GRAPHIC 2016: Matt Groening to make Australian debut in November

Matt Groening and The Simpsons

Woohoo! The sixth GRAPHIC festival will return to Sydney Opera House on November 4 and 5 this year, and it’s bringing a legend along with it. Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, will come to Australia for the very first time.

“The most intense Simpsons fanatics I’ve met are from Australia, so I’m coming to Sydney to check out all you lunatics,” Groening said ahead of his Australian debut. “I’m going to share stories of the making of The Simpsons and show embarrassing home movies and rarely-seen animation, including oddball outtakes and uncensored Itchy & Scratchy cartoons.”

He will follow his GRAPHIC talk ‘Secrets of The Simpsons, And A Couple Of Milhouse Fun Facts’, with a session with his friend and fellow cartooning colossus Lynda Barry (Ernie Pook’s Comeek, One! Hundred! Demons!) titled ‘Love, Hate & Comics: The Friendship That Would Not Die’, discussing a relationship that dates back to the halcyon days of underground comic strips.

Graphic 2016

The celebration of graphic storytelling, illustration, comics, animation and music includes a robust line-up, including:

  • Matt Groening’s ‘Secrets of The Simpsons, And A Couple Of Milhouse Fun Facts’. Expect embarrassing home movies, rare animated clips and even some full-frontal cartoon nudity in an Australia-first appearance at Sydney Opera House from one of the true meccas of animated storytelling. (AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE, SYDNEY ONLY)
  • Matt Groening & Lynda Barry: ‘Love, Hate & Comics: The Friendship That Would Not Die’ celebrates a lifelong friendship since the halcyon days of underground comic strips. The Simpsons creator and Eisner Hall of Famer Lynda Barry make their first appearance in Australia – a GRAPHIC exclusive featuring two storytelling legends in intimate conversation; (AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE, SYDNEY ONLY)
  • THX-1138: In partnership with Sydney Film Festival, George Lucas’ THX 1138 will be re-scored live for the digital age with subs, breaks and riddims by Asian Dub Foundation. A film every Star Wars fan needs to see, George Lucas’ directorial debut THX 1138 is the mythical sci-fi classic that became the blueprint for epic sci-fi sagas to this day.
  • Two Australian film premieres from legendary storyteller and GRAPHIC alumnus Neil Gaiman, transforming the Concert Hall into a grand theatre for screening the documentary ‘Dream Dangerously’ and ‘Likely Stories’, a collection of some of his best short fantasies adapted for the screen by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (Nick Cave’s 20,000 Days on Earth, Scott Walker’s Bish Bosch: Ambisymphonic).

Free talks hosted by Gizmodo’s Rae Johnson, including:

  • Michael Leunig: A National Treasure: the famed Australian cartoonist, poet and cultural commentator returns to the Opera House; the mind behind The Duck, Vasco Pyjama and Mr. Curly – aka the fellow with a large nose. Declared a living treasure by the National Trust of Australia, expect to hear the poet laureate discuss his life and secrets, including the intricate joys of talking to strangers in the street, walking in the local park, morning coffee in the café, and chamber music;
  • First Dog on the Moon: How Not To Be Quite So Terrible: the Walkley-winning political cartoonist is your premium guide to modern Australian living on ABC Radio National and, on the side, the official cartoonist for the Western Bulldogs;
  • Brandon Graham – the graffiti artist turned manga illustrator – shares about his life in drawing, tracking his career from Eisner-winning King City, to experimental comic / essay / pin-up / bonus content anthology Island, to penning the return of cult ‘90s superhuman Prophet on the fabled Image Comics;
  • State of the Nation: Safdar Ahmed, Alisha Jade, James Andre & Sarah Howell. Comics are more popular than ever … but what does this mean for the independent spirit at the heart of the art? This panel will dissect sexism in comics with Platinum Ledger Award-winner Alisha Jade (Women in Comics Australia), why lurid storytelling matters to James Andre (Milk Shadow Books), through to the political tensions illustrated in Safdar Ahmed’s work (Villawood: Notes from an Immigration Detention Centre) and Sarah Howell (Melbourne’s Squishface Studio, co-director of National Young Writers’ Festival 2009-10); and
  • Felix Colgrave with Greg Sharp & Alex Grigg. Notching four million views with his animated music video for Fever the Ghost’s ‘SOURCE’, Felix’s psychedelic kingdoms combine the fantastical and mundane – and he now counts even rap royalty DJ Mustard, Nicki Minaj and Jeremih on his portfolio. A wizardous internet sensation who broke through with The Elephant’s Garden – winner of Best Australian Film at MIAF 2014 – Felix will be in full-bearded glory with Rubber House’s Greg Sharp and Alex Grigg (Fallout 4, VICE, Comedy Central).

GRAPHIC’s free film screenings are back, with:

  • Chris Ware collection narrated by Ira Glass & animated by John Kuramoto;
  • Alan Moore: Show Pieces;
  • Australian premiere of the documentary on legendary French artist Moebius Redux;
  • Two more Likely Stories from the Neil Gaiman universe; and
  • A collection of shorts from Bill Plympton, Jim Woodring, Don Hertzfield, John Kuramoto and Tony Millionaire: The Drinky Crow Show.