Episode 1 of Comic Book Heroes introduces us to Gestalt Comics, an Australian publisher of comics and graphic novels. The men in charge are Wolfgang Bylsma and Skye Ogden, working between Australia and Japan. Anyone familiar with the Australian comics scene will no doubt have heard of Gestalt, but do you know their story?
The film series take us behind the scenes of what it is like doing the work that they do and trying to break into the US market by attending the biggest convention in the world San Diego Comic Con. We get to know Wolf and Skye, and we are introduced to the people who get published including Tom Taylor and Justin Randall.
As the team head to San Diego basically everything that can go wrong does go wrong, their books that are set to be launched at the event have not arrived. The real stress behind the situation is shown; this isn’t just a trip to convention, which is an opportunity to get noticed. The heartbreak that things are going wrong is very real, and it certainly resonated with me as I was watching.
The inside look at what it takes to be a publisher is very eye opening, and this is handled very well by writer/director Nicholas Dunlop who certainly does hide anything here. The blood, sweat and years can be felt throughout this first part of the series. There is nothing but respect for these guys from me, and as much as I love reading what they put out, the full picture of what happens behind the scenes hasn’t hit me as hard as has now.
This is a fantastic first part, it is really well structured and there is a nice amount of getting to know the men behind the product. Comic Book Heroes is such an important piece, especially to the Australian comics scene and I urge everyone to watch it.
You can find episode 1 on ABC iView – www.abc.net.au/iview
Check out Gestalts library of work – www.gestaltcomics.com