time to ring the bell it’s Home Time! Or is is it? This Wednesday we chat with Campbell and Liz about all things “Home Time” don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel… a million thank yous. For more information and to connect with Campbell and Elizabeth check out the following:
Art School: https://www.milk-tooth.com
More on Elizabeth:
TRANSCRIPTION (there may be errors in the following text)
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (00:09):
Welcome to episode three of the Olds Comic Show. I am here with Lady and we are going to be talking to Campbell White and Elizabeth. I hope I don’t but your name Elizabeth on the
Yeah. So they are part of the book Home Time. I almost forgot the book’s name. I was thinking of something else then. So yeah, let’s get on chatting to them.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (00:38):
That’s cool. Yeah. Hello.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (01:01):
Hopefully I didn’t go too bad with the name
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (01:03):
<laugh>. <laugh>. It’s pretty good. That’s pretty good. Pretty good. Ok. Yeah, I mean, I say but it is model four, but
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (01:14):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (01:15):
<laugh> Plants. <laugh>
Campbell Whyte (01:18):
Like the most exciting comment feature I think I’ve ever seen. Yeah.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (01:21):
Yeah. Very. That’s pretty hard on for rock and roll <laugh>.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (01:30):
Well, I’ll jump straight into the questions cuz we we’re keeping the show short. So tell us a little bit about yourselves. We’ll start with you Campbell about yourself and your creative journey.
Campbell Whyte (01:44):
So I’ve always, as far as back as I can remember, I’ve loved comics. I think it’s just that the art form, the storytelling medium that really clicked with me. And so from when I was very young, I knew I wanted to make comics and I think most young people really struggled with how to actually do that because they’re very difficult to make. And through high school I knew I wanted to make them, but I think it was doing less storytelling and more just illustration. And then went to university and there wasn’t really an illustration or comics degree you could do. So I studied visual art or contemporary art and kind of fell in love with painting and the contemporary art world and started doing that, which is where we met. Yes. So we met at art school painting and then gradually figured out how to make comics. It took a long time really and for a project to click. And so yeah, I’ve just been doing that and a bunch of other things our
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (02:49):
You’ve been in Perth, right?
Campbell Whyte (02:53):
Yeah, I’ve pretty much, yeah, I’ve been here forever. I did a brief stint in Melbourne, everyone from Perth does
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (02:59):
And then Sydney <laugh>,
Campbell Whyte (03:04):
But yeah, Perth Perth based and have always been, yeah,
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (03:09):
Yeah. Sick. Awesome. And are you Beth?
Elizabeth Marruffo (03:14):
So for my art background, I yeah, went back and studied art as a mature aid student and met Campbell in the painting studios. And I kind of went down a more sort traditional artist journey exhibiting in galleries and volunteering in artist run spaces that were more about the contemporary art world. But then just in terms of comics don’t, I’m not a huge comics reader or maker. I see myself more like a comics enabler. And I’ve kind of now from watching from the sidelines, I’ve also realized that I have learned some things about how to make comics and what kind of comics I like. And well, I love that comics can just be anything which is just very appealing to me. So I’ve kind of just put all of my compulsive painting and textiles making and sculpture into a comic form now. So I don’t know if I’m actually a comics maker, but the vehicle that my work is contained and at the moment is going to be a comics, which I can’t remember ever being this excited about the way a project is gonna look ever really. But in terms of my cultural background, half Mexican and half English, and I moved from Mexico to England when I was little. And then from England to here, I’ve been here a really long time. But I think that whole magical and mysterious world of childhood still very much is something that I’m tapping into in both those other cultures with my work.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (04:57):
Gorgeous. Cool. You guys find a lot of freedom obviously in comic creating opposed to other mediums.
Campbell Whyte (05:06):
Yeah, definitely. Definitely.
Elizabeth Marruffo (05:08):
I think it’s acceptance.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (05:10):
Yeah. Yeah, I think acceptance
Campbell Whyte (05:13):
And I think the community as well, it’s something we just talk about endlessly because we’ve kind of gone through this creative journey together and we we’re constantly trying to unpack it, but we both put a lot of weight and time and energy into that contemporary art world. And I bailed a lot sooner than you did cuz I was making comics and exhibiting at the same time. And it got to a point where I was like, one of these is making me really happy and the other one really isn’t. And so I just washed my hands of the art world in that way. I just went, I can’t do that anymore. It’s kind of heart, it’s soul destroying and threw myself into comics and it’s just a beautiful space and it’s a space where, and this is something we talk about a lot where the work is evident. You can’t fake a comic. No. Every comic is a miracle of love and labor and it’s there, it’s evident. And my hat goes off to anyone who’s made a comic because it’s a lot of work and it’s incredible things. And yeah, there’s no charlatans, no bakery in comics. It’s all genuine
Elizabeth Marruffo (06:25):
And there’s not much of a barrier to entry either. So I just felt something really different when I was around comics makers that I hadn’t felt of being around any other kind of artist group. And it took me, I was just really intrigued by, and really it was very overwhelming what this feeling was. And it was just a feeling of acceptance genuine diversity within the group as well. And just a warmth, I don’t know what it was, it was just beautiful. And so that’s, that feeling has sustained me in my desire to just, like I was saying before, enable more comics makers and how do we make them spaces and let people know that they exist. So that was what was big for me was watching Campbell be so alone for so long in his comics making and it was quite heartbreaking for me to watch him not have anybody to talk to about what he was doing to tell him how the industry worked or if there was anything, or what the pathways were or who was doing something similar or there was just nothing for him. And it was very heartbreaking for me to watch, but obviously that wasn’t actually the case. It was that there was no connections that were
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (08:01):
Elizabeth Marruffo (08:02):
Able to be made or networking opportunities. So we’re just trying to slowly have that happen in organic ways with just creating opportunities and spaces and welcoming events I guess. Yeah.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (08:18):
Yeah. It’s touch on this a little bit later, but paf obviously being one of the projects that you guys work on, that wholesome feeling that you talk about definitely resonates with that a lot. So if anybody ever gets a chance to come over from Perth, I know Eastern States gets all the good rap, but Perth definitely got some piza over here, so definitely make the way over a hundred percent.
Elizabeth Marruffo (08:43):
Campbell Whyte (08:44):
Yeah. No, it’s a lovely festival and I think you’re right. I mean all of those things that you just identified about what you loved about the community is what we really try to foster in that festival is that inclusivity, that welcomeness, that open arms, that friendliness because there are so many really elitist spaces within the broader arts art practices and they can be really intimidating and off putting. I think the beauty of comics is that they’re inherently welcoming. You pick it up, you can’t help but fall into it and there’s a lack of pretense and a lack of yeah.
Elizabeth Marruffo (09:25):
So yeah, I hope that is the vibe that comes across with p f and I hope it remains something that anybody can feel they can be a part of and no matter, yeah, my hope is that it just continues to be that way.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (09:41):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (09:42):
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (09:42):
Cool. Well I guess my next question would be current projects. What are your current projects that we should know about?
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (09:52):
Obviously your comics that you guys have. <laugh>.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (09:55):
Well, comics, I mean, yeah, <laugh>.
Campbell Whyte (09:57):
So we’re both working on our next books basically. So what I’m working on is it’s a book called Lunar Express. Let’s see, we printed a little sampler whereas it’s
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (10:12):
Colors on the front.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (10:13):
Yeah, that’s awesome.
Campbell Whyte (10:15):
There you go. So cool. And that’s kind of more of a ya audience, a slightly older demographic than Home Time was. And it’s about a group of friends. I’m gonna keep screwing. You can keep screwing it. Yeah. Cool. <laugh> about group of friends who the main character, she works as a delivery rider at her parents’ bakery and she just doesn’t know what she’s gonna do with her life after graduating from high school. And she’s sort of a bit of a lay about, but her and friends all have superpowers that work at night only work at nighttime and they’re all sort of celestial based powers and they get caught up in this they get pulled into this kind of plot, this villainous plot by this cult to kind of take over Perth. And so that’s the long story. The short story is, the short pitch is basically it’s Salem Moon set in
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (11:07):
Australia’s a little bit of moon in there somewhere
Campbell Whyte (11:12):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (11:13):
Not bad about it to be honest.
Campbell Whyte (11:16):
So that’s what I’m working on and hopefully gonna finish making it next year and then it’ll be out in 2024. But it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun. It’s all the stuff I didn’t do in home time is in this. So it’s like, it’s all action sequences and panel breaks and speed lines and sound effects and things that are more adult and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun. Sweet.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (11:42):
Campbell Whyte (11:43):
That’s my book project that I’m on
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (11:45):
At the moment. Yeah, cool. When that Kickstarter goes live, definitely, lets know, cuz he’ll be able to sprick that out for you on whatever shows are going on at the moment. Yeah,
Campbell Whyte (11:55):
Definitely. And then Beth.
Elizabeth Marruffo (11:58):
Okay. And so we made this for PAF where we just did a little printed sample, Campbell’s on one side and then mine on the other. So we just made ourselves get eight or 10 pages ready. Yeah, hold it
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (12:11):
Elizabeth Marruffo (12:13):
Yeah. And so my book is before, it’s just somewhere to put all the ways that I work into one thing. So it just kind of makes sense more so than when I’ve exhibited paintings and galleries. It’s kind of a very impotent sort of experience where, you know, do all this work for years and the paintings might be exhibited for a few weeks and if few people come and that’s kind of it. So for me, this is just a better home for all of the work that I make. And it’s about it’s kind of a retelling of the wind in the Willows story as a kind of scaffolding set in my hometown in Mexico where I’m from.
Campbell Whyte (13:02):
Elizabeth Marruffo (13:03):
And literally what I’m working on at the moment are these little I
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (13:09):
Gotta bring that up,
Elizabeth Marruffo (13:11):
Campbell Whyte (13:11):
Elizabeth Marruffo (13:12):
It’s a little flee character. I’ll just put his little jacket
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (13:18):
On. I was what? So say this little jacket. That’s very cute.
Elizabeth Marruffo (13:21):
So I just realized that there needs to be this little group of mariachi musicians who are actually little fleas and here’s his little hat
Campbell Whyte (13:33):
Whole book is Liz Sculpts and felts all the, and makes all the dioramas and things. And then we photograph them and then kind of draw over the top. But that’s her with the township. That’s kind of like, oh
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (13:47):
Wow, that’s such a cool medium.
Campbell Whyte (13:50):
And I guess that’s like what Liz was saying earlier, that comics as a vessel, as a vehicle, as a container, you can pour anything into it and we can pour autobi stories, science fiction stories, horror stories, history stories. But you can also fill it with any materiality. So yeah, you belting all of yours, this the, that’s the main <laugh>.
Elizabeth Marruffo (14:16):
But yeah, I’ve never written anything before. I never saw myself as a writer or storyteller at all. But my paintings have quite strong sort of narrative elements to them I guess. And I’m just so happy at the moment that I’m working on something that actually makes sense, rather. Oh, has that all gone?
Campbell Whyte (14:40):
Elizabeth Marruffo (14:41):
Yeah, so cute felted stuff.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (14:45):
Very cute. It’s awesome. But we’ll have a little chat about
Campbell Whyte (14:49):
You guys see us?
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (14:50):
Yeah, yeah, I can see you well. Can you hear us? Oh, nope. Have we gone blank? Technical. That’s
Campbell Whyte (14:59):
Alright. It kinda dropped out on
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (15:01):
Our end. Oh, there we go. Oh, okay. So that’s alright. Good segue. We’ll go back into your, cause we keeping on track home time, we wanna talk about that a little bit. I particularly love the slur.
Elizabeth Marruffo (15:15):
No, you guys surpris then <laugh>?
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (15:20):
Or is it just me
Campbell Whyte (15:22):
If it’s both, are we back? That’s
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (15:24):
There, yeah, you guys have been here. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You are
Campbell Whyte (15:27):
Working. Oh, okay. Okay, cool. Yeah, so those are the two big projects that we’re both working on. And then we’re just in a constant state of, I guess helping other people with their projects
Elizabeth Marruffo (15:43):
Campbell Whyte (15:43):
So it’s either through the arts festival or the Milk School of Art and stories that we run as well. So that’s where we do ongoing courses in comics making for primary and high school age students and then high school holiday courses as well. <affirmative>. So I teach comics making there and then Liz, you teach painting, sculpture, textiles,
Elizabeth Marruffo (16:06):
All the things that we do ourselves as art makers. We teach to kids from seven till about 14 years of
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (16:16):
Age. Yeah, yeah. Cool.
Elizabeth Marruffo (16:18):
And that began from having a child of our own or we could see that we really enjoyed teaching and art making and just the wonder of that time of your life. So that has been growing alongside the growth of our child who’s now 14, so Wow. Yeah, yeah. Did start a wonder got and it’s
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (16:53):
A nine week old and I already feel like I’m already one. I’m already feeling that a need to pass on that kind of stuff. So it’s incredible just the love that you feel and just that desire to continue to pass on that information and that creativity.
Elizabeth Marruffo (17:12):
Campbell Whyte (17:13):
And then Milktooth, one of the main things we try to do is we, well we think also what would we have wanted at that age? And I obvious loved art and I loved art making, but what I wanted to do was make comics and there was no way to do that. And there are certain types of children myself, I was one of them where it’s like, if it’s not exactly the thing I wanted to do, I didn’t want to do it. And I kind of worked through that. But there are a lot of kids that are like that where it’s like, no, I wanna make comments. I don’t wanna learn how to watercolor, I don’t wanna learn how to paint. And so we run that space and then you know, think, oh, what would you have wanted
Elizabeth Marruffo (17:53):
To look? We’re literally doing the exact same thing that our seven year old selves would’ve wanted to do. It’s we walk into and it’s like, oh my god, here I am again making tiny things for my toys basically. Or telling a crazy story with the drawings or whatever. Yeah,
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (18:18):
I relate to them a lot. I worked with the Children’s Contemporary School in Aro. I did, I did the comic art stuff there and I found exactly the same response from the kids was when I was trying to show them, don’t be afraid to try watercolor and stuff like that. And they were like, no, I just wanna draw my favorite character and anime or comics or whatever. And I’m explore a little bit but it’s, yeah, a hundred percent kids just, they wanna learn what they love. And Perth have that.
Elizabeth Marruffo (18:51):
Did you feel like you were getting just as much out of it as Yeah, you were teaching that kind of feedback loop that you’re in, it just re-energizes your own art making? I feel like it’s almost crazy to think that we get paid to do this amazing thing, nurture, which is nurture
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (19:14):
Elizabeth Marruffo (19:15):
And helping us as well realize.
Campbell Whyte (19:18):
Yeah, it’s constant, that loop. I often feel like I’m getting more than the kids are getting <laugh> cause I come up with it a long project for them and it’s always different. And I run a few different courses and there’s always a Manga Club one where we study a different manga car and then there’s a comics quest where we look at a different genre of comics making. And so with those, I have to prep all this coursework and resources for the students and so I to or I get to sit down and break down how this manga and I have to or deconstruct this genre. And so then it’s just in the back of my head and you’ve noticed it with Lunar Express especially all of that is just out of me now because
Elizabeth Marruffo (20:01):
It’s gone through him and come out in a Campbell Campbell way of that man.
Campbell Whyte (20:06):
Because likes with home time, I set really quite tight kind of parameters and borders and restrictions on aspects of it. I set very rigid rules that I wouldn’t break. But in the meantime, all these years I’ve been teaching kids how to break those rules and do all sorts of other things. So now I’m getting to do it, which is a lot of fun. And
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (20:27):
You’re living vicariously through these children, which is amazing. <laugh>. And then we up,
Campbell Whyte (20:34):
What is it? We print 20, at least 24 comics a term. So that’s four times a year like students works. And then we do some anthologies with the students. If at the moment, one of my courses is they’re all studying ancient Greek mythology. So each student is adapting an ancient Greek myth. So we’re gonna put that in an anthology. So it’s like 16 myths. So
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (20:59):
Having something, having something in print as well, like a tangible item for a kid to be like, oh my god, my aunt’s printed. It’s holding it. It’s huge. It’s a huge step. Yeah,
Campbell Whyte (21:11):
It’s massive. And it’s my favorite time of the term is that final week where the week before I take all their work, scan it, clean it up, print it, give it back to them, and it’s like they can see it for the first time when they get it back in their hands. And it is a transformative experience because it shifts them from being just a reader, a consumer to being a storyteller, someone who is then delivering and sharing those stories. And it becomes hugely empowering for them because they’re like, oh I made this. And it’s also an act of a moment of I guess forgiveness as well for themselves. Cause they can be quite hard on themselves all term, this isn’t good enough, I need to get better at this. Oh this isn’t gonna work. And then they get it back and they’re like, oh, it did work and now there’s this great thing. And when they finish that loop cycle of that fear getting over that and getting it back, then it’s like it starts that whole process.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (22:09):
Yeah. It’s also for them to be reminded that adults feel exactly the same way. Doesn’t matter when you’re starting the journey, it’s gonna happen. That loop is just gonna continue on and that fear, but it’s all about moving through it and working through it and being rewarded at the end, which is awesome that you guys are initiating that sort of reward for kids, which is huge. Yeah, yeah.
Campbell Whyte (22:33):
And then part, oh sorry.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (22:36):
No, you’re right. You keep going.
Campbell Whyte (22:38):
I was gonna say, part of paf, one of the reasons for p a is sort of like it’s that next step that it serves a whole bunch of people within the community. But one of our somewhat selfish reasons for starting it and for working in it is to give our students a space where they can move into as they get older. Well,
Elizabeth Marruffo (23:02):
We were worried that we were, were benefiting from teaching all of these amazing humans a particular skill. But then it was like, well what is there after? Cause they would get to 14, 15 and it wouldn’t be quite the right space for them because it’s a bit of a younger kid thing. Or there would be some kids who would stay until they were 18. And then we were like, it was like, well let’s get this community thing happening. And then because it’s such a beautiful community that we had gotten to know <affirmative>, it was just quite easy to then turn it into something a bit bigger and a bit more sort, I don’t know what the word is, but not respectable, but with some authority in spaces like galleries and universities. And now we’re in, we’re it’s validated, sorry, about more spaces where this art form can be validated and seen in its best light, I think is what was good about.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (24:21):
And I saw that on parents’ faces coming through in the previous one at the museum and just parents coming through and the kids are super excited and they just accept it straight away. But the parents actually seeing artwork from the artists and different comics of all kinds of genres and just being like, wow, this stuff is legit. It’s I’m not thinking of this as Spider-Man or whatever. These are telling heartfelt stories and journeys that my kid can relate to and feel someone feels them. I’m
Elizabeth Marruffo (24:53):
So glad you said that, Lauren, because that’s a huge part of how we think about it. We do want PPIC a to be there for parents to feel about supporting their child who has this interest and seeing you were saying people like yourself and so many other talented people doing things with this particular talent and skill that kids and end up really crafting and spending a long time getting better at and yeah. Yeah, it’s good.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (25:30):
You noticed that percent. So before we completely ran outta time, we’re having such a mad chat. I wanna obviously talk about home time and your books obviously. I wanna point out I absolutely love the slur Banana slugs. I think that’s probably gonna be my go to now in terms of throwing at people. But from reading the issues, I felt some serious influences from the Goonies and a little bit of studio. Was there any particular influences that you wanted to bring to these stories? Obviously I love the pixel art that was in there, that just, that’s my kind of going to as well, so gaming and stuff. So yeah, influence wise, what did you really pull from?
Campbell Whyte (26:18):
Yeah, I think one of the origins of the story is actually when we were living in San Francisco together in this sort of artist run space there it was when the last final Harry Potter book was coming out as in book form. And this is simpler times in terms of JK Rowling and her cultural impact, but the final book out and the whole house was really pumped about it and we all kind of tucked ourselves away to read it. And then we had a big house meeting afterwards and no
Elizabeth Marruffo (26:52):
One was allowed to talk about it. No one allowed until we’d all read it and then we’d all come
Campbell Whyte (26:56):
Together. It was a lot of fun. But then afterwards it was sort like, I was just reflecting on why this book and what does it mean and most people who never went to a English boarding school and has never experienced the snow and this really peculiar kind of englishness that it was imbued with, I kind of wondered, well what might that look like in Australia? And that was sort the seed, the very earliest seed of the book. It was never a boarding school school, but that was the question that I was trying to answer was how might this play out? And it wound up being a little broader than that, but that was the kind of genesis of it. There are just endless influences in there and I kind of tried to cram as much of it in there as I could, but Calvin and Hobbes is a huge influence. That was a work, that was my first comic’s love the first thing that made me fall in love with the medium. And so the structure of the book with the three tiered pages and a square format is that’s how I read Calvin and Hobbes, the collected volumes. So as a kid, so I worked off that. And then it’s a lot of things like you mentioned, those sorts of films were an influence strange thing, strangely,
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (28:20):
Stranger Things, everyone says Stranger Things it’s called that might know Goonies is the og. Come on
Elizabeth Marruffo (28:25):
Campbell Whyte (28:27):
Funny. Lots of my students are like, were you inspired by Stranger Things? And I was like, no, my book came out before Stranger Things. But the anime series, neon Genesis A Vanian is a huge influence as well. Which yeah, nice isn’t really obvious on the surface, but in terms of pacing, in terms of the use of quiet moments and silence the boredom and the horror of that series was something I really wanted to capture in it. And then a lot of it’s, it’s fantastical, but a lot of it’s very autobiographical as well in terms of my relationship with my friends, my relationship to Perth growing up here. I think those sort of questions and challenges that we have living in a violently colonized space and land and how we reckon with that all of that sort simmering at the back of the project, I think.
And as someone, I think as lots of people, as of creative people, we don’t always know exactly what we’re, we don’t always go into a project with all the answers. Often we go into it with the questions and we’re seeking answers. And it’s not until after we finish the project that we fully understand what we are doing with it. And so I, and another great example of that is at the time when I did the project, the way I structured it with the different art styles and the different character focuses, I did that because I knew I’d go mad if I had to draw in one art style for the whole time.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (30:03):
That was gonna be one of my questions about art styles.
Campbell Whyte (30:09):
But at the time I knew I had to do it to get through such a big project, but I didn’t know why. But it’s only recently I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD where I’m like, oh, that’s why <laugh> done it. That was the way of me understanding on one level myself and what I need. But not until well after the project’s finished that I actually realized why. So yeah.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (30:34):
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (30:37):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (30:38):
Yeah. Si go on for Aussie comics.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (30:41):
Sorry, I didn’t wanna interrupt. Well this show’s all about Australian comics and Australian creators like yourselves. So as one ones two of yous what would you like to see from the Australian industry in the future?
Campbell Whyte (30:59):
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (31:00):
Industry that is
Elizabeth Marruffo (31:03):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (31:05):
Right? Yeah, that makes sense.
Elizabeth Marruffo (31:09):
And the thing is, at Milktooth training up a whole bunch of really comic literate kids, so there could be this explosion of visual literacy. I don’t know, I think the Folio project’s been amazing to in terms of collecting what’s happening at the moment. Maybe for me personally, it’ll be more spooking of that if more education about what has happened in that Folio project. Yeah, I mean I don’t really know all that much, but
Campbell Whyte (31:50):
I think in terms of editors, I think maybe what you’re alluding to as well is comics literate editors or comic specific editors in embedded within broad, larger publishing houses.
Elizabeth Marruffo (32:01):
Yeah, sorry, that’s what I meant. Yeah.
Campbell Whyte (32:02):
So often the publish more mainstream publishers dipping their toes into comics making, but they don’t often have the editorial staff to actually support it or to
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (32:13):
Spastic being going in that direction, I reckon. Yeah.
Campbell Whyte (32:18):
And I think it’s gonna be interesting because it’s going to happen, it’s happening in the States, it’s gonna happen in Australia and it’s gonna be interesting to see which works get picked up, which works, get validated, which works, which creators get opportunities out of that and what direction the Australian Australian publishing industry wants to take it because the ya middle grade sort audience and younger readers is really a really ripe demographic. But I think the publishing industry, the broader one needs to really have a good think about where all those readers are gonna go. Yeah. Because there’s a whole generation of eager voracious comics readers and makers who grew up on rain alga and deaf pike who are rearing to go and once they hit a certain age, either they’ve got the mainstream publishers aren’t publishing comics works for them. And I think that’s gonna be a missed opportunity.
I can’t see them catching up, I can’t see them putting out enough work and investing enough in that market. And we see that mainstream publishers broadly outside of comics, lament this all the time. They go, oh look, kids love reading picture books. Kids love reading chapter books. And then we see this big drop off of readership as soon as Well what happens? They take the pictures outta the books. It’s aren’t, obviously it’s in there, it’s obvious, right? You’ve grown these, you’ve trained them up to read picture books with beautiful pictures, chapter books with delightful pictures. And then you get rid of the pictures and they don’t wanna read anymore. And it’s not a huge mystery. I
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (33:57):
Wonder what’s happened. And it, yeah,
Campbell Whyte (34:01):
Legitimate. So that’s one thing I totally agree with. The other thing is there’s a part of me that would love to see comics just being broadly more included in literary awards across the country, mainstream literary awards and also in mainstream book festivals and literature festivals, writers, festivals, festivals and not included at some sort of weird ghettoized art form for the kids where it’s like, no, they are included on panels on autobiography and they’re included on panels on crime and they’re included on this panel. And not as just a fun little aside we are fun, that’s great.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (34:44):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (34:45):
Wanna be recognized for this fun. Thank you very much,
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (34:47):
Campbell Whyte (34:49):
A lot of it’s highly talented work and needs to be validated and respected and yeah, that’s what I’d like to see.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (35:00):
Cool. Well, on a more personal note for each of you what would be your five year plan from looking forward for what you’re doing with comics?
Campbell Whyte (35:15):
Five year plan, do you wanna go?
Elizabeth Marruffo (35:18):
I think because, and our teaching selves are such an important part of who we are and what we do I think of it in, cuz we’ve got a five year lease on our rental for the business <laugh>. So it’s like, ok, we will do another five year plan after that. But I guess for me it would be what I would like my book to be a thing in the world, but I actually don’t really care too much if it isn’t because I’m having such a great time making it and having it collected in this form. And in terms of more books, what I think I’d like to see are some of the courses that I run and the art techniques that I teach incorporated into a comic form somehow book about the artist lives that I research. So that’s part of my five year plan in terms of more books, because I think I’d quite like to see the things that we do at Milktooth being able to reach a wider audience, so be a little bit more accessible in terms of if someone wants to learn that skill and learn about that artist. That’s what I’d like to see for in terms of a five year plan for comics in particular,
Campbell Whyte (36:47):
<affirmative>. Cause all of your courses are like, you focus on different artists with each, so it’s like this term, it’s like Marie Lawrence son and you’re looking at the life and times of her and her techniques and appears. And so wrapping that around comics or telling that life story in a comics with stuff would be really amazing with techniques.
Elizabeth Marruffo (37:09):
And the plan also is to have maybe a be run by other people who could hopefully get paid to do it. So we do it, that’s our volunteer commitment and it, it’s quite a lot of hours every week that we spend on pash. So it would be nice to have that sustainable somehow in terms of finances. So people who actually are experts in running events and doing marketing can actually do that and we can not of do that.
Campbell Whyte (37:42):
Yeah, I think that’d be great. And then for myself, it’s like I’ve got Learner Express that will hopefully be done end of next year. I’m also currently drafting my book that comes after that, which hasn’t been announced. So I’ve kind of got two that I’m balancing at the moment. And then there’s a bunch of projects I’ve got on my wall. You
Elizabeth Marruffo (38:07):
Can’t talk about something.
Campbell Whyte (38:08):
Yeah, there’s some other,
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (38:09):
Oh yeah, sign you an nda, right? <laugh>,
Campbell Whyte (38:12):
Yeah. NDA stuff, which is exciting. But then there’s got on My Wall, a bunch of projects that
Elizabeth Marruffo (38:20):
You gotta stay alive for a long time.
Campbell Whyte (38:22):
<laugh>. Yeah, there’s got 15 books up there that I’ve got in Wow. Pages of, well some of them are just rough ideas and some of them are a bit more than roughly.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (38:32):
You get that creative juices flowing consistently and getting them out.
Campbell Whyte (38:37):
And then sometimes I look up there and for my next book after Luna, there are three projects that I actually combined into one and I figured out how to streamline it. So I might figure that out. I’ll see where I go. I think there’s a weird idea I had, which was having books I’m not too interested in constantly working or making works for the same audience which I know lots of people do and that’s great. But Ran Toga May, for example, makes middle grade books and that’s all of our books for that audience. Whereas what I’d like to have is almost a cradle to the grave body of work. By the time I shuffle off to the grave, you can grow up. I’ve got some picture books and I’ve got some chapter books and then I’ve got some comics that do this, some comics that do that comics for tackling all sorts of different ideas. And maybe once I’m older, retirement or I don’t know, retirement village comics or something, I dunno
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (39:41):
Time, we’re all older, we’re still gonna be reading comics in at the Villages. Stress about that. <laugh>.
Campbell Whyte (39:48):
Yeah. So I’m excited about that point where I make old people comics, that’s gonna be awesome. But yeah, I’m not sure where I’ll be next.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (39:58):
Hey, that’s exciting part. But as a creator I’m sure you both have learned so many incredible golden nuggets of wisdom through your time. And I’d like to ask each creator when they come on here, is there anything that stands out to you that you would like to offer to other artists, writers, whatever creators that are striving for knowledge, what is your golden nugget of wisdom? Simple and sweet? What would you tell them?
Elizabeth Marruffo (40:25):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (40:26):
Elizabeth Marruffo (40:28):
Maybe just doing the work makes the work. So you can’t just think about something and wait for inspiration because you can think about it and plan it forever. You have to sit down and actually have the materials in your hand, whether it’s digitally or paper. You have to just to connect your body to what you are doing and just sit there and it’s just pure joy when you just fall into that space.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (41:05):
Yeah, a hundred percent.
Campbell Whyte (41:07):
What is that saying? Quantity makes quality. I think about that a lot as well.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (41:11):
Yeah. Especially creating this kind of stuff.
Campbell Whyte (41:15):
Yeah, it’s just the doing. You’ve just gotta keep doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it. And what else? I don’t know. I think being kind to yourself is really important. <laugh>. Yeah.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (41:26):
Especially when’s when it’s so hard as well. Like you say, there’s not many avenues for people to go down and it is a tough career if that’s what you’re choosing to do. And yet being kind on yourself a hundred percent,
Elizabeth Marruffo (41:38):
I would say don’t don’t count on it to make you money. Number one, look after number one, make sure you’ve, you’re taking care of your superannuation because your book, your painting is not gonna <laugh> care about you when you’re old. Yeah. I guess be before making, just the being financially secure is so empowering and whatever way you have to do that.
Campbell Whyte (42:18):
Yeah. There’s no shame or illegitimacy in making comics. When I made home time, when I was working at the museum, so I would make comments in the morning before work and on the bus ride to work on a lunch break. I chipped away at it. But the financial freedom that the job gave me, freed up my creative practice. If I’d been trying to make that book without a job
Elizabeth Marruffo (42:51):
Or for any particular publisher, it would’ve been impossible.
Campbell Whyte (42:56):
It would’ve been absolutely impossible. So there’s a balance. As long as your job doesn’t leave, you shattered by the end of the day and you’ve got nothing left and that some work does but there’s fine, then it disconnects your creative practice from it needing to make any money. And then you can do whatever you want. Then you’ve got complete freedom.
Elizabeth Marruffo (43:21):
And then weirdly, doing something where you’re completely free will let you go deeper. And then it’s highly likely that deeper thing is what people are actually looking for. And it’ll make you the money attention later when you might not even need it because you’ve been working so hard at your day job. So I don’t like it. Yeah,
Campbell Whyte (43:45):
It’s weird. Weird because there was a period where we were trying to make more money out of our arts practice <affirmative>, and it wasn’t working. No. And then we just kind of grew angry and resentful of <laugh> of what we were making, having to compromise it or trying to in a direction we thought might make some money. And it was just not fun. And then it’s, you’re doing the thing you’re meant to love. And it’s like but everyone’s a bit different. Some people strike out and they’re like, Hey, this is making me money. And I love it and
Elizabeth Marruffo (44:17):
It’s great. That’s cool. <laugh>.
Campbell Whyte (44:19):
Yeah, but that’s like getting a Ferrari or winning the lottery or something. It doesn’t happen to many people.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (44:29):
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (44:30):
Cool. Thanks for that. I guess it’s part of the night where we ask your comics and your art, where can we find it and plug your, so socials
Campbell Whyte (44:44):
Cool, so you can buy home time at hopefully any comics still, but definitely bookstores as well. And if you’re in Perth, if you wanna get a copy, you can buy it from me. If you go to the Milktooth website, if you wanna come to our art school which is for seven to 14, 15 year olds you can go to Milktooth or milk tooth.com and we’ve got all of our, or look us up on Instagram or Facebook
Elizabeth Marruffo (45:12):
And Perth Comic Arts Festival is on Instagram and on Facebook we tend to post most things there. We have just announced our AGM is happening on November the eighth or sixth or eighth. Oh, cool. So we’re looking for more members and if you’d like to be involved in the committee, you’re very welcome to be. We haven’t actually, where can people get that? We’re kind of just giving it out for free people, just free. We
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (45:43):
Copy of Home Time and you, you’ll get one. No <laugh>.
Campbell Whyte (45:47):
Yeah, we can definitely throw one in. You can pick up a copy of the Tail Town newspaper, which we didn’t talk about as well. That’s at the state library. If you go to the front desk state library of w a, and that’s 11 comics by Perth comics makers. It’s free and it’s all comics about the pandemic. There’s ours, Liz did. It’s an homage to George Herman who did Crazy Cats. And then I did a comic that’s an homage to Little Nemo and Slumberland. Oh cool. But yeah, talks about the pandemic experience, which is pretty cool.
Elizabeth Marruffo (46:23):
And Instagram, you, you’re posting a game on Instagram?
Campbell Whyte (46:26):
Yeah, I made little mini comics on Instagram and do a bit of lunar express preview work on there. And then you are posting all your little sculptures as they
Elizabeth Marruffo (46:35):
Yeah, I’m doing behind the scenes. Yeah, kinda stuff. <laugh>.
Campbell Whyte (46:42):
Yeah, it’s like when there used to be DVD extras. It’s like that.
Elizabeth Marruffo (46:46):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (46:48):
Well we’ll put all those details in the comments or the details of the YouTube video. I’m sure you’ll pop that on there. But oh my God, thank you both of you for such a wicked, was it 45, 50 minutes? It’s been absolute pleasure. So nice to have you on and absolutely love that you guys are just willing, want to nurture people and nurture the industry as well. That is a huge thing, especially for Comex and looking at the indie industry. A hundred percent. So thank you so much for coming on. It’s
Elizabeth Marruffo (47:16):
Exciting. It’s so exciting. Yeah, it really
Campbell Whyte (47:19):
Is. And it’s a bit selfish cause we just wanna read more as well, <laugh>.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (47:24):
Elizabeth Marruffo (47:24):
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (47:25):
You guys were a perfect guest for this avenue and this channel, so thank you so much. Yeah, and I’ll leave it to you to wrap it up.
Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (47:36):
Well, thank you for joining us. Thank you to everyone who watched. Thank you everyone who watches it in the future. And everyone have a great night and see you next week for more OS Comic Show. See you as all.
Lauren ‘Lady Rattus’ Marshall (47:49):
Voice Over (47:51):
Check out comx.cx for all things comx and find out what ComX is all about. We hope you enjoyed the show.