Cartoonist genius and music fan Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, will be making his first visit to Australia to take part in the sixth Graphic festival weekend celebrating the art of graphic storytelling, illustration, comics, animation and music on November 4 and 5 at the Sydney Opera House.
“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.
Ben Marshall, GRAPHIC co-curator and Head of Contemporary Music at Sydney Opera House said: “GRAPHIC exists to highlight and champion those singular voices in comics, animation, illustration and contemporary music that are capable of producing great art, but are usually passed over in traditional arts conversations. I think there’s no better embodiment of this idea, dead or alive, than Matt Groening – which is why we’ve been chasing him to appear at GRAPHIC for six years. We can’t quite believe the moment’s finally here and doubly thrilled it’s with his close friend and cartoonist extraordinaire Lynda Barry.”
George Lucas’ legendary directorial debut THX 1138 – the film blueprint for an era of sci-fi epics – also features in this year’s GRAPHIC line-up with a live re-scoring by international guests Asian Dub Foundation, alongside author Neil Gaiman virtually presenting the Australian debut of the films ‘Dream Dangerously’ and ‘Likely Stories’, and Australian cartooning masters from Michael Leunig to First Dog on the Moon leading the free talks series.
GRAPHIC co-curator Jordan Verzar said: “Every year when programming GRAPHIC, we are lucky enough to have multiple moments when we get the chills – hair standing on end, adrenaline coursing – when something years in the making comes to fruition. We can’t wait to share the secrets that Matt Groening will bring to light, or the live score that George Lucas has personally approved – and the many other surprises in store throughout our program. I’m exceptionally happy to present such a huge program of free art this year and a heavy focus on local content with appearances by some of Australia’s most beloved cartoonists, eye-popping animators and visual satirists.”
GRAPHIC festival offers a weekend of ticketed and free film free screenings, talks and exhibitions for fans of every kind of graphic culture.