. Curator Talk – Any Reading Order
Bruce Mutard
12:00 – 12:45 duration 45 minutes

Curated by Bruce Mutard, ‘Any Reading Order’ brings together several comics makers whose work transcends the popular conception of the medium as printed works, particularly superhero comics. To whit, comics are not a genre of literature, but a medium in which pictures and sometimes words, are placed on a surface and communicate by their accumulation of meaning in the beholder’s mind. The works in this exhibition will fill the space, inviting beholders to move through them, along them and around them, constructing narratives of their own making. This is a far cry from turning pages in a book. Comics might even be better thought of as a visual art.

I’ll be taking you on a tour of the what, when and why the works were selected, among them ‘An Anzac Myth’, my comic created especially to be encountered in space. 

Bruce Mutard is a comics writer, artist and researcher, whose books include: The Sacrifice (Allen & Unwin, 2008 and Avant-Verlag, 2020), The Silence (Allen & Unwin, 2009 and Editions çà et là, 2013), A Mind of Love (Black House Comics, 2011), The Bunker (Image Comics, 2003), Post Traumatic (Fabliaux, 2017) and most recently, Souffre Douleur (Editions çà et là, 2019). He also has had short comics stories in Overland, Meanjin, The Australian Book Review and Tango among others. He has been awarded a Master of Design for his thesis, Words into Images, from Monash University, with a comic created specifically for exhibition, An Anzac Tale. He is currently a PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University researching comics from the makers and beholders perspectives entitled The Erotics of Comics. He is an organiser and curator of the Perth Comic Arts Festival. He is publisher and editor of The Ledger Annual, an annual showcase of Australian comics to accompany the Ledger Awards for the best in Australian comics.