About - This is Where The Smoke Comes Out

When I came back from Japan in 2001, I thought I wanted to write a book called Zen and the Art of the Synthesizer based on my experience of growing up and working at Fairlight Instruments in Australia, then Roland in Japan and how that changed us.

18 years later I was working on a comic I was calling Zen and the Art of Random Memories, and that lead to an old Peter Gabriel reference, and that makes a better name.

Concept Art
So here it is, This is Where The Smoke Comes Out - A Collection Of Memories

I was very inspired by the MIZUKI manga SHOWA, A HISTORY OF JAPAN.

SHowa Manga
This 4 volume set combined recent history and what Shigeru Mizuki was doing at the time, which was mostly suffering. I found what he was doing really interesting and more so than the actual history, and that started me on this.
Having done the Terraform and Heavy Metal Garage comics, I thought the use of Narrative Captions, and processed photographs would make it doable in a reasonable amount of time. Now have some standard comic drawn panels with speech bubbles as well.

So why would anyone care what I worked on? Well, Fairlight Instruments changed music Technology in the 1980s with the invention of the Sampler and did it from Sydney Australia. I then designed the electronics of the one that sounded good. I then moved to Roland Corporation Japan, the synthesizer manufacturer, working in this mix of Technology and Art. But you will have to read the comic for that.

I posted some draft pages to a comic group on Facebook and received some interesting feedback on the mostly photographic panels giving a credibility that comic illustrations couldn't provide. So I have stuck with it.

I have left out a lot. Almost no mention of my wife and kids. No mention of the really negative things that have happened. No mention of the many people that really helped us. But additional pages can always be put between the existing pages if I felt it was worthwhile doing. Where there is smoke, there is also fire...

This Webcomic is an experiment and to relieve a creative itch.

The Comic