Friday, September 26, 2014

New and Upcoming NZ Comics: Spring Edition 2014!

Above: Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks. Copyright Dylan Horrocks 2014.

Its been a while since I had a chance to update this blog, so here's a round up of all the latest NZ comics and graphic novels coming out in the next few months!

First up is the print edition of Dylan Horrocks' Sam Zabel and the Magic PenBeginning life as a back-up story in Atlas #2 (2005), it was revived in 2009 as Horrocks' first ongoing webcomic. Here's the official synopsis:

Cartoonist Sam Zabel hasn’t drawn a comic in years. Stuck in a nightmare of creative block and despair, Sam spends his days writing superhero stories for a large American comics publisher and staring at a blank piece of paper, unable to draw a single line. Then one day he finds a mysterious old comic book set on Mars and is suddenly thrown headlong into a wild, fantastic journey through centuries of comics, stories, and imaginary worlds. Accompanied by a young webcomic creator named Alice and an enigmatic schoolgirl with rocket boots and a bag full of comics, Sam goes in search of the Magic Pen, encountering sex-crazed aliens, medieval monks, pirates, pixies and—of course—cartoonists. Funny, erotic, and thoughtful, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen explores the pleasures, dangers, and moral consequences of fantasy.

As his first major work since HicksvilleSam Zabel and the Magic Pen will be released in late November as a 208 page, full-colour paperback from Victoria University Press for $35.00 NZ.

It will also be released in seven international editions, translated into six languages: in North America from Fantagraphics, Knockabout in the UK, Casterman in French, Bao Publishing in Italian, Egmont in German, Astiberri in Spanish, and in Danish from Fahrenheit.

Above: Abigail and the Snowman by Roger Langridge. Copyright Roger Langridge 2014.

Another kiwi cartoonist with an international following is Roger Langridge, who has two new projects on the horizon.

Abigail and the Snowman is Langridge's latest project for US publisher Boom Studio's all-ages imprint Kaboom! Launching in December this four issue mini-series focuses on Abigail, a young girl moving to a new town in need of a friend - which she finds in the form of a yeti named Claude. Unfortunately, Claude (known as 'Specimen 486' to the authorities), happens to be an escapee from a nearby government facility that wants him back. To keep her new friend safe, Abigail and Claude go on a journey to find his home.

Above: Jim Henson's The Musical Monsters Of Turkey Hollow, adapted by Roger Langridge. Copyright the Jim Henson Company 2014.

And coming out next week, Langridge makes a welcome return to the world of Jim Henson, with Jim Henson's The Musical Monsters Of Turkey Hollow graphic novel from Archaia. The story is adapted by Langridge based on an unproduced teleplay by Jim Henson & Jerry Juhl, which is sure to be a treat for any fan of Henson's work and Langridge's fantastic comic adaptation of The Muppet Show.

Above: Capture Creatures by Frank Gibson & Becky Dreistadt. Copyright Frank Gibson & Becky Dreistadt 2014.

Frank Gibson & Becky Dreistadt of Tiny Kitten Teeth also have a new comic series coming out from Kaboom! in the form of Capture Creatures! It began life as an art blog project, with Dreistadt sketching new creatures which Gibson would provide a back-story for. After a very successful Kickstarter Art book, the concept will be graduating to an ongoing series in November. The series will follow two teens who set out to investigate the mysterious arrival of over a hundred new creatures on earth, and to stop those who would have them destroyed. For more updates visit the Capture Creatures website HERE.

Above: Ricky & Lyle by Ralphi. Copyright Ralphi 2014.

Above: Patient Lab by Tim Danko. Copyright Tim Danko 2014.

Our friends over at Radio As Paper (now based in Nantes, France), have recently released some lovely mini-comics by kiwi creators: Ricky & Lyle by Ralphi, and Patient Lab by Tim Danko (French edition). You can order them from the Radio As Paper website HERE and HERE.

Above: Holocaust Rex and the Plague Lords of Koch: Book 2, by Karl Wills & Timothy Kidd. Copyright Karl Wills & Timothy Kidd 2014.

The next installment of the excellent mini-comic series Holocaust Rex from The Comicbook Factory will be available from October 1st, and will be able HERE and from selected retailers.

Above: Ant Sang with an advance proof copy of The Dharma Punks graphic novel! Photographed by Damon Keen.

There was excitement at the Earth's End office this week as the first proof copies of The Dharma Punks collected edition arrived! It came out great, and we are looking forward to punters getting there hands on it when it releases nationwide on October 31st. If you live in Auckland, stay tuned for an announcement regarding the release party in late October!

- AK!

Friday, September 12, 2014

EVENT: Auckland Libraries Comic Book Month 2014: Comics in the Digital Age!

Above: The panel line-up of comic creators: Li Chen, Richard Fairgray, Sarah Laing and Dylan Horrocks.

Comic Book Month is currently taking place at Libraries across the Auckland region, celebrating the ever-growing interest in comics and graphic novels available through libraries. To find out more about what events are happening at a library near you, check out the Comic Book Month events page at the Auckland City Libraries website HERE.

Highlights include: Librarycon, a one-day comic convention happening at Onehunga Library & Community Centre on Saturday, 27th of September, from 11am-4pm. You'll be able to browse stalls featuring local comics, zines, art and craft displays and more (Cosplay is welcomed!), more details HERE; and there's also a 'Create a Character' competition HERE.

Above: The latest comic strip from Extra Ordinary Comics by Li Chen. Copyright Li Chen 2014.

On Tuesday evening at the Auckland Central Library, there will be a special comics discussion on 'Comics in the Digital Age'. 

To discuss this topic, I'll be joined by an all-star line-up of local comics creators - Dylan Horrocks, author of Hicksville, and Incomplete Works; Li Chen, author of the webcomic Extra Ordinary Comics; Richard Fairgray, creator of Blastosaurus and Ghost Ghost; and Sarah Laing, author of Let Me Be Frank and The Fall of Light - we'll discuss the impact of digital technology on comics. How has it advanced and improved the way we create, distribute and share our comics? Is there still a place for printed comics in the ever-evolving world of digital reading devices and file sharing?

Above: A panel from Blastosaurus by Richard Fairgray, Terry Jones & Tara Black. Copyright Richard Fairgray 2014.

This FREE panel event will be taking place at the Whare Wananga room on Level 2 at the Auckland Central Library (44 - 46 Lorne Street), from 6pm - 7.30pm. There will be light refreshments before the talk begins, and the authors will have copies of their books available to buy and sign after the talk, so bring some cash along if you'd like to pick up some great local comics!

There are plenty of other Comic Book Month events happening across the region, so check out the events page at Auckland City Libraries HERE for more information.

- AK!