Artist Marcelo Baez reveals decade of adventures in Comic Gong posters

Comic Gong returns to Wollongong CBD this Saturday but fans will already have spotted a collectable classic in local libraries – the poster for the 10th event.

Local graphic designer and illustrator Marcelo Baez has created Comic Gong’s posters since the pop culture festival began in 2013.

“I was so excited to get involved because this comic show would just have been the best thing for me as a kid,” Marcelo says.

Each of Marcelo’s Comic Gong posters follow the story of Astrid and Astro, with this year’s poster paying homage to the very first poster in celebration of Comic Gong’s 10th anniversary.

“Each one continues their adventure going through space and time with all these weird and wonderful characters, getting in all manner of trouble and stuff like that,” Marcelo says.

“The idea came to me by the third year because when I did the second one, I thought, hang on a minute – this could really turn into something.”

Comic Gong will be held at Wollongong Library, Art Gallery, Town Hall, Arts Precinct and the Lower Crown Street Mall from 10am-4pm on Saturday, May 11. Visitors will enjoy exhibitions, live performances, workshops and stalls covering all kinds of things, including pop culture, cosplay, movies and television, collectables and toys, art and, of course, comics.

“I recommend even if you are semi-curious about this stuff, you should go on the day,” Marcelo says. 

“If you’ve got kids, it’s perfect for kids. If they’re interested in comics, come to me on the day and ask me any questions relating to what I do. I’m always happy to chat to people. I can talk about all this stuff until my head falls off.” 

Marcelo says Comic Gong is a fun day, particularly for families and children.

“When I was into comics in my teens, it wasn’t as acceptable as it is now. There was no way that there would have been this kind thing. There’s just this wonderful acceptance with this kind of stuff.” 

Marcelo teaches comics drawing workshops during school terms at Corrimal Community Centre. Children aged eight to 14 can come on a Monday or Wednesday afternoon to learn character design and visual storytelling skills.

“Even though it’s mostly about comic books, the visual storytelling I teach them could also be applied to storyboarding if they decide to get into doing storyboarding,” Marcelo says.

“The visual narrative isn’t exactly the same as say movies and games but there is a connection.”

Marcelo has worked illustrating children’s books for authors, such as Anh Do, and on a variety of comics, including The Phantom, as well as his own projects.

“The kids don’t have to feel like they’re the most talented kid in the room because it’s designed for everyone to have fun,” he says.

“It’s more about having fun and just being creative and tapping into that natural creativity that most kids already have.”

Wollongong City Libraries organises the annual festival, which offers something for all ages and fan bases.

“The fact that Wollongong council supports this and can see the value in it is great, along with the library. I think it’s because of what they do as librarians. They really know how to organise the show properly,” Marcelo says.

“It’s great for the fact that it’s about encouraging people to read too. City library has a phenomenal graphic novel collection.

“When I was a kid, if that collection was available to me, it would have blown my mind.”


Marcelo Baez runs comics drawing classes at Corrimal Community Centre on Mondays. For more information, visit Marcelo’s website or follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

For more information about Comic Gong, visit Council’s website