Just a few short days after the Black Keys, we had another amazing concert lined up to go see. This one we’d been expecting since February – so it was a long wait. Completely worth it though. If the Black Keys was a bit more stripped back and rocking, then Radiohead was the opposite. It was conscious, and considered with an amazing lighting and visual display to aid the songs through the set list.
Every tonal shift from song to song made the set list a giant mood ring. A slower more sombre track could transition to a more dance worthy number and giant visual display panels would re-arrange to a new layout throughout. Meaning you were always at risk or on the verge of an epileptic seizure. More importantly though, there was plenty to take in and digest along with the musical brilliance itself. It was astounding how this band could just keep adding layer upon layer upon layer – building this incredible wall of sound.
It was a fun concert and it went by too fast. We were privileged to get good seating, like we did with the Black Keys. I took some pictures. You can see them here.
Thanks for reading,
A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to have briefly met Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content (QC) at a fan meet up he had arranged in Auckland. It was fortunate for me, and the other fans at the meet up, that Jeph and his wife had decided on New Zealand to spend their vacation.
If you haven’t heard of QC, then you are missing out! It’s a great comic. This was evidenced by the turnout in the middle of a park in the city centre on a very miserable rainy day. The meet up tweet was sent out the day before, which was gloriously sunny, however the summer here has been horrible this year, so that eventually turned into the rain we were expecting. About half an hour beforehand, Jeph sends out another tweet confirming the meet up is still on, and that we’d be taking shelter in the old band rotunda in the park.
I was hanging out with my brother that day. We arrived at the location of the meet up about 10 minutes before 3pm. There are already twenty or so people hanging out inside the band rotunda. The Rotunda has perimeter seating, and everyone is slowly starting to fill in. We are all there for the same reason, to meet someone who makes an awesome comic. This doesn’t make things less awkward though, as while we all share an interest in the comic, everyone is keeping to themselves. What you end up with is a bunch of strangers turning up, not talking to each other, and seating themselves inside a band rotunda, in the middle of a public park, on a wet Auckland afternoon.
Two homeless residents of the Rotunda, who had obviously claimed the spot as a quiet shelter area from the rain were starting to get weirded out by a bunch of folk quietly entering their dry space. One of them, on a foam mattress in the middle of the Rotunda starts to get a bit self aware, and eventually stores his mattress under one of the bench seats. It doesn’t take too long before his friend seats himself next to me to make small talk.
“Hey man, uhhh, what’s going on?” was the lead in question.
I tried explaining as best as I could why we were all there (with more people filling in as we were talking) and I also apologised for us all, intruding on their spot. Deciding that it might be best that they find another quiet area, the two homeless guys eventually take their leave.
Soon after Jeph and his wife Cristi arrive, and greet everybody. Jeph breaks the ice by breaking out his sketch pad, and drawing some sketches for people. At this stage there is about 50 people at the meet up. People eventually mingle and get talking before they have a chance to talk to Jeph himself. It was a nice relaxed atmosphere and fun.
Jeph himself was a really nice dude, he comfortably chatted with everyone, and drew a picture for them. I got a nice sketch of one of the newer characters of his comic – Padma. In return I gave him one of my comics to read. He was gracious enough to pose for photos if people wanted them too.
All in all, a really fun meet up. It was good of Jeph and Cristi to make time for everyone while on their own vacation time. Incredibly generous. Thanks so much. I believe another meet up is happening today in Sydney. If you’re a reader of the comic, I encourage you to go say hi.
I’m in the process of making a new comic. I want it to be more DIY than my last comic. Above is a paper test I ran out of the printer. The biggest challenge is, I now work in colour. Translating the work into something that will work in greyscale is not without its problems. However, I think I have found a good mid range point that the greys will still add something to the comics. A different perspective perhaps? This week I’ll have to go out and acquire some paper, and then run through the pages I want to have in this mini comic.
The goal is to have something new to sell. It’s been a while since I have printed a new comic. Over a year. In that time I have produced a lot of pages for the webcomic, so I’m looking at small self contained story arcs that I can put into this mini and give people another taste of what ActionMan Adam is all about. I’m excited about the prospect of having something new to sell, but also because I’m approaching this one differently – I’m excited about putting it together. Hopefully I’ll have a nice result before the Auckland Zinefest which is scheduled for July. I’d like to sell there again, as last year was really cool.
What I should do is post more development pictures of the creation of the new mini as I proceed with it. I’ll try and make a mental note on that one.
Thanks for reading,
When you go to the Big Day Out, the title of the show lets you know what you are in for.
The best way to prepare for it, is to make sure you have a decent breakfast. With the long lineup, there isn’t any sure time where you’ll be able to grab some food amongst it all. It makes the breakfast that much more paramount to the day. Ha ha! My friend Richard and I had made sure we got a nice cooked breakfast down, and once done, we casually prepared before heading out to Mt Smart Stadium for the days activities.
It was a weird start to the day. Grey and overcast but still very warm. The weather reports were saying to expect some rain later on, although, you never really know how its going to go down, with Auckland. It was humid though. I took along a light jacket preparing for the rain, but was immediately regretting it with the heat.
There were some new noticeable things going that I had not seen in previous years. Granted I have not been the last couple of years, so these things could have been put in place on the years I didn’t attend. One was the Flying Fox that went from the very top of the grandstand area to over the main stage crowd. It looked like a lot of fun. I could see the appeal in it, and thought it was a nice addition. The other most noticeable thing was the rolled out grass in the stadium. I’m torn on this one. If the day was a pristine summers day. Then I’m sure it would have been the perfect thing. However, it was likely to go the other if things got soggy later on. Which it did. The other odd addition was a giant terminator head that swung above people. Ominously welcoming them in as they came through the main gates. It’s full purpose would not be revealed until later in the evening.
It felt like a good lineup this year, but my complaint was, I wanted to see it all, and there was just know way I was going to be able to. Instead, my friend Richard and I just kind of winged it for what made sense at the time. The weather ended up playing a big part in that decision making process along the way.
The first band I was really up for, was the Deftones. They ended up being scheduled on the main stage at around 3pm. We got into the mosh pit area just to get a closer view of the band. My concern as the area filled up, is I quickly noticed the vibe of the crowd get just a little more aggressive as we edged towards the start time. I knew we were in for a rough one. It proved to be exactly that too. I was pretty wrecked after three songs. I had to kick out a little further away, so I wasn’t right in the mix. A young man, I am no more. Ha ha!I really enjoyed the set. It was obviously a short one being at a festival. However, they mixed the right amount of old favourites with new grooves. It was pretty fantastic. Hopefully they’ll be back sometime in the not too distant future to play a full show sometime, because I wanted more. Heh.
Other highlights seen through the day include Andrew WK bringing people on stage and getting a circle pit started at the Lilly world stage. Seeing Ninja from Die Antwoord rocking Pink Floyd “Dark side of the moon” boxer shorts. Checking out Crystal Castles briefly was fun. Shihad, as always put on a fun and very rocking show. Iggy and the Stooges put on a powerful show. Followed by perhaps the surprise of the show, but I really enjoyed the spectacle of the performance that Rammstein put on. It was impressive. Impressive enough to actually make Tool look not as impressive in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, Tool were still great! However, that was a tough act to follow in terms of performance.
The down side was, the heavens opened up right around middle of the way through Shihad’s set. It started out as just an annoying drizzle. By the time Iggy and the Stooges were on stage, it was full on rain. My friend and I were sitting in the grand stand. Thinking we were so smart by opting to grab a seat early. We were set with a great viewing spot for the rest of the night. However, in reality, we ended up completely drenched and damn cold by the time Tool finally hit the stage. The rain gave us a brief reprieve. That didn’t last long though. At the end of Tool’s set the rain came down hard. People who had bought the disposable raincoats were littered throughout the crowd amongst those who didn’t. It looked like a sea of human condoms. It really did.
We opted out of Tool about 10 minutes early. In our hypothermic state we thought it best not to get caught amongst the mass exit that was bound to happen once Tool were done. With our teeth seriously chattering, we headed over to the only place that made sense in the cold rain. The Boiler room? Where else are you going to warm up, other than a giant tent filled with people? That and MIA was due on. It was just what the doctor ordered. We got warmed up and sorta saw what looked to be an amazing show. It sounded epic, and the lighting was cool, and I think I saw MIA a couple of times!
It truly was a big day out. Also: Bonus! I didn’t get a cold after.
More pics can be found here.
Thanks for reading,
Saturday night and I was heading into the city to see my first gig for 2011. This is one that has been on my hit list for a while. I had tickets to see Public Enemy way back in 2006, but unfortunately they pulled out of those dates. They then came a couple of years ago for Rhythm and Vines, which is in Gisborne. That gig, however, was a big asking price just to see one group, and I couldn’t be bothered travelling. Painfully I ruled it out. When the announcement was made that Public Enemy was playing Auckland in 2011, I was all over those tickets. Thank God I did.
Most gigs you can really enjoy and take a lot from, but this gig was on a whole other level. I can’t remember a time when I just danced my ass off, and was almost hoping for a break. There was just good jam after good jam. Hit after hit. What an incredibly enjoyable show. The enthusiasm of the crowd. The energy that Chuck, Flav and the rest of PE brought to the show was just other worldy. When it all finally ended (at the three hour mark) there was no need to cheer for an encore. We had all been so privileged to get that much in the first place, everyone just left it out there on the floor of the venue.
Chuck D was nothing but style and the crowd lapped up every single rhyme. Flav is all showman. The guy just doesn’t stop, and surprisingly, aside from adding the “flavour” to Public Enemy, he even stepped up on the bass and the drums at two different points of the show. The S1W’s, DJ Lord, and the rest of the band. Everyone was amazing. What a great show, and a fantastic way to wrap up the holidays.
I took some photos, and you can see them on my Flickr page.
Here’s a new video of one of their classics.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
Looking back at this year, I realise what a strange year it has been. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but I’ve been consistently surprised with all of it along the way. It wasn’t a stock standard year. Which I guess means you mark it down as a year things changed. In certain scenarios that might not be a good thing, but I think if you look forward, then you can find positives.
Looking back there were some not so nice things that happened that I’d rather not dwell on. Even now, Christchurch City is still getting some big after shocks that the city centre has had to be re-evaluated again, so they can see what further damage might have occurred. Boxing day is not supposed to be about the town getting punched again! For all of you battling it out in Canterbury. My thoughts are with you. I hope your homes and businesses will endure after this tough period in the region has passed.
The year hasn’t been without some interesting moments though.
Some thoughts on 2010:
The World Cup – It was nice to have another sport besides rugby in the spotlight. That brief respite will be short lived though. 2011 welcomes the Rugby world cup, and this time I won’t be able to ignore it, as New Zealand is hosting it. I did enjoy the World Cup though.
Music – Seems like it was a year for revisiting some old friends. We had Soundgarden & Faith No More reform and start touring again. I was fortunate to see Faith No More play a show here in Auckland. Other bands began playing classic albums from front to back as a draw card to go see them play. It was amazing to see Shihad play both Killjoy and The General Electric live. The latter will be repeated again at the Big Day out 2011. Other bands from my youth that I saw were Metallica and the Smashing Pumpkins.
Travel – If you plan on going somewhere, make sure your shit is locked up tight, or you have a house sitter organised. As we found out after a couple of days in Melbourne – being burgled is the worst. That said, I had an awesome time this year traveling to Melbourne, Wellington and Christchurch.
Film – Not sure if I have a favourite from what I saw this year. I really enjoyed Pixar’s “Up” though – which I only just saw this year.
Finally, if you made it through all that. Thanks to you for reading this. I really appreciate all the support, all the comments on the comics and the site. It’s cool that some people have found it, and enjoyed it. I just want to keep going and making more stories for everyone, so thank you all.
Last night I was lucky enough to catch one of my favourite bands from my youth, Faith No More (who for the sake of my laziness will be referenced to as “FNM” in this post). The anticipation and expectation of their self proclaimed second coming had set the bar high. I think everyone was expecting a lot. To make things less complicated I actually took the day off work and spent the day drawing, slowly psyching myself for the upcoming show. By 6pm, I finally got my ass down to a local fast food joint and then after a rushed dinner made my way to the venue, Vector Arena in central Auckland.
Parking is always a pain in the ass, but I found a good spot. Not long after entering the venue, the first band Eagles of Death Metal came on to warm the crowd up. By the time they were down they had definitely accomplished that task. “Can you dig it?” and “Ladies!” seemed to be their catch cries of the evening. They were just good old rock n roll. It was fun. However the crowd were definitely there to see FNM. So…did they measure up? Quite frankly. Fuck yes.
The intro had the band playing a cover of “Reunited”, before Mike Patton strutted on stage in a pimping suit with a cane for walking aid to add the vocals. It was great. They quickly got into “From Out of Nowhere” to start proceedings off. I got pretty much all the songs I wanted to hear – except for “We Care A Lot”, can’t win them all I guess. There were even some unexpected songs thrown into the set. Very welcome. Some were the bands own. A couple were not. A brief cover of Lady GaGa’s “Pokerface” had the crowd amused before blasting into “Chinese Arithmetic”. At the end of the set the band gave us two encores. On the first they ended with Crowded House’s classic “Don’t dream it’s over”. Encore number 2 they came back and asked if the crowd wanted more. A rapturous cheer let the band know the verdict. Again, they launch into the same Crowded House song. They do this another couple of times before drawing some boos. Ha ha! Mike Patton replies to the criticism with a “what? – you said you wanted more – I thought we were giving you what you wanted?” It was awesome.
The crowd was definitely reflective of the bands longevity. I doubt there was anyone under the age of 25 at the venue.
It was an amazing concert. Some other things worth noting. The backdrop was simple velvet looking curtains being back-lit with different shades of lighting. It helped keep the casual mood. At one point someone threw a shoe on stage. Which Mike Patton picked up, huffed a couple of times, before throwing it back out into the crowd. The set was stopped for two minutes, with the band urging the crowd to chant “Tom Jones!” in an effort to coax the man from his hiding place. The attempt was in vein. Tom Jones never showed up. “I guess he ain’t here” – General Patton said. We put in all that effort and the bastard doesn’t even show up? Rude.
Photos of this concert are on my Flickr page.
The people surrounding me were mostly well behaved. I’ll post on this more tomorrow.
If the band is coming near you. I very much recommend attending the show.
Thanks for reading
Man! That was an intense, tiring weekend. 3 days of getting up early, and manning a both until the early evening can really wipe you out. Sounds like everyone had fun though. So was Armageddon Auckland 2009 a success for ActionMan Adam? Yes and no. Sales weren’t quite what I was expecting. However, in saying that, the people that took the time to stop by, check it out and maybe even buy a copy – they were all really cool people! It was a case of pure quality over quantity. The comic was pretty well liked, I think people were just prioritising their cash in other areas. Which is fair enough. There is a lot on offer at a big show like that.
I was also doing some custom covers for people. Where I had a blank cover, and was drawing a new cover for the person on the day with some ink and marker pens. Also sold a couple of tee shirts. All in all, a reasonable result.
I had a shared stall setup with my main man Podgypanda. Who actually did really well on the weekend. Which is awesome to see. This guy is going to be a superstar soon. I say, head on over to his shop and check out his wares now, then you can say you supported him before he was all big and famous in the art world! We ran a competition over the course of the weekend, and the response was large. Over 100 people entered. Richard (Podgypanda) will be posting the results soon no doubt.
Socially, it was a really good show for me. I was able to meet a lot of New Zealand artists who I am aware of, but had never met face to face. I also met some cool up and coming people as well. I bought a stack of local comics, so I now have a lot of reading to catch up on. Which I’ll probably be able to get through over today, as now that the show is over I have contracted a cold. Damn!
Was good to catch up with friends. I saw Frank and Becky from Tiny Kitten Teeth, the last two days of the show. They setup a make shift screen printing studio on the convention floor and ran out some really cool mini prints. Some of which I was able to sell for them from my table on Monday. I met Matt Kelly. Really nice dude. Richard Fairgray from Blastosaurus swung by the table a couple of times. Adrian was there taking down all the details, I’m looking forward to reading his write up about the show. Was able to speak to both of the Sheehan brothers briefly. I also met Drake for the first time. He seemed to have done well at the show as well. Which is awesome. Everyone was super nice!
Today I’m going to load up some story pages from the last story of the comic to be feed over the next couple of days. I’ll drip feed the last few over the course of the next few weeks, and then hopefully that should give me some time to develop some background characters, and work on the webcomic. I think I’ll start on a weekly update schedule, and see how I go. Hopefully, everyone will return, or subscribe to come along with me on the ride. I’ll also be focusing on tweaking the site here and there, to get a few more things going on it.
Hope your weekend was awesome! Can you believe it is almost November?
Thanks for reading!
Above: The first page of the new story with the greys finished. Not sure about the speech bubbles as yet, I’ll sit on that one. Might re-do them.
Maaaaan. Is it me or do the weekends tend to just fly by? I find myself staying up later in the evenings as we inch closer to October. The deadline awaits! Frantically I am working my way through the last story trying to get it to a point of completion. Armageddon Auckland is coming. I’ll be there, ready to meet, greet and pimp. The ActionMan Adam comic is coming along nicely. It’ll be three years of learning how to make my own comic. Each step representing the best comic I could produce at a certain point in time. Readers will see great variation from the first story to the last, which is personally part of the fun I suppose. To get better at your craft. Make the best comic you can possibly make.
Not helping the matter are two things. One: I just moved house. Everything is still in a bit of a mess as we go about trying to unpack our lives and settle into the new home. Domestic chores are now added to my checklist of things to do. Like mowing the lawns, and assembling kit set furniture. It’s fun, being able to control how you want your own space organised. It’s also frightening how much stuff one can accumulate over a period of time!
Two: Work. For some reason we went from being dead quiet to insanely busy. Which is a good thing. Just the timing is off. I’d rather not be coming in on my “art” days.
Still. I’m gonna find a way to keep battling. I need to have this book out and in readers hands this October - Labour weekend. I still have to finish the digital greys for the last story (in progress). Then I have to draw a cover. Hopefully that will go down this weekend. Fingers crossed!
Watched a Harry Potter film for the first time in my life over the weekend. Was looking through iTunes for something to watch while I was working and came across one of those films. I’m pretty much a decade behind everyone else, but I’ll get there! Ha ha! It was pretty good. I’ll look forward to eventually seeing the rest of the series. The aim will be to see the next one in the series before this decade is out. Heh.
Don’t forget. I’ll be at Armageddon Auckland in October (24-26). Come and visit me, and check the comic! Hopefully I will see you there.
Thanks for reading.
Checking back into the ole blog again. I’m determined to get this site back on track. Been an interesting week already. Spent the past weekend doing some work on the house we moved into. Assembling desks for the studio and setting up the computers and stuff. It is all very time consuming. Pretty good to have all that done.
Amongst the mess that was the studio. I didn’t really get too much else done. I got some art done, but not as much as I was hoping. With the October deadline rolling on at a quick pace, I need to get my shit together quick smart. I’m also hoping to get out of the house and see “Up” at some point. It looks really cool. I know it’s been out forever in North America, but it only just opened here in New Zealand. Have pity on us southern hemisphere people, not only do we have ozone holes, but our entertainment arrives late.
After sorting out the office. My wife and I decided instead of going out and seeing Up. We’d stay in, and rent something to watch from iTunes. We decided we would try and be down with the kids and rented Twilight to see what all the fuss was about. I was aware of the film. Mostly due to the fact that its a film that seems to polarise people. There are just as many people that hate on it as love it. Which is kind of funny to me. It’s just a movie. After watching, yeah, it wasn’t THAT bad. I can kinda see how it makes a shit tonne of money. Mostly teen romance peppered with some super powered good looking vampires. If you’re into it, cool. If not, cool. As for me, it was entertaining enough. I’ll give it a pass. I just wish the awkward acting included a little less huffing, and a little more acting. Ha ha!
Also downloaded “?” by the Mint Chicks. Was kinda fun. If you have a Mac. Download that sucker. It’s worth ten minutes of your time, and is pretty amusing.
Finally dropped off some art I’ve had in storage for a while to a framer. Looking forward to getting that back this weekend and getting it up on the walls. It’s going to be awesome. It’s a crime to have good art, and nowhere to put it!
Remember I’ll be at Armageddon Auckland in October (24-26). Come and visit me, and check the comic!
How was your weekend?
Thanks for reading.