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Eddie Campbell, other Aussies, invade ModernTales.com!

ModernTales.com headlines Eddie Campbell in an
Australian invasion across July!

July 7, 2003 -- Eddie Campbell, the illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel From Hell, will be appearing in Modern Tales Longplay as part of a month-long focus on Australian creators. The writer and artist of the critically acclaimed Alec: How to be an Artist and head ego behind the eclectic EgoMania magazine will be joined by writer Daren White for 'The Playwright', a series of short stories about "love, lust, fertility and the importance of quality footwear".

The July issue of Longplay -- launching July 7 -- will also showcase work by twenty Australian creators, making it the first time that ModernTales has focused attention on a single country outside of the US -- taking advantage of the truly international 'stage' of the World Wide Web.

This Australian invasion edition, titled 'short'n'curlies: LONGPLAY down under', also features stories by Gary Chaloner (Will Eisner's John Law), Edward J Grug III (Charlie Redeye) and L Frank Weber (Crab Allan) -- plus over a dozen other creators from the land down under.

Modern Tales: Longplay is a monthly feature on the
site devoted to stand-alone, 'long form' webcomics. But that changes this time around when short stories take center stage. We asked Longplay talent wrangler Gary Chaloner a few quick questions...

What inspired you to pitch an Australian cartoonist month to the Longplay editor?

I'm not sure. It's not as if I don't already have
enough to do, trying to keep on track with both Will Eisner's John Law strip and Red Kelso (which both run on ModernTales). Still, the opportunity was there to promote a great source of talent. I'm surprised, frankly, that Australia -- as an English-speaking country -- hasn't had more creators or their material become successful overseas.

Having said that, right now would have to be the most productive and positive time for Australian creators in years. There are so many comics of a world standard starting to be produced down here. Also, publishers overseas are starting to give high-profile work to more and more Australian artists. This Longplay issue, I suppose, is a reflection of that momentum.

Was it difficult to put together such a large list of top-quality creators for the collection?

The simplest way to answer that is to give a list of names who couldn't make the line-up: Ben Templesmith, Marcelo Baez, Dillon Naylor, Colin Wilson, Ashley Wood... all were invited but due to creative commitments on other projects each one had to pass. Even without them, the line-up is still so amazingly strong -- plus there was a long list of artists that I'd have loved to ask, but simply didn't have the bloody room. It really showed me that the future for creators and concepts down here is the brightest its been for a long, long time.

What's the Australian cartoonist community like?

Surprisingly tight knit from what I can gather. Most capital cities have an active comics community -- some larger than others -- then the internet brings them all together on Web site forums like OzComics.com and ComicsAustralia.com.

Are there any prominent conventions or other gathering events?

Oh yeah. There's one coming up in September in fact...the SupaNova Pop Culture Expo. It's put on twice a year or so. It's pretty amazing. Lots of overseas guests and lots of Australian comics creators.

Why 'short'n'curlies'?

I decided on 'short'n'curlies' as the title for this edition of LongPlay because it sounded...
appropriate... and kind of represents the attitude and irreverance of a lot of Australian creators. The one thing we all have in common is that our work is so different from project to project. Like pubes, no two are the same! But we all work down here in the nether regions of the planet. Some say its close to heaven and some reckon it's the arse end of the world. Either
way, the title fits.

Regular LP editor Joe Zabel has been really supportive in allowing me to gather a really interesting mix of stories and styles from this neck of the woods. The whole thing could have been five times as big -- ten times as big -- as the depth of talent and creativity down here is amazing. Still, I'm really happy with the
final list of stories that's lined up. I'm sure
readers will have heard of some of these artists --like Eddie for example -- but if you haven't heard of some of the names involved, just give it time...hopefully Longplay can help launch some new careers."

Comics featured in this edition include:

The Playwright' by Eddie Campbell and Daren White
'Hairbutt the Hippo' by Jason Paulos and Bodine
Amerikah

A brand new 'Crab Allan' adventure by L Frank Weber

A 'Killeroo' tale by Darren Close and Andie Tong
'Dropping Science: A Tale From Under Your Bed' by Doug Holgate

'Pizza Man' by Damien Shanahan and Aaron Shanahan with art on various stories by Matt Chapman, Tim Pyman and Chris Wahl

'Jack Cole's Sketchbook' by Gary Chaloner

As well as stories by Nathan Soehardi, Craig Phillips, Michael Evans, Mandy Ord and a personal 'top 20 Australian comics' article by publisher and comic afficionado, Kevin Patrick.

Modern Tales is the leading subscription-based
webcomics publisher. Cartoonists whose work appears on Modern Tales include well-known names from the independent print comics scene (James Kochalka, Lea Hernandez, Donna Barr, Roger Langridge) as well as rising young webcomics stars (Shaenon K. Garrity, Jim Zubkavich, Indigo Kelleigh, cayetano garza). In all, you can find the work of more than 30 cartoonists here
-- creative artists at the top of their respective
careers. To gain access to all of our series,
including the 1000's of archived pages behind the
subscription wall, as well as a ton of subscriber-only features, readers are asked to pay a nominal
subscription fee of $2.95/month or $29.95/year.

ModernTales.com: http://www.moderntales.com

Longplay: http://www.moderntales.com/longplay