In March 2014, Newcastle-based graphic designer and illustrator Ben Mitchell will be launching his debut comic book project, Storm Clouds, in an espresso bar in the centre of Hunter Street. After producing the 8-page pitch comic Strange Travels in 2012, curating the collaborative comic project Parry Prehistoric in 2013, as well as completing a thesis in comic page design, the 60-page detective story Storm Clouds will be the largest project he has ever taken on.
The comic tells a modern tale of two cities, as a young, Sydney-based detective must travel back to her hometown to investigate a series of grizzly murders, coming to terms with the party lifestyle she left behind. The comic’s setting, the fictional city of Bontown, NSW, contains many cultural references to the writer’s home in Newcastle, and will add an extra level of depth to any Novocastrians following the plot. Storm Clouds is set to be the first of many set in this city, as Bontown’s small-town charm is gradually chipped away to reveal some dark secrets.
The Storm Clouds “Launch Party” will take place at Churchkey Espresso, 488 Hunter St, a café wherein which most of the comic was written, and will be the first place to purchase a copy. In addition to art on the walls, refreshments and music, the comic will be on sale at the special introductory price of $12, with a free Storm Clouds-brandediced coffee.
The comic will be a limited release of 100 hand-numbered copies, and was manufactured in Northcote, Victoria by risograph printing collective Dawn Press. Following the launch event, the comic will be available in limited quantities at Graphic Action on Hunter St, MacLean’s Booksellers on Beaumont St and online via Sydney and Melbourne-based Fun Apparel’s zine distribution store.
The Launch Party begins at 7PM on Friday, March 14th at 488 Hunter St, Newcastle. All are welcome.
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