Monday, September 21, 2015

Red Peak VS The Key by Jonathan King

Above: Red Peak as superhero - confronted by the cowardly villain, The Key! by Jonathan King.

As the debate over the NZ Flag Referendum continues, cartoonist/filmmaker Jonathan King took to Twitter with these cartoons illustrating Prime Minister John Key's dismissive attitude towards the increasingly popular 'Red Peak' flag design by Aaron Dustin - interpreted as a pitch perfect parody of a 1950s DC comics cover.

After 10,000 alternative NZ flag designs were submitted earlier this year, the Flag Consideration Panel narrowed down the list to a final four, which were revealed at the start of this month. Since the reveal there has been much debate over the final four designs and the lack of originality and diversity in the choices, with Aaron Dustin's 'Red Peak' design becoming a popular alternative, with growing public support on social media to add the flag as a fifth option to next month's referendum. With the deadline looming, its unclear if there is still time for new legislation to have the Red Peak flag added to the ballot as a fifth option, and defy the 'Key Master'...only time will tell. But I would definitely buy this comic!

You can follow Jonathan King on Twitter: @MrJonathanKing, and support the 'Red Peak' flag on Facebook HERE.

Above: You don't tug on Red Peak's cape (or ponytail!).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

EVENT: Splitting Image Cartoon Exhibition

Above: An editorial cartoon by Chris Slane.

New Zealand has a rich tradition of political cartoons and artistic social commentary, and this Friday you can see the original artwork from seven of our current leading political/editorial cartoonists at the Splitting Image cartoon exhibition.

The featured cartoonists include: Sharon Murdoch (The Sunday Star Times, The Christchurch Press), Chris Slane (The NZ Listener), Sarah Laing (RNZ/Metro), Rod Emmerson (The NZ Herald), Anna Crichton (The NZ Herald/Metro), Peter Bromhead (The NZ Herald), and Daron Paton (Metro).

Above: The Personal is Political by Sarah Laing, originally published in Metro magazine. You can read more of Sarah's comics and cartoons at her website HERE.

The exhibition will be taking place at LOT23, 23 Minnie St, Eden Terrace, from September 19th - October 13th, with a Party Preview this Friday 18th of September, from 6pm. For more information you can visit the exhibition's Facebook event page HERE.

- AK!

Monday, September 14, 2015

EVENT: Bob Kerr: It Was the Fun of the World Exhibition

Above: Before I was Twelve Years of Age by Bob Kerr, Oil on board, 120x60cm.

High respected artist and illustrator Bob Kerr has a new exhibition of paintings, It Was the Fun of the World, on now at Whitespace Gallery in Ponsonby Auckland. Kerr will also be familiar to local comics readers as the artist and co-creator of the Terry Teo graphic novel series (with the Terry Teo and the Gunrunners coming back into print soon), and another new graphic novel to be released in September, Changing Times.

Above: Not What I Expected by Bob Kerr, Oil on board, 37x20cm.

It Was the Fun of the World is a series of sequential paintings reflecting on the story of Tim Armstrong,  who was arrested for sedition in New Zealand in 1916 and who eventually became a Labour party politician. The painting images are based on passages from a letter Armstrong wrote to his children while serving his twelve month sentence in Lyttelton Prison. In the letter he outlines his life experiences leading up to his arrest, so that they might understand his actions.

Kerr's paintings are highly illustrative - you can see the keen eye of a sequential storyteller at work here, but he also communicate a great deal through texture and brushstrokes - implying a strong sense of movement and place to these experiences captured in oil.

It Was the Fun of the World is exhibited now till the 26th of September at Whitespace Gallery, 12 Crummer Road, Ponsonby, Auckland. The paintings are available to purchase, and the gallery is open Tues - Friday: 11am-5pm, and Sat: 11am-4pm. You can visit the Whitespace website for more information HERE.

- AK!

Above: I Worked in the Flax Milling Industry by Bob Kerr, Oil on board, 40x40cm.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Terry Teo Returns!

Revealing the return of a classic kiwi icon, and a tie-in edition to the new TV series Terry Teo, to air soon on TVNZ!

At Earth’s End Publishing we are proud to announce the return of the classic kiwi kids graphic novel, Terry Teo and the Gunrunners by Stephen Ballantyne & Bob Kerr, to be published on 6th November 2015.

Originally released in 1982 as Terry and the Gunrunners, this distinctly local take on the Tintin graphic novel format was an instant hit with children across the nation. The popularity of the book made Terry an instantly iconic kiwi character – inspiring two sequels, and the much loved television adaptation, Terry and the Gunrunners (1985), starring Adrian Bell, Michael Bentine and Billy T. James.

Above: Remastered artwork by Bob Kerr from Terry Teo and the Gunrunners.

This new edition has been digitally remastered and restored from the original artwork and archives, allowing readers to experience Terry’s first adventure in vibrant watercolour – capturing all of the detail and delights of this action-packed, family favourite adventure!

There is also an exclusive behind the scenes look at the history of this kiwi icon, and the brand new TV series, Terry Teo (2015). Due to air soon on TVNZ, the new series is produced by Gerard Johnstone and Luke Sharp, the team behind the recent hit movie Housebound (2014). Starring Kahn West as Terry Teo, Kimberley Crossman and Michael Hurst, the series is produced by Semi-Professional Pictures.

Above: A first look at the new Terry Teo TV series cast. From right: Kahn West as Terry Teo, Drew Brice Ford as Caleb, Hanna Tevita as Polly, and Manon Blackman as Penelope Butterworth. Copyright Semi-Professional Pictures 2015.

The continued interest in this classic character came as a pleasant surprise to Terry Teo artist and co-creator Bob Kerr. “We weren't thinking about any of this when we started. We were probably rather naïve. We just wanted to create a story featuring some local kids having a ripping adventure with heaps of laughs along the way, and somehow that connected with readers. Steve and I are delighted that Terry has been remembered, and that 30 odd years later he is having another outing both in print and on the telly”.

Above: Remastered artwork by Bob Kerr from Terry Teo and the Gunrunners.

Terry Teo is not your average schoolboy - he's a skateboarding super-sleuth about to embark on his very first adventure!

When he stumbles headfirst into the criminal schemes of the villainous Ray Vegas, Terry finds himself embroiled in a dastardly gun smuggling operation. Along with his karate-chopping sister, Polly, and older brother Ted, Terry must use all his street smarts to avoid Vegas' henchmen, defeat the smugglers, and save the day!

Ordering Information:

Copies of Terry Teo and the Gunrunners are now available for order from Earths End Publishing. Email:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or require further information. You can also follow us on Twitter: @EarthsEndComics and Facebook: www.facebook/EarthsEndPublishing.

Publishing Details:

Terry Teo and the Gunrunners
Bob Kerr & Stephen Ballantyne
Trade paperback 260mmx210mm
56 pages, full-colour
RRP: $24.99
Release date: 6th November 2015
ISBN - 978-0-473-33067-5

For more information, visit the Earth's End Publishing website HERE.

- AK!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The PANZ 2015 Book Design Award Winners Announced!

Last night the PANZ 2015 Book Design Award winners were announced in a ceremony held in Ponsonby, with three NZ comics related books notching up a win!

I Am Doodle Cat designed by Lauren Marriott (also know as cartoonist Ralphi) for Beatnik Publishing won the Best Children’s Book Award. The judges noted they "appreciated its bright, engaging colour palette supported by hand-rendered text integrating beautifully with the playful illustrations".

The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd & Marvellous won the Best Cover Award for designer/cartoonist Sarah Laing and Te Papa Press. “A great example of how a children’s book need not be childish,” said judge Cameron Gibb. “The Curioseum is the story version of a 'wunderkammer’, supported by delightful illustrations and the use of hand-rendered type for chapter headings, all making for an engaging and fun read.”

The graphic novel Meariki: The Quest for Truth, was judged Best Educational Book. Designed by Shannon Jahnel Lanktree and a collaboration by Huia Publishers and Ministry of Education, “Mearikiuses many devices well to create a visually engaging read: the illustrations are rich and intricate,” was Vincent’s enthusiastic comment. “Colour reinforces the sense of drama and the range of characters is imaginative – who doesn’t like spider-riding zombie witch queens?”

So a great result, and best wishes to the winners and to their continued success!

- AK!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

EVENT: Bristle Annual #3 Launch Party!

Above: Bristle Annual #3, cover by Lorenzo van der Lingen.

If you're in Wellington this weekend, head along to the launch party for Bristle Annual #3! The latest release from the long running anthology edited by Brent Willis, features comics by: David Tulloch, Aaron Christiansen, Indira Neville, Tim Danko, Renee Lyons, Matt Kelly, Sarah Laing, David Piper, and many more. All this and an eye-popping cover by Lorenzo van der Lingen! The launch party is taking place at the Bristol Hotel (upstairs) at 131-133 Cuba St, Wellington on Saturday the 11th from 5pm to 7pm (and maybe later). 

You can also pick up copies of Bristle Annual #3 the following weekend at the Wellington Winter Zine Market on Saturday the 18th at Thistle Hall (293 Cuba St), from 12 - 5pm.

- AK!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Comic Creators Representing at the PANZ Book Design Awards 2015!

This year's PANZ Book Design Awards have recognised the work of several comic creators and comics related publications in it's recently announced shortlist of finalists, with the winners to be revealed at a ceremony held in Auckland on July 16th. So without further ado, the highly commended finalist include:

Finalist for the Penguin Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book: 

Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks. Designed by Dylan Horrocks, published by Victoria University Press.

Finalists for the Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children's Book:

The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous
, edited by Adrienne Jansen, illustrated by Sarah Laing. Designed by Sarah Laing, published by Te Papa Press.

I Am Doodle Cat by Kat Patrick and Lauren Marriott. Designed by Lauren Marriott, published by Beatnik Publishing.

Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley. Designed by Donovan Bixley for Magma Design, published by Scholastic NZ.

Finalists for the Edify Award for Best Educational Book:

Meariki: The Quest for Truth by Helen Pearse-Otene, illustrated by Andrew Burdan. Designed by Shannon Jahnel Lanktree, published by Ministry of Education/Huia Publishers.

School Journal Story Library, Level 3: In the End by Mal Peet, illustrated by Andrew Burdan. Designed by Jodi Wicksteed for Bolster Design, published by Ministry of Education/Lift Education.

Finalist for HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover:

The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous, edited by Adrienne Jansen, illustrated by Sarah Laing. Designed by Sarah Laing, published by Te Papa Press.

Congratulations to those nominees, and if you haven't checked out these fantastic books yet - head to your local bookstore today! Fingers crossed they'll take away some of these prizes, and I'll report back with the announced winners next month. You can find out more about the PANZ Book Design Awards HERE.

- AK!