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Saturday July 13th 2002

     I endure 'Beaches' on the bus. I've got the front row seat too, it really feels like an invasion of privacy. I'd much rather be alone with my thoughts, quite an eventful trip to digest. 

     The bus arrives early, about 5:40 AM.  I hover over a cup of tea at the transit cafe. 

I'd been thinking about meeting some of the Sydney comics crowd - Michael Hill, Louise Graber, Anton Emedin; Troy Mingramm should be back in town...but I am tired and drained. I think I'd better just accept my limitations. I'll have to come back another time. 

      At about 7:00 I taxi it over to Chez Amber Carvan/Richard Vogt.  Is this the right place? Yes it is! We all crash out for a bit more sleep, then wake up properly. 

     The house is full of records and books, it's like a pop culture library really. Amber is working for Noise Festival, and Richard is point man for a local record shop. 

     Ambs and I have breakfast and catch up on comics goss. She is working half weeks, and doing an impressive roster of personal projects on the side, - publication French anthology Stereoscomic, a collaborative comic with Mandy Ord, and some more comics for Dee Vee. There's some discussion with Kelvin Lee in Japan about new publishing prospects. 

      And there's lots more in the pipeline, it seems. At work True Tales of Love and Hate has just come out. (The tough part of the job for that book must have been thanking Amanda Vanstone for the funding, I'll wager. But sometimes we have to make compromises in our art.) I encourage her to whack up the NOISE Women's Comics Anthology "How Comics Can Change the World" as a PDF. It's a nicely conceived and put together book, you'll never see funding for stuff like that in the States. 

     Also she's getting into comics theory, in particular the OuBaPo stuff. But she hasn't been drawing heaps. (Tell me about it, like I'm any example.) So much to catch up on, we couldn't do it in a week of breakfasts. 

     Richard and Amber take their dogs for a walk, and invite me to look around at all their stuff. They leave their broadband internet on for me too.  Net binge!! After Cambodia this is like heaven for any well versed netgeek. 

      (It's interesting, there is a real digital divide in Oz, I think. There are some people who are quite net literate (especially the zinester crowd) but among comicists, there aren't many who are using email & the web on a daily basis. Much less so than their USA counterparts, anyway.) 

      After they return I head out, to buy some kitsch Australiana souvenirs. Anything with a kangaroo or koala will do, thank you. I buy a boomerang, some t-shirts and caps, and many bottles of vegemite.  

       I also buy a Sydney Morning Herald, to read on the train. There's an article on censorship of cartoonists, also on Australian sex tourism in Cambodia. Ick. But I'm glad someone's writing it up.  

     A group of young people outside what seems to be city hall? Hey, Newtown's got Food Not Bombs too! Cool. They're everywhere. 


A little trouble getting back. Argh, and I left the mobile numbers at their place! Panic. I manage to make it back just as they are stepping out. We've got dinner plans with Kieran Mangan

     Over a great Japanese meal in Newtown, and later at a nearby pub, Richard regales us with tales of zinery and record shop work. Kieran relates his adventures developing his smash hit small press comic 'Monkey Head Man' as an animation proposal. Sounds like he's doing us proud, he's really going the distance to make the concept come to life. And his tale of auditioning as an animator for Disney is a concept in and of itself. 

Kieran Mangan


      Back home, Amber and I try to call Kizza's 'Cheese Party' but can't get through. (And do I even think about asking Richard for tips on the 'Quest for Music'? Wake up Weeksy.) 


Next: Sunday July 14th 2002