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2011 Event Media Release - GRAPHIC 2011 Program Revealed

Media Release: Wednesday 18 May, 2011

GRAPHIC 2011 Program revealed
A Weekend of Graphic Storytelling, animation and music featuring;
Robert Crumb, Gotye: An animated album preview, Tekkon Kinkreet (Cult anime LIVE), Jim Woodring, Masaya Matsuura, Chinese Animation, Scott McCloud, Silent Comics, workshops and more...
Sydney Opera House, August 20 – 21

Sydney Opera House today announced the program for the second annual GRAPHIC festival, a weekend of graphic storytelling, animation and music on August 20 and 21.

GRAPHIC 2011 is a “festival of firsts” with 21 events including world exclusives, Australian premieres and specially commissioned works. GRAPHIC highlights include the first Australian appearance of seminal underground comic artist, Robert Crumb in conversation with his friend and publisher, Gary Groth of Fantagraphics and Gotye: An Animated Album Preview, a showcase of songs from Gotye’s yet to be released fourth album brought to life by some of Australia's most talented animators.

Also on this line up, is an exclusive screening of Shaun Tan’s Oscar-winning short, The Lost Thing  with the original score performed live; the Australian premiere of cult anime Tekkon Kinkreet with live music by PLAID (WARP), FourPlay and Synergy Percussion; the Sydney premiere of Talking with Gods: A Grant Morrison Documentary; a performance and talk by Parappa the Rapper Playstation game creator, Masaya Matsuura; a screening of selected animations from some of China’s best emerging talent along with talks, masterclasses and the Best of the Independent Games Festival exhibition.

GRAPHIC co-curator Jordan Verzar said, "I'm very excited about the treats in store for this year’s GRAPHIC festival. A weekend filled with Australian and international debut performances involving comics, music and animation. What could be better?"

GRAPHIC co-curator, Virgina Hyam added, "It is exhilarating to be navigating this dynamic and seemingly limitless world of graphics and storytelling with its intersecting artforms, in a festival which celebrates the work of these iconic masters alongside new voices , spanning generations, and cultural styles”.

Robert Crumb is one of the world’s most celebrated and controversial comic artists, well known for his Keep on Truckin’ comic, album artworks as well as the characters Fritz the Cat, Mr Natural and Devil Girl. In his debut Australian appearance, Crumb will discuss his life and work with co-founder of Fantagraphics, Gary Groth. An avid collector of 78” records and early American and Old Time music, Crumb will also spend a night in The Studio, picking the tunes and sitting in for a one-off old time music jukebox with Captain Matchbox, featuring Mic and Jim Conway.

In addition to these two unique appearances, Crumb will team up with fellow GRAPHIC  guest, Seattle-based cartoonist, comic book author and toy designer Jim Woodring and artist and musician, Reg Mombassa in Altered States, a panel discussion on how the altered state affects the work of the artist.

In Please Stand By, Jim Woodring presents a narrated slide show of his life and career and a revealing insight into the incidents and episodes that marked his trajectory from troubled child to successful purveyor of Mysterio Autentico.

Melbourne-based ARIA-award winning songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Gotye will perform his entire yet-to-be released album, Making Mirrors, accompanied by a 10-piece mini-orchestra with visuals by some of Australia’s most talented animators.

Undoubtedly one of the best anime films created, Tekkon Kinkreet is a visual wonder that has received cult status. In a world premiere, the film will be screened with live music performed by London-based British electronic duo and original composers of the score, Plaid (WARP), accompanied by Sydney’s electric string quartet FourPlay and Australia’s premiere percussion group, Synergy.

This year, GRAPHIC celebrates and explores the artform of wordless comics with two special events over the weekend.  Peter Kuper’s Revolutions and Art sees cartoonist and illustrator Peter Kuper discuss the power of social and political art through history. This is followed by Wordless Storytelling, a panel discussion with Peter Kuper, Jim Woodring and the Australian artist best known for his Scarygirl brand, Nathan Jurevicius.

Staying on the concept of telling stories through images and without text, in the show Silent Comics various musicians are invited to compose scores to a wordless comic of their choice. Artists whose work is involved include; Robert Crumb, Gotye, PLAID, Nathan Jurevicius Peter Kuper, Jim Woodring, Seekae, Darth Vegas, FourPlay and Captain Matchbox.

One of the most popular and controversial comic-makers, Grant Morrison is considered the “Rock Star of Comics”. GRAPHIC  will feature the Sydney premiere of Talking with Gods: A Grant Morrison Documentary. This exclusive screening will be preceded by a screening of Neil Gaiman’s whimsical short film Statuesque, written and directed by Gaiman and starring Bill Nighy and Amanda Palmer.

In another world premiere, GRAPHIC teams up with Shanghai-based creative agency, NeochaEDGE to unearth a selection of work by some of China’s best emerging talents.

In Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud: The Art of Visual Communication, the author and artist who Frank Miller described as “just about the smartest guy in comics”, will put today’s trends into perspective in a fast-moving presentation on the “art of writing with pictures”. 

Masaya Matsuura is a Tokyo-based musician and games designer, best known as creator of the PlayStation game, Parappa the Rapper. For GRAPHIC , Masaya Matsuura will play music to projections of some of his latest video game projects before being interviewed by games academic David Surman.

Other events include Oz Comics Show & Tell, a panel discussion looking at what’s gold about Australian comics; Air Your Grievances, a one-panel comic soapbox competition; an all star FREE ENTRY comic-making workshop and masterclasses with Scott McCloud, Jim Woodring and Peter Kuper.

Also part of GRAPHIC, the Best of the Independent Games Festival exhibition from 28 July – 21 August in the Western Foyers presents a selection of the most innovative and exciting games.

Sydney Opera House will once again present the GRAPHIC animation competition, open to illustrators, animators and storytellers of all levels with a cash prize of $20,000. Further details about the competition, including the theme will be announced on June 6.

Twitter: @GraphicFestival

Media Enquiries
Helene Fox
Publicity Manager – Sydney Opera House
+61 (0) 412 085 032 / 61 2 9250 7805


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