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Here's a preview of my work on Charles & The Eggman! Currently pencilling part 4.
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Charles & The Eggman #2 is currently available to buy at:

The Etsy store I made, in digital form.
18 July 2014 @ 11:03 am
by Daniel Townsend

None of us saw it coming.

I certainly didn’t think he had it in him, neither did Adam T or Chris. No one in the school believed he did it, even when they ran, pressed their collective nose to the classroom window gaped, gasped and pointed as one. The mess was everywhere.

It was very clear that somebody had done something very terrible in that room. It was all over the walls.

But Adam D? Inconceivable.

Where had he been, though, that final lunchtime when the three of us were preparing for our show in the Hall? What had he been doing when we were plugging in lights, adjusting our borrowed guitar straps and decoding the manual for the VHS camcorder? Where had he been?

We found him outside the principal’s office. Wide eyes averted to the linoleum, manicured hands folded between the ironed seams of his shorts and his t-shirt covered in… In something. What was that?

Chris broke the silence.

“What’s all that mess on ya top, dude?”

Adam D looked up at us. Whatever the substance was, we could now see it was in his hair too, specks of it on his cheek. The rest of the school was pointing out smatterings of the same stuff on the posters and student projects in our room. Mostly up high.

“You know the ceiling fan in our room?” Adam whispered. We nodded, slow and synchronised. His face broke into a smirk. “I threw bananas up into it.”

We stood before him muted, our mouths wide as sideshow alley clowns. I just remember his eyes, like sunny blue lakes beneath a windy sky. All the diamonds in those tiny pools.

“I threw heaps of ‘em,” he smiled, eyes dancing. “Heaps and heaps of ‘em.”

Somehow my father managed to get him out on bail, perhaps in exchange for grade five completed in detention, and we finally got to rock that Hall.

We might not have known how to play those instruments, but we knew why we wanted to play them. It was written all over Adam D’s face. And in his hair. So we borrowed a wig for the show.

Read the rest of the band saga & other writings by Dan at his blog heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.
18 July 2014 @ 09:43 am
25.4 Pencil Scan
Check out the albums of these in progress images on the Charles & The Eggman Facebook page.
15 July 2014 @ 02:12 pm
11 July 2014 @ 12:06 pm
by Sarah Jansen

In the house I lived in from the time I was two‑and‑a‑third until I was twenty, there are fourteen steps leading from the ground floor to the first floor.

When they were building the house, my dad and my uncles fitted the flat part of the stairs, the part you step on, into places measured twice and cut once, and their places clearly marked with the flat carpenter’s pencils I loved to play with once my fine motor control came in. With the sharp smell of Liquid Nails and a few squeals of a power drill each piece of wood became a step.

When you’ve just learned to use your feet, stairs are irresistible. At first our stairs had no railing and no backs to them and my mother was worried I would slip between them to the bald slab beneath. I was only allowed to climb up to a certain step. (I think it was about the fifth, but this was before I learned that there were numbers so I’m not sure.)

Soon there was a balustrade, but it seemed like the steps were backless for a long time. Maybe they were or it could be because the danger of slipping through them was impressed on me repeatedly by all of the five or six adults I lived with at the time.

The house was finished when I was two years, three months and twenty-seven days old and we moved into it from the Little House, the four-room cottage twenty or thirty metres away. Four days later my sister Melanie was born.

Sometime in next few months, when I was still two, I woke up in the middle of the night—that mysterious time when you’re not supposed to be awake and everything is dark and quiet and your parents are asleep. Frightened by a nightmare, I toddled down the hall to my parents’ bedroom and turned to climb up on their bed.

The ground disappeared beneath my feet and the next thing we know my parents heard thumping and bumping and they raced out to find me crumpled at the bottom of the stairs, screaming.

Nothing was broken or even seriously hurt. Kids are pretty bouncy until they’re about eight. I guess I slept the rest of the night in the parents’ bed. It took a long time for that habit to get broken.

Read more of my buddy Jansen's stuff heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.

09 July 2014 @ 02:42 pm
My Grandpa died a few years ago & while helping clean out his flat, I 'inherited' his collection of matchboxes. Before smoking got banned from everywhere, promotional matchboxes were a thing, & my Grandpa had a thing for matchboxes, besides other nick-knacks.
Ali Baba

Big Dinner
Title: Bec Sheedy
04 July 2014 @ 04:56 pm
by Andy Paine

I love the Christmas story. Despite Santa Claus and his mountains of tinsel and useless junk, I still love the Christmas story.

I love it partly because I think it’s important to remember the stories that define us as a culture. White Western society doesn’t really have ancient mythology going back tens of thousands of years to give us a sense of belonging to the world and to our own culture, but our obsession with progress and the process of secularisation are helping us to forget what culture we do have.

Or maybe we always forgot it. Because while a historical trait of European society has been the colonisation and exploitation of the rest of the word and the building of empires, the Christmas story is one of a very different kind of king.

You probably know the story well enough that I don’t have to go over it in detail. It’s the story of God appearing on Earth, but there’s a few twists in the tail. In the outskirts of the Roman empire, a baby is conceived out of wedlock to a Jewish couple.  Due to an order from the Roman rulers, the parents are forced to have the baby away from home. Forced to give birth in a stable rather than in a room, the unglamorous birth is attended by lowly shepherds while the social and religious elite are completely unaware. No Woman’s Day exclusive photoshoot, and no grand divine act to announce to the world that God had become incarnate. No, the Christmas story is about a couple being shunted this way and that by people with more power than them, ignored and outcast. It’s the ultimate statement of what the glory of God really looks like.

And then there’s the “Magi from the East” (aka “wise men”), which brings me to why I’m writing this. It’s mostly forgotten now that Santa Claus and Westfield have bought Christmas, but for a long time in christian tradition, the story of Herod and the Magi (you know, between where Mary and Joseph brave the Christmas shopping rush and where they get a bargain at the boxing day sales) was remembered on the 28th of December as the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

This is one of my favourite parts of the Christmas story. Even Yoda wrote a Christmas carol about it (if you didn’t get that, don’t worry). While all the rich and powerful of Jerusalem and Rome are ignoring the birth of Jesus, three men in the East see a star that tells them something significant has happened. If you’re paying attention you find out these things. They travel West to see who has been born, bringing gifts. But when the get to Judea and ask the king Herod if he knows about it, he says no. He’d sure like to though.

The magi keep going, eventually finding the baby Jesus. In a dream they are told not to go back to Herod, so they return a different way. Herod responds with tyrannical rage, ordering the death of every child in Bethlehem under two years of age. Jesus survives because in another dream, his father is told to flee to Egypt. Like I heard a friend of mine say the other day, lucky they didn’t try to come to Australia.

This is an interesting part of the story because this is where a line gets drawn. While the manger birth shows Jesus being ignored and forgotten, the story of Herod is the first of many instances of Jesus being considered a direct threat by those in power. One that needs to be wiped out by any means necessary.

Jesus is rarely a neutral figure. He might have been called the Prince of Peace, but he also said “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’” (Matthew 10:34-36, quoting Micah 7.) The kingdom of God – of love, service and justice, is in direct opposition to the kingdoms of humanity – of money, power and violence.

This is what the magi learn in this story. While the Feast of the Holy Innocents traditionally remembers the slaughtered children as the first martyrs of christianity, it should also remember the three magi as the first christians to commit civil disobedience in standing up for what’s right. And also King Herod as neither the first nor the last person who succumbed to the temptations of power, and the slippery slope it leads to.

So tomorrow, on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, I hope we can remember all those innocent people around the world whose lives have been lost. In war, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Syria and Southern Sudan. In poverty, that so often the greediness and exploitation of the (Christian) Western world has helped to create. In oppressive regimes, from West Papua to Palestine to North Korea and all over the world, where the role of Herod is played out again and again.

I hope we also remember the magi and their courageous actions. It’s the duty of all of us to stand up against injustice wherever we see it, from our neighbourhoods to the corridors of power. Every act of love and resistance is a step towards creating a better world, but can also act as an inspiration to others – an invitation to join the glorious struggle that is pursuing true justice in our own lives and in our world.

And I hope we remember Herod, the despot king, who at another time (recorded in history but not in the bible), killed his own wife and two sons. We all are constantly faced with with temptations or compromises that will give us that little bit of extra power, wealth or recognition. Most of us like to think we would never order the mass killing of children, but I think history shows us that by the time you do get that kind of power, there’s no turning back. Part of the Christmas story that shouldn’t be forgotten is the warning for us to be less like Herod, and more like Jesus, who said:

“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:24-27)

Read more Andy Paine heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.

30 June 2014 @ 04:00 pm

I finally got around to reading Teri Louise Kelly's 'American Blow Job'. Teri was a great help while working on the recording we did while producing the Format podcasts. It was an enjoyable book & I enjoy Teri's prose despite her many works of poetry I'd known her previously for.
Paroxysm Press did a print run of this book a while ago & there may be a copy or two left to buy in the bookshelf at Co-West's zeen shop, downstairs inside the Co-Op coffee shop.
But it was originally an e-book & you can get it heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.
12 June 2014 @ 10:42 am
The above image originally appeared with a series of toilet reviews on my pal Steve's toilet reviewing blog check it out heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.
Title: Eastick
05 June 2014 @ 09:47 am
04 June 2014 @ 12:35 pm

The above link is a how to article on making a milk crate bed base, which we haven't had on the blog so far due to lack of photos. I've had the same bedside table in this picture too until I got rid of my bed all together.
03 June 2014 @ 09:59 pm



Like 'Quickdraw' by John Weeks, the work by someone called Shags is something I came across while discovering Australian indie comics & zeens in the nineties. A nifty resurgence in zeen culture in Canberra maybe brought Shags back to the photocopier to produce this volume. While I recall her earlier work in a more narrative comic form, 'The Rejects' collects cartoons deemed not worthy enough for a cafe exhibition from 2011. Shags has less to say these days, I guess. These are more idiosyncratic musings, it's a more lightweight read than a narrative comic. I don't like that as much as a juicier reads. But something I do like are people who don't give up on their creative impulses & continue to produce content well beyond a decade of their life, people like that, apparently, include Shags. 'The Rejects' is a nice suprise & I hope to one day see another collection of Shags' work, albeit lightweight cartoons or otherwise. A6 Portrait format, B&W skin & guts, staple bound. Contact: PO Box 876 Jamison Centre ACT, 2614.

& With that, it's time to announce this is my last review for at least eighteen months. The spare time part of my life that had room for review writing is consumed moreso with my comic book project & that's fulfilling enough for me to cleanse my creative palate from writing little articles. This would be appropriate time to thank any blog readers I may have or zeen fans who have read these reviews for as long as they possibly could. I'd also like to thank Format, Sticky, Aunty Mabel, Heckler, Excitement Machine & even the Thousands for facilitating my reviews & other articles getting inside the distracted minds of the consenting public. It feels a little weird as this is the oldest regular topic on my blog, but I feel the blog likewise the review topic is suffering these past few years in contrast to the enjoyable comic book project, except when I'm blogging about the comic that is. By no means should this suggest an end to the blog as I've learned for the seven years or so I've been uploading stuff here that it's a great ally in times of 'creative gap'. But you'll probably all be relieved you'll no longer have to put up with the phonetical spelling of zeen, for at least eighteen months. Woe unto those who mispronounce the format's name in thy format's fairs & workshops across the land.

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29 May 2014 @ 09:41 am

I've uploaded a similar image before, but every time I go to Port Adelaide I wanna take her photo, & when the visit includes me bringing a better camera, I have to.
Title: Josie Long
16 May 2014 @ 10:40 am

by Samantha Prendergast

Right in the middle of Australia’s Great Summer Heat Wave, when hot wind burned your eye balls and everything outside turned yellow, my boyfriend and I decided to plant some veges. It was possibly the worst ever time to make things grow, but heat waves breed boredom and we were sick of paying $5 for basil, so we stocked up on seeds and ventured into the garden.

I always associated growing your own vegetables with being a proper adult – like consistently paying your rent on time or flossing after meals. It’s something my parents always did, and when they’d come inside with dirty hands they’d look all smug and satisfied. When my boyfriend and I grew our own vegetables, we assumed things would be the same, i.e. that we’d reap the benefits of wholesome outdoor activity and then the plants would gift us with food, just like on Better Homes and Gardens. As it turns out, baby vegetable plants are very needy, and “wholesome outdoor activity” can extend to running around at 5 in the morning trying to protect pak choy from the wind.

We learned these lessons the hard way. The eggplant seeds never turned into food. The coriander grew sullen and brown. The internet’s full of plant-growing advice and for a while that gave us comfort. But the advice is all very general. The more I read about companion planting and soil nutrition, the more convinced I became that our plants were different. Internet strangers, invariably named Mitch or Shona, would offer small advice and then brag about their seedlings in a way that reminded me of parents, huddled outside classrooms waiting for their kids to finish school.

I’d always known plants are “alive”, but it wasn’t until we became small time hobby-gardeners that I noticed that (a) they’re all individuals and (b) you can end up with favorites. Seeing as it was a billion degrees outside, there were just some seedlings that were never going to thrive. The tomatoes seemed drawn to the heat and quickly outgrew their baby pots, but the broccoli plants were scraggly and pale. If they could make human sounds then I’d expect them mostly to whine. It made me resentful. We’d given them premium potting mix and in return they sagged. When my boyfriend reminded me that broccoli really wasn’t meant for growing in 40 degree weather, the resentment turned to guilt.

As the vegetables grew, they developed their own characteristics – strengths and weaknesses that we lived through vicariously. He wouldn’t admit it but I could tell my boyfriend saw himself in the pak choy – the dark green plants growing slowly in an insolated tray. Meanwhile, I developed a strange relationship with three pots of basil, which I’ve secretly been racing against each other since the day we brought them home.

I think there’s something strange about the feelings people develop towards replaceable, inanimate objects, but that hasn’t stopped me talking to the seed sprouts in a baby voice or building a tinsel scare crow I called their “scare daddy”. When a seedling was eaten by a magpie I felt genuine emotions. A few nights ago I found myself standing in the back yard, throwing fists of slug bait at the garden and muttering, “I’ll get you”, into the darkness. It was a crazed scene and ultimately futile, because I woke the next day to find two of our best plants destroyed by intruder snails.

So far, only a few of the plants have produced anything edible – not because they’re incompetent but because they’re still pretty young. My hope is that, in adulthood, they’ll need a bit less care and will be a less droopy. But as a first-time plant parent, everything’s still quite new. While we can all hope that the hours spent spraying fish gut fertiliser at soil are worth it, I’ve learned that there’s only so much control you can have over the plants, at least in your own home garden. Just quietly though, I guess that’s half the fun.

Check out more of Sam's writing heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.

15 May 2014 @ 10:10 am
Easter Bunny

On Easter Sunday, after an eight hour slow boil, we ate our Easter bunny.
13 May 2014 @ 11:22 pm


QUICKDRAW #6 by John Weeks

Just under twenty years ago, when I was first discovering what zeens were via indie comics, I learned about John Weeks. He appeared in an episode of my VHS copy of Q-Ray's community TV series, 'Comic Book Virus'. He featured a bit in the 'Milkbar' journals. He came across as an inspiring guy in the video & in the journals he straddled the comics vs. zeens divide perfectly. Weeks' comic-zeens were not concerned with the artistic ideals of a lot of indie comics, not concerned with getting the drawings just so, they were much more DIY-ethic focussed, just communicating with pen & paper like a Pictionary game & sharing it with the people. A spirit that zeen folk have been in touch with for generations. I did not see work by Weeks outside of this time period until just under five years ago when he signed up for former 'Milkbar' editor Amber Carvan's web-comic project, 'Comic Artist Rehab'. This edition of Quickdraw I procured appears to be from this period , as it references that project. I picked it up at Melbourne's zeen fair in February to bring myself closer to all of the aforementioned – the legend that is John Weeks. It still features hastily drawn Pictionary looking sketches about Weeks' life living in South East Asia, which is in keeping with what I'd understood 'Quickdraw' to be like. But this is not the Quickdraw comic-zeen of just under twenty years ago, this is a full-colour, professionally-printed volume in American-paper sized portrait format, it has an ISBN & a barcode. Why isn't it a photocopied chapbook complying with copy-paper standards? This is disappointing.

05 May 2014 @ 07:31 pm
Title: J-Wah
30 April 2014 @ 11:01 am
My Grandpa died a few years ago & while helping clean out his flat, I 'inherited' his collection of matchboxes. Before smoking got banned from everywhere, promotional matchboxes were a thing, & my Grandpa had a thing for matchboxes, besides other nick-knacks.

& The Google Search reveals...

Former Timbertop

The independent identity of the Timbertop motel has conceded to the chains buying & selling & homogenising accommodation experiences the world over.

Joyce & Peter

It's not the same, Joyce.
29 April 2014 @ 06:10 pm


I AM VERY BUSY & IMPORTANT by Sophie Benjamin

Sophie Benjamin's series celebrates reaching a double figure with issue #10. It's subtitled 'A year in the city'. Benjamin's been Melbourne based for that long so far. But the articles stray to recording music & spending time with Granma in Queensland, enough so that it's hard to read this zeen within a 'city' theme. It is of the usual standard I've come to enjoy & return to with this series. It's another chapter of Sophie-life in zeen form. I don't think it's a standout zeen for the series, except numerically. More importantly, the emergence of another zeen heralds a future for more issues of IAVB&I, some will stand out more than others & it will be OK. & Worth reading nonetheless.

As the years go by, silicon & mining mediums replace dead tree media & my ticket stub collection gets smaller & smaller each year. 2013 marked me getting hooked on a Facebook viewing list making a best/worst movie list feel redundant. Here are some top 5 lists for 2013 shows based on flyers & ticket stubs still in existence, Festivals & art galleries are still killing trees at a nostalgic rate. It took a while to get around to as it seemed like a pissy little pile to bother with anyway, getting done in the name of de-cluttering. 2014 has seen me upgrade to a smart, app-friendly device so I this may be the last ticket stub best-of list article I'll write.

Top 5 "Black Box" shows for 2013.

5. There's Nothing Compassionate About Dogs @ The Artisan Cafe
4. Pretending Things Are A Cock @ Cupola/Garden of Unearthly Delights
3. Queue @ The Freemason's Hall
2. Hot Chocolate @ The Gov
1. Chicks on Speed @ MOFO

Top 5 "White Box" shows for 2013

5. Carly Snoswell: Object of Obsession @ Feltspace
4. Peter Wallfried: Scooter Girls & Biker Boys @ Co-West
3. Celeste Aldahn & Ray Harris: Ordinary Escapes & Other Magic @ SASA gallery
2. Laurie Anderson: The Language of the Future @ Samstag museum
1. Beyonce is a Feminist (group show) @ Fontanelle

A couple of these made the Facebook list.

Title: Matt Banham
by Andy Paine

Everybody has things in their past that you would never really guess and will never know unless they are randomly prompted in conversation. You know, the things that are such a dim memory you nearly forget them yourself. Here’s one of mine: for the year between my 14th and 15th birthdays, my favourite band was the Insane Clown Posse. That’s right friends, I was a juggalo.

It’s rare that this comes up. Unlike a lot of the bands I listened to at that age, I can’t really remember any lyrics or even song titles. They were something that came into my life (introduced to me by this kid named Jeremy who moved out to Mudgee from Sydney bringing all kinds of cool stuff) suddenly and disappeared (I discovered punk and indie music, and got a little bit uncomfortable with the lyrics of the gangsta rap I was listening to) just as quickly.

But I loved it at the time. There were a group of us at school who were into ICP and their “dark carnival”. We used to quote lyrics at each other, and managed to get their whole catalogue on our meagre pocket money by buying an album each and getting our one friend with a cd burner to distribute copies to everyone. I used to draw the little “hatchet man” logo, and even would try to come up with plans as to how I could taste the Detroit cheapo soda “Faygo” that the band would sing about.

If you’re not familiar with the band, it really is too strange for me to try to explain here. You’ll have to look it up yourself. I’ll just share my one favourite story about them. In the late 90′s the band was signed to Disney-owned Hollywood Records. After a complaint from conservative Americans the label tried to cut the band without any severance pay and without giving back the master tapes of their forthcoming album. The band’s manager told Hollywood Records CEO Michael Eisner that the juggalos (the band’s devoted fans) would “burn down Disneyland.” Miraculously, the label and band quickly came to an agreement.

These memories were well and truly crammed into the darkest corners of the back of my mind until it was announced earlier this year that ICP would be touring Australia. Once I had heard this information there was only one conceivable course of action. I had to go. And so it was that on Thursday night, I found myself successfully scamming my way into the Hifi in West End for a surreal experience I will try my best to relate to you.

The highlight of the show was really before it started. Despite the early starting time of 7pm, like clockwork at that minute there appeared at the Hi-fi hundreds of juggalos waiting to get in. There were loads of faces painted, ICP shirts and a definite gender imbalance. The doors didn’t quite open on time, but people happily killed time by singing lyrics together and chanting either “family!” or “whup whup!”. The queue stretched out for literally hundreds of metres around the block. Some guy came out onto his verandah to angrily complain to the venue management about the noise. Meanwhile, the patrons and staff of nearby establishments stared in open-mouthed astonishment. The feral face-painted masses had invaded yuppified Boundary Street.

To try to sneak in I had to wait for a while, so I didn’t stick around, but I did have a couple of brief conversations with very friendly fans. When I came back I witnesses a couple of 4zzz guys interviewing juggalos. One guy said, “Australia is an extremely racist country. People of all colours are racist towards others. The only place where there is no racism is here tonight.”

I got inside to a crowd chanting “ICP! ICP!” in anticipation. The curtain opened to a huge cheer, and then there they were, bouncing around the stage. Two men in their 40′s, wearing black and white facepaint, truly living the Peter Pan dream of never having to grow up.

There were a handful of others dressed as clowns (through the set they would change into zombies, grim reapers, demons and a few other things I can’t remember), who threw confetti into the crowd. Within the opening couple of songs, the first cases of soft drink appeared and were shaken up and sprayed into the crowd. Face paint, confetti, spraying soft drink? I know all the songs are about killing people and the juggalos are on the FBI’s list of dangerous gangs, but honestly this has more of the vibe of a 12 year old’s birthday party.

What about the music? The beats are pretty simple, and usually either circus style keyboards or rap-rock crossover guitar. There’s not much great variety there, and neither is there in the lyrics, which are low on political correctness but high in stupidity. And usually involve murder or non-romantic sex. Or both. There is the running theme of religious themes and imagery thrown in there as well, which is truly a bizarre mixture, but there you go.

It’s not really about the music though, despite the fact that a few people around me know all the words and are dancing enthusiastically. It’s more of a communal ritual – being with the “family” and getting drenched in the endless supply of soft drinks that are being sprayed into the crowd.

Violent J announced that they would be playing their last song “but there’s still lots of faygo left”, which must have been a cue because as soon as the song began, people started rushing the stage and opening the bottles until soon there were about 50 people on stage spraying the stuff around. I couldn’t possibly count how many bottles got emptied, box after box kept being brought out. People on stage are dancing, hugging, soaked. It’s an amazing sight.

Everyone on stage reminded me of another gig I snuck into at the Hi-fi a couple of years ago – New York street punks The Casualties. That time I think there were more people on stage at one point than in the audience. they have the same rhetoric of “family” and “us against the world”, and have a uniform as well – mohawks and patches. The same simplistic music that seems more like a means to an end than an end in itself.

One difference though is that the Casualties show was one of the most violent I’ve ever been to. I saw two people punched straight in the face in the pit. Tonight there is no hint of violence, and despite the audience being probably 80% male, no creepiness or harrassment of women that I could see. It really was just a big kid’s party.

At some point the band snuck off stage and left the delirious juggalos marinating in their soft drink. The lights came up, but nobody left yet, instead staying and chanting “fa-mi-ly! fa-mi-ly!” Soon enough the security started to corral people out, except get this: the security guards, who had been standing at the stage as per usual for Hi-fi shows, were completely doused in soft drink and covered in glitter. In those circumstances it’s pretty hard to be intimidating.

The crowd started moving out anyway, leaving the most bizarre sight – the front section of the Hi-fi was a massive pool of soft drink, ankle deep. One guy did a belly slide in it to big cheers and emerged fist-pumping. Did I mention kid’s parties? I had managed to avoid the soft drink geysers the whole night, but on the way out a lady came up to me saying “we’re family!” and hugged me, leaving a residue of sticky soda on the front of my shirt.

Outside the venue, the joyful family vibe remained – more chanting, more “whup whup” (I don’t know what it means either), overweight guys walking around with their shirts off. Like any good show at the Hi-fi, the milling crowd blocked off that little street and needed to be shepherded around by the security. I hung around for a while, not really doing anything except soaking in the atmosphere, until it was only the dregs left still there.

The juggalo phenomenon is pretty interesting I must say. I mean, it would be easy to pick holes in it or make fun of them, but I think they bring up so many interesting questions. How did this whole cult thing develop? What binds these people together? Is it really just a crappy hip hop group from the other side of the world? What do juggalos stand for?

There is a general anti-mainstream society sentiment, and occasionally something vaguely resembling a political idea in the lyrics, but that’s pretty hard to find amongst the cartoon violence and teenage boy humour. There’s the religious theme, and maybe that’s it – like many religions it’s about personal transformation. There’s definitely that sense of self-empowering, motivational speaker, community talk that outsider sub-cultures sometimes produce. Maybe it really is like family – those intangible but unquestionable bonds that tie you to other people for life. In a society lacking in community and connection, the wicked clowns fill a gap that people need.

However you see it, there is an enthralling and intoxicating energy to the whole thing. I see a lot of amazing bands regularly, who I would confidently claim are musically better than ICP. But it’s very rare that I leave a show feeling as happy as I did on Thursday night.

read more of Andy Paine's writing heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.

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Gray & Gray

This is a humourous tourist snap from my visit to Melbourne. Obviously I have to occupy their lobby sometime, running a 'Simon & Simon' marathon on my laptop.
11 March 2014 @ 02:59 pm

Barrier Cream


I was attracted to this zeen at Perth's zeen fair by its cartoony cover. This wasn't a particularly traditional indie comic. This was lending itself more towards art zeen. 'Barrier Cream' does show some of it's images vaguely sequentially, at least a little bit like a comic, but it's a very abstract comic if that. It bears a strong resemblance to Rowan Tedge's 'Super Busy' & 'Slow Down' from a few years ago. Pages of doodled creatures across the entire spread, some more abstract blobs than specific fantasy-critters. However 'Barrier Cream' also features some more specific drawings & layouts interspersed amongst those pages, giving itself over to more interpretable concepts beyond the the aesthetics of the printed zeen's format. Some of the images in this zeen also include words & titles, offering more food for thought. While not as cleanly executed as Tedge's works, Doohan's 'Barrier Cream' works along the same lines & helps fill the gap left over while waiting for some more zeens that offer the same supremacy of format that allows me to write wanky postulations about aesthetics in the zeen world. A5 portrait format, B&W guts, colour skin, rubber band binding. No contact details given.

07 March 2014 @ 10:15 am
by ET

Each episode of the children's television show The Feels You Feel featured a song that explained a new feeling to its audience.

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