The New Malaise

Back in the first post I said Malaise was “back” and that I was busy conceptualising just what form it would take moving forward. I stated with much confidence that it wouldn’t be making a print comeback, that the fanzine was dead.

I’m that kind of indecisive person who spends a lot of time reinventing to, I hope, not too much of my own detriment. Dwelling on this idea, what it could be, what it’s been, it’s become clear to me that there really is no other way I’d want to do it other than a physical print publication. Hand xeroxed, personally distributed and all.

Back when Malaise was already in print and I was just starting to collate the second issue, I made the decision that this was just not going to work if I did it all myself. Real DIY is an ethic, it’s a conscious decision where you dedicate your efforts to a quest in unlocking your potential, and I think if done correctly the potential of others. On top of a stressful relationship, studying to not be an animator and volunteering with ZICS, that conscious effort just got too much and I laid the tools down. Mostly, the reason it ended was because I lacked to time and therefore energy to put into producing a 36-page fanzine all by myself.

That was the low note, here’s the high.

I’m really excited to share this sort-of epiphany that with the help of my brother Liav Shalev, long time supporter and good photography guy, is starting to shape into a full on concept. Malaise will be a regular zine again. New foundation, new direction; same passion, same zero dollar cost.

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The revised Malaise will be just one A3 sheet folded in half, two-sided print. The size is important for the same old reason which is that there are heaps of really good zines out there that have skating in them but we wanted to do something where the format follows the content and is truly a skate zine of skateboarders. I figured bigger was better and minimal was key. One sheet is easy enough to fold into your pocket, so you needn’t think twice about picking it up. And also if I’m going to be honest, there’s a lot less hairpulling pulling just two pages of content together under a bi-monthly/monthly (we’ll see how we go) deadline.

There’s heaps more in the works and heaps more that we have to do to build up momentum for a soft May release of the first issue. But as always I extend the offer to get involved in whatever way you feel you can! The zine will be free which means we’ll be doing all the work for free, so volunteering to help out is ace and I encourage it.

Lastly, I want to reiterate that at the heart of this idea is the need to coalesce skateboarders who produce creative work out of love, intrigue or labour. Because simply put, even in skateboarding creative work is undervalued. The new Malaise is heavy on the art side of things but I don’t want that to mean exclusive of filmmaking, writing, making music, the act of skateboarding itself. It’s a zine for those who are as much skaters as people.

Much more to come real soon so keep em lubricated: @malaiseskate on twitter and insta, facebook here.

-Tom

Close to the Ground | 16th June

Hello, Friday. Here are some things:


Freddy Carrasco

Let me share with you this news via a blog post by the creative writer behind alternative comics crit/fan site Comics & Cola and ShortBox, a subscription based box-of-original-alt-comics publisher. They’ve just announced their latest collaboration with the swedes at Peow studios, contributing a completely new work, Hot Summer Nights.

lurking via shortbox.co.uk by Freddy Carrasco
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Peow studios is delivering the unique talent of Toronto based afro-futurist animator-illustrator Freddy Carrasco to the sub-box. 

Go read ShortBox’s article which brings with it a short preview of Carrasco’s contribution.

Freddy also does dope mixes. listen here.


YOU CAN’T SKATE HERE, YOU CAN’T SIT HERE

An interview with Seth Price by the villiage psychic about their street installations sparks the kind of conversation I love about metropolitan street skating; the invisible lines between public, private, and privately-owned public space, which is real.

the nose bonk is pretty clear. “unskateable” my salt sweat shoestring belt.

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And lastly, there’s still time to wrap up good in the oddest throwback range of softies avaliable.

Would an actual journalist query the exact machinations behind such designs by the boys at Parliament skate shop and No Cure magazine feature creature Luke Day

Surely, or else we wouldn’t have a bar for base journalistic standards to never attain.

Get in-store now if you’re after that reassuring nod of approval from yr homies at next week’s Bracken Ridge GSD activities.

If there’s other shit going down in brisbane for GSD then I’m sure you know about it. 

Have a rad weekend.

@malaiseskate – observeskateboarding@gmail.com

Paddo Report: Shred for Shane

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It was Parliament skate shop who this year rallied the local call to shred the oft-ceremonial grounds of Paddo in the name of fallen comrade Shane Cross, this the 10th year since his passing.

Tie dye was donned in appreciation and brownbags smashed. An impromptu best benihana challenge kept the energy and spirits high as the sun got low.

Here’s a little documentation. Shots by Liav.

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Paradise

I’m only just becoming aware of John Green as a skate filmmaker. I learned it was his filming that debuted the new Brisbane based bearing company Commodore in their very hype inducing “Hype Squad” edit just last week. One part founder and operator of Parliament skateshop, an underground haven dug out of 303 Adelaide St in the heart of the CBD, John’s made another debut under the exclusive release of Slam Magazine in their shop’s first full-length video. 

We had a Brisbane times article surface recently about the city’s late lack of interest in skateboarding under the quote “Brisbane ‘sucks’ if you’re a skateboarder in 2017”. I gassed briefly about this with John in-store and while the sentiment is mostly true, these locals in Paradise sure make an exception to that rule.

Watch the full video!

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Stokoe’s Dead Orbit is about to land

Like a Xenomorph to the flamethrower, absolute loose nail James Stokoe’s new run with IDW on an official Alien story is looking like it’ll melt more than just minds in this preview from Paste.

Stokoe’s created licensed work in the past with IDW on Godzilla: Half-Century War and Godzilla In Hell. Both are monuments to their source material, and true adaptations in that Stokoe is sure to not let the weight of cannon get in the way of a total aesthetic retake. And yeah, even the king of kaiju isn’t safe from continuity hell.

His drawing style is highly obsessive. Heavy detail with just a formative nod to technicality is a stellar fit to the acid-oozing, organic plethora of Giger-esque alien technology, gum and tape bound space suits and dank, abandoned industrial structures.

Quickly inhale this preview of Dead Orbit before waiting for the cold dark space of that empty spot on your bookshelf to be filled this April.

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Aliens: Dead Orbit/Predator: Hunters Ashcan Cover and Interior Art by James Stokoe

 

Commodore

Missing a perfect opportunity to join a coalition of skate companies like Stereo and Consolidated who’ve reclaimed outdated brand names and logos trans-industrially, perhaps as a “so what fuck you”, Brisbane bearings company Commodore have arrived to share their new team debut clip. Points for riffing on SEGA though.

For your consideration:
Liam Mckee
Chris Zoupantis
Richard Carstens
Pat Pollock
Louis Riley
Trent Riley
Edgar Kiisa

Re-Issued: Seff Mudge’s Vivid Black Artistry

As part of this ‘re-issued’ series of posts – turning back time to take another look at some of the people who contributed and helped form the first iterations of Malaise – I wanted to lean into the artists who took enough interest in it to made work specifically for the zine. It’s also a part of this agenda to put the artists of the the skateboarding community to the forefront and build social space for us a niche within that community, which I think is vital and rare.

Seff Mudge contributed a really impressive illustration for the second issue. Back then it took me by surprise to see how much effort is put in with every piece he does, even if it’s this pro-bono scene he flicked my way – doing work for free as an artist these days is tough and I’m super thankful he took the time.

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Since following him on instagram and his facebook page over the last two years he’s become increasingly prolific and sets a good tempo for an active, developing illustrator. So I caught up with him to hear what he’s been up to and what he’s got planned for the future.

 


First up, how are you?

Whats been transpiring for you creatively over the past three years?

Pretty good thanks. I’m gonna have to try to think back now haha. I guess I’ve been fairly consistently throwing artworks into a bunch of different exhibitions around the Brisbane area over the past few years. I was also lucky enough to be selected to design a skate graphic in the Converse Cons Project on the coast and also win best illustration. That whole weekend was so fun, inspiring and just ahh! Designing a range of commission pieces for CRMC, an alternate clothing brand based in Scotland is also a major highlight and seeing the garments coming to life at the moment is awesome too. It was also cool getting the chance to spread the word about habitat destruction when I was accepted into the Decks for Change project last year. That whole experience has really inspired me to start putting more nature orientated messages into my art and who knows I might enter again this year. In more recent news I’ve just designed a few t-shirt commissions for Brisbane metal band Outlive, one of which is in the process of being printed and sold at their shows, definitely look forward to working with them a heap more.

Definitely noticed a shift in subject matter with your work since I last checked in. Much more interpretive symbolism. You’re self taught?

Yeah I definitely see that my work has changed. Not that I felt I didn’t previously but I’ve started putting a heap more thought into the concept stage before even beginning any part of the inking process. My pieces usually take ages to complete so it seemed natural that I should plan things out smoother before going straight into it and spending all that time. It feels like a much more healthy approach to making art, for me anyway.

Back to your question. I am self-taught. I was drawing way back in preschool but by the time I got to high school I had almost completely stopped. The first “drawing lessons” I had received, and this is probably going off on a bit of a tangent, was when I was chosen to go on a camp at some old castle place called Woodlands back in like grade 6 or something. From what I can remember it was a pretty cool experience, me and random other school kids got to meet and work with professional writers and illustrators to produce a story book. I’m pretty sure I had already been practicing most of what they were teaching beforehand anyhow, so no real improvement there haha. Besides the old high school art classes it wasn’t until I finished my design course back in 2014 that I started drawing again.

Where’d you study?

At CATC Design School in the valley. It was just a Diploma course.

Understand you’re preparing for an exhibit launch at bean on friday called ‘sloe’, what else is in the future for you as an artist?

Sure am. There should be some fresh interesting work to see there, definitely something to check out if you’re in the area. As for other exhibitions so far, I’ll have 1 or 2 pieces in the ‘Lords’ art show at Crowbar toward the end of February. I’m also going to be more active within the Primary Arcade and The Brisbane Collective groups so hopefully you’ll be able to check out more of my work in their upcoming shows. As far as personal work goes I haven’t got plans to start any art challenges or anything, as of yet, just going to focus on improving, looking within for inspiration blah, blah, blah and all that sorta shit haha. I would also like to be able to do a few more merch designs for local bands as well as working with other clothing labels in the UK or somewhere.


@vividblackartistry

Vivid Black Artistry

 

Re-issued: Story of a Mum Who Skates

For posterity, I’m reposting some select articles, interviews, and features from the first two issues of Malaise that were published in late 2014 and early 2015. Here’s Indigo giving a brief insight into herself as a mother and skateboarder. Indigo is also a bona-fide Dr. Nerd with accreditation in Sociology from University of Queensland and Griffith U and is a part of the Asian Australian Film Forum and Network. But skaters are dumb, right? 

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Drop in at the old Paddo. Photo by Pat Gemzik

MY name is Indigo Willing, nickname ‘Indi’, and my locals in Brisvegas are Fairfield and Paddo. I’m 1001 years old, I’m a mum with a primary school-aged kid, and started skating two years ago.
It’s awesome how welcoming skaters in Brisbane have been, given I am different like that. And because I started skating super old I progress differently.
The guys and girls I see skating inspire me everyday to just do what I do and get in there. Whenever I roll, any troubles of the day also drift away. Life’s sometimes been hard for me, as it is for everyone. But when I’m skating I’m always laughing.
And I’m so grateful to say that because then my son is raised by a person who’s happiness, strength and courage is highly visible.
To show happiness is good; because I’m from a Vietnamese orphanage, have mixed heritage, and even though I was raised by a new Aussie family who never treated me differently, I lost my first family and am an orphan that way for life.
Being an outsider, you carry around a sense of loss and this deeper sadness, no matter how resilient and independent you also need to become along the way.
I like being resilient no matter what as it’s helped me achieve things like a PhD in Sociology – which surprised a lot of people given I was in trouble a lot and no-one had high hopes for Vietnamese people when I was growing up; gangs and heroin were the most noticeable element of our community.

When I finished studying, which was in-part to honour my Vietnamese ancestors and their sacrifices for my new life, I still worked very hard.
But you can also burn out, so I made time to start skateboarding, and life just throws the right people in your path sometimes.
The first person to teach me to stand on a board was my neighbour Evie Ryder who is a girl-skater who kills it. She was a finalist in the Girls Skate Australia skate comp in 2014, and was featured in an exhibition at Love Love Studio recently called ‘Play Free’.
The first time I learned to drop-in was at a skate workshop run by  Pat “Patty G” Gemzik and with some of Brisbane’s best skaters. Since then, I’ve continued to meet some of the most courageous and soulful people ever through skateboarding. All ages, genders and life stories.
My young son doesn’t skate yet, but he’s into art and is growing up surrounded by a lot of awesome skater friends, including a number of girl skaters from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
I love that it’s natural for him to see females changing skate trucks at home, getting immediately up from a slam and going for the same trick until they get it, or watching our skate videos and seeing us being very happy, supportive and strong.
This is way better than seeing his mum sitting around obsessed by mainstream TV and magazines about starving, plastic bodied celebrities wearing $400 socks with $4000 handbags, or failing to know how to respect other females for anything beyond how they look or who they date.

A skateboard is not influenced by that crap and doesn’t care where you’re from, how you look, or what you earn.