Inkers and Thinkers 2015 – Alternative Forms/Alternative Voices

This year’s Inkers and Thinkers symposium is packed full of great presentations and workshops that will expand your understanding of what comics are and what they can do.  Grab your tickets and join us on May 15 and 16, 2015 for Australasia’s largest event dedicated to the study of comics!

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When: Friday, May 15 & Saturday, May 16


Where: Inkers and Thinkers 2015 will be held on the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus, in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD.


What: A lively and intelligent discussion into the world of comics and narrative art!

 Have a look at the fantastic lineup of presentations and workshops:

Friday, May 15

Keynote speaker: Pat Grant, genius cartoonist of the Aurealis Award-winning Blue and Toormina Video

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Plus presentations on the world of comics from:


Saturday, May 16 — Workshop day!

Go hands on with a full day of comics workshops from some of Australia’s finest cartoonists and visual thinkers!

* Masterclass from Pat Grant on Critical Thinking and the Artistic Process

* Writer Anthony Castle and artist Chadwick Ashby (Dead Ends and The Everyman’s Theory of Everything) on Visulising Storytelling and Artistic Collaboration 

* Cartoonists and zinesters Owen Heitmann and Georgina Chadderton on Drawing Inspiration

* Artist and children’s book illustrator Claire Richards on how to make 3D Anaglyphs in Comics 


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Tickets are available from Ticketebo  |  Check out the full programme here

We have partnered with the fine folks at Austin & Austin, Bar 9 to offer some great food and drink specials during both days of the symposium, and Pulp Fiction Comics will be providing symposium attendees with some exclusive deals on awesome comics.

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This will be a fantastic two days, but tickets are limited and selling fast. Make sure you visit our ticketing site to reserve your spot for two excellent days of comic book discussion and fun. We look forward to seeing you there!


Inkers and Thinkers is proudly presented by the The J.M Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice and the Department of Media at the University of Adelaide.

Questions or comments? Find us on Facebook or Twitter!

Winners and More Prizes!


We are pleased to announce that the winners of our Building Stories competition are Michael Roder and Ryan Morrison. Congratulations and thank you for supporting Inkers and Thinkers 2015! Your copies of Building Stories will be given to you when you register on Friday.


We would also like to announce that because the response to our first Building Stories competition was so good we have decided to run a second competition for all of our pre-sale Inkers and Thinkers attendees. This time we have two great prize packs up for grabs. Firstly, we have another copy of Chris Ware’s masterful Building Stories to give away. This is truly a fantastic book that is a worthy addition to any reader’s library or the perfect gift for the book-lover in your life.


The second prize pack features two lovely hardcover books, Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero by Grant Morrison and A Comics Studies Reader edited by Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester, that we hope will sate your thirst for compelling and insightful scholarship on the comic book medium after listening to our wonderful and talented presenters. Grant Morrison is an Eisner-award winning comic book writer known for his work on All-Star Superman, Multiversity, and New X-Men as well as the creator-owned projects We3 and Joe The Barbarian. In Supergods Morrison performs a psycho-historic mapping of the superhero as a cultural organism, presenting heroes as not simply characters but powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence. Jeet Heer’s and Kent Worcester’s A Comics Studies Reader provides nearly thirty essays from academics across the globe on a wide variety of comic forms – such as gag cartoons, editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, manga, and graphic novels. The book features analysis of the works of Art Spiegelman and Chris Ware as well as discussions on the formal properties of different comic forms. The book is a great introduction to many of the key debates and authors who have and will continue to shape the field of comic book studies. These books retail for an average of AUD$30 and AUD$78, respectively, and they could both be yours!


Remember this competition is only open to attendees who have pre-booked a ticket to either day of Inkers and Thinkers. Everyone who has already purchased their pre-sale ticket to either day of Inkers and Thinkers has already been entered into the competition. If you haven’t already purchased your ticket don’t worry because there is still time! Just make sure you visit our ticketing site and purchase your ticket before 9:00pm Thursday May 14th and you’ll be entered into the competition. The first drawing will be for Building Stories and the seconding drawing for Supergods and A Comics Studies Reader. We will draw the winners for both prizes on Friday morning so you can collect your prizes at the event, but again don’t buy tickets just for the fabulous prizes, buy them because you want to attend Australasia’s biggest and best academic comics conference. With a full day of seminar presentations on Friday and hands-on workshops on Saturday, and featuring award-winning cartoonist Pat Grant, you will learn an incredible amount about visual expression, graphic storytelling and sequential art. We look forward to seeing you at Inkers and Thinkers 2015 for a great day of comics!


Please Note: Entries are limited to one per person. Buying a ticket to both days does not grant two entries. If you have purchased multiple tickets for you and a friend please contact us via Facebook or at inkersandthinkers[at] by 9:00pm Thursday to let us know the names of your other guests. Winners of the first competition, Michael Roder and Ryan Morrison, will not be re-entered into this competition. The winner of the first drawing will not be re-entered for the second drawing.

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 Remember only pre-sale attendees will be entered so buy your tickets now!

Ticketing Information for Inkers and Thinkers

Tickets for the Inkers and Thinkers symposium are available for purchase via Ticketebo.

Places are limited for the workshops and the conference, so make sure to get your ticket before the events are sold out. Be sure to have your ticket printed out and with you at these events, and read your ticket carefully. At the events you will be presented with coupons which will allow you to take advantage of the generous offers made by our sponsors, Pulp Fiction Comics, Bar 9, and Austin & Austin. You will also receive a stamp so that you can come and go from the conference and workshops at the designated breaks.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!


Pat Grant to Be Keynote Speaker at Inkers and Thinkers 2015

The Inkers and Thinkers organisers are proud to announce that acclaimed comics artist Pat Grant will be the Keynote Speaker for next year’s symposium, Inkers and Thinkers: The Alternative.

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Pat Grant is a cartoonist, a wharfie, and try-hard academic. His first graphic novel, Blue, about race relations on the Australian beach, was published in Australia, the USA, France and Italy. Blue was listed as one of the ten great graphic novels of 2012 by and one of the top three graphic novels of all-time by Pat’s mum, who has read exactly three graphic novels. Pat has a Ph.D in Media from Macquarie University, his scholarly work is concerned with materiality and movement in the cartooning process. When he is not drawing comics or taking stuff off boats he is teaching graphic storytelling at UTS. He is currently at work on his second graphic novel about teenage con-artists in a greasy post-industrial future. The book is on-track for completion some time in the next 100 years.


Call for Papers for Inkers and Thinkers Interdisciplinary Symposium 2015: Alternative Forms, Alternative Voices

Call for Papers:

The University of Adelaide’s Discipline of Media will hold its second annual interdisciplinary symposium on comics and graphic narratives on May 15 and 16, 2015. We invite researchers of all disciples, as well as artists working in the comics field, to submit proposals for conference papers. The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘Alternative Forms, Alternative Voices’.

Questions that could be addressed by research papers include, but are not limited to:

  • How have comics historically been considered alternative and subversive?
  • How have comic creators used new technologies and emerging cultural practices to shape comics as an alternative or radical medium?
  • How have comics operated as a medium of expression for marginalised groups or ideas?
  • What publishing practices and formal properties have been used to position certain comics as alternative, or opposed to accepted ideas about literacy and discourse?

Abstracts of 250-300 words for presentations of 15 minutes should be submitted to by October 31, 2014. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by November 30, 2014.

Call for Workshop Proposals:

As part of the Inkers and Thinkers 2015 programming we are seeking proposals for 90-minute hands-on creative workshops on comics and graphic narratives to be held on May 15 and 16, 2015. The workshops should be thematically tied to the academic symposium, which explores the ways that comics have experimented with forms, uses, and content. Proposals are welcomed from both writers and artists, either working as individuals or in a team. Please note that we are seeking funding to provide stipends for accepted workshops.

Workshop classes could include, but are not limited to:

  • Technical Aspects of Comics Production: Such as how to write effective dialogue, unfold action in sequence, portray character emotion, etc.
  • Crafting Comics Content: Such as how to illustrate a wordless comic, working with historical and autobiographical material, using comics for political or educational purposes, etc.

Submissions should include an overview of the proposed workshop, including a draft lesson plan, and information about the presenters, including any relevant teaching and/or artistic experience, as well as what equipment and materials will be needed for you and the class. Workshops should be designed to accommodate up to 40 participants.

Pitches for workshop sessions should be submitted to by October, 31, 2014. Please indicate whether your session is designed for a beginner or intermediateaudience, or both. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by December 1, 2014.

Changing Seasons, Changing Themes

Just as the leaves turn from green to umber, the skies turn from blue to grey, and the sale of Butter-Menthols go from steady to astronomical, so have Inkers and Thinkers changed one theme for another.

We had a brilliant success with this year’s theme, The Evolution of Comics. We were conscious of the fact that even though comics studies conferences are a relatively new phenomenon in Australia, internationally, they’ve been a staple in academia for years. We wanted to be new, different, relevant.

After writing so many notes our pens were devoid of ink and drinking so much gin we almost bankrupted the juniper berry trade, we decided that we would look at how comics were evolving. The key aspects of this theme were how comics were changing through technology; how creators adjusted to this change through their working techniques; how collaborations and fandoms were appearing online through media convergence; and of course that big one – what’s next for comics? Like any art form, it’s never content to just stay static.

As you can probably tell by the podcasts being uploaded regularly to the site, we had some stellar papers submitted and accepted by the symposium. Whether it’s Russian fans desperate for some manga goodness, motion comics paving the way for the future, fictional landscapes coming to life, avatars of the self, comics capturing the invisible worlds within war, a French meta-fiction thriller, or a scrappy little studio dear to the hearts of Melburnians, we had Australia’s best minds approaching the theme at all angles. (And to think, we still haven’t uploaded all of the podcasts!)

In my own conference paper, Social Networks and Sequential Artists, I was interested in the ways in which creators utilise social media as a site of media convergence. How creators interacted with each other to form a scene culture, and how they marketed their products as well as their selves to the consumer.

I recently chatted with the lovely Scarlette Baccini, best known for Zombolette and Jesus Reloadeth’d, on the subject of digital technologies and the creative process.

‘When I started self-publishing, I set up an online store so I could reach friends and readers who don’t visit the local conventions, and because I wasn’t exactly sure how to arrange distribution with local stores,’ Baccini said about her own experience. ‘I wanted to make it as easy as possible for my little audience to access my books, and selling online is so convenient it just seemed crazy not to give people that option.’

Unfortunately my paper won’t be uploaded as a podcast, as I want to keep it private for copyright reasons. I should tell you, dear reader, that I have a lisp, and speak in a fashion that is halfway between a yelp and a stammer, so perhaps it’s best that you don’t listen to a podcast of mine. So, instead the next podcast uploaded will be Enrique Del Rey Cabero’s delightful paper on Spanish comics culture. In the meantime, you should go buy one of Scarlette’s books:

And lo, after the dust had settled on this year’s conference, we three organisers sat down and decided, since we’ve explored evolution, which path do we head down now? This simple question – which path to take? – sparked the theme for next year’s conference.

Whenever you’re at a crossroads, you have one way… and then you have the alternative. The road less travelled, the obscured path, the crooked alleys that lead you to places you never knew existed.

Next year’s theme is The Alternative – alternative voices, alternative forms, alternative uses. A Call for Papers will be released later this year. Keep an eye on the site for it!

A. Maynard

National Young Writers’ Festival 2014 Artist Callout

Inkers and Thinkers 2014 may be over but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many other comics related events around the country. This year’s National Young Writers’ Festival, from October 2-5 2014, is leaving ‘no literary stone unturned’ meaning they are open to accepting submissions from comic book creators. The National Young Writers’ Festival is a great event where in “each October, hundreds of emerging and established young writers converge in Newcastle, take over its empty spaces to talk and perform words, create new friends, networks and ideas, and leave feeling energised and inspired.”


If this sounds like you then you should click here to read through the callout pack and complete a submission form. Applications need to be submitted by midnight April 23rd 2014.


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