Monday, July 15, 2013
Newton Comics - The Amazing Rise & Spectacular Fall - Sneak Peek!
Now that funds have been raised work is going on at a breakneck pace to get the Newton Comics: The Amazing Rise & Spectacular Fall finished and ready to ship for its November 2013 shipping date. Some things I can reveal – it will be in stores. At the moment I have orders from both Adelaide and Melbourne for copies, this means that the book will be available at comic book stores in those two cities to start with. As time draws closer I’ll share the details of where the book will be available to be bought from. Copies will be also be available for direct purchase at the Blaq Books web-site. If any shop or web-site wishes to order copies for their outlets then drop me a line and we’ll nut out the details, and if you have a store that you buy from and want them to stock it, then get them in touch. Pre-orders will be taken from the start of October, again, details will be announced in due course.
As it stands the book has expanded considerably since I finished the first draft a few years back. I’m glad I’ve held off publishing it as a lot of important information has come to hand in the past 18 months that will answer virtually every question anyone ever had about Newton Comics and Maxwell Newton, from the secret deals done to form the company, through to Newton's turbulant years and much more. I’m quite proud of the book and think that it contains some of my best writing to date, something that people who have seen text from the book tell me. This will, hopefully, be a blockbuster. I doubt anyone who buys this book will come away disappointed.
In the interim I’m going to share snippets of rough text of the book on this blog so that people can have a look at what they’re going to be getting. There's also loads of extra goodies, photos, commentary and the like, over at the Facebook page devoted to the book, so feel free to check that out as well. The more the merrier! I thought I’d kick it off by, hopefully, answering the one burning question that people always ask - why did Newton Comics fail after less than a year? Have a read and enjoy!
When it comes to discussing the legacy of Newton Comics and Maxwell Newton the question always asked is why did the comic line fail after less than a year? When one takes into consideration the sheer amount of stress and pressure that Maxwell Newton was placed under in the two incredible years between the start of 1968 to the end of 1969 it becomes apparent that the real question should be how did Maxwell Newton summons the strength to even attempt to start a comic book line, let alone a full blown publishing/printing enterprise.
Maxwell Newton was nothing if not a fighter and survivor. He thrived on publicity and when faced with a battle with the highest authority in the country – the Federal Government – and the resulting negative publicity that it would bring he refused to compromise or surrender. Instead he moved forward and met his accusers head on, taking the fight to the feet of the Prime Minister and his deputy. Those in the Government that hated him kept an amount of pressure upon him that was fascinating in its scope. He was called a spy, a subversive, a communist and a troublemaker. Nothing fazed him, in public at least. When John Gorton and Black Jack McEwen ordered the very public police raid on Newton’s house, office and bank their objective was to crush him into submission and, indeed, in the pre-internet age this was always a strong possibility. But Newton’s intelligence, immense will and sheer personality ensured his survival, no matter the personal cost.
With the raid Gorton and McEwen won a battle, but with the quashing of the search warrants, McEwen’s retirement and the eventual standing down of Gorton in favour of Newton’s friend, William McMahon, Newton made sure everyone knew he’d won the war. It’s a romantic notion to think that, if he were alive today, Maxwell Newton would be embracing the concept of Wikileaks, after all, his use of The Incentive to leak confidential documents that resulted in positive change – notably the Duntroonbastardisation case – foreshadowed Wikileaks. If Julian Assange is the modern poster child of information leaking in Australia, then Maxwell Newton is surely the father of the same movement and his importance cannot be underestimated.
The 1960s saw Maxwell Newton operating at breakneck speed, and by the mid-1970s he was clearly running on fumes and adrenaline, clouded by depression and uncertainty, in the midst of an ongoing, ten year battle with drugs and alcohol, tormented by the failure of his marriage and removal from his children and other, deeper, personal losses, such as the passing of his daughter and mother. With that background Newton was always destined to implode; he had risen to amazing heights, and his fall was nothing short of spectacular. That Newton could even contemplate a comic book line, let alone oversee the formation of one in the midst of the chaos that surrounded him is to be admired. That the comic book line failed after such a short time is no surprise. The start-up costs him money that he didn’t have and the returns weren’t as large as he first thought. With that in mind, Newton’s decision to cancel the line after a few short months, and then to flood the market with the remaining stock, was an obvious, and logical, step.