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Jonathon Saunders

From the wild north comes Jonathon Saunders, creator of Zero Point Origins here to chat about his latest venture, the Collected Graphic Novel coming to Kickstarter real soon.


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Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (00:13):

Welcome to Season four, issue three. Episode three. We are here today to talk to Jonathan Saunders and about his Kickstarter Zero Point Origins. Well, that’s the graphic novel in the Kickstarter. So is there anything I should talk about as well?

Sheydin Dew (00:38):

Anything coming up?

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (00:40):

We’ve got things coming up as well. After you watch this tomorrow, we’ve got the Let’s make a comic book with Ed and then Friday night we have, this is the week that we have Drink and draw, so check that out. But until then, let’s go meet Jonathan.

Sheydin Dew (00:54):

Let’s go do it.

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (01:16):

Oh, they put me in the wrong place.

Sheydin Dew (01:19):

Let’s do Shuffle around. Let’s do Shuffle

Jonathon Saunders (01:21):


Sheydin Dew (01:23):

Hello. Thank you so much for being on the show, Jonathan. It is an absolute pleasure to have you on. Thank you. We are super excited. I got a little gift in the mail from yours, truly. Thank you so much for sending these through. I had the absolute pleasure of not reading just one, not two, but three of your comics, and I’m super excited to talk all things zero points. Firstly, can you talk a little bit about yourself? Give us a little bit of a spiel of who you are as a creator?

Jonathon Saunders (01:57):

Yeah. I’m a Darwin based illustrator and a 2D animator. I’ve been making comics probably since 2014. First made, the first comic I ever made was part of the Bar Kiara project, which was like a mix of Akira and the Simpsons done by the wonderful cartoonist, James Harvey. So that dipped my toes into that, and then I started to make my first web comic Astounding Tales of hero fiction, which was the first introduction of the characters. Zero Point Ran Wind Commander and the crew from aco. And yeah, I’ve been doing that ever since. And also, yeah, as I said, I’m a 2D animator as well. I’m the director and creator of the Animated Web series Zero Point Season Zero, which you can watch on our YouTube. And as I said, did some work with Studio Glee for a couple of years. And oh yes, there’s the DVD called the Arctic. That’s amazing. That is so cool.

Sheydin Dew (03:01):

Amazing. It sounds like you’ve got such a huge background and you are a jack of all trades really. And it’s also really cool to know that you’re from the Northern Territory. When I was reading Zero Point, I read some of your backstory a little bit about you, and I found out that you’re from Northern Territory and I was super excited because I myself grew up in the Northern Territory for four years just out of Hump. So yeah, I was super, super stoked to get you on board and talk about your amazing comic. And speaking of the Comic Zero Point, can you give us a little bit of an elevator pitch of what it’s about? Yeah,

Jonathon Saunders (03:42):

So Zero Point is a, I guess you could say gritty action thriller set in the world of Australian superheroes that follows Kyle Burton, a former Australian commando who during a mission gone wrong, and East Timor awakens his zero point energy manipulation abilities. So Zero Point Origins looks at Kyle as he goes on his journey to learn not only where he got his powers and the fact that he’s the strange son of the famed Australian superhero in the eighties called Zero Points. He discovers learns more about his powers and his place within the world of Australian superheroes and eventually uncovering a possible conspiracy. But that’s later down the line for another story. So I guess you can say, yeah, so it’s a mixture of I guess, dragon Ball Watchmen and a bit of Tom Clancy.

Sheydin Dew (04:38):

Yeah, absolutely. No, it was an absolute conclusion of reading the first three. I can’t wait to read more. And speaking of more, I hear that today is a special day, is that correct?

Jonathon Saunders (04:49):

Yes. So we today have just launched the Kickstarter for Zero point Origins, the graphic novel, which collects not only the first three issues of Zero Point, that app is that, but also the fourth issue. So it is a complete bundle, graphic novel of Zero Points journey from start to finish. And it also includes some really great little goodies you just saw before was the DVD and graphic novel bundle. So as I said before, I’m an animator and back in 2018 did a web series which featured the characters and Mark Cole Smith was Voice of Zero Point and Steven Oliver, that wonderful guy from Black Comedy was the voice of our villain Sampson. So if you want to see zero point in action, check that out on zero dash point TV or just search zero point Season Zero on YouTube. But as part of one of our Kickstarter bundles, you can get the Zero Point Origin Graphic novel and the DVD to go with it. So once you’ve read the graphic novel, you can pop on the DVD and see what happens next in the story

Sheydin Dew (06:00):

That is, well, I know

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (06:01):

What’s happening with me, I’m changing my pledge level as soon it just finishes.

Sheydin Dew (06:06):

I think that’s awesome. I think there’s such, there’s so many different levels that you’ve incorporated and the fact that you’re an animator I think has just helped you to make so much more intense in your project.

Jonathon Saunders (06:18):

Yeah, it’s like animation is a great love of mine, but one of the issues is you do hours of work for seconds of animation. So that’s why I really chose comics to favorite explore those characters. I presented in Zero Point Season Zero, and also again with Season Zero, it started right in the middle of the story where zero points were already superhero working for aco, the Australian Federal Externals, which is the Australian government group in the world of Zero Points. So this comic book not only is a great launching point for new readers or new people wanting to get into Zero Point explains how he got there and just his origins and how Calf thinks and feels. And yeah, just as I said, it’s a great jumping off point for the series going forward. Of course, and as I said, it’s something I feel unique in the world of Australian comic books really, especially since, as far as I know, it’s the first only Northern Territory bass superhero comic, and as I said, the character himself is from the nt. So yeah, I hope it’s something that people haven’t really seen before.

Sheydin Dew (07:40):

Absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s a really good thing that you touched on that having a Northern Territory character and having so much representation and also being an indigenous character as well. I think that was fantastic to see, and it really drew me in instantly. It was really nice to see Australian representation in comics. I think it’s just fantastic to see. And speaking of, you said that you were really influenced by animation and animations are really big passion of yours. I couldn’t help but notice that in your art style, I got a hint of anime manga. Can you touch on if that was an inspiration in your art style?

Jonathon Saunders (08:17):

Yeah, so obviously a big influence for me in terms of the art style was a curator, Troy, who as I’m sure your viewers now sadly passed away last week. He was very much a big influence in the style, not only in the look, but also just he was an amazing, amazing artist when it came to actually panel by panel layout and action scenes. If you have the Mount Rushmore of action comics, I think Tory Armor would be up there with Kirby and Dip K personally, that’s how I feel. And of course when Zero Point uses a zero point Energy powers, his hair changes colors, so you can think people get that.

Sheydin Dew (09:07):

I wondered about that and I was like, I’m getting Major Dragon Bull ze vibes reading this, it’s called,

Jonathon Saunders (09:12):

Yeah, and also Omo Ka a Hero, the author of Akira. It was another big influence, especially when it came to those, the comics, even though I’m from the Northern Territory, I wanted to set it in Melbourne just so you can get those wonderful cityscapes and I feel superheroes work best in with those tower and skyscrapers and alleyways. And also David Maselli was a big influence as well. Also Steve Rude and of course Frank Miller as well, not only in the art style, but also the writing as well. So again, it’s a hodgepodge of everything I love in comics in the east and west.

Sheydin Dew (10:04):

Absolutely. No, it was fantastic to read, and also your color, everyone who knows me, I am absolutely beamed for color and the colors that you incorporate in your comic are phenomenal, and it’s just so you apply them really well in your fight sequences. It’s just an explosion of color, and I think that pairs really well with the type of genre that you’re going for, I think, and also to pair with your character too. I think that really, really empowers him in a really, really fantastic way.

Jonathon Saunders (10:34):

I was going to say for the colors, I guess it really came about because I always felt a bit not confident with my coloring style, so I felt that, so in a way it was kind of done limitation wise, but also because I love how comics were colored pre 1990s before computer coloring came about, but I’m still CYK process, so I use the maximum amount of colors that were available. I think it was three 20. So it not only makes it a throwback to the kind of stuff I loved, but it also makes you think creatively about how to use it smartly because if you don’t have a million colors, you have to be smart. And as I said, it just helps to, I guess for me, it wasn’t about making something look realistic, but making it invoke a certain emotion or making sure it was what’s on screen is communicated clearly, I think.

Sheydin Dew (11:33):

Yeah, absolutely. And I completely understand where you’re coming from because I had the same issue with my own comic, and so it’s really cool to see people doing similar things with those color schemes and really utilizing them. I think you don’t always see so much of them, but when you do see them, it’s always so fantastic to see. But having said that, and now seeing a few pictures of the comic as well, can you tell us a little bit of what inspired this project for you?

Jonathon Saunders (12:02):

Yeah, as I said, it was creation of Zero Point. It started way back, a creative character way back when I was studying a bachelor in visual arts at university way back in the mid two thousands, and I saw at the time that wonderful and very controversial indigenous Queensland artist, Richard Bell had done his works, I believe they were from the No Man Nowhere Man series, maybe I’m butchering the name, but in it he took those famous Roy Lichtenstein pieces, the very iconic comic book kind of stuff, and in it, he in his Cheeky Away changed it so that the main character was an urban indigenous man, and it was commenting on the indigenous art world at the time, and really it was probably the first time I’d really seen, I’d seen indigenous characters and comics before, but it was always that kind of dream time warrior kind of look kind like what you’d see with Gateway from the X-Men, like the elderly man touched in Touch with the Dream Time.

Nothing wrong with that look that obviously came about because of what you’d see in television. And also I guess some of that was probably inspired by the great indigenous warrior here, but again, it was a bit stereotypical and it was the only real type of character you’d see. But seeing a regular bloke like me who happened to be a black fellow, it was in that classic style of, I think there was Stein pieces were ripping off genre me senior. So seeing that in the classic American style, it was like, oh, cool. Yeah, I thought, okay. Yeah, and it kind of made me think about what I loved about comics and just created the character and used them in stem cells along with the character Rand, the vigilante, and from there I used zero point in a lot of artworks. Then it was after I did stuff in the Bar Kiara project, I was like, maybe I should actually make a comic and astounding tales of hero fiction.

Sheydin Dew (14:27):

Yeah, amazing. Yeah, that’s so cool to hear that it spanned that long since all that time. I think that’s really awesome to hear that projects have lasted that long and have come so far. It’s really cool to hear background stories of those kinds of projects. Having said that, I know that you said that you stemmed from, well, this stemmed from back when you were in university. I’m assuming that you probably were drawing before that, is that correct?

Jonathon Saunders (14:53):

Oh yeah. Yeah. I was drawing since I was 10 and as I said, always had that love for drawing and wanting to do animation and then seeing, watching Dragon Ball for the first time and 1997 on CAR T Network, and we really opened it up and then that led me to watching other things like on SBS, like Neon Genesis, even Gian Bubble Gum Crisis 20 20 42 1. Then obviously there was a time when DVDs and was just still brand new. So Madman Entertainment just had a whole wonderful catalog of stuff they got from Mandarin Entertainment and as I said, and also from SBS and also back then there was a cable channel that was exclusively running stuff from 1990s and 1980s anime and stuff at 12 o’clock midnight runnings of that and just absorbing all of that and seeing what can be done with animation. But also I loved superhero comics as well since I was a kid growing up with Phantom of course and Mad Magazine and then it wasn’t until when I was 16 had my own car that I could actually go to the local comic bookshop, you probably remember it, comic ee, which is now Stone Monkey.

Yeah, so I just would, whatever money I had would just buy comics, obviously big influence comic book wives would be the works of Frank Miller, Alan Moore, and yeah, just again really into Green Lanston as well. So you can see a bit of that in Carl’s design as well. As I said, just taking all of that and then just crushing it into making zero point.

Sheydin Dew (16:54):

Yeah, and I always say artists ourselves as artists are like sieves. We see all these amazing things and we kind take our little bits of inspiration and then make our own unique thing with it. So it’s really cool to hear that that’s similar kind of process with yourself. So I guess it leads me onto my next question. What would you say are some of your strengths when creating

Jonathon Saunders (17:22):

Some of my strengths? Yeah. Oh yeah, that’s going to be a hard one. I don’t want to sound too

Sheydin Dew (17:31):

With the next question. Let’s say

Jonathon Saunders (17:34):

Question I, I’d like to think when it comes to paneling page layouts and also action scenes, I like to think I’m pretty good at that.

Sheydin Dew (17:46):

Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, some of those action sequences are just phenomenal. That was really cool to see and just it draws you in instantly. Absolutely. I guess, and to pair with it, what would you say are some skills that you’re currently working on?

Jonathon Saunders (18:03):

Oh yeah. So I guess probably a big one for this project. As I said, coloring was always a bit of a, I don’t know, some people say it like my coloring, but I always felt a bit, I don’t know, always wanted to improve it. So working on that and also just really once I finished the zero point Origin graphic novel, I just want to go back and do some study up on figure work and background work, just because when I’m working on the comics is just focuses purely on that, so I don’t get a chance to just draw for pleasure and just for study. So whenever I finish a chapter of Zero Point, it’s like, oh, now I can actually just do some fun sketches and just learn and improve my craft and then that obviously helps for the next issue. But also one thing I want to do that’s not comic related is just learn about 3D modeling just so, again, because an animator and I want to use blenders capabilities for animations I want to work on and and also it might help just, it is a good skill to have I think in the animation and illustration industry.

I feel.

Sheydin Dew (19:27):

Yeah, it’s definitely a versatile skill, that’s for sure. As we move into more 3D needed skills, I guess so to speak in the industry, that’s really awesome to hear that you’re working on so many different skills and you’re so well versed at many different skills. I think that’s really cool to see, especially as a comment creator as well. Very refreshing. So I guess seeing zero point, I guess if I’m correct in saying is it all digitally done or

Jonathon Saunders (19:56):

Oh yeah, yeah, it’s digitally done, but I very much tried to make it look like it was done pre 1992 in terms of coloring and it’s look like I was going to say I have an issue copy with me here, but if you wanted to Oh yeah, if you could, I don’t know if you can zoom in, but I can unfortunately, I wish I could. Oh, well for the viewers just pause and zoom in.

Also, you can see my artwork up on my Instagram on Jonathan Saunders’s illustration, but I try and make the line work a bit scuffed because one thing we’ve, that you get in digital printing or digital coloring that you don’t get in real life coloring is pure blacks. The blacks are crushed while in analog books show an example, actually that’s probably not a good example. It was all Stuart Iman’s secret identity. It was all done digitally, but when you print something on the page, it’s not going to be pure black because obviously paper absorbs the ink and other little mechanical processes. Originally I was going to try and I got the ability on clip studio paint, which is what I used to make comics. I got the pack from the, I’ve forgotten, I think it’s called craft, not craft work, but it’s a pack you can find where you can actually emulate the CMYK color process of how comics, so you get the little vende dots and I wanted to do coloring that way, but the thing is you actually have to do the coloring exactly how they did mechanically. So you have to have to go through their little catalog finds, like you have the color swatches and then it’ll tell you what mixture of colors make that color. So then you go into the layer for blue for cyan, I should say select that level of dot density, color that in, then go to the layer for magenta, select that color of dot density color that in takes. I save that for one-off covers and stuff, but it’s really time consuming, but it looks really helpful.

Sheydin Dew (22:08):

Absolutely. Yeah, for sure. That’s really awesome to hear that process. So I know that you have produced Zero Point digitally. Would you say it’s your favorite medium?

Jonathon Saunders (22:18):

Oh, you mean just comics or using, just

Sheydin Dew (22:21):

In general, do you prefer drawing digitally or traditionally would you say?

Jonathon Saunders (22:25):

I mean, I haven’t drawn traditionally in a while I switched to digitally because as you know, one of the, I don’t want to say it’s an issue, but when you draw traditionally it takes up physical space while when you draw digitally, it just takes up hard drive space. If I made zero points traditionally, I would have a huge stack of paper. I’ve got fit somewhere in my already crowded room. But the benefit is that you can then sell those pages off to buyers. So it could be, I don’t know, I’d like to actually do that, to do maybe the layouts digitally, then print it up on Bristol board and then in it traditionally. But I do like I used to be a stem artist and still did some stem art recently. I do like that process of using paper and a few times when my computer doesn’t work and I need to draw something, I just get my drawing book and text or a pen and just do that and it’s nice. It’s just that one of the benefits digitally is that making corrections. And sometimes I’ve gone back to traditional things. I’ve drawn something like, oh, I want to get, I try zoom it in.

Sheydin Dew (23:45):

Yeah, I’ve done that too. Where’s the Control Z at? But yeah, I guess it comes down to the convenience and mobility as well. You can take, I dunno about yourself, but I’ve got an iPad and I’m able to take that wherever I am on the go and whatnot. So yeah, I definitely get it. But there is some sort of magic about traditional, I won’t lie.

Jonathon Saunders (24:06):

Oh yeah, yeah, they both have do that. Yeah, absolute phenomen bits and disadvantages, as I said, definitely would like to do that, make a comment comic using traditional methods, and as I said, then it’s something for buy as to get, if they want a great piece of artwork, God knows. I’ve looked at some of the stuff that Frank Miller would auction off and I’m like, God, that would look really great, but it’s so expensive. But that’s probably a good thing for Frank.

Sheydin Dew (24:37):

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I guess if anybody else, I know that Dave Di just said that he has a very similar process that he made in his latest Tales comic, I think. Yes, probably. Yeah. So that’s really, if anybody does have questions in the comments, make sure to shout out. Always good to continue the conversation. But I guess that kind of moves us onto our next parts of the show, and that is more of the nitty gritty stuff about Zero Point. So exactly how long would you say that this has taken, would you say,

Jonathon Saunders (25:13):

Oh God, maybe I don’t want to think about it. I think because I did the originally Zero Point origin was literally going to be that first issue you got. It was like a two issue kind of miniseries and it would end while Carl gets his powers. But people really liked it, and Tim suggested the co creator of Wild North Comics and Co-Edit said, oh, just continue it up until the start of the web series. And I did, yeah, probably a couple of years and it’s like something like I think, yeah, yeah, I don’t want to think how many pages

Sheydin Dew (26:03):

It goes to show how much dedication that, I guess

Jonathon Saunders (26:07):

It’s 40 pages. So yeah, that’s quite a lot. Yeah,

Sheydin Dew (26:13):


Jonathon Saunders (26:15):

And I was doing this in between my day job back when I first part, I was still at doing work with a indigenous peak body supporting arts centers across the top end, and then I was doing that when I was working remotely for Studio Gillet doing animation for them. So I’d do this at night after I’d done my day job. So yeah, that’s probably why I’ve got the bags under my, you can sacrifice sleep. I’m sure a lot of the craters and chats testify to that sleep is overrated.

Sheydin Dew (26:55):

I think that’s super, that is such a credit to you, and I think something really admirable, I guess a lot of artists go through the same kind of thing, but it guess goes to show how much passion really do we have all for the process. Yeah,

Jonathon Saunders (27:09):

Dave said it’s true grit, texture, supply have done that.

Sheydin Dew (27:13):


Jonathon Saunders (27:14):

So they’re the guys that I used. They got a great, you can get their texture and color pack for Clip Studio and procreate, so that’s what I use for my colors. They’re just great. So yeah, that’s awesome. That’s a shout out from me for them.

Sheydin Dew (27:29):

Nice. I’ll have to definitely make sure. I’ll give it a quiz. I use procreate, so it is nice to know that it’s also a Procre option. Keep that in the back of my mind. I guess I really want to go into, you’ve said how long it’s taken you, which is a very long time and such a huge credit to you in that time. I was wondering if you can walk us through how you’ve gotten to this point today, kick starting your project? What processes have gone through until now?

Jonathon Saunders (27:59):

Yeah, so I guess you mean just in the creation of it or just the, yeah, as I said, the first couple of issues I used, I actually wrote the scripts out originally for the next part of the animated web series, which would take place right after Season zero, and you’d have a flashback for a few episodes of Kyle in East Timor and how he got his powers. So I did that, I guess you could call it the more DC method where I took the animation script, broke it up panel by panel and did it that way. Then afterwards I did it the more Marvel method where I wrote a outline for that issue, and then I would go break it down, write a paragraph, what’s happening each page. Then I would draw thumbnail out the pages, draw the pages in it, and then add the dialogue later, which makes it really great for the action and fight scene stuffs.

But one issue of that is sometimes it means you don’t have enough room for speech bubbles unless you want to cover something up. So after that, I then went with a mixture of the two of the Marvel method and were in the penciling process. I would actually write this script out and put the dialogue in to make sure that if I needed to move the art to the side to let it breathe and make room for the speech bubble, it’ll be there. But yeah, so it would be, as I said for this, it’s using a lot of the Marvel method of outline, then making the artwork and then back and adding the dialogue. I wouldn’t mind going back to trying that DC method of doing full scripts just because, again, just because with this, I felt very much I was flying by the seat of my pants. I finished one issue, rest, get on with life, and then Tim were like, oh yeah, we’ve got to release the next issue of Wild North comics, because originally Zero Point Origins, Pete and the Wild North comic, wild North comics anthology, I was like, oh, crap. But again, I always had where the endpoint for Origins would end, so it was kind of easy to squeeze that in.

Sheydin Dew (30:30):

Yeah. Oh, that’s so cool to hear that you’ve tried so many different processes in creating your comic. I think that’s really, really cool to hear and see which ones you like and see which ones you don’t like. I think that’s really inspirational and very encouraging to hear. I feel as a creator myself, I’m not sure if anybody else in the comments feel the same way, but it’s always nice to know that other people have tried different methods and that I guess us creators can too. You don’t have to stick to one true path of creating. I guess that’s the whole beauty of it is that you get to just explore as you go, I guess, and see which ones.

Jonathon Saunders (31:03):

Yeah, I think, yeah, I’d say to any common creators, just do what works best for you. I feel that. I feel a lot of people tend to have these great ideas for making a comic or a graphic novel, and they just get stuck in the idea phase, and I think you should just have, just put it out there, just put the work pen, the paper or the stylist to screen and just go from there because it’s better to have something. When I first did astounding Tales of Euro fiction, again, I just went at it learning as I went, and while I can’t look at the artwork now, a lot of people still buy it off wild north, which is our site where we sell all of our comics. There’s still quite a, yeah, there’s still an audience for that.

Sheydin Dew (32:04):


Jonathon Saunders (32:06):

And it was just more, again, just saying that you’re going to learn as you do it, so just don’t be afraid of failure, not failure, but make looking ugly. Just put it out there and it’s

Sheydin Dew (32:19):


Jonathon Saunders (32:20):

You grow as you do it.

Sheydin Dew (32:22):

Absolutely. And I think I, we’ve actually got a question coming in. Oh, yes.

Jonathon Saunders (32:27):

Oh, sorry, I missed that one.

Sheydin Dew (32:29):

Productions, I think it’s just come in, so it’s a question for Jonathan, I believe. Is it good to have a deadline and an editor on your back? John

Jonathon Saunders (32:39):

Certainly has its benefits there, Tim. It’s good to have those deadlines because yeah, without deadlines, I think, yeah, I probably fallen, Tim could explain, has a better opinion on that, but I’ve probably fallen under that trap of a lot of artists where if there’s no deadline, you just spend so much time making one piece of one page as beautiful as it can be, but you’re not going to finish it. And George Lucas had a great quote where he said, films aren’t finished, they just abandoned. And I think comics, yeah, comics are like that sometimes you just got to having that deadline’s good because yeah, it just falls you to actually also be creative as well.

I think in issue two, the fight scene at the end with Bolt, the Bad Guy, zero Point Faces, it would’ve been gone on for another five, a couple of pages. It was a full fight where in the seven 11, but at that point I was like, oh God, I just want to, yeah, it happens a bit later. But yeah, there’s Zero Point Fighting Bolt, and I was just like, oh God, I just want to end this. So I just did the end of the fight and again, pick up the comic and you see, but it ended differently than how I envisaged it, and I think because of that is actually a stronger finish, I feel.

Sheydin Dew (34:07):

Wow, that’s really interesting to hear. That’s awesome. I’d say,

Jonathon Saunders (34:11):

And then you’ve got the classic story about when they’re filming Indiana Jones and the Raiders of, no, it was the Indiana Jones, and they were the first one, I was going to say the last Crusade, that’s the last one, and the best one still where there was probably an elaborate fight scene with the guy in the market for the sword, but Harrison Ford had diarrhea from the water there, and he just said to Steven can of just shoot the guy, and that’s how he got that iconic scene. But Harrison, no way. I had

Sheydin Dew (34:48):

No idea

Jonathon Saunders (34:51):

Because of real life issues, and it was just not feasible, but it made it better.

Sheydin Dew (34:56):

Absolutely. I think that’s a wonderful story as well, I guess mean as our Lord and Savior, Bob Ross always says there’s no such thing as mistakes. There’s only happy accidents, I guess. So that’s another thing. I do work closely with deadlines as an artist myself. I’m not sure if anybody else viewing tonight sees it the same, but even if I do miss those deadlines, I think it helps me progress further than I would’ve without it. So it doesn’t even always mean whether or not you do hit the deadline on the head. It’s always just something nice to constantly work towards. And then once you do get there, you’ve got space to then do another project, I guess, which is kind of nice to know. Yeah,

Jonathon Saunders (35:40):

And I would say that as well to people that are wanting to work in the creative industry. As an animator, I had, as part of working with a team, there were deadlines and have to, it’s just a reality of working in that field, and I think that’s, if you can get a nice balance between having a deadline, but also having enough time to make it look as best as you can, then you are golden. But also deadlines can help you kind of figure out shortcuts that actually make the work better.

Sheydin Dew (36:14):

Yeah, for sure. And just with the story that you highlighted before, I think that illustrates that perfectly. And having said that, in the process that you outlined before that question came in, I kind of want to reel back, what was your favorite and your least favorite part of that process, if there was any?

Jonathon Saunders (36:34):

I guess it’s that process. I guess probably, I wouldn’t say not my least favorites, but probably the most, yeah, actually depends. I guess it depends. Sometimes just doing the layouts and the penciling is the most draining, I would say. Not making sure that works. And then when you get to the inking again, that can feel really just nice and just get into a flow because all the hard work’s done, so it’s just about making it look nice. And then the coloring, I feel that can get a bit, again, like the layout and penciling, it’s the most strenuous because obviously the coloring, it’s what the finished page is going to look like. So again, there’s a lot of work that goes into that to make sure that it works, that your values are different so that the background or the character pops, or you want something in the background to pop and making sure that all works together. Yeah, so yeah, I guess it depends. There’s going to be parts in the comic making process where it’s not going to be fun and you just got to panel through it, and then you get to the fun part. It’s like eating your vegetables and then getting to the funder it part.

Sheydin Dew (38:02):

Yeah, exactly. And I think, I guess the way I see it is, yeah, I do agree. Sometimes things can get quite monotonous when you’re doing it so frequently, but those monotonous tasks really make your favorite bits, which may be the details, the highlights, the publishing, the networking or whatever, just that bit more enjoyable I’d say, in my own opinion. But yeah, it’s always interesting to see which parts everyone likes, different creators, because it will always fluctuate from one end of the scale. They really like the technical, the writing aspect more than the art, or sometimes it’s vice versa. And it’s really interesting to just hear everybody’s opinions on what they enjoy doing. So yeah, it was really interesting to hear, especially the fact that you tried those two different, multiple different processes. And to hear a little bit about what you enjoyed doing the most today is your Kickstarter, which is fantastic to hear. I kind of wanted to ask a little bit, what was the lead up to this Kickstarter? Is it your first Kickstarter? Have you done it in the past? Yes.

Jonathon Saunders (39:09):

Yeah, this is actually probably the, I think third that Wild North Comics has done, but it’s my first Kickstarter for my work.

Sheydin Dew (39:19):


Jonathon Saunders (39:21):

Really excited. And as I said, it’s like 140 pages and accumulation of all those, a couple of years work, so having it put together in a nice bound book is going to be really great. So yeah, just want to say to your viewers to check it out. Check it out. So yeah, check it out there. Have a look. As I said, there’s some great rewards for that as you’ve showed before, the DVD reward. So as I said before, zero point before I did the comic book, I did a animated web series zero point season Zero. So as part of the DVD and graphic novel bundle, not only will we get the zero point graphic novel, you get the season zero DVD, which has a bunch of behind the scenes stuff, and also one of the latest animated short films I did One Minute to Midnight featuring zero points. So as I said, it’s a great little extra to have once you finish the graphic level and want more zero points.

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (40:38):

I may have just updated my pledge to that already.

Jonathon Saunders (40:41):

There we go.

Sheydin Dew (40:44):

Awesome. No, that sounds like it must been such a, must be pretty strenuous on you to have made all these tears. I myself haven’t done a Kickstarter before, so, well,

Jonathon Saunders (40:57):

I had the easy part, I got to obviously thank Timothy Par co-creator of Wild North Comics and Co-editor. Yeah, he was the real brains behind getting that up and running, and as I said, his knowledge of the other Kickstarters was really, really valuable as well. As I said is the first time I’ve had my work kickstarted, and as I said, even though it’s probably, I think it may be the third or fourth Wild North comics Kickstarter, it won’t be the last Wild North Kickstarter and hopefully not the last zero point Kickstarter.

Sheydin Dew (41:36):

Absolutely, let’s hope not. But yeah, I guess it must have been quite a process in launching the Kickstarter. And again, I think it’s really admirable and it’s really great to see more in India, creators get on board and utilizing Kickstarter. It’s fantastic to see. And again, yeah, so make sure everybody who’s watching tonight too, make sure you check out the comments below the video in the comments. It’s

Jonathon Saunders (42:06):

Also in the description of this video.

Sheydin Dew (42:09):

Yes, that’s correct. So yeah, Shane’s pops the link in, so make sure you do check him out

Jonathon Saunders (42:15):

And you can find the link to the Kickstarter on our socials. So comic is on Instagram, Facebook. I also have my own Instagram as well, and I have a link to the Kickstarter there as well. And as I said, if you’re in the territory, you’re probably going to hear a bit more of me on radio talking about this. And as I said, I am really excited for this and as I said, it’s just great to have all of that work collected in one great bundle. And as I said, we’ve got great little rewards as well, art prints as well, that’ll be signed by me and stem cell work as well where I kind of go back to my uni days creating a spray paint stencil. So yeah, so definitely back that,

Sheydin Dew (43:10):


Jonathon Saunders (43:11):

If you want a unique piece of zero point art.

Sheydin Dew (43:15):

Absolutely. It sounds like you definitely should be excited for this. It sounds like you put so much effort into it and it’s really, really, it definitely shows. So it is really fantastic to see your Kickstarter going so well, I guess this leads us onto our third and final part of the interview. So these are some of the questions that I really personally enjoy asking some of our guests, and it’s a little bit about the Australian indie comic scene. So I guess first and foremost, are there any projects on the horizon in the future? Other

Jonathon Saunders (43:52):

Than I definitely want to, obviously zero Point’s going to be the main series I’m probably going to be known for and obviously want to do the next series. But before then, one project is a possible comic about the indigenous famed indigenous warrior Muk that’s on the horizon. One, I’d like to maybe go back to one of the early, the first comic I did for Wild North Comics, the Bush Ranger, I did that actually after the Zero Point season zero stuff. I’d gotten a bit of sick of tights, so I went for, did a more Western spaghetti western style stuff looking at part of the Australian history, frontier history that no one knows about regarding the indigenous Bush police. I’d like to do another short animated film, more of a sci-fi one, just because again, I love Zero point, but after a while I get really sick of drawing tights and capes and things, then I just want to give my brain something else to do. Absolutely. And of course,

Sheydin Dew (45:13):

I think we all get to that point,

Jonathon Saunders (45:16):

And also one of the story one books as part of Wild North Comics Lineup Australia by Timothy Wood, we’re hopefully working on a possible animated series for that, so I’d be a writer for that. Again, that’s still very, very early days, but yeah, so looking forward to a lot of things, not just in comics, but animation as well. And also Wild North Comics is definitely looking to expand. We’ve got a wild north comic company coming up in July, and as I said, looking to expand, you started off just doing based artists and writers. We now got a lot of international talent. And the last issue, we had a, I should say national talent, it’s the last issue. We had an international talent from the Philippines, and so yeah, who knows, maybe we’ll get Wild North Comics will be Wild Northern Hemisphere comics or something.

Sheydin Dew (46:30):

That would be awesome to see. That would be fantastic to see. I guess continuing on, I’ve got three in my hot little hands here, zero point Origins, and I want to ask you, I know it’s kind of picking a favorite child, but so far, so far, has there been a real moment or a particular issue that you’ve really enjoyed working on thus far?

Jonathon Saunders (46:55):

Oh yeah, actually, yeah, probably the last issue, issue three, because it brings in a lot of characters from the animated web series like Magnus and Wind Command and aco, and you got a bit of early bird cameos by a CDC and Hugh Y would also, I’m really enjoying working on the last final issue, issue four, just because again, you’re tying everything that I set up in those first three issues and then just coming together and tying it all up in a nice bow really, and launching off for the next series, because one thing I feel that’s really important when making graphic novels is, oh, what makes a graphic novel or a series is having a beginning, middle, and end. Oh, sorry, I’m just an interview. Sorry.

Sheydin Dew (47:56):

That’s fantastic. I’m always so curious to see or hear about some of the favorite points in projects, so it’s really fantastic to hear that the one that you’re currently working on is something that you’re really enjoying at the moment. So yeah, that’s awesome to hear, and I can’t wait to see or read the fourth one. I guess moving on to a little bit more the questions that I feel like can benefit our viewers tonight as well, if you are creators viewing tonight, I always love hearing these questions, these answers I should say. Do you ever struggle with Creative Block, and if so, how do you overcome

Jonathon Saunders (48:38):

Yeah, I guess. Oh yeah, I think everyone gets creative block. It’s just, I think it’s more of a, yeah, just trying to think. I think just powering, not powering through it, but yeah, I do get it. But one of the things, as Timothy said in an earlier comment, having that deadline really helps because you can’t, you just got to do the work. You can’t just wallow in self pity and woes me, I can’t do drawing. It’s like, Nope, I got to have those pages in by the state. I think, yeah, just maybe change up what you’re doing. Okay. Maybe again, if you are struggling with, I guess the penciling side of things, maybe taking a break from that and then coloring or inking another part of the comic just so it,

Sheydin Dew (49:44):

Yeah, like switching it up. Yeah, absolutely. No, I think that’s really valuable information, especially as Aus Comics, the brand that Shane has created. It’s always great to share these tips and tricks with like-minded people in this community. So it’s always fantastic to hear people who are doing amazing things here about or hear about what they do to overcome some of these things going on with that theme. This is probably one of probably my favorite question to ask, which is, what do you wish someone had told you before you had started your comic journey?

Jonathon Saunders (50:28):

Obviously the joke answer is don’t do it.

But I guess just don’t maybe able would’ve started my journey sooner if I didn’t feel like I was holding back on my art’s, not at that level yet, or my coloring or writing’s not at that level and just jump into it. But also just to think about, I guess just really because as I said, a lot of the stuff was more, as I said with the last few shoes, it was like riding by the seat of my pants, still having had that structure there, just that, what is it? Good riding is good, good rewriting, so just keep writing and because even doing this last issue, this issue now and the previous issue, a lot of times I’ll just keep changing, rereading the dialogue. Yeah, that’s the other thing. Just read what you’re written out loud, because what looks good on the page might not make any sense if someone reads it out. And even now there are some things I look back at the other issue, it’s like, ah, maybe I could have said this instead of saying this in five words. I could have just said it in two things like that.

Sheydin Dew (51:56):

Yeah, yeah. So it’s kind of going on what you said about overcoming creative block with deadlines, but you’ve really just kind do it,

Jonathon Saunders (52:07):


Sheydin Dew (52:07):

To the wind and just go for it kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s awesome. I think that’s definitely something that I would agree with too. I definitely wish I’d start my projects a lot sooner too, and I think that’s definitely something valuable that a lot of people can probably take on board, so it’s always awesome to hear stuff like that, I guess. Is there an ultimate goal in your creative career, I guess, do you know?

Jonathon Saunders (52:36):

Oh yeah. The ultimate goal would just be to tell the finish the series, start to finish. That’s the ultimate goal. But also, yeah, so that’s for zero Point, do more animation, like an actual full blown animated series, not just zero point, but just in general. And again, maybe just, again, this is probably more of an NC based thing, but put something in the Telstra Art Award. People keep saying, oh, when are you going to put something in? And I keep, I’m busy with the comic stuff, so maybe when I’m finished with the comic stuff, I actually have some time to make some regular art.

Sheydin Dew (53:18):

I think that’s definitely a good sign that people are urging you to submit something. So yeah, best of luck with that. I’ll definitely be watching, that’s for sure. I guess moving into more of the indie scene, what would be something that you think the indie comics scene needs more of, would you say?

Jonathon Saunders (53:38):

I think the Australian indie comics scene, I feel that, again, maybe it’s just because I’m here in the Northern Territory, I feel that it’s probably very atomized that everyone’s off doing their own little thing. So I definitely think that maybe an Australian version of Diamond where distributing Australian comics not only to comic book shops, but to local supermarkets. And one thing I remember growing up is that they had Phantom and Mad Magazine at the local supermarkets and gas stations. So looking at expanding into those areas, I definitely feel that would be very beneficial to the indie comic scene.

Sheydin Dew (54:27):

Absolutely. That’d be fantastic to see as well. I definitely agree with you there. And I think, yeah, as someone who also grew up in Darwin, I think that’d be awesome to see too, seeing more of that when I was growing up there too. I think that’d be fantastic to see more and see it come back to as well, I think. Yeah, definitely. What do you think the Aussie comic scene does? Well, Ben?

Jonathon Saunders (54:53):

Yeah, I think, yeah, I think probably the Australian comics scene probably has a bit more, I guess again, maybe I don’t know much about the American indie comics scene apart from what I occasionally get, but I’d like to think that the Australian indie comics scene has a bit more bite to it. Again, the stuff back when I would travel to Melbourne to work, I’d always swing by mini tour and pick up the Aussie comics they had there. And again, some of it was just really out there stuff. So I think when it comes to that, Australians are really great at those really far out stories.

Sheydin Dew (55:33):

Yeah, absolutely. I think we’ve definitely got a very huge variety of indie comics and it’s definitely shows when we bring so many amazing, wonderful guests like yourself onto the show, and they showcase some of their artwork. We have such a variety that come up on the show, and it’s not just this show, it’s all the other shows that Shane runs, be it Chin Lag on the Tuesdays with

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (56:01):

Lee, you’re having a Shane moment,

Sheydin Dew (56:08):

I was, and making comics as well, another one, and at the end of the week with the drink and draw as well with sp. I think it’s really awesome to see such a variety come onto the show and showcase their work. So it is always great to see, I guess, more for some people that are viewing tonight perhaps starting their journey, what would you say to them?

Jonathon Saunders (56:34):

Yeah, I guess as I said, probably earlier on the stream, just jump in. If you’re just being held back because you feel your drawing isn’t enough, you’re not good enough drawing, you’re not a good enough writer, not a good enough colorist, I wouldn’t worry about that because you learn those skills as you make the comics. So just jumped in. And as I said, I think it’s probably easier than it has ever been to make comics, because you’ve got so many avenues now to show your work on social media. Yeah, because this didn’t exist back when I was a kid. If you wanted to find Australian homegrown superhero comics, you’d have to hope that there would be an issue of Southern Cross in the local comic book store, but now you can actually just go online. There’s find so many great creators and stories out there. So yeah, just to steal a phrase from night, just do it.

Sheydin Dew (57:41):

I was just thinking that I was literally just

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (57:43):

Doing the same thing. I was thinking the same thing. Now we have a very random question. It couldn’t be aimed at you directly or anything.

Sheydin Dew (57:56):

Tell us more.

Jonathon Saunders (57:58):

Oh, in June actually, yeah. No, Tim, it’s him. Would probably ask that question would know more about that, but we’ve got that, again, I probably said the wrong date, but we’ve got the Wild North Comic Con happening in June, so we’ve got Yeah, which if you, in the Darwin Northern Territory, we held at the Browns Mart Theater, and it’ll be, as I said, it’ll be, there’ll be stores where artists from all over Australia who’ve featured in Wild North Comics will have stores there selling their wares. But we also have film nights and also we’ll have Mark Cole Smith coming up as well. And as I said, we have the fourth issue of Zero Points Origins out as well, and also the books as well, hopefully. But it’s a big event, and as I said, I’ll just getting the dates for that because as I said, we want, the more people that come to that, the better.

Sheydin Dew (59:14):

Absolutely. Yeah, and I think that’s super exciting. I’m so glad that question was asked as well from the comments, because that’s one of my questions as well. What are some of the events that you are going to? So yeah, that couldn’t have come at a time.

Jonathon Saunders (59:28):

Yeah, so as I said, definitely all the, you’re still organizing the event as well, but it will be, again, the Wild North Comic Con will be happening in June, and it’ll, again, it’ll as a great showcase of not only Northern Territory talent, but also the talent of, we’ve got the creator of the, as I said, we have an Indonesian artist do their Story Rock car. They’ll be coming up for this event as well. So as I said, hopefully that might be the start of the international side of things.

Sheydin Dew (01:00:10):

Absolutely. That’d be super exciting. That’s awesome to hear. And I guess a perfect way to wrap up this entire show. Thank you again for being on the show, and a little bit louder for those in the back. Where can we see more of your work and what are you doing at the moment?

Jonathon Saunders (01:00:28):

So if you want to see not only more of my work, but also the other work of the Great books from Wild North Comics, go to wild north where you can buy the, it’s all one word, wild north, where you can buy and what’s all the zero points that are out right now, but also other great works like Future Tales Australia, the Wild North Comic Synology series, and as I said, we should have Dead City Lull of Eyes there as well. Yep. There’s the link there. You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and more importantly, you can follow what I’m doing currently with Zero Points on Origins on Kickstarter. The link is still there, so check that out back that there’s many different, different rewards. So again, we’ve got the, if you just want to support the project and have the file on your iPad or something, we’ve got the digital down loaded option for $15, and the hardcover graphic novel, $40.

We also have the Wild North Comics digital bundle. So you grab everything that Wild North has done in the anthology series, plus zero points, origins, and as I said, then you’ve got the Zero point Origins do graphic novel bundle, then you’ve got the Wild North Creators digital bundle. As I said, there’s just lots of things, so many options there if you want to not only support my work, but also just get a taste of what else Wild North Comics does. And then you’ve got the Zero Point Art Collector Edition again, which will feature limited edition art prints at a two sizes that will be signed by me, and then the Wild North Zero Point Stencil Original Art, where there we go. So those are some of the prints. And as you can see on the left, yeah, so you’ve got Prince feature, not only Zero Point, but the Bush Ranger, sorry, ranger from Ranger Comics. And yeah, the guy on the right there is the From Issue one. He is a East Heery. He is a superhero millennium style. And yeah, as I said, just so many different rewards there if you want to support this great comic that’s coming out. And as I said, hopefully there’s something for everyone. So that’s the cover. So we’re actually going to get that. The hole there you see is actually going to be cut out in the cover.

Sheydin Dew (01:03:24):

Oh, wow.

Jonathon Saunders (01:03:24):

Yeah. So yeah, it should look really cool. Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. As I said, just wanted something a bit more unique in terms of the work for it.

Sheydin Dew (01:03:39):

Absolutely. It sounds like you’ve got an absolute plethora of different tiers and different packages that you can get on Kickstarter. So to everyone watching, make sure you do check out some of those comments that Shane has left in there. Oh, yeah.

Jonathon Saunders (01:03:50):

And we’ll also be doing our own little YouTube series, wizards of Oz, not the MGM movie, but Oz as in Australian. So yeah, keep an eye out for that on our YouTube. Yeah, so it’ll be myself, Tim, Phil, and any other creators that are in the territory. And again, we just do a examination of our own comics, but also comments we like and that influenced us. And yeah, as I said, we kind of a bit of a podcast, a bit similar to Cartoonist Cafe where we look at the actual comics as we go through them. And yeah, as I said, hopefully it’ll give you a better insight about what inspires us up here.

Sheydin Dew (01:04:41):

Absolutely. Is there anything that you don’t do? It just seems like you’ve got so many projects going on, though. Go. I think it’s really admirable. So good on you for doing it. Jonathan, it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you. And again, thank you so much for letting me read a little bit about your amazing story. Zero Point Origins for everyone. Again, louder in the back. Go and support Jonathan’s Kickstarter. Go check out his work. But otherwise, we shall love You and leave You. Thank you again for watching everyone. Yeah. Oh yes. One thing. One

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (01:05:19):

Last thing. Yeah, I just wanted to say, there’s links in the comments. There’s links in the description. If you’re having troubles with those. Go to Kickstarter, put in zero point Origins, two things come up. One of them is to do a stationary, one of them a comic. So go into the comic, the one that’s zero point. Yes, you’ve got this picture. It’s very obvious which one it is. That’s right. If you’re having troubles with the links and there you go, you’ll get to the Kickstarter that way as well. So I just wanted to give that option for anyone who’s having troubles.

Sheydin Dew (01:05:52):

Absolutely. Thanks Shane. And thank you, Jonathan. Thanks for everyone for watching, and I guess we’ll see you next week is correct, Shane, next week. Next fortnight. Next fortnight. Sorry, my apologies. Yes, next fortnight. We’ll see you. But otherwise you can catch some of the other shows that will be airing this week, including drink control. Yes. Awesome. Fantastic.

Shane ‘Sizzle’ Syddall (01:06:16):

Not all. Thank you very much, Jonathan. Thank you, Shaden. Thank you for having me.

Sheydin Dew (01:06:20):

Bye everyone. See you.

Voice Over (01:06:22):

See you. Check out for all things Comex, and find out what Comex is all about. We hope you.

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