Saturday, May 23, 2015

Recommended Reading: Chroma Art Awards 2015 - Comic Art Winners

Above: Artwork by Jem Yoshioka, from Folding Kimono. cc-by-sa Jem Yoshioka Creative Commons NZ 3.0 license, 2015.

The recent Chromacon Arts Festival celebrates excellence in local illustration and comics each festival with the Chroma Art Awards. This year's top prize went to Jem Yoshioka for her comic Folding Kimono, an autobiographical comic about being a Japanese-New Zealander, and discussing the barriers to engaging with heritage across distance and generations through the gift and care of a traditional kimono. You can read the full comic HERE. This was Yoshioka's second consecutive win at Chromacon, previously taking the 1st place at the 2013 Comic Art Awards with her comic Sunshine, which you can also read HERE.

Above: a page from Ricky & Lyle by Ralphi. Copyright Lauren Marriott 2015.

Ralphi aka Lauren Marriott took second place with a tale from the hilarious take-no-s#!t duo, Ricky & Lyle, which you can read HERE. Rachel Royale aka Rachel Smythe placed third with her evocative fairy tale The Maiden, which you can read HERE.

Above: a page from The Maiden by Rachel Royale. Copyright Rachel Smythe 2015.

The runner-up finalists included: Kayla Oliver with The Cat and The Fox, which you can read HERE; Cory Mathis with My Wife the Mastodon, which you can read HERE;  and The Blue Masque by Theo Macdonald which you can read HERE.

So while you're wrapped up inside this weekend as the winter weather rolls in, take some time out to read some of these fantastic local comics. Congratulations to the winners and all the cartoonists mentioned here for producing some really great stories, and enjoy the weekend reading!

For more information on Chromacon Arts Festival, you can visit the website HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

EVENT: White Trash HC Release Party

Above: White Trash by Gordon Rennie & Martin Emond. Copyright Gordon Rennie & Martin Emond 2015.

In the early 90's, local cartoonist Martin Emond made a splash in the international world of comics with his first major project, a fully painted graphic novel, White Trash. Written by Gordon Rennie, the story follows two hard-traveling heroes:  ‘The King’ (an Elvis analogue) and Dean - a teen slacker with more than a passing resemblance to the lead-singer of Emond’s favourite band Guns ‘N Roses - on a hellish road-trip across Southwest America. In a life and career that was far too brief, White Trash has stood the test of time as one of Emond's best and most influential works; so it's great to finally see this revered work get the re-mastered, hardcover treatment it deserves from UK publisher Titan Books!

Above: The limited edition print created exclusively for the Arkham City Comics Release Party by Rufus Dayglo & Simon Morse.

To celebrate its release, Arkham City Comics is holding a White Trash release party in-store this Thursday 21st of May from 5.30 - 8pm. As a special bonus, an exclusive White Trash print has been created for the event by two of Martin's closest friends and collaborators, Rufus Dayglo and Simon Morse.

An A5 bookplate edition of the print will be available with the first 20 copies of the White Trash HC purchased for $39 each. You can also get a limited edition A3 size White Trash print for $20 each with 100% of the proceeds going to Youthline.

There will also be some artists drawing White Trash inspired artwork LIVE at the event from around 6.30pm, with the finished pieces to be auctioned off for charity.

If you're not based in Auckland, or can't make the event this Thursday and are interested in a copy of the book or an A3 print, hit up Jeremy either through the Arkham City Comics FB page HERE or via e-mail at: & For more details, visit the Arkham City Comics website HERE.

This is a great opportunity to own a definitive edition of a local legend's work, and also support a very worthy cause. I'm sure Marty would have been stoked with this event, and if you're there on Thursday night, I bet you will be too!

- AK!

Above: Artwork from White Trash by Martin Emond. Copyright Gordon Rennie & Martin Emond 2015.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Auckland Writers Festival Workshop: Comics 101 with Ant Sang

The Auckland Writers Festival is fast approaching, with a great line-up of local and international writers in attendance to discuss their work. There is also an opportunity for budding writers to take part in exclusive writing workshops and receive guidance and advice from some of the most experienced authors around.

The Comics 101 Workshop is taking place on Friday 15th of May, and will be lead by acclaimed cartoonist Ant Sang - author of the graphic novels The Dharma Punks, Shaolin Burning and designer of the hit TV series Bro' Town.

Above: Ant Sang's graphic novels, Shaolin Burning (2011), and The Dharma Punks (2014). Copyright Ant Sang.

Ant Sang is one of New Zealand's leading comics voices, and has a wealth of experience to share regarding the creation of a graphic novel - from outlining the story to designing the characters, sequential storytelling and working with major publishers - this is your opportunity to learn from one of the best. There will be discussion and drawing, so make sure you bring your sketchbook and art tools of choice!

The workshop is an hour and a half, taking place Friday May 15th at the Goodman Fielder Room, Level 4, Aotea Centre, Auckland, from 9am-10.30am and costs $45. Attendance is strictly limited to 40 participants, so make sure you get in quick - for more information and to buy tickets, visit the Auckland Writers Festival website HERE.

- AK!

Friday, May 1, 2015

WEEKEND VIEWING: Dylan Horrocks: Break the Silence

Above: Dylan Horrocks. Photo copyright Grant Maiden 2015.

Recently cartoonist Dylan Horrocks (Hicksville, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen) took part in Creative Mornings - a bi-monthly series of breakfast lectures for creatives (find out more about Creative Mornings HERE).

In this lecture that took place in Auckland, Horrocks discusses the terror of the blank page, and how we all fear being criticised and silenced by others.

- AK!