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What’s On? GRAPHIC Festival @ SOH

Dom Ellis previews the upcoming festival of graphic story telling, animation and music.

In late September and early October, the Sydney Opera House will play host to a geek-fest a bit more well groomed than the likes of Supanova or Comic-Con. The GRAPHIC festival, which started in 2010, is a celebration of “forms of modern storytelling that are often overlooked in traditional arts conversations and yet are capable of greatness”. It’s shaping up to be a unique experience, featuring high-end guests, premieres, and a series of specially commissioned works, aural and visual. And with the Marvel Universe and films like Mad Max dominating the box office, the intersection between screen culture and narrative literature is all the more pertinent.

Here are our picks of the festival (also keep an eye out for the musical performances from Ólafur Arnalds and Sarah Blasko):

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD—CREATING THE APOCALYPSE—GEORGE MILLER, BRENDAN MCCARTHY & NICO LATHOURIS IN CONVERSATION

Speaking of Max, enter the wasteland with Oscar-winner George Miller and his co-writers and illustrators Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris. Twelve years in the making, and featuring comprehensive storyboards, vehicle-work and costuming, the making of Fury Road is a story in and of itself.

BEHIND THE BRICKS—HOW ANIMAL LOGIC CRAFTED THE LEGO® MOVIE

The Sydney-based animation and visual effect team behind Happy Feet, 300, and The Great Gatsby feature once again at the GRAPHIC festival, this time talking about their extraordinary work for The Lego Movie. They’re one of Australia’s most important contributors to innovation in film, and this FREE presentation by art director Grant Freckelton is well worth a look.

KEVIN SMITH’S SUPERHERO MULTIVERSE WITH SPECIAL GUEST JASON MEWES

Kevin Smith is a bit of a dickhead, no doubt. That said, he’s also the genius behind some of world’s comic book treasures, both Marvel and D.C., as well as cult indie flicks Clerks and Mallrats. You’ll have to fork out 59 big ones for this one, but a Kevin Smith ramble is in a league of its own, and with a 120 minute run time, it’s probably worth the spend.

FREE SCREENING: SHE MAKES COMICS

One of a few Australian film premieres, She Makes Comics follows some of the biggest names in comic books, as well as some of the biggest fans. A welcome escape from the dude-bro domination of mainstream fan culture, this looks like an exciting doco including interviews with big name writers and artists.

The GRAPHIC festival kicks off on September 28th, tickets are available at their website here.