Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mermaid Books 9 – Girl in the Mermaid Tail

Our friend Kathleen Parry who writes under the name of K L Parry and who we met at MerCon in 2011, has just released a Kindle edition of a new mermaid story "Girl in the Mermaid Tail", which comes from the Tales of the Emerald Pools series.

Here's a synopsis of the story:
Jade Lang’s troubles didn’t begin with her mother’s death, but her guilt for having caused it consumes her. She lives a half-life with no hope for her future – her existence consisting of only the most mundane obligations set down for her. But, all that she knows and believes to be true is about to change starting with the discovery of a stranger in her backyard pool. Will his revelations bring her salvation or be her destruction. 
“Girl in the Mermaid Tail” is a suspenseful and darkly emotional journey into the mind of a teenage girl whose world has been irrevocably altered.
You can read a two page sample if you click on the image above.  We haven't got a Kindle so we haven't read it yet but the early Amazon customer eviews pronounce it as an excellent read with a 4.7 / 5 star average. We may need to get a Kindle real soon just to buy it.

You can order it right here from Amazon. A mighty big mermaid congratulations to you, Kathleen!

Sydney Powerhouse Museum Collects Esther Williams Cozzie

The Sydney Powerhouse Museum has acquired an Esther Williams swimming costume for its collection.

For those who don't know who she is, Esther Williams was an MGM movie star in the 1940s and 50s, and the closest thing to an onscreen and real life mermaid you could get. In fact, Clark Gable was the first film actor to famously call her a mermaid.

Esther Williams was a champion swimmer who qualified for the summer Olympics, which unfortunately were cancelled because of the outbreak of World War II. She went on to feature in countless magical Hollywood musicals and romantic comedies. She was most famous for her underwater ballets in a movie genre that was developed just for her – "swimming movies". These included Bathing Beauty, Neptune's Daughter, Dangerous When Wet (which featured her swimming with Tom and Jerry, Jupiter's Darling and many more.

The swimming costume in question was:
A one piece woman's swimsuit designed by Helen Rose and made of coral satin finish (silk). The bodice has a princess line neck with Zigzag pattern extending over the bust. The suit is panelled to be tight fitting and has a short skirt made of diamond shaped panels. A sewn-in fabric label has the handwritten words '1567 EDITH MOTRIDGE'. The number refers to Million Dollar Mermaid being MGM's production number 1567. Edith Motridge worked for MGM as Williams' swimming double. She was a member of the US swimming team at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games. It is likely that Williams would have worn an identical costume rather than this one.
Million Dollar Mermaid was a biopic about Australia's turn of the 19th century vaudeville swim star and actor – Annette Kellerman – who is thought to have revolutionised the sport and art of synchronised swimming. She also scandalised the establishment and was arrested in the USA for daring to wear a one piece swimming costume to the beach. 

Kellerman lived a fantastic life. Here is an excerpt from her Wikipedia page:
In 1916, Kellerman became the first major actress to do a nude scene when she appeared fully nude in A Daughter of the Gods. Made by Fox Film CorporationDaughter of the Gods was the first million-dollar film production. Like many of Kellerman's other films, this is now considered a lost film as no copies are known to exist.The majority of Kellerman's films had themes of aquatic adventure. She performed her own stunts including diving from ninety-two feet into the sea and sixty feet into a pool of crocodiles. Many times she would play mermaids named Annette or variations of her own name. Her "fairy tale films", as she called them, started with The Mermaid (1911), in which she was the first actress to wear a swimmable mermaid costume on film, paving the way for future screen sirens such as Glynis Johns (Miranda), Esther Williams and Daryl Hannah (Splash). She designed her own mermaid swimming costumes and sometimes made them herself. Similar designs are still used by The Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids, including her aquatic fairy costume first introduced in Queen of the Sea (1918).
You can read more about the swimming costume on the Sydney Powerhouse Museum website.

Here is montage of Esther Williams' movies from That's Entertainment. See if you can spot the swimming costume in question in one of the later sequences.

Sadly, Esther Williams died earlier this year. If you want to read more about her, go to her Esther Williams website or to Wikipedia.

Manly Zine Fair

We'll be on the Northern Beaches this weekend – we've got a table at the Manly Zine Fair to be specific, which is part of the Manly Arts Festival. We'll have some of our last copies from the first print run of Elf~Fin: Hyfus & Tilaweed on sale if you can make it and want to pick one up for yourself. There'll also be local and international zinesters, comikers and artists exhibiting there plus a Zine and Mini Book Binding Workshop. Here are the details:

Date: Saturday 21 September 2013
Time: 11am to 3pm
Venue: Manly Library Forecourt, Market Place, Manly NSW 2095
For more information phone (02) 9976 1720 or email: records@manly.nsw.gov.au or visit the website.

Great poster, BTW!

Comics Masterclass Commercial

If you haven't caught it yet on our YouTube channel, then check our the Comics Masterclass Script Assessment Service commercial. Thanks to Paul Caggegi for his great fast-paced and funny production.

Monday, September 9, 2013

MEDIA RELEASE: Black Mermaid Productions™ Launches Comics Masterclass™

8 September 2013
Australian comics team and publisher Black Mermaid Productions™ has just launched its new professional development arm—Comics Masterclass™. Originally conceived in 2011 as a one-off weekend event that was run in conjunction with the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and which attracted participants from around the country, Comics Masterclass™ has now evolved into a brand in its own right and a niche service that offers creative, business and self mastery opportunities to Australian (and overseas!) comics creators.
Comics Masterclass™ has three big picture goals:
  1. To help emerging and developing comics practitioners realise their creative potential
  2. To contribute towards creating an Australian comics economy where comics creators’ published works, expertise and experience are valued both critically and commercially, and
  3. To facilitate the shift from an Australian comics community to a thriving internationally recognised and commercially viable industry.
The first offering is the Comics Masterclass™ script assessment service for emerging and developing comikers who are working on comic books, graphic novels, webcomics and comic / cartoon strips. This is the first dedicated comics script assessment service in Australia.
Says co-Black Mermaid Productions™ Director Julie Ditrich, “We have been talking to Australian comics creators about their professional needs for many years now. We become increasingly aware that there was a demand for critical feedback on comics projects in development but that no professional services were available to take on that task, which is why we came up with the idea of a comic script assessment service that critiques both writing and sequential art. It took us over a year to organise and assemble a high calibre team of qualified comics professionals with vast publishing credits, as well as editing and teaching experience, who would work as assessors and provide value and direction in this creative medium.”
Comics Masterclass™ is also pioneering in the Australian comics landscape by providing a variety of other services including creativity coaching, premium coaching, professional consultations, proofreading, editing and a counseling referral service. Furthermore, from 2014 it will also offer short courses and weekend intensives.
We predict that Australia is about five years away from exploding onto the international stage and producing world class comics talent and publications in a big way,” says Black Mermaid Productions™ co-Director Jozef Szekeres, “We believe that Comics Masterclass will be at the forefront of facilitating this growth in the Australian cultural landscape.”
Ultimately, Comics Masterclass™ is about encouraging and nurturing new comics talent, and offering a safe place for creators to develop their creative and entrepreneurial skills.
For further information contact Julie Ditrich or Jozef Szekeres on
Phone: +61 2 9606 4728
Email: media@comicsmasterclass.com
Website: www.comicsmasterclass.com