Sunday, May 27, 2012

Quest for Black Mermaids

You know our "Black Mermaid™" brand is very specific, and tied to the artistic expression of the wonderful Black Mermaid Productions logo of a reclining black mermaid in silhouette that Jozef designed many years ago. In fact, you can find her in a multitude of design variations at the Black Mermaid Boutique. However, we have been on a quest to find cultural diversity in the mermaid community, especially to find African inspired mermaids. Our approach has been chronicled in previous posts such as "Support The Deluge and Other Black Mermaids" and "A Letter to Black Mermaid Productions about African Mermaids". Well we've just discovered a fabulous caché of black mermaid artwork on Pinterest put up by Vegatron, AKA – Teresa Vega. Amongst the pieces are street art, book covers, Haitian art, poster art, quilt art, Cuban art and much more. The artists are attributed on the original pins. Well done, Teresa, and well done artists! You can check out the gallery here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

ASA / Supanova Professional Development Seminar 2012 [UPDATED 27/05/12]

Professional Friends with Benefits
Want to know what other professional associations and friends of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) can offer in the way of resources, legal advice, professional development and awards for comics creators?

One of the ASA Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio objectives is to liaise and cross-pollinate ideas with like-minded Australian and overseas organisations whose focus is on the promotion of the comics art form. Consequently, we’ve formed professional friendships with two associations that can help comics creators achieve their goals.

The first is the Arts Law Centre of Australia, which is the national community legal centre for the arts. Established in 1983, it provides specialised legal and business advice, professional development resources, and advocacy for artists and arts organisations on a wide range of matters including contracts, copyright, defamation, business, and employment. Solicitor Jo Teng will speak about the how Arts Law can and has helped comics and graphic artists, the resources it provides, as well as a run-down of the most frequently asked questions, issues, and problems encountered by artists both in their practice and in fandom.

The second is the Australian Cartoonists’ Association (ACA), formerly known as the Australian Black and White Artists’ Club (ABWAC). It was formed in 1924 and is the world’s oldest professional cartoonist organisation. The ACA focuses on syndicated cartoons, copyright issues, public education and promotion to newspaper and magazine editors and publishers. Long time member and previous office holder Lindsay Foyle will talk about the comics format of comic / cartoon strips, and how the ACA offers professional development opportunities at its annual conference and the Stanley Awards—in particular the Award for Best Comic Book Artist. The ASA and the ACA will also highlight the new reciprocal membership benefits scheme that has been organised for members of each organisation.

About the Australian Society of Authors (ASA)

The ASA, which includes the Society of Book Illustrators (SOBI), is the peak professional association for Australian literary creators and has over 3000 members. The Comics/Graphic Novels Portfolio was formed in mid 2007, to provide industry support to Australian artists and writers currently working in the comics medium and, in particular, the graphic novel format. The portfolio now has over 100 members.

About the Speakers

Jo Teng (Arts Law Centre)

Jo Teng is an intellectual property lawyer with the Arts Law Centre of Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Law and Arts from the University of Western Australia, and a Masters of Law at the University of New South Wales specialising in media, communications and technology law. She provides specialist legal advice on a range of issues from copyright to YouTube and has a particular interest for the Internet and its impact on the arts.

Lindsay Foyle (ACA)

Lindsay Foyle started as a copyboy on the Daily Telegraph in 1959 and has worked in journalism ever since. He has also worked at The Bulletin (as art director and deputy editor), The Australian, and many other magazines and newspapers. He joined the ACA (ABWAC) in 1970, is a past president, and has written on cartooning for over 25 years. He helped establish the ACA Stanley Awards in 1985 and, since 2008, has been working as a freelance cartoonist and author on the history of Australian cartooning.


Date: Saturday 16 June 2012
Time: 6.00pm to 7.00pm
Venue*: Madman Anime Area, The Dome, Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney.
Entry fee: There is no charge to attend the seminar. However, attendees must be exhibitors or hold a One Day Pass ($27.50 through FOXTIX or $30.00 at the door) or a Supafan Three Day Weekend Pass ($47. 50 through FOXTIX or $55.00 at the door).
Bookings: FOXTIX BOOKINGS – 1300 111 369 or or

The first 30 people through the door at the session will receive a FREE gift—donated to the ASA Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio by our other professional friend Semi-Permanent. The gift is a beautiful and inspirational book that showcases creative design talent from around the world. Thanks to Semi-Permanent for its kindness.

* Please check the venue details in the printed Supanova event program (inserted in your show bag) in case of last minute venue changes.

Sponsored by Supanova and the Australian Society of Authors

Monday, May 21, 2012

Support Camp Myth

We've discovered another interesting project that needs funding – this one on Kickstarter – and it has centaurs, merfolk, dryads and more. It's a children's ebook series called Camp Myth, which is a summer camp for mythological creatures where the happy campers need to earn merit badges for feats such as kraken fishing, cylopean archery, and our personal favourite – golem building. The author is energetic and bright young Canadian Chris Lewis Carter.

The project will only be funded if $4000 is pledged before 18 June 2012 so every dollar helps. You can check out the campaign here: 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Exciting New Mermaid Event – Mer-Palooza

Julie met Gary Antol Jr AKA "Merman Jr" at MerCon and the World Mermaid Awards last year. She has rarely encountered someone so committed and devoted to the "mer" way of life. Turns out Gary has been busy this past 12 months, organising a mermaid event of his own – Mer-Palooza – which has been scheduled for August of this year. Black Mermaid Productions (BMP) can't make it to the USA this time round, but we do want to bring this exciting event to your attention. If you're in Orlando in August, just indulge and have some fun and be our proxies in the process.

The event will include a huge Merfolk party, Mermaid Trade Show, International Mermaid Convention and Pageant, and some fun Disney-related activities.

Here's what you need to know:

Dates: Friday 10 to Sunday 12 August 2012
Location: Orlando, Florida USA
Venue: International Palms Resort and Conference Center
Tickets: $30 (Adults); $20 (Children)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Support The Deluge and Other Black Mermaids

We've occasionally been asked questions about the existence of black mermaids and whether they feature in reality and in mythology. You can read such a blog post here: A Letter to Black Mermaid Productions About African Mermaids. Well we've stumbled on an intriguing exploration about the idea —not in comics but in film.

This is an IndieGogo project that needs funding to the tune of US$25,000. As of this date the writer/ director/producer – Nijla Baseema Mu'min – has raised $4000. The cut off date is 14 June 2012. Here's a snippet on the film's premise:

Deluge is a short film that explores African American’s relationships to water, informed by such traumas as The Middle Passage, the BP Oil spill, and Hurricane Katrina, through the lens of main character Tiana, and her introduction to an aquatic underworld.
After witnessing the mass drowning of her friends and struggling with the decision not to jump in, 14-year old Tiana must decide if she will join the order of black mermaids that protect the oil-drenched waters of Lake Pontchartrain where her friends rest. This film is inspired by the 2010 mass drowning of six black teens in a Shreveport, Louisiana sinkhole. None of them could swim. The film blends coming of age drama, magical realism, and psychological suspense to explore traumatic memory in a post- BP oil spill New Orleans.

You can be a Goldfish donor for $5 right up to an Angelfish donor for $5000. If you want to help, just go to the IndieGogo Deluge web page.

The Australian Comics Journal

Australian comics creators need to be aware of a great newish Oz website – The Australian Comics Journal: Australian Sequential Art Review – which features an intelligent, knowledgeable and trusted group of contributors. They are: Philip Bentley, Gary Chaloner, Matt Emery, Dann Lennard, Tim McEwen, Bruce Mutard, Bobby N, Kevin Patrick and Cefn Ridout who are talented creators in their own right but also pivotal in the local comics art scene. Reviews have been posted for the last three months. Australian comics are coming of age and turning into an industry, and this review site will be a pivotal presence in that journey. You can check it out the website here: Australian Comics Journal.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

Jozef will be sketching at Books Kinokuniya Sydney this weekend, as part of the Free Comic Book Day activities. Julie will also be there but not in a Black Mermaid Productions capacity. She'll be helping out one of our publisher friends Black House Comics who will be giving away copies of The Dark Detective / Eeek! flip book. Here's what you need to know:

Date: Saturday 5 May 2012
Time: 10am to 4pm (the shop will be open till 7pm)
Location: Books Kinokuniya, Level 2, The Galleries, 500 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9262 7966
Further Information: Check out the website or the FaceBook page.

Hopefully we'll see you there!