Friday, August 27, 2010

Preview: Ben Stenbeck on 'Baltimore: The Plague Ships'

If you're sick of the limp-wrested lovelorn vampires of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, then this new Hellboy spin-off series written by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden and illustrated by local artist Ben Stenbeck is for you!

Here's the solicitation lowdown for Baltimore: The Plague Ships:

Months after a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with deadly vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, is on the hunt for the creature responsible for this chaos and his own personal tragedy. What he uncovers is a terror as horrific and frightening as any he's seen on the battlefield.
Above: A page from Baltimore: The Plague Ships, art by Ben Stenbeck. Copyright Mike Mignola/Dark Horse Comics 2010.

It's a five issue miniseries, the first issue of which is in stores now! You can check out a preview of Ben's interior art for the series HERE. If you like what you see, Ben's previous collaboration with Mignola: Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels is also currently available in trade paperback.

To find out more about Ben's amazing artwork, you can revisit my exclusive studio tour I conducted with Ben last year, and don't forget to drop by his website HERE.


Friday, August 13, 2010

EVENT: Auckland Zinefest 2010

Zinefest makes a mighty returns to Auckland this year, moving venues to St Kevins Arcade on K Road, taking place this Saturday, August 14th from11am-4pm in both the Alleluya Cafe space and Wine Cellar. There will be zines and comics galore for you to purchase and enjoy, plus guest speakers and interactive workshops throughout the day (see the Zinefest website HERE for a timetable).

Above: The cover of 'Pig #1: Bucklame' by Jerome Bihan. Copyright Jerome Bihan 2010.

The NZ comics community will be well represented, with stalls featuring local comics creators: The Sheehan Bros ('The Inhabitants'), Marc Streeter (webcomic 'ActionMan Adam'), Jerome Bihan (with 'Radio As Paper #5 and 'Pig' #1), and the NZ Comics Creators Stall (with sells NZ comics on behalf of creators across the country). The Cross Street Zine Library will also be on display in it's own reading area.

There will also be a 'Zine of the Fest' competition running on the day, so bring along your own zine and submit it for judging. Winner will be announced at the after-party, and a glass trophy made by ex-Cross Street artist Tes Clark will be presented by sound-artist Nich Rogan.

Speaking of the after-party, it's free of charge and takes place at the Wine Cellar and Whammy Bar from 7pm, featuring local poetry troupe The Literatti, an OHPJ performance by Aaron Cole, and local musicians Ghost Wave, Mothers Of Darkness, Wilberforces, Canadia, and Hold Dear!

So brave the wind and rain this weekend for some locally produced DIY goodness!

For more information check out the Zinefest website HERE.


Library Week 2010: Graphic Novel Competition

Above: The first page of the new story, created by last year's winner, Jason Winter.

Library Week is back again for 2010, along with last year's very successful Graphic Novel Competition. It's already in full-swing, finishing up next Friday August 20th. To participate, all you have to do is illustrate the next four frames of the story and upload them to the Library Week website (click HERE for more details and specifications).

Each Monday morning a weekly winner will be selected, and their entry will become a permanent continuation of the story. There are two age categories for the competition: 13-18yrs and 19+yrs. Last year's winner Jason Winter will be acting as guest judge. Prizes are being donated by Wellington's premiere comic shop 'Graphic'!

There are already some great winning pages on display from Matthew Kelly, James Davidson, David Tulloch, Theo Macdonald and Sofía Chambi-Trowell. So get drawing over this mainly wet winter weekend and win yourself a swag of great graphic novel prizes!

For more information about Library Week visit:


Monday, August 2, 2010

EVENT: 'Travesty' Book Launch

Above: 'Travesty' poster by Darren Sheehan. Copyright Mike Johnson & Darren Sheehan.

This week sees the release to 'Travesty': an 'illustrated graphic novel' by Mike Johnson featuring illustrations by Darren Sheehan, the artist half of the Sheehan Bros, responsible for the mind-bending 'Inhabitants' comic series.

This promises to be a science fiction mind-bender, brought to live through Darren Sheehan's atmospheric illustrations. Here's the official synopsis from publisher Titus Books:

'In a neglected corner of Travesty, in an apartment building called the rathouse, five marginals take on the universe. Drunk Len takes a gamble on salvation, but can he find the ticket? Nisa Michelangelo reconstructs his David with a vital difference, but can art defeat time? Dr Reingold, the keeper of the files, finds himself doing the bidding of his hidden masters, but will he betray his patient? Dilly Lilly goes exploring through her tunnels of soft toys in search of her mother's funeral, but what will she do with the mutant baby rat? And Glow Harvey steps into the world of probabilities on an odyssey of discovery, helped by his mysterious girlfriend Hermes, but will he remember enough to avert the destruction of Travesty by The Lion King and his terrorist allies?

It all comes together on the Day of Delight. Welcome to Travesty, where the stringent laws of purgatory rule and every nerve is put to the test. Mike Johnson's first graphic novel and his strangest creation to date'.

An official launch will take place this Thursday, August 5th from 6pm at the AUT Centre for Creative Writing, 4th Floor Duthie Whyte Building on the corner of Wakefield St and Mayoral Drive. The launch will be introduced by Hicksville's Dylan Horrocks, with both authors on hand for the event. So come out and support this ambitious addition to NZ literature!

For more information on 'Travesty', you can visit Titus Books HERE.

Above: The cover of 'Travesty' by Darren Sheehan. Copyright Mike Johnson & Darren Sheehan.