ozWhen you think of ‘comic books‘ what is the first thing that comes to mind?

A quick survey around my work office revealed that for the vast majority of my non-nerd colleagues, ‘comic books‘ meant everything from specific characters, Spider-man, Superman, Batman etc, to common comic book tropes like ‘nerds‘, ‘cartoons‘, ‘Big Bang Theory‘, ‘superheroes‘ & ‘creative‘.

When I then asked which country they most associated with ‘comic books‘, every person responded with ‘America‘ or ‘U.S.A.‘.

This didn’t surprise me, and I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you either.

It is perfectly understandable that to the general public, ‘comic books‘ = America. They have been the dominant force in comic books for many years. But other countries do of course also have their own comic industry; France, U.K., Japan & Australia to name a few.

JasonIn fact, the Australian comics industry is rich with passionate and talented creators. Australian comics are reaching a level of popularity and appreciation that they have never seen before and as such are reaching audiences around the world. Whether that be on the world’s largest digital store comiXolgy (Paul Bedford‘s The List, Jason FranksThe SixSmiths etc), by winning prestigious Awards (Ben Templesmith, Ben Hutchings, John Dixon etc), or producing acclaimed work for international markets (Tom Taylor, Nicola Scott, Colin Wilson* etc). Australian comic creators are making their presence known, and nowhere is that more apparent than at the various conventions held around Australia, especially at Oz Comic-Con.

PaulAs their name suggests, Oz Comic-Con love comics, and ensure that at every event they put on they take the opportunity to showcase as much Australian and International comic talent as they can by featuring the largest range of Australian comic book guests of any convention in Australia.

In their past years they’ve featured a great number of comic creators, including the one and only Stan Lee! But this year they have an even bigger number of Special Guest comic creators and over 90% of them are Aussies! Not only is that an amazing ratio, it doesn’t even count the heap of awesome creators you’ll find in Artists Alley. This is a huge amount of Aussie talent on show and is a great opportunity for their existing and future fans to meet them, purchase their wares and maybe even get a sketch!

NicolaAnd for prospective comic creators, Wolfgang Bylsma, the Editor-in-Chief of Gestalt Publishing, will be present at the event and will be completing portfolio reviews for budding comic artists. Gestalt is Australia’s leading independent graphic novel publishing house, and the portfolio reviews are a wonderful opportunity for those interested in the illustration and comic industry to have their work looked at by a respected publisher. Joining Wolfgang at Oz Comic-Con Melbourne will be some of the talented artists published by Gestalt, including Andrew Constant (Torn, Broken Line) and Justin Randall (Changing Ways).

WoflgangAustralian Comic Creators are some of the most talented in the world. Their output encompasses the whole range, from sci-fi, to drama, to superheroes, to comedy and Oz Comic-Con is the perfect place to check them out. We never miss a show, and neither should you.

For a full list of the Comic Creators at this year’s Oz Comic-Con, check out their site and purchase your tickets now.

Tom* Note: Technically Colin is from New Zealand, but I believe he now resides in Australia, and he is awesome so I wanted to include him here.

Podcast – Episode #96

Posted by David On June 15, 2014 1 COMMENT

Episode #96 features:

News: RIP Rik Mayll / Vincent D’onofrio cast as Kingpin for Daredevil TV show / Powers TV show on Sony PSN / DC Comics/Warner Bros movie line up rumoured to be announced at SDCC

Reviews: Edge of Tomorrow / Left Hand Path

Contest of Champions: Race of Champions: The Flash vs Quicksilver vs Sonic the Hedgehog

App Happy: Launchpad by Novation

Azerothian Times: Still no damn Darkmoon Eye! / the Azerothian Choppers Winner / Ben Foster reveals his role as Medivh

Coming Soon: In Australian cinemas June 19th we get 22 Jump Street, Ernest & Celestine, Galore, The Two Faces of January & How to Train Your Dragon 2


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And checkout the awesome new podcast network – The UnderCast Network! Featuring ECN Radio, Nerd Culture Podcast, Film Flams, Talk tha Walk & Bingo Punch!

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Spotlight On…Tom Cruise part 2

Posted by David On June 15, 2014 5 COMMENTS

JerryMaguireWelcome to part 2 of my series on the films of Tom Cruise.

We finished part 1 with the Mission: Impossible franchise so we’ll be starting this one with the Cameron Crowe directed Jerry Maguire (1996)(3 Lukes). It seems to be popular to bag this film for some strange reason, especially for the “Help me, help you.” scene, but I confess I like this film. It is genuinely funny, Cuba Gooding Jnr is on fire, and the “You complete me scene.” is fantastic.

The following year Cruise chose 2 films that couldn’t be more different than Jerry Maguire, Eyes Wide Shut (1999) (which I mentioned in part 1) and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s excellent Magnolia (1999)(4 Lukes). Cruise had always wanted to work with Anderson, so even though his character, the loathsome self help speaker Frank T.J. Mackey, was a complete departure from his usual roles, he jumped at the chance. And it pays off. His performance is second only to Born on the Fourth of July. In fact everyone in this film brings their A game and I highly recommend it.


Heroes of the Storm: Alpha

Posted by Brian On June 15, 2014 ADD COMMENTS

heroes titleI have only had Heroes of the Storm (which I’ll refer to as HotS from here on) for about a week or so and even with a few (very few) issues, and it is thoroughly entertaining. HotS is a Multiplayer Brawl game from Blizzard Entertainment, and is currently in Alpha. They refuse to describe it as a M.O.B.A. because it is a very different game than League of Legends (LoL) or Defense of the Ancients (DothA).


Spotlight On…Tom Cruise part 1

Posted by David On June 10, 2014 2 COMMENTS

Tom-CruiseWelcome to my latest Spotlight On article, this time featuring the films of Tom Cruise.

I decided to do this series for a couple of reasons. I had a day off from work thanks to the Queen Lizzie’s Birthday so I decided to spend it watching some movies.

I started with Edge of Tomorrow and then went home to watch a couple others. The intention was to pick at them at random, but when I was finished I was surprised to find that they were both Tom Cruise films (Vanilla Sky & Mission: Impossible).

It would be easy to think that this seemingly random event was simply because Mr Cruise currently has 37 acting credits to his name, and I own most of them, but I assure you it was completely random, and it actually brings me to my second point. I like Tom Cruise.

Now, I know that’s not a popular thing to admit. The general populace (or at least those people who care about that sort of thing) are quick to to dismiss Mr Cruise as everything from a complete weirdo to a religious nut (he is a devout Scientologist). But isn’t a man’s religious beliefs his own affair, regardless of that religion? And the Oprah couch jumping scene was 9 years ago (May 2005 in fact). Yeah, it was a little weird, but haven’t we all done weird stuff when were in love? Surely it’s time to move on.

There is something about him that even his detractors find hard to deny- the man is a Movie Star. Charisma, good looks, a million dollar smile, and yes, even acting ability, Tom Cruise has everything a Hollywood star needs. I may not agree with his ideology, but I do enjoy his films.