Hash Brown Comix aims to bring Sydney’s smut peddlers together

By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor

Hash_Brown_Comix_01.jpgPut together by local comic creators Oli Hastings and Dan Heyer, Hash Brown is a self-published comic anthology featuring the work of eight Sydney artists, including Oli and Dan.

“I met Dan eight years ago and he was the one that showed me R. Crumb and Zap, and that there’s more out there than just boring Marvel superhero stuff,” Oli tells UB.

Hash Brown Comix #1, “the rag nobody asked for”, will be launched over tacos and watery beers at Beach Burrito in Newtown this Monday (October 3). Here’s Oli to explain…

 

 

How did this new comic book get hashed out?
Basically, Hash Brown Comix is an idea that became a reality between me and my friend Dan Heyer. We first met eight years ago, when I briefly dated his sister. We instantly bonded over a love of snotty punk and unsavoury cartoons and we’ve been friends ever since! We had been quietly feeding off of each other’s enthusiasm and bouncing around an idea of getting together some Sydney artists to do a collaborative issue. This was partly out of a need to publish something and legitimise ourselves, but our main motivator was the lack of any kind of comics scene or community in Sydney (at least that we are aware of). Issue #1 features the work of Ross Radiation, Kaylene Milner, Dominic Proust, Lizzie Nagy, Luda, Jose Dean as well as Dan and myself.

Is there a theme to the anthology – what ties all this art or these artists together, if anything?
No particular theme, although we were largely inspired by the lack of any real scene or community for underground comix in Sydney. Between us we easily knew a dozen artists interested in comics and independent publishing but in typical cartoonist fashion we tend to be isolated hermit types who are lucky to produce anything for a larger audience than our circle of friends. I hope that Hash Brown Comix will change all that.

Is it true only old people buy printed things now? Have you any staunch ideals about print versus digital, or any old-school values when it comes to the preservation of comics / books / printed matter?
We’re both pushing 30 so I guess we would qualify as “old people” and I can happily say I love printed media. I have played in punk and hardcore bands for almost 10 years and collected fanzines since I was a teenager which has helped me develop a certain fetishism for outdated formats, whether it is poorly dubbed cassette tapes or comics printed on paper from trees in old growth rainforests.

How many pages is issue #1? How many colour pages? How expensive is printing and how pissy are the profit margins? How much will you charge per copy?
These are all very interesting questions that we’re actually yet to know the answers to. We’re going to try and print it today (Wednesday) but don’t yet know the exact cost. We don’t expect to make any kind of profit, although if we manage to break even we will be stoked. Depending on the cost of printing, an issue will be most likely be approximately $5-$7. It will be 24 pages and the cover is colour but the rest is black and white.

You are printing today and the launch is on Monday – that’s some skin-of-your-teeth stuff…
Actually, the launch was the great motivator in setting a deadline and making HBC a reality. Me and Dan went to the Bein Gnarly exhibition a few months ago and [curator] Glenno Smith approached me about doing an exhibition at Beach Burrito Newtown. He curates monthly exhibitions featuring Sydney’s finest artists and illustrators and had seen my artwork on social media. Rather than trying to produce enough work for a solo exhibition, it seemed like the perfect place to launch Hash Brown Comix (which at that stage was nothing more than an idea). So the exhibition is being held at Beach Burrito Newtown on October 3, prints and comics will be available on the night. It’s a free event, although I’m sure the staff would appreciate it if you bought a taco or some tinnies.

 

 

 

Hash Brown Comix #1 launches at Beach Burrito, Newtown on Monday, October 3 from 6pm. Copies will be soon be available from Repressed Records, Black Wire Records and other yet-to-be-determined storefronts, or if you want to organise local pick-up or post, email olihastings at gmail.

 

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