A two-part documentary series that tells the inside story of two ambitious Australian comic book creators and their battle to penetrate the American market.
Best friends Skye Walker Ogden and Wolfgang Bylsma are talented Australians with a crazy dream.
For eight years these Perth men have been producing mature, ground-breaking Australian comic books through their company Gestalt Publishing. They are publishing the likes of Academy-Award® Winner Shaun Tan and Aurealis-Award Winners Justin Randall and Tom Taylor, with other top-tier writers and artists from around the world clamouring to work with them.
But the guys are getting older and real life is confronting them with financial, emotional and health realities that they can no longer afford to ignore. With limited readership for graphic novels within Australia and no real profits in sight, they are now forced to grow the business fast. Their best bet is to travel 9,000 miles to the heart of the comic book industry – San Diego Comic-Con International in California. This annual comic convention presents an opportunity for the outsider Australians to showcase their wares to the 120,000 plus people that walk through its doors, as well as meet with reps from Hollywood, keen to snap up the rights for the next big graphic novel adaptation.
Along the way to the U.S. Bylsma and Ogden must navigate the tyranny of distance, logistical mix-ups, health breakdowns and financial stress. When they finally arrive at Comic-Con, they encounter thousands of costumed punters and many famous industry faces including film director Kevin Smith (‘Clerks’), 23-million Bestselling Sci-Fi Author Kevin J Anderson, a producer from ‘The Walking Dead’ TV series and the comic book master himself – Stan Lee. Will this trip to the States be the gamble that pays off for the struggling comic book publishers?
Comic Book Heroes tracks the joy and heartache of doing what you truly love. It follows these passionate mavericks and their talented team of artists and writers as they set out to take on the American comic book industry – Australian style.
Comic Book Heroes is Created, Written and Directed by Nicholas Dunlop. It is produced by Little Star and Wild Fury in association with Screenwest, Lottery West, Screen QLD and ABC TV.
Gestalt Publishing’s graphic novels are distributed by Last Gasp in the USA.
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Gestalt Publishing official website