Friday, August 31, 2012

Intrepid Travels: The NZ Comics World Tour!

Above: A promotional poster for the Treviso Comic Book Festival 2012 by Dylan Horrocks.

New Zealand cartoonists are taking our comics abroad in the next few months, starting with an exhibition in Italy at the prestigious Treviso Comic Book Festival. Taking place from the 22-30th of September, the festival will feature an exclusive pavilion dedicated to New Zealand comics, and an exhibition Aotearoa: Clouds from New Zealand, featuring artwork by: Dylan Horrocks, Ant Sang, Chris Slane, Colin Wilson, Roger Langridge, Rufus Dayglo, Greg Broadmore, Toby Morris, Barry Linton, Ben Stenbeck and Becky Dreistadt. Many of the artists will also be attending the exhibition in person, signing books, discussing their work, and generally representing comics from the land of the long white cloud.

Above: A poster created to promote the Aotearoa: Clouds from New Zealand exhibition by Dylan Horrocks, featuring a classic Crash O'Kane comic book by Eric Resetar.

If you happen to be in Europe and want to check this out, the NZ exhibition takes place at the Benetton Foundation pavilion, from the 27th of September-14th of October, with a opening event on Saturday 29th of September at 12am. And if you're in Paris in early October, look for a comic signing featuring Colin Wilson and Ben Stenbeck...(details to come).

Above: Triumph, the latest book from Greg Broardmore, one of the many NZ authors appearing at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Copyright Greg Broadmore 2012.

Once the exhibition in Italy is done, a contingent of our cartoonists will be heading over to Germany to appear at the Frankfurt Book Fair, as part of the New Zealand Guest of Honour showcase. 

Taking place from the 10-14th of October, New Zealand is spotlighting a wide variety of NZ arts and cultural events at the fair, from author talks to film screenings. Included in the list of attending local authors are: Greg Broadmore with his latest Dr. Grobort volume Triumph, Dylan Horrocks promoting the new German edition of Hicksville, Roger Langridge with his first volume of Snarked! soon for release, and Colin Wilson, whose graphic novel Bullet In The Head has been adapted into a major movie due out next year.

To accompany these events, Dylan Horrocks has produced a new 100 page booklet promoting New Zealand Comics and cartoonists. If you'd like a copy of this for yourself, you can potentially look for it at the New Zealand Comics stand at this October's Auckland Armageddon Expo. I'll also have some special announcements for this year's convention; so if your a fan of NZ comics and this blog in particular, hold on to your hats! Because once we've taken New Zealand Comics to the world, we're going to be bringing them back a BIG way.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

News From Earth's End: An August Pictorama Special!

Above: Tank Girl by Ant Sang. Tank Girl is copyright Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin 2012.

Today I'll be presenting a round-up of recent local comics art and photos from the Auckland Zinefest that took place earlier this month.

Last week Ant Sang took a stab at drawing a Tank Girl pin-up, with sensational results! (see above). Tank Girl is of coarse the British comic creation of Alan Martin & Jamie Hewlett, which became a generation X icon in the early '90s before it was almost banished into cultural obscurity by the mediocre 1995 film adaptation. In recent years the character has enjoyed a resurgence, thanks to renewed interest in Jamie Hewlett's artwork and his involvement in co-creating the cartoon rock band The Gorillas. Whoever is controlling the rights of Tank Girl should get in touch with Ant about producing some official artwork for them STAT!
Above: An advance poster for Rufus Dayglo's Solid Gold Death Mask. Copyright Rufus Dayglo & Sofie Dodgson 2012.

Speaking of Tank Girl, her latest comics have also featured the artwork of ex-New Zealand resident and former Pistake artist Rufus Dayglo. Dayglo has produced 6 volumes of Tank Girl adventures with co-creator Alan Martin, and is now working on a brand new creator owned series Solid Gold Death Mask, with writer/colourist  Sofie Dodgson. The series follows a demigod assassin, in liege to a penguin, searching for her missing mother whilst her psychotic sister raises an undead army to wage war. Judging by the advance artwork, if you dig Tank Girl you'll want to check this out! Bookmark the official website for more information HERE.

Above: Art commissions by Dylan Horrocks: including Tank Girl and Dr. Strange. Tank Girl is copyright Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin 2012. Dr. Strange is copyright Marvel Entertainment 2012.

Dylan Horrocks has been working through a back-log of beautiful art commissions; including Tank Girl, Dr. Strange, Moomins and a whole range of other requests which you can view HERE.

Above: Popeye goes western in this cover for Popeye #7 by Roger Langridge.

According to advance comics solicitations for November, Roger Langridge will be writing AND drawing issue #7 of Popeye, the series he's been scripting for IDW which has had a rotating cast of artists of late. Here's the synopsis:
It's Wild West action this issue, as Popeye faces the return of Olive's old boyfriend, Ham Gravy... and the fearsome Desert Yeti! Can Popeye defeat the terrible beast before Ham steals his girl? Plus: More larks with Sappo, as Wotasnozzle presents his latest invention: the Electric Cow!

Above: A photo of me manning the New Zealand Comic Creators stall at Auckland Zinefest 2012.

Finishing off with photo coverage of the Auckland Zinefest 2012, 
he's some of the comics related stalls via the First Thursday's Facebook page (photos by Laura Forest: and Ying:

Above: Brent Willis and his range of comics, next to Kelly Sheehan and myself at the NZCC table.

Above: Sarah Laing, artist of Let Me Be Frank.

Above: Sarah's son Otto selling some of his own comics.

Above: Blastosaurus and Ghost Ghost creator Richard Fairgray.

Above: ActionMan Adam creator Marc Streeter on the left, next to Sam Orchard's table.

Above: More young comic creators: Sadie and Esther Galloway.

The event was well attended despite the stormy weather, with lots of interest and solid sales from all the NZ comics stalls involved.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Viewing: In the Studio with Ant Sang

Shot for the TVNZ7 literature show The Good WordDirector Mitchell Hawkes and Director of Photography Chris Matthews take us inside Ant Sang's workspace to discuss his creative process. Enjoy!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

HUIA publishing goes to war with Te Reo Maori Graphic Novels!

Above: The cover of Hautipua Rererangi or Born To Fly, by Julian Arahanga and Andrew Burdan. Copyright Huia Publishers/Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga 2012.

Independent publisher HUIA, who specialise in stories told from a Maori and Pacific Island perspective, have been quietly producing some top flight graphic novels in the last few years, which have been turning heads and winning awards. In 2009 they published Hautipua Rererangi, a Te Reo Maori graphic novel collaboration between writer/actor Julian Arahanga and artist Andrew Burdan, retelling the war-time adventures of Porokoru Patapu (John) Pohe, the first Māori pilot in the RNZAF.

Above: A page from Hautipua Rererangi, art by Andrew Burdan. Copyright Huia Publishers/Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga 2012.

It was translated and remastered for an English language edition, which was released in April this year as Born To Fly. Burdan's crisp illustrations recall the great tradition of black & white war comics like Commando, with an eye for effective design layouts.

Above: Ngarimu: Te Tohu Toa or Victory at Point 209, illustrated by Andrew Burdan and retold by Kawata Teepa. Copyright Huia Publishers/Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga 2012.

This was followed up in 2010 with the Te Reo Maori release of Ngarimu: Te Tohu Toa by Andrew Burdan with Kawata Teepa. This adventure tells the story of how Second Lieutenant Te Moana-nuia-Kiwa Ngarimu of 28 Māori Battalion won the VC during World War Two. 

On 26 March 1943, two weeks before his 24th birthday, Ngarimu led an attack on Point 209, a vital hill at Tebaga Gap in Tunisia. Under intense mortar and machine gun-fire, he led the assault up the hill, personally destroying two German machine-gun posts on a crest of the hill. Despite being wounded twice during the night, he and his men defended their position from several counter-attacks. The following morning during a particularly strong counter-attack, Ngarimu was killed. Later the same day, the Germans still on Point 209 surrendered.

Last year it was the first graphic novel to win the Te Kura Pounamu (Te Reo Maori) award at the LIANZA Children's Book Awards, and also received a 'Secondary Education Highly Commended' award at the CLL (Copyright Licensing Ltd) Educational Publishing Awards 2011. 

It was re-released last month in a new Te Reo Maori and English edition Victory at Point 209. Its 40 pages and retails for $25 NZ, and is in stores now! You can check out a nifty trailer the publisher created to promote the book below, and view some preview pages of Andrew Burdan's artwork HERE.