Monday, September 28, 2009

Fleet FM Radio As Paper #3 Launch & Exhibition at The High Seas

Above: Tintin VS Akira by Jerome Bihan. Copyright Jerome Bihan 2009.

The ongoing comics anthology edited by Jerome Bihan launched it's third issue in style on Friday night with an exhibition at Auckland's newest comics mecca The High Seas.

The quality of this series is growing by leaps and bounds, with some top-notch pieces from it's staple of regular contributors including: Mat Tait, Tim Danko, Frank & Becky, Sophie McMillian and others. The presentation of this issue is also an improvement, with nice clean reproduction that really showcases the artwork to optimal effect without showing any production seams the occasionally distracted in the previous issues.

The pieces in this issues are nicely diverse, a view into the ongoing interests and projects of each artist.
Frank & Becky's owl infatuation continues with a historical twist, while Melbourne artist Mandy Ord contributes a nice auto-bio strip chronicling a night out after a long week working.

Above: A page from 'Operations and Passages' by Chris Cudby. Copyright Chis Cudby 2009.

A except from Chis Cudby's 'Operations and Passages' shows a lot of promise, and Jerome's Tintin VS Akira is a fun discussion of the differences between these two great works and the joys of comics discovery in general (let's hope Jerome puts more solo work out there!).

Above: Robert Walser's Choice Walk by Tim Danko. Copyright Tim Danko 2009.

Tim Danko and Mat Tait both contribute very polished pieces that are clearly part of a larger body of work.

Tim Danko has been producing some very intriguing comics mash-ups of late, combining comics with found literature to interesting effect. This piece combines extracts from Robert Walser's prose with a comic featuring a pair of ghostly ciphers with a Dada-like effect. It's off-set by a narration strip that runs along the bottom of the pages before merging with the main comic in the final panel. It's layout is well realised and invites repeat reading and multiple interpretations. For more of Danko's unique work check out his website which also features animated comics utilising a similar approach.

Above: 25/07/09 by Mat Tait. Copyright Mat Tait 2009.

Mat Tait's piece is a moody rumination on the nature of memory and regret. As always his work is clinically clean, a crisp world of inky shadows and bright whites with style to burn (and a scary, full-stop of a dog!). It's an evocative, well developed style which leaves you hoping a longer work will be forth-coming from Mat sometime soon.

Matt Hunkin's comic as interview piece 'Evil Genius', about a Wellington cartoonist Ahzan (who produces comics that can be seen at his family's Curry Takeaway) is a great watercolour comic that really isn't done justice in black and white. It has a similar feeling to some of the watercolour comics Eddie Campbell has been doing recently, and you should really check out the colour reproduction at the exhibition to really appreciate it.

Above: Karl Wills with the original artwork from 'Anal Atrocities'.

This issue also features an interview with Karl Wills by Matt Emery, focusing on Wills' mid-nineties comic-strip 'Anal Atrocities'. Wills has been keeping a fairly low profile of late, so for many of fans it's a welcome update on what Karl is working on now, and when you can expect to see more of his work in print (apparently you can expect a complete box-set of 'Jessica of the Schoolyard' from Meltdown Comics next year, along with some new comics featuring 'Connie Radar').

Above: Prints of the artwork from Radio as Paper #3 on display at The Hight Seas.

Prints of the artwork from this issue will be on display at The High Seas till the 8th of October. This is easily the best comics culture gallery space to be based in Auckland for some time and deserves your support. There are more great exhibitions on the way, so if you're interested in New Zealand comics this is a vital hub of Auckland's comics activity. Stop by to see the artwork and be sure to pick up an issue of Radio as Paper #3 for only $3!

For more information on Radio as Paper check out it's blogspot, and for updates on The High Seas take a peak at their website.


Below: Some photos from the Radio as Paper #3 launch.

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