Herman, The Legal Labrador - A New Animated Australian Film


Latest entry: Entry 32, Friday August 12, 2005


Entry 7. By David, Friday, January 24, 2003

Not much done in the last few weeks. I'm within a hundred or so storyboards of finishing them, but I've been working more on the next comic lately, in the hopes of having it done in time for the Make It Up zine fair on Saturday. Since I still have a few more pages to pencil and ink, we can safely assume I'll be relying on old rope once again. "Pathetic," the comics people will sneer, "we saw that stuff over a year ago! Where's your new work?"

Well, here's some. >>
Here's more. >>
And here's one of my favourite pages. >>

I also blame Ben Arber for my lack of industry. Having just come back from stumbling around the world for a year, our "posse" has been busy swimming in his pool and showing him all the new Starbucks which have popped up in Melbourne since he's been gone. There's been lots of time to go out and screw around since we're mostly unemployed. Heading off to Sydney on Australia Day for the road trip we've been talking about for a long time. More time away from work!


Entry 8. By David, Sunday, February 2, 2003

Back yesterday from my trip to Sydney. It was not exactly financially beneficial, as you will discover, but may pay dividends later on. It was fraught with excitement, adventure, sun, surf, whores, pimps, alcohol and bad food. And I almost became "MELBOURNE MAN DIES IN M5 CAR CRASH".

Before we left, there was the MAKE IT UP zine fair to attend, as exhibitors. On that Saturday, apparently the second-hottest Melbourne day on record, Ben and I sat at our table in the Lower Melbourne Town Hall, me trying to sell copies of NAKEDFELLA COMICS and HERMAN t-shirts, Ben trying to sell copies of the all-new comic series we had come up with right there on the spot, FISH & DOG. We made nine issues over the course of the day, each of which we sold for 10 cents. They all went, and we netted a profit of 60 cents (I realise the maths don't work out, but there were swaps going on as well).

The usual suspects were there: a roomful of zinemakers, faces I recognise but can't put names to, J-F who does PLAN DEMENTURE WRESTLING GHOUL zine, lovely Nicola, Tim Danko, Jo Waite (whose "Gumby & Child" greeting cards are excellent) and more. Late in the day, Australian comics phenom Christian Read (THE WATCH, STAR WARS TALES) showed up, a little wobbly, his first trip to Melbourne, 44 degrees outside. Later on we went for a drink with him, plus Darren Close (KILLEROO) and another dude whose name I have of course forgotten, which is something I do as soon as I turn my head away from anybody -- unfailingly -- unless the person hands me a comic or something with their name on it. Then we made our way to the monthly Melbourne Comics People Gettin' Together For Groovy Times night, which is held on the last Saturday of every month at the Melbourne Bar & Bistro (Bourke St Mall, down the stairs, next to the Red Rooster). Sketchbooks and art folders compulsory.

Next day I packed my bags with underwear, t-shirts, no bathers, CDs and comics, then headed over to Ben's for swimming and rousing rounds of HATBALL, the game with the ball that looks like a

Ben and I did the ten hour drive overnight. With us in the car were our schoolmate Joel (the car's owner), Dina, who's in their uni course, and her friend Sam. The ride was mostly relaxed, although the bushfire smoke was pretty nasty on the eyes for a few hours.

We were dropped at King's Cross, famed the world over for its decadence, sleaze and debauchery. In reality, it's a couple hundred metres of hostels, internet cafes and non-internet cafes. And some sex shops, sex shows and prostitutes. And maybe some drugs, although I wasn't offered any. Apparently I look like a narc.

Ben caught up with his friend Jo, and I walked the streets of Sydney, checking stuff out randomly. Many things were closed, unfortunately, since it was the Monday after Australia Day, and as we all know, if a public holiday falls on a weekend in Australia, everybody takes the Monday off as well. We roomed for the next two nights in the Cooee backpackers lodge (hostel) on Darlinghurst St, Kings Cross, located conveniently between the train station and a hooker. Our bunkmate was James, from Chester, England.

I tried to meet up with two people I know in Sydney. One is Wade, from the AIM course at RMIT. We arranged to meet up the day after I spoke with him, but when I tried to contact him after that I got smeg-all. Since Wade's the kind of guy who goes out, gets smashed, and falls asleep on a train seat as the train goes back and forth along the Alamein line until the next morning when he's woken by the suits going to work, I didn't take it personally. I called Christian, but he indicated that he was still in Melbourne, and sounded preoccupied. Never mind. I took some of my comics round to a couple of stores in Sydney, and as a result NAKEDFELLA COMICS is now stocked at Kings Comics and Comics Kingdom, both in Sydney's CBD. Whee! Then we checked out Circular Quay and The Rocks, both of which are pretty and expensive. Ben paid through the nose for German beer. Schtinken fotse!

Ben and I headed to Gore Hill, home of Australia's favourite government-funded TV network, ABC. There we met with a nice fella from FLY, Josh, an animator and an ex-Melbournian to boot, in the hopes that maybe FLY will be able to help with some of the technical aspects of HERMAN ("Can we use the ABC's recording studios to do some of the music?"). Sending Josh a formalised begging letter is now my highest priority (well... after writing this). And we saw Thomas The Tank Engine! He was just sitting there in the ABC compound, smiling! He had a license plate that read, "TTTE-1"! EXCELLENT!

From there we took a bus to Manly, where we relaxed for the next couple days, surfing, bodyboarding, reading, eating tzatziki. Our bunkmate was Fran, from Chester, England. We convinced Fran and her friend Chris (who introduced us to the magic of PEGAZUS, a metal band from OUR TOWN) to hop in Chris' Land Cruiser and drive with us back to Melbourne. Alcohol helped them say yes. At the last moment, their friend Emma decided to join us, a bad decision on her part.

10pm the next evening, we sped along the highway to Melbourne. We were 70 kms out of Sydney, doing 110 kph, when there was a loud bang. Metal squealed, and we went into a spin, spraying sparks. I had time to wonder if this part of highway has concrete dividers, and whether we would hit them, before Chris brought the vehicle to a stop. Everybody was OK, and we hopped out to check the damage. The back right tyre had somehow torn off the car, nuts and all. The back left tyre had also blown out, presumably in response to the extra pressure. Some kindly motorists helped us push the car out of the right lane, where it had been blocking traffic for a while. Chris called the RAC, who sent a tow truck some time later. The ambos appeared, saw we were fine, chatted a little with each other, then left. The cops arrived, looked at the wheel, went "cor blimey", then left. The female cop was cute. Rogue tow truck drivers arrived, attempted to talk Chris into employing their services, made a couple of racial slurs, then left.

Eventually we wound up in the nearest town, Campbelltown, with little money and minor assistance from the RAC. I won't bother elaborating on how we wandered the streets for the next couple of hours, but I will say that any visitors to Campbelltown should avoid the MACLIN LODGE MOTEL and the COLONIAL MOTOR INN on moral grounds.

Around 3am, it occurred to me that Ben and I had tickets to the last ever comedy show at the Prince Patrick Hotel (a Melbourne venue with a long history of breeding excellent comedians) before the place gets bulldozed. The show was sixteen hours away, and there was no indication to my mind that the car would be fixed in the next day or so. There was no way I could miss this show, but the only way to get back in time would be by plane...

I discovered from a train station guard that an hourly Night Rider bus goes through Campbelltown. If I took this bus back to Sydney, I could make my way to the airport and hopefully get a ticket back to Melbourne. I put this to Ben, but he decided to stay with the others. I regretted leaving, but it's the fucking PAT! It's CLOSING! I booked the tickets weeks ago! I HAD TO DO IT! FOR DAVE TARANTO! FOR JANET McLEOD! FOR THE CLIPBOARD! FOR THE SPRINGY THING THAT MAKES THE SPROINGY NOISE! FOR COMEDY! FOR CHRIS AND JOHN (even though John wouldn't let punters have free water)! My resolve was steely and my face was unshaven.

At the bus stop, we met Brennan, who had fallen asleep on the train in Sydney and ended up a long way from home. I hopped the bus when it arrived, along with Brennan, and also Emma, who decided that Melbourne was not worth it and wanted to go back to Manly.

By 5am we had parted ways in Sydney and I was schlepping my bags through the streets. By this time I was out of my fucking skull with lack of sleep and my mysterious, long-standing dizziness, about which I will not elaborate here. One cab later I was at the domestic terminal, where I blew too much money on a one-way ticket home.

I was home by 9am Saturday morning. I slept six hours in the afternoon, then went to the Pat with Adam, Pemberton, Jake and Jake's sister.

Yes, the show was worth it.

Man, that was a long six days.

Now back to storyboards.


Entry 9. By David, Monday, February 17, 2003

I promised Jeremy last week that I would have the storyboards done by this Thursday, but I in fact drew the final storyboard frame (#610, "THE END") last Friday, six days ahead of schedule. True, my original schedule called for last Friday to happen six weeks ago, but I'm only one man, as far as I know. I slept and watched TV over the weekend.

Next up: record a rough dialogue track, get these storyboards into the computer, then slap them together with some temp music for the animatic. If you want to know more about what an animatic is, try the Star Wars website. They've got a nice little feature on how they developed the animatic for Episode I. Typically, for George Lucas, Inc., the article is quick to point out how fantastic their cutting-edge technology is, and how silly and antiquated earlier methods are. The unintended lesson here is, I think, that cutting-edge technology is nothing in the face of a stiff script and an annoying eight-year-old lead actor.

Must find good actors.

<< Page 2   |   Page 4 >>


"Dogs Of Law": The Music Video
Herman, The Legal Labrador Trailer
QuickTime (16 mb - SWEET)
MPEG-1 (10 mb - OK)
"Dogs Of Law" (End Theme From Herman, The Legal Labrador)
MP3 (192kbps, 6 mb)
Buy Herman crap at cafepress.com


About the creator
Making Herman
Latest entry: August 12
Press Notes (PDF)
Herman screenings/awards
The production of HERMAN has been kindly supported by
Next Wave