Above: A Pink Noise art appeal piece by Michel Mulipola featuring Spider-Man.
It's been almost one week since the city of Christchurch was devastated by the largest aftershock yet, following last September's original earthquake. Heartbreakingly, this quake struck in the middle of a busy Tuesday afternoon, destroying highly populated buildings in the city's CBD, taking many lives with it. Today the death toll stands at 155, but sadly that figure is expected to rise. Financial and emotional support for the affected people of Christchurch continues to flood in, from both national and international relief efforts. In these uncertain times it's difficult to register an appropriate response to this scale of devastation, particularly from a distance.
Above: Page one of Roses for Christchurch by Sarah Laing. Copyright Sarah Lieng 2011.
During this past weekend, Auckland writer/designer/cartoonist Sarah Laing produced a touching and beautifully understated 3-page comic strip Roses for Christchurch, which for me (and many others I imagine) perfectly captures that feeling of detached sorrow, watching this tragedy from a distance, and just how very fragile our civilisation really is.
The cartoon image of the Christchurch Cathedral with 'invisible dashes' (a favourite visual shorthand in the language of comics) to complete it's fractured facade, is by itself an incredibly powerful image.
You can read the complete story on Sarah's blog HERE, and please be sure to visit the Roses for Christchurch Facebook page to make a donation HERE.
Above: The Funtime Comics Collective logo ((RAHG!)).
One cartoonist who has experienced the earthquakes firsthand is Isaac Freeman, editor of the Christchurch comics collective Funtime. In response to the latest earthquake, Funtime
Above: A Pink Noise art appeal piece by Ant Sang, featuring The Monk Who Doubts.
Auckland non-profit art community Pink Noise have also mounted their own artistic response effort, organising an online art auction on Trade Me. Featuring diverse artworks from the group's members for sale, with all proceeds from the auction will be going to the Christchurch Red Cross. Amongst the great artworks on offer is a print by Michel Mulipola featuring Spider-Man swinging from the Christchurch Cathedral (see the picture at the top of this post), and an inked original of 'The Monk Who Doubts' by Ant Sang from his bestselling graphic novel Shaolin Burning! So check out these auctions and get some great artwork for your wall while donating to a very worthy cause!
These life changing events are never easy to deal with; but perhaps you'll find something in this report that helps you express how you feel about it in a creative way, or inspire you to aid others by purchasing some of that creativity yourself.