Art, Blotting Paper, Comics May 12, 2011

After a period in which I have been guest blogging and micro blogging I am finally concentrating on the development of my own blog! I started out my approach with the idea of having two blogs: Doctor Comics (more serious) and Doctor Comictopus (more fun) but these have since merged into the one Doctor Comics blog (both fun and serious) and this is the first post on the new, one and only Doctor Comics blog. I love comics and I have read them since childhood. Every Sunday most I would sit and read the comics section of the Sunday paper. My mother would buy me a comic when I was unwell and home from school in bed…a Donald Duck or a Dennis The Menace. I knew them by their titles then and only later learned that they were the work of comics artists Carl Barks and Hank Ketcham respectively. My father regularly read both English war action and American western adventure comics as well as the comics section of the Sunday newspaper and left them lying around the house so I can say that both of my parents contributed to my developing love of comics. I also had a couple of kind aunties who would buy me the odd imported weekly comic such as the English Eagle boys paper. Even nowadays I still read comics in bed but no longer wait till I’m ill.

The T-shirt design by Max

The T-shirt design by Max

Louise Graber and Doctor Comics at a Halloween Party. (Photo by Kat Smolynec, Painting by Anton Emdin, Feed On Comics T-shirt by Max)

My interest in and enthusiasm for comics continued throughout childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. I also developed a serious interest in studying and researching the medium. I have been involved in comics studies for several years and have been awarded a Ph.D. for my research. That is where the alias comes in. I’m known as Michael Hill, Ph.D. (a.k.a Doctor Comics). I completed the doctorate in 2003 and acquired the alias in 2006 on a radio talkback show…the caller said he wanted to talk to “that Doctor Comics guy”. (Cue amusement as the radio announcer informed the audience that I actually had a Ph.D. in comics!) That “Doctor Comics” label sounded odd at the time but it caught on and I got used to it. Aided by the diverse range of publications available and the growing amount of resources online it has become a rich time to study comics. Pluralism reigns. There are numerous creators from diverse cultures making good comics in a multitude of styles and formats along with the usual standard material. I am increasingly drawn to the notion of making comics and I’m finally working on my first solo project Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics.

Conventioneer card for the 99 Expo in Maryland with Brian Ralph illo.

The 99 Expo card with Brian Ralph illo

This blog will reflect my interest in reading, researching, critiquing and creating comics art as expressed by the Feed On Comics! call from the Max (photo above) official T-shirt of  ICAF (the International Comic Arts Festival) at Bethesda, Maryland, 1999 that I attended. The event comprised an academic conference chaired by Gene Kannenberg, Jr., at which I made a presentation on Australian alternative comics, and a convention, the Small Press Expo that honoured alternative comics. There was an award ceremony at which comics artist James Kochalka performed, totally naked, and each category winner received a brick just like the one Ignatz threw at Krazy. The event celebrated both the study and creation of comics and so now has particular resonance for me and my blog. Enjoy!

The Small Press Expo Comic at ICAF where I also bought the Max T-shirt

The Small Press Expo Comic

Doctor Comictopus alias for Michael Hill Ph.D (a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.

Doctor Comictopus alias for Michael Hill Ph.D.(a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.

UPDATE: The Doctor Comictopus blog, with an alias designed by Michelle Park has now been discontinued, however, some elements have been merged with this new Doctor Comics blog. Transferred posts include:   GIGANTOR AND GOJIRA IN THE HOUSE     ROCK ART: Magical Cave Drawings Found and Filmed in France     CATS IN COMICS: The Rabbi’s Cat     COFFEE TABLE first fix     COFFEE TABLE fourth fix


Creator and former Director of the Master of Animation course at the University of Technology, Sydney, Dr. Michael Hill has a Master's degree in animation and a PhD in comics studies, prompting his introduction on ABC Radio as “Doctor Comics”. A member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Comic Art, and former member of the Comics Grid Journal of Comics Scholarship and the Advisory Committee of the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project, he has delivered public lectures on Comics, Anime and Manga and held academic directorships in Interdisciplinary Studies, Animation, Design and Visual Communication. Having donated his collection of research materials on Australian alternative comics to the National Library of Australia he is now active in the artistic domain, writing, drawing and printmaking, creating art postcards and prints and his own graphic novel Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions of Doctor Comics.

Comments 2

  1. mdhuset says on November 27, 2013

    Hi! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the fantastic work!

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