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Alisha Jade

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. For this issue, I went along to the Zine and Indie Comics Symposium (ZICS), at the Queensland State Library in Brisbane recently. The publications ranged from elegant hand-made minicomics like Alisha Jade's Jellyfish and 99 Bottles, to slick glossy A4 comics, like Afterburn #1, featuring the pencilling of Wayne Nichols. It'd be great to have an event like this for authors of novels and non-fiction books, where writers could simply hire a table to show their wares. There are a lot of good reading tips here, for comics, novels and more..

Alisha Jade brings her stylish minicomics to a lot of regional and city comics events, like ZICS, Festival of the Photocopier in Melbourne, and Sugar City con in Mackay. She started Petrie Press and is the creator of Seven, a comic series about Katarin who has to rescue her seven brothers from a curse. Her minicomics include Doppler Ganger, Jellyfish and 99 Bottles, as well as other minicomics. See ohmycomics.com. She has been making comics for about eight years, but had been reading them a lot longer than that. Ms Jade said her comics only became good enough in the last three or four years. She requests that people burn her earlier stuff.
Alisha Jade provided a lot of interesting reading suggestions, including comics and prose. She tried to remember what was on her shelf at home.
She liked Clover which is a manga by Clamp. Clamp is a creative team of four artists. Clover is set in a dystopian future where the government sets out to control the Clover, which are children with special powers. They can teleport, manipulate technology and summon weapons from thin air. Alisha Jade said it had a wonderful use of white space.
The Redemption of Althalus by David and Leigh Eddings. This is a stand-alone fantasy novel. Althalus is a professional thief enlisted by the Goddess Dweia. He has to save the world from her evil brother Daeva and his henchman Ghend. Althalus has a gift for story telling and has uncanny luck.
Tom Petrie, Early Reminscences of Queensland was another favorite. Tom Petrie (1831-1910) describes life in Brisbane from the early days of European settlement. It includes interesting accounts of times he spent with Aboriginal people, like the time he went on a long trek at the age of 14, with Aborigines to the Bunya Ranges, gathering bunya cones to eat the kernel inside, which is like a chestnut in flavor.
She liked Iron Spike who runs Iron Circus comics, in Chicago.
She liked Hagio Moto. “She is quite amazing”. Born in 1949 she is considered to be a founder of modern Shojo manga, which are comics aimed at a teenage female readership. Her works translated into English include A Drunken Dream and other stories, which is said to be a representative collection of her comics short stories. Other works include Otherworld Barbara and They Were Eleven.
She liked Azumanga Daioh, which is a comedy manga series written and illustrated by Kiyohiko Azuma, originally released from 1999-2002. It was first released in English by ADV Manga and reissued by Yen Press. They are four panel comics with humor driven by eccentric characters. The creator is said to be a master of the four-panel form for his style and comic timing.

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-copyright Simon Sandall