Mog Thistlethwaite is a Melbourne-based writer and comic artist.
A little history
In a past life, I was the spotty scrawny kid from Molong where my biggest claim to fame was winning second prize for Best Packet Cake at the local show. Maybe I could have come first if I had spent more time baking instead of reading and drawing.
I was no fan of the school system, but I did enjoy learning new skills. As soon as I was able, I made a beeline for tertiary education where I enrolled in courses that taught web design and how to make electronic music.
Rural New South Wales is a nice place to visit but I never chose to live there. By the age of 20, it became obvious that the Central West was a little too small for my liking, so I left for Sydney to pursue music production and performance. Following this, I spent the better part of 2004 writing my first as-yet-unpublished novel. It was also around this time that Andy Mai Mai and I started swapping comedy scripts over the internet. These scripts were the beginnings of Mike and Liam.
I spent a year in Canberra for some reason before settling in Melbourne at the beginning of 2006. It had been RMIT’s screenwriting course that drew me to the Arts capital of Australia, but the only work I could get anywhere near the film industry was at a video store in Brunswick.
I worked that job for the better half of a decade, but I soon grew restless and figured it was time I put all my learning to use. Driven by an unquenchable desire to create and experience the creativity of others, I spent my free time writing film reviews and seeking live events such as Rocket Clock Story Slam at the Trades Hall in Carlton, and the much-loved Deathstar Canteen comedy in Collingwood at Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets. Eventually I would take to the stage myself, but not before I started a podcast to track the experience.
The Potato Revolution podcast with Andy Mai Mai and Kieran Eaton was three years of chaos, yet we still managed to improve it from season to season. We kicked off season three with The Potato Revolution Launch Party in the heart of Melbourne at the legendary Horse Bazaar. With stand-up and storytelling, a little live music and our very own custom-brewed beer, this live event was a showcase for what became established staples of the podcast. It also marked the first live performance of the notorious Industrial Noise band Kollaps.
Many episodes featured new music from Melbourne bands including Voltera, The Nymphs, and Cilla Jane. Our extensive guest list of comedians and personalities was equally impressive with the likes of Dilruk Jayasinha, Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, and Mitch Alexander who all dropped by the studio for a chat.
For me, the podcast was supposed to be a launching pad to bigger and better things, so when writing and interviewing opportunities presented themselves with YAWP Mag and C31 Melbourne, I jumped at the chance to get involved. Writing for both Live on Bowen and The Leak (for which I was also segment producer) was great fun and an amazing learning experience.
The more work I did, however, the more I understood that I needed to level up with my skills. Sure, I could write but I fell short on the technical stuff, so I returned to RMIT for their Professional writing and editing program.
While studying, I took on a variety of roles including editor, writer, and social media manager for Visible Ink Anthology – Breach 2016, RMIT Catalyst, and Odyssey Literary Festival: Raze/Rekindle 2019.
I met many talented writers at RMIT, one of them was Beau Windon. It was he who lured me back to the world of podcasting with his project idea that became The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe where I served as producer, audio engineer, and the show’s narrator too.
Two seasons with Beau, Indiana Kiely, Tom Fahey, and more special guests than you would ever think possible was an incredible journey. We appeared live at Oz Comic-Con, made the spin-off series Space Junk (with Charlie Sturgeon), and had more laughs and fun times than I’m sure would be advised as the recommended healthy amount by medical professionals.
And if that wasn’t enough, I also had the pleasure of recording and editing the second and third seasons of Dr Karen Debbie Cradle’s podcast Why Are You Here? as well as creating audio for the Fringe Festival shows of both Reeni Inosha’s Enlighten Me A Little and Simon Hawkings’ Kiwi Fruit – An Autobiography.
2021 saw the long-anticipated arrival of Enter the Carrot: a Mike and Liam adventure. The six-episode radioplay features characters created and performed by me and Andy Mai Mai with special guests Rhysy and Mr Rupert Sharp. To coincide with its release, I created the Mike and Liam weekly comic strip and published a tie-in promotional zine.
Offshoots #1: Enter the Carrot Premiere Edition features comics, stories, art and celebrates the 10-year history of Potato Revolution Productions.