Alex Major

Main Guest

Alex Major

You thought you’d had enough of his on ComX’s Friday Night Drink and Draw…. Well, you were wrong! There is no such thing as too much of this man! The dude behind Sloppy Bunny Toons, you won’t want to miss the international man of mystery!

Click Here to find out more about Alex Major

Transcription Below

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Voice Over (00:04):
This show is sponsored by the Comics Shop. We hope you enjoy the show.

Leigh Chalker (00:27):
Good day and welcome to another episode of Tuesday Chinwag. My name is Lee Chalker. I’m the creator of the Australian Independent comic book Battle for Bustle published through the comic shop. And before I get into the comic shop, I’m just going to welcome our guest this evening. Mr. Alex Major. How are you buddy?

Alex Major (00:46):
Hello, Lee. I’m doing okay. How are you?

Leigh Chalker (00:49):
Very good, very good. Well mate, I’m just going to finish off this introduction and then we’ll be straight back into see what makes you tick. All right, so the Comex shop, everyone, in case you don’t know, is sponsors the show and it has over a hundred Australian independent comic book titles. So you can get a wide variety of comic books from there. It has one flat rate of $9. So that means you can buy one comic, you can buy 20 comics, you can buy as many as you wish for $9. So go and support some Australian artists and creators and help ’em buy some ink and some paper or recharge their tablets or whatever it is that they want to spend the money on to continue to give you good stuff. Now, tomorrow, tonight I will says, check up that ticker box there mate. That’s something I forgot to put on there.

Across the bottom of the screen when it pops up will be the two channels that the show is streamed across. Now there is, here we go, running across the bottom of the screen for you there we have the Comex network. Now the Comex network is made up of three portions. It is made up of the Comex community, which is a whole heap of people getting together that are like-minded, that just have a love of comic books and want a chinwag and gas bag and talk about all things comic books. There is the Comex network, which is the live stream side of things, which has chinwag. It also has how to draw a comic book Friday Night Drink and Draw in the Aus Comex Show and varying other shows that come up during the week. And it also has the Comex Shop. Now the second channel that it’s streamed across is Aussie verse.

Now if you’ve never heard of Aussie verse, the address is across the bottom and you can check them out. They are an Australian comic book, pulp Pop website and community that looks at all things, comic books and movies and their latest hall videos and custom builds. And they have interviews with creators from all over the world as well. So basically they support Australian comic books. We all love Australian comic books, we love comic books. So if you do too, jump on and like and subscribe either of those channels anywhere that you can find them. Now all comments are welcome to so fire ’em off. If you’ve got any questions for Alex and myself, we’ll do the best to cover everything. So I do apologize this evening. I’ve been crook for a couple of weeks, but I’m going to power on because I have been looking forward to having my old mate, Alex, on the show this evening. Alex is, I will say a little bit of an enigma. He is a man of mystery and the master of the sloppy bunny tunes. So we’ll get into that in the Tick and Richo evening X at long last, the perfect pair for Chinwag. This will be great. Thank you.

Alex Major (03:43):
Let’s see, let’s see. Maybe he’ll regret saying that by the end.

Leigh Chalker (03:46):
Yeah, yeah,

Alex Major (03:48):
This is the worst thing I sat through.

Leigh Chalker (03:50):
Hello Ben and yeah, well, hello Jack. Hello everybody. Yeah, hello. Thank you all for your lovely good evenings and comments and let’s get on with it. So, alright, so show based on who, what, where, when, how, and why. And sometimes we get through it. Sometimes we do before

Alex Major (04:07):
We know

Leigh Chalker (04:08):

Alex Major (04:10):
Sorry. So I want to just turn it to you for a second because I don’t know how many people comment on the intro. And I did promise some beard talk. I noticed that in the intro, every photo the beard gets a little bit shorter, so it kind of nicely leads into show to the beginning. So I just wanted to give you props for that. I know who edited that, but it gets my thumbs up.

Leigh Chalker (04:34):
Yeah, well thank you mate. I was actually going to, after that lovely caricature you did of me the other day, I was going to shave this morning just to throw you off, but I thought that might be too drastic a change. So I’ve gone with the salt and peppers again and it is getting a little bit longer. So thickening up. This is the one thing, Alex, I don’t know if you’ve noticed as we get older, particularly for me anyway, the hair on my head doesn’t grow, but the stuff out of my face and ears and nose and eyebrows continues to power on, man. So it’s one of those mysteries of the universe and I’m sure there’s no answers out there

Alex Major (05:19):
For that. I’m jealous, Lisa. I’m in my mid forties and I still haven’t hit puberty properly. I can grow sideburns.

Leigh Chalker (05:28):
You can’t grow sideburns,

Alex Major (05:30):
I can’t grow sideburns. I can grow seven to 12 strands of hair on the side. That can be pretty long. But I can’t do the rockabilly lifestyle the same. I dunno,

Leigh Chalker (05:44):
I saw you with a beard not too long back, man, like the start of the year,

Alex Major (05:51):
Chin fluff. I can draw chin fluff and I can do, but I can’t grow here on the side properly. It’s just little bit of patches stuff going on there. And so that sucks. So I can’t do the sideburn thing, so I can’t do like an Elvis. It can’t be an Elvis impersonator. I mean the top hair is also disappearing slowly and it’s getting gray and all that stuff. So that’s going normally according to science. But this part, it basically is trying to, it’s just behaving against scientific rules.

Leigh Chalker (06:31):
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s what I tell people too when they ask me about what happened to my hairstyle. So it’s just against scientific rules, man. I didn’t sign the contract when I popped out of mum there to say, yes, I want to be a solar panel by the time or an egghead by the time I’m in my mid forties, either

Alex Major (06:54):
Did I filled out the forms, I filled out those forms, I went straight out what I wanted did. Yeah, I filled them out, signed it, got it stamped. I thought I put it into the right thing. As far as I know, nobody’s told me and I can’t. And I specifically asked for sideburns.

Leigh Chalker (07:10):
Exactly. Hair nick mate, brothers mate. That’s right. I totally agree. The really weird part is though about hair is when I recognized that I was indeed becoming follicly challenged in a previous period of my life, I thought to myself, man, I’ll be able to shave it. It won’t have to get haircuts. It’ll be really easy to look after. And you know what, I don’t know if that’s true. I think it takes more to manicure or a shaved head than what it does just to drop into the barber and let someone else look after it. Man, it’s really

Alex Major (07:55):
Wait, wait, wait. So you can’t just shave it off. You can’t just go and good and you get

Leigh Chalker (07:59):
Well, I tend to use razor blades, man, so that might be on me and I’ve got to head like a golf course, man. So there’s a lot of divots out of it and stuff. So ifm not too, if I’m not careful, you know what I mean? I could end

Alex Major (08:16):
Up in the end. So this is the rough, is this the

Leigh Chalker (08:19):
Yeah, yeah, that’s the rough man. Yeah, it was the green, but now it’s stand into the rough. Yeah. So I’m trying to avoid hospital for slicing my head open. Man, no one needs that.

Alex Major (08:36):
Somebody loves us, is there.

Leigh Chalker (08:37):
I know, I know. And I love, love’s a beautiful thing, man. And everyone should just explode with love. That’s just where I’m at in life. It is like there’s never too much love and yeah, that’s where I’m at. So that’s it for the show tonight. That’s what I’m leaving it on and goodbye.

Alex Major (08:59):
I like the best theme of screw comics. I just talk about hair all day.

Leigh Chalker (09:03):
Yeah, yeah. See this is the fluidity of the show, Alex. This is what we talk about, man. We’ll get there eventually. Dude, I’m in no rush, man. That’s what Tuesday nights are for. They’re for chin wagging. So I’ve put on my most comfortable pants and everything. I’ve got a new table, so I’m a little bit out of whack with the schematics of how everything is. I’ve been trying to learn to draw on this new table this week. It’s a little bit higher than my previous one because bounced between the drawing board and here and it’s thrown me off a touch, but it’ll come into rhythm, man. It’ll all get into the flow eventually. So with a couple little bit of chat to you and catching up on things, I’m sure we’ll get there, mate. Before the

Alex Major (09:50):
Evening. Well, I did. Table is highly, my table sucks. I bought mine at IKEA when I moved in and it looked all right in Ikea. I bought it in and the measurements were kind of okay, but not jiving with it.

Leigh Chalker (10:07):
What do you mean by kind? Okay. I would’ve thought measurements either were rather specific.

Alex Major (10:15):
Yeah, but I didn’t have, see, when I was measuring, I was just kind of estimating the amount of junk I, I didn’t have an exact figure of my junk. And also I changed my setup. So I used to have a laptop. I don’t have a laptop anymore, I just have a, well, I suppose whatever I’m talking to now is a laptop, but I don’t have a MacBook anymore, like a little desktop computer now. So I thought, oh, there be more tablet space. But yeah, there’s something about it. It’s too thin. I thought it’ll be fine. I needed it to be certain length so I can fit in a couple of monitors. I wanted to have more than one monitor so I have that whole professional look and then have all these monitors and then I just draw my little iPad mini.

Leigh Chalker (11:05):
So what were all the monitors for? To impress people that came over and I’ll show you the new place. Look at all my monitors.

Alex Major (11:12):
To be honest, pretty much my ti does that. I don’t like drawing on it as much. I’ve got this big ti work provided for me. So I’ll do some work stuff for it, but it’s not like because it’s at home, nothing’s stopping me from plugging it into my own devices and using it, but I never do. But it looks good because people come to the thing and they’re like, well, this guy’s obviously professional

Leigh Chalker (11:41):
Until we all sat about an hour and a half into Chinwag.

Alex Major (11:44):
Yeah, they go to Chinwag. I just look at my Instagram and they’re like, it’s just cats. There’s

Leigh Chalker (11:52):
Nothing wrong with cats mate. Even though my dogs are always on display. I’ve got two cats whom I love very much. My Charlie and Pickles, they pixels, they go really well. Pixels

Well, I had a cat called Pickles and unfortunately she went up the rainbow across the Rainbow Bridge a few years ago. And the next little tacker that came across my path was called Pixels. But over time, and I don’t know if you are the same, maybe other pet owners might understand this, but you sort of come up with, I don’t know, tunes, Diddy bits and pieces for animals as you’re home with them and you’re s singing songs and stuff. And then pixels has suddenly become schnook. So now she’s got a bit of an identity crisis at times. I think I might’ve been one of those parents to my animals that caused some issues, but I’m learning. So maybe when I get another three or four cats down the road, mate, it might be quantified in its identity. So we’ll see how we go. Good evening Marty. Thank you for watching. And Dave, I saw the comment before about this could be a long night. Just remember, mate, these are recorded as well, so if you need to go and have a nap, you can catch up with it tomorrow, buddy. So we’ll keep you,

Alex Major (13:18):
But I do recommend watching it live because I can answer your questions. I mean, I might get into the comments and then just if the comments are heavy on the YouTube, I’ll just pop in there and I’ll just answer some questions that I might’ve missed out on. But yeah.

Leigh Chalker (13:34):
Yeah. So why heavy questions? What do you mean, man? Like existential questions or you just mean lots of questions?

Alex Major (13:40):
I don’t know, people might have just questions. I don’t know. I’ve bit the bullet and I joined the Flat Earth Society on Facebook and I don’t believe in it. I think NASA does great work and the earth is definitely a globe. I flew on planes too often to think it’s flat, but it is a lot of enjoyment. It’s like just to scroll through it, all these people arguing about it. So if anybody wants to stay within that topic and the comment sections, I’m happy to go that direction. But I need those questions. So if somebody wants to call me a globe Todd and then challenge me, go for it, Brian.

Leigh Chalker (14:32):
Yeah, but you are an international man of mystery, which we will get into that. But alright, so let’s all, now that’s segued to from flat Earthing into Alex flying Willy-nilly all over the areas of the globe. I said it, so if there’s anyone has any conjecture about me calling it a globe and Alex leaning towards it being flat.

Alex Major (15:00):
No, no, no. I’m still leaning globe.

Leigh Chalker (15:04):

Alex Major (15:04):
A globe guy. I’m a guy.

Leigh Chalker (15:06):
Alright, well if anyone’s not sure whether Alex is a globe guy,

Alex Major (15:11):
I just want to see the arguments because

Leigh Chalker (15:14):
Yeah, no, I like if you’re just chucking a grenade in there, man, just to see him, what they say. Yeah. Yeah. So you’re essentially just stirring the pot a little bit, mate,

Alex Major (15:27):
I haven’t left any comments in it yet. I’m just reading it right now and I’m like, if I’ve left comments, I won’t stay there for too long because I have my doubts. I have my doubts about the arguments for the earth being flat aren’t strong yet.

Leigh Chalker (15:41):
Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s always puzzled me, but hey man, look, whatever. If it gets ’em up in the morning and gives them a sense of purpose, then good for that. Yes, that’s exactly right, mate. That’s exactly right.

Alex Major (15:55):
There’s more troublesome people in the world than people who just think that it’s flat. I’m like, all right dude, you do you.

Leigh Chalker (16:03):
Yeah, man, it’s, there’s just explosions and people taking over other people and stealing their human rights. And then should I put my energy into trying to protest and stop that and spread love? Or should I worry about some dude who’s sitting on his computer in his house looking out a window at someone’s toilet? The flats are so close together arguing that the world is flat. So I’m probably going to be inclined to just leave that dude there and enjoy his view. Well, you go his view. So flat earthing and the toilet of the neighbors next door. I do like storytelling. So Alex going to get, now we’re going to get right into it, mate. Alright,

Alex Major (16:58):
No worries.

Leigh Chalker (16:59):
Question? Yeah, yeah. Who?

Alex Major (17:01):
Sorry, what are trying to, are you asking what’s the question? What

Leigh Chalker (17:08):
Are you,

Alex Major (17:09):
Me? Who am I? I’m the guy on the number five box to the right from Sizzle at the drink and draw on Fridays.

Leigh Chalker (17:18):
That’s how you identify yourself, is it?

Alex Major (17:21):
Yeah, that’s how I’m guessing. A lot of the audience knows me, but generally, I don’t know. I’m a cartoonist in Sydney. That’s it. There you go. I make cartoons, I animate, I draw, it’s my hobby and my job. So I’ve been doing it for over 20 years and it’s sometimes comics, sometimes animation, and sometimes for three years of my life, was it three or two years of my life, I was designing plush toys. I directed a several animated series in China. One of them, my last show was 10 episodes for the Chinese government. Telling them how that works to the Western audience

Leigh Chalker (18:09):

Alex Major (18:09):
Weird. It was weird for being an employee for the Chinese Communist Party for three months. So if anybody wants to have at me, I’m like, Hey dude, that was a job. I’m not endorsing it. I’m just easily paid off. So if anybody wants me has bad an opinion, I have a price. Just drop a DM into my Instagram and I’ll push your propaganda. Don’t worry. Just a price for it.

Leigh Chalker (18:37):
So how did you find working for the Communist Party mate? Did they treat you? Did they treat you equally fairly?

Alex Major (18:45):
Yeah, it was very nice. They treated me very nice. Paid well. I know I’d love to tell you some salacious stories, but it was just a normal client. It was a freelance gig. They just double checked that. They had to double check that I can provide legitimate, it was a, oh geez, receipts. That’s right. So I had to do legitimate receipts. All the paperwork had to go through that. I’m a legitimate resident of the People’s Republic of China, which I was. And then they asked us to do 20 episodes, but my company was going on there and because I had an animation studio in Shanghai for two and a bit years. And so we had a TV show built around that. We had a TV show, we built a studio around that. And then we did some TV commercials and then the show finished. So we didn’t have anything big to feed, so we were looking everywhere, scouting for TV shows. And I had this 20 episode deal with CGTN, which is the English language channel of the Chinese government. So you can see them on YouTube and stuff like that. And yeah, we were only able

Leigh Chalker (20:00):
Out there. Come back to me, Alex. Yeah, are you there? I missed that last part. You dropped out on me, but that’s alright. Business fluid. Maybe that was the Communist party.

Alex Major (20:12):
Yeah, maybe a little Chinese person will come. What

Leigh Chalker (20:19):
Would it be offensive to give a flat earth or a snow globe for Christmas?

Alex Major (20:24):
No, I think you should totally do it.

Leigh Chalker (20:27):
Yeah. I reckon that might be quite amusing and sloppy has a strong Happy Tree Friends vibe. Am I far off on that one? Familiar.

Alex Major (20:36):
You know what? I know Happy Tree Friends. I like the visual stuff. My problem with it was that I didn’t mind the violence on it. It just didn’t go anywhere. For instance, it didn’t have a solid joke that had violence in it. It was just how violent can these cute things go and not, I don’t know. It is something that would be me because, but no, I used to, I mean, I don’t know how many people he would watch it, but 20 years ago there used to be, when Flash was new, there used to be this online stuff called the Icebox tv and it had a bunch of little animations and they kind of crude animations, but they were well written and they were kind of funny. Used to watch that. And then Happy Tree Friends reminds me of that style.

Leigh Chalker (21:32):
I have absolutely no idea what Happy Tree Friends is.

Alex Major (21:37):
They’ve got this annoying hype. It’s basically, it looks a hundred percent like a little kid’s show, so it’s like a little kid show that you’d watch on whatever Playschool style colors, very vibrant colors. And they’ve got these little animal friends and they basically just kill each other. So their eyes get pulled out, their guts get pulled out, they get decapitated and stuff like that. I mean, it’s got a bunch of fans and I hate shitting on people who like stuff, if you like something, you like it, nobody should tell you not to something. So I don’t like that. And I think that’s the way I described it, maybe came off that way, not my intention.

Leigh Chalker (22:27):
Yeah, no, man. I agree with you. If the world was all the same, it’d be a pretty boring place. So I mean, so far we’ve covered two groups tonight, flat Earthers and people that like, what was it called? Happy Tree,

Alex Major (22:45):
Tree Friends is the show.

Leigh Chalker (22:46):
Oh yeah. Okay. Happy Tree Friends. All right, well that sounds good. I think

Alex Major (22:49):
They had it on S Bs. I think they had an SBS. There you go.

Leigh Chalker (22:54):
I don’t know. I’ve never heard of it, man. You’ve got the most random, you’ve had a good life man traveling.

Alex Major (23:12):
But if it was a story incoherent because I

Leigh Chalker (23:18):
Randomly, yeah. Do you know what’s funny, Alex? I was just going to say, because I’ve had, for anyone that’s watching for the first time, Alex and I have known each other for a few years and we’ve met heaps of times on the Friday night drink draws and after the Friday night drink and draws, we have just talks, man, where just the people on the show get together and have yarns and stuff. And Alex often talks anecdotes about his travels and stuff. And today I was drawing and I was trying to put together a timeline of Alex’s travels and everything that’s happened to him. And I’ve got a pretty good idea at the beginning. And I’ve got a pretty good idea at the end because right now we’re here, so we’re in the present. That’s about as far as it’s gone. But the man has his infamous on Instagram with his fluctuating lady. What was

Alex Major (24:18):
TikTok? That was TikTok.

Leigh Chalker (24:19):
There you go. Now for anyone at home, I find this quite amusing. Can you explain what happened there? You were pretty popular, you were blazing away.

Alex Major (24:30):
Yeah, so TikTok was pretty much the first time my creator own thing where I didn’t have any investment. It just, my own thing actually took off was about, it was like we had real numbers. So I had 150,000 followers and I think I ended up having about 50 million views. So my most popular video had I think four or 6 million views. And there was thousands of people just posting, sharing. It was just weird numbers I’ve never seen anywhere else. And it sucked. They never transferred anywhere. But I do have a lot of fan actually do have just a second.

Leigh Chalker (25:08):
Yeah, man. Yep. Oh, we’re getting some props here tonight. Look at this. Alex’s jumped into his portal’s coming back, show us what he’s got.

Alex Major (25:20):
So I put together a little collage of all my fan art. So if you right here so you can see there’s, I genuinely got, so that’s the girl, that’s itchy guy. She’s the fighting girl. And then that’s her cat. He’s just purple Cat because he’s purple because you can see there, there’s just a collage of a lot of fan art. So it went out. It did well, I mean I was very happy to have that because you want fan art, some of the coolest stuff. And it was really cool that just had all this engagement and stuff. But she also had a friend called Poopy the Mermaid, and the Mermaid had just had bandaids on her nipples thinking that’s safe, that’s GPG rated. But apparently that was flagged a couple of times, but then they would put it back on because I would just challenge it and go, I don’t think it’s wrong.

And eventually I got a thing and then Ichigo herself got banned a couple of times and eventually just TikTok, because what happened was that it got ugly a couple of times because some of the fans, not fans, but some of the people there, they weren’t fans, just hated on it and just started accusing just very ugly stuff on it. And I was like, oh wait. So I was just messaging TikTok saying, look guys, there’s some foul stuff going on. Everything’s open anyway. You guys want to contact me, investigate whatever. I’m an open book. Just go in there. There we go. Nick May, and he’s

Leigh Chalker (27:09):
Base popularity can be fleeting.

Alex Major (27:12):

Leigh Chalker (27:14):
Well it got bloody 50 million views or whatever you’re saying. Yeah,

Alex Major (27:18):
It was good, but it was good. And I was starting to get sponsors and stuff, but it didn’t go further. The problem was it didn’t get further. And then eventually, but actually just before I got banned, there was you look at an arc on how stuff goes. So at the beginning it’s nothing. And then it went really high and then it just started to taper off. So it was also tapering off. It was like a two year run. There was some intensity going on and got to talk with some other tiktoks through it. But it was weird when TikTok itself didn’t like it because they had events for people with 50,000 followers and I never got invited to ’em. And I had a hundred thousand and I’m like, Hey, come on TikTok, that’s not cool. And then they give you a survey every few months.

So I always complained. I was like, I always complaining, you never invite me to anything. And I’m like a local creator and you guys should be supporting animations and stuff. There was another Aussie guy on there who, I forgot his name, but he also did animations on it and he had millions of followers. So he was beyond my thing. But his thing was that he would film birds and stuff like that and then he would give the birds arms and he would do a voice. He’s an actor, so he would just do these basic animations of these other live action video and he’d just make up these little stories and they’re very clever and he did very well. So he ended up doing, I saw him doing billboard ads and stuff like that, so I never got that with my one. Nobody looked at my fighting Japanese score girl, and said, this dude needs to be mainstream.

Leigh Chalker (29:01):
This dude needs to be at the Super Bowl doing those ads. Yeah, that would’ve been pretty cool though, man. I wonder why you never got invited. The bureaucracy of these things, man, they make rules are too broke.

Alex Major (29:19):
It’s crude stuff. It’s not the brand. A lot of times they have a brand they want to do and they’re fighting school girls. And it was kind of popular enough that if it was on brand, I reckon they would’ve treated me a lot nicer. But it was off brand and it’s not mega viral. Mega viral would’ve been 30, 50, a hundred million views. tiktoks very short. So it’s not like a YouTube video where if you’ve got a million people watching a YouTube video and it’s 10 minutes long, it’s almost a TV show. On the other hand, on TikTok, it’s just like they were literally five to ten second videos because the animation, I’m not animating, I’m not animating a minute long video because they take a long time to do. They’re literally just girl fighting in weird situations. And I ran out of ideas of after, I think I did about 700 videos and there’s only six, and

Leigh Chalker (30:15):
Then you just ran out of locations for her to be fluctuating wall.

Alex Major (30:21):
The kids were giving ideas, so they were like, can you have Ichigo fight on this character? So they were asking for fan art stuff as well, but then other people were like, oh, I just want to see, can you just have Ichigo fight on Purple Cat or something else. Or sometimes actually some kids would ask me to draw them to have itchy go fart on them. And I was like, no, because I just kind of quietly ignored that. But it was a covid thing as well. Once Covid started to go away and I had a job as well, so it was kind of like, okay, there’s a high paying job and there’s this thing that just gives me a couple of bucks a week.

Leigh Chalker (31:09):
Yeah. But it was an experience. It was a

Alex Major (31:12):
Nice adventure. It was a really good little adventure because with comics and stuff, I don’t have that reach. I had a couple of Webtoon stuff, never really had a good reach for my WebToons online and the print comics. I did ’em long time ago and it was at the time, that’s the best way to get your ideas out because there is no internet. And I was one of, there were a few people who did get some kind of news agent distribution back in the nineties, which was nice. Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (31:45):
Yeah. Well take us back to little Alex and well,

Alex Major (31:51):
I’ll give you,

Leigh Chalker (31:53):
Before they were like school girls and you hit 50 million on TikTok and all that sort of stuff. There was Alex, your dream was that you were a McDonald’s employee that wanted global fame. Is that what you are Quote is?

Alex Major (32:13):
Yeah, but I kid you not, my dream job was working at McDonald’s when I was eight or 10. I was like, oh, working at McDonald’s, you can eat all the cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets you want. Turns out that’s not the case.

Leigh Chalker (32:25):
Did you find that that was true when you got there?

Alex Major (32:28):
No, it was awful because you get there, this was 1994 or 95, 95, I think Macquarie Center, Macquarie, Sydney, Macquarie Center, McDonald’s at the time. And I remember they gave us at lunch, if it was the beef stuff like cheeseburgers and Big Mac, you could get a 50% discount if you wanted a fill out, a fish or chicken nuggets or McChicken, no discount for you. Even though I was working there making $4 25 an hour.

Leigh Chalker (33:04):
Why would they give? See this is the disparities of discounts for employees. What does the Big Mac have that the Philo fish doesn’t?

Alex Major (33:15):
Only beef was cheaper than the square shaped fish. I mean, to be fair, I don’t find many square shaped fish in the river or the sea.

Leigh Chalker (33:24):
No, I mean what would you do if you came across a square, square shaped fish? Alex, this is strange because

Alex Major (33:31):
If I did, I’d give it a name and I would give it a home in my house and I’d be like, check this out. Every time somebody comes into my house, I check this out. I got a square fish and his name is Jason. I’m assuming it’s he, which is pretty rude, but

Leigh Chalker (33:50):

Alex Major (33:53):
I can’t tell in

Leigh Chalker (33:53):
This case because we’re jive talking. Yeah, we’ll go with a he. What would you call Mr. Square Fish?

Alex Major (34:00):
I told you. Jason.

Leigh Chalker (34:01):

Alex Major (34:02):

Leigh Chalker (34:03):
Yeah, right. Have you met Jason before? Is that the first name that just popped to your head? What’s the flow behind Jason?

Alex Major (34:12):
There’s no flow. It’s literally just something that just came out of the, okay, just the head. I was going to say Bunghole, but no, the head,

Leigh Chalker (34:24):
Excuse me, hang on. Excuse me. I have a fish story that I got. A mate of mine I used to work with had this red devil. And if anyone knows fish out there, red devils, they’re pretty mean suckers. And they grow pretty big, but I quite like fish and I’m not too bad with ’em either. And he kept it in this one foot tank. Anyway, one Sunday morning he turned up at my house and he’s just got this fish tank thrown into the back of his ute with the lid tape down and he’s gone. You can have the fish. And I’m like, what am I going to do with this? I’ve already got another tank here and everything. He’s like, you can keep it. I just don’t want it anymore. It’s either you or it goes in the river. And I was like, okay, well I’ll keep the fish.

So I had the fish and every animal that I’ve ever had has always had a name. Man. I dunno, I’m just not one of those sort of people. It’s like, Hey fish, hey cat dog. That sort of thing. It’s got a hat, it’s got to have a name. So much like yourself. At the time, I was asked what the fisher’s name was and it just automatically came to me that I’d just call it after the dude that gave me the fish. So I have a red devil who’s about a foot long man. Its name is Shane. So I come in every morning.

Alex Major (35:47):
Wait, Shane, is it Shane? Is it Sizzle Shane or

Leigh Chalker (35:52):
No? No, totally different. Totally different. Shane. This fish doesn’t get Sizzled mate, but yeah, she’s pretty big there. So well see. I call

Alex Major (36:02):
It still have Shane?

Leigh Chalker (36:04):
Yeah, yeah, just there.

Alex Major (36:06):

Leigh Chalker (36:07):
Yeah, yeah. No Shane’s there. It’s actually, look, why not do something a little bit random just to shake it up a little bit. Lee’s a little bit sick. We’ve had some pretty serious chin wags the last couple of weeks and let’s see how we go. See if everyone can see Shane. There she is.

Alex Major (36:29):
Oh nice. That’s shy. She’s hating her face.

Leigh Chalker (36:32):
Yeah. Yeah, she’s a nice girl. She sits down here and she splashes about and has a whole heap of fun with me while I’m drawing and doing my things. But yeah, fish are good. So now that we’ve veered off onto Square Fish and spoken about Red Devils, et cetera, et cetera, let’s get back into the main topic of your starting your days. You’re at McDonald’s.

Alex Major (37:01):
I’ll go before that. I’ll give you the exact countries and geographies, all the geography baths, and this will come back. I think even the flat footers will appreciate this because they can look it on their disc map and figure it out where it is. But okay, so basically my mom’s pregnant and my dad’s not, and they’re escaping communism.

They’re escaping communism. And so they managed to escape and they end up in Austria. And in Austria they wanted to go to, they wanted to go to, they were refugees basically. So we were either, they wanted to go to Germany, but there was also options of South Africa, the US and Australia. No, no, the exact story. But apparently Australia gave the best deal for refugees back then. This is the seventies still. So I was born in 79 and because my mom’s pregnant, she had to wait to give birth. And then as soon as I was old enough to get on a plane and came to Australia. And the thing is that you grew up in the Eastern Europe, it’s pretty gray, but you have an image of going to a western country of skyscrapers and all this other stuff. And I think they ended up in someplace just off Bankstown, which is like a western Sydney someplace. And I think between Bankstown, Liverpool or something in 1980. So it’s not the same as it is now. And I think they’re mildly disappointed. I think my mom was, I don’t know what the full story was when they made comics and get into chinwag, they can expand on it more, but we went back to Europe pretty quick. So I was in Austria for a while

And then my grandparents went to approval of how my parents were, I dunno what the exact story was, but my grandparents raised me a bit in Hungary. So I actually went to school in Hungary and all this stuff. And I have an Australian passport and I still don’t speak English properly. So I ended up, we ended up, so I was kind of between Poland and Hungary a bit because I’ve got aunt in Poland and stuff. And then we were in Austria and then somehow we ended up in, and then eventually we ended up coming back to Australia in Hello,

Leigh Chalker (39:35):
That’s good day mate,

Alex Major (39:38):
Good day. And then we ended up in back. So I came back to Australia in 94, not speaking a look of, I mean I came back in 91 to study English. So I came back to Australia for a year, then I went back to Hungary and then in 94 properly came back to Australia. But then I didn’t graduate high school properly, so my mom wanted me to go back to Europe as an exchange student. And I was like, I want to go to America because I can make comic books. I loved, I didn’t love comic, I didn’t draw all the time, but I just went through a comic book phase when I was 17. So before that my geek stuff was Lego and video games. I didn’t like drawing, I didn’t, I mean, I like cartoons. I like cartoons, but I wasn’t that hardcore to it. I was hardcore to video games. And Lego. Then

Leigh Chalker (40:26):
What was your first comic book? There’s another story I want you if you can, just to tell people it was funny, but it was to do with, actually maybe we shouldn’t talk. Maybe that’s a Pickles moment. Yeah, we will chuck of pickles out there and save any drama. There is drama behind that story. Oh, okay. SK has got a question for you bud. Alex, when are you coming back up to the northern beaches?

Alex Major (40:55):
We need to find a middle place. I live in the western beaches called Parramatta and the ferry doesn’t go that far. I mean, I dunno, mainly it’s nice. I don’t know, we’ll figure something out. We’ve been talking about catching up for months. I think end of last year we started it and it’s already March, so yeah, definitely got to catch up. Yeah, because I don’t have a driver’s license, but that’s another that’ll be peppered in there someplace later. Yeah, so I dunno, I’ve read comics before as a kid. My grandparents didn’t want me to forget German and English, so every time I had to go and do a visa run, I wasn’t Hungarian. I am Hungarian now. I did go for my Hungarian citizenship eventually, but at the time, because they didn’t let dual citizenship, I didn’t have it. So we went to Austria and my grandparents always bought me Garfield and Smurf comics. So it’s not the type of comics that most people do. So West is best. Yeah, go Paramatta, eels. I saw them win last Sunday. Saturday, yeah, Saturday. Yeah. Anyways,

Leigh Chalker (42:14):
I’m a Canterbury fan, so it was a sad moment until I moved on Max we go, let me just add to that Northern Beaches request, but instead of coffee, a pub Max, every time I see you say something, it’s always bloody pubs. But anyway, it’s like Max I think lives at a pub, but that’s okay. Say that I once upon a time. So you have fun Max. It’s up to you.

Alex Major (42:40):
Yeah, no worries. Max. We’ll go to the pub with Max, we’ll leave him there. And then me and SK will go to an Amsterdam star coffee shop.

Leigh Chalker (42:47):
Well, I mean in the Northern beaches you could get one of those classy pubs that gives you a $15 schooner and a $15 coffee. It caters to everyone’s particular tastes. So I love

Alex Major (43:04):

Leigh Chalker (43:04):
Classy like that up here, mate. Not that I know

Alex Major (43:07):
Of. I love spending $30 on a vb. Nothing says you’re rich until you spend $30 on a VB,

Leigh Chalker (43:15):
Mate. Yeah, yeah, I know. It blows me out. I, yeah, 30

Alex Major (43:24):
On. We were back in 1994 before Maccas, and then I skipped over, we already did the Macca stuff. So then I ended up going to, I mean I’ll name jump. My friend Ray, he was a high school buddy and he introduced me to comics. So he loved his comics and stuff like that. And I didn’t like, and to this day I’m not a big Marvel DC fan. It is because I like it when the creator who created the IP is still involved and Spider-Man has gone through so many people. All the people that have created it are long gone. They’ve gone someplace else and all the people without it, I’m like, that’s just a me thing. I know I’m going to upset 79 people going like, go poop. You can like your Marvel in dc. Nothing against that. Love it. It’s just not for me

Leigh Chalker (44:21):
Mate. You told ’em you’re in Parramatta now, so you’ll go to work on Monday and there’ll be just groups of people running around. What’s old comics net au said here, let’s get a cup of tea in South Brisbane, no license, fine hitchhike then.

Alex Major (44:38):
Well to be fair, comex net, whatever, he’s been in Sydney before and he was just like 20 minutes down the road from my work offices before. So Benny did he hitchhike? I think he hitchhiked too. I think he had somebody drove him down. Oh wow. There you go, Daniel. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, so this is a very reasonable comment. Sounds unreasonable, but it’s not because he’s done it. So I’ve got to find somebody from Sydney who’s going to drive up to Brisbane. So anyway, so I got into image comics. I still spawn like Spawn. I like the idea of sport. I haven’t read since Issue 101. I think it’s up to 300 now. So I

Leigh Chalker (45:30):

Alex Major (45:32):
Three 50

Leigh Chalker (45:33):

Alex Major (45:34):

Leigh Chalker (45:35):
Three 50 maybe. I think. Is it the longest running independent comic book or it’s in the GI book?

Alex Major (45:41):
Think so. I think, well I, him and Eric Ason are probably chasing each other because the savage dragon as well and stuff. But yeah, I was into all that Gen 13 witch blade and all of that stuff because I was like, ah, I got in there from the beginning. So I didn’t mind the idea of scanty clad people just doing stuff and having very angry faces back to Utah. That’s right. Anyways, so I went to America, so I couldn’t choose my agency. I was like, oh, comings are made in America. I want to go to America. So my mom was like, okay, you can go to America as long as you have that exchange student experience. So you couldn’t choose the family or the place, just the country. So I ended up in Utah. I have a very lovely family. The moments were very awesome that I had a good time with them. I’m not going to speak ill of the moments. Super kind to me. I was told stuff they have opinions of you because you’re not a Mormon. And I’m like, they keep inviting me to places. I get to hang out, go to parties where caffeine is forbidden. Weird,

Leigh Chalker (46:54):
Fair enough. But conversation is the gateway.

Alex Major (47:00):
No, dude, they’re like movies and comics and whatnot. It was just normal people. I mean I went snowboarding and hunting and I didn’t like hunting, so I kept not aiming at the animals and go like, oh, I’m such a bad shot. But obviously I don’t like trees because I shot a lot of trees and rocks.

Leigh Chalker (47:22):
Yeah, yeah. Well fair enough too. Good on you mate, for saving those animals out there in Utah. How long did you spend with

Alex Major (47:31):
I was there for a year.

Leigh Chalker (47:33):
For a year?

Alex Major (47:33):
Yeah, I was there for a year. I did a full school year there. So it was good. I go back to America whenever I can. I like it there. Not just for whatever reasons, I just I’ve, I’ve been going back there for ever since. So I’m usually saying that I haven’t been back to Utah. I go to LA most of the times and my brother used to live in Chicago, so I went there a couple of times. But last time he’s moved to Toronto, so I went to Canada, visit him there. But yeah, I haven’t been to New York. That’s the one big city because every big city I was curious about because I like traveling to big cities and living in them as well. Yeah. So anyways, back to traveling. So anyways, Utah finishes, I come back to Australia.

I kind of have argument with my parents, I’m going to be an artist. I don’t want to go to uni for four years and get a degree in nothing. Oh trust me, I’ll do four years of just work and then I’ll figure myself out. So I was working in hotels and stuff for four years and I was doing actually caricature work as well. So actually the caricaturing, I did caricature work as well on the side. So I started that, it was my first drawing job when I was 19. So then eventually I ended up at Disney. And then after Disney shut down, I went to uni for two years. I got my master’s in animation and then that let me apply for visas, working visas abroad. So I went to Korea first to teach English, just to kind of see if I want to be an art teacher or an artist, two days of kids. I’m like, I do not like children. I do not, I mean I understand the concept of them, I understand people, I understand we cherish them, but I don’t like spending one-on-one time with kids. It’s not how I enjoy to spend my leisurely time or my professional time.

Leigh Chalker (49:41):
Yeah, that’s fair enough. Well, I don’t have any children. I could imagine they’d be the hardest job in the world. Really? Oh, it is looking after, after number.

Alex Major (49:55):
I have no idea how people can juggle a human being more than one human being. Bills, taxes, mortgages, car payments and a job. I’m like, I dunno, I’m struggling with two cats and stuff. So yeah, I dunno. Cats

Leigh Chalker (50:18):
Be pretty mean though, Alex. They leave a lifetime of litter behind, you know what I mean?

Alex Major (50:31):
Yeah. But they’re poop in a box. I can handle that.

Leigh Chalker (50:33):
Yeah, yeah, this

Alex Major (50:34):
Is true. I can’t manage a 21-year-old who gets trashed and then poops their pants and have to go to the police station to save them. That’s what I’m really afraid of.

Leigh Chalker (50:46):
Yeah, yeah, no.

Alex Major (50:52):
And then I was in Korea just for a year and then I went to Europe thinking I’m going to go there. The whole plan was, the whole plan was after university I was going to go to Asia to teach English, have an Asian experience, and then afterwards I was going to work my way, go to the uk, work my way to do comics in France. I love French comics. I love what goes on there. And then look how I managed to stay on topic there. Comics, woo Comics. Comics, French, beautiful, modern destiny.

Leigh Chalker (51:30):
I love it. Have you ever wandered into the comic schools in America, like the Joe Bert School or seen any cool museums for comics there?

Alex Major (51:42):
No. In the US I haven’t. I’ve done in Japan and Europe, I looked at a comic museums in America. I actually did apply for the Jerk Qubit School. I also applied for Savannah, Georgia for sequential art studies. And I got into that. The bills are crazy at the time, this is 1998, it was like 35,000 USD. So my US adventures, I actually circled around standup comedy. So I’m friends and I work with a lot of the standup comedians at the Comedy store. So if anybody’s familiar with the Comedy Store, that’s pretty much where all of the famous comedians started. Like Jerry Seinfeld, David Letterman, Joe Rogan, all those guys, they’re all Jay Leno and all of them. They all go through the comedy store. And so I made a friend through a guy on Instagram. I just drew a picture of him before he was famous. He’s doing very good gangbusters. My mate Heel Rejo. And he is a very funny comedian.

He’s on Gabrielle Igl sitcom on Netflix, but he also has a Showtime special. He is been on the Tonight Show a couple of times and the Late Show of James Cordon. So he is been around and this is way after we met and what he did. So I did a drawing of him once he printed a sticker and he stuck it all over the Comedy store. So all these famous comedians started following me on Instagram. So you can see, so if you’re into that LA comedy scene, which is now half of it’s in Austin, so if those names, I know a lot of those guys. I did some animations, so some people that might know Jamie Kennedy, he was in the screen movies and he had the Jamie Kennedy experience on MTV. I did a short for him. I worked with Philippe Esparza, who I’ve been on his podcast as well, but I did the intro for him and I’ve done six or seven shorts for him and I did his logo as well. So then he’s a pretty cool committee. He’s a regular on the Eric Andre show. He is on the adult swim and he’s got a couple of Netflix specials. So he’s been around. So it’s kind of funny if you follow that, you know who these are, if you don’t, I’m just naming random names, but yeah, yeah.

Leigh Chalker (54:18):
But it’s impressive. It’s impressive. The list of names of people I’ve never heard of. I wouldn’t know if they were real or not, but it’s cool. Yeah, Rogan’s in Austin Mothership now, I believe. The LA comedy

Alex Major (54:29):
Scene. Yeah, so Jackie knows who I’m talking about. So for Jackie, nobody else knows. So I used to hang out a lot with red band, so he does a podcast. So he started the Rogan podcast. He’s also the cameraman behind the famous Carlos CIA thing, and he also does the Kill Tony show, so that’s another phase. So he moved to Austin as well. But because before the whole protest happened, I was not planning to come back to Australia. So red band was going to look after my cats while I relocate to la. So we were going to go to LA at one stage, we had a two year plan because I had some agency work in Hong Kong and I had a steady job in Hong Kong, and I was going to go between LA and Hong Kong for two years. And then I slowly would’ve moved there because that’s how I moved to Shanghai.

I didn’t live in Shanghai, but that’s where all the interesting work was. So I was going to Shanghai every weekend until people just got used to my face. And the next thing I know I’m art directing games in Shanghai. So pretty much this was the battle plan for LA because I started to get invited to places. People used to know me there for a while, and then the whole Covid thing ruined it because Rogan moved to Austin. So half the people I know moved to Austin, and these aren’t close close friends. These are just people who are very nice to me when I visited. So Jesus is probably the only dude that I’ll just considered general a friend who I’d hang out with and call up, Hey, what’s up? And then Felipe is also pretty cool. But yeah, so I’m not that tight with the comedy scene there, but it was getting that direction. It was pretty exciting. But then, yeah, ended up here. Ended up, but we made Australia work, so we are here, we’re doing fine. But it was a Shanghai part as well. Yeah, so I up, so I was in the uk. Oh no, that’s right. The plan. I was talking about a plan. So the plan was go to Asia, teach English, go to Europe, you’re from uk. uk. Try to get a job in the comics in France and then get old in south of France in east drawing two French comics a year. And then I’ll probably go to Puerto Rico, look for a wife, and then come back to France and then hopefully, did

Leigh Chalker (57:03):
You just say Puerto Rico to look for a wife?

Alex Major (57:06):
Yeah, that was the plan. I’m not saying that was correct. Anyways,

Leigh Chalker (57:12):
Okay. So that was the plan. That was

Alex Major (57:14):
The plan.

Leigh Chalker (57:16):
At this particular point, you were ready.

Alex Major (57:20):
This is January, 2007,

Leigh Chalker (57:22):
The flat map of the earth. You just chose Puerto Rico as the place to be.

Alex Major (57:31):
Yeah, the less deep. We 12 into this online, the better, and then we move over and then of my reasoning. So anyway, so then what happened was I was in Korea, then I had a bad romantic situation. So my UK thing only lasted three months. And then I actually worked on a film briefly. I worked on a film called The Illusionist, which was,

Leigh Chalker (57:57):
Yeah, that’s with Edward Norton in

Alex Major (57:59):
It. No, no, no, no. Edward Norton, there’s an animated one. So if anybody knows who Tati is, he’s like a French film artsy film guy. And they did an animated, he died before he could finish one of his films. And they animated that film. And if anybody is the movie Triplets of Belleville, it’s the same director. So it was an academy award nominated film, and it’s kind of was a big deal. It was a 2D film when 3D films were the big deal. That’s when Toy Story two were coming out, I think Ice Age and whatever. And all of those, the second round of 3D films were coming out. And this was a 2D film that did relatively well. And it was kind of like a Belgian and Canadian corporation. So the guy, I think it was Belgian, ate, and then he went to open a studio in Scotland.

So a lot of Disney guys went there. So I went there and I was there for about a week, but I couldn’t concentrate properly because of some other issues. So I went back to China to sort out my staff then. And that stuff was in Shenzhen. Sheen is like a town near Hong Kong. It’s a big factory city. It’s very big. And then it’s where people’s iPhones are made, put something to it. And then I knew a guy I met twice in Korea, and he told me that, oh, if you’re ever in Shanghai, come over, I’ll help you out if you want, I’ll help you out with a job and everything. And I was pretty broke and I, tickets didn’t have enough money to leave China, so I was stuck. So I took a plane to Shanghai, and then he tells me I’m actually in Suho, catch a bus.

And I’m like, okay. So I caught a bus and it was 80 r and bs, which is eight pounds and $12. And I was like, oh, China’s cheap, but not that cheap. I dunno why everybody thinks this place is so cheap. But it was a five hour bus ride from the airport. So I wasn’t in Shanghai, I wasn’t going to Shanghai. And I’m like, dude, why you tell me Su is a different city. It’s like, oh, I didn’t want to explain it to people. It’s close enough to Shanghai. And it’s just like calling Newcastle, being Sydney or Gold Coast being Brisbane. It’s kind of that. So it’s like nowadays with the bullet train, it’s a half an hour ride, but it’s a hundred and something kilometers, 150 kilometers.

Leigh Chalker (01:00:31):
So were you thinking at the time when you’re on that bus, like, oh my God, where am I going?

Alex Major (01:00:37):
Yeah, I was on this bus because I just went there. I had a couple of dollars to my name. I didn’t have too much to my name. I was just on this bus and I had no other way of communicating. I had a British phone and I had this cheap zoning phone, and it was a prepaid card, nothing. Text messages worked on it. So there was no good reason for that to work. That was just dumb luck. Because I’m in China on a British sim card, and I had about five messages I think I was able to do because just the expenses. This is 2008 and I’m on this bus going and I’m like, I couldn’t even tell them properly now, I could ask him, oh boy, SU. And they’d be like, white guy, you’re Chinese is crap. But now I was like, su su.

And I showed him my phone and he’s just like, nice phone bro. And then, yeah, we were on this bus, but I ended up in Shanghai and I get ripped off everywhere. But because I come from London, even being ripped off, I didn’t notice I paid 50 r and b. It was about five pounds, $6 for $7 for this taxi. And the taxis were about a dollar, $2 at the time. So I didn’t know I was being ripped off, but I was like, oh my God, I’m in this weird city. I’m in China, not in Shanghai. I am in some random city in China. There’s this dude I got into an illegal taxi because I didn’t notice because they still have little, the fake stuff, they even have meters and stuff, but it’s fake. And I realized it’s fake. I’m like, ah, this is going to abduct me and he’s going to ask my dad for all his money and my dad doesn’t have that much money.

And like what did I get myself into? And then I ended up at a dude’s house and I got a job teaching English for a few months, for about three months until I ended up, people were like, I was just drinking in bars and people were like, what? You worked at Disney? Everybody in China was very helpful. So all these bars commissioned me to do their design, their menus. I did their ads. So the expat ads were half filled with my drawings because all the bars, once I found out my story, wanted me to get back on my feet, they’re like, you’re not an English teacher, you’re an artist. You need to get a proper job. So I ended up doing, then somebody was like, oh, I’ll do the covers for the expat magazines. I was doing covers for magazines doing these ads. Then I got invited to an animation conference. I got drunk of the wife of the guy that directed Kungfu Panda. Then my stories and name droppings just started because I ended up going to Shanghai more often. After that conference, I got to meet with a bunch of people and got to go to these weird parties I would’ve never been invited to. I was at a party with Quincy Jones once. I was like, whoa, you did Thriller for Michael Jackson?

I was like, well, don’t worry. I drew a lot of the shadows for Lion King, one and a half. So you both got great.

Leigh Chalker (01:03:43):
Hey, Pete, dude, just that story that you said right there is, wow. I know you say it with humor and, and you’re an awesome storyteller. I’ve enjoyed you telling stories in the past when we’ve been talking, but to break it down, I mean, you’ve got no money. You’re stuck in a foreign land. You’ve got absolutely no idea what’s going on. You’ve chanced it. I mean, dad’s broke. So the chances of you being a hostage and getting paid out of the situation aren’t looking real good. So

Alex Major (01:04:25):
He wasn’t broke. If I needed a plane ticket, get out of there, he would’ve cobbled up enough money and then I would’ve been angry. He would’ve just been like, oh, what do you do with your life? You’re 30 years old. Then would’ve,

Leigh Chalker (01:04:37):
It’s still a walk trip and you would’ve just life stranger in a strange land sort of thing. Come to this town. Then you find out you’re five hours down the track, no idea what you’re doing. Illegal taxi. You could have ended up anywhere, man. Do you know what I mean? And you just rolled with it, mate. Just chanced your luck and look where it took you. Dude,

Alex Major (01:05:02):
Look, I’ll tell you that my time in China was probably the best time in my life. I met my partner there as well. I met my cats who are still with me,

Leigh Chalker (01:05:13):
Met Cat

Alex Major (01:05:15):
10 years old, still with me. He is like a stray cat. I picked up from the compound. Now it costs me as much, bring him to Australia. It costs to double what it costs to buy a tiger in Florida.

Leigh Chalker (01:05:29):
Yeah, right. Wow.

Alex Major (01:05:31):
So I would love, because Australia’s not keen on bringing animals and neither is Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s also pretty strict on your fairy creatures. But yeah, the China stories never end. I’ll be honest. I’ve actually have written a book about it, not book, written book or it sounds like, Ooh, I’ve got a novel. It’s a graphic novel. It’s got to be a graphic novel, and I’m still figuring it out. I did a pitch for it. I’ve reached it out to some people that I know that are vaguely in the business to see where that’s going. The replies went good. So back to the drawing board. But these stories are going to be told somehow one day. But I’ve got a couple of other projects I want to do beforehand. I’ve got this thing I want to do with Sizzle. That’ll be the first one just to get a comic book out again, and then I’ve got another short film I’m working on, and then after that will be my graphic novel.

Leigh Chalker (01:06:29):
See man, you’re a motivated dude. See, this is when I was chilling out a month ago and drawing, and I thought, why has Alex never been on a chinwag before? All of these stories and stuff? Because sometimes because up in your fifth screen in your top right hand corner on your Friday night drink and draw square and your screen layout and stuff like that, you’ve got a really awesome comedy value because you’re enthusiastic and you’re just dropping funnies everywhere and stuff like that, man. And you’re very authentically yourself. You know what I mean? And again, I’ve had the advantage and the luck of hearing some of these stories and even just with the Chinese adventure just then. And there’s more. I mean, I didn’t even know that you’d written or attempted to write a book. Well, it’s no attempt. Well,

Alex Major (01:07:48):
I never talked about it publicly. So I talk about it a little bit. I started it,

Leigh Chalker (01:07:55):
If you don’t mind, I mean you can call pickles on this one. This is the first time I’ve heard about it. But is it from it like an autobiographical perspective?

Alex Major (01:08:05):
No, it was never going to be an autobiographical perspective because not all the stories are my stories because sometimes I know other friends that had funny stories happen to it, and they need to be told too. So it’s just basically a combination of stories that happened in China. I see a lot of expat movies about expats living there, and I don’t think they captured it. There’s one Korean movie that comes close, which was called Please Teach Me English, and it’s about this Aussie lady who teaches English in Korea. And I was like, oh yeah, that was kind of on the ball. But every other one, I just think it misses the point. And I remember I did a book and you can buy it on the comic shop, about my time in career as an English teacher, it was called Teacher Teacher. And I just did a couple of comic strips that happened there, and I put ’em together into a book and I wanted to pitch it as a pitch for something better. I was like, look, this is what I’ve got now. But I wanted a publisher and I talked of Kitchen Sink Press when I was in ComicCon, and they weren’t too enthusiastic, but they put me on their mailing list trying to sell me more books, but I still haven’t.

But yeah, I remember they, they’re pretty cold to it. But I remember in Korea, they, in Korea, there’s a couple of other teacher groups that were like, dude, you got to do more with it. They really wanted to push it. But I was just like, guys, I’m switched off from Korea. I’m so leaving. I’m going to go be cartoonist Superstar in the uk. I’m going to join my ex Disney crew. That was a weekday that went for a week. So I didn’t pursue that. I tried to be famous in America. I still do still try. I make attempts all the time. Haven’t succeeded yet. But yeah, so I tried to get that as a book. So it’s a little bit in of that, but that was autobiographical. So you guys can take a look, a little bit of a flavor of just kids trying to touch your hair.

And it’s just creeping me out. Or my nickname, if anybody Korean watching is my Korean name is UL Don Ul, which literally translates to shit Monster. That’s what a six year old’s name me. And people were like, oh, what are you naming yourself that I was like, it’s the only thing I could pronounce. They try to give me real Korean names because in specifically more Korea and China, if you teaching English, all the students adopt English names. And I remember one time I was given the new class, it’s like, Alex, can you name all of them? I just gave them Invader Z names. So I gave them Zi dib Gaz, and they were like, and then they took it seriously. And even the parents started calling their kids in front of me, like Zoom and dib and stuff. And I thought it was funny that the kids, I named Zoom and Dib and in the cartoon Zoom and Deb hate each other. They did it. And those kids hated each other for real as well. I was like, ah, this is how I’m surviving this because I hate this job. I was like, this is fine. This bit was fine,

Leigh Chalker (01:11:25):
But how did you get shit monster? I mean,

Alex Major (01:11:29):
Oh, well, in Korea they have this thing called Don Chin, which is they have this needle and their kids just poke you in the ass. It’s not nice. It’s not a well behaving thing, but usually Ndic kids do that. And so the kids were just giving each other and they tried to give me as well, this Don Chin, which translates to shit Needle, sorry, apologies for the language, but it’s all

Leigh Chalker (01:11:58):
In the

Alex Major (01:11:58):
Story there, I guess in the background. Very disappointed in me, but

To be honest. So basically the story is going to be, initially there was a kind of an arc about I was going to be an artist because I was working in the entertainment industry in Shanghai mostly. I was working with a lot of musicians stuff. I was working with doing video games. I was doing Adam, I had a TV show and I had all these other stuff going on there then. So I was think doing something along those lines, but then I was like, we kept going autobiographical. So I was like, no, I’m just going to do an English teacher story. And so it’s about an English teacher.

So I kind of got an arc going on. But the biggest problem is because when I got back, I had a bit of an illness to sent to emergency and stuff. I reckon it’s overblown now in hindsight, but you get shocked when you’re in the emergency room and they’ve got all these things inside you. So basically stress related, it’s a blood pressure thing. So now I got my job, not nine to five, I still animate, still creative, and all my side projects have no deadlines. So except the Comex one, I think we have a loose deadline, but I’m sure if I miss it, sizzle will be, I keep updating sizzle when I have something new. So these things, no deadline, that’s why I’m not really talking about it too much. So don’t expect this anytime soon. I’m going to workshop it for a while. I’m doing little pitch decks for it, and I’m going to try to find it a home as well, because there’s another girl who did a friend of mine and she did a comic as well, and it was exactly about her life in Shanghai, but that text’s different to mine.

It’s very nice. Her artwork’s very good, and I told her, she advised me to not do a full comic without pitching to publishers. So she was like,

Leigh Chalker (01:14:16):

Alex Major (01:14:17):
Yeah. So I don’t know. We’ll see where this goes before

Leigh Chalker (01:14:20):

Alex Major (01:14:22):
Yeah, I don’t die from a stroke by then, but yeah, so I don’t know. So these are little things, but, but the Shanghai time was a really good time in my life because I remember me and my girlfriend, I took her to her first concert together. We went and because I was doing, I knew a bunch of people in the events business. We got VIP tickets. So we were sitting watching some 41, which was a punk band, and we got to sit at a table. We had Chinese soldiers around us surrounding us for our security, and we watching some 41. I was like, I’m normally at a mosh pit in these type of things, not sitting at a table with some other, that would’ve

Leigh Chalker (01:15:05):
Been a weird experience.

Alex Major (01:15:07):
It was,

Leigh Chalker (01:15:09):
But it would’ve memorable. I mean,

Alex Major (01:15:12):
Oh, it was great.

Leigh Chalker (01:15:13):
Go back to a punk concert, sitting at a dinner table surrounded by armed forces, you know what I mean? In case people got just a little too excited.

Alex Major (01:15:23):
It did happen. So that did happen. So what happened was that it was in a place called the Shanghai Indoor Stadium. So it was like a stadium indoors,

And it’s seated. I think it had 15 to 20,000 seats in it. And it’s more like, and they didn’t have a mosh place, it was just seats. And they had the stage there and they didn’t sell enough tickets. So I reckon they probably sold three to 4,000 tickets. So it’s kind of empty. And you had these westerners who bought the cheapest tickets, and I just saw everything empty. They were at the back. So they start tried to climb down to the other ones, and then soldiers just basically ambush those people tried to get to the front. And then we were just surprised as if these teenagers who just wanted better seats were this big danger. So these soldiers were surrounding us. And it was like me, Aiko, the organizer who was not happy because he didn’t sell enough tickets, and I don’t know why. There was some important government lady, she was dressed up, she was like some 50, 60-year-old lady all dressed up nicely with, I don’t know, nice clothes. And I was like, that’s great. This is why I love China. We saw this band again last year in Sydney in the Horton Pavilion, and it was nothing like that. It was just normal crowds of people. No soldiers, no VIP.


Leigh Chalker (01:17:07):
I’m just chuckling away at the, I’ve been to a venue. The funny part is, do you remember that band Oasis?

Alex Major (01:17:16):
Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Leigh Chalker (01:17:17):
Yeah. Well, when

Alex Major (01:17:18):
They’re a good band, I like them.

Leigh Chalker (01:17:20):
Yeah, they got some good,

Alex Major (01:17:21):
I like their music personally. They seem like unpleasant people to hang around with. But the music,

Leigh Chalker (01:17:26):
I’ve rather annoying, but I’m assuming. But yeah, no, many years ago I was in Brisbane with a mate, and we got the opportunity to go this night to their opening show in the Brisbane Entertainment Center and support band was UM, I think from memory. And it was pretty big ticket. So let’s check them out. First time in Australia. And from memory, the Brisbane Entertainment Center seats, I’d say 15,000, you know what I mean? I’m just going to go comfortably. 15,000, it may be more, I don’t know, but let’s say 15,000. And we rolled in there, man, and we were a bit late, and we caught the end of UM. I had a look at the stadium, like the venue, and there’s not many people around. We’re thinking, oh, no one likes UMI. Okay, no worries. So then we went out for another beer, came back, and it was the same amount of people went. Oasis came on Men and Dead set. It was like, I reckon there would’ve been two or 3000 people in this building, man.

Alex Major (01:18:31):
Wow. Was it the same oasis or was it because I think Liam got kicked. So Nolan, Liam was still,

Leigh Chalker (01:18:39):
Yeah, man, when they were pumping, how does the

Alex Major (01:18:42):

Leigh Chalker (01:18:42):
That up? Their Wonder Wall period, I think. Wow. Yeah, that was a blowout. So being in a big venue and there’s not many people in there listening to a rock and roll band certainly is strange. Yeah, been there. But I didn’t have any armed guards. I had a few toothless rednecks. And

Alex Major (01:19:03):
You, did they surround and protect you from all the other ones?

Leigh Chalker (01:19:05):
Well, they didn’t protect me, but they were like, I remember the lead singer was giving them some stick back. He obviously wasn’t happy. He was a rock and roll star, so he didn’t like having an empty oasis is pro daylight saving Queenslanders hate that stuff. That’s right, sis.

Alex Major (01:19:32):
I lived a nice life without the daylight saving in Shanghai and Hong Kong and coming back to Sydney besides the crappy public transport. Don’t defend it, it’s bad. And then comment me at the comments, people I’ve experienced real public transport, this is not good, but they’re working on it. I get it. Props they’re working on, it’s getting better. But anyways,

Leigh Chalker (01:19:57):
Mate, the next time you come up to, I know you do like to drop into Cairns every now and then, but on your way by pop into Townsville, and I’ll show you some real public transport now.

Alex Major (01:20:07):
Oh, no, no, I’m not saying Sydney’s the worst in the world.

Leigh Chalker (01:20:11):
Oh, no,

Alex Major (01:20:11):
I don’t understand.

Leigh Chalker (01:20:12):
Would be the worst in the world, mate. You know what I mean? I

Alex Major (01:20:15):

Leigh Chalker (01:20:17):
I’d love to chase on a couple of the local buses, mate. And you can see,

Alex Major (01:20:20):
I’ll tell you what, I took a bus in LA and I’ve never doing that again because I was just scouting out because when I go to LA, there’s a bunch of things I do. I always go to comedy store and I’ve got two or three friends I always meet. Yeah. So there you go, Jackie.

Yeah, and I remember I was staying in Glendale. It was pretty central, and it’s like a nice suburb. It’s like top 10 safest cities in us. I’m like, great. There was a shooting there, literally the second day I’m there, there’s cops surrounding the, and I’m like, welcome to America, nice one. But then I was going to to Pasadena, which is after Beverly Hills, it’s the second posh suburb to go to. And there was an animation art expo there. It’s called Light Box. So I was going to that, and then I was like two of the ritziest suburbs. Surely the buses are fine between these two suburbs and what you need to know about la, it’s not like Sydney where it’s just kind of a gradient of shit, I’m sorry, crap to good to posh. It’s kind of a diagonal west. And then in LA it’s just all crap with dots of luxury.

So if you’re driving between suburbs, you’re going to be driving for some dodgy stuff. That’s why you get on the highway. So at least you don’t get mugged South Africa style. But yeah, or with Brazil, I don’t know. But anyways, so I remember I caught the bus and I went there and it was like sketchy, but not that sketchy. It was Sydney sketchy. It’s like a rough Sydney day. And I was like, okay, that’s fine. And then on my way back, I got on the bus and I sit down and then in front of me, there’s a dude that, he’s like a homeless guy. He has growth stuff, literally stuff. Plants growing on him. So I’m like, you haven’t bathed for a while, dude. And I was in no actual danger because everybody was in a good mood, except maybe that homeless guy. But I think he had too much shrub growing on him.

Leigh Chalker (01:22:39):
Why wouldn’t he be in a good mood? He got shit growing out of him, man. He’s given life while laying on the

Alex Major (01:22:46):
Sidewalk. And then there was these youths, these youths, and they were dropping N bombs. Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t need to cut off. I’m not dropping any N bombs. Not even pretending I’m, no, it’s stupid. But they were just dropping the N bomb, this ed bomb that. And then this old dude comes in there, and then his old dude looks sketch as well. He also doesn’t look like a property owner, and he doesn’t look like real estate was his game. So he showed up.

Leigh Chalker (01:23:20):

Alex Major (01:23:21):
Showed up, said

Leigh Chalker (01:23:22):
Away mate. Did he walk in with one of those?

Alex Major (01:23:24):
He told us his life story. So he sat down with the NBO drop in Uves who were in a good mood, and he was like, you kids have a lucky weed’s legal. Now I’m back in my day. I had to smoke crack and rub liquor stores. I was like, what has that got to do with weed being legal? That’s still illegal, dude.

Leigh Chalker (01:23:46):
That’s gone to the extreme here. We were just having this passive conversation about smoking and joint, and suddenly it’s like it’s gone into crack.

Alex Major (01:23:55):
And then I’m just there sitting with my nerd goods. I picked up from this comic convention sitting on the bus experiencing all of this. You sitting next

Leigh Chalker (01:24:05):
To the plant mate on the other side, you got a street urchin that’s just acting. Maybe that was a manner of self-defense. Man, when the guns are going off, off, he just folded over onto the concrete and just put the plants up to be a garden.

Alex Major (01:24:25):
So I was just there. I was scared because these guys were in a good mood and absolutely not dangerous. But I think if they were not in a good mood, that would’ve been pretty dangerous. And this was 5:00 PM as well, so it’s not late. This is between five 6:00 PM because the Ubers are super expensive. So I was like, I’m done with the Ubers, I’m going to learn to LA five times now. And I’m like, I still don’t use public transport. Surely you can get used to it. And I’m like, ah. And people warned me about it as well. And they were like, yeah, if you move, because when I went there in 2019, I was there. The Ubers were very reasonable, and I was like, oh, I can just Uber everywhere I was. It’s like 10 bucks here and there. And I’m like, if I don’t travel all the time, and if I did move there, I’ll just figure out where to live. Where you could do walking. Well, you, you’d have to

Leigh Chalker (01:25:32):
A car mate, you’d have to get your license.

Alex Major (01:25:35):
Yeah, no, yeah, no, people need, I’m an environmentalist and a lazy person at the same time. And it’s good for the environment if everybody does the public transports.

Leigh Chalker (01:25:47):
So you’re an environmentalist, but a lazy person at the same time. Lazy. But does that mean you just don’t want to get

Alex Major (01:25:54):
I’m just justifying the public transport.

Leigh Chalker (01:25:58):
No, I’m taking that justification further. Let’s go back to flattening things. Let’s flatten out this justification. I would’ve thought that being an environmentalist and being lazy, the lazy part, you would be walking everywhere. So I do, I’m trying to help you out here. I know you do going on your late night walks. There’s many.

Alex Major (01:26:26):
I do my early morning walks to work. I work all the way from paramatta to silver water to

Leigh Chalker (01:26:30):
How far is that?

Alex Major (01:26:32):
Six kilometers, five to six kilometers. So I do that every day, an hour and 10 minutes, and then I walk back. So I do that twice a day.

Leigh Chalker (01:26:44):
Chuck the earphone in. What tunes are you listening to at the moment?

Alex Major (01:26:50):
You know what? My taste, I don’t listen to too much music. I mean, I’m actually listening. Have you heard of German band called the Ramstein?

Leigh Chalker (01:27:00):
Yes. Yes, I have.

Alex Major (01:27:02):
So the lead singer til Lindeman has been releasing his own albums, and he has an English language album as well. And the lyrics are questionable, definitely not safe. This thing, I remember I was just walking home and I was just listening to her and I’m like, oh, he’s singing about being attracted to a plus-sized lady. But he was being very, using different descriptions of what he is doing. And I’m like, oh, okay, nice. But anyways, I’m usually my normal go-to music to, I haven’t grown out of scarp punk music. So all of that nineties stuff in the late nineties with punk music, with trumpets, I still listen to that to this day. And I actually met a friend of mine I was working with a little bit. We were working on a little TV pilot and we had producers and everything and stuff hasn’t gone anywhere yet.

Now I think it’s kind of died down. But we did a bit of stuff together. So he’s in a band called The Suburban Legends, and he also plays with Real Big Fish, gold Finger and all those stuff. And that same circle, it doesn’t play with Goldfinger, I think it once or something, but a couple of other bands, wellknown bands in that. So it’s one of those things, it’s like a scene thing. It’s not mainstream or big, but if you’re into that stuff from the late nineties and you haven’t grown out of it, that’s pretty much my scene. But I actually listen to podcast when I walk.

Leigh Chalker (01:28:35):
What’s your one you’re listening to at the moment?

Alex Major (01:28:38):
Yeah, you’re not going to guess. So I’m just going to tell you. So this morning I started listening to the Sky Sports podcast where they broke down the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. So there you go.

Leigh Chalker (01:28:54):
Have you got an interest in motor racing?

Alex Major (01:28:58):
Very much so. I love single seat racing.

Leigh Chalker (01:29:01):
Here we go. Here’s a little tech little part of you that I didn’t know about. So

Alex Major (01:29:06):
Attracted that. Well, my grandfather used to be a panel beater and he watched two sports. He watched football a lot and he watched watched football and car racing, and I thought football was boring, but I remember the commentator said that these things have more in common with a fighter jet than an actual car. And I was, ever since then, I got hooked. And then later on in one of the teams had Sonic the Hedgehog on the side, so Seagull sponsoring them. And I was like, that’s my team Williams. And then Red Bull sponsored my university project in 2005. So I’ve been a Red Bull fan ever since. But now that the founders passed away, and there’s kind of boring, although the driver that’s winning right now has the same name as my Cat Max, and he has a lion on his helmet. Lion’s a kind of a cat, but he’s boring. He’s always winning. So it’s boring

Leigh Chalker (01:30:13):
Working for you. So if I was to take you out driving and hand you a set of keys to a Subaru and say, this is more like an aircraft than a vehicle, would you get behind the wheel and take it for a tilt? Mind you though, to go with our environmentalism and trying to be as carbon neutral as we can be, we can drive to different sections where it needs a tree and we can plant the tree to try. And

Alex Major (01:30:47):
I thought you’ve got to use the tree to charge it.

Leigh Chalker (01:30:50):
Look, I don’t,

Alex Major (01:30:52):
I dunno how you plug a tree into,

Leigh Chalker (01:30:56):
Maybe this is something I

Alex Major (01:30:57):
Know. I dunno if there’s any engineers, car engineers work on it. There’s a lot of trees out there. Imagine that them just driving through the Amazon run out of power just plugging a tree because the Amazon has a lot of trees. I don’t know if you know,

Leigh Chalker (01:31:11):
Oh, plug in a tree. Imagine filling up on a cactus, mate. It’s got to get me some cactus water.

Alex Major (01:31:17):
I’m not going to hold onto a cactus because if I do this with a cactus, go whoop a cactus. I’m going to have needles in my hands. But if I do that with a branch, I’m good. I mean, it’ll be having a little bit of dirt on it, but charging a car off a branch,

Leigh Chalker (01:31:35):
Yeah, just specifically just randomly set up. And you could make it aesthetically pleasing as well to the jungle. I mean, you wouldn’t have to change too much about the tree, Alex. You could set up the nozzle and the fuel pump into a branch flexible branch type thing. You know what I mean? So you just,

Alex Major (01:31:58):

Leigh Chalker (01:32:00):
An oak.

Alex Major (01:32:03):
I just think we just came up how to fix deforestation. If you need to grow trees to charge your car, you’re not going to deforest it. You’re going to grow more trees. So you’re like, oh, okay, I need this to charge my car. So look, I’m just saying I’m not an engineer, I’m just an ideas man. Look, I’m just the ideas guy. I’m giving this out for free. I get it. Everybody has ideas. I don’t need money for this idea. I just need an excuse to get a driver’s license and a car and I need money as well. I don’t have that for cars.

Leigh Chalker (01:32:36):
Yeah, yeah. But I mean it still would be pretty cool. I mean, what else could you do? I mean there was in Back to the Future, they fueled,

Alex Major (01:32:48):
Yeah, that’s the best trilogy ever. By the way. There’s Star Wars, there’s Lord of the Rings, and I’m like, I’m a back to the Futures man.

Leigh Chalker (01:32:58):
Yeah, no, third one was awful.

Alex Major (01:33:02):
I wouldn’t have awful, but I do think it’s weaker and I think because of the weakness of the third one, it’s very plausible to unseed it as the best trilogy. But Lord of Rings, I’m open to the idea of a new trilogy coming out, but unfortunately every time there’s a trilogy where I’m like, oh yeah, this is better. They release more movies and it’s not a trilogy anymore. Like American Pie, you had the first three movies. You had the first one, the second one, and the Wedding, or I think the Wedding one came after Band camp. So you had the first one, the second one, and Band Camp. Because there’s Five American Pie movies I think.

Leigh Chalker (01:33:45):
Well, they like flogging a Dead Horse, mate. Were

Alex Major (01:33:49):
There six? I think that could be six. Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (01:33:51):
It probably is.

Alex Major (01:33:52):
I dunno.

Leigh Chalker (01:33:53):
Yeah, I dunno, man. Back to the Future was pretty cool. If we think of trilogies, hard to think of Star Wars as a trilogy. Now that’s like a mast itself, I guess, into a whole cinematic experience. I don’t know. Look, I’d say to me the Lord of the Rings is pretty solid. But again, that’s broadened out now, isn’t it?

Alex Major (01:34:23):
I’ll call it. It’s not because the Hobbits, the Hobbits, right? It’s not Lord of the Rings.

Leigh Chalker (01:34:30):
I’m going to go to the Lord of the Rings because I must have seen the Lord of the Rings a million times and I don’t care that it’s not exactly the same as the books. And I’ve read the books a few times when I was younger, but yeah, no, they left me with a very healthy cinematic experience, man, of being very, that’s the stuff I like going to cinema to see that.

Alex Major (01:34:58):
I mean the Lion King trilogy, nobody talks about that, but that’s a trilogy. Yeah, no worries.

Leigh Chalker (01:35:06):
Sorry I’ve missed this. Really want to watch the hilarious Alex, but I’ve had to watch tomorrow. Have a good show, lads. No worries. Omni Bow. Thank you for dropping by buy

Alex Major (01:35:17):
If it looked weird, I just noticed that I did this whole thing with my shorts unzipped, so I just zipped.

Leigh Chalker (01:35:24):
Oh my Lord. That’s why I’m getting private messages here, mate, saying like, man, something’s up with Alex. No, I’m not really, mate.

Alex Major (01:35:31):
Yeah, but back to

Leigh Chalker (01:35:34):
The show, Alex.

Alex Major (01:35:35):
Back to Trilogies though. Now the reason I’m bringing up the Lion King trilogy is because I worked on one and a half. That’s the only trilogy I’m a part of in the Hollywood universe. Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (01:35:51):
But that’s cool. That’s cool.

Alex Major (01:35:54):
So I like that because if nothing else, the end credits of Lion King one and a half is awesome because my name’s in it.

Leigh Chalker (01:36:01):
Yeah, that’s

Alex Major (01:36:02):
An’s a highlight.

Leigh Chalker (01:36:04):
Dude. You know something I never watched? I have never seen The Lion King cartoon

Alex Major (01:36:12):
Got even the first one.

Leigh Chalker (01:36:14):
No, never watched it. I’ve seen the motion picture version they did of it.

Alex Major (01:36:19):
That’s also a cartoon. It’s just realistic renderings, but it’s all in a computer. Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (01:36:27):
I’ve seen that. I haven’t seen the Real Rigi Dig one, but I probably should. I mean, people

Alex Major (01:36:34):
Dunno, I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t like it. I kind of liked the one I worked on and it’s nothing to do with me working on it. But

Leigh Chalker (01:36:43):
You like

Alex Major (01:36:44):
Yeah, no, no, because it’s actually, well-written funny and it’s basically the first movie retold with Timon and Poba, but it’s done, I dunno if you remember Space Theater 3000,

Leigh Chalker (01:37:00):
I remember that name. What is space?

Alex Major (01:37:02):
It’s basically a silhouette, these aliens, and they’re in silhouettes and they’re watching other corny sci-fi films and they just comment on it. So it’s basically just these things and they just comment on these old sci-fi films. So it’s a sci-fi channel. It’s like a late nineties early two thousands thing. And they basically took that as an inspiration. It’s a love letter to that show. And they did that through Lion King. So you got this silhouette of Timon and Poba talking about it, and they’re just talking through the whole movie and then they’re like, oh, this is boring. Let’s talk. Let’s tell our version of the story. So then they just kind of cut to different scenes of it. So if you like the first one, I reckon the third one or one and a half depending regions, what’s called, I reckon reckon anybody that liked the original Lion King would like that one. It’s not a bad movie of all the Disney sequels that were done, most of ’em are hard to watch because it’s just basically whatever the kid character was or the main character has a kid, whatever, it’s always that story. It’s like he’s got a lady in the tram, one of the kid dogs becomes an adult, and it’s retelling the same story as the first one as a kid. Lion King two is the same thing. I think Simba’s Kid has to fight Scar’s Kid or something, I don’t know.

And then, yeah, Bambi two is like that too. No, Bambi two is not that. Bambi is a little bit after Bambi’s. Dad has to look after Bambi because I worked on that. That was the last Disney film I worked on. But yeah, I remember that that was, but yeah, lion King one and a half is the only one I’d say, Hey, I genuinely recommend to people watch it. It’s fun as the Disney sequels and also what not many people, if you’re an animation fan, hey Don, if you’re an animation fan, the Disney sequels later on the stories, you may not like them, but to the animation was dying. So all the Paris Disney animators, the Burbank ones, the Dreamworks animations that did worked on the print of Egypt and all the other stuff. And then one

Leigh Chalker (01:39:24):
Was great,

Alex Major (01:39:25):
Second was better, second one was better. I worked on that one. That wasn’t

Leigh Chalker (01:39:31):
Better. I’m starting to see a trend in this, Alex. Hey, the ones are winning and got the old age mate.

Alex Major (01:39:37):
Yeah. But anyways, I just wanted to say that all those later Disney movies, those later Disney circles feature people from feature films came. So if you like Titan ae pretty much half the animators from Titan AE went to Australia, all of them ended up working on these films. They actually look really good if you’re just an animation fan, watch, even if the stories are shit, they’re very good. They’re very well crafted films. Visually they look good. It was really good to be part of that. So I was part of that, but I was more like, that was just like a shit kicker there I went through in-between training, whatever. And I was just seeing all these talent from all these around the world coming in there. And it was probably the best school I went to, definitely better than the actual school I went to, which we won’t name because we’re not going to bad mouth people here. This is all about the love. If you didn’t earn the love, you just don’t get love. But

Leigh Chalker (01:40:42):
Well man, I mean far out you’ve had a full on adventure. You’ve been, you’re very lucky. You’ve had lots of experiences. You learned.

Alex Major (01:40:54):
Yeah. Well I’ll tell you that. Just to go back to comics, because I was talking about this other comic that I’ll release in 2019, not 2019, that’s been already 2015. I don’t know how time

Leigh Chalker (01:41:10):
Has it, has it Alex? I dunno,

Alex Major (01:41:13):
It’s going to be so long that it just rolls over and it goes back

Leigh Chalker (01:41:18):
Halfway up a hill. And

Alex Major (01:41:21):
Yeah, I am working on a comic with Sizzle and it’s just basically collecting. It turned out, initially I was just going to do a couple of comics that I’ve recently done, but then I found a bunch of old comics that I’ve done at Kone. I’ve done, I dunno if anybody remembers Kone, I was nowhere near as popular as

Leigh Chalker (01:41:39):
KidOne magazine.

Alex Major (01:41:41):
So I did a comics there. I did some other magazines. So I found all these old comics for 20 old comics. So I’m just going to throw them all in. And there’s got to be other comics explaining those comics, so hopefully to book. So that’s kind of like, yeah. So if you want to talk about any of that, because I told you before the show that there was a little black hole in Australian comics.

Leigh Chalker (01:42:06):
There was. And you came along to fill it up. So tell us about that period.

Alex Major (01:42:12):
Yeah, so basically everybody knows about issue one, comics, cyber wine. People know about hair, but platinum, gr greener pastures afterwards. People know about Kru, the Gestalt comics, the other stuff coming back. Then there was a period between 1998 and 2001, I’d say that period where US comics died. So there was no more comic conventions. And then there was Supernova, which at the time was called Comic Fest. So there was a lull. So now, right now, I don’t want to hear people complaining about the Australian comics industry. There’s a lot of buzz going on, a lot of great comics being made. And when I was there, people were making comics, but you couldn’t see it. So there was some photocopy comics being made and Kings was very good carrying them. They had a little section. They were very good with local comics nowadays, not so much. And then there was Comic Kingdom, but they were okay. And then there was Phantom Zion and they weren’t that nice with local comics. But yeah, so I ended up getting, did a comic book called Key Line at the time, and let me just see if I’ve got it. Just a second.

Leigh Chalker (01:43:31):
Yeah, man. Yeah. Oh, back into the portal. Hey, I like now make sure your flies up. Oh, you can’t hear me. Everyone watching has he got his fly up? There’s nearly a coin slot there, Don. I did some cell painting for Burbank in Surrey Hills back in the eighties for a Dog’s Tail. There you go.

Alex Major (01:43:58):
There you go, Dawn. There you go. Yeah. So yeah, Disney used to be in Surrey Hills, used to be in Kip Pak Street. But when I came I was at the second incarnation, which was in Haymarket. So this is my very first comic. A friend of mine founded it on email and bought it. So it’s called Keyline. Awesome. Did two issues of it, did it in 1998. And actually my friend who got me into comics when I got back to Australia, it was Ray, he bought it for me. He bought this for my birthday. He saw it on eBay for 20 bucks and bought it.

Leigh Chalker (01:44:36):
How did you feel about your comic being on eBay?

Alex Major (01:44:40):
I was great. I was just kind of bummed that, look, I want strangers to my comics. My friends always got to be nice to me. I want people, I dunno, have no idea, buy it and talk about it. If I know you, here you go. Here’s my comic, enjoy it. We’re mates, whatever, it’s all good. But if I don’t know you, that’s so, I don’t know, somebody thought it was worth $20, so that was weird. So at least that’s nice. My friend bought it, which was weird, but That’s cool. It was nice. It was a nice gesture. I loved it. He was very nice. He’s a very nice guy.

Leigh Chalker (01:45:10):
Well, I’ve come across a battle for Bustle issue one on eBay.

Alex Major (01:45:16):
Oh, nice.

Leigh Chalker (01:45:17):

Alex Major (01:45:18):
Did your best friend from high school buy it?

Leigh Chalker (01:45:20):
Yeah, no, I know of two. I know that Peter Lane bought one and I’ve seen another one floating about maybe 12 months back. And it had, yeah, I think from memory it had 15 bucks on it for the first issue, which I had a bit of a chuckle about. But I think when I was actually pretty, I was cool with that man. I thought to myself, wow, that’s cool. The comic books on eBay I can live with that

Alex Major (01:45:57):
I didn’t mind that I had once was those secondhand bookshops. And I found my comic once in one of those as well. And I don’t mind it because sometimes not everybody’s a collector people. If somebody thought it was worth it to put it in a shop or sell it or whatever, that’s fine. Somebody just rips it up and then just use it as toilet paper and then just writes obs Sanity says, I hate this. But yeah, so at the time, not many comics went to Newsagent. So there was one guy called Scott Frazier did who did DoBoy and he did well. He did four issues miniseries. Yeah, he did well. He was very concise. He did a four issue miniseries and as far as I know, he went on to animation and he went to Tasmania and stuff. So I didn’t really talk to him too much.

I didn’t know him too well. Saw him at a couple of conventions. And then there was Phosphorescent Comics I think they were doing, were a kind of a publisher at the time. Turns out that Ben’s family knew my mom up in Cannes, so they were kind of Queenslanders living in Sydney and that was a weird thing. But yeah. And then I’m trying to think who else was doing comics at the time. There’s a couple I’m guessing, but news agents was hard to come by because Platinum Grit was, I think just wrapping up. I think it was up to issue eight, I think hair but wasn’t coming out. I think already. They all wrapped up. They all stopped. This was 98, 99. And I remember I went and the big distributors for comics was Gordon and Gooch and some other ones. They both didn’t even Ghost as the kids call it these days, ghosted me and some other, no name distributor who turned out to do, who did pet stuff and other whatever.

He took it on, he was like, oh, I’ll take one. I’ll take a thousand copies and put ’em in news agents for you. And it did appear in news agents. It’s kind of cool. So I mean, financially it wasn’t cool because printing at the time, just I think I was listening to Darren said that you have to do on plates and all these other complications and they give you this proof and it stinks. It stinks, but it smells nice because it’s your first comic book and oh yeah, smells nice. I’m smelling some kind of poison or lead or something. But anyways, so I was smelling that and I did, and then you could only print 2000. He would only let me print 2,500 or 3000 copies and I couldn’t do any less. That was the biggest problem was that you couldn’t do small volume, but he took a thousand and then eventually just dump ’em all.

And then another printer, I went with another printer who did 5,000 copies for the same price. And then the distributor was like, okay, I couldn’t sell and I only sold a couple of hundred, so I’m only taking 600. But he told me beforehand, look, I’m going to order more because I’m optimistic. But he says that when you do, and this is probably a good lesson for anybody that’s getting into serialized content, any serialized content you do, you’re going to have a U shape because you’re going to have, at the beginning, you’re going to put a lot of effort in your marketing, hopefully you’re going to have your distributors, you’re going to have whatever. And then so it’s going to be big high, and then it’s going to drop from that high. But then if you keep with it, the theory is that it’s a U-turn, so it’ll go up. So he gave me advice that I couldn’t adhere to, which have a budget for a full year.

Leigh Chalker (01:49:43):
NVD was a pretty good distributor until they shut shop.

Alex Major (01:49:47):
Yeah, that’s the other one I was thinking of. I keep forgetting the name, but yeah, I don’t know. I couldn’t even tell you the name of my Noname distributor because by the time they signed with me, I already printed the book, so I couldn’t print their name in my thing. But yeah, I only had money to print two comics, but I kind of assumed I’m going to be a big deal. Turned out I wasn’t a big deal. Yeah, so after two issues I kind of folded, but I got into news agents, I got fan mail from some weird place in North Queensland. I think it was Townsville, actually, I’m a hundred percent sure. Somebody told me about the character was called Naomi. It was like, oh, Naomi, she would eat mahi peas on her meat pies. And I’m like, she’s eating kebabs.

Leigh Chalker (01:50:36):
I love the fact that it’s almost, oh man, we’re sitting here talking. There’s the possibility it was little Lee p and p widgets we’re sitting here talking about you getting a fan letter from someone in Townsville about pie peas on a meat pie. You know what? That would be such a Townsville thing to send off. Because back in the day too, there wouldn’t have been an email.

Alex Major (01:51:06):
No, no, no. This was like I had a PO box, so I got physical hand drawn letter as well. So he got a couple of letters as well. I did get one professional, professional, I remember, I’m sure these days he wouldn’t mind, but I remember the letter specifically told me never to mention it, so I’ll just keep it to that after the show, maybe I’ll tell you, but it’s online. But yeah, he wrote a very positive, and it was like somebody in the comic scene, it was pretty big and wrote me a letter to keep going. I know where you’re going, I like the potential and stuff. And then afterwards, I still did a lot of comics after that because I befriended a stoner at Kinko’s. Do you remember Kinko’s?

Leigh Chalker (01:51:53):
You befriended a stoner. Okay, do you remember the stoner’s name? Yes, yes. Steve, let’s not go there. Let’s pickles that one. So let’s leave him B, but yes, okay.

Alex Major (01:52:07):
Anyway, so he was, okay, so he liked the tobacco anyway, the wacky tobacco. So anyway, so was Kinko’s was a 24 hour photocopy play. So if people don’t dunno, seven 11 convenience store, Kinko’s Photocopy. And the guy just taught me how to use the machines. He said he saw my drawings when I was getting photocopied and then he was like, Hey man, look, you work. And he’s like fully stereotype stoner guy. Do you want to do the cover of my album? I’ll print stuff for free for you. And I’m like, hell yeah. So he never released that album, but I used the printing there for about two, three years. I would go at 2:00 AM until four to 5:00 AM I’d be printing comic books. So I got so all my comics afterwards when I’m being super expensive to being free. And I was being able to print a hundred, 200 copies at just the cost of my time

Leigh Chalker (01:53:13):
To essentially make one album cover to a possibly non-existent album. That may have just been a figure in this dude’s mind at 3:30 AM in the morning.

Alex Major (01:53:26):
Yeah, he was actually very friendly. He was a very, actually, very nice dude. We became friends and chit chatted as well, but we were friends during that period. So it wasn’t just like I wanted to draw that album cover for him, but I was like, what do you want, man? I should do that cup for you sometime. He is like, I don’t know, I can never write a song.

Leigh Chalker (01:53:48):
I can tell that this is a, Reggie did reenactment of that conversation mate, because I too also have lots of friends that enjoy partaking in that. And that’s pretty much majority of the conversation. I dunno, man.

Alex Major (01:54:02):
Yeah, so I did know

Leigh Chalker (01:54:04):
Space Man Park

Alex Major (01:54:07):
In la. I was on a podcast of that theme. We don’t Smoke the same podcast nice guys. They love their nerd stuff as well. So they’re very geeky guys they call. But yeah, and I was wearing the Comex hat as well there, so I forgot for the WhatsApp fool. But yeah, so that guy we did. So I was actually later on I was able to do comics for free, printing for free. And also I remember with Supernova, I remember because I was working at Disney and I saw they did a commercial and it was animated and I found out it was done in New Zealand. And then one time I was at a after party at Supernova and I was like both. I said, you boast about being this all Australia thing, whatever, and you don’t hire any Australian animators. And he was like, I don’t know, dumbfounded. I dunno what happened, but he was like, politely let me go because I think I drank a little bit. But then a couple of weeks later, I get a call from Mr. Zaka and he told me, Hey, you’re right. I should have an Australian. Are you interested in animating it? So then that went on to me animating the Supernova commercials for 13 years.

Leigh Chalker (01:55:30):
That’s cool.

Alex Major (01:55:31):
So if anybody saw, they went through different staff phases. Some of them were better than others, and some of them were just like, I was very happy that he didn’t fire me because I was like, oh, I was struggling sometimes because I was traveling. Because also the irony of it was that I was all saying like, oh, you got to have an Australian one. And then I’m in China living under my Hungarian passport doing the stupid ever commercials because they went on to, I dunno, 13 years. So they went on for a pretty long time. I’m trying to figure out when I stopped. I think I probably stopped when I went to Hong Kong in 2018 or something like that.

Leigh Chalker (01:56:11):
Yeah, yeah. That’s cool, man. I know that I’ve got a cat in the background. There’s a red infrared dot going up the wall there probably.

Alex Major (01:56:24):
Oh, that’s an assassin. That’s an outright assassin.

Leigh Chalker (01:56:26):
I was going to say, if it’s not Alex, you may need to duck momentarily. I think someone’s out there trying to top you mate. In the wild of Paramatta, anything can happen. I mean, my goodness,

Alex Major (01:56:38):
No Parama has changed, man. It used to be all crazy westy. Now it’s just all skyscrapers and the cops have just kind of got rid of all the colorful characters. They still sometimes creep in. Every time the cops go, they’re coming back slowly, but they’re trying to change it a lot. So if anybody’s looking for fully West Sydney, I’m sorry, paramount is not it anymore. It’s not a city they tried to be. It’s just after business hours, it’s dead. Just a couple of tall buildings. But

Leigh Chalker (01:57:10):

Alex Major (01:57:11):
Got to be exciting. It’s a work in progress I reckon. Give it five years. And I reckon Paramount is going to be exciting. But for any nerds in Parramatta or in Sydney, if you like, painting War Hammer stuff, we have four of those shops here. I don’t know why we have four

Leigh Chalker (01:57:28):

Alex Major (01:57:28):
Hammer shops. My

Leigh Chalker (01:57:30):
Boss at work is a nut for that war hammer man. And I didn’t know much about Warhammer and he’s obsessed with it. He will talk. You even mentioned Dwarf or a number Alex, at these anime tourism New South Wales. That’s a good idea. Or you mentioned a number with four in it for 40,000, you know what I mean? And he’s off mate on these war hammer tangents. Dude, I had no idea how insanely large that community was and the detail of the stories in the universes that are created with War Hammer, how insane. Those, and insane, I don’t mean, I mean cool, I love people have an interest in stuff, but the detail, the intricacies, the sheer focus that these people have on the rules, the books, you know what I mean? Playing the armor painted up and hand printed and everything like that. They’re very dedicated people, man, let me tell

Alex Major (01:58:45):
You. I mean, it’s crazy how big it is because everywhere in the world, I’ve been in Shanghai around my office, there’s a war hammer store in Hong Kong around my house. There’s a war hammer store in Parramatta. There’s four of them around my house. But I don’t know, my life’s always been with people around two things I know nothing about. That’s always around me. Magic, the Gathering and Warhammer, I have no idea what these things are, but they’re always around me.

Leigh Chalker (01:59:13):
Nothing about the me, the man. I’m one of those random people that watched the Warcraft movie and thought, yeah, that’s not a bad movie. And everyone I’ve told, I’ve seen and yeah, I like that. I always get scolded for, you don’t know anything about Warcraft.

Alex Major (01:59:28):
I hate those people. If you’re that person, stop it. Stop it. Just stop it. Don’t be that guy. Yeah, some people just like it all. What? You enjoyed it. So what if it’s not accurate to the original source? I dunno, I had a good time.

Leigh Chalker (01:59:47):
That’s all that matters, man. We’ve had conversations, but obviously I’m a massive Dune fan and I wandered down to go and see Dune part two the other day. And look man, I’ve read Dune the novel, I’m not kidding. Probably like 20 times in my life. And this book is a skeleton of what the book is the movie. You know what I mean? Skeleton of what it is. But man, I still enjoyed it. I still enjoyed sitting there and watching it. I don’t want to be one of those guys either, man. You can’t translate every bloody novel into exact details of everything. You know what I mean? Especially when things are so detailed and deep. It’s not like,

Alex Major (02:00:40):
But you can’t, but there’s so much content out there that as a one person, you can’t enjoy all of it. And if you’re just stuck into one thing, then you’ve going to miss out on all these other things. So I dunno some stuff, I am completely okay. If you love Marvel movies, good for you. I can’t get into ’em. I can’t get into the movies, I can’t get into the comics because I feel like every time I enjoy any kind of Marvel content comes my way. I can’t enjoy it on its own. I know I need context for everything. Even if it works on its own, that once you know more about it, then you know that, oh, you’re missing out. But then you’re like, oh, what else am I missing out on? Because there’s 50 years of history.

Leigh Chalker (02:01:26):
Yeah. Yeah. I don’t watch too many TV show series now either, man, because I’ve got to be honest with you, and people out there will probably hate me for saying this, but many, many, many. I like reading books too. So I don’t read as many books now because I draw and stuff a lot and it obviously interferes. But I listen to audio books a lot and I cottoned onto the Game of Thrones book many, many years ago and slowly plotted through all of them. And then came across the TV show years later, like, oh, I’ve read those books. I watched the TV show, man really got, this is good stuff. Episode five and all that, season five and everything. And then you wait eight years to find out what happened. And it’s a complete dud. You know what I mean? And that was the point where I just went, you know what? I’m not investing eight years of my life into anything entertainment wise. Again,

Alex Major (02:02:33):
I can’t do serialized content in general because I’m like, you get too invested in it. That’s why I’ve watched, if I’m watching shows, I mean saying that I didn’t get invested in Cobra Kai, but

Leigh Chalker (02:02:49):
That’s who doesn’t like,

Alex Major (02:02:54):
But that’s like cliffhanger after cliffhanger and it’s a serializing thing, but I don’t know. I got hooked

Leigh Chalker (02:02:59):
Up, stop it and move on for a period of time too.

Alex Major (02:03:05):
But I guess sitcoms because it’s just one half hour thing. And then I’m like, okay, like cartoon shows. That’s why probably I’ll watch a bunch of cartoons because you don’t need to watch ’em in order. You don’t need to watch whatever, just go. And then it’s not a heavy commitment thing. So I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve got other stuff to commit to and my entertainment shouldn’t be it.

Leigh Chalker (02:03:27):
Yeah, no. Well, I agree with you too, man. To a certain extent, I think things just should be enjoyed in their natural state. If there are people that want to sit down and watch all of these things, then that’s totally a hundred percent cool with me, man. And invest themselves.

Alex Major (02:03:42):
Is it, maybe we should start talking smack about them.

Leigh Chalker (02:03:48):

Alex Major (02:03:48):
Get a viral moment going on

Leigh Chalker (02:03:51):

Alex Major (02:03:51):
Oh, look at these two losers. They don’t like people who watch serialized content. He just,

Leigh Chalker (02:03:57):
No, look, I have many of my family and friends watch serialized content, but

Alex Major (02:04:02):
Now I’m not going to like talking to you anymore.

Leigh Chalker (02:04:05):
Well, after this, well, that’s okay because I am what I am. And I have watched serialized content, so I haven’t just come to this conclusion.

Alex Major (02:04:16):
Oh, I’m a hypocrite too.

Leigh Chalker (02:04:17):
Yeah. I’m not the dude out in the hill going, don’t serialized content. Have you ever seen serialized content? No, I’m not that guy. I’ve been there, I’ve watched it, and it’s just, I think much like you said, man, I just guess I would rather invest my time into artwork and drawing and stuff like that, that

Alex Major (02:04:38):
That’s where I’m at. Because I remember at the other day when we were, I forgot one of the kids asked on the thing after the shops asked me that plumber’s crackle. That was me probably. Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (02:04:51):
When you stood up before.

Alex Major (02:04:53):
Yeah. Oh, well no, there you go. That’s why it’s pg. But yeah, he was asking me what comics do I read? And I felt so embarrassed because I don’t read much comics now. I used to read a lot and I still like making them, and I have a pile of stuff that I want to read, but it’s just consuming content. I barely go to the cinemas, been to the cinemas. Since I’ve been back in Australia, I’ve been to the cinemas maybe four or five times in the last four years. So I don’t go, I say I watch Cobra Kai, but that’s literally the only thing I watched. I watch a couple of other stuff, but if it’s something that I can have in the background while drawing, it’s easier to do. So I’ll listen to podcasts, I’ll listen to music or whatever. I’ll have TV shows or just have 24 hour news in the background, feeding me nonsense. And then Chin Mag for the win. Are we breaking records? Are we

Leigh Chalker (02:06:00):
Absolutely No idea, mate, but

Alex Major (02:06:03):
Yeah. Yeah, I’ll listen to stuff. So because I’ve got just stuff, I feel happiest when I’m just drawing something. So I’ve got little projects here, I’ve got bigger projects there. I’ve got all these things I don’t finish. And then for the first time in my life, I’ve got life in 20 years. I’ve not put in 20 years because I’ve been freelancing and stuff. So the idea was I freelance to pay whatever, but I was trying, these other ventures I did had to have a monetary value of bringing back, but now I’m like, right now I’ve got some site projects that do not have that. I just want to make them look as nice as possible because I’ve got too many projects where I’ve just gave myself deadlines and they don’t look as polished as they should because you’re like, oh, I’ve got to get it out there.

I’ve got to be in there and stuff. My ichigo stuff, all the good stuff that was in there, it sucked because I didn’t get to make it all look nice. It was all like every day I had to have a new animation. So these animations, a lot of it look very rough because I were done in half an hour. It’s just like, okay, here’s a picture of ichigo. Sometimes I recycle pictures and I just animated a fart quickly in there and then off it went. Then they had 50,000 views, a couple of hundred comments, and then you’re like, oh,

Leigh Chalker (02:07:35):
I totally, the $50 million. Man, imagine if it would’ve got 50 million and you could have gone around something. Actually, while we get back to this and we just jumped into random topic, I want to go back to what was it about Portugal that just keeps sticking in my mind. I’ve thought about that three times since then. Where you wanted to go to Portugal and get married, man, or meet

Alex Major (02:08:00):
Oh, Puerto Rico

Leigh Chalker (02:08:01):
About that man,

Alex Major (02:08:02):
Puerto Rico. Excuse me.

Leigh Chalker (02:08:05):
What was it about that?

Alex Major (02:08:06):
Sorry, what was it? It’s, I’ll tell you after the show.

Leigh Chalker (02:08:15):
That’s a Pickles moment. Hey, we’ve had a few pickles moments tonight, man. We going a good one. Yeah. Yeah, I like that. For anyone out there that doesn’t know what we’re talking about when we say pickles is before we have a little bow at the start of the show and a safe word for any topic that may come up, which may cause some conjecture amongst the audience and possibly slightly offend people, the safe word is pickles. So for the record tonight, I think we’ve thrown out three pickles, pickle, and I dunno if there’s been any before except for one before on the show. So all records are made to be broken, mate. So it’s like the Pickles Olympics going on here. No, man, myself, I got into, just to go back, I guess I really got into, I was cool with all the Marvel movies that were coming out in the first period, like Iron Man and all those sorts of things. They interested

Alex Major (02:09:25):
Me. I like the first X-Men movie.

Leigh Chalker (02:09:28):
Yeah, I really enjoyed X-Men. It was like seeing those things that you’ve grown up with, just reading it was pretty cool. Myself, I think I was getting a little bit fatigued by, oh man, close to, I’d have to say by the second Avengers movie, I was a bit like, oh, okay. You know what I mean? And then I started losing track of the names. You know what I mean? There’s Winter Soldier and there’s this and that, and then I don’t know, men. And then I started catching ’em sporadically, and I’ve absolutely no idea where they’re up to now. I just sort of randomly, the last Marvel movie I watched was Shang Chi, which I grew up with Shang Chi comic books and watched Chinwag for the Win. And I liked Paul Gey and Shang Chi. But yeah, that movie diverted greatly for me, and I understand that things changed in time and all that, but that’s when I sort realized too that I didn’t want to be one of those people that was like, it’s not like I was in the comic box. You know what I mean? It

Alex Major (02:11:00):
You can be that. Embrace that guy, embrace that guy,

Leigh Chalker (02:11:02):
Embrace that guy. You’re right. Well, okay, well, the duality of me is then that. Yeah, okay. There is that part of me. I guess I just don’t voice it, but there’s also a part too where if that’s what people like in this day and age and they enjoy it, then they can enjoy it. But I’d just sort of rather, I guess, pull back from it.

Alex Major (02:11:25):
Well, Lee, I’ll go on a bit of a ran of what I don’t like about those movies and my biggest rant about those movies that it did nothing for comics, nobody watching those movies is buying comics. They’re buying a T-shirt maybe that’s drawn by the comic artist, but nobody’s out there buying comics. All it is doing is just IP stuff. So they’re just printing some comics with not much care, just so they’ve got the ip, whatever reasonings to it. And I think that for me personally, my biggest bug bear with Marvel in DC is that they not completely, because if you look for it, it’s out there, but it didn’t do much favors for the English language comics because you go to France, you go to France, comics isn’t just spiel and tinted. It’s a lot of comics. There’s a lot of different titles going on there and albums, as they call it, whatever.

And the same thing with Japan. I can criticize the artwork being too samey. Yeah, come at me, bro. But the stories are, it’s not just people. When people think anime that don’t just think one piece and the Naruto and Dragon Ball, there’s a lot of other stuff. There’s genres and all this side of stuff, but then when you talk to anybody that doesn’t know anything about comics, they go to quickly Marvel, DC Spandex, superheroes and English language comics, just, they don’t go to different stories. That’s why it was difficult. When I got into comics, I really liked the only press. I liked the Slave Labor graphics. They just did different stuff and they were fun and interesting. And then when, but yeah, Marvel, dc I was like, there’s one Marvel book I bought because I loved the Max and Sam. Keith did this crossover between the Hulk and Wolverine, and I just bought it for the artwork.

The story didn’t do much for me, but there is stuff, you go in there if you’ve got a favorite artist, and then they’re going to go over and do a Marvel DC book, you read it. But I just never got drawn into the whole lore of it because it just seems so manufactured. And the fact that the original creators weren’t there, it’s just eventually just fans working on it because people are like, oh, I grew up on Spider-Man, so now I’m drawing Spider-Man, dream came true. And I’m like, that’s great if that’s your dream. And it’s nice and it’s awesome, but it just was never really my dream. I’m not chasing that. I was like, oh, I like what? Ideally it’s never going to happen to me, but I’d love to do the Bill Waterson thing where he just does 10 years of comic strips, never sells out, doesn’t do any merch, and just retires after 10 years and just lives off the books and the comics themselves. And I’m like, that’s a boss move. That’s cool. That kind of stuff.

Leigh Chalker (02:14:27):
When I was younger, I think everyone that starts off with comic books thinks like, oh, I want to do this, I want to do that. But when you get back to deadlines and stuff, I just like taking my own time and telling my stories. I’ve got to be honest with you, Alex. I don’t know, man. Sometimes I think there’s something wrong with me, but I don’t enjoy drawing those characters, man. Do you know what I mean? When I sit down to draw something like myself, I would rather draw from internally inspired stuff. Do you know what I mean? From myself, man. As opposed to, I don’t sit down and go, oh, I’m going to draw a picture of Spider-Man today. You know what I mean? Or anything else I draw from what is coming from within me, man, my own characters or other images and stuff like that that translate I guess from what influences me. So I get a little bit, I don’t know, I think you just sound like me to a certain extent, man, sometimes you’re just looking for something a bit different. And not all comics have to be the Marvel in DC way,

Alex Major (02:15:44):
But I’m not that anti yet. I mean, if Marvel wants to reach out and offer me a contract that matches my current contract, and I’m like, let’s draw it up and I’m not, I’ll draw the frames up. But the reality is nobody wants that. Not enough people want that to justify it. If you want to tank comic sales even more, get me to draw Wolverine and those sales will plummet and there’s people out there that are passionate about it, and that’s cool.

Leigh Chalker (02:16:19):
That’s just for me. Yeah, it’s cool, man

Alex Major (02:16:21):
Is cool. Yeah, it’s cool. But yeah, I just like drawing one thing I didn’t show you, but I did plush toys. That was a dream of mine. So I got to work for a toy company in Hong Kong, and we designed my actual Cat Max, and then we had Spud the Bear as well someplace there. Just a second. I’ll grab him. No,

Leigh Chalker (02:16:50):
I see you’re not standing up this time, mate. Oh, you haven’t got your headphones in. Look, get him when he comes back.

Alex Major (02:16:58):

Leigh Chalker (02:16:59):
I see you weren’t standing up there, mate. You didn’t want to reveal too much more of yourself that you’ve done to the masses this evening.

Alex Major (02:17:07):
I mean, got to keep him keen.

Yeah, this was Bud The Bear, and he can’t speak because he’s a toy, but this is a real cat, so he does all the talking for him, basically. He was so, it was pretty cool. We had this little story with him and he looks very different and people were like, it’s so divided on him because people were like, what is this? And I’m like, it’s a bear. And they’re, it doesn’t look like they hired me to make a unique bear. That was the pitch. And I’m like, so I did this. And they were like, it doesn’t look like a bear. And I’m like, it does. It’s got round ears, got a top hat. And he had also, I don’t have the toy someplace up there, but he had a little belly. He’s got a belly here, but there’s another one for plastic belly and you can ride on it.

So he communicated by riding on it. So it was all like a little thing about communication, teaching kids to communicate, not to be shy and not to led disabilities, just to overcome disability. He can’t talk because nobody drew him a mouth. So he was like a toy that was designed and he escaped. He wanted to experience life. And then, yeah, so I remember we had one guy from The Simpsons who was redesigned it because we had went through feedback. I got super mad because the feedback he gave me was, he just gave me a generic bare look. And I was like, come on, you work on the Simpsons. Does Bart look like a real boy? It’s like abstract shapes and that’s all that is. The whole concept is for character design. When you design a character, you want somebody who can draw your character. And even if it’s drawn poorly, you still can recognize it.

You can recognize Mickey Mouse because of the shape of the ears. You can recognize Bat Simpson because of the silhouette or any of the Simpson’s characters because what I like, and I don’t like subjective, but there’s specific rules. So anyway, so I got into an argument with somebody who, there’s a lot more street cred than me in the business, but toy never went off, unfortunately. We had a couple of discussions with distributions and whatnot, but didn’t go anywhere. And also we lost a lot of money during, because we all love to talk politics. So during the Trump China tariffs, I want you to get views. So I figured, oh, let’s bring Trump into the conversations. So his tariffs costed me my job, literally because our company was doing stuff in the US and those tariffs, basically the client wouldn’t want to pay it, they would’ve went elsewhere. So our company had to bite the bullet on that, and then all of that budget went into my division and we just basically got obliterated.

Leigh Chalker (02:20:10):
It’s like weirdly, you said Trump then, because he obliterated his Republican party counterpart the other day. I see the other day.

Alex Major (02:20:21):
Oh, the lady.

Leigh Chalker (02:20:23):
Yeah. Yeah, he’s one. So he’s heading for president again, I believe in the running in November. So see how that goes, mate, my finger,

Alex Major (02:20:33):
I dunno. I dunno. Don’t got to tell you who I’d be voting for. I’m not American, but yeah,

Leigh Chalker (02:20:41):
Yeah, we won’t go there, but whatever makes people happy. I mean, that’s the beauty of these things, isn’t it? Yeah. Look, all I’d say Alex is I think everyone’s entitled to an opinion. I think everyone can or dislike anything they like or want to.

Alex Major (02:21:04):
It depends when you are in a client situation and they paid you for a certain amount and they kept changing their mind, I’m sure a bunch of freelancers can relate when somebody’s, like I said, I need you to make a decision on the character now, because after I start animating it, every little change is literally days of work and I have to charge you for it. And they’re like understood. And they’re like, ah, can you make his eyes a little smaller? I’m like, I just finished it.

Leigh Chalker (02:21:32):
That that’s probably why I just do things by myself these days, man. You know what I mean? And just sit here and draw a buttle really for pleasure, not pain in terms of artwork, mate, as we will start winding it down a little bit. Yeah, I’m looking

Alex Major (02:21:52):
At the clock. It’s almost 11 and it’s a school night.

Leigh Chalker (02:21:55):
I know.

Alex Major (02:21:57):
I’m hoping there’s people in other time zones for whom it’s not a school night. It’s like my lunch.

Leigh Chalker (02:22:04):
That’d be me. But yeah, I did take that into consideration when I just look too. So Alex, last, I always like to ask the guest just a couple of things before they go, we know the wise, but what would you say to little Alex right now if he came up to you and said, I want to do comic books, what would your advice be, mate?

Alex Major (02:22:30):
I’d be like, you look too similar to me. I’m not your dad. I don’t know what’s going on, but this is creepy. And then run away. Well,

Leigh Chalker (02:22:38):
That’s a fair advice.

Alex Major (02:22:39):
I mean, look, I don’t know what I’d say to the kids, to me specifically, but I think with a lot of kids, younger people, I see a lot of young people just struggle and you don’t need to make this a living. A lot of people that do make this a living, literally their spare time is drawing if for you, drawing is like, oh, you feel accomplished and you feel you’ve done work while drawing. Double check if you want to do it. If you keep asking yourself, oh, how do you get inspiration? I’m like, I don’t know, just do.

I can’t leave the house without having something to draw on it. There was before digital stuff, I had my sketchbooks, I never left house a sketchbook. And now I draw with my finger on my phone if there’s nothing else. But usually an iPad comes along with me anywhere I go just to have something ideas jot down or I’ve got in the middle of things I can always work on. And I dunno, it’s really just sometimes I think about it, just the reality of working in the entertainment industry, it’s not financially good. It’s super risky. And to be honest, especially if you’re doing, a lot of people in this business really take advantage of the fact that this is, your dream is to be in this so they can get you to do top work for a lot of hours for little money. And you can’t fight it because there’s another guy who was, if you’re not willing to do it, there’s another guy to do it. And you need to question yourself, is this the life you really want? And sometimes I go through phases where like, oh, normal job would’ve been better. I was working in hospitality. If I would’ve pursued that for 20 years, that’s also an interesting stuff. I worked in a hotel before Disney. It was juggling between caricaturing and working in a hotel. That was the thing. So I don’t know exactly how to answer that question. I’m sure the young version of me is, why is this old, this middle aged man just yelling, talking to me, I’m just got to leave.

Leigh Chalker (02:24:58):
Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess as you just said then too, man, I suppose what you’re getting to is drawing

Alex Major (02:25:08):
Is I have no regrets. I have no regret.

Leigh Chalker (02:25:11):
Isn’t it drawing at the end of the day, regardless of where your career heads, I mean you were talking about you carry a pen, a pad, like paper, sketch pads around with you. I mean, drawing is just a compulsive thing. It’s something that people that like to draw will do. Whether you are just sitting down drawing on a newspaper or a notepad or you’re spending 10 hours alone in a room listening to podcast, drawing for relaxation and skills and stuff, that is just something you’ll do.

Alex Major (02:25:44):
Yeah, I mean, I have no regrets of that choice, but I’m just saying that people need to understand that when you do this, there’s nothing wrong with it. And it’s great. I’ve done a lot of some, but for a lot of people, I reckon they come into their, because the other thing you need to remember when you get into this thing, you need to be useful for somebody else. I haven’t made much money with my own creations, but people needed an animator, people needed an artist, people needed posters, people needed caricatures. And there were just other stuff that people needed. And eventually that’s also, that’s the reality of it. And you need to be prepared for it. And I remember one advice I got, I was 19 years old and I working because I was like, I always wanted an agency to represent me and find me work.

I’m not a good salesperson. And there was a drawing agency called the Drawing book and there was a guy called there, Patrick, and I remember he told me, he was like, look man, you can try some stuff out. He gave me some books to look at, but he says, look, the people that come to me, he’s like, look, I dunno why he specified a race, but he said, look at these Asian kids always drawing in their books. They’re just drawing people, drawing in the band. Nobody’s prompting them, they’re just drawing all the time. He’s like, I don’t see that in your work. So that was that. And then also when I went to Disney, I remember at Disney, they don’t want to look at your cartoon drawings, they just want to see your life drawings. They push life drawing. So I got live drawing now. I draw real people and stuff. That’s not my pleasure drawings, but I mean enjoy it. You kind of learn it. So I’d probably be rambling like this to the young myself and he’d be sleeping someplace.

Leigh Chalker (02:27:39):
Wow, mate. That’s pretty good advice there though, from someone who’s been around and knows what they’re doing and is still doing it. So mate, thank you very much for the chinwag tonight. I do apologize that I wasn’t as bubbly as what I usually am. It’s just I’ve been a little bit under the weather for

Alex Major (02:27:58):
The last Me too man. Got a dry throat and I got my stuff. So that whole not going through teenage thing, still going through puberty thing. Yeah, it’s not just the hair, it’s the voice and the noise as well.

Leigh Chalker (02:28:14):
Yeah. Well this week I can definitely sympathize, man.

Alex Major (02:28:19):
Not with the hair. You can’t. No, I But you can’t. But you got sideburns. You got sideburns.

Leigh Chalker (02:28:25):
Now that I know you can’t grow any man, I might just grow them outwards and just have bigger and tie ’em up in knots and platinum. Just to tease you mate, the next time I see you,

Alex Major (02:28:35):
I just thinking the way you did your hairs, it looked like you just want it to be a motorbike so somebody gets on your back and then just holds onto your sideburns and just,

Leigh Chalker (02:28:46):
Yeah. Yeah. See we could do that. I mean that could be a whole new character there, man. Sideburns and sideburn, sideburns. It’s just the way it is. But Alex, we can see some of your stuff Friday night drink and draws. Alex is a regular, for anyone that doesn’t know, Alex has a couple of stories in Comex presents Issue three, I believe it’s available in the Comex shop, you’ve heard? Yeah, you’re in a Ver Moose coming up. So that should be available pretty soon. Good day. A bit late to the stream, Tom McGee. That’s all right buddy. We’re still nice work you s thank you very much, Nick. May,

Alex Major (02:29:27):
Doesn’t that make us wives of football players?

Leigh Chalker (02:29:31):
Well, we could be wives of football players if you wish, in another life, I’m not sure, but

Alex Major (02:29:37):
I’m just think somebody’s accusing us of being

Leigh Chalker (02:29:39):
One of those apparently. I’m not really sure. But sure, in another parallel universe, we could be wives of footballers. So sure, that could be another comic book character there too. Men and the wife of a Footballer with a Beard. Alright, so everyone out there, don’t forget to like and subscribe com, X across YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and all the places you can find them. Don’t forget to like and subscribe Aussie verse across YouTube, TikTok and Instagram and anywhere else you can find them. Support the local community that bring you fun things to do well about comic books and entertainment. And the more likes and subscribes we get, the more the tree grows so it’s healthier and healthier. It attracts more people that are like-minded and builds a community, which is the number one thing and helps promote Australian comic books, which is the number one aim for X and Aussie verse. So as always, I’m just trying to think here, because I do have a flu. I’m a little bit slack with my brain this week.

Everyone will always hear me say this, but comics and myself are pretty big advocates for mental health. Look after yourself and if you look after yourself, then you can look after others around you. If you are under any stress or aren’t feeling too well, reach out to some Healthline numbers and helpline numbers and talk to someone, talk to your friends, let ’em know how you’re feeling. Get a little bit vulnerable. Sometimes we hold things inside that we need to let out, and it’s better out than in a constructive way and a helpful and a pleasant way that makes you a better person and helps the people around you. So look after your mental health out there in this crazy world again, like and subscribe. Everything now, chinwag is made with love and I wish you all very good evening and see you back at seven 30 next Tuesday night for Stu Thornton, Alex Major. Thank you my man. I’ll catch you. Oh, thanks

Alex Major (02:31:54):
For having me. It was great chatting with you, Lee, and see you on Friday.

Leigh Chalker (02:31:59):
No worries. All right, community as Unity. See you later. Bye-Bye.

Voice Over (02:32:05):
This show is sponsored by the Comex Shop. Check out Comex CX for all things Comex, and find out what Comex is all about. We hope you enjoy.


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