My first comic for 2017 is uuup!

I've been a busy boy. 

Iv'e managed to get a lot done since we last spoke!

First up I now have a newsletter, 'cleverly' titled You Snooze, You Newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. I'll still continue to update this blog but it will no doubt be infrequent so be sure to sign up to my newsletter if you want more constant and in depth updates.

Secondly, I have a brand new comic to share! It's called CIRCLE and you can read it here for FREE!

I am super proud of this one. I definitely think it's one of the tightest and most well polished scripts Iv'e ever written plus I managed to secure a killer team to bring it to life.

On the pencils and inks is Armin Ozdic. I stumbled across Armin's art on the Millarworld forums and was blown away by his delicate line work and detailed characters. 

On the colours is old mate Triona Farrell. I previously worked with Triona on Train and it was a delight to be able to collaborate with her again. Her rich, moody palettes elevate every project she is apart of.

And finally Taylor Esposito on the letters. Taylor is a consummate professional. Friendly, easy to work with and his work speaks for itself. This was the first time I had brought on a letterer, I usually try and do a dodgy job myself, but after working with Taylor I am never going  back to doing my own lettering!

Before I go Iv'e got one last thing to plug:  I finally caved and got a facebook page for my comics. If you could take a few minutes to throw a like my way it would be greatly appreciated. 

Well that's all for now. As always thanks for your support. 

-Christof

Currently listening to (music): Kintsugi- Death cab for cutie,  22, a Million-  Bon Iver

Currently listening to (podcast): Comedy Bang Bang

Currently reading: The Goddamned vol. 1 (Jason Aaron/ R.M Guera) East of West vol. 6 (Jonathan Hickman/ Nick Dragotta) , Kill or Be Killed vol. 1 (Ed Brubaker/ Sean Phillips)

 

 

 

A look back at whatever the hell 2016 was ...

Since the year is almost over and I fly out to Hawaii (or as it will soon be known ‘Trump Island’) in a couple of days for a much needed holiday, I thought I would take a few moments to look back on the year.

2016. What a year.

Events occurred. Things took place. Stuff happened.

Some good. Some bad. Some really, really, really fucking bad.

I wish I had something better to say in light of all the truly terrible stuff that is taking place in the world right now. I speak of course of Trump and closer to home the inhumane treatment of refugees and resurgence of One Nation. Unfortunately I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been said a million times better than I could ever say it.

Although it tore me up inside to see art, love and rational thought to be beaten by inflammatory racism and ignorance, I am very aware that as a straight white man I will no doubt emerge relatively unscathed, as straight men have all throughout our questionable history. My heart goes out to everyone else who’s financial security, safety and human rights will and have come under fire. I am truly sorry.

Amongst this clusterfuck of unfortunate events I made some comics.

Three comics to be exact. All of which I am insanely proud of. I had the awesome opportunity to work with some stellar collaborators namely Anastasia Troitskaya, Triona Farrell, Josh Spencer and Armin Ozdic (see end of this post). Thanks so much for working with this Australian goofball and bringing my stories to life one panel at a time.

Finally, I would be a real jerk not to thank all you wonderful people who took time out of your busy lives to read my comics and let me know you enjoyed them. Thanks so much for your support and loyalty it really means a lot. Also an extra special thanks to everyone who used their real-human-money and bought a digital copy of Monday Morning. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST.

If you would also like to be THE BEST you can grab a PDF of Monday Morning here for the princely sum of $1.50.

I genuinely wish I could offer the world something better than fucking funny books* but for now it’s all I've got so it’s what I am going to to do; write my stupid stories about exploding light-bulbs, imaginary friends and sympathetic zombies.

With that in mind in 2017 I plan to make more. At this stage I am not quite sure how many, how long they will be or how I will fund them all but for better or worse there will be more!

Hope you have a good Christmas/ New year period and remember to be kind to yourselves.

-Christof

*Disclaimer: The phrase 'Fucking funny books' is just an expression, my comics aren't actually about fucking. 

Ps. Here’s a panel from something I am cooking up with artist Armin Ozdic with colours by Triona Farrell.

 'Circle' coming soon. 

'Circle' coming soon. 

 

Currently listening to (music): Waco - Violent Soho

Currently listening to (podcast): Unqualified with Ana Farris

Currently reading: Head Lopper (Andrew MacLean with Mike Spicer)

So what next?

Today I handed in my last uni assignment which means (assuming I pass) I am done with my Arts degree and ready to move onto the next 'stage' of my life ... and by stage I do mean unemployment, or at least a lack of employment in my field anyway. But hey, no one does an arts degree for the money.

And now comes the question that has been niggling away in my brain: 

What comes next?

Well more comics, obviously. Just how many and in what form I am yet to figure out. At this stage I want to make a few more shorts to put online for free but my main challenge moving forward is figuring out how I can begin to off-set the cost of production.

I love making comics and have had the pleasure of working with some amazing collaborators, but talented artists don't (nor should they) work for free. This means every comic I make is a financial loss. For example, depending on page rates and Us/Aus dollar exchange rates a short comic can cost me anywhere between 200- 600 dollareedoos. This isn't a complaint, I knew what I was signing up for, but it does mean the amount of comics I can make is directly tied to how many comics I can afford to make. In short in order to make more/ longer comics I need to figure out a way to offset the cost.

This means that, for better or worse, I am considering crowdfunding at least one longer comic project next year. In the past I have been pretty cynical toward unknown/un-established writers (a.k.a me) using crowdfunding. Why should I expect kindhearted people on the internet to fund my 'passion project', if i'm not willing to fund it out of my own pocket? 

With this in mind I am hoping that the portfolio I am building here as well as the fact the funds raised will offset the production cost rather than cover it all (the project will still be partly funded out of my own pocket) will be enough to counteract my hesitations. Either way I will probably feel like a massive hypocrite about it, so that'll be fun. 

- Christof

Currently listening to (music): Sprained Ankle - Julien Baker, 22, A Million - Bon Iver

Currently reading: Multiple Warheads (Brandon Graham) and The Fix (Nick Spencer, Steve Leiber)

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus features

Hey freindos,

As always I've been pretty busy. I'm in my final semester of Uni so things are getting fairly demanding, and although I still have some comic projects and scripts in the pipeline, for the next month or so at least, comics writing is on the back burner.  

So to keep the website fresh and poppin' (that's what the kids say right?) I thought I would share with you some art I have been sitting on from Monday Morning artist Anastasia Troitskaya.

Anastasia called it Monday Morning 'fan art' although I am not sure if it counts as fan art given she was the original artist of the comic! Either way it was a real treat to see Anastasia bring Paul and Beth to life again. If you haven't checked it out already you can read Monday Morning for free here.

 Art by Anastasia Troitskaya

Art by Anastasia Troitskaya

Before I go to back to study (and by study I actually mean have an existential crisis as I stare at a blank word document) I thought I would quickly plug the latest episode of the Read, Watch Play!, a podcast I help to host and produce for Geek of Oz. Like a lot of the things I do the podcast is half pop-culture based ramblings, half bullshit and a whole lot of fun.

You can check the podcast out here 

Anyway that's all from me. trying to get better at this whole blogging thing so expect a new blog post soon!

-Christof

Currently listening to (Podcast): Comedy Bang Bang: The pocast

Currently listening to (music): Smilco - Wilco

Currently reading: Batman vol.9 Bloom (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo), Six-gun Gorilla (Re-read) (Si Spurrier, Jeff Stokely)

 

Hey kids, you like zombies?

Hey guys,

Just thought I'd quickly share some art from the upcoming short comic, 'Attack of the un-undead', I'm working on with my friend and DnD buddy Josh Spencer. As you will no doubt tweak from the images below it involves zombies, and is my shameless attempt to piggy back off the success of The Walking Dead

Really digging the cartoony energy Josh is bringing to the character designs and am looking forward to sharing the finished product. As always watch this space!

-Chrisof

 Fun fact: The zombie on the top right is based on Josh, who coincidentally is the spitting image of Ed from  'Shaun of the Dead'. 

Fun fact: The zombie on the top right is based on Josh, who coincidentally is the spitting image of Ed from 'Shaun of the Dead'. 

 So apparently Doug was based of me although I would like to assert I usually don't have  as much  blood around my mouth. 

So apparently Doug was based of me although I would like to assert I usually don't have as much blood around my mouth. 

Slow progress

So just thought I would update you all (and by 'all' I mean the one or two people who read this, a big thanks to you both!) on what I'm up to writing wise.

First up, I have recently finished the third draft of a short script Iv'e been working on. The script is a self contained six-page comic that will (hopefully) be available on this very site once the script is finalised and I find an artist to bring it to life. Don't want to say too much about it just yet, but I can say it involves wizards, gunfights and the post-apocalypse. 

Speaking of short comics I should have a new 4 pager on the site in the next month or so!

As you read this my friend/ cartoonist/ Nick Frost look alike, Josh Spencer, is working on the pictures for a zombie comedy story I wrote last year called 'Attack of the un-undead'. Can't wait to share the finished comic with you guys and will post some progress shots in the coming weeks. 

Well that's all from me.

As always watch this space!

-Christof

Currently listening to (Podcast): Lore

Currently listening to (music): Trouble will find me - The National

Currently reading: So You've been publicly shamed (Jon Ronson), Chew Volume 11 (John Layman/Rob Gilroy), Black Majick (Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott) 

Currently watching: GOT season 6, Silicon Valley Season 3

Solidarity, a terrible job and the house that dripped blood.

I am obsessed with the Mountain Goats.

I have been for close to five years now. To clarify - and at the risk of offending any computer literate goats reading this post - the band, not the animal. This is something I have to constantly clarify to confused onlookers whenever I wear my 'I only listen to the Mountain Goats' t-shirt. 

There's probably a lot of reasons of this. For starters their large back catalogue, rich mythology and multi-layered lyrics seem to breed obsession. I am yet to meet a 'casual' Mountain Goats fan. 

Secondly, I have a history of getting blindly obsessed with bands, my many Creed CD's can pay testament to this. But there's another, much more important reason. When I am at my lowest I am constantly met by John Darnielle's music, reminded that other people have felt this way. That they endured it and so can I.

It was in my first year of marriage that I really began the journey down The Mountain Goats rabbit hole. The year was 2013. I was newly married, far too young (21 at the time) and completely unprepared for the responsibility of marriage or the rigours of adulthood in general. To make matters worse I was in the closet about the fact that I suffered from fairly serious depression and anxiety. All-in-all not exactly a recipe for success.

Weighed down by the fact I was working a full time job I hated, had next to no time or energy to connect in a meaningful way with the wonderful lady I had married and loosing roughly 70% of my pay check to rent, I slipped into a fairly bitter and angry depression. Things continued to decline from there.

The later half of the year brought with it a crisis of faith and to make matters worse the granny flat I was giving up most of my pay-check to afford was toxic. Not just with mould, but with the screams of the couple who owned the house above us. We were desperately trying to start our marriage in the shadow of the dying screams of theirs.

Then, ironically enough, I discovered The Mountain Goats album Tallahassee.  Anyone familiar with The Mountain Goats will know that a great deal of the songs on the album deal with the infamous Alpha couple, a pair of fictitious reoccurring characters whose relationship is constantly on the verge of ending.

At the time I did not know this.

Having cut my teeth on The Sunset Tree I was operating on the false assumption that all Mountain Goats songs were autobiographical. When Darnielle sang about the fictitious pair of doomed lovers I thought he was recounting his real life experiences. And I instantly connected 

For better or worse the chorus to No Children become something of a mantra in that first year. In a time in my life when I didn't want to live with my choices, or live in general, there was something cathartic, and even healing, about screaming out 'I hope you die, I hope we both die' at the top of my lungs. 

When everyone else was spurting off the same drivel about how much fun the first year of marriage should be, or how 'blessed' I was to have a wife and a job this little album was the only thing that echoed the reality I was experiencing. That other people had felt the terrible, dark and down right nasty things that I felt continually and that they had come out of it. It provided me with a weird sort of strength.

The Mountain Goats continue to be a big part of my life. I have months when they are all I listen to and not a year goes by that I don't find my self screaming 'I am going to make it through this year if it kills me'  at the top of my lungs on a lonely car ride home. 

I was lucky enough to see John Darnielle speak early 2015. Seeing him in the flesh was surreal. Although he had so much to say about art, one thing he said continues to stay with me, 'Art can't harm, it can only nourish'.

In a year when it felt like so much of my life was going to shit; when I had married the woman of my dreams but felt the worst I had ever felt, a series of songs about a failed marriage nourished me. Sustained me. Saved me. Instead of punishing me for the terrible things I felt it simply let me know other people have felt that way too. 

Although I continue to struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, and have lost many things to my illness, I have not lost my marriage. It's stronger then ever, and that terrible first year has become a boon reminding my wife and I of what we can get through together. 

- Christof

 

 

 

 

 

Sticks and Stones

One of my biggest goals for this year, apart from writing/producing as many comics as I can, is to get better at accepting and utilising constructive criticism. 

Currently I downright suck at. What can I say, I'm a fragile soul. 

On paper I recognise how important being able to accept feedback on your work is. Hell, Iv'e heard and witnessed so many cases of people's egos getting in the way of them improving creatively. It's super important and I know this. Yet, I still get stupidly defensive/ dismissive when people have anything other then praise for something iv'e written.

Part of the problem comes from the fact I'm a massive introvert (no surprises there).

When I'm working on a script I'm at my most introverted. What I'm working on consumes my thoughts and by the time I finish I am convinced that what flickers on my laptop screen is a masterpiece. Perfectly formed and flawless.

And in the vacuum of isolation it is. 

Except that it isn't, obviously. 

As much as it can be annoying to find out that bad-ass line of dialogue you wrote is actually a pile of cliché shit or that plot twist you thought of in a flash of 'genius' doesn't work, it's essential. It's amazing what a fresh set of eyes can bring to a project.

And this is what I'm slowly teaching my undeserved ego. I suck, I will continue to suck for some time and that's totally ok. What's not ok is denying it, acting like everything you do is perfect and telling people who offer you constructive criticism that they just don't 'get it' (also known as the Tarantino defence).

So with that in mind if you spot a gaping plot hole in something Iv'e written, think my dialogue feels stiff, notice one of my many grammar mistakes, or have any feedback for me please hit me up. I'm determined to get better and the only way I can do that is with your help.

- Christof

Currently listening to (music): Modest Mouse- We were dead before the ship even sank

Currently reading: Batman Gothic (Grant Morrison/ Klaus Janson)

Currently watching: Daredevil Season two (How good its the Punisher!!!)

 

 

 

New things in store

It's been a busy couple of weeks.

I been learning and practising meditation, attended two weddings (one of which I MC'd),  plus I turned 25. 

This unfortunately means I haven't gotten nearly as much writing done as I wanted to, which always seems to be the case. That said that doesn't mean iv'e been sitting on my buns for the last three weeks, so here's what Iv'e been up to creative output-wise:

- Currently researching/ planning a 20 page one-shot which will hopefully be out late this year

- Got some line art back for a four page comic the super talented Triona Farrell is illustrating for me. Can't wait until it's all done so I can share it with you all but for now here's a sneak peak :)

- Plus I also wrote a piece on Captain America for Geek of Oz  which you can check out here: http://www.geekofoz.com/2016/03/the-first-avenger-celebrating-75-years.html

Lastly, I am available for freelance writing work so if you need a comic script or feature article written please don't hesitate to drop me a line. 

-Christof

Adventures in Anxiety.

So for the last couple of days Iv'e wanted to write a blog post but haven't really known what to say.

At first I planned on doing some sort of pop-culture centric rant or writing a quick update on what I'm working on, but every time I tried I gave up after a few sentences. So instead I thought I would just be honest.

Like a lot of people I suffer from  depression and anxiety. Usually I cycle between the two; I start off anxious for three to four weeks,  eventually tire myself out then sink into depression for a week or two only to eventually pull out. Then I get one to two glorious days where I feel like a normal human person before the anxiety creeps back and the cycle starts all over again. 

For the last week I have been going through a particularity anxious period. I haven't been sleeping well, I always feel on edge and on the really bad days I feel physically ill. 

Iv'e been doing this dance for a while now so I can generally predict when I will crash and what I can accomplish/ can't accomplish when I'm badly depressed or highly anxious. Still sucks though.

On a more positive note despite my shitty mental health I am currently working on writing another 20 page comic and Iv'e got a super talented artist working her magic on a four page script I wrote last year (more updates on that shortly), so please keep watching this space! Monday Morning was just the beginning. 

- Christof

 

Currently listening to (music): Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Currently reading: The Fade out Vol. 3, Time of Contempt (Witcher novel)

Currently watching: Cooked

Monday Morning is live!

Hey friends/ enemies/ general internet weirdos,

As you have no doubt already noticed Monday Morning has been live for a couple of days now so hopefully you have gotten a chance to read it. If you haven't please stop reading this and read it now! It will only take five minutes of your time plus you can feel good about yourself knowing you have made one awkward man-child who wants to write the funny books very happy. 

Won't say too much about Monday Morning (I'm one of those wanky arty types who wants to let a project 'speak for itself') except that I am very proud of it but also know that there is plenty of room for improvement in my writing. That said, I am enjoying being able to chill for a little bit knowing that my first comic is 100% done and out in the world.

To address a question a couple of people have been asking me, Monday Morning is a self enclosed stand alone story. I don't have any plans to expand on it and, for now at least, the complete story is enclosed within its twenty pages.

Finally, in case you are wondering 'what's next?', the answer is lots! Nothing set in stone at this stage but got a couple of short scripts I'm hoping to get illustrated and up for your reading pleasure in the first half of this yeah.

A massive thanks to everyone who has taken time to read Monday Morning. THANKYOU, THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU. Having my name on a finished comic is a dream come true. Here's to many more!

-Christof

Currently listening to (music): Grimes Art Angels

Currently listening to (Podcast): You made it weird with Pete Holmes.

Currently reading: Old man Logan Battleworld tie-in

Currently watching: The 100