For the next couple of weeks I will be away from the studio, learning up a storm with my mentor, Pat Grant. So I thought for a treat I would share some of my comics from when I was just a young cartoonist trying to make her way in the world. First up is the very first superhero I designed: Menu Man.
Menu Man (he fights food with food!) was a modern-day bushranger (note Kellogg's cereal box helmet and banana gun - it shot grape bullets) with a fondness for Tetley's Tea and the Enjo cleaning line. It was inspired by my best bud at the time, Tom, who would wear the menu board at our school soccer game sausage sizzle. This was a time when I only drew three-fingered hands and the only comics I'd ever read were Tintin and Calvin & Hobbes. This portrait would've been drawn around 2001/2002.
This little beauty below was my first foray into sequential storytelling with pictures - each page a panel. I believe this would have been in my first year of high school, so 2004.
After starting high school, I started learning to play percussion (which I then went on to study at uni). My first percussion teacher, Mr James, also happened to be a comics nerd and lent me some of his beloved comics and sparked my interest in making my own fully fledged stories. Unfortunately for him, I started doing comics all about all the music staff (it was a special interest music school, so we had quite a few music teachers). My very first teachers comic was 'Fashion Victim'.
Each teacher had their own alter ego/superhero that they turned into and most of them had at least one strip to themselves. Mr James and Ms Kwok were the most keen (and most represented in the comics) and would photocopy each new comic and have a folder on their desk. This unfortunately encouraged me to keep making these (painful for me to read) comics.
My teachers comics went on for three years (years 8-10). By the time I got to year 11, however, either I realised how big a nerd I was by making comics about the music staff or study just took too much of my time.
In the end there were about 40 teachers comics. Some short, some long, some I never wish to read again. At one point a chicken (who was an evil mastermind) became the main character and the volleyball unit tried to get rid of the music department (it was also a special interest volleyball school).
Anyway, that's it for part one of the early years. Next week we see snippets of the comics of my late teens, experiments with colour and my overuse of cross-hatching.
See ya then!