Louie Joyce

Main Guest

Louie Joyce

The roller blading, amazing art drawing, all round awesome humaning. I Present LOUIE JOYCE!! (crowd goes wild…. or at least Siz does) See you all tonight.

Click Here to find out more about Louie Joyce

Transcription Below

(text may contain errors)

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

Leigh Chalker (00:26):
All right, good day. Welcome to another episode of Tuesday Chinwag. So my name is Lee er. I’m the creator of the independent Australian comic book Battle for Bustle, published through X. And look, there’s a couple of things we’ll run through this evening before we introduce our guests. So when we put up the little yellow ticker box that runs across the bottom, you will see a couple of addresses because Chinwag is simultaneously livecast across two channels. Now one channel is Comex. So let me discuss Comex with you briefly. Comex is a community that’s basically split into three sections. So there is a community where people get together like-minded interests, and they discuss many things, learn things, talk comics, shoot the breeze, and basically get to know each other. There is also the live streaming section, which Chinwag is a part of. There is also the just finished great show.

Let’s make a comic book. There’s the ACOM X Show and there’s also the classic Friday night drink and draw. And there is also the Comex Studio. So Comex Studio is a group of Australian creators that create comic books and put them out under the comic studio system. And you’ll see the comic studio people around Australia comic book inventions for the rest of the year. And the comic shop is the most important thing because everyone in Australia that does independent comic books or comic books that wants a place to sell their comic books online can go to the comic shop, which is the sponsor of this show. And for a $9 flat rate, you can buy one comic, you can buy 50 comics. You don’t even have to buy my comic. You just buy somebody’s comic because spread the love is the best thing. Put in on people’s in their hands and let ’em do their thing, man, and be creative and it’s all good because that just creates such good stuff.

So the other channel that you’re going to be on if you are watching is Aussie verse. Now Aussie verse is an Australian group of guys that look after all things comic in a pop cultural sense. They have, let me see here, what do they have interviews with people. They have clips of bands, they have live shows which are fun. They create their own teams. They have customs. They talk about the new comics that are coming out. They just love this stuff. They’re oozing stuff, man, I hope you’ve poly sealed your computer because the love just pumps out of that thing. Then. So get on and have a look at both of those guys, the channels, because there’s lots of content and you may find something that you like. So the most important thing as well is to like and subscribe them anywhere. You can find them.

They’re on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram and all other places in between if you like and you subscribe. You get the little bell that reminds you the shows are coming. And with the likes and subscribes, it’s like a tree. You water the tree with the likes and subscribes. It grows, spreads the love, and it reaches more people and alerts ’em to Australian comic books and makes people aware that there’s a really hum and industry out there of Australian creatives that are working their tails off to bring you some good stuff. Alright, so for anyone who hasn’t seen the show, the show is based on who, what, where, when, why, and how. Sometimes we get through these questions, other times we do not. This show is fluid. I like it being fluid because I think that’s the best way to go. We can go left, we can go right up or down all places in between and who knows where. We’ll take it. And all comments are welcome. So do feel free to flick up some comments. So after that very long introduction, which I think I might be getting better at and winding it down, I’m going to introduce tonight’s guest because he’s a dude that I’ve wanted to meet for a long time. I’ve liked his artwork. I see he’s a busy man, he’s a hard worker, and dude, he’s friendly, he’s smiling, he’s always happy, and that’s the best way to be. And that is Mr. Louis Joyce. How are you mate?

Louie Joyce (04:39):
I’m very well, Lee. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. Yeah, and think you did a great job on that intro. It was perfect.

Leigh Chalker (04:49):
Yeah. Thank you, man. Thank you. They’re different every week I just roll the dice, man. Do you know what I mean? I can try and just do it. It’s one of those weird things, man. I have a couple of little notes, but then generally I just try and ad lib. So

Louie Joyce (05:06):
Yeah, off the cuff, that’s generally how I approach things as well.

Leigh Chalker (05:10):
Yeah, yeah. I think Mel, I reckon it just adds a little bit of spice and a little bit of pizazz to things, man, because a little bit too much regimentally gets a little bit dull sometimes. If you’re a bit off the cuff, you sort of, I guess, living on the edge a little bit, man.

Louie Joyce (05:32):
Yeah, it can go really, really right. It could go wrong, but it can go really, really right. And most of the time it does.

Leigh Chalker (05:39):
Yeah, yeah. See the fun part is man, the fact that disaster is only such a short distance away. So we’ll just see how it rock and rolls. Alright, so we will get our festivities underway now, Mr. Joyce, I’m going to come in for the very first question that I always ask people and you answer it any way you wish, my friend.

Louie Joyce (06:08):

Leigh Chalker (06:09):

Louie Joyce (06:14):
Doctor? Who can’t be the first person to have said that. I think

Leigh Chalker (06:21):
You might be actually, I think you might be, mate. So

Louie Joyce (06:25):
I’m not even a doctor who fan, so I’m surprised by that. But who? I’m Louis. I’m Louis. I’m a comic artist, an illustrator based in Wollongong. Yeah, I’ve been making comics and making pictures since I was a little kid and I love doing it and that’s kind of what I do. What else? A rollerblading enthusiast is generally what I call it. So I love rollerblading, I love skating. That’s defining a lot of my passion and my interest at the moment these days. I’m a family man. I got three kids, a beautiful wife, just getting by day to day really, and enjoying as much of what life throws at me as I can.

Leigh Chalker (07:21):
Yeah, yeah, no, that sounds like you’ve got a pretty good little wicket there, man. And you’re happy, you’re smiling like a Cheshire cat there, mate. So it’s,

Louie Joyce (07:31):
It’s chaos. It’s like my life is chaos all the time, especially three young kids. But it’s entertaining chaos and it’s great chaos and it’s chaotic chaos. But it’s good. It’s hard not to smile.

Leigh Chalker (07:50):
Yeah, yeah. No, that’s good man. That’s good. I like that. It’s Nick May. Hello Lee and Louie, have a great chat. Thank you Nick. Thank you for your constant support. Peter Lane, Goodday, guys, good on your buddy. Thank you. Nice to see you all. Hello Dave Die. Lovely fellow Dave Di. Oh Ben Sullivan. Great to see you back, Lee. Hello Louie. Hello Ben. And congratulations on all your God amongst men success that you guys are having on your Kickstarter over there. So yeah mate, I like happy. I think happy is a good place to be. Louie, I see your art popping up on my socials and stuff and absent-minded. Hi guys. Hello mate. How are you? And I like the vibrancy of it, man. So at some point tonight when we roll further into the conversation, one of the things that I particularly like about creativity is the fact that people’s uniqueness comes through in what they do and their personality.

And from already having spoken to you previously before we started Chinwag. So max half hour, I’m gauged on you and your happiness, your light, your colorful nature, and your big old happy smile mate on the artwork that you’re putting out because it does have a pop feel to it and I like it. Oh, thank you very much. No, that’s cool man. That’s cool. So I’m going to, Louis, we’re going to test your memory here, man, and I’m willing to bet that you’re probably going to do better than me. My memory is not particularly good. Sometimes it’s not. This is the fluidity of the show. So let’s test you out, man. Let’s flex those mu,

Louie Joyce (09:49):
We’ll see how you go. I dunno how good my memory is, but we’ll

Leigh Chalker (09:52):
See. No, that’s cool. Well, hey, we were talking about walking on the Edge, man, so let’s just, let’s see how we rock and roll. Let’s go back to Little Louie and where’d you grow up? How did you fall in love with drawing comics, rollerblading, skateboarding? What are the things that put you on the path, man?

Louie Joyce (10:21):
Yeah, I mean it’s hard because I’ve said this kind of story a whole bunch of times over the years.

Leigh Chalker (10:30):
Well, you haven’t said it to me man.

Louie Joyce (10:32):
I know, I know. But sometimes it’s hard to know or it’s easy to forget the actual memory and just remember the story that you’ve told over and over again. You know what I mean? And to be honest, I don’t really remember the first moment of loving drawing or the first discovery of comics. Some people can say, someone handed me a copy of uncanny X-Men, yada yada, and that was it. I was hooked. But I don’t remember a specific comic that made me fall in love with the medium. I don’t remember a specific moment of drawing and being, wow, this is it. This is incredible, this is what I want to do. But I think a lot of kids, I just really love drawing from a really early age, and I’ve seen that with my own kids. There’s something really powerful even at a really young age.

The fact it’s one of the early moments of creating something as an individual. You have a surface or piece of paper or a wall as often or something they’re not supposed to be drawing on, but you have this thing and they have this thing in their hand and they put the two together and they make a mark. And I’ve seen in my kids’ eyes this widening moment of I did that, I made that happen. And I think that’s a really kind of powerful thing about drawing that kids really glom onto at an early age. And certainly I did. So I think I was just drawing for ages and comics were something that was around from an early age for me. So my dad collected comics, my mom would draw little comic strips, they’re both creatives, they’re both writers and storytellers and stuff. So it was a creative ish environment and certainly having comics around at an early age and loving drawing.

And I guess having some basic understanding of the fact that a comic is at a base level drawing meant that I was just immediately kind of hooked on it as an object. It’s so accessible as well. It’s so easy to, even if you can’t read, you look at the pictures, you understand, you put the pieces of the puzzle together. So comics were just around from a really early age and I just completely fell in love with them. And that was it really. And this is all led to where I am now, but for the most part I just loved the colorful, the vibrancy on the pages, the colors, the stories, the characters, the marks, all this kind of stuff. And I love drawing and comics were a fun experience, but also they were kind of a classroom or a teacher as a kid. So much of my early drawing skills were developed from just copying panels straight out of a comic copying pages or characters or specific drawings or stuff. And then as I got older, starting to realize and pay attention to the way that different artists would draw different things, whether it’s just a brick wall or trees or how they would use lines to describe form and create a sense of three dimensionality or whatever it is they were doing. But yeah, comics were, they just had so much to offer. I think they still do, but they definitely still do. But certainly at a young age they just had so much to offer and I really loved that about them. So yeah,

Leigh Chalker (14:27):
I think that’s beautiful, man. I think you struck a chord with me there because similar path with too, dad collected comic books with your mom and dad and just said that they were creative in their own way and your mum was always doing comic book strips and things like that. That was obviously a passion for them to begin with and that passion has flowed over into you as a young fellow. And when I also was dad a collector or dad was an artist sort of type or mom was a collector and the writer, how did that?

Louie Joyce (15:20):
Dad was a collector. They’re both writers and my dad worked in theater for most of my life and he’s always been a writer slash storyteller. My mom is a writer, a musician, a performer. So they’re both very much storytellers but skewing more towards the writing side of things, not so much the visual art drawing side of things. My mom would draw little cartoony drawings and comic strips, which I think in a lot of ways were inspired by drawings that her mom would sometimes do and sketches that her mom would do. So I think I see that kind of lineage there. But my dad was definitely the comic collector and he still is. He had a very eclectic collection and a lot of it for a long time I was way too young or just too young to appreciate all the great stuff that he had until now, really in recent years where I’m slowly just stealing bits of his collection,

Leigh Chalker (16:30):
Just leave the house with a box. It’s like, Hey Louis, I had 30 boxes, mate, I’m down to 12

Louie Joyce (16:36):
It, it’s pretty much what I do. Just don’t tell him. No, he knows. He knows. And he does the same to me now as well. So it goes back and forth. But so he collected and he really would read a lot of the underground and alternative comics, so the Hernandez Brothers and Love and Rockets and Alan Moore and Swamp Thing and Frank Miller and he would have all that stuff, which is all really amazing. But as a young kid, I was just like, comics are incredible. And I really glommed on to the superhero aesthetic, that kind of world and those kind of colorful characters. And so I didn’t pay much attention to a lot of the stuff he had,

Although that being said, certain things would break through Lone Wolf and Cub. I read at way Too Early an age, but I can still track the influence of reading that at a young age through to where I am now and the way that I try attempt to make comics and convey motion and things like that. So yeah, he was a collector. They’re both still creative. There was a lot of that in the house, although in the houses my parents were split, so I would spend a lot of time going between the two. I grew up in Newcastle, which is where my dad lived, and my mom was in Sydney and I have an older sister. And so we would kind of go back and forth and sometimes we’re living at one house and sometimes we’d be split living with different parents. And so there was a lot of drives between Sydney and Newie, and I would always have a stack of comics to take in the car with me and read on those drives. When I say they had a lot of value for me that was like, it’s very multifaceted. They were very much a companion,

Leigh Chalker (18:42):
Sentimental and in nature and stuff. No man, I totally believe it or not, mate, I 100% completely understand, man. It sounds. Would I be remiss in thinking that your love of comic books, the love of probably having that connection with the comic books to your dad and the love of drawing that was given to you by your mom, I guess, and it all sort of molds together and things with your burgeoning love of art and color and the superheroes and that, was that a release for young Louis at that stage you felt that possibly is some of where the connection came into your drawing and stuff?

Louie Joyce (19:39):
Yeah, definitely. I think so. I think that it was a very consistent, safe space for me to escape into that wouldn’t change regardless of some of the stuff that’s changing around me at times. And that was comforting. And yet knowing and seeing the things that my parents were doing and the way that they were interacting with this idea of telling stories and not that I don’t know that I really register that then, but I think looking back at it, it was definitely, that was a space where I could be like, oh yeah, I want to do stuff like that and I can do it through this medium that I love.

Leigh Chalker (20:32):
But man, I definitely get you because I had similar, dad was the comic collector was not an artist. My mother is very, very handy at drawing, painting, hasn’t given herself enough time at it, but if you need her to do something or assist in a very creative crafty way, very hands-on can do, it was very much encouraged from a young fella to draw because I was, I’m not now, but I was at that age similar age as I guess we’re talking about and only child, and was like, you found a solace and a comfort in not quite being able to articulate what was going on around me in the world, you know what I mean? But to have those comic books and you could sit on the bed just by yourself in your own little world and you become one with those characters and then you want to draw ’em. And then there’s a character that you gravitate to and you start with your foregrounds, the character. And then slowly as you were saying, you start noticing different, I don’t have to draw bricks, like the bricks that are in my wall. You know what I mean? What is this crazy thing? I’m going to try that. And it just releases a whole lot of tension, I guess, man, when you’re a young fellow, when you can create your own world, I guess, man. Totally.

Which is something I think I’ll shoot at you here, because I always thought drawing was the thing for me and I myself as a painter more than a drawer, I’ve since realized there is not much separation between either medium. For me, it’s a release, so therefore the creativity, which has been the one fundamental thing throughout my life, ups and downs, peaks and troughs, and that people come and go, people stay, that sort of thing. Drawing creativity has kept me going. And do you find that for you where you are now in life, even you found that that’s still ingrained in you. You have those moments and it’s like you pick up that pen and you just sit there and just do your thing?

Louie Joyce (23:25):
Yeah, yeah, definitely. I think I’ve often said that I’m kind of addicted to drawing. If I don’t do it for a while, I start to feel fidgety. I start to feel a lack of something.

Yeah, it’s just something that, it feels like an integral part of my being now how I process things and events and places and just unwind from all the stuff that’s happening around me sometimes. And it being my job that has been hard for a long time. I didn’t think I going to, I would’ve proclaimed way back when I was a child that I would be a comic artist, but that never really was a possibility for me for a long time. And I never, I love drawing, but I was never the most gifted or objectively the best. It’s hard to quantify that stuff, but there were always other kids that could draw more realistically or other kids that I hung out with that would be better graph than me. I’d never thought I was the best drawer or most creatively interesting or not interesting, most gifted person around.

So I think for a long time it wasn’t really a thing that I thought would ever happen in terms of making comics. There were little things along the way that just kept encouraging me to keep doing it. And certainly going to a zine fair was huge. So would’ve been one of the Tina zine fairs in Newcastle years ago where I met, I think Tim McEwen and Maddie Huon was there. So I met a bunch of creators that were doing it, and that was eyeopening because then it wasn’t like famous people overseas or mythical beings like Jack Kirby or whoever it is that are making comics. It’s like some dude that lives around the corner that is doing it and it looks amazing and they’re getting it out there. And so that was hugely influential for me. But I went through, for years, I just worked in graphic design and kind of whatever jobs, and I still kept drawing.

There’s something about it that I just really love doing, and I think that it was so ingrained into how I process the world. And it was my wife, girlfriend then who found the course at Design Center Andmore, the Enmore tafe. She found an illustration course and she was like, you should just give it a go. And it was a really great course. And it was since that, doing that course that I was able to work professionally as an illustrator, so freelance. And then I really started focusing on making comics in that time. And for a long time I was just making comics in my spare time, but now it’s gotten to the point where it’s a large part of my actual work. So it’s been a long, long journey to get where I am. And the main reason that I really got here is just that I never really fully stopped drawing because I think it’s that thing you’re saying that it’s just a part of how you process, how you express yourself and something I just feel like I need to do a bit.

Leigh Chalker (27:15):
Do you feel after, because do you ever stop to reflect on that journey to where you are now? Sometimes.

Louie Joyce (27:25):
Sometimes it’s not really that much time to stop and reflect on stuff these days.

Leigh Chalker (27:30):
Three kids, a wife, you’re busy, mate. You’d have a few little moments there where you’d kick back and go, whoa, okay.

Louie Joyce (27:39):
Yeah, I do. I feel very lucky to be where I am. I also am understanding of how much work it’s taken, and in a lot of ways, the various sacrifices you have to make, you don’t earn a lot of money in comics. You don’t make comics if that’s what you want to do. So there’s a lot more of ways to have financial security and all of these things in other industries, even within illustration. But so there are decisions that you make and that are based on various things at various times in your life and they change and they’re fluid. But yeah, so yeah, I do reflect sometimes, but most of the time I just am happy to get on with whatever I’m trying to get done

Leigh Chalker (28:34):
At the stage. Yeah, no, no, I like that. I think one thing that I learned, I haven’t been doing this, I’ve been drawing my whole life too and had want to do this, want to do that, but life pulled me in different directions for varying other reasons, but I kept drawing, you know what I mean? It wasn’t as often as say you, but if my mum was in the room, for example, when I was a young fella, much to what you were saying, if I hadn’t drawn for three or four days, mom would be very much like, what’s wrong? And I’d be like, what do you mean? She’s like, I haven’t seen you pick up a pencil and sit down. What’s wrong? And I’m like, I don’t know. It might’ve been trouble at school, it might’ve been trouble with the girl. It might’ve been, yeah, God knows for whatever reason it was.

But from a very early age, I guess it was identifiable to those people around me that it was something that I had do as well. And just purely the reason why I ask you about just if you’ve had time to reflect on your journey, then we’ll get more into some details and stuff with you soon. But I just, yeah, I’ve been on a journey. It’s been a journey and lots of things have provided me with time to be rather introspective and reflective of my course of how I am here in this moment as well. You said something about we connect you and I on the drive, it’s almost in the blood, this shit, man. Do you know what I mean? You just stop. Even though some people wonder why you’re doing it. Probably those that know your best know you need to do it.

But the one thing that just resonated with me, what you said is, and not to scare people off or not to freak people out, but this is the chinwag. Chinwag is a fluid and just a conversation and where my mind’s going right now and the weird term events of thought processes and that sacrifice it to create even one comic book, the sacrifices that, and it is possibly every sacrifice. You could think, Louis, you may agree or disagree, but staying at home, not being able to go to your favorite football match or hang out with your mates and do those things because you’ve got to get this thing done. You dunno why you’ve got to get it done. You just know you’ve got to get it done. It’s the most important thing to you. And I like the fact that you’ve alluded to you also feeling like that man, because with that, you would’ve questioned yourself a few times. I’m assuming, why am I doing this to myself Every time? Every time. Yeah. Yeah, man, I had those questions yesterday, man. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Myself and then just sort of pushing ’em back, man. I think sometimes to a degree you get so far down the track man and there’s no turning back, but do you know what I mean? It’s just like this is the road, man, so I’ve got to take it, grab that machete and just carve this sucker out.

You were saying before, because I reckon for me, I don’t have kids, man. You’re the second person that I’ve come across doing these chin wags. And these are just little things that I like to meeting people and I don’t have kids, but one of the things that I would’ve always liked to have been able to do with kids is sat with them drawing, not even teaching, just seeing that wide eyed, wow, there’s creativity and time to yourself, that moment of meditation and quiet and calm and just in the stream of conscious sort of flow of creativity and all that. Do you find that uplifting man when one of your little tech is a pumping out some good stuff? Yeah,

Louie Joyce (33:26):
Absolutely. Yeah, because it is really such a nice thing when you just get into a vibe of everyone sitting around a table and just drawing something and then everyone’s drawing something else or everyone’s trying to draw the same thing, whatever it is. But everyone’s in that kind of frame of mind and they’re all having a really good time. And it is lovely. It’s not always like that though. Half the time it is me, them demanding that I draw with them and then taking the pencils out as soon as I grab a pencil, they want that pencil, and then I’ve got to grab an knife and then they want that pencil. And so sometimes it’s like, and that can be fun too, but it’s changed over the kids’ ages and where they’re at developmentally and stuff like that. But we’ve had great periods where I’ve just had a two sketchbook that I’ll put out and we’ll just all sit there and we’ve filled up pages of that and that’s really fun.

And we make zines together and things like that. And in fact, I guess it must be over the past four to five years, I’ve gone through quite a stylistic shift in my work, and I credit that to a few things. But one of the things is that just drawing with my kids, which really shitty colored pencils and just having to work fast before they rip that pencil out of my hand and then all just having to grab another color. And really as I’m drawing, I still really get into it. And I really started just focusing on shapes and angles and things like that. And that translated back into my creative practice, my approach to drawing in my work and my comics. And you can definitely see that in my work now. My work has incredibly stylized over the past few years. So just that simple act of sitting down and drawing with my kids, I do credit largely with that stylistic kind of shift that my work has taken under. So it is a really nice thing to do. Sometimes it ends in tears for everyone because some kid wants the sketchbook and a huge fight will break out or whatever it is. But there are those golden moments where we’re all just drawing and it’s beautiful.

Leigh Chalker (36:09):
Yeah, I think that is lovely, man. It’s also nice to think that you can learn lessons from anywhere, can’t you? Who would’ve thought that you would credit those beautiful moments that with refining and possibly defining your art style, where you are now to those family moments and things? Because I find that portion of your tail quite uplifting at this moment, man, because I like the idea of that the communal learn together bond over those sorts of things. You know what I mean? Talking, learning, seeing, evolving together and things like that. And I think that’s what art is all about. And I also think it’s lovely that you can learn anything from anywhere, can’t you? You know what I mean? If you just keep your eyes open for that magic man, do you know what I mean? It just starts flowing on you and you don’t even realize that it’s happening and things like that.

Even textures and things like that, man, all the things you do learn, it’s really quite strange sometimes. Sometimes sitting down by myself in a room, you know what I mean? Drawing and pondering over, is that right? Is that wrong? And doubting yourself sometimes the act of just, I guess, devolving as an adult into that mindset of a child and just let flow man let it go, and that’s it. It’s an out bush and she’s done. And yeah, it’s cool because there’s no judgment, there’s no competition. Like you were saying before when young and you were younger, you were suggesting there were people that could draw better than you and people that could be a little bit, maybe their anatomy was better, maybe they understood storytelling a little bit better. But I would, man, I would ask you this, they still drawing.

Louie Joyce (38:24):
I have no idea. I dunno. I

Leigh Chalker (38:28):
Hope so. I hope so. It’s hard work. You are, man. This is one thing because I dunno, with Chinwag, I love meeting people like creators, obviously our love of comic books and things, but I think that the best story is your story, the story of the creator. And that’s why I love doing chin lags. So I don’t really vet, for example, I don’t go and like, oh, this person does that, and I go back into people’s histories before I meet them. I like a fresh take, if you know what I mean, a hundred percent respect. And you talk and your gas bag and you talk about things on a mutual level. One thing I did notice though, a couple of probably maybe a month, six weeks ago when I first reached out to you, I thought about your ages. This is what happens with chinwag.

I think about people and I’ve got lists. This is who I want to have on chinwag and I want to meet, and everything’s fluid. Sometimes it’s like, I wanted you 20 weeks ago, but times don’t work dates and times and that, and I was pondering, I was like, and you keep an eye just through socials on, you’re at this convention or you’re at that gathering, you are here. And I remember thinking to myself when we were first talking, I was like, man, Louie gets around. You know what I mean? He got a couple of comic books out. I didn’t realize there were so many. And I went on this little search and I came across, I can’t remember the actual event, but man, I’m pretty sure it was 2015, 2016, and you were a guest at a convention and you were one of, it’s not an exact number, but let’s just say 20 people that had their profile images on there, these people are attending and stuff.

And I was looking at this poster and I recognized you. I recognized Darren Close, and I recognized Stuart Black and there was not another person. And no disrespect to any of these people, this is just part of the story of my recollection. You three were the only ones that I recognized out of that group, and this was a Melbourne show or a Sydney show, so it wasn’t like a town show. And I was like, wow, Louie has been, and I was like, Louie, man, you’ve been shoveling, man. You’ve been working back for that. I had no concept that you’d been around for such a long time. The first

Louie Joyce (41:33):
Comic convention I did would’ve been, I think it was the very first Comic Gong, which is the Wollongong show that happened, and that was in 2013.

That was a tiny show at Carmel Carmel Library. And I’d finished studying in 2012, I think, studying illustrations, but I’d done zine fairs before that. So I’d been doing the MCA Zine Fair for years, and just selling really very small mini comics and really DIY Z. Once I did this course in illustration, then I really started to focus on doing some more comic stuff. I think the first comic I did would’ve been, well, the first more main Streamy type thing was a Kroo story that I did with Ryan K. Lindsay, and that must have been in 2013. That must have been in 2013.

Leigh Chalker (42:37):
What was that in? What was that book?

Louie Joyce (42:41):
I don’t even know which, I can’t remember which one it was in. It was an anthology.

Leigh Chalker (42:47):
Was it the Gang War’s anthology?

Louie Joyce (42:50):
Yeah. Maybe it was like a 13 page short story about this mad scientist spikey who was trying to create a Frankenstein monster. It was a lot of fun and led to a really great working relationship, collaborative relationship, and really, really great friendship with Ryan Lindsay, who we’ve collaborated on a bunch of comics together, and he’s a sick mate. So it all kind of started there, and that was one of the key missing, or one of the missing ingredients for me. I think prior to, I was making zines and writing my own little mini comics and stuff, but delving into the collaborative side of comics was really, really beneficial. It formed these great relationships. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. It allowed me a space to really push my work to another level that I was, or whatever level I was striving for it to get to.

So yeah, that was really good. Yeah, so I started doing cons, I think around then Supernovas, and I don’t think a Comic-Con was even around back then, or maybe it was, I can’t remember. It’s a while. It’s 10 years ago now, which is crazy. So yeah, I’ve been doing ’em for a while, and I sort to self-publish my own little books like Mishmash and Hodgepodge with these don’t have any within Reach, little just magazines. I would do that, would have short comics in them. Some were fully my own, some were collaborative comics, and it just slowly built from there. Working with Ryan, he’s a great writer and he’s done a whole bunch of stuff, and he knows a lot of people internationally as well. He was going overseas and doing overseas. He went to, I want to say New York or maybe San Diego, ComicCon, one of those big ones.

I’ve never gone over to any of those. It was through him knowing Paul Allo, a writer based in the states that linked me and Paul up, which led to me doing Past The Last Mountain, which was, I guess it felt like my first real comics gig. It was a four issue miniseries. There was originally another artist on board, but he had to drop out. So I kind of came in late and worked with a layout artist named Gannon Beck, who was another incredible, incredible illustrator, amazing storyteller in his own. So I learned so much working on that book and working over the top of his layouts out.

And again, it just snowballed from there. There was that comic that then a couple of years later got the attention of Norm Harper, who approached me about illustrating this graphic novel he’d written called Hap Haven, which is, I should have had some of these, I don’t have them, which was the next big kind of project comics project that I did that was a standalone graphic novel, all ages of story. And at the time, my el son was two, I think, when I was working on that, running around the house behind me. And that was really a special job. I knew making that comic, that it would be a book that I’d be able to read with him and a few short years, and I could already see so much of his personality coming out that I was able to put a lot of that into the character of Alex, the main character in the book. Yeah. So yeah, I’ve been around for a while. I guess mean it depends on your scale, on your,

Leigh Chalker (46:58):
Yeah. Oh man, I don’t keep scales. I really just thought like, wow, this dude’s just put in so much work. And then I’m like,

Louie Joyce (47:14):
I love doing conventions because they are rejuvenating in a lot of ways. They’re absolutely exhausting in a lot of ways, but they are inspiring and rejuvenating, and you meet so many people, you get to talk directly to people about your work, which often you can sit in a room and for however long a year making a comic and be so obsessed with just the making of the book that you don’t, and you’re not talking to anyone about it. You don’t really get time to formulate thoughts about what that book means to you or what it represents or what you love about it, or what you hope people will find in it. Being a comic convention, it’s a weird thing, like a sales thing. I’m trying to sell you a product, but also it’s actually a space where a lot of really honest interactions and spontaneous interactions happen with all types of people, not just comic geeks or cosplayers or, it’s like all kinds of people are at these events, and you get to discuss of all ages as well, and you get to discuss your work with them, and often they might say, ask questions that you would never have thought to ask or say really nice things or whatever it is.

So yeah, I’ve continued doing comic conventions this whole time just because also catching up with friends, the networking aspect of it, and they’re meeting up with people. I say Ryan is a really good mate of mine, but we only ever hang out at comic conventions, but that is, we’ve formed a really great friendship through all that. So I love doing him,

Leigh Chalker (49:15):
I guess. Yeah, between you and he. Yeah. That’s really, really nice story, man. I like the thoughtfulness of it because I like the fact that, again, you’re surprising me here, Louie, I’m enjoying listening to you, man, because even when you just said then, the 12 months working on a comic book, and that’s where we touched on earlier, you would have those moments of exaltation, but you’d also have those moments of self-doubt. But then even though you said you don’t get much time to reflect, you’re sort of reflecting now on the fact that your eldest son is, his characteristics are deeply interwoven into Alex, the main character of that book. So forever, link forever, you’ll have those moments, those moments, and you can go back and read it if you’ve read it. And look, man, Louis, I’m enjoying what you are talking about, man, because to me, I think that anyone that’s listened to me gas bag on these channels knows how much I love the comic book Medium in general.

I think it’s the perfect blend of art story. It allows the reader to add their own theater emotions, the theater of the mind. Absolutely. You know what I mean? And ebb and flow. And it’s very, it can bring the person that’s holding it into their hand. And there are lovely, there’s so many lovely differences to comic books too. You can have the genres that are involved from detective stories to slice of life stories, to fantasy to adventure and all these things. There’s so many different genres for everyone and each and every one of us. But you were mentioning, I want to get to, I’ve got a fascination and a mad respect for people that started kicking with like minis, right? And your home stuff. One of my great mates, Ryan Valla, been doing this stuff since 1994, and that dude will pump out comic books pretty much at the library, like photocopy a man, staple him and go out and sell ’em and send them around.

And so many other people, Nick May, who’s watching does Minis, like Neil Blandon does. There’s dozens of people out there that do ’em, that hands on, not going to printers. I’ll do it myself. I just want to get it out, was that it’s a ballsy move, but for people, I don’t think people give the groundwork of minis enough credit to creators because it does build encouragement, but it builds encouragement in two ways to work on your art and your storytelling, but it also builds encouragement to have that piece of product in your hand. So this is attainable. Do you know what I mean? So what’s the next step? What age were you when you decided you wanted to start pumping out minis mate before you even looked at your graphic designing? I’m assuming, were you younger than geographic?

Louie Joyce (52:59):
I was younger than that. I think I went to a zine making workshop years ago at the Palai Theater in Newcastle.

I was in early high school, I think around this time. So it must’ve been like 12, 13 or something. And it was just a zine making workshop, and it was a lot of fun. And that was actually a experience because I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I felt maybe a bit intimidated. There was a lot of people doing stuff, but I was there with my dad and he came up with some ideas for stories, and we just kind of made these little zines, one of which actually was called Skating into Oblivion, if I remember correctly. And it was all about skating.

I hadn’t thought of that. So yeah, it was around that time. And then going to the zine fair aspect of those events was really inspiring, as I mentioned before. And so for me, that seemed just a much more attainable and achievable level of doing something. And I’d certainly tried doing bigger stuff as well. I’m pretty sure I tried making a graphic novel adaptation of the movie Romeo Must Die, which is like a kung fu film Jet Lee from the early two thousands. Yeah, jet Lee and Elia Aaliyah, amazing film. It’s so good. It’s so good. I love that film. And so yeah, I would do stuff like that. I would try and also turn that into a comic or I wish I knew where that was. I, I’d love to see what it’s like. I can’t remember it.

But yeah, doing small things, I was just more likely to finish them and more likely to have something. And having been exposed to zines and zine making early, that just seemed like a much more achievable, rewarding. And also, well, I guess later on also then knowing that it’s something that I just have complete control over, I don’t have to, I can decide the format and the paper stock and the binding method and whatever it is, all of these things, you can just be your own boss and just make it and get it out there. And sometimes that can be a crutch. You are sticking within a comfort zone. I think it’s like, it can be a double-edged sword if you are only doing everything the way that you want to do it, and that’s all you’ll do. You can be just sticking within a comfort zone and not pushing yourself. And that’s what I really, as I mentioned, that’s what I really liked about the collaborative aspect of the comics that I did later, that it pushed me outside that. But yeah, it’s a really comfortable space to really explore and start defining your own voice and what you want to do and just mess.


As a professional. Now, the advice that I always give people is to just start small, make, don’t try and do some big comic. Just do a single page comic, do a four page comic, do an eight page comic. I’m like, do a whole bunch of eight page comics and don’t do anything over that full stories told in that setting and use this zine folding method to turn it into a book. And you even, you can photocopy it, you don’t even need staples. And people are like, all right, just chill. I’m like, it’s amazing. Look at follow up. But I think that if you can do that, you can then apply what you’ve learned there to telling a longer form story. Each format has its own unique challenges, but at a simple level, you are establishing the skills on short stuff that you can apply to everything you do going forward.

Leigh Chalker (57:34):
Yeah, no, it’s a good suggestion to people that are watching too, that haven’t tried a comic book. It takes a bit sometimes to muster the courage too, man, to put these things together as well, man, you’re like throwing yourself out there. So it’s very nerve too, because your artwork and your writing and stuff like that, it’s very much a reflection of yourself and your thoughts at that time. You know what I mean? I suppose it’s just in a weird way, I guess it’s like walking naked down the street. Some people are going to like it, and some people are going to throw stones at you, man. So you just got to get Yeah,

Louie Joyce (58:18):

Leigh Chalker (58:19):
That vulnerability and things, because an integral part of you, from what I’ve seen, and I want to talk to you about this, you mentioned you brought in that your first mini with your dad was Skate to oblivion and a lot of your pieces and will get to your brand coming out in a little bit because you’re putting some cover work and stuff up for people to have a look at. And I think that’s a great thing too, man, that you’re so giving with the production, the steps, how you work. Because I’ll come back to what I was saying about the skating, but today I caught you mocking up your cover and you did it in a fashion that This is me. And sometimes I wonder where I’m at, and you taught me something today with your light box and things like that that you would doing how you took different layers, you drew them separately, but then went back and did it in one drawing where to me, I’d not thought about that. You know what I mean? I would sit down and just do that one drawing without the layers, but it just seemed like a really cool exercise. My mind started going and you got me thinking about chinwag tonight and talk, and thank you for that. That’s something that I’ll try in the future, man.

Louie Joyce (01:00:10):
Yeah, no worries.

Leigh Chalker (01:00:11):
And just the places you can learn, man, and it’s cool. So you had skate into Oblivion now. Were you the dude that just discovered skating and rollerblading on their own, or was mum and dad a bit of a, what did we call ’em when I was young? Scaggs? Look, the Scagg

Louie Joyce (01:00:40):
Now my dad surfs, so he surfed, he’d surfed all my life. And so growing

Leigh Chalker (01:00:48):
Up in Newcastle, you down one of the beautiful beaches there, man, that’s known for its surfing,

Louie Joyce (01:00:53):
Et cetera. Yeah, so growing up in Newcastle, I mean, we were in a little country town or a little town outside Newcastle, west Aland. It’s just off the freeway, so it’s like 20 minutes outside. Anyway, it’s not right on the beach, but we would be in the beach all the time. And Dad was very much has grown up as a surfer, and it’s a very much a part of my childhood, although I’ve never really felt that comfortable in the water.

Leigh Chalker (01:01:25):
Did you see Jaws when you were a baby?

Louie Joyce (01:01:28):
Not when I was. I probably saw it too young. Yeah, I don’t know. I just could never, I mean, I was comfortable. I just was always had this fear and respect for the ocean, and I think I just had too many times of just getting dunked repeatedly

Between sets and just, especially as a teenager and as a teenager, I started Bodyboarding was the IT thing at the time. And some of my mates were amazing. They were so good, and I tried to be that person, but it wasn’t, I never really felt that comfortable in the water. And I loved it, but also didn’t in ways. But no, my dad didn’t skate. My mom didn’t skate. But I started skating I think when I was in the end of primary school. So it must’ve been year six, I think I was. And I’d been over at a mate’s house playing Tony Hawke’s pro skater on the PlayStation. And then we went out for a skate on the streets and he had rollerblades, and I was like, oh, can I return the rollerblades? And he let me have a turn, and I just got really, really into it at that age. And yeah, I just loved it. There’s something about rollerblading that I just found really fun and freeing and exciting. And at that time, that would’ve been 1999. So rollerblading as a sport was like boomed intensely through the nineties and into the very early, I think it started to taper off at the late nineties or early two thousands, but it was a big, big sport in that time.

Yeah, so I begged my parents to get me a pair of role blades. I think I got a pair of Roches m twelves from the ski in Newcastle, and we would just go around the streets skating, and I had some mates, mostly they were, and then into high school, I made friends with a bunch of skateboarders, mostly skateboarders, although one dude, good friend of mine, nugget, he was good at everything, was the amazing body boarder that I talked about. He was really good at skateboarding. And then he was really good at rollerblading as well. So we would just go around, we’d catch the bus into town. Newcastle was great because there was a skate park ride on the beach at Newcastle Beach, pardon me. And so we would just take our skates and our boards and we would just spend the whole day in at the beach surfing or bodyboarding and then skating, and then just going off around the streets, trying to skate street spots. And yeah, it was just really, really fun. It’s something I can enjoy.

Leigh Chalker (01:04:44):
Enjoying your time with your mates, man. Good spot. Nice weather, wind blowing.

Louie Joyce (01:04:53):
It was great. And just good physical activity and pushing ourselves and the street skating element of the street element skating, skating in spaces you’re not supposed to, the high schools and getting chased out by security and all this kind of stuff. All that was really fun as well. So

Leigh Chalker (01:05:16):
Yeah, that’s the good stuff. When you whatcha doing in here, there’s that big hockey dude with the fire hose hosing off the concreted area on a Saturday afternoon, man. You know what I mean? And he’s chasing you out sort. You’d had your little roller rollerblade bandits man going on. See, that’s good stuff, man. That stuff fuels imagination stuff too, man.

Louie Joyce (01:05:43):
Yeah, it was great. It was great. And so I did it for years, but later high school years, I started just having this issue with my knee and it was really sore whenever I would skate. And I think we got it. It was this thing where the tendon was stronger than the bone, so it was pulling it off a bit. And there was like a gap,

Leigh Chalker (01:06:05):
Is it called ood sl?

Louie Joyce (01:06:07):
Yeah, that thing. Yeah, Ooz gooders. Yeah, that’s right. So I had that, and so they recommended that I stop skating for a while. So I did that and then it kind of just trailed off. I never really got back into it and I fell out of the culture, although I was never really truly deep into the culture of roller elevating back in those days. Most of my mates were skateboarders and most of everyone was body boarders, so it was really bodyboarding culture that we were mostly engaging with. But I went to a couple of X Games and I had a few rollerblading videos, but never really deep dived into it.

And then fast forward to years and years later, living in Wollongong, I’ve got a kid, a really good friend of mine, pat Grant, who’s also a cartoonist. He started skating as a way to get physical activity and be in a place where he could take his young son, who’s really good friends with my son and a bunch of kids, like a good network of dads and moms and kids that we have. So he started skating again, and he used to skateboard back when I was a teenager, and he invited me along, and I think I got a skateboard at first to try and do it, but my mom had still had my old fifth elements in her garage, and I dug them out and I had a crack and I was just hooked again. And that was early 2020 just before the pandemic hit. And so I just got completely, I fell completely in love with rollerblading, and now it’s a huge part of my life once more, and I’m really invested in the culture and actually talking about drawing with my kids as this catalyst for a stylistic shift.

The other big thing that I attribute that to is as soon as I started rollerblading again, I immediately started drawing rollerblading. It started to influence my creative practice, and it’s a perfect thing for me. It fulfills a lot of the same things that I love about superhero comics and it’s dynamic angles and movement and urban settings and kinetic imagery and all these things. And so I’ve done just heaps and heaps of rollerblading drawings over the years since I started again. And that’s the other thing that really has led to this huge stylistic shift into how I approach my drawings. And I’ve never really been happier with my drawings than I have been in recent times.

And a lot of that is the rollerblading influence, and it’s just so much fun as a physical activity. I feel good doing it. I’m pushing myself in a lot of ways. I’m a better rollerblader than I was as a teenager because I’m more thoughtful and a bit more in touch with how I use my body and how to problem solve, trying to figure things out. I’m not by any means an amazing rollerblader in any way. I’m very much, it’s a hobby and it’s a thing that I do for fun. And being or much older now, I’ve hurt myself a couple of times. I don’t push myself too hard. I don’t want to really hurt myself.

Leigh Chalker (01:09:56):
You don’t bounce back as well, mate.

Louie Joyce (01:09:59):
Oh man, I’ve got some ribs that I’ve got a spot in my ribs that’s still sore if I touch the wrong spot. So

Leigh Chalker (01:10:08):
Yeah, no, I mate. Bruises don’t heal as quick as they used to. Let me tell you. When you get older, it’s like there’s no bouncing back. I like the fact that you’re feeling good now about your artwork, because I would say not only are you physically involved in feeling fit and feeling good despite the niggles, you’re never going to escape them, but as you said, you’re thoughtful, you’re managing, and that’s what you’ve got to do. Be self-aware of your body and that. But you’re also, you’ve managed to incorporate two great passions, man into one medium with the assistance of your kids and bringing them into it and the stylistic shifts and all that. You know what I mean? That’s a cool path, man. That is a cool path. And it is funny, like we were saying before, how just influences just come along and they shape you. You, I guess maybe before you hook back onto that, I’m back on the skates, man, I’m feeling good. You know what I mean? Will you feel, in some strange way, it’s just interesting to know this, I ask because were you having little doubts about what you were producing at that moment and then somewhere the skating came along and sort of reinvigorated something within you?

Louie Joyce (01:11:45):
I always have doubts about what I’m producing in any given, at any given time. I think that’s just a part of the creative mindset. You can’t help but you put so much of yourself into something, a project or a comic or a drawing or whatever it is, and you can’t help it. See, sometimes see the worst aspects of that thing and how that reflects on you in some way. But I do think before I started skating again, I don’t know. There are projects that I’d done then that I still feel really positive about and really happy with. And I also understand that all of it’s not just skating and drawing with my kids that contributes to where I am. It’s all of that stuff that I did beforehand as well. So it’s all part of the journey really to get to where I am. But I do think there was something often at conventions or in workshops and things, people, younger artists would ask me, how do you get a style? And I’ve been at things where people are asking other artists that same questions. How do you define a style? How do you make your style happen? And I remember someone saying, I can’t remember who it was, but just years ago, just saying, just don’t worry about it.

Focusing on your style is not going to make it happen. It’s like your style will happen naturally as an extension of who you are. And I do think that maybe my interest shifting away from comics, being so comics focused all the time was of a great benefit to me in terms of really defining my voice as an artist. Both in that now I just put everyone in role blade in my stuff, but also in just you think differently. You think differently. As a skater, it is a form of creativity, of expression. It is a form of using your body in a different way and problem solving, which is essentially what making comics and making drawings is, and flexing or expanding your approaches to these things just comes back around and allows you to do that in a different way with the drawing and the comics and whatever artistic expression you’re doing. So I think that’s where it really benefited me, kids taking pencils out of my hands and having to figure out how to skate again and use my body in a completely different way.

Leigh Chalker (01:15:00):
Yeah, yeah. No, I haven’t read earlier works with Ryan Lindsay and stuff like that, but obviously seen quite a bit of your stuff and I haven’t read them, but I’ve seen your work. I can see that it is still Louie Joyce. I can see that. I guess with what I said to you in the intro is there’s a vibrancy and a pop and the whole flashes and the yellows on blacks and the lightning bolt and stars and bright colors and things like that that I now am more familiar with in terms of that creative side from you. But from talking to you now, I can totally see how you’ve naturally come to that statement. It’s also, I wonder, you mentioned before you were doing a comic book with a gentleman and you came on late in the creative process and there was a person that had done layout work. So just so I can clear that up for me and just for listeners, the definition of that is did they do the pencils very loosely and the storytelling work and you came in and inked, how did it rock and roll for that? Because I’ve seen some of those pages and you’re still there and that’s How much freedom did you have there in your lessons? That’s the one one. So

Louie Joyce (01:16:58):
This is the book, and so it’s past the Last Mountain and it changed from page to page, but Gannon, so there’s

Leigh Chalker (01:17:08):

Louie Joyce (01:17:10):
That’s an example of some layouts that Gana did. I’ve got to go the other way and then versus Final art. So it would be loose pencils and then I would be doing inks or lines and colors, which way do I go? So

Leigh Chalker (01:17:32):
You really did have a lot of freedom there, man, you know what I mean?

Louie Joyce (01:17:36):
Yeah. And I was able to change stuff wherever I saw Fit Tube. He was brought on twofold because I hadn’t done, the book was originally being published by Third Icoms, I think was the name of the publisher. But because I was brought on late and I hadn’t done a monthly book before the Gannon came on board to speed up the process. So he would do layouts and I could just shift right into doing a finished art, but it ended up taking longer than we anticipated anyway, and went through a publisher change Third Eye, I think as a publisher. I dunno if they dropped the book or if they went under, I can’t really remember. But so we ended up having more time to work on it, which was good. And it was, as I said, a really valuable experience for me because I hadn’t done anything that long before and Gannon had. And so being able to work over his layout to allow me to analyze a lot of his decision making processes and figure out why he was doing things and sometimes recognize if I thought another way might work better or whatever.

Leigh Chalker (01:19:02):
Well, it would’ve taught you communication skills too, dealing with other people. And then I imagine there would’ve been an element of like, oh, I’m going to do it. You know what I mean? And just have a go at it. You know what I mean? I better to beg forgiveness and ask permission sort of thing, you know what I mean? And run the gaunt little bit. There would’ve been a lot of different emotions and stuff going through you too, man.

Louie Joyce (01:19:32):
Yeah, definitely. Yeah.

Leigh Chalker (01:19:36):
And can give you man is little bits of fear. And I like fear man gives you a high, hey when and you take a shot like that. We were saying walk the tight rope. I much like you. Similar path, but different created, I wish you would’ve been around when I was young, man to tell me do an eight page story. The idiot who decided to do it, like 200 page story that ended up probably be 300 pages and stuff. Yeah, amazing. And still going. And I was in my own little box for years doing this while I was working and teaching myself starting the page down. And I was, man, the things you do must’ve gone through hundreds of pages working while I was learning. You know what I mean? So do a page it, I’ll redo it going back. So it took years, man to get issues done and stuff.

And then that’s my dog too. If you’re wondering. Lloyd’s my dog, he’s my sidekick and my wing man. So if you hear that, that’s just him mucking around. And so I got stuck doing by myself and I’m in North Queensland and people know isolated, not a particularly big comic book creating type area, so get my comic book out, sense of accomplishment. But man, sense of just dickhead size, ego of, yeah, I’m great comic book artist, just overinflated to the Max man, I don’t even want to know that guy. And came across comics and met people and stuff and started doing Friday night drink draws and things and drawing other people like characters, which I hadn’t done. I’d been so intently just drawing my own characters for so long I’d forgotten. And like you were saying before, your mind isn’t able to be free just focusing on this one ridiculously giant project that you’re digging a hole in.

Do you know what I mean? And you sort of can’t escape, so you’re getting bogged. And then through the process, I became great mates with Ryan vla, Rob Bey Lyle and Ben Sullivan, and spent a year or so working with these guys, penciling, inking, learning, collaborating that some were writing, all these sorts of things, man. And I would say from what you’ve said about collaborations and what I’ve experienced, the collaborations, yeah man, if there’s anyone out there that wants to learn something and really be brought back to a level of how much you don’t know and learning from things is collaborate, man, because it’s like you just big portion of it pushed me onto discovering new things about my artwork, having the openness to be more open to learning, not realizing that if you aren’t learning in artwork, I guess meaning and creativity, then I dunno why you keep doing it, mate.

You know what I mean? You just get to the point of it loses it’s fun and it’s vibrancy and things, you know what I mean? And attitude is a big role. I had a terrible attitude, man. I was honestly, Louis, you would’ve thrown your roller skates at me if you would’ve met me five or six years ago. It’s like you would’ve been like, what is this guy doing? But these dudes grounded me, man. They were like, you know what I mean? No, no. And it took a while to like, oh, now I’m getting the jig. You know what I mean? I’m starting see things for what it is. So collaboration is an awesome thing. It’s a beautiful thing. With Past the Last Mountain, am I correct in seeing somewhere on Socials of Late, was that the book that’s being re-released or is that Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell us about that one man. Because coming up or is it out and about at the moment?

Louie Joyce (01:24:32):
So I think it’s releasing on into the direct into comic bookstores in August I want to say, and then into the book market in September, although maybe that’s the opposite way around, I’m not sure. But so it’s a smaller, it’s like a digest size edition. This isn’t it, but a smaller, this is a Godzilla book. It’s a smaller digestive edition that’s kind of targeted towards the YA market. So it’s had some decent legs. That book as a project. The original, as I said, the original publisher went under, we kickstarted the print edition, which was published by Comics Express and they did an amazing job and this is that trade paperback and it included the original four issues that I did and then a whole bunch of backup stories by different artists. And then it got released as single issues last year through the direct market, I think it was last year. And now it’s getting a collected issue, which is just the four issues that’s targeted towards the YA market because it kind of sits really well within that range, that age range.

Leigh Chalker (01:25:58):
Yeah, it’s going off at the moment, isn’t it? Yeah. So be mad not to really, but that was a well received book, man, from my understanding the issues and that you must be pretty proud of the feedback you’ve had coming from that. Yeah,

Louie Joyce (01:26:14):
I am. I’m really happy with that book. It was a good experience working on it. I still talk with Paul, the writer fairly often and we often talk about wanting to figure something else out together as a project going forward. But yeah, it was through that work that past the last mountain that Norm Harper who wrote Hap Haven, he had read that book. And so we won a Silver Ledger award I think in 2017. Yeah, 2017. And so yeah, it was cool to see the good feedback that I got and the good reviews and the good stuff that came out of it.

Leigh Chalker (01:26:58):

Louie Joyce (01:26:58):
Then Half Haven.

Leigh Chalker (01:27:00):
Yeah, tell us about that too, because I’m not aware of that one man.

Louie Joyce (01:27:05):
I’ll just see if I have, oh, one second. Yeah, so Haven,

Leigh Chalker (01:27:23):
You’ve got a portal too, mate. That’s the comic portal. It’s

Louie Joyce (01:27:27):
Good. Yeah, it’s all behind me and on the ground and

Leigh Chalker (01:27:32):
As it should be. Yeah,

Louie Joyce (01:27:34):
Hat Haven is, as I said, a kind of middle grade or all ages, fantasy, adventure story written by Norm Harper. It came out in 2019 originally, but it is also seeing another release this year. So there’s a brand new deluxe edition hardcover edition coming out through only press in June. Both those books are coming back to shelves this year, which is really

Leigh Chalker (01:28:04):
Exciting. It’s like turning into the year of Louis Joyce, mate. I mean 24 Louis Joyce, come on down.

Louie Joyce (01:28:12):
Yeah, I don’t know how it’s all timed. I mean it’s hard in the comic industry because there’s so much, there are so many good comics that come out on a weekly basis, on a yearly basis hard or it is very easy for things to just kind of disappear in all of it and to make a little splash or no splash or ripples or whatever it is. And that can be demoralizing. I don’t know. It’s a thing you have to deal with in an industry. It is turning stuff out all the time. Good comics have legs, they can find new releases. And if you can manage to do that, it

Leigh Chalker (01:29:07):
Feels good. Oh man, I guess it’s quality over quantity, isn’t it? You know what I mean? It’s like you can hear a hundred songs on the radio, but there might only be two or three that stick out to you. And over time they’re classics and the cult like cult movies and things like that. I don’t recall any David Lynch movies making a hundred million dollars mate, but that dude, he’s still rocking. He’s known. And that’s longevity, man. I guess where do you want to be To a certain extent, Louis, I a hundred percent understand where you’re talking with their man, because for me, I’m probably the worst salesman if any comic book that I do independently. And that because I just love the process, man, I love the drawing. I’m just so invested in the creative side of it

That once it’s done, I don’t really care. I know that it’s so dumb, you know what I mean? And anyone listening to me is going to go, this guy’s crazy. But my thing is the seeing it and the holding it and the smell on the paper and all that weird stuff in the moment and then whatever happens with it after that, man to me is that’s up to the universe, man. That’s up to people is like, if I’m proud and I’m happy, man, oh, just whatever man. The really weird part is, right. I’ll sort of veer off on a slight tangent so you understand what I’m talking about with that I’m independent. You’ve had the opportunity to have publishing and that sort of thing, proper books in those realms where I’m very independent, do things myself. I hate deadlines, man. My artwork takes me forever.

Sometimes it’s like people say, how long does it take you to do a page? How long does a piece of string man? I dunno. Just what happens. And I was thinking one of the reflection moments that I had in the last couple of weeks is because after two and a half, nearly three years of having a break, because of going through recovery and things like that and losing myself, finding myself again, getting to a point like working, I’m coming. I’m just pretty much finished everything for the next series of battle for Bustle. And due to circumstances you have to go back and read obviously the previous issues to bring us up, speed, make sure things like dot i’s cross and that sort of thing. And man, I realized that I don’t even remember drawing the fourth issue, man at all. That’s at all, not just with what I obviously had to recover from since.

And I just decided at that stage I was very much into, I want people to buy it, I want people to do that, rah rah. And then I realized, dude, for me, one of the saddest moments, man, and it is only been the last couple of weeks, I guess I’ve really reflected on this, I realized I don’t even remember the joys of drawing that issue or the creation of that issue, man, because I was just shocking drinker and time I was. And now in reflection, I’m savoring the art and the process and finding freedom in recovery and the joy of the creative process, man. So I guess Louis, what you’re saying is you have earlier with, you have your highs, you have your lows, man, in terms of your certainties, your uncertainties, your confidence, your lack of confidence and things like that. Man, I can understand them on many levels and understand what you’re going through, but sometimes I think my man, you got to just fuck, just let the universe take it, mate.

You know what I mean? If one thing I’ve seen man in the last two and a half years, dude is like, I don’t know man. I would have no other word for it other than magic. It’s just things happen that there is no explanation for that just happened at the right time when they’re supposed to, whether you’ve asked for it or not, you need it. You want just things happen. And I think sometimes it’s certain things are taken out of your hands, man, that’s just my whimsical mindset at the moment. But I would think that if you are getting new versions of those comic books out, man, they’ve been well received in the past. I mean, you’ve got your illustrating and comic book career is kicking off because we’re about to come in and talk about what I would say is a pretty big comic book that you are doing or ip.

And weirdly enough, Louis, you were saying, I dunno how these things happened, 2024, you’ve got these two trade paperbacks coming out going into a YA section of bookstores, which would blow my mind seeing the comic book I did in QVD. And that’s all happening at once. And then there’s been a sudden, I believe there’s been two movies of this next IP one’s just been released, one’s just come out earlier in the year that was extremely well received. This character’s been around for 50 or 60 years. And suddenly, Louie, you are going to drop Godzilla, your version take onto the world very shortly, man. So your journey that you’ve discussed this evening coming to Godzilla. And I would like to add to anyone that go onto Louis’s sites because he’s got a version, he shows you what he’s doing with the cover as beautiful, man.

Louie Joyce (01:35:50):
Thank you

Leigh Chalker (01:35:51):
All in skates as well, mate. So you’re like the best of both worlds. Everything’s coming up Louis at the moment. So take us through that, man. How did you come across one of the classic ips in the world that

Louie Joyce (01:36:16):
I was contacted by an editor at IDW, Jasmine Joiner, and they contacted me out of the blue about pitching a pitching for a one shot, a Godzilla one shot. And this was, I can’t remember exactly when, but it was a while ago now. And around that time, at first I would try to figure out if it was spam or something, some kind of

Leigh Chalker (01:36:47):
You didn’t believe

Louie Joyce (01:36:48):
Me was

Leigh Chalker (01:36:49):
Like, what? Nah,

Louie Joyce (01:36:51):
Why? As well it was to write as well. And I’ve always written my own short stories, but I’ve never written anything longer form in this way before. So I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t of the legitimacy of what I was being offered, but it was legit. And at the time I was into skating and I’m still into skating, but at the time there was, I guess it must have just happened, but during lockdown, a friend of mine started a DIY skate park in Port Kemler with his son. So there was a slab of concrete. One side has a basketball court on it, the other is just cracked concrete. And during the lockdown laws, not lockdown, lockdown, they closed skate parks and they had all those rules about exercising and yada yada, all that stuff.

But so this friend of mine, he went with his son and they just started building stuff on this slab of concrete little ramps, little boxes, little rails. And other people started just adding to it. And I started going there and skating and me and Pat would go there and skate and other friends of ours and we’d go there with the kids, a great place to skate with the kids. It was so flat and safe and quiet and just became a really, really beautiful, integral part of physical and mental health around that time, around that weird.

And that community and a whole community kind of flourished around it and skaters and some you would know and some you wouldn’t know and some you’d just see and say day to, but you’d go there and something new would’ve been added and you could skate it or things would’ve moved around. It’s just, it’s like a fluid kind of evolving. DIY skate parks are really fascinating. They’re really good ones. Have really strong communities around them and you can feel like you’re a part of that community even if you’re not an active part of the person or the group that’s doing the majority of the building or the maintaining or the maintenance of that space.

But anyway, so then all of that was happening and then eventually the council was like, we got word that the council was just going to tear it down. Like you’re not supposed to have a skate park there, which often happens to DIY spots. They’re often built in. There’s another one in Wollongong that me and Pat would skate in the hard lockdown time every, we’d meet up once or twice a week at six o’clock in the morning and skate in this one spot in an old parking lot. Still my favorite spot that I’ve ever skated, but it’s been completely demolished. And there’s an apartment block going up there now or something, which is a shame, but I mean that’s how it goes. But this spot in Port Keela was such a perfect spot and such a great community around it. And then the council was just going to come and get rid of it and step on it and squash it. And for me that was like, here’s this big huge entity of the council coming to destroy something that this community and these kids have built and love and what are they going to do? How are they going to handle that and what are they going to do to protect it or save it? And that was really the genesis or the spark for the idea for my Godzilla pitch.

And so the whole thing is inspired in part by that. And over the course of pitching the book and developing it with the editors at IDW, it has grown into a five issue miniseries. It’s all set in Australia, it’s all set in Port Kemler. It’s all about a group of four skater punks who get wind of this big kaiju battle that’s happening and they’re trying to get in and save what they can. And it feels like a dream project that I constantly, that has been developing over a long time that I was constantly kind of pinching myself at having, but also not allowing myself to get too excited about just because that’s the nature of being a creative and doing projects. And sometimes they go the way you want and sometimes they don’t. But yeah, now I’m drawing pages and drawing covers and I’m having a blast.

Leigh Chalker (01:42:04):
And how long, oh dude. Yeah. I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall when you were working out whether it was spam or not, you know what I mean? For real. You know what I mean? Double read it or anything like that. Oh

Louie Joyce (01:42:26):
Yeah, absolutely.

Leigh Chalker (01:42:27):
Get my details going on.

Louie Joyce (01:42:30):
Have you ever seen that movie? How’s Moving Castle?

Leigh Chalker (01:42:34):
Yes, I have.

Louie Joyce (01:42:36):
Do you know the bit after Sophie, the main girl is turned into an old lady and she looks in the mirror and she’s freaked out and she walks off slowly, but then she just turns around and comes back and walks in and looks at the mirror and then freaks out again, and then walks out slowly and does that a few times. That was it. I was reading it and I just leave and then I come like, what? Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (01:43:01):
I reckon, dude, it’s really cool, man. I don’t know. Louis Universe is working for you, dude. You must have some good karmic energy or something going on, man. Like you’re having these moments, you’re building a community, do it yourself, skate park, you’ve got this idea, it’s floating in your head. And as soon as you were describing it to me, man, about this big entity coming in and stepping on this little thing, I was like, you got Zillow story. Gotcha. You know what I mean? And that was one issue shot. And then you’ve just, did they let you just let it go, man, just imagination? Or did you keep coming back to ’em? Were they trying to reel in or how did that go? No,

Louie Joyce (01:43:50):
Initially they were like, oh, it’s not a fit. It’s not a fit for the one shot, so we won’t be using it for that. And so that felt like the end of it. But then they said they were interested in me pitching it as its own miniseries. And so it just went from there and the idea grew bigger and incorporated a few more elements. But at its core, it’s still very much that same story. And it is inspired by this real life, P-K-D-R-Y, but it’s also very much inspired by these memories I have that I was talking about earlier of skating around with my friends in Newi and inspired by watching my kids still and their friends and them hanging out and the different skaters that I see and know at various skate parks. So the characters are kind of an amalgam of a lot of different things and influences. And the story is very much also just about the joy of having wheels on your feet and the connections you make because of a shared passion and all of these things. But with a big kaiju battle going on all around. So it’s Godzilla and Varien fighting each other in Port Pela.

Leigh Chalker (01:45:26):
That’s very, very cool. Wow, man. How far are you through it? Dude,

Louie Joyce (01:45:35):
I’ve got most of the covers done. I’m drawing issue two at the moment, finishing up on issue two and then rolling into issue three. So yeah, it’s going.

Leigh Chalker (01:45:46):
Keep it coming.

Louie Joyce (01:45:47):
Yeah, it’s good. It’s hard. It’s been tricky because I am doing everything writing and drawing and colors and

Leigh Chalker (01:45:56):
Colors. You’re doing the whole kit.

Louie Joyce (01:45:59):
It is a lot of balls to juggle.

Leigh Chalker (01:46:02):
And have you done that before?

Louie Joyce (01:46:04):
Nah. Not on deadlines like this before.

Leigh Chalker (01:46:08):

Louie Joyce (01:46:08):
No. And not on this larger project before.

Leigh Chalker (01:46:14):
I think Fortune favors the Brave Louie. It’s like running that line, man. We’ve spoken about. Yeah,

Louie Joyce (01:46:21):
It’s definitely running that line. I’m definitely running that line and I’ll just do,

Leigh Chalker (01:46:28):
You’re good. You’re feeling vibrant and stuff you feel like you got

Louie Joyce (01:46:32):
Yeah, I’m having a good time. I’m really happy with what I’m doing. It’s like, it’s one of those things where I’m just focusing on making the work and I’ll have time to reflect on more of it next year or some other time down the line. But now it’s just about getting it out there, getting it done, and getting it in front of as many people as possible.

Leigh Chalker (01:46:55):
Yeah, that’s beautiful. When are you expecting it’s a first issue? Touchdown mate.

Louie Joyce (01:46:59):
First issue drops June 12th, so that’ll be in comic stores, 12th of June.

Leigh Chalker (01:47:06):
First issue is off at printers. It’s all getting proofed and all that, wherever it comes from. Oh man, you must be getting excited. You seeing any of the proofs yet for yourself? I haven’t.

Louie Joyce (01:47:15):
No print proofs yet, but I am seeing some stuff that has me very excited. So yeah, it’s good. It’s exciting seeing it all. Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (01:47:24):
Yeah. No, that’s brilliant, man. I’m really happy for you, dude. I’ve only met you, mate. You’ve got me all GED up because you’re just passionate dude, man. You’re like free spirited fellow man. I like that. Even though you’re hardworking, you had your eye on the prize, man, you’ve combined all your passions, your wife, your kids, your love of skating, your artwork, you’re in a good head space. You said that you’re feeling more comfortable now with what you’re creating. Producing stuff like that. Good energy. It’s attracted this giant project that they’ve given you control over everything, man. Test your waters. There you go. Run the gauntlet. You’re feeling good still. You’re not scared, you know what I mean?

Louie Joyce (01:48:12):
Oh, terrified. Absolutely terrified.

Leigh Chalker (01:48:15):
But in a good way, mate. In a good way. Look at you. You’re smiling, you laugh, mate. You’re having a ball, man. And that’s the best thing to do is that’s the journey. And sounds like you’ve had a ripping journey, but yeah,

Louie Joyce (01:48:34):
It’s been fun.

Leigh Chalker (01:48:35):
Yeah, you not only this, but you got your kids, one of them might turn out to be just like the old dad, chip off the block mate, going down the illustrated after that eventually. And you can, yeah,

Louie Joyce (01:48:49):
We’ll see.

Leigh Chalker (01:48:50):
Yeah, you’re like, oh, hard road. That hard road. Yeah.

So Louie as man, as we wind down, I usually end off on things like why? But I think we’ve covered that as in a why do you do it to yourself? Because I think you’re very eloquently and very directly tonight we have brought everything symmetrically, you know what I mean? Which is what I try and hopefully achieve with Chin Wags to tell people’s stories from beginning to where they are now through gas bag and just yarn. And I have had a great deal of pleasure tonight because I’ve found myself not having to do much chin wagging and instead listen. And I do like listening to a good story, mate. And you’re a good storyteller.

Louie Joyce (01:49:55):
Oh, thanks.

Leigh Chalker (01:49:57):
And Communicably a good storyteller in terms of your creative craft and stuff like that. And you’re reaching some good heights, man. And it’s good for yourself. It’s good for Australian comic books, it’s good for Australian creators, and that’s good news all around. It’s great work, man. So double thumbs up to you moment. Thank

Louie Joyce (01:50:17):
You very much,

Leigh Chalker (01:50:18):
Louie, I will ask you this now. If Little Louie walked up to Big Louie in a comic book convention and said, how do I get to be where you are now, big Louie, what would you say to Little Louie?

Louie Joyce (01:50:38):
Just go rollerblading.

Leigh Chalker (01:50:41):
Just go roll a blade, man.

Louie Joyce (01:50:47):
Yeah, don’t worry about it too much. Just have fun.

Leigh Chalker (01:50:50):

Louie Joyce (01:50:54):
Find a good partner who is patient and supportive and calls you out when you’re doing stupid stuff or making decisions that maybe aren’t the best decisions. And that can be really blunt about your work when you ask for your opinion, for their opinion, but always as your back. And yeah, and I found that in my wife and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am making the stuff I am without her. So that would probably be my secret weapon.

Leigh Chalker (01:51:46):
I think that’s beautiful, mate. I think don’t think partners get enough credit for supporting their artistic partners. It can be Louis, we were talking earlier about sacrifices and stuff like that, man. You know what I mean? There’s a lot of sacrifices that go into being creative no matter what field you’re in. If you’re driven and passionate about something, man. And it can take a toll on a lot of areas, man. Unless you’ve got someone that loves you man and supports you, you know what I mean? And vice versa. You can become all encompassing and you can easily fall down that hole mate and lose sight of things. So I am one of those people that has done that in the past and recognize how very important it is to have that mutual understanding while also proceeding on your path. Mate, I’ve really enjoyed talking to you today, Louis. I really do like, man, Nick May fantastic chat. What a great story. Good luck with everything, Louis.

Louie Joyce (01:53:08):
Thank you very much.

Leigh Chalker (01:53:10):
Yeah, I think Nick May just said it perfectly, I’ve really enjoyed the night, mate, your free spirit, your flow attitude, and you’ve got a good spiritual content man. And I like that, especially where I am in life right now too. You know what I mean? It’s an important thing to have, mate. And even though you’ve said you’ve been very vulnerable and said you’re terrified about the biggest project in your life, you know what I mean? You’re at your happiest and you’re humming along at what I would class as someone that’s that great peace with themselves and their life rolling around that they’re in at the moment. So Louis, where can people find your work if they would like to go out and find some Louis Joyce creative goodness

Louie Joyce (01:54:03):
Louis joyce.com, and that has links to most of my other places. But at Louis Joyce on Instagram, that’s the main one. That’s the one that I post on most, and Tumblr, I think. But yeah, at Louis Joyce most places, or just Google, Louis Joyce, I should be in there somewhere.

Leigh Chalker (01:54:26):
Yeah, and keep eye June 12th. Yeah,

Louie Joyce (01:54:30):
And I just really want to say thank you for having me on. I’ve also had a really great time chatting. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Leigh Chalker (01:54:38):
Yeah, no man, it’s been wicked. I appreciate it, man. I appreciate, I appreciate getting this moment with you, man. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle that happens around, but to talk to a like-minded individual as yourself and that shares a lot of similar thoughts and feelings, I guess is always a pleasure. And I greatly thank you for coming on the show, and thank

Louie Joyce (01:55:14):
You very,

Leigh Chalker (01:55:15):
You’re always welcome back, man. So it’s,

Louie Joyce (01:55:17):
Yeah, let’s do it again sometime.

Leigh Chalker (01:55:19):
We’ll indeed, you can quote me on that. I know where you’re at now. I won’t leave you alone. I’ll be following you. Just let

Louie Joyce (01:55:28):
This first.

Leigh Chalker (01:55:29):
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s cool man. That’s all good. You know where I’m at now. We know each other now, man.

Louie Joyce (01:55:37):
Sounds good.

Leigh Chalker (01:55:39):
That’s the power of the chinwag. Alright, so as I bring another Tuesday chinwag to an end, thank you everyone for whoever always tunes in, all the people that watch the show and keep it going and send in their comments and watch and rewatch and support comments and support Aussie verse, it’s greatly appreciated and it’s lovely. So thank you to everyone. Don’t forget to like and subscribe Aussie verse and comics across all formats because we are very passionate. Everyone here, whether it’s me doing chinwag or Louisie out there doing Godzilla, any stuff or whether you’re just out there watching drawing and things like that. Because as Louis pointed out too, tonight, communities are good, man. Communities can build spirit. You find like-minded people, you have a connection. You know what I mean? And sometimes you don’t get to have connections with people that share loves and interests that you do.

And at comics and Aussie verse, you know what I mean? You can see Louis and I have never met each other before tonight, but we’ve had a great chat. I’ve learned things, Louis’s learned things about me. And this is just one of the little things that can happen, magic everywhere. You just got to know how to look for it. So there’s an open door, walk through it and you’ll be welcome. And I can’t wait to meet you at some point. To anyone that’s out there that wants to come on, I would just like to say thank you for the comic shop sponsoring the show. So don’t forget that if you are an Australian comic book creator and you want an online outlet to sell your comic books, the comic shop as a place to go, there’s over a hundred Australian comics titles. You do not just have to be a comic studio, comic book to be in the comic shop.

You can be anyone that creates comic books. So if you go to the website, you’ll find little frequently asked questions, et cetera, et cetera, and you’ll find a website and an email. You’ll be able to talk to Shane about how you get your stock in there and discuss all the finer details. But there’s a $9 flat rate. So that means you can buy one comic book or you can buy 20. It’s all across the board. So it doesn’t really matter if you do not want to buy a mine. This is not why I’m here. I’m here for the community. I’m here for the love of the Australian comic book industry. You know what I mean? You go and get anyone’s that’s in there, just click on that website and go and check it out for yourself. So just remember everyone, we’re all community. Me and Louis are community minded.

We’ve discussed that tonight. So the favorite saying is community is unity. Now I’m going to have with Siz next week off because we got a few little loose ends that we need to tidy up. I’ve got to bring my battle for Bustle comic book home. Cis has got a couple of things that he needs to tidy up with some Kickstarters and go and do a few things to look after himself. We’ll be back on April the 30th. And believe it or not, I started off Chinwag wondering, I just wanted to do six shows, and when I come back on April 30th with Ciz, we’re on a countdown to getting up to show 50. So that’s a bit of a spin out and something I’m grateful for and something I’m grateful for. All the support for everyone watching and just being part of things. So just remember, community is unity and Chinwag is made with love. And thank you very much, Louis. And see everyone in a couple of weeks. Take care. Good evening.

Voice Over (01:59:19):
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 enjoyed the.


Leave the first comment