Leigh talks to the man behind the epic art (seen on Friday Night Drink and Draw on the regular) with epic comics featuring said art. Leigh can’t rave about these comics enough it seems… this will be a real treat talking to the genius that created them! Let the epic awesomeness flow….
VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION (text may contain errors)
Voice Over (00:00:02):
This show is sponsored by the ComX Shop. We hope you enjoy the show.
Leigh Chalker (00:00:25):
Good day and welcome to episode 13 of Tuesday Chinwag. So I’m Lee Chalker. I’m the creator of Battle for Bustle. And basically for those of you at home, this show revolves around four six words questions, who, what, where, when, why, and how. And we let the guest talk to us and chinwag about whatever comes up in between. So tonight we have Mr. Neil Blandon and how are you sir?
Neale Blanden (00:00:54):
I’m good, thank you very much. Good.
Leigh Chalker (00:00:57):
Very, very good. Ah, Nick May, good evening Legends. He reckons. So good evening to you Nick and Nick and goodnight Danny. Thank you mate. We’ll try our best. So hello Carrie. My god, they’re coming in thick and fast. <laugh>. All right, so Neil, you know how the show Rock and Rolls mate, so I’m just gonna boo straight into it with you. So let’s kick off with who Lay on me. Well
Neale Blanden (00:01:24):
If you haven’t know who I am, why are you here? Neil Blandon I’m a cartoonist, I guess I am a cartoonist and I’ve been doing it, I was just saying before, 30 years, probably something like that, but bit 30 plus 88, 19 88 when I started. Now do you want wanna backstory or do we Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:01:46):
Yeah, you give me whatever you
Neale Blanden (00:01:48):
Want. Grew up in Ringwood in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne and look interested in comics. And when I was a boy, cuz I’ve got visuals this book in the library, which is called Comics, A History of Comics in America. So I was a big mad fan already when I was about nine 10, got into Mad and cracked. So I was going, oh, I wanna head that way. And the best thing I liked was they used to have Mad Specials and they had the nostalgic mad in them and they were comics of the old fifties mad. But as a kid I thought they were doing a parody of comics and I’m looking at ’em kind of going, that’s what I wanna do. Why are they doing this gray magazine when they could be doing full color comics? I look cool kind of thing. And I didn’t realize Harvey Kurtzman was making those comics and they were coming out because Jack Jack, I’m talking comics here.
Jack Davis was in the fifties comic, but he was also in the Gray magazine, the Gray Mad Magazine. So they were a big thing for me. But then the underground hit when I was about 14, this was down in the library comics a history of comics in America. And if I can see it, it had crumbing. Oh, picked it straight away. Robert Crum doing meatball in there. And I went, that’s where I want to be at, kind of thing. But I was 14, you know, can’t get underground comments when you are 14, but it can go down to the local CRO market and it had the best of the be and you flip it over and it’s went a peaks of underground comics, rude, lots of stuff in there that I can’t show you right now with something nice. Hang on. And I would <laugh>
Leigh Chalker (00:03:49):
That PG <laugh>.
Neale Blanden (00:03:51):
No, he’s okay. And I really got into underground when I was 16, about 16 to 18. But then I went to art school when I was 16 and 18. I did a TAFE course that was it was called V O P, vocational Vocational Orientation Program and V O P Tertiary Orientation Program. They hated comics or my lecturers hated it. So I had to learn how to life draw. I had to do painting, I had to do sculpture, loved it, thought it was great, thought maybe I’m gonna become an artist, maybe I’m not gonna do cartoon turning. And it was really good. I’m not one of those people who went, oh, they wouldn’t let me draw. I couldn’t do the comics. I was just going, great, I’ll do all this other stuff. I’ll do the comics on the side. They don’t wanna know about that, that’s fine.
But I got into animation and I ended up working in animation for a couple of years. When I left school, it was like my first full-time jobs, <affirmative> and I worked, it never came out a feature called a cadabra. It was made in Melbourne. This is 1983 <laugh>. So I was 1920 when that was happening. And I went on the life as being a freelancer. I also worked in Sydney doing animation as well. I was a cell painter, which you got clear plastic cells. I was like Photoshop, dropping color. So I’d sit there with a paintbrush on a light box coloring in animators drawings with paint. It was a plastic paint that went on these clear plastic cells. And in Sydney I worked on Huckleberry Thin, all kids love Huckleberry Finn. Of course all the kids were dying to see that animation, which I only saw for the first time last year 40 years later or something. You just
Leigh Chalker (00:05:49):
Never wanted to see it again. You just spent too much time on it or you just caught up
Neale Blanden (00:05:53):
With it? No, it’s just caught up with no, I tried to see it but I could never see it. It was on YouTube, that one. But that was like, it’s like Scooby-Doo animation. It’s not really that exciting. But a cadabra was great. This guy called Alex Stint that was down in Melbourne but it’s never had a proper release. They did it in the eighties. There was this 3D Canadian 3D process and they were gonna use that to show the film, but apparently something they didn’t get the copyright or something. So I went around there to the studio and they had all these kind of 3D classes with all the characters on it and stuff like that. But it never got released. So it was the Pine Piper of Hamlin kind of story, a par that. And it was way ahead of its time. Like lots of jokes.
Anyway, freelancing, I remember the day I was sitting there and painting away and one of the freelance animators came up, he said, man, I’m 30, I’ve gotta find another job. And I’m sitting there kind of going, he’s 30 years old, that’s so old I can’t be jumping from one job to another. And I’d got in into Teacher’s college, went and did that maybe every year since the art course and the teacher’s college course, I would do one strip a year, like a four page strip. They’re all gone. Gone to the window. I don’t think I’ve got any of those left. And then I had to go back and do some stuff in 88 which it was an extra year, basically I’d failed some stuff and I had all this time on my hands and I thought, I’ve gotta make a comic
<laugh>. So there it is, art form number 180 8. Still got the staple’s, not looking too bad. I’m happy about that. For some reason I’ve stapled it in the side there rather than kind of opening it up and sting properly. I don’t mind the artwork on that, but the stories are disgusting. They’re terrible. There’s probably one good strip, which is this front one. Look, I’ve got a little look. I went all the way. Made a little hole. Yeah, but the rest of it’s terrible. It’s horrible. <laugh>. But I did my first comic gave it out to people as far as people that I knew at the time. And they’re, this isn’t very good. Got really depressed and went, maybe this isn’t for me, but just kept doing comics for one a year. No internet. Didn’t know anyone. Took me about four or five years to get in contact with people. And then I’m probably going on at a million miles an hour here. I know that. I’ll slow down in a sec and I’ve lost the comic. I
Speaker 4 (00:08:39):
Wanted to show you <laugh>. Oh now I showed it a second ago. Jar Ashworth.
Neale Blanden (00:08:47):
Ah, nervous breakdowns. There we go.
You people. Dunno your history. But anyway, jar Ashworth, I got in contact with a guy called Tim Danko who lives in New Zealand now, who’s a cartoonist still. He’s trucking along doing cartooning. And he said to me, you should get in contact with this guy called Jared Ashworth in Sydney. He’s, he’s doing an anthology. So I collected I was probably just doing the beautiful art form stuff and cuz it was all about trading then. So this is about 92 and sent it up there. And he was the internet in Sydney. He was amazing. And he knew everyone up and down the East coast, but he, that’s Jared’s work electric fart. There we go. That’s better. I dunno, look, he’s just not around. I dunno what’s happened to Jared. He’s around but not around. He just, he’s not on the internet, he’s not on social media. But
Leigh Chalker (00:09:53):
Give you all in,
Neale Blanden (00:09:56):
I’ll slow down. Mel
Leigh Chalker (00:10:00):
Neale Blanden (00:10:00):
Down was the anthology and it, I think it was more East Coast more than anything. Some people Adelaide, some people in Perth. I don’t know, where am I opening up to? Oh look, there’s some clink curate. Here we go. Who’s on the other side? I’ve gotta see the
David Hendricks kind of vaguely, I can’t really remember him, but he’s around. Oh I wish I could do my camera. There we go. And so that was great. And everyone got to know each other by that stage. We had one convention I would say, which was oscon at that stage. I mean there was people obviously before that, that were doing cons and stuff. And we’d all meet up in Sydney and drink and see each other for the, because it was a big deal because basically back then it was all trading and sending out post. It was all doing things for post. So it took you a month to get high. How were you and would take
Leigh Chalker (00:11:09):
The end? Did you ever where, apart from the Post, where did generally distributed? Did you go to markets or Rock, rock and roll bands and have a bat while you’re on it and have a bag full of these things? And
Neale Blanden (00:11:23):
It was pretty difficult back in the day. I think a lot of times there were certain people like the Bug and Stump guys, mark and John and issue one, which was a guy called Sam Young and those kind of guys, it’s probably a bit later now in the nine? Yeah, a little bit later in the nineties. And they were real cartoonists who were getting stuff into news agencies and you could always get a corner of a table with them and you’d kind of set up your stuff there and people would come up and you’d go, no, I know it’s photocopy but it’s not free. You can’t just grab it. Okay <laugh>.
And you’d get them to pay. I think $2 was the usual standard back then. And that went on for years. I think that’s what you usually used to do. There was a couple of, well polyester was down here in Melbourne. That was a shop that was really small press friendly. I’m not a lot of the comic shops, some were, I think alternate worlds was kind of friendly towards small press. But I can’t, not really the comic shops, it was really kind of the more rock and rollie type shops I guess to distribute work. And then, yeah, look it was just post, there was a couple of mail order places and some places in the states too that did that kind of thing.
Leigh Chalker (00:12:57):
Neale Blanden (00:12:58):
Leigh Chalker (00:13:00):
With obviously cuz you’ve kept up, one thing I will say is having some copies of your comics mate is I have had a bit to do with Minis and stuff just through Ryan Valor and a couple of other guys. But man they really hit me actually. Not just your artwork and the stories, but the real do it yourself attitude between in them that you’ve already been talking about. Can I just for my own indulgence while I’ve got you is, and for anyone that’s at home that is coming across these size comic books and stuff for the first time, what’s your basic I guess, layout way you think when you’re doing the stories? Do ’em on a particular size piece of paper, do you just random stream of consciousness sort of stuff. What’s your process in general, mate to put one of these together?
Neale Blanden (00:14:16):
Well it’s always changed over the years and I think really at the moment it’s having a notebook, carrying a notebook all the time. And with my, I’m a emergency teacher at the moment. And particularly when you get those older classes in the year 12 and going, this is what you have to do, do it. And they go, yeah, sure. I’m sitting there and so I get a chance to do my own thing. And I’ve found a lot of times I’ve just found a sketchbook a bit too conspicuous. You just, it’s better if you have a line to notebook. So a lot of ideas have been put down that way. And also sketchbooks. Sketchbooks now I kind of think a lot more visually actually just drawing in a sketchbook, get an idea, cobble it together. I mean I taught brainstorming and script. Yeah, I did teach script writing for about 14 years in tape.
Yeah, but you learn yourself. It’s not just a thing of just teaching people cuz you’ve gotta, when you’re going through that process, I never brainstorming, I never had a class on brainstorming when I was a kid and to go, okay, well what do I have to do to teach this? It was called Originate the concept. That’s right. And so I’d just be looking at stuff like researching and kind of going, oh you can do this and this and this. And I kind of use a lot of those methods still today cuz you learn how to work stuff. So it’s all in pen or pencil in a notebook kind of thing.
Rough lay it out kind of thing. And I dunno if you wanna talk materials right away, but I use a three paper just a good quality cartridge really. I didn’t bring materials to go look at this. But anyway, <laugh>. Yeah, so it’s probably, it’s that size. And then I spent a bit of time at Officeworks reduce it if it’s too big to, I’ve got an A force scanner <affirmative>, so I might not be able to because if it’s in panels, you know can break it up and then lay it out. Back in the old day days, yes you used to go and reduce your work to a five and then you would physically have to glue, stick it onto a piece of cardboard and then you’d get wide out and paint around the edges. So the edges wouldn’t show <laugh> in this modern times. Of course I just I’d love to use InDesign but I haven’t got it, haven’t got an Adobe suite anymore.
I’ve got just Photoshop and I just lay stuff out in Photoshop, go to office works again with the usb, print it all out, double side it. I’ve done a couple of books this week for the upcoming big arts launch on Saturday at the Prince Pat in Melbourne, bring Cash and Don Don bring me a card, bring cash and a lot of those ideas, those books I sent you. Which which, where are they? Mega robot. Yep. And doing the comics, we just stuff it’s really old. The ideas are really old and I just take my time these days doing the comics. That actually was sketchbook stuff that I’ve done. Nice. That was all sketchbook stuff that I’ve just done. Nice.
Leigh Chalker (00:18:08):
Yeah, right. While you are holding the cover up, I’m gonna throw these out there cuz this is from the same book. Yeah.
Neale Blanden (00:18:15):
And man, yeah, well that was all nice kind of sketches but then I thought, no I wanna do them. Nice. So I brought an A four pad, they’re all a four and then reduced. Look at that, went through the A four. Wow. It’s great. I wrote it in
Leigh Chalker (00:18:35):
Neale Blanden (00:18:37):
I was talking to Shane just before saying when I was digging through my files to get some stuff out, I was kind of, I don’t know what happened, but around 2000 my work sucked and it looked <laugh> really bad.
Leigh Chalker (00:18:52):
You your own worst critic here, Neil
Neale Blanden (00:18:54):
And, no, no, no, no, no. I know that everyone’s their worst critic. I know that. But it really did, it looked really bad. I was going, no, no, I’m not being my worst critic. This is really bad. But then I had a hiatus for a while. I kind of had rest for about five years and just concentrated more on schoolwork and I think I did just anthology stuff. So I might only do a couple of pages a year or whatever. And that was good for me. Obviously learning how to use a brush as well. I started to use a brush in 2014 or something. I hadn’t used brush before and I started using one. I was going, so what have I been doing man, just use the brush kind of thing. Because really I started doing that because I used to use quills, the dip pen quills. But they make those quills out of tin foil these days and they just art materials man, they just wreck. So I went to brush and I think brush really helped me out and I don’t mind the artwork in these are okay, alright. It’s a bit and I’ve still got the crosshatching happening, but yes, it’s not as muddled. The two thousands worked, didn’t look very good. I was going, oh well it feels very bad for the people who brought that and people who I contributed things to.
Leigh Chalker (00:20:17):
Well what we have read. And back in the two thousands, did you go through just a bit of a, I wanna change my style this way or you just
Neale Blanden (00:20:25):
A lot of stuff happened to me in the two thousands. I don’t know, look, I broke up with my partner and my daughter was three and I started living in a flat and I was working in a factory and I had no money from working in the factory in my little two bedroom flat. And I used to come home at night and those hours between something like half past four till 10 were my time and I just drew kind of thing. But it wasn’t that great. But then like I said, I really sucked but <laugh> then I got a job teaching at tafe, like I said, and it was an animation course really more than anything. And I was gonna be their kind of pre-production storyboard guy. That’s what I ended up doing really. And I just went, I would get requests to do anthology work but I didn’t do anything else because I just had this course going and I had to concentrate on the course more than anything. And then it wasn’t until about 20, I think about 2012 or something like that there’s a guy called Anthony Woodard and he put up a site on Facebook. He’s a Australian in Canada now doing stuff.
Leigh Chalker (00:21:50):
Graham says, you’re the greatest teacher at tafe. There you go mate.
Neale Blanden (00:21:54):
<laugh>. I don’t think everyone would agree with that, but thank you Nick.
Leigh Chalker (00:21:59):
We don’t worry about everyone else Will. <laugh>
Neale Blanden (00:22:03):
Aland. And he did a thing on Facebook, which I can’t remember what it was called, but it was to make a mini comic and you would go through the process and show everyone what you were doing at the time. And it seemed to be, I was the only person who was actually printing Mark <laugh>. Everyone else was kind of like, oh, he’s a PDF of it or something. And I was making little a six four to eight page magazines kind of comics. And that was really good. It just kind of spam me on to start doing stuff again. And I started to do, tried internet comics as well. I did this thing called cartoons that everyone seemed to, that was a got ledger outta that. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:22:54):
I read the other day doing some research on you mate, that you were bronze
Neale Blanden (00:23:00):
Is, yeah, brown Ledger.
Leigh Chalker (00:23:02):
Neale Blanden (00:23:04):
People enjoyed that. And I started to get together some comics. I think that the one with the blue cover, whatever dumb name that has, it’s got a big long name I think that came out of that and that, yeah, that’s just the anthology of stuff I was doing.
Leigh Chalker (00:23:21):
Amusing stories of photocopy toner on white Parchment comics.
Neale Blanden (00:23:25):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just keep it simple. <laugh>.
Leigh Chalker (00:23:30):
Neale Blanden (00:23:31):
<laugh>. And I think that’s just, that was old stuff that I did to get it together. Then I was gonna say too <affirmative>, I still got old stuff here and I was only going at a hundred miles an hour before to get everything out. I know that. I forgot some stuff. There you go.
Leigh Chalker (00:23:51):
Neale Blanden (00:23:52):
On us mate. Oh okay. So when I first got printed and was going, look, I’m a printed cartoonist or whatever, there was two magazines that were coming out. One was Cryptographic, now this was in Sandy Bay in Tasmania, Julian Scriber, I think the guy’s name was. And he would do, there would be comics. Oh there’s me, hang on, where’s me? There we go. <laugh>, there’s me there was comics and I can’t see cause I can’t use the, there we go. That’s the best I’m gonna get. There’s a lot of comics in this one. Cause I was about to say, oh there’s heaps of comics. There was also just drawings. People would just do drawings kind of thing and he’d print it all. But what he would do is he’d get an A three sheet, he’d make an A five magazine, but then the other side of the A five with the A three, he’d cut it in half and you’d have two a six magazines. So an issue was three comics. It was this and two little A six things. It was great. Yeah. So I felt famous then. And I’ve just dropped it, hang on, I’ve gotta pick it up with my feet. Hang on.
Leigh Chalker (00:25:05):
Neale Blanden (00:25:07):
Still. Here we go.
David Vika in Melbourne was putting out Fox Comics and this is a Photographics issue. I be, the second thing I printed in, I’m in Photographics, I couldn’t believe it from me, but this is people like Greg Gates and Tony Thorn and Dave Hodson and David Bird was part of this. And Ian Eddie, r i who else there was? Oh and Dylan Nailer of course too young. Dylan Nailer, he would’ve been so young Dylan. But that has an interesting life story as well. But I kind of came in on the end of it in the late eighties, early nineties and they did about five issues with Fano graphics and I was lucky enough to be all in them. I dunno why. I think it’s just because I wanted to be liked so badly. I was just sending them tons of stuff and they’re kind of going more Neil Bland, if we pretty, maybe you’ll shut up. But I didn’t just
Leigh Chalker (00:26:13):
Encouraged you more <laugh>. I’m not one.
Neale Blanden (00:26:18):
But yeah, I was in Photographics and the funny thing is, back a lot of people remember those like oh yeah, I used to buy everything from Photographics. I remember that and I’m going, oh really? Okay. So yeah, I skipped over that bit in my 90 miles an hour chat before
Leigh Chalker (00:26:38):
<laugh>. Yeah. Wow man, God, you’ve, you’ve done some stuff
Neale Blanden (00:26:42):
Mate. Well look, yeah, I can’t show money for it but I can show, look I’ve got heaps of work as a body of work. I was thinking you’ve made me think about all this at the moment as a body of work. Yeah, I can’t sit here and go, I’m so proud of my body of work but I’m really, I’m happy with it. I’m happy with what I’ve done and I’m happy to continue doing stuff as well. Yeah, I haven’t hit that wall yet going well what have I done with my life? It’s all good.
Leigh Chalker (00:27:11):
Yeah, well obviously you know, obviously enjoyed it. It’s been one of those things that have been with you through up downs Mate. Absolutely
Neale Blanden (00:27:20):
Leigh Chalker (00:27:22):
Yeah. Yeah. Well I’m guilty of that as well mate. I have to be honest with you. I think Mrs says to me that’s fine, leave it like that. And it’s like, no I must do this better and I’ll disappear and hide in the granny flat. And then the funny part is you always come back to the first one anyway. So it’s like, you know, do what you do man. Oh,
Neale Blanden (00:27:45):
I’ve had that with partners going, why you just stop please <laugh>, stop doing it. Maybe you’d be happier if you stop doing it. You going, no, no,
Leigh Chalker (00:27:56):
No, no, I’m with you man. I’m with, I’d be a
Neale Blanden (00:28:00):
Mess murder if I wasn’t doing comics. How do you express yourself if you’re not doing that?
Leigh Chalker (00:28:08):
I don’t know. Well everyone else I seem to have met that’s done comic books. If they haven’t expressed themselves through comic books, they’ve been in a bloody band mate. <laugh> gotta, they’re I guess the same mate. They’ve gotta get that out man. Have
Neale Blanden (00:28:25):
You had that one where people go they go, oh you do comics and they look at your stuff and like, oh that’s great, how much do you get paid? And you go, nothing. And they go, oh so you’re special, are you? They just look at you, you’re really special. I mean that’s happened so many times in my life and I think, but people barrack for football teams and get really into it and wear the colors and pretend that that’s their team as in the people actually running the team know them. People go get into their gardens and are proud of their gardens or their produce that they make. People do think it’s just doing another thing. That’s all it is.
Leigh Chalker (00:29:04):
Well I mean I don’t know where I’d be man if I didn’t have drawing I a wreck. The one thing man in my life that has always been there is drawing. So I love meeting people that feel the same way cuz sometimes you do man when you’re sitting in that little room by yourself doing these things. It’s what we got. What’s that? Si Well bring that up again Danny. No, and I was in a band and I can draw a toilet reference to Spy there. Danny May
Neale Blanden (00:29:38):
Leigh Chalker (00:29:39):
I know Spy was in a band and Gary Cha had a comment to the calling. An absolute legend mate. So thumbs up. Oh
Neale Blanden (00:29:49):
Now I’m seeing it. Yes. Okay, <laugh>.
Leigh Chalker (00:29:51):
Yeah, thank you. Sometimes we get caught up in chatting and I like to come back and as best I can mate and just give a shout out to anyone that’s watching and the comments and that.
Neale Blanden (00:30:01):
So I’m on a very small monitor at the moment cuz it’s got a camera and I can hardly see the comments but when they pop up I can see them properly.
Leigh Chalker (00:30:09):
Yeah, cool. Well I’ll read ’em out to you as we go mate when they pop up and stuff like that. So I can take care of that for you bud. So that’s alright. So mate I guess would you say you’re drawing and you’re continuing, I, I’m really super interested to know with these and you’ve obviously printed stuff in normal size comic books before and slightly bigger and things, but what brings you back to these a five underground? Cause man, honestly as I said to you before and I don’t want to go on about it, but really, really enjoyed this man and I’ve a big fan of the knuckle down hands, get your hands to do stuff yourself. So that’s why I keep asking you about these things. Yeah, what is that? What you wanna continue doing in the future?
Neale Blanden (00:31:16):
Look, excuse me. Yeah, I don’t know if I want a really big book after looking at all my work now. The afternoon when I was pulling stuff out I was kind of going, geez where who’s gonna edit this? Cause this I’ve got such a massive work and some of it’s terrible <laugh> but I think with, so I’d love, yeah look, if someone else wants to print me, let’s go. That’s fine. But I mean it is easier to do. It’s kind of like when I first started to think, oh I’ve gotta do this, I have to do this cuz if I don’t do it I’m just gonna be one of these people who regrets not making comments, comics, sorry. And back in the day in 88 or when I did that first one, I mean it was so expensive to print and I was, what happened was there’s a shop down here called Minol and the Fox comic stuff that I was talking about before, these guys got in contact with a whole bunch of English cartoonists and a lot of these English minis that were called Fast fictions and there was a couple of others there infiltrated their way into the shop and I went there and I’m going, hang on, these are mini comics and I’m going, hang on, this is photocopied, I could do this.
This is easy. All you gotta do is, so that first comic that’s actual size, I just did everything a five cuz I didn’t understand how to reduce anything. Drawing this little panels going, how does anyone do this? And then I figured it out, maybe you should do your work a bit bigger.
Sorry. And yeah, I saw a whole bunch of these things called Fast fictions with, they were an anthology and there was one that was really good that was called something like the Elephant’s Head. And it was this thing actually Ryan Valer did, I think it was him, did the same, a similar kind of thing where one person would do a page and then the story would lead on by another person doing a page. So I think it was Ryan who did it and it was, you’d get a page, this was in the two thousands when we in Australia we did it. But this English one was probably in the eighties. That’s when I saw it and went, oh I really like this. I’ve gotta start doing photocopied stuff. But so you’d draw your page, you’d have to photocopy it up and you’d have a bunch of other photocopies from everybody else who would photocopied it up and you’d send that off to the next artist. But then you’d send a photocopy off to, and as I said, I think it was Ryan who was doing it and oh look, a whole band likes me. Vipa Viper syndicate I’ve seen have written, that’s Ryan Band <laugh>.
And the other thing for me was stuff like, well talking of music was punk. And particularly in Melbourne there was a whole lot of little bands like releasing seven inch singles or whatever. And I thought, man, if they can do something like that, surely can do, I can do something with art and do it myself. I was really into do it myself. I thought it was such a great idea. I didn’t think I’d be doing it myself now. But it was called Cross Country Comic Jenny. Yeah, you did do it. Yeah. Sorry Ryan. I wasn’t too sure. I wasn’t too sure if it was you or somebody else. It was a long time ago and yeah, I didn’t think I’d still be doing it now. But like I said, the last couple of weeks with big arts at Prince Pat bring cash being on <laugh> I had a bunch of stuff that was ready to go.
I really needed to print it and I thought, well all I gotta do is the last month or so I made some color covers and after work just rock down to office works and I thought, well I’ll just print up 20 of each because I don’t want to be standing here for ages. And doing it was so easy. It was so easy. I’m just sitting there going, this is so easy. And I didn’t get any pages wrong or anything. I think it’s all because it’s pretty much single page stuff. There was no pages leading on from each other and printed it out. Just gotta staple ’em together and they’re done. And I’ve done another couple of books it looks like at the moment. I think it works out to be about a book a year. I think that I’ve done, where is it?
Leigh Chalker (00:35:56):
Hang on, <laugh>. My Warehouse. All right,
Neale Blanden (00:36:01):
So let me hold this up. I might have to stand up for this one. So we got plenty of minis kind of like and comics and they’re all there and more stuff
Trying to keep it all together and not get too rusty the staples or whatever. And when I say that one year it might be a four page comic, just a little mini as six kind of thing. I’ve done plenty of that when I’ve had breaks as in, like I said before, I kind of just wanted to stop and I stopped and then I started again. And so I would just do something simple so I could get back into the flow when my daughter, she’s 26 now, but when she was first born around about 96, I did some small simple stuff like that cuz it was just easier because I a little kid there. So
Leigh Chalker (00:37:07):
A Facebook user, I’m not sure who you are, but love Neil. Thank you for the comment.
Neale Blanden (00:37:14):
Leigh Chalker (00:37:18):
At you. I got my you’re love. I don’t even have to do anything. <laugh> <laugh>. I’m trying man. But not everyone would know. <laugh>, <laugh>, <laugh>. You’ve just got started. <laugh>
Neale Blanden (00:37:33):
Only done half
Leigh Chalker (00:37:35):
<laugh>. Have a big swing of water mate. You’d be parched. Yeah, I know <laugh> mate. With your treasure trove you got there in your folder and did you ever go back and do you reprint those comics or have you decided they can stay there they were in its time? Or do you regularly keep rotating stuff?
Neale Blanden (00:38:03):
If someone out there wants to gimme a book with a spine, I’ll pull that stuff out, I’ll get it printed. But I’m not very good with the Kickstarter business. I must, but I think Ryan was talking of Ryan, I think he was talking about this. He does work and then it might sit in a folder for a long time because I think it was him anyway it’s just about completing the work itself.
Leigh Chalker (00:38:37):
No Dave, we cannot have an ad break. So you can go and top up your drink. Just turn the volume up mate. <laugh>,
Neale Blanden (00:38:45):
It’s a recording Dave, you can listen to it later.
Leigh Chalker (00:38:48):
Neale Blanden (00:38:51):
It’s this new thing called the internet.
Oh, print reprinting work. Oh yeah, I don’t know. A lot of that stuff’s not scanned. One thing I’d have to pull the artwork out and scan it and I’ve just got, I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking ahead. I’ve got four books or three books that that’s a big long story. I started them in 2015 and probably finished them around 2020 or 2021. I’m not too sure. And I really want to get them together and get ’em out cuz you know, gotta get ’em out kind of thing. And it’s a big autobiographical story cuz sometimes
Leigh Chalker (00:39:37):
How many pages are we looking at with that?
Neale Blanden (00:39:39):
60 something like 60 altogether. So yeah, I just wanna get that one done and out and hopefully it’s not too more driven boring cuz these autobiographical, I tried not to do shots like this. We are now, this three-quarter shots going my life. I didn’t want to, how you read some of the autobiographical stuff, my life is worse than yours and it’s just lots of people talking like this. Hello. And it’s just, so I tried to make it a bit more interesting than that and it’s probably the next thing I wanna do. And there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I’ve got in, like I said in notebooks that I really want to do. I had an idea at the start of this year to do, I was thinking about doing a subscription based, a six comic kind of thing and I do maybe six over a year or something and you’d have to subscribe to get them and so you’d just be sending them in an envelope and they might, I don’t know, probably eight pages or whatever, something like that. And then I thought, no, I’m gonna die if I try and do that, even if I try and organize the first three or something like that, it’s gonna kill me. But I’ve got two little comics out of that that I want to do. And I’ve done The robot one for whatever reason was supposed to be a parody of superhero comics, which it isn’t. But <laugh>, I tried
Leigh Chalker (00:41:13):
I like it
Neale Blanden (00:41:15):
<laugh> good, but it’s not Jack Kirby <laugh>. And I’ve done a romance one, which is penciled and I want to finish off, but I got more excited. I’ve done an underground comic, I think it was from seeing Gary Panter had a book, what was his book called? It’s only just he did this big huge book, <affirmative> and I can’t think of the name of it right now. And it was his version of an underground comic cuz he’s really excited about them. It’s printed by fan graphics, but you got a little version of the comic, a comic book version in it as well. But the big book was like, I don’t know, 60 or $70. But I did find a copy of the little comic book and I reckon I’ve been influenced by that. But I’ve done, I’ve got an underground kind of hippie sixties comic that I wanna, I’ve got it all penciled, it’s all there. Just wanna in rough form. I wanna draw it properly in plus <laugh> more work someone’s asked me to do, I do a lot of sketchbook kind of four panel comics, <affirmative> mainly. And most of those are printed up in a book called Four Panel Freakout, which again is at the Prince about this Saturday bring cash.
But a few of them I kept out of it because someone’s asked me to do some four panel comics for an anthology that they want to do. And so the good ones <laugh> in that are in sketchbook form, I wanna do them properly on a three and slick ’em up and make them look nice. And it was all gonna be I was doing a thing called, it was a fat comedian and he was just telling one line jokes, but really what it was about was his horrible life and his kids hating him and his wife wanting his ex-wife wanting more money. But I thought, no, I don’t wanna do just that. So I’ve got a couple of others that I’m gonna do and it’s so much work. That’s the thing, I just wanna do it and yeah, damn it. I’ve gotta earn money.
Leigh Chalker (00:43:29):
Yeah. Neil is an untapped talent from Facebook
Neale Blanden (00:43:35):
User. Facebook user. Is that the same one? <laugh>
Leigh Chalker (00:43:41):
Thinking it might be, mate I’m thinking it might, who knows Neil, who knows? It could be a myriad of people, man. It’s like if they can let us know who they are so we can give them a shout out. That’d be cool
Neale Blanden (00:43:52):
Dude. That’s fine. Your Facebook user,
Leigh Chalker (00:43:56):
You’ve got all this stuff that you’re working on. So with your notepads and stuff that you do in your spare time and your little sketch stuff, how many of those have you got laying around with ideas? Have you got a pile of ’em just that you go through every now and then? Or your notepads that you worked on then Yeah, are translated into your comic books.
Neale Blanden (00:44:21):
I look, I was trying to do it sketchbook wise and be cool and have how you’ll see people have put out comics usually people who print them up properly and they’ll go into it. And I have a moles skin book and I keep it in my pocket and I get it out with my fountain pen and draw and stuff like that. But yeah, it’s been a bit easier with notebooks. But I’ve got a bunch of sketch books, like a four type things that I’ll just sit and draw in when I’ve got an idea, draw them or I just doodle. Cause I don’t know, I don’t seem to get the chance to, I don’t do long boring meetings anymore, so I’d sit there drawing away there in meetings. But that’s good. You’re concentrating. They’ve proved that you’re concentrating why you’re doodling. That’s fine.
So sometimes I’ll do stuff like that in a sketchbook and so many ideas come out of that for me now, back in the day, I’d say in the nineties I just had exercise books and I would write down ideas and I don’t do that anymore. I don’t do that so much as yeah, I’ve got notebooks, but that’s a new thing really. It’s got about two or three of those that I’ve just, they’re good cuz you can hack through them. They’re, they’re pristine at first, but they’re just like all the spines are broken off them now because I’ve always got a pencil shoved in there and they have be elastic to keep it all together. And the same with the sketchbooks. I’ve got about I can’t believe I didn’t use sketchbooks earlier on as a kid. The sketchbooks have been more of a thing probably in my mid thirties till now.
So I’ve got, I don’t know, six or seven of those kind of things. And yeah, they’re great. They’re fonts of ideas. You just gotta remember where things are. But like I said, a couple of the comic books that I’ve printed up recently well all of them, they’re all things that are in my sketchbook that I’ve just sat down and drawn. I did a one, I was obsessed by one panel comics there for a while and the four panel comics, that all comes from not having any money <laugh> when I was older. Couldn’t go into the comic book shop anymore and buy the expensive comics going to the shop and going, oh look, there’s a book on Andy Cap, I’ll get that <laugh> right and stuff like that. But I was kind of going, hey wait a minute, I got a ton of peanuts books cuz I really love peanuts as a kid. And I think I’ve got every peanuts book now that was ever printed. The paperback ones with the, they used to have an orange spine on ’em. Yep. Yeah, yeah. I’ve got a, I dunno like 30 or so of those. Cause you $2, you’d just buy them and you just kind go. Was there ever a time Schultz was bad? They’re just so good. <laugh>
And a whole bunch of stuff like that at the horrible or hug at the horrible of whatever his name is. That’s a really good driven the first couple of years. Garfield in the first couple of years is fantastic. I can’t believe it. Cause I used to see em in the newspaper and the last thing I’d look at is the comics in the newspaper. I found them really boring. But the early stuff’s really good. So I got really into four panel comics and single panel comics and they were just all drawn up in sketchbooks, scanned them and just paste them all up in two different books. And that’s just outta sketchbooks. So I use that stuff all the time. I have to, yeah, that’s what I have to use. But yeah, the notebooks are, yeah, they’re actually quite a new thing. I just found them. They’re not as conspicuous. I kind of like that. People are always, oh you draw, what are you drawing that? No, I don’t draw. I’ve got this open, I’ve got pens in my hands. There’s no way I draw this
Leigh Chalker (00:48:40):
<laugh>. I’m trying to create an image here. <laugh>, you get someone to talk to me. Hey just now Tom McGee said, Hey, a Facebook user. If sizzle can bring up the last comment. Cause Dave Dye’s got a question here that will be a good one to answer. And that one is, how long does it take you to draw a page mate?
Neale Blanden (00:49:05):
Oh golly. A day or two. I guess it depends on what’s in there. And I suppose I’m kind of loose with the penciling these days and then it gets more exciting when I ink because I don’t know really what I’m gonna do kind of thing. But obviously I’m obsessed by crosshatching and the last couple of years I was crosshatching by using a quill, like a mapping dip pen. And I thought, can I do this by a paintbrush? Cause I, there’s a really love an English guy, he’s probably, I don’t know, he’s probably the equivalent of Crum in England, this guy called Hunt Emerson. And he just uses brush and it’s brilliant. It’s beautiful looking work. And I thought, okay, let’s give it a bash. And yeah, I found it really easy because I can get a light touch with the paintbrush as well. So there’s all, I mean that takes a long time to do all that kind of stuff.
But I don’t know. I try, when I’m doing it’s well, when I’m doing a story I guess more than a page, I want the artwork. I wanna be satisfied with the artwork and make it look as good as I can as want to try and do the best story that I can do. I know that sounds really basic and simple, but yeah, I don’t even try, I think, I don’t know, I’d have to be a reader of my stuff and not be me. I try not to sacrifice one for the other. There you go. I’m not really, when I see people who do good stories but they kind of sacrifice the art and they mean to do that. They kind of go, oh I made the art simple. So it’s easier to flow and read. I do understand that, but it’s not for me. I like Baro trying to get in there and do all this work. I think crumpled it that way. It’s cleaning the toilet with the toothbrush. That’s what it’s like kinda in there. You’re doing it. No, it’s not looking right. I’ve gotta do
Leigh Chalker (00:51:09):
More. Yeah, kinda. We got, here’s one from Danny Nolan mate. Did Basil Wilton or Don Martin both influence your style? Some
Neale Blanden (00:51:18):
More recent? Yes, I’ve just brought, there’s these two big Basil wolverton books that I’ve just brought actually and they’re fantastic. They’re really thick and I saw Basil Wilton’s work is one of the first things that really struck me in mad. It was a super special, again, it had the comic and there was a thing he did called the Mad Reader. He’s kind of like did, he did a bit I think in the seventies, but he was really more in the fifties with mad. And his staff is amazing. And Don Martin? Yeah, Don Martin’s one. It’s Sergio and GOs, I think that’s the guy’s name. L Jaffy. Don Martin’s huge to me. Yeah, loved Don Martin ended up finding that big, there was this big set of everything he did with mad kind of thing. It was a back breaker. Everyone has a story about bringing that book home and how much it hurt <laugh>. Cause it’s this two, it’s these huge two volume thing in a slip case and it’s heavy.
Leigh Chalker (00:52:22):
And you didn’t have a car that day, did you? Would’ve been out there one of those. Oh, I’ll go out <crosstalk>. It was a and a back God, that’s what I want. And look at the size of it I’m carrying.
Neale Blanden (00:52:33):
Yeah, it was in the Bargain shop. What are you gonna do <laugh>?
Leigh Chalker (00:52:39):
Well you can’t turn down a bargain mate.
Neale Blanden (00:52:41):
<laugh>. No, no. That’s all I ever do. Hunt for the bargain. So yeah, look, they’re particularly those two. Don Martin Bezel Wilton are huge. Huge to me that guy. Yeah, <laugh> still kicking, still doing stuff.
Leigh Chalker (00:52:59):
What was the name of his character? It escapes me. He was a did Marvel comic. That’s the one, yeah,
Neale Blanden (00:53:07):
I picked again an op shop story where someone had dumped off 20 issues of Grew and I’d never read it before and I just went, oh this is great. The writer’s really good too. But his artwork, it just, it’s really weird cuz it’s very simple. But he can do really elaborate stuff. It’s great.
Leigh Chalker (00:53:25):
I think from Memory Mate, I think Grew might have got to a hundred issues or a hundred plus issues back in the day through Marvel. Don’t tell me
Neale Blanden (00:53:36):
I’m gonna have to buy another
Leigh Chalker (00:53:38):
Be on the lookout to the other 80 odd you have. Yeah,
Neale Blanden (00:53:40):
I know. I’m gonna,
Leigh Chalker (00:53:42):
Danny Olan wants to know, was Captain Good Vibes influence for you as well?
Neale Blanden (00:53:47):
Yeah. Can they bring out that book again? They had a Captain Good Vibes book about 10 years ago. It’s all sold out. It’s probably a be a million dollars if you wanna go and buy it on eBay. Yeah, I really
Leigh Chalker (00:53:59):
Find Danny No’s got a copy of that mate Tuck.
Neale Blanden (00:54:03):
Yeah, loved it. Loved it. I spent a lot of time at the beach with surfs back in the day back in the seventies and basically the seventies and everyone had tracks and yeah, I loved Captain. Good vibes. It’s great. But yeah, he needs a reprint, that book. It can just be the best of captain. Good vibes. It doesn’t have to be the other stuff. It’d be great.
Leigh Chalker (00:54:27):
Yeah. Yeah. I like a good bargain too, cuz I just was at a second hand store yesterday, man. And went back again today to buy a whole, I’m a bit of a 2000 ad nut. That’s my favorite part. Okay. And I actually found for five bucks each, the collected editions of all the ABC warriors and SL and some classical judge dread stuff and bad company and things. So I feel walked out of there one of those occasions where, you know, park your car a mile away and you just wander off with the fairies and then I’ll go in here for a look killing time and then walk out with a pile of books that big and oh my God, now I’ve gotta walk all the way down there. But I gotta say how long for me with, going back to the question of if it takes you a couple of days to do a drawing, you’ve been a regular contributor to the comics. Friday night drinking draws for a while. Now one of those, do you do those in a night or via once you find out
Neale Blanden (00:55:51):
There during the day and I just do it in it’s usually just like a two B pencil and I just draw it. And then Darren Close used to do a thing called Oz Comics and I did the same thing and he’d do the same thing. There’d be a theme for the week. Yes. And I it in two b scan it black and white, so it looks like inclines and then color it kind of thing. So it really doesn’t take that long. I think the coloring probably takes longer than drawing it sometimes. Because I brought a book a couple, it was like a kids’ book about digital cartooning. It was the best thing I ever brought because it taught me how to color properly with lots of crosshatching and stuff like that happening. So you can’t really bucket color. You’ve gotta do this thing where you put the layer on oh, I can’t remember right now.
But you put the layer on something and when you do digitally paint it, you kind of like you’re doing an outline on the work and then dropping in the color on a different layer. Multiply, that’s it. You put the first line layer on multiply and then all your other layers are normal. So yeah, I suppose the coloring sometimes takes longer than the actual drawing. The other thing is too, like I said, if I have a year 12 class or something and they know what they’re doing and they may have much to ask me other than can I go to the toilet? You I’ll sit there and draw.
Leigh Chalker (00:57:27):
Yeah, yeah. Oh, fair enough. It’s like you gotta get it in where you can mate. Yeah,
Neale Blanden (00:57:32):
Leigh Chalker (00:57:33):
<laugh>, if you got the edge, you, I’ll
Neale Blanden (00:57:35):
Look up judge dread or whatever. And on the laptop I’ve got and going, right, there’s an image of him and I’ll go. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (00:57:41):
Cause man, I have in particular, your art is very unique to me. It strikes me as being Neil Blandon, like Neil Landon’s artwork. I can pick it a mile away. And the one that I do have to give you thumbs up for was the Optus Prime one you did a month ago. That was awesome. Yeah. Amongs amongst others. But yeah, that was for me right now, sitting here with you. Yeah, that one I, I’ve gone back and looked at that just, wow, okay. If anyone out there wants to see Neil’s Optimus Prime drawing jump on the comics Friday night drink and draw and go through. They have everyone contributes the images up there, well worth having a look at
Neale Blanden (00:58:26):
For two hours.
Leigh Chalker (00:58:28):
Neale Blanden (00:58:29):
Just watching for two hours.
Leigh Chalker (00:58:31):
Oh, you could do that. Why not? It helps out the algorithms and all that sort of,
Neale Blanden (00:58:36):
I’m watching friends
Leigh Chalker (00:58:39):
<laugh>. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t think I could subject myself to that. One of the old friends God, some of those TV shows, man, they day, you wonder what you were laughing at 20 years ago and then you think to yourself, how far I’ve come. But anyway I guess with also, you are doing a lot more. I notice you were at I’m not familiar with the Melbourne conventions and get togethers and stuff, but recently there was the home cooked or is it home? Yeah,
Neale Blanden (00:59:15):
Leigh Chalker (00:59:16):
Yeah. Yep, yep. And you were there doing that. You contributed, you obviously got a lot of work in front of you. Do you find, what do you like most about those things, mate? Do you like getting out and meeting the other creators and being able to eyeball ’em and shake hands? Do you meeting the people that wanna talk to you about your artwork?
Neale Blanden (00:59:38):
That was fun. I haven’t done anything like that for probably five years. Really? <affirmative> between doing stuff, not having any, oh yeah, I did it. I think it’s five years. Anyway we had the Covid thing happen and no one was going out. It was just good to see everyone. I don’t do a lot of those social things with cartoonists anymore. I kind of just stick to the cons. I’m just old. I like to stay home and draw and watch a DVD, basically. Yeah I’m not real keen. I mean, if someone’s got an art show or something and I can go to it, that’s great. But yeah, look, they’re fun. I don’t mind going out and selling stuff and meeting people. I met a couple of people who were just Facebook followers kind of thing, and they’re going, oh, I’m Scooby Doo or whatever. And I’m going, oh hi.
Yeah, I know who you are and that kind of thing. And just having a chat with them. We’re all old men. I’ll say that. It’s all old men. When I, <laugh> had two things that really sold, which was I think it was the robot one. And all old men wanted to buy that, but young girls would come up and I had this big comic that I did in the early two thousands called Dumpster about a baby that’s born and stuck in a dumpster. And then he grows up in the dumpster and I can’t even remember the story right now, but it’s all pantomime. It’s no words to it in that. And they love that. I dunno why they’d go through that. Go, oh, well I have to buy this. I’m going, okay, don’t, I’m not a marketing manager. I have no idea kind of thing. But they were the two things that really kind of sold. And I mean, I did all right that day and I doing sitting at a table and having a chat and stuff like that. But I’m not a big social animal, but I don’t mind doing that kind of thing. It’s like this set day again, I’m do it. And I’ll have fun and I’ll speak to a whole bunch of people haven’t spoken to for a long time, and probably meet some new people who are on probably Instagram or Facebook that I know.
Leigh Chalker (01:01:50):
Yeah. Oh well, the whole networking. We’ve, like I’ve said before, man, double edged sword, isn’t it, mate? You just gotta do it. Haven’t been part of, from a creator’s perspective, part of a convention before. So hopefully sometime next year I’ll get out and about. But I’m in a fairly <laugh> remote sort of part of Australia, so logistics can be a bit of a nightmare, but well, it depends.
Neale Blanden (01:02:25):
Sorry. I was just gonna say, it depends what’s on. I mean, yeah, obviously Melbourne being a capital, it’s a bit easier. But I mean particularly when I was starting out, it was all, I mean, well Comic Cons had comics there rather than what they have now, which is they’re more pop culture things. And there’s not that many comics though. People still are doing things I must admit to. There’s still a local contingent that get out there and do it, but home cooks really good like that because it’s all comics and everyone’s there for comics. And I was sitting there and I’m looking across and there’s a whole bunch of three tables of young people who I’ve never, I don’t know who they are. <laugh> have no idea. I’ve never met ’em before. And they’re pucking out their stuff there. But that’s, I mean, it was all about comics. The bad thing is I didn’t get away from the table really. Once I was at the table, I was kind of stuck there and doing stuff and didn’t really get a chance to walk around and I mean even say day to people really. But look what everybody else is doing. Like I said, there’s a bunch of tables. I’ve never met these people before. They’re cranking out stuff and I haven’t seen it.
Leigh Chalker (01:03:41):
Yeah, that’s a positive thing though, I would assume means it’s still alive, the process. Oh, it’s huge. Still going. It’s huge. So what’s the one you’ve got on this weekend that you’re attending, mate and I see, well
Neale Blanden (01:03:54):
Of course I haven’t written it down, but <laugh> seeing that before. But it’s big arts. David Bird’s running it. And if David’s watching right now, I’ll try and get it right. Or maybe you can type in it’s called Big Arts. It’s at the Prince Pat Hotel. It used to be an eighties home of standup comedy and there’s a B and me people who are going to be selling their things there. I don’t know, I can’t think of the poster. And who’s on it right now. And it’s something like one to five in the afternoon and it’s a pub so you can have a drink. I’ll probably, I’ll have a drink. I don’t drink that much, but I’ll probably have a drink as well and sell your wears, which is really nice. It’s really nice to have something else going on and hopefully it’ll be a continuing thing. That’ll be good if it was, but
Leigh Chalker (01:04:44):
Oh, so this is a first time one, is it?
Neale Blanden (01:04:48):
I don’t think it’s a first one. I think it’s just hasn’t been on for a while. I think there was one or two beforehand kind of thing, but I don’t know if David was running them. I’m probably gonna get myself into trouble. <laugh> my naivety of knowing what? What’s going on
Leigh Chalker (01:05:07):
<laugh>? No. Well we know where it is. Dave do, here we go. It pays to get there early, set up your table and then go around and talk to the rest of the creators before the door open
Neale Blanden (01:05:18):
And get a tablecloth. Make sure you bring a tablecloth
Leigh Chalker (01:05:22):
To hide your legs and all your comic books and stuff underneath. Hide your cash. <laugh>. No square, no squares for Neil. It’s just card. Hey mate. I guess as we start winding down our show and stuff like that, what go back with, I usually ask why do you do that?
Neale Blanden (01:05:53):
Oh, that’s why not <laugh>. Really. I have thought about that question and it really wasn’t that hard to tell you the truth. I mean I like producing the work, so I like doing it and that’s great. Yes, thank you
Leigh Chalker (01:06:11):
<laugh>. Thank you Carrie.
But I wouldn’t have worked at TAFE for six, 14 years if I didn’t know because that was through cartoons. There were other people I knew. I wouldn’t have the friends that I have, I wouldn’t have the acquaintances I’ve had that I’ve known since. Once I got in, connected into things, probably about 92. There’s people that I still know from that time and some people are really, really good. They are friends. We just don’t hardly ever talk comics really. But they’re just friends that I’ve known for that long. I wouldn’t know them if I wasn’t do and if I wasn’t doing this. We were talking about before, what would I be, I’d probably be a frustrated teacher who <laugh> never did anything other than his schoolwork who would come home every weekend and do schoolwork and I don’t know, watch the footy or something. I don’t know.
I’ve got no idea. But the byproducts of doing the work have been, yeah, they’ve just been amazing. I’ve gotten a career out of not doing comics but comics adjacent. I’ve got a career out of it. The teaching thing happened, but I was really interested in teaching comics as well. So I did that for a long time. I used to do night courses in that and that led to a daytime job where I’m teaching people how to draw comics all day. That’s my job. You can’t ask for much more than that. And like I said, well that wouldn’t have happened. Like I said, if I didn’t know cartoons and like I said before, yeah, 30 years of, even if they’re acquaintances, they’re not really good friends, but they’re acquaintances that I know and we’ve just known each other for whatever, 20, 30 years. It’s always great to catch up and go, what’s going on and stuff like that. I wouldn’t have, I’d have what, two friends and we’d probably go down the pub and be sad. I dunno. <laugh>,
Leigh Chalker (01:08:24):
Back to that autobiographical comic book you were talking,
Neale Blanden (01:08:28):
I would never have done it and I’d be really frustrated cuz I didn’t draw anything. So the byproducts have actually sitting down and
Leigh Chalker (01:08:38):
Now Matt Rice has said he enjoys your comics, Neil. So
Neale Blanden (01:08:41):
I watch here the other day too. I watch Matt’s talk. Yeah, the byproducts have been pretty amazing and I know I can be really negative sometimes about stuff and people were going, well shut up bland. And this has happened and this has happened. You’re going, oh yeah, I guess so. But yeah, drawing drawing’s, the fun part still is, I’ve still got my drawing board from whatever, 30 years ago sitting in my bedroom cuz I don’t have a studio. I have to draw in my bedroom and <affirmative> the picnic table that it sits on, which is about 60 years old <laugh>. But I’ve still got it all my materials set up there and stuff and yeah, I’m really happy to just draw and whack on. Still got CDs, whack on some CDs and listen to them.
Leigh Chalker (01:09:35):
Yeah, yeah. Oh it’s mate, it’s always nice to hear people happy with what they’re doing because different I got my theory is like I talk to a lot of American dudes who pursue comic books and stuff, <affirmative> and that everyone has their different goals of what they wanna do and where they wanna be. But as long as you’re happy, mate, that’s the main thing. Cuz obviously happiness obviously hasn’t stopped you from pumping out artwork, man and comic books. And as you said, you’ve got a ton of work sitting to your side that you know want to get through. Now I’ve got a really random question for you. You’re talking about CDs and you were talking about movies before. So when you, you’ve woken up on that whatever day it is and it’s like, this is my drawing day man.
Neale Blanden (01:10:34):
Leigh Chalker (01:10:35):
Yeah, the S what’s your go to CD that you put on to get you in the zone?
Neale Blanden (01:10:43):
Leigh Chalker (01:10:44):
And what’s your go to D V D or movie that if you’re not into CDs that day, what do you got?
Neale Blanden (01:10:54):
Look, I don’t mind a good anthology to tell you the truth with CDs at the moment. And a lot of it I just go to the shop and buy them and it always changes. Geez, <laugh>. What a question for the hard questions mate. <laugh>. Yeah, I dunno. There’s a big soul. So it’s called soul jazz but the company. But there’s a big soul one that I’m listening to at the moment because I mean you get older and you kind of go, oh classical music’s kind of cool and dance music’s kind of cool. I like putting on a good, putting on a good D of CD <laugh>, just a dj, just having his time fun as well. I actually brought a new CD this year, which was Thence a residence one, which was Gingerbread man. But it came as a three pack, it was like three CDs for 30 bucks or whatever and went yes, I’ll have that.
Thanks. So look, it just depends on the mood I’m in now dvd. Oh my goodness. Cuz they’re just sitting here and I’m looking at my 10,000 DVDs here at the moment. <laugh>, I dunno. But I’ve had a bit of a King Kong thing at the moment and this is just the moment. So I watched oh look, grab it, look. I watched King Kong versus Consular Kong because it’s just two CGI monsters punch in the Eses out of each other and they have the most terrible stories in it. You don’t care about the stories. The stories are terrible but the visuals are just great. Just watching Big Monkey hit big lizard <laugh>. And where was the other one that I watch? I watch Con Island the other night. Oh yeah Bree Larson does a good job. He can’t pick on Bree in this film. She does a good job. The story is so nonsensical, it makes no sense at all. Doesn’t matter. It’s lots of people going, I’ll stay here to get killed. Okay, bye <laugh>. But I’ll sacrifice myself so you can get away. I dunno why, but you do that and then Tom comes up and goes <laugh>.
I don’t mind a Fs like that, but I like seventies films. I like a lot of seventies films as well. French connection is something I caught up wrong recently. I’ve never seen that before. I don’t think. Best Car Chase. You could car train, chase the car chasing after a drawing and when you see the making of and how they a civilian was in their car and they drove into us and we just crashed into them and kept going. That really happened. You’re kinda going what <laugh>? Yeah, do that now they be suing you for millions. So stuff like that. I like a lot of the seventies films. I like animation a lot of the times too. It’s usually classic animation. I like old Betty Boobs and old Popeyes and some of the old Disney stuff as well, like the feature films and things like that. So I dunno if they’re motivating me to do comics, that’s for sure. But it’s the same with music. You can just change. Still got a CD player. I can’t believe it. I
Leigh Chalker (01:14:21):
Got a CD player, I got a CD player. We’re CDs, I can’t get of them.
Neale Blanden (01:14:27):
I was talking about the other day in the year seven class, they all burst out and laughter they Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (01:14:32):
Still got CDs. Sarah. I’m going, yes, <laugh>. Yeah, no I can’t get rid of them either, man. It’s like some days you wanna have the headphones on and Spotify going, but then some days, you know have that feeling of opening the case and it’s cracked at the top and the case flicks off and the book goes somewhere and the CDs on and you just sit down and enjoy the ambience and then it starts going and you’re like, oh no,
Neale Blanden (01:15:01):
I must be doing a good job. Cause I’m looking up. But I like physical media, I do physical media, I like drawing physically as well. I do a bit of digital stuff, but really it’s mainly physical media. It’s when I’m drawing cuz I don’t know how people handle doing digital and they’ve got a page but they’re close up on it on the tablet. That would drive me crazy if I didn’t have the whole thing in front of me. I don’t know how people handle it, but they do. And the other thing I think too is man, if I look at a screen too long, my eyes are just burnt. I can’t do it. I can’t look at a screen for I don’t know, for as long as you would have to do to complete a piece of work would really, I don’t think it’ll work for me but well there’s always digital stuff in there.
It’s all about layout and fixing mistakes now. White outs out the window, don’t need that anymore. And coloring that, I certainly use digital for that, but drawing, I just can’t do it. Yeah, really. And just because we’re talking about physical things, that’s what I mean. I need to have something in front of me and working on it. And it’s good because once I kick this model coil, I’m gonna have to instruct my daughter how to sell artwork cuz there’s a ton in there and hopefully she can make a big amount of money and I don’t know, buy something.
Leigh Chalker (01:16:24):
Yeah, well I was just gonna say, do you keep your artwork? Have you got a big stack of it tucked in?
Neale Blanden (01:16:30):
Yeah you do. I’ve got a big old cardboard suitcase, one of those old cardboard suitcases and I don’t know where I got that idea. I saw it somewhere on the internet. I went that’s a great idea. And I just store it all in there. I don’t do that many pages a year now, but I mean 30 years of staff, it’s probably a load there now. I’d have to go through it all. I don’t know. You do it and you put it away and you move on to the next thing.
Leigh Chalker (01:17:01):
Yeah, yeah. It’s got stacks of it myself mate. I dunno what I’m ever gonna do with it. It says piles and piles of things man, it drives it, boxes of it. One of those things that you do, you keep pay. It’s like I don’t even think I’ve ever sold one of my piece, my original pages man, to be honest with you, <laugh>, generally, if someone wants one, I just sort of, yeah, no worries. I don’t know. It’s much like yourself Neil. I just enjoy the drawing man to be happy and stuff like that. Man. I’m probably not anyone listening out there that’s looking for marketing advice and stuff like that on their own comics. Don’t take my advice. And the positivity, the creation and stuff like that. And much like yourself man, getting to meet people. Cause it’s met some great people and friends over the last couple of years, man that have inspired me and stuff. And have the opportunity to meet people like yourself who I’ve wanted to meet for a long, long time. And it’s alright mate. Now mate, always like to ask last question.
Neale Blanden (01:18:15):
Leigh Chalker (01:18:16):
What is for the young whipper snapper, middle-aged, whipper snapper old person anywhere watching this show that’s sitting down, what’s the one piece of advice that springs to your mind at the moment that you could give to them
Neale Blanden (01:18:36):
As Henry Roland says, do it. Oh do it, do it. <laugh>. Who’s the, who’s that guy? Who’s that guy who did the whole thing? Who’s just going just do it, do it. I can’t remember his name. Hil la or something.
Be like him and just do look, just do it. Just do it. And it might be the worst thing in the world, but at least you’ve had a shot. And it can’t be because I mean, like I said, I, I’ve been doodling and drawing all the time when I did and I probably made a big mistake trying to do a 20 page book first off. But everyone does that. You try and do you and fit too many ideas into something and make it bigger than it needs to be kind of thing. But you don’t know until you try. I think just do it is probably one of, we used to always say that to people. We’d all have our mini comics and people would come and go, oh, but how do you be a cartoonist? How do you do this? And you’re going, well you just do it and you print it <laugh>.
Leigh Chalker (01:19:40):
Neale Blanden (01:19:41):
Just do it. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (01:19:42):
Yeah. Well I would have to say mate, that for myself, since getting your books and stuff my issue five of Battle for Bustle is not far away from being completed. And you’ve actually, from looking at your work, motivated me to over the course of the rest of the year, which I was going to take some time off, I’m actually gonna try, I’m actually going to have a crack at going through some of my ideas and putting together a mini comic mate because you’ve inspired me to have a go at it and I’m
Neale Blanden (01:20:19):
Apologizing to your partner right now. I’m sorry that I did that. Okay.
Leigh Chalker (01:20:23):
<laugh>, ah shit that Tam already knows. I don’t worry about that. That cat’s outta the bag, Ben <laugh>. So it is what it is mate. <laugh> no holds bad there. All right, well mate Neil it’s been lovely talking to you mate. I’m gonna wind it up there for the people at home and stuff like that now. Cool. Last thing mate, is yes, where do people get your comics? How can they get in contact you? Where can they get your stuff?
Neale Blanden (01:21:02):
Look at the moment, I’m trying to get it set up. I’m just old, I guess I’ve gotta talk to my daughter. She do. She knows all about this and I’m gonna get it together. I really am sometime this year gonna get it together. So I’ve got a site or something like that. I need to look at that little thing up in the corner there. That comics thing. I really need to send stuff to Sizzle. I know if people really want that work, they can but at the moment it’s really it’s just tables that I’m doing and stuff like that. Really there’s not, there’s no other way because yeah, that’s what I’m doing kind of things. Neil’s style is deceptively simple but hard to emulate. Thank you Dave. I don’t know, when I was a kid I really wanted to try and do original work and that’s from the art school days. That’s what I made a mistake one day, putting some blo ink on an in piece and I went over it a couple of times. I went, that’s a really interesting line. That’s what I’m gonna do. And it’s, it’s a bit different with the paintbrush now, but that’s what I, yeah, I just wanted to try and try to be original and you can’t do that but you’re a kid and you think you can be. There you go.
But yeah, so anyway, the work itself, yeah, look, I’ll get there. <laugh> get there and blow the trumpets, but I probably need to send some stuff up to young
Leigh Chalker (01:22:31):
Shane. Now, if someone was to reach out to you on Facebook, would you accept cash in a self returned envelope? <laugh>
Neale Blanden (01:22:41):
Probably not a good idea, is it? So, no, probably not at the moment, but we’ll get there kind of thing. I’m not, I’m never in a rush to do these kind of things now cause I’m just, I don’t know, I’m just older and it doesn’t need to be done. I don’t have to rush kind of thing. Only when at the start of a talk where I talk at 90 miles an hour obviously and just realized that I was doing that. Sorry everyone for the
Leigh Chalker (01:23:04):
First half hour <laugh> and apologize. I was going at 90 miles an hour. No, you’re right man. You’re right. I, I’ve loved it. I’ve had a great time tonight man. Oh good. It’s super energetic. Fucking, oh there you go. Broke the cardinal sin. Oh well it had to happen once mate. It’s been 13 weeks. My god, that’s been for me and we’ve gone for an hour and a half. I thought these things only went for an hour. Yeah, well we’ve had fun. So that’s what it’s all about, mate. Positive energy and fun. So. Alright Neil, well mate, thank you very much. Anyone out there, contact Neil if you wanna see stuff in Melbourne head out to the show on Saturday where everyone’s at the pub. You can have a beer and buy comics and the big arts comic launch, it’s all there for you. I’d just like to say just like, and subscribe the channel so that it all helps out the algorithms and all that. Jive, no worries. Facebook user. Thank you for watching the show. Now I do apologize for any kids that are out there and heard that word <laugh>. I hope I haven’t scar anyway, you can go and make a comment. If I have <laugh>, they can go make a comic, can’t they Knee? They could go learn how to make minis about how Lee carved them for life with the terrible words. Oh geez. <laugh>
Like to thank Shane and Kerry and Comics Network for letting this show happen every Tuesday. Go and check out the comic shop for a lot of Australian content and creators and stuff. There’s some great work out there now, episode 14 next week is Nick Quick Cleary. Everyone knows him from Friday night drinking draws, but do they really know him? So we will find out. And three things before we go make more comics. Be the best dressed chicken in town and community is unity. Thank you. See you as all later. Bye bye bye.
Voice Over (01:25:18):
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