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!

Inkers and Thinkers Symposium Directions and Maps


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The North Terrace Campus is on the corner of North Tce and Pulteney St. You can simply walk into the campus, and there are maps which show you the different buildings on site. The symposium will be held in the IRA RAYMOND ROOM in the BARR SMITH LIBRARY and the SANTOS THEATRE in the MARJORIBANKS BUILDING.

THE IRA RAYMOND EXHIBITION ROOM (CONFERENCE VENUE): The Ira Raymond Room is on the 3RD FLOOR OF THE BARR SMITH LIBRARY. You can enter via the Hub and take the stairs, or you can enter via the library walkway, which is located near BARR SMITH NORTH. (The walkway entrance is marked with a small orange triangle in the pdf below).

THE SANTOS THEATRE (WORKSHOPS VENUE): The Santos Theatre is located at ROOM 126 on the first floor of the MARJORIBANKS BUILDING. The Marjoribanks Building is directly opposite the main campus, located on the left hand corner of Pulteney Street and North Terrace, on the Pulteney Street side. It is connected to Nexus 10 (The Faculty of Professions), and is just down the road from Target Central.

There is a full pdf of the North Terrace Campus Map HERE. This map includes car parks, bike racks, toilets, security, parenting rooms, information services, and disability access. An ATM is located in the Hub Building. The University is located next to the Royal Adelaide Hospital if you are in need of medical assistance, and there are many buses which stop outside the University. This link will take you to the Adelaide Metro site, so if you need you can plan your journey.


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Pulp Fiction Comics is located at 34A KING WILLIAM STREET. They are open 9am – 9pm on Fridays, and 9am – 5pm on Saturdays. Their website, including contact details for mail ordering and shipping, is here.


The CBD location for Bar 9 is the DAVID JONES CENTRAL PLAZA, which can be accessed via North Terrace or Rundle Mall. They are located next to the Food Court on the basement level. They are open 8.30am – 8pm on Friday, and 9.30am – 4pm on Saturday. Please note that the Inkers and Thinkers offer is only available at the CBD store.


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Austin & Austin is located at 28 AUSTIN STREET, a small laneway that is very close to campus. They are open from 12pm to 2am on Saturday, and as well as drinks they serve small meals.

If you have any questions please email, or speak to one of our friendly organisers on the day!

Win! The masterful Building Stories by Chris Ware

Among recent graphic novels, Chris Ware’s Building Stories stands out as a real triumph. It’s a boxed set of books, mini-comics, fold-outs and other styles of publications that all link together to tell one story. By turns both heart-warming and heart-retching, it’s a dazzlingly inventive example of how powerful comics can be. Naturally, it’s one of our favourite books here at Inkers and Thinkers HQ, and we are fortunate enough to have some brand new copies to give away!


This book normally retails for at least $40 USD, and some Aussie stores sell it for up to $100 AUD … but the next two people who purchase tickets to both days of Inkers and Thinkers will receive their own, brand new copy at the symposium ABSOLUTELY FREE!

I just checked the prices that Building Stories is going for on and it looks like buying tickets to both days of Inkers and Thinkers (about $40) is actually the cheapest way to get this book in Australia. So that’s a bargain in and of itself — but don’t buy tickets just to get Building Stories on the cheap, 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.

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We only have two copies of this book to give away, so grab your tickets now!


If you love comics and haven’t read this book, you need to read it! If you have read it, then you know that it will make an awesome gift for the book-lover in your life.

P.S. For more about Building Stories check out this series of essays from The Comics Journal!

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Interview with Madeleine Karutz, Poster Artist

Over the past few weeks in the lead up to our symposium, the fair city of Adelaide has been peppered with posters. Whether you’re having a hot coffee in the East End, or enjoying a cold pint at the West End, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the image of a fearless Nancy surfing a comics strip. The artist behind the poster, the ebullient Madeleine Karutz, graciously agreed to an interview about her artistic influences, and gave advice for other illustrators. Sometimes, you just have to draw that goddamn bee.


There are a myriad of art styles on the poster, which is fantastic. Who did you pay homage to in the design?

I tried to pay my respects to a few of the amazing comic artists in the alternative comic genre, both in Australia and overseas.

Here’s a blow by blow explanation of each panel (left to right):

The first is Robert Crumb, in his earlier more cartoony style with the dipping buildings, and the exaggerated feet and body movement.

Owen Heitmann, a fantastic Australian comic artist and one of the work shoppers for the symposium. His line work is always superb, and stories are compelling to read.

Georgina Chadderton, another Australian comic artist, who will be doing a workshop at the convention with Owen. Her comics are always bright, with great female characters and bold designs.

In the teal is Mandy Ord, a female Australian comic artist that does fantastic autobiographical works with beautifully detailed backgrounds in ink and brush.

Under that is a poor attempt at doing American comic artist Daniel Clowes’ style. He uses traditional medium to do his comic work and unless you have his sensibility for line it’s difficult to recreate.

American Ivan Brunetti – you may of seen his work on New Yorker covers.

Below that is Kate Parrish, an Australian comic artist. Some of her work can be found in The Lifted Brow, with very compelling story telling and subject matter coloured in lovely watercolours.

Then there is Bruce Mutard, an Australian comic artist who does beautifully detailed and paced comics in traditional medium. He wrote and drew the graphic novel The Sacrifice, which a great read.

Pat Grant, another Australian comic artist, is the Keynote speaker for the symposium and the creator of the graphic novel Blue. His work is always a delight to look at, with really thought provoking content.

The girl on the surfboard is in the style of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, an American newspaper strip comic started in 1938. Personally one of my favourite ever comics, as the drawings are fantastic and it’s still funny to read, even today.

Australian comic artist Mirranda Burton, who did the graphic novel Hidden. Her artwork has a lovely balance of fine line work and bold blacks, and her writing has sensitivity and intelligence.

Lastly, a workshop teacher for this year’s symposium and Australian comic artist and book illustrator, Claire Richards. She does wonderfully vibrant and playful works in watercolour.

If I could I would of filled the whole page with references to Australian comic artists, because I only touched the surface of the large number of immensely talented comic artists producing in Australia today.

If you were able to collaborate with any comics artist/writer in the world, who would it be?

Perhaps Alison Bechdel, because her writing is always unpretentious and thoughtful. Her artwork is also wonderfully illustrative. I actually had a whole spate of comic creators  in my head for this question, but so many alternative comic creators’ work is autobiographical, and done by only them (art and writing), and so you wonder how you’d be able to combine your practice with theirs to make something new and good. Certainly it is achievable, but getting a balance of strengths and weaknesses would be essential.

Any tips for aspiring artists?

‘Keep pushing your work and practice’ is the best advice many art professionals have told me, and it’s really the best advice I can give. This means always expanding your practice, and finding your weaknesses, like maybe it’s drawing bees, and then drawing a whole lot of bees. ‘Cause it’s never enough just having one thing locked down, ’cause eventually you will have to draw that goddamn bee. So definitely get outside your comfort zone as an artist, ’cause the flow on effects are enormous.

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