Inkers and Thinkers 2014: Squishface Studio: A Physical Hub for Comics in Melbourne by David Blumenstein

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.


Abstract –

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.


Biography –

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.

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.


Bruce Mutard’s Keynote Speech

For the first Inkers and Thinkers Comics Symposium we were fortunate enough to have noted Australian comic book creator Bruce Mutard open the day with a keynote speech on the current state of the comic book industry and medium in Australia. The speech set the tone for the day, preparing the audience for twelve presentations that explored the current state of the industry and the medium while exploring noted authors and projects in detail. Bruce has been kind enough to write up his thoughts on the day at Dark Matter Zine and also provide a PDF version of his speech for people to download, something we urge those with an interest in comics in Australia to do as it was a great, eye-opening and enlightening speech.

Sketches from Inkers and Thinkers

Inkers and Thinkers 2014 has passed and for those who could not make it we will soon be releasing some audio recordings from the event. In the meantime you can check out a write up of the event from one of our presenters, Mr Bernard Caleo, who even managed to do some sketches of some of the presenters throughout the day. Thank you Bernard.

Bruce Mutard by Bernard Caleo

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