Stalag-X From Gestalt

Australian publisher Gestalt (The Deep: The Vanishing Island) have an exciting story on the way in June. Details below.

Gestalt Comics are pleased to announce a major new science fiction comic series, STALAG-X, a candid tale of human soldiers struggling to survive in an alien concentration camp.

Written by award-winning author Kevin J. Anderson in partnership with TV writer/producer Steven L. Sears, and illustrated by Mike Ratera (X-MenBad Legion), Stalag-X reinterprets the ‘prisoner-of-war’ tale with a compelling antihero bent.

In a devastating interstellar war with an alien race, one prisoner — known only as “Joe Human” — is taken to a harsh P.O.W. camp that is controlled by a sadistic alien the captives refer to as “Mengele.”  Like his namesake, Mengele performs horrific experiments on humans to better understand their nature — ‘Know your enemy’ is the dictum under which he operates, even if it means examining them slice by slice.

Joe quickly appears to be less than honorable, for he has his own reasons to stay incognito and off Earth. While held prisoner at Stalag-X, he uncovers vital intelligence about the enemy — information that could possibly win the war and save billions of lives…  Of course, that would mean getting involved and, perhaps, caring for something.  Or someone.

New York Times bestselling author Anderson  is the author of more than 115 novels, 52 of which have appeared on US or international bestseller lists, including titles set in the legendary DuneStar Wars and X-Files universes, along with his own Saga of the Seven Suns series.

Sears is well-known for his work in both film and television — his writing and producing credits include some of the most iconic television series such as SuperboyThe A-Team,Swamp Thing and Xena: Warrior Princess among many others.

Stalag-X #1, featuring cover art by fan-favorite Dave Dorman, is scheduled for digital release on the 1st June 2013.


The Deep Cartoon Trailer Premiere

Cool, arty things happen in Melbourne. Cool things also happen in my hometown of Perth, but I hope we get to see this trailer online soon.


His recent publications sit atop the bestseller lists on Amazon and iBooks among others, and he has written adventures for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett — however, for Melbourne born and bred comic book author,Tom Taylor, nothing excites him more than crafting tales of the Nekton family in his creator-owned graphic novel series, The Deep. 

After receiving the 2012 Aurealis Award for ‘Best Graphic Novel’ for the first volume of The Deep series, Here Be Dragons, Taylor and artist James Brouwer return to the seas for the second volume, The Vanishing Island, published by Gestalt Comics.

The Vanishing Island
 continues the adventures of a multi-ethnic family of daring Aquanauts who live on a submarine — and will receive its official launch on the 23rd March 2013 at Melbourne’s All-Star Comics.

Written by award-winning writer Tom Taylor (DC’s InjusticeStar Wars: AdventuresStar Wars: Blood Ties) and illustrated by the incredible James Brouwer (Justice League Beyond), The Vanishing Island sees the Nektons, a family who have been exploring the seas for generations, investigate an island that was “completely not hit by a tsunami.”

Book Launch Details
The launch of The Vanishing Island will be held at All Star Comics Melbourne, Level 1, 410 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, on Saturday the 23rd March 2013, from 1pm-3pm, and will feature the first public preview of the upcoming TV series based on The Deep graphic novels.

Upcoming Animated TV Series

A new CGI series is in the works based on the The Deep graphic novels, with Paris-based animation studio Technicolor developing and producing 26 half-hour episodes of The Deep targeting viewers 6 years and up.
The Deep: The Vanishing Island and the previous volume in the series, Here Be Dragons, are distributed by Madman Entertainment in Australia & New Zealand, with an RRP of $19.95 aud.


The Deep: The Vanishing Island Review

Here at Broken Frontier you can read my review of the fun, all-ages OGN The Deep: The Vanishing Island. It’s a gorgeous and entertaining book by Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us) and James Brouwer (Justice League Beyond) and now it’s in development as an animated series too. The press release for that nifty bit of news is below.

Award-winning ALL-AGES graphic novel ‘The Deep’ to become TV series 


Gestalt Comics
’ international hit graphic novel The Deep is to be turned into an animated TV series by Technicolor(Euronext Paris: TCH).

The Deep, created by Australian playwright and best-selling comic book writer Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us, Star Wars: Blood Ties)  and illustrator James Brouwer (Justice League Beyond), follows the adventures of a family of explorers, the Nektons.

Technicolor Digital Productions aims to develop and produce 26 half-hour television episodes, which follows the Nekton’s incredible adventures.

Targeting children aged 8-12 and their families, each self-contained episode of The Deep will bring the family a step closer to unraveling the mysteries of the deep sea; and every story will be filled with action, adventure, incredible sea monsters, fantastic vehicles, unbelievable bravery, and the odd family squabble, of course!

“The Deep is one of those unique properties that truly appeals to all ages and genders by delivering compelling entertainment in the form of enthralling adventure, heart-pounding danger, laugh out loud humor and incredible discoveries all wrapped in unbreakable familial relationships,” said Steven Wendland, Vice President, Technicolor Digital Productions.

“It’s the family we all dreamed of being a part of when we were kids and are anxious and excited to share with our own children now.”

The Deep graphic novels are currently available to order for the direct comics market worldwide via Diamond Comics using order codes:


Or for Australia/New Zealand via Madman Entertainment (



The Deep Animated

Gestalt’s The Deep Wins Aurealis Award

Massive congrats to Gestalt, Tom Taylor and James Brouwer as The Deep: Here Be Dragons won the Aurealis Award for best OGN, and very well deserved, I say. This is the second time running Gestalt have won, and it’s a testament to the grand and diverse work they’re doing. Needless to say, if you haven’t got a copy of The Deep, rectify that pronto! It’s an enchanting all-ages book.

Aurealis Awards announce Australia’s best graphic novel(s) of 2011 

Gestalt Publishing’s The Deep: Here Be Dragons declared Australia’s best graphic novel, in a tie with Hidden from Black Pepper Press.

The Deep: Here Be Dragons has been heralded Australia’s best Graphic Novel during the weekend’s Aurealis Awards ceremony held in Sydney, tying with Hidden from Black Pepper Press.

A finalist in both Best Childrens Book (Illustrated) and Graphic Novel categories, Gestalt Publishing’s winning title is written byTom Taylor and illustrated by James Brouwer.

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for genre fiction, are for works of speculative fiction written by an Australian citizen, or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011.

Over 700 entries were received this year, a record number, indicating both the strength of the speculative fiction genre in Australia.

Three of Gestalt’s graphic novels were finalists in the Best Graphic Novel category this year – Torn by Andrew Constant, Nicola Scott and Joh James, The Eldritch Kid: Whisky & Hate by Christian Read and Michael Maier, and The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer.

Last year, Gestalt’s Justin Randall won the Best Graphic Novel category for Changing Ways Book 1.

Tom Taylor is one of only a handful of Australian-based comic book professionals to be regularly working in the enormous US comics market. His Star Wars and superhero comics sell tens of thousands of copies every month in the US but it is his work with Gestalt of which he’s most proud.

His award-winning book, The Deep: Here Be Dragons, illustrated by Brisbane-based artist James Brouwer, tells the adventures of the Nekton family – A multiethnic family of daring Aquanauts who live on a submarine.

“I hope all book stores stock these truly stunning books,” says Taylor. “Gestalt Publishing are doing things I always wanted to see in Australian publishing, They are engaging and championing local talent, and publishing some wonderful stories. However, what’s perhaps the most exciting, is the commitment to quality they are showing.”

“With so many people in the publishing industry looking to cut margins, Gestalt are bucking this trend.  Every book they publish is beautifully produced, it’s one of the reasons I’m so happy The Deep has been published through Gestalt. When I showed these books to editors at San Diego Comic Con last year, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Many commented that they were of a far better quality than anything they could possibly hope to produce and this is a testament to what Wolfgang (Bylsma) and Skye (Ogden) are doing with this company. With so many turning to digital, with a society that is turning more and more to disposable media, these guys are creating something permanent. They are producing books that are so gorgeous, you want to pick them up, hold them, and keep them forever. ”

The Aurealis Awards presentation ceremony was held on the evening of Saturday 12 May 2012 at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney.

Fact File
The Deep: Here Be Dragons received the Aurealis award for Best Graphic Novel
Gestalt received four nominations in this year’s Aurealis Awards
Gestalt wins Best Graphic Novel Aurealis Award two years in a row
Gestalt Publishing endeavours to encourage and inspire emerging and established comic creators
For more information on Gestalt go to

Gestalt Goodies Through Madman

Woo hoo! West Australian publisher Gestalt is getting the distribution they deserve, thanks to the fine folks at Madman. Details below.


Madman is proud to announce it will be officially distributing for Gestalt – Australia’s leading independent graphic novel publishing house, beginning April, 2012.

Gestalt’s endeavour is to showcase the unique works of Australian graphic novelists and artists to the world, and since its inception in 2005, has released books with input from talent such as Shaun Tan (The Lost ThingThe Arrival), Tom Taylor (Star Wars graphic novels, DC Comics), Justin Randall (30 Days of NightSilent Hill) and many more.

The Gestalt catalogue launches April 10, 2012, featuring a 16-title strong line-up – including: new adventure series, The Deep: Here Be Dragons (Vol. 1); the Roman Empire meets zombie apocalypse, Rombies (Issues #0 & #1); the “quasi-sequel” to Alex Cox’s cult film Repo Man, Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday, and Justin Randall’s atmospheric psychological horror and 2011 ‘Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel’ Aurealis Award-winner, Changing Ways (Vol.1).

“Having followed Madman since their inception, I’ve been consistently impressed by their approach to business and the quality of the materials they deal with,” said Wolfgang Bylsma, Gestalt Editor-in-Chief.  “I’m delighted that Gestalt has found a distributor in Madman, who share a similar ethos and the attention to detail that is inherent in everything we do. I look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with Madman.”

Titles from the Gestalt launch line-up have also received nominations for the prestigious 2011 Aurealis Awards. Tom Taylor’s The Deep: Here Be Dragons (Vol. 1) has been nominated for two awards, ‘Best Children’s Picture Book’ and ‘Best Illustrated Work’. Also nominated in the ‘Best Illustrated Work’ category are ‘reverse werewolf’ story, Torn and supernatural Western, The Eldritch Kid: Whisky & Hate (Vol. 1).

“It’s fantastic to receive a nomination for The Deep. And with four nominations for Gestalt in all, I’m thrilled to see Australia’s premier speculative fiction literary awards recognize the quality and wonderful storytelling Gestalt has produced,” said Tom Taylor, author of The Deep: Here Be Dragons. While my Star Wars and DC Comics works are top-sellers in the U.S., nothing would make me happier than seeing The Deep, and Gestalt in general, being embraced by every book, comic and pop culture store in Australia. I believe this partnership with Madman can make this a reality.

Gestalt Event in Melbourne

If you’re in Melbourne at the end of the month, check out this launch from Australia’s best comics publisher.

On Saturday, the 29th of October at 3pmAll Star Comics will play host to a book launch like no other. Internationally-renowned authors from across Australia will converge on Melbourne for the official launch of four stunning, critically-acclaimed books.

Gestalt’s Torn at CBR

Comic Book Resources has an interview with Andrew Constant, writer of Torn, an upcoming horror/ werewolf OGN from Perth publisher Gestalt. Check out some impressive preview pages from Nicola Scott (Secret Six) and Joh James there. Go Gestalt!


Gestalt Goodies in August

In this month’s issue of the Previews catalogue (that comic shops, and customers order from) is half a page of upcoming Original Graphic Novels from Perth publisher Gestalt. It’s always good to see local creators get an international audience. Check out their new comics below, which include The Deep (from Star Wars: Invasion writer Tom Taylor), and place your orders at your local comic shop now.

Bad Island from Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel, and classic Gumby tales from artist Art Adams look good too.

The Deep

No, not this one, but the upcoming OGN from Gestalt, and writer Tom Taylor (Rombies, Star Wars) and artist James Brouwer. The pair have recently started uploading great looking preview pages on the project’s Facebook page and you can read an interview with Taylor about his past, present and future projects at The Sci-Fi Block.



Extra Sequential Podcast #31-Buying Habits

70 mins. One of our most fun episodes yet, filled with rambling asides and pop culture recollections. Our brief theme this week is all about buying habits, ie, how, where and why we buy our comics. It’s more interesting than it sounds. Also – Jerry Maguire, singing actors and the street cred of How I Met Your Mother.


3:13 NEWS

Charlie Sheen gets his own biographical comic.

Amazing Fantasy #15 solds for a record $1.1 million.

Not the Spider-Man musical again?! Yep, director Julie Taymor has left the show.

Rombies, from Perth publisher Gestalt, is just about to launch and your face can feature in its pages!


Thorgal, and  The Chimpanzee Complex Volumes 1 and 2 from Cinebook

The disappointing All-Star Superman animated film


Mladen and I have different comic purchasing habits. We look at how ours, and others, have changed over the last few years and talk about digital distribution.





















Changing Ways Launch

If you’re a West Australian like me, then this launch of Gestalt’s Changing Ways OGN by writer/artist Justin Randall will be of interest. I may even be there myself, but don’t let that stop you from going.

Changing Ways
Graphic Novel Launch



Gestalt Publishing and Curtin University invite you to the launch of Justin Randall’s Changing Ways graphic novel.
Celebrate the publication of the book that has been called “the most important step forward in Australian comics” with Writer/Artist Justin Randall and Editor Wolfgang Bylsma.

The launch speech will be delivered by Associate Professor Donal Fitzpatrick, Head of the School of Design & Art (SODA).

Justin will be discussing his vision and creative process and, of course, signing books! Artwork from Changing Ways Book 1 (and a sneak peek at pages from Book 2) will be projected onto the gallery walls!


The John Curtin Gallery
Building 200, Curtin University
Kent Street, Bentley WA
Australia [Map]

Rombies and The Example Now Available

Writer Tom Taylor has been getting deserved attention for his work on his DC/Wildstorm (The Authority) and Dark Horse (Star Wars: Invasion) books, but his work on indie publisher Gestalt’s books are also available to the wider world. Us Australian readers have been privvy to Gestalt’s fine work for a while now, but as of tomorrow these two works will be available at a comic shop near you.

Both are written by Taylor, with art on Rombies by Skye Ogden and The Example by his Invasion artist Colin Wilson. Rombies, which is set to become a new ongoing, is about Roman zombies and is as awesome as it sounds. Think Spartacus by George Romero.

The Example is based on Taylor’s play and centres on the only two people waiting at a train station with their curious and fearful eyes on a lonely suitcase.

If you happen to see these two books at your LCS this week, pick them up. They’re cheap, done-in-one tales that won’t disappoint.

Gestalt In Today’s West

My local newspaper The West Australian had an article today on local Perth comics publisher Gestalt about their success at July’s San Diego Comic Con and their new books Rombies and Changing Ways. You can read the whole article right here.

Now while I freely admit any news is good news when it comes to putting a well deserved spotlight on comics, my skin starts to turn a pale shade of Hulk-green when I count numerous errors in the coverage, as I did today. Using “editions” instead of issues is the first warning sign, though certainly a minor one. Making publisher Dark Horse into “Darkhorse” is another fault. However the real errors can be found in one of the last paragraphs.

He said WA had already produced major comic artists, including Ben Templeman, who co-created 30 Days of Night, Ashley Wood, of Spawn fame, Shane McCarthy, who draws for Batman and Transformers, and Justin Randall, who created Changing Ways.

Thankfully The West’s website made the correction to Ben Templesmith’s name (the printed version calls him “Ben Templeman.”) They also mention Shane McCarthy draws Batman and Transformers. Wrong again West. He has written for both series, and they only interviewed McCarthy in March! So that’s an error for almost every paragraph. Wow. Don’t reporters take notes anymore? A 2 minute Google search would’ve made sure none of these happened, at least.

OK, rant over, but please writers for The West. I, and my fellow comic readers, really do appreciate the coverage. Just give me a call next time and I’ll gladly offer my fact checking services for free!

Rombies Review

This is one of those books that I read when it first came out (in this case, December) and then meant to immediately tell the world how awesome it is, before I became distracted, which is a common occurrence these days, happily thanks to Broken Frontier and Extra Sequential. Seeing as this little gem, and the rest of Gestalt’s catalogue is now becoming available internationally through Diamond, now’s the time to give it a rotting thumbs up.

Rombies is a black and white one-shot from local (to me in Perth, Western Australia anyway) publisher Gestalt. The last year has since the company put out some impressive books, including not only this one, but also the Digested series and Justin Randall’s Changing Ways.

It’s written by Tom Taylor, who’s on a roll at the moment writing various Star Wars titles for Dark Horse including the excellent Invasion, and The Authority for DC/Wildstorm. Handsome/gruesome art is supplied by Skye Ogden (Gestalt’s silent Vowels book). Effectively a 24 page #0 issue, Rombies starts the barbaric tale contained within, but also the series (more issues are on the way. Yay!) with a bang, or rather, a slice to the abdomen. Opening on a gladiatorial arena (hence the title, from Roman zombies) filled with bloodthirsty spectators, and desperate men we see the victor standing over his fallen opponent. One glance up at the Emperor, who gives the thumbs down, and it’s a quick finish to the fighter at his feet. Or is it? Um…no. The rules of life and death are quickly rattled in the next few moments as the dead loser gets up ready for round two. He’s soon joined by all the other “corpses” scattered on the dusty floor, with the fact that they’re missing limbs or have an axe in their face existing as a mere nuisance.

This is a great intro to the book, and Taylor does a firm job of skirting expectations from readers who’ve had their fair barrage of both zombies and gladiators in recent years. Combing the two is the best thing since Mr. Mocha put chocolate and coffee in the same cup.

There’s then a wise chase involving a determined undead horde, big cats and an understandably overwhelmed boy. Skye Ogden’s art reminds me somewhat of Kyle Hotz, with his flowing lines and organic approach. He paces things very well, and knows how to make the page have a real impact, with an early double page spread and large panels being used superbly. The ending is, for lack of a better word, a hoot. It made me laugh with its bold, yet dark, approach.

It’s a quick read sure, but one that will make most hunger for more. Thankfully, that’s exactly what we’re getting, and the teaser image below makes me salivate at the prospect of Taylor and Ogden telling their zombie epic through the ages. Really the possibilities are endless. Zombies in Napoleon’s army? An undead Hitler? Elvis rising from Graceland, hungry for impersonator flesh in Las Vegas? They could go anywhere.

Pick this book up now, or in August if you’re not in Oz. It’s daring, entertaining, and cheap! You could also see your own face as a Rombies extra if you’re keen to view how others see you before your morning coffee. Or mocha.

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