The extended Comics Mastermind™ team comprises comics script and art assessors, success coaches, and course presenters to help you overcome challenges and fulfil your professional and personal potential.
CEO & Founder / Course Presenter / Assessor
Julie Ditrich is a professional writer, editor and comics creator. Julie has a BA in Professional Writing (University of Canberra), and has worked in mainstream publishing as a bookseller, publicist, marketing manager and author. Julie is the first Australian woman writer to work on The Phantom with the release of The Adventure of the Dragon’s Leg in 2020 (Frew Publications). Julie has contributed to the Oblagon comics anthology for Kaleidoscope (Australia) and worked as a co-writer on ElfQuest: WaveDancers for Warp Graphics (USA) and the Dart miniseries for Image Comics (USA), which resulted in sales of over 270,000 comics all over the world. She has worked as a manuscript assessor and editor on several short comics stories and graphic novels for Australian writers and publishers including Magabala Books, and has taught comics and graphic novels at the NSW Writers’ Centre, City of Sydney, Broken Hill Library and the JMC Academy in Sydney. She has been a panelist on various comics sessions run by the South Coast Writers’ Centre and the NSW Writers’ Centre, and presented workshops on the comics medium at the Australian Comic Arts Festival (ACAF), Gloucester Writers’ Festival (Gloucester), ComicsCraft (Dubbo), Central West ComicsFest (Parkes), ComicGong (Wollongong) and Comic Con-versation (Ashfield). She also coordinated the week long Comic Con-versation event in 2017 at Liverpool City Library. Julie was the co-founder of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio and was the co-portfolio holder between 2007 and 2012. Julie has also worked as a professional development graphic novel mentor at the ASA. In recent years, she contributed to the Supanova Tides of Hope anthology, and wrote the script for the epic fantasy Elf~Fin: Hyfus & Tilaweed comic book series for Black Mermaid Productions, which began its release in 2013, as well as the contemporary short story “The Lake”, which was published in the Australia anthology in 2015 (Comicoz). In 2018 Julie joined the judging panel of the Ledger Awards, which acknowledge excellence in Australian comic art and publishing, and she is currently working on several short prose and comics stories for independent publishers, which will be published in 2020 and beyond.
Jules has been a cartoonist since his formative years but turned to fulltime professional in 2004. Since that time he has had numerous comic strips published, including Kung-Fu Video—a monthly half page strip about the inner workings of a DVD rental store. Just like a DVD, this was the first comic strip to feature a cartoonist’s commentary and a special features section. When the magazine folded, Jules moved into publishing, having a collection of short fiction and anecdotal autobiographical comic strips published. The limited short run by a Brisbane publisher soon sold out to critical acclaim. In 2007, Jules re-imagined a personal comic strip from a decade before entitled MiBraine, a play on what a cartooning instructor had once set as a task—”write about something you know better than anyone”. Claiming to know his own brain better than anyone else, MiBraine became a vehicle for odd ideas from Jules’ mind. In 2009 and again in 2010, MiBraine won Merit awards in the Comic Strip category of the Rotary Awards, Australia’s biggest cartooning competition before taking out Best Comic Strip in 2013.
Throughout 2008 until 2012, Jules worked for various regional newspapers creating daily editorial cartoons. Jules has worked as a teacher for TAFE Qld instructing students in subjects such as ‘Comic Book Illustration’ and ‘Scriptwriting and Storyboarding’, as well as numerous other projects including producing a self-published full-colour comic book, re-imagined in black and white 10 years later and holding scores of cartooning workshops around the country. He has also held multiple exhibitions of his work since the 1990s and has worked for some of the largest companies in Australia, including Coca-Cola, The Cartoon Network, World Movies, SBS and the NRL. Jules has also worked in animation, working on a program for Disney, as well as making five short animated films whilst studying animation in college.
More recently, Jules is more widely known for illustrating various series of children’s books including Anh Do’s Weirdo (for which they won Book of The Year for Older Children at the Australian Book Industry Awards in 2014), David Warner’s Kaboom Kid series and Michael Pryor’s Leo da Vinci series. In 2015 and again in 2016, Jules was nominated for Best Children’s Book Illustrator at the Australian Cartoonists Association’s (ACA) annual Stanley Awards before winning this title in 2017.
On that subject, Jules is the current President of the ACA, the world’s oldest cartoonists’ organisation.
Course Presenter and Assessor
Jason Franks is a graphic novelist and fiction author based in Melbourne, Australia. He is the writer of the Sixsmiths graphic novels and the Left Hand Path series, which were nominated for Ledger and Aurealis awards. Franks’ first novel, Bloody Waters, was also nominated for an Aurealis award. Jason has written comics for dozens of artists over the course of his career. His work has been published in the USA, Australia, and the UK. He has previously presented workshops on comics writing at the Australian Comic Arts Festival and at Continuum Convention. Franks’ second novel, Faerie Apocalypse, was published in 2018.
Bruce Mutard has been writing and drawing comics for 26 years, producing four graphic novels: The Sacrifice (Allen & Unwin, 2008), The Silence (Allen & Unwin, 2009), A Mind of Love (Black House Comics, 2011), The Bunker (Image Comics, 2003) and a collection of short stories, Stripshow (Milk Shadow Books, 2012). He also has had short comics stories in Overland, Meanjin, The Australian Book Review and Tango among others. He also publishes other creators’ comics under his own imprint, Fabliaux. In 2014, he completed a Master of Design in comics studies on the formal interaction of words and pictures at Monash University. He has conducted many presented papers, given comic workshops, and artists talks at RMIT, Edith Cowan University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of South Australia, Oxford University, Loughborough University and University of Arts, London among others. His special research interest is in the formal properties of comics in spatial and temporal terms. He is currently working on his latest graphic novel, The Dust Of Life.
Julie Regan is a professional transition coach, working with people in career transition and those exploring and developing their artistic and creative practice. She is the Director of Creative Coaching Options and brings over 20 years’ experience working in the creative arts in Australia with organisations including the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Film Commission, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-Operative, and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to her coaching practice. She has an extensive knowledge of the creative process and works with practitioners to clarify their artistic and professional goals, coaches them through creative blocks and supportively challenges them to bring their ideas to life. She is currently the creativity coach for Comics Mastermind™ and a coach/consultant at Choice Career Services.
Julie’s qualifications include a Masters of Applied Science (Psychology of Coaching) from the University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Film major), a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science), a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management, and a Certificate II in Arts (Interactive Multimedia). She is a graduate of Eric Maisel’s Introduction and Advanced Creativity Coaching courses. She is a life long learner, passionate about professional and personal development, believing that learning is one of the foundations of a meaningful life. She is co-author of the forthcoming book More Zest: How to transition to your ideal life and is currently writing her first novel.