Showing posts with label andy conlan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label andy conlan. Show all posts

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tim Molloy Interview Part One

My first encounter with Tim Molloy was at an Auckland Armageddon convention in the early 00's. In those days artist's alley was bundled into the foyer of the Aotea Centre and tables were free (!).  I was tabling next to Tim and friends and I recall them throwing things around the room and generally terrorising other cartoonists in the vicinity. The second day I saw one of the guests from Babylon 5 come over and hang with Tim and his pals. He'd been out with them the night before. Wow! I thought, these crazy comics guys hang out with tv stars!

On the last day I traded Tim my minicomic for an early Mr Unpronounceable comic which had the same disturbing surrealism of his recent work in a still developing roughly hewn art style. There's a period of New Zealand cartoonists from the
self-publishing boom of the '90's and early '00's that have kept their hand in the comics game,  of which I'd regard Tim and I'm glad to see his work reaching a wider audience in the last couple years through Melbourne publisher Milk Shadow Books.

What were the first comics you read? What were the comics that inspired you to make your own?
It would have been Tintin,  Asterix that kinda thing. Disney comics.. . Got into superhero stuff later,  then 2000ad Etc... Calvin and Hobbes... I was making comics very young. These probably had a hand in that...  I got into Milk and Cheese later . I started doing a mash up/ rip off of them and Calvin and Hobbes called Nasty Neville and Mr Weasel. When I discovered local stuff,  local creators I've Andy Conlan,  Wade Shotter,  Corn Stone,  knuckles,  you know,  James James... I dived right in with Poot,  Ninja Sheep,  Drunken Otter...

What are some of the influences from outside of the world of comics?
I draw inspiration from all quarters. I've actually spent a lot more time imbibing novels, audiobooks, cinema and fine art than I have spent reading comics... Earliest memory of art would be pulling a Dali book down off the shelf and having my 5 year old mind blown. I have a very active dream life also. I've always had a sense of 'the other' and explores that realm as best I can through experiments in lucid dreaming, readings into the Occult and in the past, psychedelics. Life itself is an inspiration... a turn of phrase, the way light might be streaming in through a strange window, a half glimpsed person down an evening alley... It's all good!

How do you find balance between working in various art mediums? to the best of my knowledge you create comics, paintings, sculpture and music, does any one art form take precedent?
I kind of tend to gravitate towards one thing or another at any given time. I'm just coming out of a heavy comics period (1 or 2 pages a day) and going into some traditional art territory. Whatever is most important at any given time is what I tend to concentrate on. Working out whats important can be the hard thing sometimes... In the end though, comics will probably win out. Here's hoping I never have to make a choice to stick to any one thing! Music is serious fun, and the only team sport I have ever taken part in. My band Plague Doctor explores a lot of the same themes I do in my work, but you can dance to it.

What led to you moving from New Zealand to Australia?
I am an economic refugee. I came by plane though, so thankfully I was not locked up indefinitely in a detention center.

Can you talk a bit about the comics/art community in New Zealand when you lived there.
My journey started with me going to those early 'Iconz' conventions (Is that what they were called?) I ran into the likes of Willi Saunders, Wade Shotter, Andy Conlan, Karl Wills. Loved the irreverent, DIY aesthetic. When I came across the work of James James, and then met him in person, I started getting my work out there. That was 1997? My last year of High School. Those were fun days. Comics and music and art and poetry were all in the same place in those days. I imagine they still are. K Rd was where it was at.

James and I were the youngest, and (sometimes) the most badly behaved participants at 'Poetry Live' at Alleluyah in St Kevins Arcade. Hanging around at Corn Stones house, playing Sooth, reading comics, smoking Beedies and drinking the cheapest booze available. Met a whole cast of weirdos and geniuses through that scene. Everybody knew everybody else and the yearly con at the Aotea Centre (sometimes a trip down to Wellington!) was a good chance to get drunk, hassle B-Grade Science Fiction celebrities and unload some photocopied comics on an unsuspecting public. 

It was a very welcoming, vibrant space to develop and grow as an artist, but not without it's share of drama and beef! We played a lot of music, UMX (The Uncle Marty Experience) was our first band (after 'The Tools of Waste' we made a tape called 'The Resin Sessions') and we terrorized audiences with the help of Uncle Marty, our aged patriarch - may he rest in peace.

I became good friends with Ben Stenbeck, The Sheehan Brothers and some of the other people on the 'weird' end of the spectrum. Drew a lot of inspiration and encouragement there. I hung around at Auckland Uni, got a lot of comics into Craccum, drank at Shadows, smoked in Albert park, studied animation on Queen St. Cheap rent, magic mushrooms, cask wine, The Kiss And Make Up Club, St Kevin's Arcade, inky fingers, good people, late nights and lots of fun parties...

Damn! I'm getting all nostalgic now! I could sit here, peering through the mist of time all day, but these are the first impressions that leap out of the gloom at me.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Paper Trail

That time New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon met Spider-man.

White Fungus to be distributed nationwide in New Zealand through Gordon and Gotch. White Fungus have featured some fine comics over the years including work by Barry Linton and Tim Bollinger. The latest issue features a 20 page comic by Tim Bollinger.

Gorgeous short run Toby Morris screenprint available from Papertrail Prints.

Bob Temuka writes about comic collecting and maintaining a comic collection in New Zealand.

Eagle comics reprint of Judge Dredd, The Judge Child Quest, one of the last comics I recall being advertised on New Zealand television.

Darian Zam writes about New Zealand illustrator Alison Fyfe.

Lane Ashfield interviews Rachel Fenton.

Excerpt from Daniel Best's The 1955 Romance Comics Trial ebook.

Roger Langridge draws a couple takes of Jason Paulo's Hairbutt the Hippo.

Roger shares some Fin Fang Four roughs and character designs.

Sarah Laing hangs with Katherine Mansfield.

Silent Army photos from Tim Danko's Once launch.

MVH still killing it at DIE POPULAR.

Photography not comics by Andy Conlan.

In between producing several comics series' Richard Fairgray with regular collaborators Tara Black and Terry Jones have created a children's picture book, Morgan, the Moreporks and the Moon.


2013 Winter edition of Roomers #53 free from readings Bookshops in Melbourne features a harrowing tale of bathing in rooming houses, Postcards from the Gatwick, by Wendy Butler.

Benjamin Constantine gallery at Juxtapoz.

Russ Radcliffe, editor of Dirt Files:A Decade of Best Political Cartoons, and Professor John Uhr from the School of Politics and International Relations at ANU, review 10 years in Australian politics through cartoons.

Simon Hanselmann is selling a pile of Truth Zone original pages and previews his forthcoming comic from Space Face books.

Paper Trail masthead courtesy of Toby Morris.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tim Molloy - Radio As Paper Article 2010

The following article featured in NZ anthology Radio As Paper #4 published early 2010. 

Tim Molloy

Late 2009, Tim Molloy's work was one of the last feature exhibitions at Gallery 696 in Melbourne, Australia. The well attended exhibition was also a launch party for Molloy's most recent comic, Saturn Returns. A combination of Comic Art, Paintings, Sculpture and Installations, the exhibition was planned a full year in advance and the work on display was filled with meticulous detail.

Reading from an early age, Molloy had Tintin and Asterix amongst his intake and started creating his own comics before adolescence. Picking up on superhero comics a bit later Molloy was also turned onto 2000AD back when it was affordable for kids and had a creative cast of today's comic superstars. Various friends introduced Molloy to alternative comics like Milk and Cheese and he also became aware of New Zealand comics in his teens such as Andy Conlan's Strumming Teeth and the work of Willie Saunders.

Andy Conlan's Strumming Teeth

A formative comic experience of Molloy's was when Auckland legend and housemate, James James, dragged him aside at a party and threw a blanket over them for an impromptu comic creating lesson. "Look at this shit man! There's a light source! make those lines darker!" Friend Ben Stenbeck has also been a source of advice and inspiration over the years.

One of the first publishing efforts Molloy contributed to was Poot, in collaboration with a couple friends. Set out on A4 folded into quarters, Poot was distributed around Auckland with a last issue print run of 500 copies. Later Molloy contributed cartoons such as Ninja Sheep and Drunken Otter and Satan and to the Auckland Uni mag, Craccuum, and self-published many comics in the ensuing years.


In his late teens Molloy tried Magic Mushrooms and these had an effect upon his consciousness that led to him discarding what he had been doing previously and to develop a new direction with his work. Symbolism and esoteric elements  became more prevalent. Saturn Returns like much of Molloy's recent work features dialogue rendered in an alien symbolic language coupled with surreal imagery which are all earmarks of a style, distinctly Molloy's.

Molloy's recent exhibition showcased his work in a few different mediums, included detailed maquettes of characters from his comic work. Utilising architects moulding clay he created fully painted detailed renditions of his 2d work.  Molloy uses Stabiler Artline pens and the Artline 210 medium 0.6 by Shachihata is a staple of his work, providing a great variance of line widths for a relatively cheap pen. For very fine detail he switches to .1 and .005 pens. All his line work he manipulates in  Photoshop and Illustrator. Molloy confesses the editing functions available to him via computers allow him to obsess over every corner and detail which he feels can be detrimental to getting things completed. "The knowledge that the average reader will only glance at pages is no comfort when you want to make your work as good as it can be."

Like many cartoonist's Molloy drew early inspiration from Moebius but also took a step back from the french master to avoid becoming too submerged in his style. Influences come from a wide range particularly outside of the comics field with an appreciation for the work of Bosch and Brugel and literary influences such as Stephen King (The Dark Tower series) and Henry Miller. Dreams and Synchronicity also provide influence.

Mr Unpronounceable

A full colour book of Mr Unpronounceable adventures has been completed and was planned for 2009 but unfortunately the publisher involved came askew due to the worldwide economic crisis. Hopefully this will be rescheduled for 2010. Molloy stated, "The Unpronounceable stuff is kind of a throwback to a slightly more messed up me, it almost felt like at a certain point I was derailing my own life so I could come up with the feeling to be there with Mr Unpronounceable and follow him around. My brother mentioned the new stuff feels more like I'm in charge of the characters and I'm exploring the world with them whereas the Unpronounceable stuff I'm following this guy around and he's leading me into these really dark places."

Tim Molloy Blogspot
Tim Molloy DeviantART

Since interviewing Tim Molloy in 2009, a collection of his comics, It Shines and Shakes and Laughs, was published by Milk Shadow Books in 2012, who will be launching a giant tome of Mr Unpronounceable Adventures at the BA3 2013 comic book launch in Melbourne.

Accompanying photos unless marked otherwise were taken during Tim Molloy's Saturn Returns exhibition at Melbourne's Gallery 696.
All artwork © 2013 Tim Molloy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 in Review: Andy Conlan

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2012?
I did a political cartoon for which I drew a caricature of John Key, which made me feel like a "real editorial cartoonist". Political cartoons aren't really my thing, but it was fun for the context of it. He was the easy part. I wanted to draw an authentic rendition of the corner of Sunset and Vine for the environment, so I even Google mapped it. It got too complicated until I finally said “fuckit”, and just drew the street signs and some hills behind them. The hills are probably even the wrong shape, but I think I captured Key's gleeful enthusiasm.

Who are some of the comics creators that you've discovered and enjoyed for the first time in 2012?
Does rediscover count? Near the beginning of the year I started this Carl Barks frenzy, going into this total vacuum for a few weeks during which a disproportionate part of my waking hours were spent thinking about Uncle Scrooge. I also spent a lot of time reading Schultz. Another highlight was corresponding with Herr Seele about getting one of his Cowboy Henk books. He was concerned that the book was in Dutch, but there was no adequate way to articulate to him that his cartoons are so wonderfully executed that they need no text. Sometimes you can become so sycophantic that it's better to play it cool and not go overboard.

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012? (i.e. movies, film, prose, ballet, opera, fine art, exhibitions, etc)
I spent a bit of time at auctions this year, overcome with panic whenever works by the late Sir Peter Siddell were on the floor. His work has been a mild obsession for me since I was at high school, so it was an opportunity to see some of the lesser known paintings and other works that aren't held publicly.

Have you implemented any significant changes to your working methods this year?
Not really, I've been working the same way since 1995, with a brush and ink. I did go from doing everything on the page to drawing panels separately and assembling them using Photoshop, but I don't like that so I switched back. I prefer to have a page of original art that is a standalone piece of work on its own outside the “post production” environment, so prefer to keep it all on paper.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?
I've got some renewed interest in the children's stories I've been working on, so any non editorial comics or illustrative work will be for young readers. I've been working out how to translate the stories and books to moving image, and have seen a hybrid stop motion/2D drawing video that I quite liked, so might adapt that format for my own stuff. A video of me reading my children's book, Mr. Gloomingdale's Downpour, has had a decent amount of views on Youtube for something that's not about cats squeezing each others' blackheads while wearing top hats, so adapting that will be one of the first experiments.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Paper Trail

Karl Wills's Princess Seppuku is now available in a Japanese edition from The Comic Book Factory. Wills reports number one has sold out of it's first print run and he is several pages into number two. First New Zealand comic produced entirely in Japanese? Possibly...

Princess Seppuku and the Hunt for Robot-X Japanese edition available here.

 Copyright 2012 Karl Wills

  Copyright 2012 Andy Conlan

Andy Conlan presents his children's book Mr Gloomingdale's Downpour in audio visual form.

Mike Alexander writes about artist and sometime cartoonist Elliot Francis Stewart for

 Copyright 2012 Elliot Francis Stewart

To celebrate the creation of 600+ pages of comics over two years Sarah Laing is offering some hand compiled yearly volumes for some lucky readers. Read her latest post for details.

Copyright 2012 Sarah Laing

Smaller Comics are presenting a second year of MINICOMIC OF THE MONTH. 24 dollars for twelve mini comics from some of Australia's finest cartoonists. Sign up here.

Have a look at: Jackie Ryan's Burger Force

Copyright 2012 Jackie Ryan

Ryan featured on a panel covering writing for cross platforms from The 2012 Melbourne Emerging Writers Festival. View here.

Oslo Davis interviewed by Gather and Fold here.

Copyright 2012 Oslo Davis

Good Ok Bad reviews Pat Grant's Blue

Copyright 2012 Pat Grant

Paul Mason recaps his experiences at the Melbourne Oz Comic-con here.

Paul Mason and Doug Holgate

Dick Sargeson cartoonist Graeme Kirk is one of the contributing artists to Fracked a combined exhibition of Taranaki artists held at The Village Gallery in Eltham 30 September - 19 October.

Copyright 2012 Graeme Kirk

Australian Cartoonist Association President and Ginger Meggs cartoonist Jason Chatfield features on ABC's Insiders here. Chatfield discusses comics on Radio National here.

Today's Paper Trail is brought to you by two Maurice Bramley covers featuring his take on Marvel's Nick Fury character.