Leigh will be asking the hard questions, the easy questions, the in-between questions and of course, the question on everyone’s lips….. will Nick May be wearing Converse! Welcome the man with a thing for shoes, welcome Nick May!!! be sure to check out his art on Insta @churnobill
TRANSCRIPTION BELOW (text may contain errors)
Voice Over (00:00:03):
This show is sponsored by the Comics Shop. We hope you enjoy the show.
Leigh Chalker (00:00:25):
Gday, welcome to Tuesday Chinwag, episode 19. My name’s Lee [inaudible]. I’m creator of Battle for Bustle. And in case anyone at home doesn’t know how the show goes based on six random questions points, randoms, I guess, cause V is off into many tangents like this introduction, but it’s who, what, where, when, why, and how. Before we get started, just like to let everyone know on the comics network that sponsors these shows at the comics shop, you can get a comic book called Sizzle and Doug, which is limited edition and basically there’s been 30 odd Australian independent contributors to the comic book and jump on the comic shop, get some goodies and let’s rock and roll with our guest of the evening. Mr. Nick May, how are you sir?
Nick May (00:01:18):
Very good, Lee. Thanks for having me.
Leigh Chalker (00:01:20):
That’s all right mate. Pleasure, pleasure. You’re a familiar face around the hallways mate, so had plenty of interaction with you and stuff and thought it’d be nice to get you on and get to know the ins and outs of your working and
Nick May (00:01:39):
Yeah, I started as the janitor, so here I am now. Let’s not Ah
Leigh Chalker (00:01:45):
Mate. <laugh> with a goon shirt on. So <laugh>. Yeah, very good. Alright, and Gade, everyone watching. So Nick, I’m going to go straight into the nice existential question mate. The foundation builder. Who mate?
Nick May (00:02:05):
Well wow I am obviously Nick May, Nicholas, Charles May I think I’m a man who wears many hats which is probably a little bit ironic since I can’t find a hat to fit on this massive melon of mine. But I’m a dad, I’m a husband, I’m a brother, I’m an uncle I’m a teacher I’m a cartoonist. And yeah, I guess there are other things in there as well. Yeah, so yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:02:43):
A man with many talents and juggling lots of bulls wet so it’s gotta get good. See that comes in handy with your drawing, doesn’t it? Hand eye coordination. So doing all that David Bowie stuff in labyrinth off with one hand and pens and paper in the other. So Nick, look man, already in that introduction there with what happened with the hats <laugh> cuz that interests me cuz I was always fond of the elastic stretchy caps and stuff. I didn’t like those ones that had the bubbles and stuff with the back mate, like the little click, click, click, click and you had the un click them and stuff. Yeah, so that’s a nice hat.
Nick May (00:03:29):
It’s a nice hat and I’ve been assured that it’s one size fits all and it’s right at the very extent of its stretchiness and make that, yes, that’s doing nothing.
Leigh Chalker (00:03:43):
Well it’s doing something mate. It’s protecting you.
Nick May (00:03:47):
Leigh Chalker (00:03:47):
Correct. Because I don’t know if you realize this, but I, I’m folly challenged and on my scone and I’ve had sunburn so I take partic on my head and it hurts. So I take particular attention to the safety of a comfortable hat and cap. So
Nick May (00:04:12):
I’m with you league a lot of spare follicles on my head and I’ve spent over 50 years burning this thing. Yeah. But I do need to find a hat that’s going to fit.
Leigh Chalker (00:04:25):
Yeah, yeah, fair enough. You’ll come across it one day when you least expect it and it’ll probably be somewhere where it’s not sunny and you’ll go, oh no, what am I going to do with this hat? So mate I guess I’ve had for people that don’t know about Nick Mayn watching all the show tonight, Nick is a great comic book artist and cartoonist that he’ll tell you a story in a minute. But I just wanna let you at the start of the show you these things cuz you’ll know anyone that watches regularly as I’ve gathered. Well I guess just grown in a real appreciation for Australian mini comics as well as comic books and there’s beauty to those things. But Nick has several of them out at the moment that are available. Roll Cop 2000 number one, there’s number two, it is the War of the Gray Beards mate. <laugh>.
There’s Vamoose 1, 2, 3. But the one I really want to knuckle down into was the one that I liked. I I liked them all, don’t get me wrong. But the one that I want to focus some attention while we’re gas backing and getting to know Nick tonight, is scribbles from the drawing board. And this is what I reckon was an awesome little creation just to read you what’s on the inside here. It’s a brief glimpse into the early sometimes sequential art of this author artist, cartoonist. And to give you an idea, we go back with the 1980s and a whole heap of comics and things that Nick did as a kid. So mate, I’m going to talk and shop with Little Nick now back around this time that you were pumping out these mate, what is it? Why were you doing this stuff? What attracted you to storytelling to begin with?
Nick May (00:06:39):
So comics, I think I can always remember having comics. One of my earliest memories is I had a black and white reprint of a Superman Aquaman book. And I loved both Superman and Aquaman. This would’ve been in the early seventies. And sadly my memory is because it was the seventies, we were driving to the tip and my older brother Paul and I were allowed to sit on the trailer while dad was driving us to the tip. And I’d been told that I had to throw the comic out. So I was sitting on the trailer on the way to the tip, getting ready to get rid of this comic for just having a last read of it. And I couldn’t tell you what the story’s about. And I sort of have these flashes in my head, these black and white images of Superman and Aquaman. So I know I had that.
My dad’s dad had a little house that he built with his dad and his brothers in the hills outside of Melbourne and he would go there on the weekends and so sometimes we’d go there as well. And he had some comics there, so he had some of the old Terry tune stuff. So Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jekyll. And I loved reading those things and I feel like I didn’t learn how to read words until, I don’t know until I was 10 or something. But I loved reading through these old comics. And granddad may also, he was sort of a businessman, a well-to-do man about or well-known man about town in Melbourne. And somebody drawn a caricature of him that was hanging on one of the posts in his little shack of Eric May doing a bit of a walk. And I was always fascinated by that.
So all of that stuff’s percolating. Also, when I was very young I was about three I spent a lot of time in hospital with a fractured skull. And the only thing that I remember about that time in hospital was that I was given a hardback super goof collection like an annual, I’m going to say it was probably 1972 Super goof annual. And again, I couldn’t read, but just looking at those pictures, loved it. And that was all seeping into my mind. The school that I went to was all about art and music, serious art, serious music.
So this was a school I went to from kinder through to the end of year seven. And I was never a serious artist, I was never a serious musician. And so I sort of gravitated towards people who liked drawing and possibly a familiar tale with other people. But when I would see what other people were doing I would sort of copy what they were doing. So I think the first comic in that little collection that I put together was Cobra which was about a cobra that had sort of a bow in her hair. And if memory serves me correctly, it’s because this other guy had a comic called Cobra <laugh>. And so I wanted to make this comic about a tough female snake. And it’s probably, I don’t know, it’s probably a theme that’s carried through my work, but who solves everything through violence.
And I think I included all of the little bits and pieces that I’d done with that. So I guess when I was probably about 11 when I was drawing those things and it was a lot what I do now that the process now I have a grid and I just fill in the grid and the story will emerge. But you can see in that I was just hand drawing a box, drawing something, putting in a word balloon, then drawing an another panel and so on. And so the panels get wonkier and wonkier and smaller and smaller. But long story short I think that comics were my way of expressing myself. So getting away from the serious art that I was expected to do at this school and just with a few friends we would get together and draw stuff. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (00:11:37):
So you had a little community at school. Where would you make comic books together? Or was it just, I drew this last night? What did you draw that sort of
Nick May (00:11:45):
A thing? So a little bit of both. So Dr. Who was a big thing when I was in primary school and which would
Leigh Chalker (00:11:55):
You play with Doctor
Nick May (00:11:57):
Tom Baker? I’m not an idiot.
Leigh Chalker (00:11:59):
Yeah, <laugh> with you. All right.
Nick May (00:12:04):
I would love to draw pictures of Dr. Who and Dar and they’d all be parachuting or whatever and then just give them to friends and they’d give me pictures that they’d drawn and whatever. So we did stuff individually, but also there were a few times that we tried to co-create comics. So there were three of us who loved making comics and when we were learning about human hovel famous explorers we decided that we wanted to make a comic of them. And I think we got to about panel one we did something else that was called Dr. Flu, which I can’t quite remember what it was, but a mad scientist. And I think together the three of us, we drew maybe three pages in it. I don’t know what’s really happened to that. And I also had a comic <laugh>, I didn’t create it obviously Captain Australia and I drew that and one of my best friends who I did a lot of comic collecting with he drew little bits in that as well and colored those in. So a little bit of collaboration in primary school,
Leigh Chalker (00:13:29):
Which we’ll get to a bit further down the track, but obviously collaborations something you enjoy mate, cuz one of your comics that’s available that we’ll get to is a giant collaboration between quite a few different artists. The book seems to be growing more and more as we go, but we get to with school. So you’ve, cuz this is a cool book, man, this, I mean it shows you from day one all the way through to we are now man, I reckon it’s a really good comprehensive thing. When did you decide to leave the schoolmates behind mate and go out on your own? Because there’s some gritty stuff here like squirt squirt, you are dead. And this seemed to be a little bit of a continuity book that you had going and stuff too. And there’s some real early, I can see bits and pieces of you back then mate to where you are now. So where did you alwa, are you a hoarder? Look, that’s actually a bit of a silly question, isn’t it? Compared to the size of it <laugh> the bookshelf behind you. Yeah. So Nick, while you like collecting things, have you got all of your artwork and stuff obviously from these days? So you still got the originals or you just got tuck
Nick May (00:15:00):
Leigh Chalker (00:15:01):
On a file somewhere?
Nick May (00:15:02):
Yeah, so I’ve got a folio that it’s got a little manila folder in it that I’ve put all of the comics that I’d drawn probably from the eighties through to the early two thousands. So it’s not substantial but it’s enough of a trip down memory lane. I’ve also got a lot of pages of planned comics that were sort of going to happen through the nineties and into the two thousands. So I kept some of that, but some of it did make its way into recycling it at some stage, sadly. But yeah I think so I collected comic books with a friend who we sort of met in grade one. We were at this crazy arty sort of school and we sort of had more mainstream interests than other people grew up. I went left that school went to a more mainstream sort of a Catholic school left, unfortunately sort of fell out of touch with that friend.
And it’s one of those things where you’ve been collecting comics like Daredevil with Frank Miller and Fantastic Four and X-Men with John Byrne and all of these classics reading them and then getting to a certain age and it’s like maybe it’s not cool to read comics anymore. And then in 1987 I was doing this, I was doing a year 12 course that was mainly all just media and creation and that sort of stuff given a free reign to do stuff. And I wanted to do an animation about Batman and the thing was going to be that Batman was going to fight all of these really dangerous criminals and then over time grow a beard and then he was going to shave his beard and cut his head off. So he turned out to be more dangerous than anyone else. So I went to the news agent and I thought, well I’ll buy a Batman comic just to have a little bit of reference. So this was in 1987 and then I found out that the year before that I’d missed out on Dark Night Returns and Watchmen and all of that sort of stuff. So from then, from 1987 through Till I guess the early two thousands I was spending hundreds of dollars a month on this ridiculous addiction of mine. Yeah. But anyway, <laugh>
Leigh Chalker (00:18:06):
Totally hooked. No look I man, I don’t think there’s any one of us that wouldn’t have had that period of our life. Yeah, I can remember going into the comic shop, it was run by a little old lady and an old fella and they were a book exchange, cross comic shop, if you know what I mean. Yeah. You just get keen man, hey the ads and you’re like, Ooh that and you bounce off to that and that and that and that. Then my comic book pile, I don’t know Fortnite, I’d go in there man, ended up being, I’m not kidding you like 25 comics and it was like,
Nick May (00:18:46):
Leigh Chalker (00:18:47):
Oh dread having to <laugh> sneak them in. Lucky I had a job and that’s where all my money was going. Comic books as a kid, I mean, well it is what it is. Do you like F Floppies or obviously you, your trade paperbacks behind you that’s a rather extensive collection because it also veers offscreen quite away, doesn’t it? In
Nick May (00:19:20):
There are five bookshelves full of collections here. So originally it was all just Floppys. So every month I had a pool list for a long time with a lot of different people. And so somewhere else in the house I’ve got boxes and boxes of comics. But I guess, I don’t know I started being interested in having the collection easily accessible. So I think I started with one shelf in here and curiously, my memory might be a little bit misty on this, but I think the first trade paperback that I got was something to do with Malibu comics Crossing over with Marvel was the Wheel of Time or something. And when I’ve looked at it more recently I thought, but it started something and I guess originally even as a young kid and going into <laugh>, I guess my thirties it was all about Marvel in DC and then it was a little bit about image and I didn’t really look too far beyond that sort of stuff.
But then I think maybe All Star comics in Melbourne they used to have a little section put aside of Australian stuff of little black and white mini comics. And there was this guy I’m going to say his name was Mick Wilson and he made something called Comic Book or something, made a few episodes of that and something else called Chopper Turd, which was interesting. But it was like, oh okay, so it’s not all Marvel DC and Image, there’s this black and white stuff. And around about the time that I found Mick Wilson stuff, it was also when Platinum Grit was out and Cyber swine and Greener pastures and Pizza Man and all of those sort of things. So it was like, oh, oh there’s an Australian scene as well. So I sort of went hunting for any Australian stuff that I could find. And I didn’t know it until late last year, but I got some really early Ed Kiley work in a black and white comic called the Clan which was from the mid nineties or something. So just finding out that there was more out there and even I guess that led me to think that black and white comics, even American or British or whatever had value that maybe I’d been overlooking for a while. So yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:22:25):
I viper syndicate Ryan Val. Hey mate, he’s got Mick Wilson comics, we did a crossover comic with him. So there you go. Great work. And if Ryan’s still there and wants to write, is that still out in the world? Mate? Any copies available for anyone that wants to get onto that? The old Ryan Mick Wilson. There you go. So you would’ve come across that is the Australian comics you were just talking about. Then you would’ve come across at a fairly strong time from talking to different people in Australian comics cuz they were punching into big city comic bookshops, they were on news stands. Regular things going on there with your wanting to search for other comic books and stuff and coming across Australians. Were you finding it that period in time? Because I, I’m just speaking from myself my collection really wanes off into probably the mid nineties myself.
Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Wasn’t getting the satisfaction outta the series that I was earlier but loved the medium. Did wonder what was happening. And that’s, its similar times that there was still some like cyclone comics were kicking into news agents and as you mentioned those other ones before did you I suppose cuz it was a bright burst man, I’ve only got my copy of that chopper turd and sunburn across over there you go. All right. Bit of history for everyone cuz it burned bright from memory that scene for a good couple of years. And cuz there was a period where you’ve told me in the past that we’ll get into as well where you just dropped away from drawing and that for a period of time. So did it all sort of happen once you fell out a touch I guess with finding that inspiration through those black and white comic books at that stage?
Nick May (00:24:44):
To a degree. So I’m not sure how it works and it’s probably the same with lots of people Lee, but maybe it’s bio rhythms or circadian rhythms or something that I go have been through times in my life where I’ve been obsessively drawing. And if anyone would come and say, oh come on Nick, it’s time to do some gardening. Or my big brother would say, come on Nick, let’s go outside and play the footy. And I’d almost be in tears cuz it’s like, no, I wanna do this, this is all I wanna do. And then that sort of went away and we might get into it a little bit later with Rob Lyle and my Renaissances and that sort of stuff. So I’ve always drawn but sometimes, and I think I’m in the middle of it now as well, I get really obsessive and anything that takes me away from drawing really annoys me.
So at that I had this thing, I’d finished my uni degree and whatever, I had a teaching degree and in my mind, because all of my friends are super intelligent people they work super hard at their jobs, they’ve got fantastic jobs and whatever. And coming up, when we were growing up, I was looking at these people and that I want to get into business, I want to get into medicine, I want to do all of this. And I’m like, I sort of want to get into comics and I know that it’s time sensitive. So I had a girlfriend, I had a fiance, and I knew I needed to be serious with my comics and I needed to be employed in comics by the time I turned 30, otherwise I had to abandon that dream as childish and do whatever. And so all of those Australian comics were sort of coming out as I was approaching 30 and it was like, oh yeah, so I don’t have to be able to draw the Punisher or whatever.
I could do something else more Australian. But I mean I didn’t realize at the time that nobody was making any money out of it and whatever. But it was one of those things when all of those comics were coming out, it was like, oh yeah this is my inspiration, this is how I can get into the comics industry, the Australian scene. And so I was working, well, I wasn’t working, I was putting together this comic that was called Igna and it was going to be the biggest thing ever. It was going to be about conspiracy theories and whatever. And when I was putting together that little life story of my comics and I was reading through the things that I I’d written was like, yep, probably wouldn’t stand up to any sort of modern day scrutiny of some of the topics that I was covering.
So the least offensive things were, there were Asian characters who were being mistaken for being from another part of Asia. And for me that was hilariously funny Japanese people being mistaken for Chinese. And I thought that was the height of sophisticated storytelling at the time. And now when I read it, it’s sort of comes across as a tiny bit racist, Nick, maybe you weren’t as groundbreaking as you thought you were then and bloody storylines revolving around the gladiators that show that used to be on with beefcake beating each other up. So my thing was going to be, and so I probably I don’t know, I drew probably a hundred, 200 pages that either were in sequence or just standalone pages that I was one day going to just look at and put a story together and that was going to be my thing. Yeah, so
Leigh Chalker (00:29:15):
Sorry man, I’m just going to read Facebook user just sent on that last comment said it’s heartbreaking that we have in a sustainable Australian comic industry for artists to make a living. It is, but you gotta keep plugging away. So we never know Fortune can turn made, every dog has its day, doesn’t it? So Correct. Nice positivity. Yeah. So when did you come to your I’m hadn’t made it. You hit 30 and people were like <inaudible> off to the nine to five are with you. Yeah, because by that stage too, you would’ve had your brother Dan, who’s also an artist, a very good artist that maybe you’re running similar parallels cuz I think he seemed to stop for a while too. So maybe you’re getting two main stories in one here, but while you were in your downtime and working and raising a family and doing all those things, man, you were obviously still collecting comics, you were still picking up things.
Nick May (00:30:26):
So I, I think I was still collecting comics until maybe my third child was born. So around about 2006. And the joke’s always been in our house that if we ever had to leave the house in a hurry, that I would take my comics before I would take the kids. And that’s not just my joke that the kids say that as well. It’s like, dad take your comics on. Yeah, yeah. I would
Leigh Chalker (00:31:00):
Not meaning to interrupt, but funnily enough, I can give you a weird story there that obviously involves me a couple. This is probably five years ago, it was a boxing day night heavily intoxicated, went to bed Air Con in the bedroom’s going, I get woken up in the middle of the night by Tam the Aircom has caught fire in the bedroom above me and smoke was going everywhere and Tam had just happened to be up come in, what’s that plastic smell and gone in and I was totally out a light. So Tam’s got me outta there, I had no idea what was going on, ringing, fire brigade, blah blah blah. Anyway, once I snapped on and I knew the dogs and the animals were all right and Tam was all right, I walked straight back in there, man, to grab all of my artwork and my art pads and pens and that still not having any, but that’s what I, and Tam still laughs to this day. She goes, you dickhead went back into a house that could have gone up to get your artwork. And I was like, man, I don’t wanna lose that stuff. So I can definitely sympathize. It’s a weird thing you go back and grab.
Nick May (00:32:18):
Yeah look Lee, I think by the time
Leigh Chalker (00:32:24):
When we got there, has it been discussed how Nick may got his art style? It’s Stephen McLeod here guys. Goodday mate and thanks for enjoying the conversation. Well we can, we’ll get to that in a sec, Stephen. We’ll do our best champion.
Nick May (00:32:38):
Yeah look, I was just going to say that I think I was collecting stuff just for the sake of collecting at the end and had a mortgage and I was spending about as much on monthly comics as I was spending on the mortgage. So it got to a point where it was like, nah, this has gotta finish. And so I think that’s when the dream was sort of dead. I was teaching then high school teacher, media teacher and I just thought, well I’m always going to draw but you know, gotta leave childish things behind and become an adult and be a role model for your kids. And it’s like, yeah, I was wrong was really wrong. Because I think I’ve been a role model to my kids in a different way. So my two daughters are absolutely into art and a brilliant artist. And I’ve given them, sadly for them, a little bit of my lack of confidence, lack of self-confidence.
But they’ve, for longtime viewers of Friday night drink and draw, I sometimes get to coerce them into putting in some art and they can smash it. They’re really good. My son my son’s not really interested in art, but sadly for him another segue somewhere else just before I stopped collecting comics as a teenager as Ronan came out with Frank Miller’s Ronan. So I think I got the first two issues of that and then comics were dead. And then when I got back into collecting comics in the later eighties I got the collected book of Ronan. And so we’ve, the study here is downstairs, the rest of our house is upstairs. So you come in the front door, you gotta walk past the study and go upstairs and every time I would walk upstairs I’d see this collection of Ronan. And then when we started having kids and you discuss the names and whatever, and I, I said to my wife, if it’s a boy, can he be Ronan? And she was like, yeah. And sadly for him about the time he was born, I think that Robert De Niro movie Ronan had come out. So whenever anyone said, oh his name’s Ronan, it was either, oh he is named after Ronan Keating. Or oh you’ve named him after the Robert De Niro movie. And it’s like, no, I’ve named him after a Frank Miller comic
Leigh Chalker (00:35:37):
After this amazing piece of groundbreaking comics literature, man. Like geez. Yeah, that’s a cool segue. So man, with coming into question about your art style is for it’s man, it’s awesome. It really appeals to me. It always has. I’ve told you that before. It’s held unique. I’ve read a lot of comic books in my day as well, mate. You know what I mean? And I can’t find anything that even comes close. If anyone else has got any ideas out there, let us know. But for me, I can’t find anything. I guess what were the biggest influences? What drew you to that style? Was it the fact that after a big day raising the kids and keeping the house clean and working that when you used to kick back in bed, <laugh> used to do some drawing? Cause that’s a funny old story and you’re right mate, no one quite liked Mick. So yeah mate, where did it evolve? Was there a point where it just naturally organically took that way or you made a conscious effort to go, oh, I’m going to have a crack at this stop.
Nick May (00:37:06):
So I reckon growing up a lot of stuff was like copying Cy Barry’s phantom stuff copying Sergio Aragon’s from Mad and that sort of stuff and just loving that sort of stuff. And then Jim Lee was the big thing in X-Men and whatever. And I was like, oh yeah, I probably had a few sketchbooks where I was trying to draw people with gritted teeth. And another aside a thing for me was that these characters always stood with sort of their legs apart. And I created this character called the Atomic Boomerang and his thing was going to be that he would sort of stand doing the splits. He was so masculine that he not only were his legs apart, but they were right apart. And then I thought, no, that’s probably only something that I think is a thing. So anyway, so I was drawing that sort of stuff.
I think John Ramida Jr. Got on to punish a war journal and I know that I was drawing a lot of stuff like copying a lot of his stuff. But somewhere along the way, Lee and I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I thought, I love superheroes but maybe it’s not for me. Maybe I wanna look elsewhere at stuff. So I started looking at more European stuff. So as I said before, I went to this school where art and music was really important and the only comics that were sanctioned by my dad were either tintin or asterisks. And I thought that you could only choose one. So I chose Tintin over asterisks. So that was probably an early thing in the seventies that sort of style. And then much later, so this century got into Eve’s challenge who was a French creator who worked in something called the Atomic style who our surge clerk used swot. All of these people with a, they’re, they’re not necessarily clear line, but it, it’s clear what they’re doing and I think if you look at my work and you look at their work that there is probably there’s probably something in there for me. So not drawing superheroes and that’s sort of something that I’ve tried to work on.
And I guess also just since I’ve been involved with the comics thing and with Friday night drink and draw, trying to get things done in an hour just pairing away unnecessary detail. And I guess I am where I am at the moment and I would suggest that my style will continue to change and evolve. But yeah, I think a lot of my clear influences at the moment are sort of nineties Franco Belgian cartoonists.
Leigh Chalker (00:40:30):
Yeah, yeah, right. Well a certainly adds an interesting flavor mate cuz yeah, it certainly is for me very unique. I can’t think of anyone in the Australian community that is doing stuff like that, man. Well we’ve got Quick Nick, I see parallels with Nick May, the amazing Mambo clothing art brand.
Nick May (00:40:54):
So one of my favorite books mom gave it to me, I don’t know when nineties or something is The Art of Mambo. And that was another thing. So not only Reba stuff but the other artists who worked for Mambo and it was like, oh yeah, just trying to get down something that’s really iconic in one image. And I guess that really appeals to me. Yeah, good pickup there Nick.
Leigh Chalker (00:41:20):
Yeah, yeah. Hey I’ll quick mate, mate, he’s on fire tonight.
I’ll tell you what isn’t, just snapping him out. Bloody unbelievable. Hey so with you finding your style and getting your clear influences and things like that and been, I would assume what you’re saying is when you had a spare moment, if you had a Sunday afternoon off, you do a little bit of drawing and all me watching TV, drawing, watching tv, stuff like that. Now you seem to have obviously very strong art genes in like the May family with your two daughters and Dan where about now obviously there’s a story where Rob Lyle grew up being Dan’s best mates, so he was with you and this’ll lead me onto the Moose and your characters and stuff. There was an interesting a favorite of mine is Neil Blandon, as you know now, Neil Blandon. And you also have got a little bit of a history there. So did you meet Neil, I’ll let you tell the story, but while you are in a bit of a flattish spot of your artwork and stuff like that, that come from, or was that right in your pump and Prime? What’s the story there?
Nick May (00:42:59):
So I reckon I was 21 ish, oh no, maybe 22. And sort of thinking, is this cartooning for anything? I was getting a bit of encouragement, but all of my friends, I’m going to be an occupational therapist, I’m going to be a business manager, whatever. And it’s like what am I going to bloody do? And I saw this ad for a cartooning course at the local ta tafe. And so I convinced one of my best friends who is now my sister-in-law, so my wife’s sister I said to her Will, because I was a chicken and I still am, I said, will you sign up for this course with me? So it’s like three hours a week on a Wednesday night or whatever. And she was like, yeah, yeah, we’ll turn up. So we went to Box Hill tafe and this is where we met this curly headed nut bag Neil Blandon, just I, I’d been at school for too many years and teachers are a certain type.
And then when I met Neil was my teacher, he, he’s around about my age a little bit older but just tells it how it is. Completely different life experience, not afraid to say now mate, what you’re doing there. Yeah, try it this way. So I’ve actually got some original bland and artwork in some of my sketchbooks where he’d draw stuff properly for me. So we did this course and that was where that one comic that you saw Squirt squirt, you are dead. That was the thing that I made for that course. And it was really funny. So I made that and it was like, oh yeah, it’s pretty good whatever. And then I just went back to doing whatever I was doing. My friend who came to the course with me, as soon as her workplace had found out that she’d done this course, they were getting her to draw signage for them and to <laugh> make massive banners for the office and whatever. And I’m like, I guess that’s the way it goes. I guess that’s what it is. So that was my first meeting with Neil and I love Neil, love Neil just so different to anyone that I’d come across before. And he would make his own handouts and whatever and he’d draw all the margins and hand letter, everything in his inimitable style. But then the course was done, see you later.
Then I was working in a school I did a year of teaching there. I wasn’t quite into it. And then I was working there as an audiovisual technician and there was an ad for an advanced diploma of animation that came up. So I thought, oh yeah, I’ll do that even though we’ve got our first child on the way. And so my wife’s not really going to be working. So I applied to get into that course. I did get in so sadly for my wife who had recently then given birth, she had to go back to work to support us. But I was doing this diploma of animation and there was a cartooning component to it and Neil Blandon was the teacher again. And it was like, oh my god, I can’t believe how lucky I am. So the, I’m going to say 31, 32 at the time, a lot of the other people in the course were 18.
So I was a bit of a misfit outsider there. And Neil was some of the courses, some of the subjects I had to do including animation subjects I crap at. And one of the guys who was teaching had worked on I think Phantom Menace or something. And so he was a pretty big name and the TAFE was using his image to promote the course. And he said to me, mate, you’re never going to get a job as an animator. And I was like, yep, okay cool. I probably won’t, but Neil would always write really positive stuff on all of my work and I’m a real sucker for affirmation. So as soon as somebody says something nice to me, I’m like, oh yeah, I want to do, and so Neil was saying, Nick, you’ve gotta submit your stuff to Groovy Gravy and all of that. And I was like, I’ve got this self-confidence issue, Neil.
And he is like, just do it. And of course I never did it so Groovy Gravy went the way of the dodo and all of that sort of stuff. But anyway because I am a sucker for affirmation I think when I don’t know, I was probably feeling nostalgic and I was going through my old TAFE stuff and I found this thing that Neil had written and then I thought, I’m going to track this Neil Blandon down and just see what he’s doing. So I can’t remember what I either signed up to Tumblr or something, I don’t know what it was. And there was Neil. So I was following Neil and I was seeing his stuff and I was like, yeah, Neil is energizing me. So I started drawing seriously again, I guess, I don’t know, maybe 10 years ago, five, seven years ago or something. And that was thanks to Neil and I was tracking him down and secretly hoping, secretly hoping that he would say, oh Nick, yeah mate, I remember you, whatever. And whatever happened happened. But with Rob Lyle so Dan is eight years younger than me so pretty big age gap growing up. The thing was, I guess my older brother Paul is really sporty and he would always be at me, come on Nick, let’s play cricket. Come on Nick, let’s go and play footy. Let’s do something.
Cause he would just thrash me at everything and it was never any fun. But Dan Dan and I guess we both had a little bit of a temper, but we would have fun. Dan and I would play Lego or we’d play with Army soldiers or we’d play cricket together and we were about the same level of cricket and footy and that sort of stuff. So Dan was always a major part of my life and two sisters between me and Dan Tash, who is a brilliant artist as well and train, who is a teacher and she’s also a brilliant artist, but she, older brother Paul decided art wasn’t for her. So anyway, so Dan, whatever, Dan goes to high school meets Rob Lyle I saw Rob around and it’s like, these guys, I’m in my twenties. These guys are little tools. I don’t, don’t
Leigh Chalker (00:50:46):
Get these young fells away from me.
Nick May (00:50:48):
Correct. And so I knew Rob and Rob was a nice enough guy, but he was a kid and I was like a man and I had serious stuff going on in my life. And
Leigh Chalker (00:51:00):
Then you said that he was a kid and I was a man
Nick May (00:51:04):
And then Rob had this band mighty boy and Dan was in the band. And so my, some friends my wife and whatever, we would go and watch them play gigs and whatever and it was suddenly Rob wasn’t, and Dan, they weren’t these little kids anymore, they were men, they were out there, they were doing their stuff, they were living their dreams. And suddenly I realized that I was inferior to them. And it was like, no, these guys are living, they’re doing it. They’re doing exactly what they want to do. And so I bought their CDs and I tried to do artwork for them and all of that sort of stuff, but obviously Rob’s an accomplished artist anyway, but not that I knew that really. Then Dan, Dan was going through a rough patch and he decided that he was going to go and live in Thailand.
So he had a going away party at his house and Rob was there and Rob was like, oh, gday Nick haven’t seen you for a while. I’m like, yeah mate, it’s been a few years. And Rob said to me, I just wanted to let you know that I used to spend hours looking at your drawing table and at your pictures and that you’ve been a huge influence on me and blah, blah, blah. I, I was just like, what the hell is this guy saying? I can’t have influenced him because he is in a band and he’s a musician and he’s great and all of that sort of stuff. And I was like, to my wife, I was like, Trina, Rob just said all these really nice things about me. I dunno how to respond. And Shane was like, yeah, shut up Nick. Just <laugh>. Try having a conversation.
So anyway, so I was too embarrassed to talk to Rob this successful sort of a guy and we were going to leave then and Rob ran out. I’m going to say he sprinted out after me it’s probably not quite how it happened. And he said, oh, just by the way, Nick, I’ve made this comic and it was badly beaten boy. And I was like, what? <laugh> a musician and you’re a cartoonist. And he said, yeah, and you know, were a big reason for me getting into it. And so I was like, oh my God, don’t just stop saying nice things about me. So after I’d finished tracking Neil Blandon down, then I started tracking down Rob and looking at his work and seeing what he was doing. He was working on Devil’s Toilet and that sort of stuff. And mate, I was fishing for compliments. There is no doubt about it.
So I’m writing, I get a rob and my name’s Chin Noble and there’s some stupid story about why my name’s not Nick May. And he’s like, is this Nick May? And I’m like, yeah. And I was like, yeah, he knows me, he recognized me and whatever. And then Rob was really instrumental in everything. So I got the Devil’s toilet and I was like, oh my God, yeah, he’s done it. And then Devil’s Toilet too, whatever. And then he proposed that getting together for Vamoose Mate, I’ve got these self-confidence issues. It’s like, yeah, if I just keep saying yeah, he’ll forget about it. Apologies to John Byrne obviously ripping off your cover. But Rob, Rob was like a dog with a bone. And so he kept on and is like, come on Nick, let’s do it, let’s do it. And so Vamoose came out and he came over with his son and he had a box of OSes to give me and he is like, I’m just going to leave you here now to open that.
And I’m like, no mate, you are. You’ve been instrumental in this. You’ve gotta come inside and you’re part of the family. You’ve done this thing that I dreamed about for years and you’ve forced me to actually do it. So he was there while I ripped open the box and pulled them out and my wife’s having a look and the kids are having a look and Rob’s just there with his son saying, can I go home now mate, can I go home? And it’s it, it’s like that. I can’t thank Rob enough for that, for the whole ous thing. And then he <laugh> sizzles started up the X thing and Rob was like and if you’re free Nick, why don’t you just come on? And so I watched the show and I loved just listening to you guys talking especially you and Dave Dye, but just killing it, killing it, and just, you knew everything and you were really confident artists and all of that sort of stuff.
And I was like, I just wanna listen, I, I’m a listener anyway and I just wanna listen to these guys. I don’t wanna be a part of it. And Rob was like, yeah, just come on. And I was like, yeah, whatever, whatever. And one Friday night he said, oh look, there’s a slot, can you come on? And I was at home and I said, oh no, I’m going out, out for dinner. So I was stayed at home, watched the show and Rob sent me something I think and said, just come on to the after show. And I had a chat, I was like, oh my God, these people are like, I’ve got my friends and we’ve all grown up together since we were teenagers and whatever, but none of my friends now have any interest in comics, whatever. So I gave them copies of the moose, so whatever. And they’re like, oh yeah, thanks. But it was like I found my other people as well. And so here we are and I get to be on Chinwag, which <laugh> is, it is blowing my mind just a little bit, just so
Leigh Chalker (00:57:23):
We’re let it blow your mind mate. It’s, it’s great. It’s good. I’ve learned in heaps about you because I wanna give you a compliment because I was trying to find in the scribbles from the drawing board here, I’ve had conversations with you and Robert. I wanted to let people know that from memory, one of his main influences was one of your characters. Matt Rice, love your work Nick, what cartoonist advice would you give to a younger Nick May. Let’s go with that one, mate. That’s a very good question. I like it. What advice would you give yourself?
Nick May (00:58:03):
Stop being scared mate. Just draw something. Do something like, I think when I initially thought that I wanted to be a cartoonist and platinum grit and all of that stuff was out there at the time and it was all pretty schmick sort of production stuff, you slick covers and all of that sort of stuff. And so in my mind to get the money, you had to spend the money to be in it. And it’s just like, well the things, those things are fantastic and out of reach. But the things that I think are really important are those the black and white mini comics that you can make anywhere photocopy them at Officeworks. If you’re a little bit dodgy like me, you might stay late at work on an afternoon and print off a few copies of that and hope that the photocopier at work doesn’t break down.
But just draw something, do something print. It doesn’t have to be sold it, it doesn’t have to have distribution. But Lee, I think it’s something that you really have impressed on me and other people as well, just feeling that artifact in your hand of something that’s done. So yeah, you can have hundreds of pages of doodles and noodles and whatever, but if the goal is to make a comic, then make a comic. It doesn’t have to be a hundred pages, it can be two pages it can be four pages, it probably can’t be two pages, but just Nick, anyone who’s like Nick may just bloody just do it. Just put something together. And if you are lucky somebody will say to you, have you thought about trying this? Why don’t you do that? Whatever. So again, I’ve said that I’m a sucker for a compliment.
When I sent roller cop stuff to Dave Dye and he said, Nick, this is fantastic, it’s great. And because I’m me, I’m like, yeah, it, it’s okay, but it’s not great. I said, Dave just give me one criticism, one thing. And I thought, this is how you grow. And he said, well, if I can give you one suggestion, your lettering is too small. And I was like, well look Dave, there’s a reason for that. And <laugh> straight away I’m like, okay, I can take a compliment, but if you give me a piece of constructive criticism, watch this guy turn to water. So
Leigh Chalker (01:00:44):
Well, I love the fact, mate, that you’ve had it now for me, I find it incredibly motivating when I met maybe 18 months ago and stuff. And we’ll come back to that, Scott and see if he does man just see if you’ve got any artwork laying around or anything. Or I might be able to hold up some of these drawings for you, Scott, if you wanna have a look. But mate, your productivity is something that impresses me. If La Moose, 1, 2, 3, your characters in that, these are all readily available through the shop and Reary publications and stuff, reach out to Nick or Spy get yourself copies, they’re well worth it. Great read, actually, I’ve enjoyed those last couple of days. But your productivity with the Cop 2000 Modern Creations or are these creations from the past? I’m just going to try while you’re talking, mate, if Scott’s watching, I’ll do my best to give you a bit of a look at some of this artwork, mate. So where did this come from, mate?
Nick May (01:02:03):
So my love of shoddy, eighties and nineties adventure sci-fi movies. I was thinking I want to make a comic that is the ultimate sci-fi action movie from the eighties. And for me growing up in the eighties, the year 2000 was the future. So thank you Chase. So putting 2000 in, it was a no-brainer. So I knew I wanted to do a black and white thing. I knew I wanted to do a police scene. And so I drew this character and then I met Shadeen due and she was right into the roller skates and everything and I was like, oh yeah, Shadeen stealing that off you. I’m going to put this guy on Rollers on roller skate. So I don’t know what he was going to be called initially, I guess Cop. And then it became Roller Cop and it was just one of those things, Lee where, so on my iPad I’ve just got this grid of panels and I would just fill it in and Roller was one of those things. So every now and again on my Noble Instagram page, I would just put pages of that up and slowly a story started to come together, but whatever. And then there was this festival coming up, and I’m going to call it the wrong thing was either Homecooked or Home Baked <laugh>, whatever it was.
Leigh Chalker (01:03:43):
I’ve been guilty of that too, mate. Exactly.
Nick May (01:03:47):
And Neil Blandon was going to be there, Nick Cleary was going to be there, Dave Dye was going to be there. And I was like, I’ve gotta have something to show these guys cuz I’m got the moose. But I haven’t really done anything else. So I’m going to say it was a Friday night leading up to that festival and maybe we’ll get into it, maybe we won’t. But I assumed the position so I was lying down this time I was on the couch so I wasn’t in bed, I was lying down on the couch and I thought, I’ve got all of these pages of a story but they don’t link up and they don’t necessarily tell the story that I want them to tell. So I’ve gotta draw all of the bits that go in between and I’d set myself the night that I had to get it done so I could print them and I could give a copy to Neil, to Nick and to Dave. And so I drew through the night, I dunno how many pages I drew. And that was always just meant to be a rough thing.
Leigh Chalker (01:04:56):
Alex is letting you know you’ve got a very impressive beard, Nick. Thank
Nick May (01:05:00):
You Alex. That’s all that I’ve got. That’s impressive. So I drew all of these pages, put it together, part of it. Lee, I was actually inspired by you as well. And at the very end I put in an homage to June in there, which I thought, well nobody else is going to get it, but maybe Lee will. So I had all of these pages and I printed them up into this one big thing. But when I wanted to do them as many comics, Officeworks wouldn’t let me print that many pages. So I had to split it up into two books. And then I was printing at home and our printer at home was too slow and whatever. So I had all of these plans to impress Nick and Dave and Neil and I ended up not impressing anyone but subsequently I did print them and sent them out. So roller cop is sort of like everything else I do that I love drawing all the time but sometimes I have to draw a comic.
But I set a timeframe in my mind that it just has to get done. It has to get done by tomorrow morning. So whatever I’ve drawn by the next morning, that’s the comic. And people have said to me who have read Roller Cup doesn’t make a lot of sense. And I’m like, yeah, it makes sense in my mind cuz I can fill in all of those gaps. But that’s sort of how I work at the moment, Lisa, I draw and I draw and I draw it and then I have a flurry where I have to get stuff done and then my energy’s gone and I’m back to just drawing. And if that’s a thing, then it’s a thing. And that was the same thing with that minty thing that I drew as well. So I was drawing just doodling and noodling cuz I was a little bit obsessed with Dick Tracy at the time.
And then I thought, I’ve gotta have a comic done by tomorrow. So I took a night, it was, I think it’s 16 pages or whatever, not a lot of pencils, just sort of rough layouts on the iPad again. And then I drew them. And so I got this comic done in, well, I don’t know how many hours, but I sort of had it done in a day and then I was like, oh, I must have more minty frisket stories to tell. And it’s like now that part of me has gone until I guess sizzle and Doug came along. But yeah. Now
Leigh Chalker (01:07:46):
A question, is it now you draw I guess a bit here and a bit there and things come from those lines? Is that how you’re talking and you join your grids together just or
Nick May (01:08:07):
One, so I’ve got this on my iPad procreate. I’ve got some blue line grids drawn, so either, so I can split it into nine panels or I can split it into 12 panels. And so this is my iPad. And just imagine I lie down and I, I’m drawing like that and sometimes I’m just noodling, I’m just drawing ahead. But then if the TV’s on or if there’s music on, it’s like, oh gee, that it sparks an idea in me and then suddenly there’s a story that’s happening. So I might just be drawing ahead and then suddenly I’m drawing stuff and I’m writing dialogue. And sometimes it’s dialogue, but sometimes it’s lyrics to eighties pop songs and that sort of stuff. So I guess I’ve always got, I want to draw a person, so generally I’ll just draw an oval and then start adding detail. Well, not a lot of detail. So sometimes the body shapes that come from that can be abstract, but I generally always start with the head and see where that takes me.
Leigh Chalker (01:09:31):
Now you’re on your iPad now, you were in your younger days, a traditional artist obviously. What was the transition for anyone that’s thinking or mucking around with that? What brought you to that?
Nick May (01:09:50):
Yeah, so I guess I was on a school camp and the first iPad was being released on the Friday that I was coming home from that school camp as a teacher, not as a student. So I came home from this school camp not having showered or anything for a week. And Trina sort of met me at the door and she’s like, Nicky stink,
Leigh Chalker (01:10:17):
<laugh> and I’m
Nick May (01:10:17):
Like, I wanna get an iPad do you reckon they’d still have them? And she’s like, oh, Goodday, nice to see you. So I drove off to local JB HiFi and bought an iPad and a little stylist thing and was just noodling and doodling. But I was still drawing on paper largely. But I guess Lee, one of the things that happened was that I started getting older and as a teacher in the classroom reading parts of a textbook or whatever to the students and there’s text in red and I’m like, oh God, I,
And then the glasses came and then the optometrist would say stuff like, oh yeah, you’ve got the normal degeneration for somebody of your age. And I’m like, what do you mean of my age? I’m young. Oh, I forgot. I’m not young anymore. So when I used, when Rob Lyle first knew of me and I had this massive architect’s drawing table, adjustable and everything and I had a light attached to the side that had a magnifying glass on it. And I could look through the magnifying glass and draw really tiny sort of things. And my eyesight was perfect and I sort of gloated about how fantastic my eyesight was. They say pride comes before the fall and it did. So my vision just disappeared, but probably, I don’t know, one day I’m going to say I was about 47 and I had perfect vision and then I was 48 and I’m like, I can’t see anything.
And the iPad accommodates my vision impairment so I can blow up the page and I can draw that and then shrink it down and move to the next panel or do whatever I need to do. So the transition was a function of no longer being able to see very well. And also the whole paper thing. So yes, I do draw when I’m lying down, when I’m hunched over a table and I’m drawing on a piece of paper, I just can’t do it properly. I shake a little bit. My lines aren’t great, but I feel when I’m holding my iPad and it’s in my hand and it’s resting against me, that’s not moving and I don’t have to stretch my hand forward very far. I’m sort of drawing. I’m in a little container and it works for me at the moment. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (01:13:03):
Oh well you gotta find those little things that work for you mate. And if it’s working to produce great work, I mean it’s something going right, mate. Don’t worry about that. Now, Stephen McLeod did have a question just popped up. If scissors out there we will. Nick, what writing font do you use on procreate for creating comics? How many layers do you use on average to create a page?
Nick May (01:13:32):
Right. All excellent questions Steve. So initially I would look at those free font sites and once I finally figured out how to download them onto the iPad I was using them. But there was always that thing in my mind that shouldn’t you be paying a license if you are using somebody else’s work? So people had made these fonts and so I got an app it was called, I don’t know, I font maker or something like that. And so I made a font out of my own handwriting and in Vanous one, that was the font that was from my handwriting. And then when it got printed and it’s like, yeah, I’ve got my first comic, but God, that lettering looks terrible because I hadn’t set it up properly, I hadn’t worked out the spacing between the letters and all of that sort of stuff.
I now go to those 1001 free font sort of sites and I look for stuff that looks like traditional comic book writing or handwriting, whatever. And so I’ve got a few and I’ll just trial them out to see what works and what doesn’t work. I think there’s something at the moment it’s called Evil Genius that I might be looking to use for Moose four, but I’m not sure as for how many layers whatever. So when I draw in black and white I’ve got a layer that’s called grid and I lock that layer off and then I add a layer and I’ll start, if it’s something serious, if it’s going to be for a comic, then I might do some blue or red lines or whatever. So I’ve got a layer of that. And then when I start drawing that should only be on one layer, but generally it’s not no, this wasn’t a great font that I made but by 200 copies of VOUS one and you can see how bad it was.
So I can end up with 60 or 70 layers going and not all for the one page. Sometimes it, it’s for multiple pages. And then Rob said to me, and then I would just compre not compress whatever the word is, I would merge everything down. And so it was all just on one layer and Rob said to me, but what happens if your lettering’s wrong or whatever and you want to change it, you should keep your lettering on its own individual layer. So I’ve, when Rob tells me some tricks of the trade in procreate or whatever, then I start working slightly more properly. But I can have 70 or 80 layers going at a time I guess.
Leigh Chalker (01:16:42):
Wow. What I love about this whole comic book community that’s brewing man is the fact that we’ve got you here this evening. You’ve got Steven McLeod asking you questions about what your process is. Neil Bland’s in the background, who was someone that inspired you got spy in there, who is also helped and got you back into it. It’s tonight. It just reinforces for me what I enjoy most about it as well meant just how even at Australia it’s a big old wide, wide place mate, but essentially everything’s close and helping people to learn from your mistakes, learn from the good stuff, even getting your own comic book the first day you open that box, man, there’s nothing like it. So it’s always love that buzz of seeing people talk about that sort of thing. Cuz as I said, I remember my first day man and there was nothing like it. I don’t think I’d smiled that like a Cheshire cat like that for a long time.
On that note too, man and Stephen said, thanks mate for taking the time. So good on you and thank you Stephen for being an avid watcher mate and commenter on the show. For people that sometimes cuz printing comic books and that isn’t cheap and not everyone has the not necessarily ability but they don’t have the resources to do Kickstarters and something people aren’t as tech savvy and as others. I mean I’m terrible at it. I’m look at me man with, I think for me and what you are saying Nick and from everyone else I’ve spoken to even Jason Paulos in that with these mini comics is you can create and do these things yourself at home as Nick said, on a printer or at work if you’re lucky enough with your boss or at Officeworks. And there’s a beauty in these many comics and from what I’ve seen of everyone doing these chin wagons over the last couple of months that’s done these it’s inspired me to want to do some because I guess there’s no reason not to <laugh>, you know what I mean? You’ve got a story to tell and stuff like that. You don’t have to have it on this huge glossy paper and painted up and just want to get a story out and just within yourself, if kid older, anyone all ages like mini comics are a great source or getting your creation out. And I’ve heard so many people say that it’s a great experience doing it yourself. So yeah, just anyone else give it a go.
Nick May (01:20:01):
Apologies barking in the background. Just really quickly, Lee, again, there are some people well there are companies around the joint who obviously do print up professional looking comics and for everybody who’s bought their copy of Sizzle and Dug across the multiverse, it’s probably for me, one of the best looking and feeling comics that I’ve had my hands on for a while. So the paper stock’s beautiful, the cover stocks not too heavy and all of that sort of stuff, but you don’t have to do that. Officeworks is relatively cheap and you can put together if you’re having trouble, if you don’t have procreate or whatever, you can put together a comic in a Word document or whatever and get your pages formatted that way. And I know people like to use InDesign or whatever, but you don’t have to. So you can do things really cheaply that you can be equally as proud of if you printed up a hundred copies or 2000 copies or whatever. Just yeah, just do it. Just do it.
Leigh Chalker (01:21:22):
Yeah. A hundred percent agreement mate. And if you got that story inside of you, get it out mate, then there’s plenty of ways, there’s lots of pathways you can get there and none of ’em are right. There’s no right or wrong mate, it’s just whatever you set your mind on mate. Now. Now the other thing I just wanna show is I got this nice little like Nick May drawing here so I like that too. Thank you for that Nick. That was awesome. You’re
Nick May (01:21:54):
Leigh Chalker (01:21:55):
I guess as we come to the winding down part of the show couple little questions I always like to give everyone, mate I guess we know how you’ve done it. We know that you are in an obsessed mode and I can get that cuz so am I man, I I’ve pull gotta draw mate. Just one of those things. It’s fire burns and you can’t put it out. I, it’s dunno, I can’t explain it any other way. Why do you do it to yourself mate?
Nick May (01:22:40):
It’s like it’s a selfish thing. Everybody has a compulsion to do something, whatever it is. Oh, I like going out and partying, whatever. I hate going out. I like to go and have a drink. I don’t like to have a drink. I’m an introvert so a lot of talking will tire me out. So a day of teaching will tire me out and I don’t really want any more human contact. Sorry family. So I’ll come home from school and I’ll say, how was your day? Okay, that’ll do I’m going to draw now. So it’s a way for me to decompress and to, I’m not necessarily making autobiographical things that are dealing with what a teacher goes through, but it’s just like I have a creative impulse and it needs to come out so leave me alone. This is my way of decompressing.
Leigh Chalker (01:23:58):
Yeah, yeah, I can totally get that mate. No I, I’ve have to veer off here and ask you about the books in the background because every time we’ve been on a drinking drawer and stuff I’m like man, that is a hell of a collection. And we’ve just had a little gas bag about it before but now you may have Manny, I’m not sure but what’s the one that I guess turn around to and go, ah, she’s still there. You know what I mean? That’s my pride and joy. That comic bag. Yeah, what is it?
Nick May (01:24:46):
Okay, so if we’re talking mainstream comics up here, I’ve got my absolute edition of All Star Superman. So all Superman always one of my favorites I guess from my black and white Superman Aquaman comic and I think that was the best Superman comic ever made. But in the back here, and I’m not going to pull it out cuz it’s in a box set, but I’ve got Eve’s Challenge work and his Freddy Lombard comics blow me away. But the last one that he did and now obviously I can’t remember the name, it’s like F 51 or something, it’s about a plane flight from Brussels to Australia and all of this stuff happening with Freddy Lombard and his mates and Challenge has got his colors down pat. He’s gone for a more pastel sort of palette. His line work is Supreme and it’s just any time that I’m thinking what do I want to do, what do I want to have a look at I’ll pull out this Freddy Lombard thing and it’s in French, it printed oversized and just that inspires me with his lines and his colors and his transition from panel to panel and all of that sort of stuff.
So yeah. So some Freddy Lombard.
Leigh Chalker (01:26:22):
Yeah. All right. What’s talking your independent one because you were talking mainstream and stuff and the number one, so even Nick, what are you last read? Give us something man into the mind of what Nick May is reading when the iPad is down.
Nick May (01:26:41):
So curiously today in the mail a Kickstarter arrived a thing that I backed Berserker that was done by Keanu Reeves and some other people. So that is there and ready for me to read with approximately 700 other things that I’ve got lined beside my bed that I need to read. But the last thing I guess Sizzle and Doug, so it’s a bit rude because I was involved in the pre-order and all of that sort of stuff and I got it expressed to me. But that’s the pinnacle that <laugh> seeing that comic, that’s the last thing that I’ve had a good read through and really enjoyed every page including, I remember when I used to read Mad Mad Magazine in the early mid eighties and I remember laughing and then late eighties it was like, eh, <laugh> not that funny into the nineties, I’m not buying this anymore. But reading Sizzle and Doug, there are a few times that I laughed out loud and it’s a rare thing so I’m not going to recommend anything higher than everybody getting onto the comic shop and getting sizzle and dug across the multiverse.
Leigh Chalker (01:28:12):
Yeah, yeah. And it was a big effort by Sizzle and Carrie and Spy and the 30 other people to get involved in that because for Fit, just anyone that’s listening wants to get into comics and stuff too, man, there’s logistics that are crazy with projects like that. It’s hard enough trying to get your own comic together when you’re working for me, me and TA trying to find the time to fit it in around life and that let alone being poor, shamed, sitting there and robbed. There’s artwork coming in and there’s things and would’ve been a manic creation to put together. But yeah mate it’s glad to hear that you really enjoyed it man because yeah, it’s very great too. So if anyone out there hasn’t got your copy of Sizzle and Doug into the multiverse, it is limited edition from one to a hundred to my knowledge, there won’t be any more once it’s sold out, there’s no more.
So each person obviously gets their individual number depending on their order. I understand. My understanding is there’s no limit to the numbers you can purchase. So all that goes to helping out keep these live shows running and just for anyone that’s new to the community or just finding out about X already tonight I think is a great example of I guess the joy power of comic books and creation with Nick Mae being here and you can see the little tail ends off to Neil and Rob and the Moose and all of us getting together and stuff and learning from each other and encouraging each other to create comic books and having fun. That’s the main thing, being happy about it cuz it’s it is all about fun, it’s all about feeling good about yourself. I mean we’re making comics, we’re not eradicating diseases or anything but in terms of having a laugh meeting people socialize and picking up hints, not being isolated in your room anymore wanting to do this.
There are people out there that are doing the same as you and have been in the same boat. So join up cuz you got Tuesday Chinwag tonight where I love talking to creators, publishers, writers, artists, everyone that’s in the community, see where they’re from. You got the ACOM X Show Wednesday nights, which new products and people that you can learn about and varying other topics of conversation. You know got your Sizzle and Doug show tomorrow where you can meet some of the creators of that Friday night drink and draws, as Nick said, his first foray into meeting people back in our younger <laugh> episodes and stuff which is just people picking a topic, there’s a guest stand, people even if you’re not on the show, you can still submit your artwork and stuff like that you know can talk in the after party to people If there’s people that want to meet you never know who will turn up.
Cause I can honestly tell you from me a 14, 15 year old kid that was collecting Australian comic books, some of the people that I’ve met on these shows have had the opportunity to meet a blown my mind heroes that I never thought I’d even get close to other than holding their comic books and stuff and I get to meet ’em and talk to ’em and have a ya. And then there’s Peter Wilson’s show Sunday Spotlight which each week has a guest and they talk about their creative I guess how they get into the headset, the mindset of putting their staff onto the page. So there’s plenty of opportunities out there for people to grow the community. Everyone’s a friend everyone’s nice jump on board. And mate Nick, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity mate tonight to well meet you I guess and let other people see what inspires you, makes your tick mate. Cuz I guess much like myself is where we’re older fellas that always wanted to draw and stuff and came into it a little bit late. So hopefully with some encouragement there, people can jump on board and do what they do. Some artwork, some minis get printed, visit all the sites and everything, get your creative like juice is pumping and get your stuff out there mate. Where can we get Nick May’s stuff if anyone out there wants to know?
Nick May (01:33:11):
So the moose stuff you can get either from the comic shop or from Rob at Psycho janitor. The other stuff that I’ve done, it’s sort of niche, I don’t sell it I’ll give it to you. So if I’ve got copies lying around contact me on Instagram at Noble or Cherno bill and thanks Alex. And if you send me your address and I’m feeling generous I will send you copies of some of the minis that I’ve done. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (01:33:56):
I would strongly recommend going and checking out the man’s work. That particularly is a great insight into a bloke that yeah, I mean it’s all there on the page to see that he’s not talking jive from the 1980s all the way through to now. There’s pieces of art there, you can see the dude grow, look lastly, don’t forget to and subscribe and press the bell as Alex would say on the YouTube channels and stuff because that helps all the internet algorithms and all that stuff and makes it easier for people to find and attracts attention to these shows and stuff for the community so they can all learn about them and feel <laugh> good
Nick May (01:34:46):
Leigh Chalker (01:34:47):
And come and join the crew if you’re someone out there anywhere at all, it’s a welcoming community and just reach out anyone.
Nick May (01:34:56):
Can I just interrupt there Lee? Just what Lee is saying, there are opportunities here and if you are spy like myself, a sucker for a compliment, there is no greater compliment that you can get than joining in on a Friday night drink and draw, send in your art and you’ve got these legendary people who will say nice things about your work and then there’s eyeballs on your stuff and how can you not feel proud of yourself when you’ve got people like Lee, like Dave die, like Nick Leary, like sizzle, like Rob saying nice stuff about your work. And then also people that you don’t know, you’ve got no idea who they are, they’re seeing your stuff, they’re seeing you online. So just send stuff in, have a look at what the prompts are. I’ve seen that it’s swamped things so I think I’m going to be away this weekend this Friday night. But yeah, send your stuff in for Friday night, drink and draw to get a happy critique of your work and to get your stuff seen.
Leigh Chalker (01:36:09):
Well said mate. Thank you. Awesome. Alright, so one other thing I would like to say is people have said to me of later, I’m always enthusiastic and happy and why it’s not just cause I’m happy in life and I’m doing lots of draw and it’s because at X there’s a little shop there that shop’s got I think it’s a hundred plus comic books. I could be wrong, but I think I’m right. But you’ll have to find out by following it up and going on there. You can get Sizzle and Doug, you can get brand new Dave Di Comic, amazing Tale six, the Tale of Bayer Wolf that’s just popped out onto the shelves and that that’s all available for you. There’s a tongue of a Australian creators that are on there. There’s other places in Australia, owner in your every publication Cycle, cyclone Publishing Gestalt in Western Australia.
It is a large community with a great deal of diverse creators and I would encourage anyone, if you’re interested in singing where Australian comics are at right now, then jump on board and go and pick some up for yourself and check it out. Cuz there’s a lot of hard work and people that enjoy doing it. So look, I’m leave it there and you guys all get a week off from me now. So thanks for putting up with my big head over the last three or four shows over this week. It is what it is. It’s been great pleasure hosting the shows and saying Goodday being a guest. It’s been great having Nick May here and hey, always remember Community is Unity. So see you next week for Hay and Spar
Nick May (01:37:52):
Voice Over (01:37:53):
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