Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Big Kids Creating Kids Books at Camp Creative

 Multi-award winning illustrator and cartoonist and our old mate Jules Faber is running a children's writing and illustrating course in Bellingen, NSW, Australia in January 2015.

What do you need to know about the course?

Well, in working as a cartoonist and illustrator for over 20 years, Jules has figured out the right way to approach a children’s book from an illustrator / author’s perspective. Many people believe it is easy to write a children’s book but the complexity of children's publishing is deceptive. Some authors claim it’s actually more difficult than creating adult fiction

Jules will give you lots of tips and examine:
  • What the different aspects of writing and creating a story are about
  • How to make the story age-appropriate, and 
  • How to lay it out into illustrated form. 

Utilising his personally formulated nine rules and guidelines, he will demonstrate how you can apply these to creating the right artwork to accompany your story from rough ideas through to finished art.

Participants will complete enjoyable small projects, and work towards creating an illustrated children’s story by the end of the week, thereby gaining an insight into the world of children’s writing and illustrating.

What do you need to know about Jules?

Jules has been working in book illustration for over 20 years, having completed work on many grown-up books and 10 children’s books for well-known authors like comedian Anh Do and cricketer David Warner. Jules is a multi-award-winning children’s book illustrator and cartoonist. He won the 2014 Book of the Year for Older Children at the Australian Book Industry Awards with Weirdo alongside author Anh Do, as well as the 2014 Best Designed Fiction Book for Children and the Best Cover at the Australian Book Design Awards with designer Nic Stofberg. His versatility as an artist means he has worked in a variety of different fields including live caricature, editorial cartooning, editing an award-winning comic book series and animating on a Disney program. From 2002-2004 he taught Comic Book Illustration and Scriptwriting and Storyboarding for TAFE Qld, and in 2005 he began a full-colour series of comics entitled Golgotha, which he re-imagined in 2014 in classic black and white. He has served three terms as the President of The Australian Cartoonists Association, the world’s oldest cartoonists organisation, and has won three Rotary Cartoon Awards, Australia’s biggest International cartooning competition.

HURRY! Bookings close on 20 November 2014!

When: January 2015 (dates and times TBA)
Course Length: One week
Where: Bellingen HIgh School
Level: Everyone
Age: 16+
Cost: Adults $370; Under 18 $210

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Presenting Comics Masterclass at the Australian Cartoonists' Association Stanley Awards and Conference

Black Mermaid Productions’ (BMP) partner and comic book writer Julie Ditrich will be presenting an information session on the new Comics Masterclass arm of BMP at the upcoming Australian Cartoonists’ Association (ACA) Stanley Awards and Conference in mid November. Julie will talk about this new professional development service that provides comics script and sequential art assessments, short courses and training for the next generation of Australian comics creators. Comics Masterclass team members Julie Regan will discuss the benefits of Creativity Coaching, and Lyndall Briggs will addresses creatives who are struggling with inner life issues such as anxiety and depression that may be hampering their success.
The event features an extraordinary line up of cartooning and comics talent including Nicola Scott, Pat Grant, Madeleine Rosca, Bernard Caleo, Steve Panozzo, Peter Lewis, Mark Knight, Nigel Buchanan, Jon Sommariva, David Rower, Sarah Catherine First, Warren Brown, Mike Bowers, David Pope and many others.
The Conference will be followed by the Stanley Awards on the Saturday night.
Here are the details:
Dates: Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November 2014
Venue: Menzies Hotel, 14 Carrington St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Cost: $75 per day (members); $90 per day (non-members)
For more information and registration:
PS Julie is super excited and honoured to have had her first ever caricature, which was created by the amazing Christopher Downes. See if you can spot it in the poster at the top.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Graphic Novel Dress

Came across a great dress worn by Arya Stark from Game of Thrones who stepped out in it recently at Comic Con. The dress is made entirely from comic book and graphic novel pages. You can read all about it and answer the question "What and how is the belt made?" at the Mama Mia Blog

Comic ConVersation at Ashfield Library

Ashfield Library will be holding its inaugural "Comic ConVersation" event in September. Melbourne-based Ledger Award winning graphic novelist Bruce Mutard (The Sacrifice, The Silence) will be the special guest, and there will be a multitude of panel discussions and workshops on offer. Among the exhibitors and comics storytellers are Black Mermaid Productions' director Julie Ditrich, as well as Marcelo Baez, Paul Caggegi, Thomas Campi, Chewie Chan, Regina Clarke, Sorab Del Rio,  Samantha Emery, Peter Fairfax,  Judex, Tim McEwen, Jan Scherpenhuizen, Nathan Seabolt and Christopher Sequeira. Kings Comics will be partnering at the event.

Here is what you need to know:

Date: Saturday 20 September 2014
Time: 4.00 to 8.00pm
Venue: Ashfield LibraryLevel 3, Civic Centre260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield NSW 2131 Australia
Contact: Karen on +61 2 9716 1828 or email
Website: on.html

CLICK HERE to access the flyer. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bruce Mutard Words into Pictures Exhibition [UPDATED: 22/07/14]

A mighty CONGRATULATIONS to Aussie graphic novelist extraordinaire, Ledger Award winner and Comics Masterclass script and art assessor Bruce Mutard who has just completed his Masters with the launch of his Words into Pictures exhibition.

It took Bruce nearly eight hours to install the exhibition into a gallery space at Monash University in Melbourne. Apparently only a quarter of the work made it up on the walls. The work is meant to be immersive and it had to shape itself to the space. The exhibition attracted the close-knit Melbourne comics community but unfortunately only ran for three days. Alas, we couldn't make it down from Sydney. However, Bruce hopes to install the entire work in another gallery space in the near future.

If you want to check out more of Bruce's work then go to to his website:

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: You can check out some great photos on Bobby N's Blog and Dark Matter Zine, which also has a video walk-through.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Comics Characterisation Workshop at Comic Gong

Black Mermaid Productions (BMP) partner and comics writer Julie Ditrich will be presenting a one-hour beginner’s workshop on characterisation at Comic Gong in May 2014. The workshop is entitled: “Becoming Dr Frankenstein: How to Create Fabulous Comic Book Characters”. The workshop content includes the following:
All great comic book and graphic novel stories start with great characters whether they are heroes, villains or other archetypes. This beginner’s workshop shows you how to create a character profile from scratch by identifying and patching together the physiological, psychological and energetic components that make up your lead and supporting players.
Date: Saturday 17 May 2014
Time: 12pm to 1pm
Venue: Wollongong Town Hall, car. Kembla and Crown Streets, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia
Cost: FREE
Workshop Program:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Comics Masterclass Writing Workshop: Animal Magic

Animal Magic: How to Use Animal Archetypes to Create Unique Human Comic Book Characters

Animals often appear in comic book stories in the form of friends, sidekicks or threats. However, writers can also incorporate animal spirit into creating multi-dimensional characters that resonate with readers. This workshop shows participants how to capture animal traits and energies in character profiles and model sheets, and also provides an understanding of how to use animals symbolically to comment on story themes. Presented in association with the Sydney Comics Guild. 
Presenter: Julie Ditrich
Date: Saturday 10 May 2014
Time: 11am to 2.00pm
Venue: The Dash Bar, Harold Park Hotel, 70A Ross Street, Forest Lodge NSW 2037 Australia
(02) 9660 4745
Who Should Attend? Comics writers and artists who want to create fabulous characters in their stories.
Audience Age:

Level: Intermediate
Duration: 90 minutes of workshop presentation (plus a one hour information session on Comics Masterclass™—meet some of the team, understand the philosophy, find out about services, ask questions)
Materials: Pen, pencil, sketchbook, notebook, and / or computer
Cost: FREE
Bookings: Sydney Comics Guild Facebook Events

Julie DitrichJulie Ditrich is a published comics writer and editor with over 270,000 sales of her works around the world. She has been published through Image Comics and Warp Graphics in the USA, and her latest fantasy mermaid comic book series Elf~Fin: Hyfus & Tilaweed was self-published through Black Mermaid Productions in Australia. She was the co-founder and the co-portfolio holder of the Australian Society of Authors Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio for five years, and has also lectured extensively on comics at various writers’ festivals, tertiary institutions, pop culture conventions and arts organisations around Australia. Julie recently co-created Comics Masterclass™, which provides professional development for the next generation of Australian comics creators.
ABOUT COMICS MASTERCLASS™Comics Masterclass™ is an Australian-based service that provides professional development to comics creators in the form of comics script assessments, editorial services, mentoring and coaching, and short courses and weekend intensives.
The Sydney Comics Guild is a group for professional and amateur comics artists, and comics enthusiasts and fans. It is a forum where comics creators can network with each other. The Guild encourages all styles and genres, within appropriate age brackets, in comics and all comic media from web to print and everything in between.