Monday, April 20, 2009

A Small Thing, A Poor Thing, But Something

Harvard has started collating and distributing his own publication called 'projak'

According to Wikipedia, The term "Rojak" is Malay for mixture, used as a colloquial expression for an eclectic mix. PROJAK stands for Project Rojak.

After working for nearly 2 years my social life is deteriorating rapidly like the white blood cell count of a leukemia child.

You can say PROJAK is a manifestation of that social life cancer and my curiousity and all I hope to achieve is an on-going conversation between my friends.
I am aiming to release PROJAK fortnightly depending on the response, hence the feedback is most welcomed if not vital.

In Harvards own words, and the first two issues have provided interesting reading. You can sign up I guess and extend Harvard's audience by emailing
(image to prevent spamming his account).

Grzegorz has in his own time been painstakingly programming a point and click adventure, released in parts. The puzzles are rational, the gameplay well thought out and frankly it offers everything one demands from an adventure game. It is a labour of love and having played them I feel it. He also pushes himself to develop with each installment of the game. More than anything else 'The Misadventures of Jimmy The Squatter' inspired me to get off my own arse and do my comic. You can, and should download the episodes from -

Morley has literally gone to clown college, and he has come back with something new (for Melbourne at least) which is Improv-standup. It is standup without the preparation and Improv without the rest of the troop.
I've been to see his show twice, which at least told me his dedication to having no prepared material is the real deal. Which isn't to say he died on stage. But he does have the discipline to roll with anything the audience throws at him, he did half an hour talking about 'cones' which admittedly was not that funny, but he rejected the easy path of 'shit' that was also thrown out. Admiration aside I don't go to see standups to admire people, I go to be entertained. His show is genuinely entertaining, moreso in the first half than the second, but the first half is actually 'really entertaining' as in eye who normally only laughs at intense human suffering was sufficiently impressed to laugh pretty much the whole way through. You can (and should) buy tickets through

I have a friend that writes anonymously under the pen name '150pages' and whilst I could quip that his work is so embarrassing I'd want to release it anonymously too, a quip is all it would amount to. He actually writes brilliant stuff. Furthermore for me, his literary dipiction of Melbourne is the long sought after remedy to the somewhat whitewashed and antiquated Barry Humphries/Hills-hoist iconoclastic view of an Australia that hasn't existed for some 40 years now.
Instead he gives you the in 'It'll be Morning' and '52: Short Stories' and the soon to be released 3rd work, a feeling of what it is to be anonymous and unimportant, and yet real and important in the... well I don't know. I can't describe it, which is why you should just show up at Sticky and ask what they have by '150 pages' his breakout work 'It'll Be Morning' is usually there.

I have a friend in Sydney called Ben, he did webcomics ages ago that were quite witty in a deconstructionist/self observational way. They followed the learning curve of creating a 'Penny Arcade' type webcomic as the characters and settings gradually took on growing depth and complexity. I shudder to use terms like 'tongue in cheek' because I don't envision anyone actually 'cheekily' prodding at the establishment. Web comics just aren't that established yet. Anyway after giving a good wrap to his work I can't actually find it and suspect its been deleted. But he has a showreel for his animation stuff at

And lastly for now, my long time friend Bryce has been producing musicals and directing musicals for what seems like the last aeon. Bryce is the least likely of my friends to need my help to succeed or even to promote a show. But that's beside the point, he has created something with the colloboration of others and is going beyond to support other peoples dreams. He is one of the people in the process of trying to make Call Girl The Musical a lasting show that might have performances put on for eternity. I can't tell you how good the show is, because I've never seen it. I just came to the stage of my life where I realised not only do I not like musicals, but I actively dislike them. If Bryce were the only person putting on musicals I'd probably be more sympathetic, but this country suffers from a strongly held belief that if you append 'The Musical' to anything, anything at all it will be a comedy hit.
But if you do love musicals, Bryce does the best ones. He thinks about his work beyond just a 'passion' and thinks about the audience as well. you can buy tickets from

I do this post, because I often claim that 'most people' do nothing with their lives, whilst feeling grand about myself because I have at least drawn a comic book epic. So its two fold, I point out that many of my friends are doing something with their lives, they are creating, making and expressing shit that doesn't get made otherwise. They are not passively following easy paths to a mortgage, kids and whatever. They may in the most part even want those things, but they aren't taking the easy option of a steady career in logistics management to get them.
It's hard to put yourself out there, to be judged, weighed and measured. And yet people have to do these things to provide the vast majority of us with the entertaining distractions we need to remedy the boredome of staid careers. I think the best thing I can do for my friends, given my hyper-critical personality is criticise, but I'd hate for that to ever be interpreted as discouragement. Because I only offer criticism where I want someone to succeed, and all it ever amounts to is testable hypothesis to see if you can get better work, better reactions, better anything.
But also having produced a piece of work, something of my own, its hard to bemoan why you aren't getting better uptake when like me you've hardly done anything to recommend your friends work to other people. Recommendations seem to have poor uptake anyway, even when they are personal. FOWP currently has a 20% penetration of my personal network, despite pretty hard efforts to get my friends to read it, even bankrupting myself to give it away.

And that's the other half, if you are frustrated that you don't get time to do any of the things you want, but you have the money, support these people. Buy their efforts, and if they suck, tell them. There's nothing worse than selling a few copies of anything and not knowing if anyone actually enjoyed it. At least if someone tells you 'this was a steaming pile of shit' you can go back to the drawing board and try something new. But nothing is truly nothing. Its why those that lead a life more ordinary can absolutely do something positive by consuming. These are rare products where the creator values what you think, not Gucci's, Tommy Hilfigers or Polo Ralph Lauren items were the creator presumes to tell you what to think.

So given my ineffectiveness at recommending shit to the busy people I know in logistical management careers, this post is A Small Thing, A Poor Thing, But Something.

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