Off The Page: Design, illustration and authorship in contemporary comics


Panel discussion with Jin Hien Lau, Meg O’Shea and W. Chew Chan, moderated by curator Con Gerakaris.
Held as part of Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus (Part 2).

Join exhibiting artist Jin Hien Lau, independent comics author Meg O’Shea and professional comic book and storyboard artist W. Chew Chan for a Zoom panel discussion moderated by 4A Curatorial Program Manager Con Gerakaris.

Using Jin Hien Lau’s comic Train of Thought as a launching point, Chewie Chan, Jin Hien Lau and Meg O’Shea discuss the language and techniques of visual storytelling in comics. This dialogue examines autobiographical writing and monologue-style narratives with attention paid to compositional methods to manage the pace and readability of story and drama. The speakers highlight differences between the professional commercial practice of Chewie and the independent, solo work of Jin and Meg and how this affects the contemporary culture and industry of comics.

Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not a Virus (Part 2)  is presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Diversity Arts Australia and is part of the I Am Not A Virus project. Supported by Australia Council, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, City of Sydney, City of Parramatta and Inner West Council.

Speaker Biographies


A proponent of the values of narrative across all forms of media and practices, Jin Hien Lau believes that in order to tell a good story, you must listen to a thousand better ones from everyone and everywhere first. Based in Sydney but a frequent collaborator on projects across Asia, Jin has applied his craft to fields ranging from prints, comics, illustrations and animation.

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Meg O’Shea is an Ignatz Award-nominated, Korean adoptee maker of comics and pictures based in Sydney, Australia (Gadigal and Wangal land). She makes largely autobiographical work that has featured on websites such as The Nib, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s 2020 4A Digital, and in a number of print publications including the Eisner Award-winning anthology Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment and Survival, edited by Diane Noomin.

She has spent the past two years in Korea undertaking research for a longform comic project, before returning to Australia this year.

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By day, mild mannered W. Chew “Chewie” Chan provides storyboards and concept art for such movies like the Academy Award winning Happy Feet, Mad Max: Fury Road and Superman Returns and drawing such comic books and characters like Iron Man, The Phantom and Cthulhu Tales.

But in times of need, he dons his alter ego to become the Comics Consultant! His clients include major movie studios like Warner Bros. (Justice League: Mortal), See Pictures (The Little Death), SBS (The Boat), Kinokuniya Bookstores and is a much sought after lecturer/analyst (UTS Masters of Animation, Sydney Writer’s Festival, Books+Publishing).