Truly rare Reg Mombassa Fanzine


This very limited edition of my Sydney Opera House book ( contains a whole section that will never be repeated, a unique appreciation of the art & music of Reg Mombassa intertwined.

The next edition will be an altogether more ordinary thing. No concrete-seeming hard covers, no genuine bronze spine hinges. & Reg’s illustrations & the written section about his art & music will be downsized, becoming more finely focused on the Opera House itself.

Books about the Opera House fall into two categories: text only social & political studies & tombstone sized art books with moody photos of the roof shells & an unpopulated exterior. But a book that’s focused on the performing artists of all kinds, especially musicians, & chefs, as well as engineers (as Reg documents infrastructure) could only be illustrated by Reg’s drawings. His cultural studies both comment upon & define Australian culture, & frequently include the Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge as tokens.

Perhaps the only architecture book this one relates to is the Bjarke Ingels Yes is More comic book, which has brilliantly created a new kind of monograph. Ingels wanted to be a comic book artist before he wanted to be an architect, & intrinsically understands the language & strength of the form, using his book to: “capture the experience of a personal visit to the studio, the construction site or one of our buildings — which is to transmit the energy of a face-to-face encounter with an architect. Rather than lining up essays, explanatory texts, drawing & images in separate layouts, we have copied the form of a comic book.” The strength of this approach, he says, is in being able to show much more information in a more natural way, as a story, something alive.

Reg is equally inspired by the comic book form and art history, combining the power & insights of both. And for me his illustrations were the only way I could think of to truly, powerfully illustrate the Sydney Opera House as something that’s alive.

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