Screening tonight on ABC1 and ABC iView in Australia, ‘Comic Book Heroes‘ is a new documentary that tells the inside story of Australia’s most ambitious comic book creators – and their passionate fight to conquer the American market.
Filmed over two years in Tokyo, Perth and San Diego, the documentary chronicles the rise of Gestalt as co-founders Wolfgang Bylsma and Skye Walker Ogden follow their dream. For seven years, these Perth men have been producing mature, ground-breaking Australian comic books through their company Gestalt Publishing. They are publishing the likes of Academy-Award Winner Shaun Tan, and Aurealis-Award Winners Justin Randall and Tom Taylor. Other top-tier writers and artists from around the world are now clamouring to work with them.
But the guys are getting older and real life is confronting them with financial, emotional and health realities they can no longer afford to ignore. With only limited readership for graphic novels within Australia, they are now forced to grow the business fast. Their best bet is to travel to the heart of the comic book industry – San Diego Comic-Con in California – and try to crack the burgeoning U.S. market, among others.
‘Comic Book Heroes’ tracks the heartache and the joy of doing what you truly love. It follows these passionate small-town mavericks, and their insanely talented team of artists and writers, as they set out to conquer the American comic book industry in a very Australian fashion.
Along the way they must navigate vast distances, logistical mistakes, health breakdowns and unbearable financial stress. They also encounter thousands of cosplaying fans and many other famous creatives such as film director Kevin Smith, Verne Troyer (“Mini-Me”), Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”), bestselling author Kevin J Anderson and the master himself – Stan Lee.
Follow the conversation at the official Comic Book Heroes facebook page after the screening.