by David Lobato, Reporter, and Gavin Milne, Guest Reporter
T’was the night of Saturday, the 22nd of September in the jolly year of 2012, and All Star Comics in Melbourne provided the fine venue. FEC (For Evil Children) Comics had three new books being released on this night as part of their Extravaganza; Kranburn Issue 4, a new book titled Seven, and another newcomer, Fireside Tales. The respective creators of these fine books were in attendance to promote their wares, and have a chat with the the local comic book fans who were on the scene. Personally, I wanted to get some face time with Ben Michael Byrne, the writer and illustrator for the amazing Kranburn series. Which I did. It was awesome!
I asked him whether he has based any of the characters in the series on actual people that he knows. Given that the series itself is based on real Victorian suburbs, it seemed reasonable that perhaps he had based some of the characters on some real Victoria people as well, but no, as it turns out the characters are just complex realizations of Ben’s artistic ability (something that ComicsOnline strongly recommends people experience for themselves by reading a copy or four of Kranburn). When talking about the locations used in the series, I found out that he had paid extensive attention to detail in his designs for the Kranburn stronghold (thank you, Google Maps), as the complex itself and the roads leading into it are based on real life. For those of us already dying to get our hands on Issue 5 in this series, we don’t have to wait too long at all: in early December we can expect to have the next installment dropped into our hands. I particularly love this series to death, as it is a huge thrill to read a comic (especially one in this genre) that is based around the townships that I grew up in and am intimately familiar with. Being located in rural Australia, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen very often, let alone to be done so incredibly well. So Ben, I apologize if i gushed a little too much!
We were also given the opportunity to mingle with the creators of the other two new releases mentioned previously. For Seven, writer Alisha Jade gave us some insight into her inspirations for this little piece of mind-altering graphic fiction. She retold of her younger years that she spent huddled in a corner drawing, and then of her university life where she learnt more about the “stories behind the stories”. Her grim interpretation of children’s stories return to their darker fairytale origins in Seven, with reoccurring numerical themes throughout.
Last and by no means least, we spoke to the five creative minds behind Fireside Tales; Alex Smith, Andrew Shaw, Billy Tournas, Mike Wszelaki and Will Pleydon, who were giving us a tantalizing taste of what we can expect in this exciting new release. Let’s just say that it is a collection of camp fire horror stories with dark twists… Expect a review on this and other FEC Comics books very soon… but in the meantime, why not grab some copies of your own from their store on Facebook or from the fine lads down at All Star Comics, Level 1, 410 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne (they have a Facebook page too!)
Congratulations need to go out to FEC Comics and all of it’s associated editors and comic creators for a fantastic night and some rock-solid comic releases. Also a shout out to All Star Comics in Melbourne, who as usual have further helped to promote and support the great local comic talent coming out of Melbourne and Australia. Special thanks to Gavin Milne for being our guest reporter/packing mule for the day too.
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