The third block of presentations focused on Comics Communities, specifically the comics communities of two very different yet similar countries Australia and Spain. The first presentation in this block was from writer/cartoonist/animator David Blumenstein and looked at the formation and continued success of the Melbourne based Squishface Studio, which provides a physical studio space for comic book artists, illustrators and animators. David’s presentation was extremely entertaining and informative due to his use of visual aids, but we hope the audio is exciting enough.
Squishface Comics Studio is an open cartoonists studio in Brunswick, Victoria; the first of its kind in Australia.
It is a working studio but “open” in the sense that other cartoonists and the general public are invited to come in during regular opening hours to look at and buy work, but also to draw and talk with the studio residents.
I will discuss:
- The Melbourne comics scene and the specific circumstances from which Squishface sprang.
- Why, in an arts capital and “City of Literature”™, this had not happened before.
- The goals of the original group of resident Squishfacers.
- The challenge of finding residents.
- The tangible and intangible results of two years of existence.
- The effect on individuals’ work of working in close quarters with other, varied artists.
- Ways the studio could pay for itself in the future.
- The benefits of running the studio to its de facto operations committee.
- The future of the studio, and deciding whether it is a temporary project or something more ongoing.
David Blumenstein is a writer, cartoonist and animator from Melbourne, Australia. He is also one of the founders of Melbourne’s Squishface Studio. He is currently working on an animated cop show called BE A MAN and you can see examples of his work at his website Nakedfella and at the Squishface Studios website.