Friday, February 6, 2015

First Look: Faction Presents: High Water

Above: The cover for Faction Presents: High Water by Tim Gibson. Artwork copyright Tim Gibson 2015.

Since launching Faction in 2012, editors Damon Keen & Amie Maxwell have been raising the bar for local comics anthologies, attracting top talent creators and presenting beautiful collections with high quality production values. After three successful collections, Keen is spearheading Faction's first spin-off special edition, High Water.

Above: A final printed copy of Faction Presents: High Water. Copyright Faction Comics 2015.

Keen has been teasing photos of the recently arrived advance copies at the Faction Comics Facebook page, so I checked in with him to find out what the scoop is on the soon to be released High Water and what surprises we can expect from this collection!

Above: Artwork by Chris Slane. Copyright Chris Slane 2015.

AK: So what is High Water, and can you explain the overall theme of the collection?

Damon Keen: High Water is a Faction Special - so not part of our usual run on Faction - kind of like a Marvel Annual I guess! I hope to do one of these every couple of years, depending on our budget. Faction Specials are going to be themed issues, so a little different than the normal Faction free-for-all, and with higher production values to make them really stand out.

High Water is themed around climate change - largely because it's an issue that I think is in urgent need of discussion - but also because I noticed that no one else had done anything like this before. Cli-fi is starting to 'heat up' (yuk yuk yuk) as a genre in novels recently, so I thought now was the perfect time to put something like this together. I also got a lot of enthusiasm from the artists for this issue, including some creators that I'd wanted to get in Faction for a while - like Sarah, Dylan and Chris - so in a lot of ways, the comic came together quite organically.

Above: Artwork by Sarah Laing. Copyright Sarah Laing 2015.

AK: And tell us a bit about your design/production specs that you went overboard on to make this collection awesome?

DK: Because I wanted this to be a really stand-out comic - with an issue dear to my heart - I wanted it to leap off the shelves; so I went a little nuts on the production values! This comic is a hardback, with cloth binding AND built in bookmark - because why not?

Also the creators produced some wonderful artwork and I really wanted to try to do their vision justice. I went with a heavy matt stock for the pages - quite a different look from the glossy sheets of Faction. On top of the creators, Tim Gibson did us a knockout cover - and Ant Sang supplied us with some beautiful artwork for the interior pages, so frankly, as a graphic designer, working with this material is just a joy.

I can't wait to get this out there!

Above: Artwork by Cory Mathis. Copyright Cory Mathis 2015.

Faction Presents: High Water is a full colour hardcover, weighing in at 96 pages.

The contributor's include: Chris Slane, Christian Pearce, Cory Mathis, Damon Keen, Dylan Horrocks, Jonathan King, Katie O’Neill, Ned Wenlock, Ross Murray, Sarah Laing and Toby Morris. With additional artwork by Lei Wen, Ant Sang, and a cover by Tim Gibson. All this and an introduction by Lucy Lawless.
Look for the High Water collection launch announcement soon!

- AK!

Above: Back cover of High Water. Copyright Faction Comics 2015.

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