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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